Walking and Biking School Buses are back!

Walking Biking School Buses are back!  They are a great (and FREE!) way for TK-8th graders to make friends, build relationships with caring adults and stay active.  To sign your child up, express interest in starting a new route location, or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please contact Upper Explorerland’s Safe Routes to School Coordinator April Bril at or 563-382-6171.

Northern Lights Women’s Chorus Begins Fall Rehearsals

Northern Lights Women’s Chorus will begin their fall rehearsals on Monday, August 26th, from 6:30-8:30 PM in the First Lutheran Church Fireside room.  Northern Lights Chorus rehearses on Monday evenings from 6:30 – 8:30 PM throughout the fall. Their fall performance this year will be Sunday, November 24th, at 3 PM at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church. Rehearsals resume in January, with a spring performance scheduled for April 19th.   Northern Lights Women’s Chorus is a 55-member women’s chorale made up of women from northeast Iowa and southern Minnesota.  Founded in 1996 by a group of Luren Auxiliary wives, Northern Lights has grown and expanded to include other women in the area who enjoy singing together and sharing two performances each year. Any woman interested in sharing her voice, talents, and time with the Northern Lights may contact artistic director Rachael Buresh at 563-419-0509 for more information and to schedule an informal audition for placement purposes.

Luther College alumnus named a 2019 Women of Influence Honoree

DECORAH, Iowa — Dr. Rebecca Shaw ’71, originally from Decorah, was named a 2019 Women of Influence Honoree by Business Record. Shaw is currently an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Des Moines University where she enjoys being able to inspire and educate future physicians. She is recognized by Business Record not only for her work in her field, but for her commitment to the communities she served and her dedication to mentoring young physicians.Becky Shaw

“Many of us, perhaps more so for women, may go along in life unaware of the impact our actions and decisions make on our environment and those around us. It was humbling to be recognized with other women with very different careers and who have accomplished much!” Shaw said.

Shaw mentored Dr. Mary Radia in the early 1980s. Radia says she always looked up to Shaw and nominated her as a Woman of Influence, telling Business Record, “To say Becky has influence would be an understatement. She paved the way for many woman physicians and is one of the most well-respected physicians in our community.”

Graduating from Luther College in 1971 with a degree in Biology, Shaw went on to receive her M.D. from the University of Iowa where she was one of just 15 women in a class of 125. Before joining Des Moines University, Shaw was an OB/GYN physician in private practice for 26 years and was named medical director of Iowa Health-Des Moines Midwifery Services in 2004. She estimates she brought about 8,000 babies into the world over the last four decades.

Shaw is also an Emeriti Regent of Luther College having served for twelve years from 1989-2001.

“Luther College played a key role in my professional development. I always felt that the liberal arts education at Luther College gave me a solid foundation for a medical career,” said Shaw.

Shaw still has close ties to Luther, she says, “The opportunities to reconnect with the College over the years has been like intermittent infusions of Luther warmth!”

Luther College is home to more than 2,000 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 College professor awarded Bradford Dissertation Prize

DECORAH, Iowa — Kelly Sharp, assistant professor of Africana Studies and History, was awarded the Melvin E. Bradford Dissertation Prize at the annual meeting of the St. George Tucker Society.

The Bradford Dissertation Prize is an annual competition that recognizes the best dissertation written on any aspect of the American South. Sharp’s dissertation centers on black labor, material culture and foodways in the early 19th century US South. Her manuscript, based on her award-winning research, is currently under contract with Cambridge University Press and will come out in early 2021.

“This award makes me feel very honored,” said Sharp. “It was a wonderful opportunity to share my work with a wider audience as well as receive their feedback for ways in which I can expand my work as I translate it into my first book.”

When choosing a topic of research, Sharp says she was curious how people in urban American cities acquired food in the days before factories, farming, refrigeration, supermarkets and supercenters.

Bond people harvesting sweet potatoes, a staple in regional cooking for whites and blacks alike.

“Choosing this topic also allowed me to contribute to the growing body of scholarship about the role of enslaved people in an urban setting such as Charleston, South Carolina,” said Sharp.

Sharp is currently revising her dissertation into a book called Provisioning Charleston: Food, Race, and Labor in the Antebellum Lowcountry. When people read her book, she wants them to “appreciate the role of enslaved people beyond building the economy of the US South and America at large, but also their influence in shaping American culture.”

For example, Sharp explains that traditional Southern dishes are derived from distinct African American-origin but claim to belong to a fictitious “post-racial America”. Sharp’s work “corrects the historical record and seeks to give credit where credit is due.”

For future updates, visit the history department news page,

Luther College is home to more than 2,000 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 College students get real life experience in politics and policy in Washington, D.C.

DECORAH, Iowa — Four Luther College students got a real-world experience in politics and policy this summer. The Luther College Platform Chapter took part in Platform Convention 2019 in Washington, D.C. While at the convention, students heard from keynote speakers including New York Rep. Grace Meng, participated in policy panels led by experts in their field and met with staffers of congress on Capitol Hill to advocate policy.

Platform is a political training and lobbying organization dedicated to ensuring the voices of all, particularly women, are heard in the rooms where decisions are made. Their mission states, “We, the women of Platform, come together to ensure that our voices are heard in the conversations about our bodies, our lives and our futures.”

Luther students, Hannah Stenoien ’20, Hannah Gross ’20, Anna Lavender ’21 and Amelia Morrow ’22, looked at this experience as an educational venture that provoked deep thought and opened up unlimited possibilities. Social work major, Hannah Gross, connected her time in DC to her Paideia 450: Migration and Border Issues course and passion for the social work field, saying there is a need for empathy within policy.

“I think social workers should be more involved in politics because they have a unique understanding of how policy truly affects the people they are working with,” said Gross. “In this upcoming year I am excited to implement the tools and skills I learned at convention, not only in our Luther College chapter of Platform, but also in my social work courses.”

Luther College Platform meets biweekly during the school year. In addition to meetings, the student organization leads or cosponsors events throughout the semester. Last year, Platform supported a letter writing campaign at the Rally Against Sexual Assault, hosted the cofounder of Platform, Jennifer Mandeblatt, and led a writing campaign on National Women’s Day.

Platform chapter president, Hannah Stenoien, explains the impact Platform has had on her.

“Platform has shown me how policy effects my everyday life. It has provided me tools to understand and break down contested issues in today’s society and has bolstered my confidence to advocate for the things I believe in. I am not a policy expert, but Platform has exemplified why I don’t need to be one to make my voice heard.”

Luther College is home to more than 2,000 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



Park-Rec. Fall Activities Brochure is now available

Park-Rec. Fall Activity Brochures are now available on or may be picked up at the Park-Rec. Office, local banks and fitness centers, and the Decorah Public Library.

Activities include Adult Coed Slow Pitch Softball, Adult Coed and Women’s Volleyball Leagues, Spikesters Volleyball for 3rd-6th, Flag Football for 1st-6th, Kickoff Kids for 5-6 yrs, School’s Out, We’re In for 5-8 yrs, Sharp Shooters Basketball for 1s -3rd, Hoopsters Basketball for 4th-6th and Intro to Taekwondo for ages 4 & up.  Special events include Touch-a-Truck and Turkey Shoot for all ages, Football Clinic for 1st-6th and Dodgeball Tourney for 6th-8th.

Registration is available online.  Go to and click on Online Registration & Activities. Credit and debit card payments are only accepted online.  we are still accepting registrations by mail or in person at the Park-Rec. Office, but payment must be made by check or cash.


Decorah Pool End-of-Year Schedule

REGULAR SEASON HOURS THRU AUGUST 22  Monday thru Friday: 1:00-8:30 pm public swim.  Saturday and Sunday: 1:00-8:00 pm public swim.  Lap/aquacise as regularly scheduled.

EXTENDED SEASON HOURS  Friday, August 23: morning/noon lap & aquacise only.  Saturday, August 24: noon lap, 1:00-8:00 pm public swim.  Sunday, August 25:  noon lap, 1:00-6:00 pm public swim.


Good Shepherd Announces Welcome Friends and Neighbors Picnic, September 15, 2019

10th Annual Welcome Friends and Neighbors Picnic Sunday, September 15


Good Shepherd will host its 10th annual Welcome Friends and Neighbors Picnic on Sunday, September 15 from 5:00-6:30 p.m., a chance to celebrate community and enjoy good food and conversation! As in the past, the picnic will include lots of great local food, live music, including the Good Shepherd Band and a special performance by local musicians Matt and Siri Steven, and more!  As always, there will be games for kids and  a marshmallow roast. The event is free and open to all.  A large tent will be set up in Good Shepherd’s front yard, due to construction work in the backyard, to provide shelter from sun or showers.  In the event of a heavy rain, the picnic will be held in the Fellowship Hall. The entire Decorah community is invited, including Luther College students, faculty, and staff.

Red cross blood drive

Red cross blood drive coming August 30 2019 Stone Ridge community church 1111 Montgomery ST. Decorah Iowa noon /6pm. please come to donate and support this cause thanks Red cross coordinator for appt. call 1 800/733/2767 thanks

Northeastern Swim Team Registration

Registration for the Northeastern Swim Team (NST) Short Course swim season will open August 19 through September 2nd for all interested swim team participants. A four-month option will be available for high school swimmers.  Information about the upcoming season can be found on the NST TeamUnify website: . NST is a USA certified swim team that practices at Luther College in Decorah, IA and serves many communities in the Northeast Iowa area.  Any questions about the upcoming season can be directed to:

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