Augustana: By the numbers

spring summer bell tower Old Main (2)

1: Bell tower on campus. Legend has it that if you kiss your special someone under the belltower, you’ll get married. (If you’re single, it still makes for a pretty good picture).

$2 thousand dollars – the amount given to each student to use for an internship, research or international study program – we call it Augie Choice

3: Places to dine – You can grab a hot meal in the dining center on the 5th floor of The Gerber Center, in the 4th floor Brew by the Slough, or across the Quad in the snack bar in the Brunner Theatre Center.

4: Cities! Augie is located in Rock Island, Ill., one of the Quad Cities. The others are Moline (Ill.), and Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa. East Moline (Ill.) also likes to make a bid as one of the Quad Cities, so maybe there are five?

5: Residence halls – Andreen and Seminary Halls, Westerlin and Erickson Residence Centers, and Swanson Commons.

Sloughfest 36: Musical artists who performed at last year’s 2nd annual Sloughfest music festival. Rapper Goldlink headlined the show.

7: Seventh place nationally for number of Academic All-Americans, across all athletic divisions. Only Emory, MIT, Penn State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, and  Stanford surpass Augustana in the top rankings for scholar athlete success.

8: Presidents throughout the years, from Lars Esbjörn, whose tenure started in 1860, to Steven Bahls, who has served us since 2003.

9: Athletic facilities both on and off campus. The way of the Viking: win at everything. And we especially like to win on our home court or track or course or field.

10: Bronze squirrels hidden around campus. Augustana’s campus is home to both grey and (more rare) black squirrels. There are a couple of legends around the infamous black squirrels on campus.  

11: Musical ensembles, ranging from the Augustana Symphonic Band to percussion ensemble to the Augustana Choir.

12:1 Student-to-faculty ratio.
Stonehenge Salisbury England (2)
13: Ranked 13th nationally for short-duration international study programs. (2016 Open Doors Report). Over 60% of Augustana students participate in all study away and international programs.

14: The number of social fraternities and sororities on campus, all local and unique to Augustana.

15: States and countries in which Augustana students complete internships.

16: different flavors to choose from to customize your drink at Augustana’s coffee shop Brew by the Slough.

17: Hannah Lohmeier is the 17th Augustana student-athlete to win an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship in the last decade. Overall 38 Augustana student-athletes have won the prestigious award granting them $7,500 to use for postgraduate work.

18: Staff members in CORE (Career, Opportunities, Research, Exploration). CORE offers one-on-one advising, workshops, job fairs, internship and resume assistance and much more to help students navigate their next step after graduation.

19: out of every 20 faculty members hold a Ph.D. or the terminal degree in their field.

20: countries the Augustana Choir and Symphonic Band have toured including China, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Norway, Scotland, Spain and Sweden.
Nelly Cheboi and Professor Stonedahl
21: students is the average class size.

22: feet in the skeleton of Cryolophosaurus elliotti, discovered by Augustana’s Dr. William Hammer in Antarctica.

23: Viking varsity sports teams playing NCAA Division III athletics.

24: Viking Pups we’ve had on campus. Unfortunately, we aren’t allowed to pet them while they’re working…

25: Ranked in the top 25 most beautiful college campuses in the nation. (

four seasons collage



Campus Building Sparknotes

Robinson, LukeGuest blog by Luke Robinson, a student worker in Meghan Cooley’s office. Luke is a junior Economics and Applied Math major who likes to play soccer and write stellar blog posts.

 Admissions Building (Admissions): Where they figure out who’s going to come here.

Andreen Hall (Andreen): Looks kind of like a castle. Home to freshmen, sophomores, and ghosts.

Bergendoff Hall of Fine Arts (Bergendoff or Bergie): Two groups of people use this building: Fine arts students and freshmen taking Art of Listening.

Brunner Theatre Center (The Brunner Center): Come here to catch a show, grab a snack, pick up mail, or buy a textbook worth a 50 years’ supply of ramen.

Carlsson-Evald Hall (Evald): Has like 7 different departments inside, so you’ll probably be here sooner or later.

Carver Physical Education Center (Carver): Sports.

Centennial Hall (Centennial): No classrooms, but it does have an auditorium and some artwork.

The Gerber Center for Student Life (The Gerber Center): Everyone does stuff in here. Don’t call it the CSL or else.

Denkmann Memorial Building (Denkmann): Languages are spoken here (English isn’t one of them).

Erickson Residence Center (Erickson): Like a smaller version of Westie with a lounge in the basement.

Hanson Hall of Science (Hanson or the Science Building): If you see a zombie leaving here, it’s either an escaped cadaver or a Bio student coming from a 4-hour lab.

Old Main (Old Main): It’s old… But it has cool new classrooms. If you’ve ever picked up a brochure from Augustana, you’ve probably seen this building.

Franklin W. Olin Center (Olin): Also known for the formidable stairs right next to it that share its name.

PepsiCo Recreation Center (PepsiCo): Richard Simmons leads dance workouts here. Kidding.

Seminary Hall (Seminary or Sem): I don’t know why they trust freshmen to live in the same building as the admissions offices.

Sorensen Hall (Sorensen): Business majors have classes here. Also, where care packages are picked up (these are clutch).

Duane R. Swanson Commons (Swanson): Fancy new dorms.

Westerlin Residence Center (Westie): If you like a lot of people and buying junk food directly after working out, this is the place for you.

For more useful information, here’s a link to our interactive campus map.


Tips, Uncategorized

Before I came to college I wish I had known…

Before I came to college I wish I had known…

That it didn’t matter how late I scheduled my first class, I’d sleep right through it.

That I could change so much and barely realize itgreek volunteer day 3

That you can love a lot of people in a lot of different ways.

That college kids throw airplanes too.

That if you don’t wear pajamas to class everyone will ask why you’re so dressed up.

That every clock on campus shows a different time.

That if you were smart in high school – so what?

That I would go to a party the night before a final.

That Chem labs require more time than all my classes put together.

That you can know everything and still fail a test.

That you can know nothing and ace a test.

That I could get used to almost anything I found out about my roommate.

That home is a great place to visit.

erickson loungeThat most of my education would be obtained outside of my classes.

That friendship is more than just getting drunk together.

That I would be one of those people my parents warned me about.

That free food served until 10:00 is gone by 9:30.

That Psychology is really Biology,

That Biology is really Chemistry,

That Chemistry is really Physics, and Physics is really Math.

That my parents would become so much smarter in the last few years.

That it is possible to be alone even when you are surrounded by friends.

That you are almost always surrounded by friends.

That friends are what make this place worthwhile.

That it is really not as hard to make friends as I thought.

That even at a “nice” college, there would be kids who drink and use drugs.

That I would stay up all night studying, even if I never did in high school.


That some nights I would have to sleep with the lights on while my roommate studied.

That no one is around to tell you to study, eat right or clean your room.

That I should have learned how to balance a checkbook.

That people would borrow my clothes without asking.

That tests and papers always seem to come in threes.

franceThat time flies.

That people are as friendly to you as you are to them.

That what I’ve done in the past doesn’t matter–everyone has a chance to “make it” in college.

That I should not judge people on first impressions.

That my parents would be really sad when I left.

That I would miss my mom’s cooking, and still gain 10 pounds.


What I learned from taking the ACT a decade after high school graduation.

Guest blogger, Amy Zero, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at Augustana shares (literally) inside scoop about the jungle that is standardized testing in the college search.

Jungle animals standing in front of a tree. Professor says: For A Fair Selection Everybody has to Take the Same Exam: Please Climb That Tree

Yep, that’s me– the big one in the middle.

viagra canada Or, at least I felt like it on April 13…

For all current and future students in graduate-level education programs, the State of Illinois recently passed a law requiring all of us to pass either the Test of Academic Proficiency (formerly the Basic Skills Test), ACT or SAT in order to earn our degrees.

The fact that I’ve taken the ACT in high school, the MCAT in college, and the GRE shortly after that is irrelevant. So, to save $250, I registered myself for the April ACT with writing.

No folks, that “writing” part did not exist for the OLCHS Class of 2002 (shout out to my fellow Spartans). And of course, everyone I mention this to laughs and laughs! The next comment is, without fail, “There’s no way you’ll get the scores you got in high school.” No kidding!

Regardless, I sharpened my #2 pencils, printed out my registration ticket, and marched into Mountain Vista High School on Saturday, April 13.

Taking this test made me realize a lot. I am 12 years older than the other students in my testing room. It’s been 11 years since I took math classes dealing the mnemonic SOHCAHTOA. I’m sure many of you are reading this now and criticizing my vocabulary and improper use of commas. Thank goodness my reading skills have improved with and since college.

My advice is this– yes, the ACT and SAT are important steps in your high school careers and college searches. But PLEASE remember that it’s not the only step! Especially at schools like Augie, we want to know who you are and what you can do, not how you fit into ACT and GPA percentiles.We’ve offered test-optional admission for years, and now I remember why: This test is not going to determine how well I perform in my graduate program, nor dictate my success as a higher education professional.

What I gained from this experience (beyond a checkmark for a state-mandated requirement) is that I am more than a percentile. Ultimately, the effort I put into my education is going to determine how successful a professional I am in the future.

Elephants unite,


PS – I know you are all wondering… Yes, I passed 😉


Augustana heads back to its roots – Sweden (with a stopover in Amsterdam)

Guest blog by Kelly Pulford, Assistant Director of Admissions, Transfer and International Admissions.

Real Live International Recruitment!

In a full 8 days, not counting the first day lost to the time change, I had the privilege of:

  • sharing the Augustana experience with students from the Fulbright Office in Amsterdam
  • talking up the benefits of a liberal arts education with local students (and one of the other speakers was an Augustana alum from the Netherlands!)
  • meeting up with a Dutch friend I haven’t seen in 20 years
  • connecting with a colleague from the Sweden America Foundation
  • participating in a two-day SACO Fair in Stockholm where I saw hundreds of students interested in studying in the US
  • enjoying dinner with almost 15 Swedish alumni and friends, including two students who begin studying at Augustana next fall!


And that’s not even recounting the life-altering meals I experienced on my trip. There is a great buzz surrounding Augustana College overseas. I left Europe feeling really proud to be a part of the Augustana story.

Day One: Finding my bearings…

So the Dutch are very friendly- and thank goodness because in my first day I tackled getting around town. I had to ask a number of people for help with directions and train stops. I purchased my train ticket and made my way to Central Station to see the city. I ended up on the wrong train and couldn’t get my phone to work, and somehow managed to blow up

my hairdryer that morning in the hotel- but by the end of the day, I started to feel like I knew what I was doing.

I met up with a high school friend, Caroline, Whom I have not seen for nearly 20 years. Thanks to Facebook we have managed to stay in touch. She helped me with my Dutch so I could properly greet and welcome the students I would meet the following day. I used our example of a friendship passing the test of time in my talk with prospective students. The value Augustana College places on building meaningful relationships is one of the things that sets us apart from other schools. It was wonderful to see my good friend after so many years had passed!

Day Two: Dank je wel voor jullie tÿd (Thank you for your time!)

After a breakfast of fresh fruit and baked bread with cheese and coffee (I love European breakfasts!), I set out to explore the city before I made my way to the Fulbright Office for my first meeting with students. I am very grateful to both Fabienne van den Bor and Erik van den Berg at the Amsterdam Fulbright Center for being kind enough to give me the opportunity to speak with, not one, but two groups of students and their families. The first group of students is considering studying in the US for a year through the Fulbright Center. This was a lively discussion with topics ranging from academic programs, to student life on campus, to outcomes. The questions were sincere and conversation heartfelt. One of the students is already planning to apply! Hooray!

Later that evening the Center was holding a “College Night” of sorts. This would give students who are just beginning to think about studying in the US helpful information to guide their search. A student panel was lined up with students representing experiences ranging from large state universities to smaller liberal arts colleges. It just so happened one of the students on the panel was an Augie graduate! How about that? While I was able to share the benefits of attending a smaller, liberal arts school, Pasqual was able to support all of my claims with his experience here! Huzzah! The room was packed with families- and again it was an engaging conversation (mostly in Dutch- but Pasqual’s girlfriend, who is also an Augie grad from Joliet and currently attending school in Amsterdam was interpreting for me! Thanks, Jen!) This was such an exciting day- I felt sad to be leaving Amsterdam. But I was gearing up for my visit to Stockholm.

Day Three:  Swedish Snow

It snowed from the moment I arrived in Stockholm until the evening before I left. Beautiful, blowing, freezing, arctic, I didn’t pack the right shoes for this weather snow. I had to hurry to a meeting with Anna Rosvall-Stuart at the Sweden America Foundation right away after I landed and so I paid way too much, it turns out, to take a cab. I have to express my sincere gratitude to Anna and her lovely assistant, Michelle, for helping me get a train pass and learn how to get around the city without falling prey to the taxi system! These wonderful ladies basically sat down with me and helped me create a plan of attack for my stay in Stockholm. When they were done with me I no longer looked like a tourist! In fact, two gentlemen from Canada asked me for directions! Me! How cool is that?

Day Four:  Jansson´s Temptation

Thursday and Friday were both dedicated to the SACO Fair. If you have ever attended a NAFSA conference, it would give you a sense of the scale of this fair. HUGE displays, music, choreography, and marketing for absolutely anything that would appeal to a college-age student. I had the pleasure of being a part of a booth representing 10 very different American schools supported by Education USA and the US Embassy in Stockholm.  On my left was Temple University Japan campus. On my right: Berklee College of Music in Boston. The conversations I had with everyone in the booth were extraordinary, but limited as the volume of students lined up to speak with us was unlike anything I have ever seen in the US. Granted, I learned this was one of only two established fairs that take place in Stockholm so students take advantage of this experience. Like the US, many of the students are bussed in from their schools. I ran out of materials the first day! I was really struck by the conversations I had with students at my booth. Swedish students knew where Illinois was on the map because they are HUGE supporters of President Obama! It was a long day, and my voice was tired from non-stop talking, but I left the fair feeling extremely pleased with how productive it was.

Jansson's Temptation

One note about food in Stockholm- WOW! Salty, but delicious! I wanted to try the traditional herring baked with potatoes: Jansson’s Temptation. At this rate, I may not fit into my seat on the way home on the plane.



Day Five: Some Enchanted Evening

I wrapped up the fair. The second day was not as productive as the first but still extremely busy! I was really excited about my plans for Friday evening. I would be dining with alumni, colleagues from the Sweden America Foundation, and two new students selected to attend Augustana College in the fall of 2013 through the Foundation. As I sat at the table that night, I looked around at all of my guests and found it remarkable there were so many different stories to share within this group. There was one common thread in this evening: Augustana College. The food was tremendous, the conversation spirited and joyous, (I could hardly quiet the group to offer a toast!) and the sense of fellowship was truly magical.

One of our guests, Maj Augustsson, had this to say: “It was such a great pleasure for me to spend an evening with so many talented, happy young people who are so full of energy, plans and hope for the future. There still exist such happy evenings as last Friday and I thank you heartily for it.”

One of our incoming students, Alexandra Sjölin Falk offered this: “I just wanted to say thank you for the dinner last Friday at Prinsen. It was lovely to meet you and get a chance to hear more about you and Augustana College. And thank you for the gifts. I have already started to wear the shirt you gave me!”

It was an honor to be in the company of this group. I will not soon forget this wonderful night!

Here are some images of our evening…








Day Six: Goonies!!!

Saturday was the first opportunity in Stockholm to do some sightseeing. Everyone I came in contact with in Sweden asked me if I had been to the Vasa Museet (Vasa Museum) yet. It was a “must-do”. I had a coffee date with a colleague from the Sweden America Foundation in the afternoon and even she said that I HAD to go there. I am certainly glad I did. Walking into the open area of the main hall of the museum absolutely floored me. To be in the presence of a salvaged ship from 1628 in all its glory, took my breath away. The only frame of reference I had for what I was seeing was the movie Goonies and One-Eyed Willy’s ship- embarrassing as that might sound. Now, I will be one of those people telling anyone visiting Stockholm to make sure this museum is a stop on their journey. That, and Gamla Stan- the old part of town. Enchanting!

I shared my experience with colleague, Helena Törnkvist.  Helena is a former contact for the Sweden America Foundation, but continues to support pursuing an education in the US—especially at Augustana College! I encouraged her to visit the campus when she visits the US next. This was our first meeting, but we covered a great deal of ground discussing everything from the Augustana College Farm to Fork program to holiday traditions. I am proud to say that we are now Facebook friends and I hope to welcome her to campus someday soon.





Day Seven: Home

It was hard to believe it was time to head back home! And really, there wasn’t much exciting to report about my return, which is probably a good thing. Three flights later, I was tired but very glad to be home to see my girls, who thankfully missed me, even though they had a great time with Grammy and Grampy!

I feel very honored to have been able to represent Augustana College overseas. Our legacy and image abroad is well-kept. I am grateful to everyone who made my trip possible and productive. I hope I have the opportunity to go again!




The Augustana Difference: a magic shield of unshakable greatness.

What makes Augustana different? People

ask me this all the time. We aren’t just another college, teaching stuff.

Our location in the Quad Cities – a smaller liberal arts college in a metro area – is a distinct advantage.  That we are the best in the area – that companies want our students more than others; that is a huge distinction.  Maybe Chicago or Denver is a bigger market…but think of all those college students competing for internships, job shadow options, and such…Augustana students very simply have more access to experiences that matter for job experience and graduate school placement and way less competition to land those opportunities.

Augie Choice each student gets $2000 to do something amazing that will further their future plans: international study, internship, research…since it’s inception in 2010, no longer will the cost keep some of our best students from participating in these life-changing opportunities.  With over $2 million already spent on student experiences since – this is a fantastic advantage for Augustana students.  Where might Augie Choice take you?

Balance – our students do it all – and do it better. Really. Augustana students do more, are involved in more, and balance more successfully than most college students.  We are not just great students…but great contributors both in and out of the classroom. And not just good students. Not just involved. We are talking involved and successful at the highest level possible. A provable stat on that is the number of Academic All-America honored students: we are ranked #6 in the country, #2 in Division III and #1 in the CCIW conference. Our students are excellent students AND excellent athletes. In fact. That matters. And this translates beyond student athletes, to student musicians, student volunteers – it’s a balance of greatness.

But here’s what we really do at an unprecedented rate: Inspire and challenge students until achieving and making a difference is inherent – it’s a part of them. Then, Augustana launches students into the world and they strive to be greater everyday – because it (this Viking quest) is now part of who they have become.

When a student arrives on campus he has accomplished a certain amount academically, she has made an impact on her activities to a certain degree. Some students scored a perfect ACT. Some barely accomplished the national average. Some were all-conference football players. Some were mediocre piano players. Each student arrives at Augustana as they are and this campus, the connections, the opportunities, the interactions, the requirements – make each student better when he leaves. She is more impressive. He has accomplished more than he ever dreamed possible. She has achieved a GPA or written a final paper that far exceeds what she thought she could do. He has made a difference.

At Augustana, it really is about a PR – a personal record. How will each student approach each day and achieve a PR? Will it be volunteering with the immigrant population? Will it be designing a website? Will it be hiking the Inca Trail to Manchu Picchu?  Will it be the first generation college student applying to graduate school? Where was the bar set this morning when she woke up?  How far did he vault over that bar by the time he went to bed?

And this culture, this inherent Viking quest — to be better than one ever expected, to reach heights unfathomable on day one — permeates Augustana College.  No student can avoid it, can escape, can graduate untouched.

This stretch for personal achievement, for the next level, the next goal, the next accomplishment – it becomes who we are as Augustana graduates. It’s unshakable as we approach our next life stage. Be it graduate school or the workforce or parenthood or care taking or civic engagement or community softball…each of these is important work.  And graduates of this great school, Augustana, are launched into a lifetime of achievement.

The culture of Augustana – the strive and passion and dedication to reaching – it is like a magic shield of unshakable greatness that impacts everything our graduates do. Not everyone will be researching the cure for cancer or write the great American novel, but to a person, Augustana graduates will strive, and reach, and be greater tomorrow than they were today.

That is what truly makes Augustana graduates different.



A Swing State for College

Republican, Democrat, Tea party, independent, anarchist?  No matter how much someone professes to care nothing about politics or celebrity, there’s nothing quite like meeting the President of the United States of America.

The office, said to be one of, if not thee, most powerful position in the world brings a certain amount of style and pomp and allure regardless of who is holding office.  When the President is in town, there’s an excitement in the air, an energy unlike anything I’ve been a part of elsewhere.

The opportunity presented to students who attend colleges in “swing states” is darn-right impressive.  Augustana, being located a short bridge ride across the Mississippi River from Iowa – where the first presidential caucus is held  and one of the important swing states in any election sits – affords our students the opportunity to brush with the highest office in the land on a regular basis.

The opportunity for students to make a difference in an election campaign, to hear the voices of the candidates LIVE, to participate in the great noisy process that is the campaign trail is unique and impressive…it’s all here for months prior to November of election year…and, really it’s all here for the years in between as parties prepare for the next run.

The opportunity a four year college in a swing state provides is the promise of at least one Presidential election near you for every student. The current president will be here.  The vice president will be here. The opponent will be here. Likely even former presidents and speakers of the house and high ranking politicians from across the country will be here. And, especially as a student, you can be a part of it all.

When you are considering a college – have you thought about the opportunity to be part of political history?  If you’re interested in politics, you definitely should weigh the “swing state factor” into your college search. But even if you are a major not focused on political science or law – consider a “swing state” college. There’s something about being part of the political machine – even once in your life – that stirs a passion for our nation, our freedom and the excitement of being in the presence of political power.

“I just shook hands with the PRESIDENT!”…regardless of party affiliation…kicks up the excitement in your day.  And couldn’t we all use a bit of positive energy as it relates to our political process?  So, I say, choose a college with “swing state” reach and experience the excitement of election season up close.



Recruiting in Myanmar – finding peace of mind and international students

Dean of Admissions, Dane Rowley, travels to Myanmar to recruit students from Asia. He’s launching Augustana’s focused effort to welcome more international students to campus.

Yangon, Myanmar

Few countries or cities have made as great an impact on me as Yangon and Myanmar as a whole (the US still refers to it as Burma and the capitol as Rangoon). This is my 3rd time in the city. I was there for the first time 5 years ago with large group of US colleges and we missed the violent monk-led protests of 2007 by just a day. I returned there 3 years ago with just one other school to brave the road less traveled and had amazing recruiting success (and personal fulfillment).

In the time since 2009 Ang San Su Kyi is now free and the country is moving closer to social, political and economic freedom. I was a little more nervous visiting this time though because I was the group leader for this stop on the Pocari Sweat Tour and with 2 of the university reps being new to the country I wanted to make sure the city was worthwhile for their institutions. I was also eager for them to see this beautiful land and people the way I do.

A wonderful family I know from some connections with my alma mater helped set us up with a great driver for the 2 days we’d be there. He was there at the airport waiting for us, smiling as we piled into his van. We spent a lot of time with Khro Say and even though he didn’t speak much English, he was a new member of our tour group for a short time. I really packed a crazy schedule in to our time in Myanmar but we did make time for a quick 1 hour stop at the main Pagoda in Yangon.



In most other countries the Swedagon Pagoda would be nothing more than a tour spot that used to be a functional place of worship. But not in Myanmar.  The place can best be described as a Buddhist shrine, monastical retreat, place of prayer and worship, and temple complex, all with a mystical beauty enchanting me every time I visit. I hoped that my traveling companions from Babson, Chapman and Elon felt the same way.

After an all too quick stop there, we made our way to the Inya Lake Hotel for a workshop and college fair for the students of Yangon International School. We had a great turnout and the students showed great interest in all 4 of our colleges.

After the 3 hour program we met up with counselors and administrators from 5 international schools and also with 2 US embassy officers who work to promote US culture and education in Myanmar. We had a delicious dinner and lively discussion about the future of Myanmar, the upcoming US election, and how we can get more US colleges to visit this special place.

Monday was an awesome day in Yangon. It rained on us for most of the day and we had a break of only about 30 minutes to eat food in a 10 hour day but we accomplished so much. We visited 3 high schools, 1 educational resource center, and the US Embassy/American Center. All totaled we met with over 260 students in 2 days, talking to them about each of our colleges, how to apply to the US and how to write an exceptional essay.

I left Yangon Monday night exhausted but so grateful for the wonderful students I got to know, and grateful for the dedicated guidance counselors and diplomats who give so much to them. I sincerely hope that it is not another 3 years before I go back to one of places that has transformed me in its own Burmese way.


Recruiting students in Asia – a whirlwind tour part 2


Dean of Admissions, Dane Rowley, travels 5 cities in 5 days to recruit students from Asia He’s launching Augustana’s focused effort to welcome more international students to campus.

5 Cities in 5 Days  Part 2

Thursday – Hanoi
After a late flight we traveled (very slowly even though there was no traffic) to our hotel for a quick nap before needing to be up for our day in the capitol of Vietnam. This was my first time there and I wasn’t sure what to expect.


I was mesmerized by the sights and sounds of the place. It is less developed than Ho Chi Minh City but it is catching up fast. Hanoi also has a much deeper sense of what Vietnam was before the war, during it’s French colonial days and even before that. In fact we saw pictures of Ho Chi Minh and other patriotic/propaganda (depending on your point of view) flags and posters celebrating the anniversary of Vietnam’s independence day from France immediately following World War II.

During the day we met with students at the United Nations International School in Hanoi and with educational counselors and students at an agency.

In between we took a ton of pictures from our taxis and even had time for a quick walk around beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake where the Turtle Tower is in the heart of Hanoi.








By now we are all so exhausted from a busy schedule and a flight every day of the week. Can’t wait to Ho Chi Minh City for 2 days!



Friday – Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is probably more easily recognizable to Americans as Saigon and was the capitol for the South during the Vietnam War. There are still strong western influences there and the incredible economic development there in the last 15 years challenges the notions of what a major city in a communist country looks like.


We spent Friday cris-crossing the city going from the American International School to Saigon South International School and finally to the International School of CMC.




Saturday we participated in an incredibly well run program in collaboration with the Yola Institute.

Along with my enthused translator we participated in a college fair for students and parents and I had 6 interviews with some of the most interesting and intelligent students I’ve seen in a long time.

In fact I didn’t even need my translator all that much because of the students solid English skills.



Vietnam has great potential for Augustana and my time here was very well spent. The Pho was pretty great too.


Recruiting students in Asia – a whirlwind tour part 1


The Augie A in Hanoi

Dean of Admissions, Dane Rowley, travels 5 cities in 5 days to recruit students from Asia He’s launching Augustana’s focused effort to welcome more international students to campus.

5 Cities in 5 Days Part 1

What a rush to be 5 major Asian cities in 5 days! It is no way to travel if you want to get an in depth sense of place, culture, language, history and people. But if you want to talk to as many students as possible in as many canadian pharmacy cialis of the top schools in Southeast Asia as possible it is the best way to travel. And still, if you watch intently enough and listen close enough you can still be transformed by a place even in a matter of less than 24 hours.

 Monday – Singapore

I could make a very compelling case that within Asia there is no better contrast to India than Singapore. Singapore is one of the world’s most tightly controlled economies and societies but for so many reasons, mostly economic I think, no one living there seems to really mind all that much. This city-state is efficient and clean, prosperous and progressing.

Since first traveling there in 2006 I have noticed a new trend that is fun to watch – there is an increased focus in giving the natural world and natural beauty greater place in a mass of people and buildings. New construction is, like Augie’s new construction – LEED certified.

New buildings have space on the inside and outside for plants and flowers all deliberately placed to add functionality and beauty.  The new beautiful seaside park is also a testament to this focus on how natural and human made structures can be placed together with inspiring results.

In Singapore I also met up with the group I will be spending the next 2-3 weeks traveling with: Mark Khan from Babson College in Massachusetts, Becky Konowicz from Chapman University in California, and Cheryl Borden from Elon University in North Carolina. We call ourselves the Pocari Sweat tour, named after a Japanese gatorade-like drink that you really need to stay healthy given the kind of work schedule we create for ourselves. We had a fantastic opening dinner on Sunday night and a full day of visits to Singapore American School and the Overseas Family School on Monday.

 Tuesday – Manila

Less than 24 hours in the Philippines didn’t provide much time to think about more than the great students and counselors I met at The Brent School and at International School Manila. At both schools our hosts and their students greeted us with water, food, Pocari Sweat, great questions, and an open-mindedness to what our 4 different colleges offer. Another highlight of our time in Manila…aside from the study in chaos that is the Manila airport…was being able to share in some delicious tacos and banana pancakes (at the same time) for dinner at The Pancake House.

 Wednesday – Kuala Lumpur

KL is a place I always feel very comfortable traveling. I’ve met some very warm and good-natured people there and I admire how open and diverse this predominantly Muslim country is. Though we also had less than 24 hours here as well we kept very busy doing some completely different things. First thing in the morning we were at the International School of Kuala Lumpur to talk to students as they arrived at school to start their day.

Afterwards we went to Taylor’s College to learn more about the diploma program they have there providing students 30-60 transferable credits they can use to complete a degree in the US. It is an American style and US regionally accredited program. I talked with many students from all over Southeast and South Asia as well as the Middle East.

Malaysia has very deliberately become a hub for education in the region. Our last stop before a 3rd flight in 3 days was the Education USA Advising Center (MACEE) in KL. There we not only did a college prep workshop for the students and parents attending but the workshop was also shared via webcast and recorded for future use. A new but fun experience with 3 very different audiences. All in all a productive day sharing information about college in the US and getting students interested in Augie.

International recruiting