Announcements

Luther College student awarded $10,000 Davis Projects For Peace grant

DECORAH, Iowa – Luther College student Methembe Moyo ‘22 has been awarded the Davis Projects for Peace grant for his proposal named “Lift As You Rise.” Davis Projects for Peace was established by Kathryn W. Davis on her 100th birthday to fund selected students with $10,000 to create and build peace anywhere in the world.

Methembe Moyo ’22

“I grew up in urban Bulawayo, a city in Zimbabwe,” said Moyo. “However I attended high school in a rural area and this is where I noticed the educational disparities between urban and rural education.”

In Zimbabwe, students must pass an end-of-the-year exam before they can obtain their high school diploma. According to Moyo, 61% of 16 to 18-year-old students in rural Zimbabwe drop out of school upon failing their national examinations.

“In recognizing the great opportunity provided by the Davis foundation, I knew there was a great chance of finally addressing the challenges faced by rural students and attempting to bridge the gap between rural and urban ones,” said Moyo.

The funds from the Davis Projects for Peace grant will be used to:

  • Purchase school stationery
  • Purchase textbooks
  • Obtain rental spaces for classes
  • Pay examination fees
  • Assemble a team of tutors for students in need.

Additionally, funding will go toward making the project self-sufficient.

“We will also establish a poultry project to make sure the educational experience has an entrepreneurial approach to it,” said Moyo. “Hopefully the project will start funding itself when we sell the chickens we have raised.”

The project will begin in early June in Ntabazinduna, Zimbabwe.

“I am excited to start Lift As You Rise, a name I came up with upon realizing that while I am also still rising due to the opportunities I have been given, I can lift others in need,” said Moyo.

Since the creation of the grant in 2007, Luther has established 21 different projects in 20 different countries. In total, 34 Luther students have been awarded this prestigious grant to spread sustainable peace around the world.

 

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 charts path to normal operations for summer and fall

DECORAH, Iowa – Luther College has created a pathway to normal operations on campus for summer and fall while continuing to mitigate the risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mandates for face masks and physical distancing will be removed once 70% of the campus community (students, faculty and staff living or working on campus) has voluntarily provided proof of vaccination for COVID-19 and no college COVID-19 Indicators are activated.

“We are excited about the opportunity to continue classes, residential living, and college operations with a loosening of requirements for face masks and physical distancing,” said President Jenifer K. Ward. “I am thankful to our COVID Response Team (CRT) and Cabinet for their thoughtful and careful planning that is grounded in science and based upon data. The Luther College community is strong and was able to withstand a year of strict COVID-19 mitigation protocols. Thanks to the availability of safe and effective vaccinations, we are ready to take steps toward being closer than six feet apart, and without face coverings, as well as welcoming the broader community to campus.”

Once the college moves to normal operations, campus events with large numbers of anticipated participants and/or guests on campus (e.g., Homecoming and “Christmas at Luther”) may still be adjusted to accommodate a smaller number of in-person attendees.

“Many will continue to wear masks in certain situations, and we will monitor our COVID-19 indicators and risk levels going forward, but we are strongly encouraging all in our community to get vaccinated in the short term,” said Ward.

The CRT will continue to monitor COVID conditions on campus and in Winneshiek County and mandates for face masks and physical distancing will be reinstated if conditions warrant it.

Operations for NCAA athletics and the performing arts (e.g., music, dance, and theatre) will be determined over the summer in consultation with the NCAA and performing arts professional organizations.

For more information visit luther.edu/being-community/COVID-vaccinations/.

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.

###

Iowa Food Hub offering curbside and home delivery

How it works:

Order: Visit the website https://iowa-food-hub.myshopify.com/collections or call 563-223-8845 or email [email protected]

Place an order for locally produced products (Mondays at 8am – Wednesday 5pm)

Pay: We accept credit/debit cards, SNAP/EBT, Winneshiek Medical Senior Coupons

Receive: Choose your delivery option.

Decorah: Curbside Pick-up – FREE
Fridays from 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm on Railroad Street, Decorah (See Map) Saturdays 9:00 am – 10:00 am.

Delivery – Decorah City – $3.00 (less than 2 miles from city limits)
Fridays 1-3 pm, $10 minimum order

Delivery – Decorah Rural – $10.00 (within 15 miles of Decorah)
Fridays 1-3 pm, $25 minimum order

Waukon: Drop-site at WW Homestead Dairy – FREE
Tuesday after 2 pm

West Union: Drop-site at Unionland Market – FREE
Tuesday before noon

Calmar Drop-site at NICC Campus – FREE – Tuesday after 8am

Postville Drop-site at Northeast Iowa RC&D – FREE – Tuesday after 10am

 

Luther College Nordic Choir releases album “Coming Home to the Light”

A new album released by the Luther College Nordic Choir is now available for streaming. “Coming Home to the Light” features some of the best performances by the premier collegiate choral ensemble, ranging from 2017-21, all conducted by Andrew Last. 

“It was a wonderful treat to spend some time reflecting on the music from the past four years,” said Last. “During a year when making music was challenging, this was an opportunity to reflect on what choral music means to me, to my students and to Luther College. The title of the album, ‘Coming Home to the Light,’ is intentional. Not only is it the final lyric of the last song on the recording, but I found a special connection with the lyric as it also represents me returning to an ensemble that was formative for me in my development as a choral musician,” said Last. 

To create this album, Last asked Nordic Choir member Olivia Steffl ’21 to put together a team of seniors to hand pick the songs that would be included. 

“After putting together a team of four people, Dr. Last, Elizabeth Hand ’21, David Gorman ’21 and myself, we sat down and listened to every recording we had from the last four years,” said Steffl. “As we were listening, we took notes on our favorite piece, the composers, the language of the text, the tempo and whether or not a piece was already on a streaming service or other album already produced.”

From there, the team narrowed it down to 21 pieces including a variety of styles to appeal to listeners’ musical preferences and emotions.  

“We intentionally placed selections that encompass many composers, genres and time periods with all of them being tied together by a common thread – the joy and pride we feel when singing,” said Last. 

“I hope listeners will get a sense for what music at Luther College is all about. 70 to 80 voices coming together to make music as one. Making music for the joy of making music. Making music to share with the world. It was really fun to work on this and think about the other people who were singing in these ensembles over the last four years,” said Steffl. 

The album is only available in a digital format. Those who are interested can find “Coming Home to the Light” on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music.

Nordic Choir, founded in 1946, is Luther’s principal touring choir and enjoys national and international recognition as one of the best collegiate choral ensembles in the United States. Acclaimed for the way it honors the Lutheran choral tradition while also featuring new and innovative choral works, Nordic Choir showcases versatility, artistry and technical mastery across many genres of music.

“As a member of Nordic Choir I have appreciated the unique characteristics everyone brings to the ensemble. Being part of this group has allowed me to get to know so many new people who have helped me grow as a person the last three years. Each year new members enter the choir bringing in a new set of skills that help everyone in the ensemble to broaden their horizons and learn from one another,” said Steffl. 

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.

 

 

Seven moth species new to Iowa found on Luther College land

A research project conducted by Lena Schmitt ’20 and Kirk Larsen, professor of biology, has uncovered seven moth species never before found in Iowa.   

Schmitt and Larsen collected a sample of 12,290 moths in Luther College’s oak-hickory forests and tallgrass prairies representing 468 species. 99 of these species had never been documented in Winneshiek County and seven of them had never been found in Iowa. Among the seven species new to the state are the carpenterworm moth, the crocus geometer, the mobile groundling moth, the dusky herpetogramma moth and the beautiful sparganothis moth. These findings were recently published in an article in the Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society.

“Many groups of insects besides butterflies or beetles tend to be understudied in general,” said Schmitt. “Because of this, in most areas we don’t even know what types of moths are around or what type of habitat they prefer to live in.”

According to Schmitt, there has only been one intensive moth survey performed in Winneshiek County by Bert Porter in 1908. Larsen and Schmitt’s work provides an important baseline from which to build knowledge of the biodiversity present and management of local natural areas. 

“Without knowing what is present, we can’t take care of what we have,” said Larsen. “This lack of knowledge can pose a threat to our local ecosystems. The presence of a species not previously found can indicate shifts in the distribution of a species due to the changing climate, or even the arrival of a new pest.”

According to Larsen, moths are important food sources for many bats, small mammals, amphibians and other organisms and the caterpillars of moths are particularly important food sources for developing chicks of many species of birds. They are also important pollinators of various flowering plants.

The discovery of these species was not only good news for the Decorah area, Schmitt, a student at the time of this project, gained some valuable skills. 

It was a fantastic opportunity not only for the resulting publication, but also for the experience of writing grants for funding, designing an experiment, troubleshooting problems and following through doing the admittedly tedious work of collecting and processing data,” said Schmitt

“Not only did Lena take the lead on writing up the results of this project, she also presented her results at national meetings of the Entomological Society of America in St. Louis, Missouri. In the student research competition that included students from large universities with entomology departments, Lena won first place for her presentation on this moth research. This research project is an example of the quality and kind of transformative experiences that students at Luther College receive that prepare them for careers in science,” said Larsen. 

And prepare her, it did.

“It’s already had an enormous effect on my career! Very few undergraduate students can say that they’ve already published a paper in a scientific journal, and that’s made me a very competitive applicant for graduate schools and jobs. Even the smaller in-class research projects that are common in the environmental biology courses give Luther students an advantage over students who may have never done hands-on research before and it is great resume material.” 

This project has opened doors for future Luther students for years to come. Using this research as a baseline, students will be able to study long-term changes that may occur in moth populations due to habitat loss, climate change or types of management used on the prairies and forests in Iowa.

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. 

Enrollment now open for 2021 Virtual Dorian Summer Music Camp

DECORAH, Iowa – Enrollment is now open for Luther College’s 2021 Virtual Dorian Summer Music Camp. Students entering grades 7-12 in the fall, as well as 2021 graduated seniors, are welcome to attend the three-day camp regardless of location June 15-17. 

Each day of the camp students will spend several hours immersed in fun and interactive programming all while learning valuable music fundamentals. 

“This virtual camp offers exciting opportunities for hands-on learning,” said Andrew Last, Dorian Summer Camp director. “From conducting to composing, students will be treated to some of the exciting electives, for which Dorian is famous.”

“Dorian Summer Camp is a shared experience in learning, connecting and building a lifelong love of music,” said Shelly Schaeufele, Dorian Summer Camp’s dean of students. “We are excited to provide this opportunity to students in a virtual setting this summer. All of our classes are amazing, but I am most excited for one of our new class offerings this summer called Musical Meaning in Movies. This is a class that I would have loved as a student.”

Enrollment is open now through June 6, or until 150 students have registered. The total cost is $60 which includes six hours of instructional class time, three hours of social activities and games, and a Dorian camp box with $50 worth of contents including limited edition items. 

“Students should enroll for many reasons: connecting with faculty, counselors and fellow campers; a chance for extra musical opportunities after a year when learning was very different and a really cool Dorian visor.”

For more information or to register visit luther.edu/music/dorian/summer-camps/virtual.

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.

Luther College’s Madeline Lomprey announced as the 2021 Jenson Medal Award recipient

DECORAH, Iowa – Luther College graduating senior Madeline Lomprey of Waunakee, Wisconsin, received the college’s Elizabeth A. and Paul G. Jenson Medal for the class of 2021. The announcement was made during the Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 16.

Luther’s Elizabeth A. and Paul G. Jenson Medal is 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. Established through an endowment gift from Luther alumni, Paul ’48 and Elizabeth (Dybdal) Jenson ’49, of Vassalboro, Maine, the Jenson Medal supports Luther College’s mission of service.

Lomprey was looked to as a leader during her time at Luther, serving as president of the Student Senate and vice president of Collegiate Chorale her senior year. She engaged with the community on many levels: as a diversity ambassador for Admissions where she worked to create an equitable transition for students from high school to college; she was one of the first TedXLutherCollege speakers in 2019 when she spoke about arts-based peacebuilding initiatives; and she was involved in student groups including PRIDE Club, Intersectional Feminist Club and theatre. 

“The Luther community is one that will not let you fail,” said Lomprey. “Every time I have struggled during my time here, I could always look around to see so many supportive people around me. If it were not for my peers, I would not be the confident leader I am today.”

Lomprey graduated with a degree in international studies with a peace and dialogue concentration. Over the past two years, she has done research and presentations on the topic of arts-based peacebuilding, because in her words “the arts are crucial in bringing communities together.” This fall, Lomprey will move to Spain to teach English as a foreign language in a bilingual school which will serve as a springboard for her to pursue a graduate degree in peace and conflict studies. She will be half a world away but says she will continue to be inspired by those she met in Decorah. 

“When I reflect on the people I’ve met during my time at Luther, I feel so incredibly inspired by each of them. I have watched students from all over the world rally together to make a difference on our campus, in Decorah and Iowa, and in our greater global community. Moving forward, I have no fear of being a leader and taking risks, because I know the people I love from here will always be there to catch me. That is not something you can come across just anywhere, and for that, I am eternally grateful. Soli Deo Gloria.”

To view a video of Luther’s 2021 Commencement visit www.luther.edu/commencement.

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. 

Ashley Benson named to newly created dean of student engagement position at Luther College

DECORAH, Iowa – President Jenifer K. Ward has announced the appointment of Ashley C. Benson to the newly created dean of student engagement position at Luther College.

            The dean of student engagement is part of an administrative reorganization designed to create an integrated, student-centric approach to all academic and co-curricular services. Reporting to newly appointed provost, Lynda A. Szymanski, Benson will join the Luther community on July 1.

“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Benson to Luther College,” said Ward. “The search committee feedback, as well as the comments from our community, gave both me and Provost-Elect Lynda Szymanski confidence that we would be adding an energetic, student-focused and change-comfortable dean of student engagement to lead us in this new role within an integrated provost division. I am grateful to Search Committee Chair VP Stephen Sporer and a great committee of faculty, staff and students for their thorough and thoughtful work that led to this wonderful outcome.”

Benson has a meaningful history of supporting and engaging with students. She comes to Luther from the College of Wooster in Ohio where she has worked as the associate dean of students since 2017. Prior to that appointment, Benson was the director of TRIO Student Support Services at North Central State College in Mansfield, Ohio, for nearly seven years.

“I am excited to assume the role of dean of student engagement at Luther College and to bring President Ward’s vision to fruition with the new provost model,” said Benson. “My immediate focus will be to learn the culture of the college while also improving retention and persistence efforts, developing leadership training for student leaders and collaborating with various student affairs/student services and academic departments.”

At Luther, Benson will oversee seven student-centric units including campus recreational sports, Counseling Service, the Nena Amundson Lifetime Wellness Program, Residence Life, student activities, Health Service and the Student Life Office.

Benson earned her bachelor of science in education degree and an M.Ed degree in education administration and supervision from Bowling Green State University. She also holds an M.A. and a Ph.D., both in leadership and change, from Antioch University. Her research interests are in first-generation and low-income students and the factors that influence their ability to graduate college.

“It is important for students to know that Luther College is a safe space for them to thrive and learn. I envision the dean of student engagement as a role to make a positive and lasting impact on student lives and support diversity, equity and inclusion efforts across campus. We are preparing future alumni; thus, creating the framework for successful alumni and alumni groups. It is important for me in this role to make student engagement at Luther College stronger than ever,” said Benson.

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 summer athletic and Discovery Camps are back

DECORAH, Iowa – Registration is now open for summer athletic camps and Discovery Camps at Luther College. Summer camps for 2021 will be offered in a day camp format and will include offerings for distance running, football, soccer, tennis and wrestling in the months of June and July; and four unique Discovery Camps during the month of June.

“Luther College athletics is thrilled to be offering area youth with an opportunity to participate in summer sports camps this year! We can’t wait to see our campers back on campus,” said Chris Garcia Prats, assistant athletic director and men’s soccer coach.

Athletic camps are available for campers entering kindergarten through 12th grade. To learn more about Luther’s summer athletic camp offerings or to register visit www.luther.edu/sports/camps.

In addition to the sport camps, Luther College, in partnership with Winneshiek County Conservation, offers Discovery Camps to all students interested in learning more about the beauty and diversity of the natural world. Each week students participate in courses designed to engage them in hands-on, discovery-oriented learning about their environment.

“We are excited to once again safely bring campers together to explore nature, make new friends, gain new skills and have fun outside,” said Lilly Jensen, Discovery Camps director.

There are Discovery Camps available for those pre-K through 8th grade. To learn more about Luther’s summer Discovery Camps or to register visit www.luther.edu/environmental-outreach/discovery-camp.

Luther College is committed to providing a safe camp experience. CDC and local public health COVID-19 guidelines will be followed. Campers can expect daily health screening questions, mask wearing, increased hand washing or use of waterless soap, and to be assigned to a small group (pod) of campers to play/train with during the camp experience. Due to the pandemic, there will be no overnight camps this summer.

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 students awarded Karen Julesberg Scholarship

(T-B, L-R) Sandy Antunez-Blas ’23, Jadyn Gasper ’23, Jill Richards ’22, Mara Wood ’22

DECORAH, Iowa – Four Luther College students have each received a $1,000 Karen Julesberg Scholarship for the 2021-22 academic year. The recipients are Sandy Antunez-Blas, Jadyn Gasper, Jill Richards and Mara Wood.

The Karen Julesberg Scholarship benefits Luther College students involved in the TRIO Achievement Program. TRIO provides customized support and comprehensive programming that fosters students’ academic success, personal development and community engagement. The federally-funded program has been sponsored by Luther for nearly 50 years and serves approximately 180 students annually.

Karen Julesberg ’60 of Madison, Wisconsin, has sponsored the scholarship since 2012.

“When I was considering the many worthwhile opportunities that support Luther students and programs, it took me some time to select one that not only fit my interests but also touched my heart,” said Julesberg. “Once I learned about TRIO with its variety of activities designed to support income-eligible and first-generation students, my choice was easy.”

Sandy Antunez-Blas ’23 of Chicago, Illinois, is majoring in economics with a minor in management. Along with being a full-time student and TRIO participant, Antunez-Blas serves as treasurer of the Luther College Habitat for Humanity executive board. She also received the Student Engagement Award from TRIO in 2020. After graduating from Luther, she will launch her career in international business.

Jadyn Gasper ’23 of Appleton, Wisconsin, is a pre-med student double majoring in psychology and neuroscience. She serves as a financial wellness ambassador for the TRIO program and as a student assistant for the psychology department. Gasper is also a member of the Neuroscience Club, Health Sciences Club, Council for Exceptional Children and as co-chair of the Luther Disability Alliance, she is an advocate for campus inclusivity and accessibility. After graduating from Luther, she plans to continue her education to become a psychiatrist.

Jill Richards ’22 of Solon, Iowa, is majoring in biology with a minor in environmental studies. She has volunteered with Luther College Habitat for Humanity for four years, serving on the executive board first as communications coordinator and now as president. Richards is also a youth mentor through the Luther College PALS Program, a Spanish tutor and the Luther College Herbarium laboratory assistant. After graduating, she intends to enter the field of agroecology working for The Global Crop Diversity Trust or a similar organization that focuses on global food security.

Mara Wood ’22 of Aurora, Colorado, is majoring in global health with a minor in psychology. Wood applies her passion for people’s health and well-being by serving as the student wellness ambassador on the Luther College campus. Wood is also involved with Luther College Habitat for Humanity and the Luther College Student Activities Council (SAC) Service Committee. She is a certified college peer educator and received the Outstanding Communication Award in 2020 from the TRIO program. Following her graduation, she plans to attend a school of Chinese Medicine to become an acupuncturist specializing in Chinese herbal medicine.

For questions about the TRIO Achievement Program or to learn more visit www.luther.edu/trio or contact Tammy Hove, director, at [email protected].

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.

(T-B, L-R)  Sandy Antunez-Blas ’23,  Jadyn Gasper ’23, Jill Richards ’22,  Mara Wood ’22.

1 2 3 4 5 27