Matt Rasmussen, an alumnus and visiting assistant professor of English at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minn., won the 2012 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets for his unpublished book of poems titled "Black Aperture." Given annually to an unpublished American poet, the award provides $5,000, a one-month residency at the Vermont Studio Center, and publication of the poet's first book of poems. Rasmussen, co-founder of the independent poetry press Birds, LLC, said he was honored by the award and thanked Joyce Sutphen and Phil Bryant, who, he said, "are currently my colleagues but were my professors when I attended Gustavus. They've always supported my work and encouraged me to attend graduate school for writing. If it weren't for them, I would not be a poet."
St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., called Matthew Marohl as college pastor, effective July 2. He succeeds W. Bruce Benson, who retired in spring 2011 after 30 years at St. Olaf, and interim pastor Ann Svennungsen, who was elected bishop of the Minneapolis Area Synod. Marohl, a pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa, has a doctorate in biblical studies from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He is the author of Unexpected New Life: Reading the Gospel of Matthew (Cascade Books, 2012).
Wade Tillet, assistant professor of elementary education at Finlandia University, Hancock, Mich., was one of three finalists for the 2012 Outstanding Dissertation Award given by the Arts Based Educational Research Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association. Tillet was honored at the association's April 2012 annual meeting in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.
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