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Augsburg College prof is Minnesota teacher of the year

Garry Hesser was honored by the Carnegie Fundation

A longtime professor of sociology and metro-urban studies at Augsburg College has been named “2004 Minnesota Professor of the Year.” The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) declared Augsburg professor Garry Hesser their choice for the prize on November 18.
Hesser is Augsburg’s first recipient of the honor, which is given annually by the two Washington, D.C.-based or-ganizations. Some 500 professors were nominated for the Professor of the Year award, according to officials from CASE, who announced the honor for Hesser.
A national and statewide recipient of numerous awards and honors — particularly in the area of service and experiential learning —Hesser joined Augsburg’s Sociology Department in 1977. Since that time he has served as chair of the department, chair of the Social and Behavioral Science Division, and chair of the interdisciplinary Metro-Urban Studies Program. He was instrumental in the creation of Augsburg’s Center for Service, Work and Learning, a marriage of the classroom and the city that has not only emerged as a hallmark of an Augsburg education, but also has served as a service-learning model across the nation.
In 2001 he was given the National Society for Exper-iential Education’s “Pioneer in Experiential Education Award,” and in 2002 he was named “Distinguished Soci-ologist of Minnesota” by the Sociologists of Minnesota. In 1998, Hesser was given the Campus Compact’s “Thomas Ehrlich Award” for national leadership and scholarship in advancing the field of service-learning as a teacher, researcher and community partner.
“In my view, Garry Hesser represents the best Augsburg College has to offer in respect to innovative teaching, engaged scholarship, and service to the institution and the community,” noted Dr. William Frame, president of the college, who wrote in support of Hesser’s nomination.
Hesser, who holds degrees from Phillips University in Oklahoma, the Union Theological Seminary in New York, and the University of Notre Dame, makes his home in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis. He is the author or editor of numerous publications and articles in the areas of experiential education, service-learning, and neighborhood revitalization. He and his wife, Nancy Homans, a city planner in St. Paul, are the parents of five children.
Augsburg, an ELCA school, is located on Riverside Avenue, south of downtown Minneapolis.