Announcements

Luther College diverts 12 tons of waste from landfills during move out week

DECORAH, Iowa – Luther College’s Move Out Mindfully student-led initiative has kept more than 12 tons of waste out of the landfill. During move out week, May 10 to May 17, 60 student workers and volunteers implemented various tactics in an effort to reuse and recycle, rather than waste. 

Erin Keller (’21) rescues recyclables from a dumpster.

“In addition to organizing donation rooms in each of the residence halls on campus and educating the student body on the impacts of their waste, move out workers embrace the smells and textures of the dumpsters to ensure that all recyclable and reusable items have been salvaged,” said Logan Olson, Move Out Mindfully student coordinator. “We work to connect with students to make sure that they know how to properly sort their waste, utilize move out week donation facilities and reduce the footprint of their move out as much as possible.”

Luther students Adrienne Clefisch (’23) and Elise Wilson (’24) give a thumbs-up as another truck is loaded and off to the Depot Outlet.

Since it began in 2014, the Move Out Mindfully initiative has reduced the waste sent to the landfill by over 50%. This year alone, more than 11,000 pounds of recyclable material was sent to Winneshiek County Recycling, 8,700 pounds of clothing and household items were taken to the Depot Outlet, 1,000 pounds of food was donated to the Decorah Community Food Pantry and 1,100 pounds of compost was sent to the college farm. 

“There is a huge sense of pride when we get to send a full truck of donations to Decorah’s Depot Outlet thrift store or drive a truck full of compost bins to Luther’s campus farm. It feels good to know that Luther’s donations can benefit our community and the compost we collected will fertilize the gardens that will grow fresh produce for the next generation of Luther students. Instead of being buried in the landfill forever, these waste diversions create a legacy that extends beyond our 4 years at Luther,” said Olson.

Olson credits their community partners whom they’ve built relationships with over the years including the Depot Outlet and Winneshiek County Recycling Center, but this effort would largely go undone without student leadership.   

Faye Duster (’22) adds collected compostable material to the college farm’s compost pile.

“The move out program is a great example of the ways in which Luther students are shaped to be engaged members of their communities. Student coordinators, such as myself, are in charge of recruiting and training student volunteers, coordinating with community and campus partners and doing the work of waste sorting and diversion during move out week.”

A recent $1,700 Landfill Reduction Grant from the Winneshiek County Solid Waste Agency was used to purchase special event waste sorting containers that were used during move out week to sort out unwanted items. Moving forward, those containers will be used on campus to collect recyclable and compostable materials at outdoor events. The grant money was also used to install a permanent outdoor four-compartment bin to collect recyclables, trash and compostables on campus to continue this waste-free momentum. 

 

About Luther College

Luther College is home to more than 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.

Looking for a Host Family!

International High School Aspect Exchange Student

Decorah High School is once again welcoming international exchange students for the 2021-2022 school year.  Three students have already been placed in the Decorah School District.  There is one more spot for an international student to come to Decorah to attend DHS.  Are you interested in hosting a boy or girl for the school year?  Essentially the host family provides an “American home” environment which includes room and board.  You can go to Aspectfoundation.org for more information on individual students.  If you want direct help or have questions for me, my number is 563-380-0163 (please leave a message or send me a text) and I live right here in Decorah.

Email:  [email protected]

Luther College joins COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge

Luther signs onto the challenge as the institution reaches its 70% summer vaccination goal

Building on its efforts to get students, faculty and staff vaccinated against COVID-19, Luther College has joined the COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge. Signing on to this initiative, led by the White House and the U.S. Department of Education, means that Luther is committed to taking three key actions: 

  • Engage every student, faculty and staff member. Ensure every community member knows they are eligible for a vaccine and where to get one.
  • Identify champions for vaccine efforts across campus and implement a plan to get as many campus community members vaccinated as possible.
  • Provide vaccine access. Make it easy for students, staff and faculty to get vaccinated at sites near them this summer.

“Luther College is proud to be joining this national effort to get campus communities vaccinated across the United States,” said President Jenifer K. Ward. “These action steps are already proving to be effective, as we have officially hit our summer vaccination goal. We know that vaccines are safe and effective, and because the Luther community has been proactive about getting their shots, we are well on our way to hitting our fall target as well.” 

As of Tuesday, June 22, 71% of the summer campus community had voluntarily provided proof of vaccination and no COVID-19 Indicators were activated which means mandates for face masks and physical distancing on campus were lifted. 

In May, the COVID Response Team determined that Luther will move to Alert Level 0: Blue (Normal) when no COVID-19 Indicators are activated and 70% of the campus community has voluntarily provided proof of vaccination for COVID-19. As of June 22, 48% of the anticipated fall campus population had voluntarily submitted proof of vaccination. By August 1, the college will decide on necessary COVID mitigation measures for the academic year, such as face masks and social distancing. Decisions will be based on vaccination rates and COVID-19 indicators. 

The college publishes weekly updates on vaccination status and COVID cases on campus at luther.edu/being-community/protection-protocols/covid-dashboard/

Luther joins more than 600 colleges and universities across the United States in this challenge. To find a location near you to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, visit https://www.vaccines.gov/, or text your ZIP code to GETVAX (438-829) for English or VACUNA (822-862) for Spanish.

Luther College is home to more than 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu

Luther College announces 2021 graduates

Luther College held a modified in-person commencement ceremony at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 16, to celebrate the class of 2021.

A total of 406 graduates were honored and celebrated in the Center for Faith and Life. Of that number, 148 graduates received Latin honors and 30 were first-generation college students.

There are 60 legacy graduates in the Class of 2021. Their parents, along with prior generations of grandparents, attended Luther before them.

  • 5th generation: 1 graduate, Elsa Thonn
  • 4th generation: 3 graduates
  • 3rd generation: 10 graduates
  • 2nd generation: 46 graduates

The 406 graduates represent 24 different countries.

President Jenifer K. Ward offered a welcome message to the graduates and Madeline Lomprey ’21 was awarded Luther’s Elizabeth A. and Paul G. Jenson Medal, an award presented each year to an outstanding senior, selected by the graduating class, who best demonstrates the ideals of the college through service to students and the college community.

Chris Norton ’15 offered an inspiring virtual commencement address.

Due to the ongoing pandemic each graduate was able to have two guests on campus who watched a livestream of the event in classrooms across campus. Following the ceremony, graduates, their guests and members of the faculty and staff were able to gather briefly outside on Bentdahl Commons and the library lawn.

The Decorah graduates are: 
Anna Bruneau, Religion
Anna Elisabeth Spencer, Allied Health Sciences, magna cum laude
Cecilia Ocheng, Chemistry
Emma Buddecke, Social Work
Eric Louis Smedsrud, Biology
Henrik Charles Marquardt, Management
Isabel Marie Iverson, Management, magna cum laude
Marguerite Grace Ann Schwarz, Art
Spencer Martin Weis, Computer Science

To view Luther’s 2021 Commencement visit luther.edu/commencement/.

Luther College student-faculty duo receives Collaborative Research Award

Nancy Gates Madsen and Mackenzie Zenk ’21 received the award for their research surrounding migration rhetoric

DECORAH, Iowa – Luther College Professor of Spanish Nancy Gates Madsen and Mackenzie Zenk ’21 have been awarded the Collaborative Research Award from the North Central Council of Latin Americanists Conference. Their research paper titled “Destabilizing the Binary Rhetoric of Migration in Yuri Herrera’s ‘Señales que precederán al fin del mundo’ (Signs Preceding the End of the World),” was unanimously selected for this award during the recent NCCLA Conference.

“The topic of migration is very timely,” said Gates Madsen. “There are lots of stories in the news about the U.S.-Mexico border. I became interested in how fictional tales of South-North migration support or question the rhetoric of migration typically seen in the news. Media portrayals often employ simplistic binaries to describe border-crossers: legal versus illegal, us versus them. Herrera’s novel provides a more nuanced picture of migration that is often lacking in mainstream representations. I wanted to dig deeper, and Mackenzie was the perfect person to assist my research.”

This project is the result of year-long collaboration between Gates Madesen and Zenk. They presented their findings at the NCCLA Conference held remotely in April. The Collaborative Research Award is awarded based on the project’s contribution to new knowledge of Latin America, thoroughness and appropriateness of research, and the presentation of research.

“We were delighted our paper was selected to receive the Collaborative Research Award, given to a project that exemplifies collaboration between faculty and student,” said Gates Madsen. “It’s been an absolute delight to work with Mackenzie and see her grow and develop as a student and researcher. It was a wonderful way to celebrate the end of a multi-year collaboration between the two of us.”

Zenk, a recent Luther graduate but student at the time of research, assisted Gates Madsen in the process of researching portrayals of migrants and language surrounding migration.

“I’ve really been able to improve my research skills while working with Professor Gates Madsen,” said Zenk. “For most of the project, I would track down and analyze articles relating to the portrayal of immigrants and the immigrant journey in United States popular media.”

The Executive Committee of the NCCLA said the reviewers appreciated the argument “that the dualistic rhetoric of migration is insufficient to express the complicated reality of border crossers and the migrant journey, as well as the way the paper was enriched by nuanced contextual and social science perspectives.”

Through the project, Zenk, an English major and Spanish minor, had the opportunity to deepen her research and analytical skills and apply her gained knowledge in both English and Spanish.

“I have learned that I thrive on variety and I love getting to learn new things and engage with all sorts of subject matters, especially in areas that I might not have been able to encounter previously,” said Zenk.

 

About Luther College

Luther College is home to more than 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.

UPPER IOWA AUDUBON SOCIETY BIRD LISTSERV

**NEW UPPER IOWA AUDUBON SOCIETY BIRD LISTSERV AND FACEBOOK PAGE**

If you want to stay in the loop about bird sightings in NE Iowa, join the Upper Iowa Audubon Society Upper Iowa Birders listserv.  To join, follow the instructions below exactly. If you are having difficulty joining, contact Bruce Ventura at the following address: [email protected]

First, send an email to [email protected] , with “subscribe” in the subject line.  You will then receive a return email in which you will need to provide several pieces of information.  Submit this back to the listserv.  This will enroll you as a member.  Then, when you wish to actually post a sighting, ask a question, or reply to someone else’s post, simply send an email to [email protected].  This will send your post to all members.  You may want to put [email protected] into your contact list so that your email system does not think that incoming posts from other members are spam.

For your peace of mind, FreeList does not sell or otherwise distribute email lists.  Your inbox should not be bombarded with additional “offers” as a result of joining Upper Iowa Birders.  Also, should you decide that you no longer wish to be a member of the listserv, it is a simple matter to “unsubscribe”.

 

Upper Iowa Audubon has a new Facebook page under Upper Iowa Audubon Society.  Rachel Sandhorst is the manager and if you would like anything posted please contact Rachel at:     [email protected]

Luther College student wins the James G. Stemler Scholarship

Mbonisi Mkhombe ’23 received a $2,000 James G. Stemler Study Abroad scholarship to pursue a study abroad program in the United Kingdom during the 2021-22 academic year.

James G. Stemler Study Abroad Scholarships are awarded to Alpha Lambda Delta honor society members who seek to expand their college experience through a study abroad program.

“A big part of how I view myself is as a global learner and for me that entails having a diverse educational experience which I feel is best achieved through a study away program,” said Mkhombe. “I look forward to engaging in a different kind of learning and by taking classes that are social justice focused I hope to enhance my overall educational experience as I take part in my study abroad program.”

Mkhombe comes to Luther College from Swaziland. He is majoring in economics and data science. He joined the Luther College chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta to be part of a learning community that would push him towards his academic goals.

“Despite not being able to meet as a chapter this past academic year, being a member has given me a sense of fulfillment through the recognition of my academic efforts.”

About Alpha Lambda Delta

Alpha Lambda Delta is a national honor society known for recognizing first-year student success in higher education with a mission to promote a continued high standard of learning and encourage superior academic achievement. In 2020, Luther College was recognized as a chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta, a member of the Association of College Honor Societies which sets standards for national honor society excellence and serves as the only certifying agency for college and university honor societies in the nation.

About Luther College 

Luther College is home to more than 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning, and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully, and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.

 

Luther College student wins the Dr. Christopher C. Joyner Memorial Award

Arpine Hovhannisyan won the award for academic excellence while studying in Washington D.C.

Arpine Hovhannisyan ’22 was selected to receive the Dr. Christopher C. Joyner Memorial award while participating in the Lutheran College Washington Semester, whe

re she interned for the Armenian Embassy to the United States and Listory Corp.

The Dr. Christopher C. Joyner Memorial Award recognizes students who excel academically, demonstrate an inquisitive nature in their studies and are committed to learning. Hovhannisyan was nominated by her fellow students and faculty members in the program.

“It is such an honor for me to receive the Dr. Christopher C. Joyner Memorial Award and I am so grateful I was able to be a part of this great program,” said Hovhannisyan.

Hovhannisyan is from Armenia and is majoring in management with a minor in international business at Luther College. While in Washington D.C. Hovhannisyan juggled working as an intern for two major organizations while also completing her coursework.

“One of the biggest things I learned was how to balance academic, work and social life which really made me feel more ready for life after college. Also, this experience provided me with the opportunity to network with professionals in my field and learn from their career stories,” she said.

For Hovhannisyan, this experience has allowed her to discover different fields of interest.

“I learned a lot about product management, market research and analytics and was able to improve my skills in adapting to the rapid changes of the technological world. All of these skills I gained will only benefit me as I move forward with my career,” said Hovhannisyan.

This summer, Hovhannisyan will continue to intern remotely for Listory Corp. in New York. After graduating, she wants to pursue a career in finance and business analytics. She is also interested in exploring MBA programs and graduate schools.

About the Lutheran College Washington Semester program

Luther College is part of a consortium of thirteen Lutheran colleges that operate a Washington Semester program. The Lutheran College Washington Semester is a small, personalized internship program where students live, study and intern while earning a full semester of academic credit from their college.

About Luther College

Luther College is home to more than 1,700 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.

Tickets available now for Luther College Center Stage Series

Goitse

DECORAH, Iowa – Luther College is pleased to announce the 2021-22 Center Stage Series. Tickets are available now for the five world-class performances, a school show and an afternoon family concert.

“We are so excited to be bringing the Center Stage Series back to campus,” said Kristen Underwood, director of campus programming. “That was a longer intermission than anyone expected. I think we’re all eager to have performing arts back in our lives, and I hope audiences will feel ready as we are to return to the theatre with confidence.”

The 2021-22 lineup includes performances by:

  • Ranky Tanky – Tuesday, Oct. 5
  • Cantus – Saturday, Nov. 6
  • Dance or Physical Theatre performance TBA (“Gravity and Other Myths: A Simple Space” coming April 2023
  • Goitse – Saturday, March 12
  • The Brubeck Brothers Quartet – Friday, April 1

All Center Stage Series performances are held in the Center for Faith and Life at

7:30 p.m. Tickets and more information about each of the performances can be found at tickets.luther.edu and in this brochure. For this transitional year’s version of a season ticket, receive 15% off for purchasing tickets to all five.

Once again, Luther College will be offering the Center Stage Dinner Series where guests are able to enjoy a multicourse dinner before the show. Full menu listings and ticketing information can be found at tickets.luther.edu with the corresponding event.

The 2021-22 Center Stage Series also includes a school show and a family show:

  • Freedom Riders, a school performance for 5th-8th graders – 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10
  • The Okee Dokee Brothers, a family show – 2 p.m. Saturday, April 23

For all shows, the Luther College Ticket Office has built in ticketing flexibility to accommodate public health guidelines and the college’s COVID-19 protection protocols.

About Luther College

            Luther College is home to more than 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.

Adrianna Tam named conductor of Collegiate Chorale and Aurora at Luther College

DECORAH, Iowa – Adrianna Tam has been named assistant professor of music and conductor of Collegiate Chorale and Aurora at Luther College. Selected after an extensive national search, Tam will begin her duties at the college on Aug. 25. 

“The Luther College choral community is excited to welcome Dr. Tam!” said Andrew Last, director of choral activities. “She is a gifted conductor, an effective and efficient rehearsal technician and a tremendous scholar. Faculty, staff and students will be eager to collaborate and learn from Dr. Tam’s wealth of experience.” 

Tam will conduct Luther’s Collegiate Chorale, an auditioned choir made up of junior and senior singers; and Aurora, an auditioned soprano and alto ensemble. She will also teach academic courses in the music department specific to her expertise.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the Luther community!” said Tam. “This community is not only incredibly talented, but also kind, gracious and compassionate. I feel extremely honored to be leading Aurora and Collegiate Chorale. I can’t wait to make music with some fantastic musicians in both ensembles.” 

Each year, Collegiate Chorale and Aurora participate in major choral showcases including “Christmas at Luther.”  In addition, Collegiate Chorale completes a two or four day regional tour. 

Tam currently works as an assistant professor of music and director of choral activities at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. She directs two ensembles including a non-auditioned Concert Choir ensemble and an auditioned Chamber Singers ensemble. Prior to her work at Randolph-Macon College, Tam conducted choirs at the University of Michigan from 2016-2019. 

Tam holds a DMA degree in choral conducting from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance; an MA degree in choral conducting from the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Graz, Austria; and an MM degree in choral conducting from Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music. 

Luther is home to one of the largest collegiate music programs in the nation, with five choirs, three orchestras, three bands, two jazz bands and more than 800 student musicians. Luther students participate in large ensembles, faculty-coached chamber groups, private lessons and master classes. Nearly 275 music majors study music theory, ear training, history, education, composition, jazz, church music and performance.

 

About Luther College

Luther College is home to more than 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu

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