The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Higher education

After five years as president of Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minn., Jack R. Ohle announced that he will retire in June 2014. As president, Ohle created Commission Gustavus 150, a constituent-based planning process through which the college carried out several major building initiatives; Campaign Gustavus, a comprehensive fundraising program; and events for the 2012 visit of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden.

The Royal Ball Run for Autism raised $10,000 for the Augustana College Center for Speech, Language and Hearing in Rock Island, Ill., to provide scholarships for children with autism who receive speech-language therapy. The funds will also support the center's More Than Words program, which helps families with children who have autism learn strategies for improving communication.

Luther College, Decorah, and 20 other Iowa organizations and businesses received the Environmental Excellence award from Gov. Terry E. Branstad. Luther has the largest single solar energy production facility in the state, which went online in August 2012. The college has reduced its carbon footprint by 33 percent and aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

Carla Hinson, a graduate of Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pa., received a Fulbright Scholarship English Teaching Assistantship Grant, which she will be taking to Brazil for the 2013-14 school year. The Fulbright Program, an international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. State Department, focuses on increasing understanding between U.S. citizens and people from other countries. Hinson is the third Susquehanna student to be awarded a Fulbright in 2013.

Michael Maher and Erin (Zimmerman) Gemperline, alumni of Carthage College, Kenosha, Wis., were awarded 2013 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. The three-year grant funds research in natural and social sciences, engineering and mathematics. It includes a $30,000 annual stipend on top of tuition allowance, international research opportunities, and access to special computer resources. Another Carthage alumnus, Laura Taylor, received an honorable mention.

As a student at Roanoke College, Salem, Va., Ben White studied the use of green roofs on buildings owned by the city of Roanoke, Va. To ensure that others have the same experience, the graduate teamed up with his parents Briscoe and Kenan to create the Good Shepherd Endowment Fund for Environmental Studies. The fund will support experiential and firsthand learning opportunities for upper-level students.

The TRIO Upward Bound Program of Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, hosted "A Day in the Life of Making Bad Decisions ... and the Consequences with Miss Maggie," featuring author and poet Ida Stevenson. TRIO programs help students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education.

Since performing at the Basilica Block Party in July with the indie rock band Cloud Cult, Sarah Elhardt, a graduate of Augsburg College, Minneapolis, has been reflecting on her mission as a musician. Cloud Cult was recognized by Rolling Stone for its commitment to the environment: the band tours in a biodiesel van, records in a geothermal-powered studio, and prints its liner notes on recycled paper. As Elhardt told Augsburg Now magazine, Cloud Cult is "music with a purpose, not just another rock band."

The Palm Springs International ShortFest selected Augustana College, Sioux Falls, S.D., graduate Andrew Kightlinger's short film Paper People for screening. The film, an 18-minute exploration of hope and human limitation, played June 21 at the festival. Kightlinger plans to soon release a film titled Dust of War.

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