show episodes
 
History professor Greg Kaster explores the intersections of liberal arts learning, current events, and real-world problem solving from the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minn. From conversations with cancer and climate change researchers to behind-the-scenes glimpses into higher ed decision-making, Kaster's short, engaging interviews introduce listeners to the people behind the ideas.
 
The Arctic has always been a fascinating area for us. This is true today just as much as in Adolphus Greely's time. In 1912, Greely published this volume of notable Arctic explorations and the explorers. The modern reader can follow a very readable account of the successes and failures of these early explorers comfortably from the armchair, and learn a lot of history in the processes. - Summary by Carolin
 
Ten year old twins. Constantine and Adolphus are chagrined to be shipped off to a private tutor in the country. Their lot appears worse when they meet their host and his family, consisting of a wife, son Aleck (who imagines himself the perfect student) and two little girls! On top of that, they are expected to study. Fun seems in short supply when they are not even allowed to pull the cow's tail, and there is no second dinner provided. This allegorical tale can be a simple, amusing story or ...
 
Great Men and Famous Women is an 8-volume work by various authors containing “A series of pen and pencil sketches of the lives of more than 200 of the most prominent personages in History.” The set is edited by Charles F. Horne, a prolific American author who wrote mainly history. The focus of Volume 1 is “Soldiers and Sailors”. (Summary by lubee930)
 
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show series
 
Luther Hagen ’88, founder of Infinity Wealth Alliance in Apple Valley, Minn., on why Gustavus and the business major, his experiences (both academic and amusing) there, his career in the financial services industry as first an employee and then an owner, and giving back to his alma mater. Click here for a transcript.…
 
Student athlete, leader, and biology-classics double major Tyra Banks, ’21 on her Liberian background, why she chose Gustavus and added classics to her biology major, her leadership in equity and inclusion on campus, including the Pan-African Student Organization, being Black and African at Gustavus, participating in track and field, and her senior…
 
Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Life, JoNes VanHecke ’88, reflects on attending Gustavus, embarking on a career in student affairs, the purpose, responsibilities, and rewards of her current position, the qualities that make for a successful dean of students, and the special appeal of her alma mater. Click here for a transcript.…
 
Luanne Bigbear ’91, an educator in Shelton, Washington, recalls her time at Gustavus, where she double-majored in History and Art and Art History, recounts her path from there to high-school teacher (including learning about her birth family along the way), and describes the innovative curricular initiatives she has participated in, among them Nati…
 
The Rev. Dr. Matthew Cadwell ’95, on his journey from Scandinavian Studies and Religion major (Phi Beta Kappa) at Gustavus to Vicar-in-Charge at the venerable Old North Church in Boston, the impact of Covid-19 on Old North, his “theological hero,” the English Christian socialist F. D. Maurice, and the history of and his vision for Old North’s congr…
 
Gustavus graduate and psychological science major Conrad Oddoye ’20 on his Ghanaian origins, his path from Edmonton, Canada, to Gustavus, sports and music in his life, his experience and perspective as a student of African background, composing and recording for the theatre and dance department’s online production of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage…
 
Dr. Rodney A. Caruthers II, the 2020-21 Bruce Gray Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Religion at Gustavus, discusses his northern/southern family background, his A.M.E pastor mother and the impact of his parents on him, his path from studying architectural design and psychology to seminary to scholar of the composition of ancient Jewish and …
 
Valerie Heider, ’11, on her path from Honors History and Scandinavian Studies at Gustavus to a graduate degree and career in historic preservation, currently with the Minnesota Historical Society, where among the projects she manages is the National Historic Landmark Washburn-Crosby A Mill Complex in Minneapolis. Click here for a transcript.…
 
Hayley Russell, professor of health and exercise science and recipient of the Swenson-Bunn Teaching Award at Gustavus, on her education, research, and teaching in kinesiology and the psychology of sport injury, connecting with faculty colleagues at Gustavus, her love of teaching and role in fostering faculty conversations about improving it, the fa…
 
Donald Myers, Gustavus Class of ’83 and Director and Senior Curator of the College’s Hillstrom Museum of Art, talks about his education and career in art, the origins and collections of the Hillstrom Museum, his responsibilities as director, some of the museum’s memorable exhibitions, including two focused on infamous art forger Elmyr de Hory, and …
 
Gustavus junior and triple-major Emily Joan Falk '22 (Political Science, Spanish, and Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies) discusses her social justice activism on and off campus, including her involvement in Indivisible-St. Peter/Greater Mankato, Students for Reproductive Freedom, and the annual student-run Building Bridges conference. C…
 
Jeff Dahlseid, Gustavus Class of ’90 and Professor in the Departments of Biology and Chemistry and Biochemistry program at his alma mater, recalls his undergraduate and graduate experiences, and talks about researching messenger RNA and “nonsense-mediated mRNA decay,” collaborating with and mentoring undergraduates in the lab, changes in science ed…
 
Historian Joy Lintelman, Gustavus Class of ’80 and Professor of History at Concordia College – Moorhead, on the life of Mina Anderson (the inspiration for Wilhelm Moberg’s fictional Katrina in his novel The Emigrants and subject of Lintelman’s award-winning study of Swedish immigrant women in the US), researching the now vanished Eastside Flats nei…
 
Charlie Kelley, Gustavus Class of ’75 and founder of the asset management firm Compass Capital, recalls some memorable professors and experiences at Gustavus and talks about his brief and formative stint as a repo man, his career in financial services and decision to start his own firm, and the Gustavus Hong Kong Travel Program for Economics and Ma…
 
Gustavus chemistry professor Brian O’Brien on the origins of his fascination with plants, cheese, and chemistry, his research with students in fluorine and phosphorous chemistry, Perry the Gustavus corpse flower phenom, wondrous botanical Minnesota, and the case for majoring in chemistry at Gustavus. Click here for a transcript.…
 
Ellen Goodwin, Gustavus Class of ’84 and author of Done: How to Work When No One Is Watching, talks about her path from political science and sociology/anthropology student to acclaimed productivity expert, speaker, writer, and coach, how to get things done without wasting time, and (you are reading this correctly) what dive bars have to do with pr…
 
Professor Carlos Mejía Suárez of the modern languages, literatures, and cultures department at Gustavus on growing up in the center of oil production in Colombia, his path to professor of Spanish language and Latin American literature, his literary scholarship and fiction writing, his digital humanities teaching and course on masculinities in Latin…
 
Gustavus alum Katie Schlangen ’14 on her challenging background and path to Gustavus, living and teaching in Seoul and Hong Kong, working and traveling internationally for a Minnesota-based NGO focused on healthcare, her commitment to health access and policy, and graduate study in global health policy through the London School of Hygiene & Tropica…
 
Professor Marco Cabrera Geserick of the Gustavus history department talks about his family background, his path from psychology major in Costa Rica to PhD student and professor of Latin American history in the U.S., the revisionist findings of his 2019 book The Legacy of the Filibuster War: National Identify and Collective Memory in Central America…
 
The Rev. Dr. Dan Poffenberger, Gustavus Class of ’82 and past chair of the Gustavus Board of Trustees, talks about his unplanned path to the Lutheran ministry, his work as Senior Pastor of Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church in Prior Lake, Minnesota, virtual Sunday services amid a pandemic, church membership past and present, and the compatibility…
 
For this 50th episode, previous podcast guest Kathy Lund Dean of the Department of Economics and Management at Gustavus interviews host Greg Kaster about the origins of the podcast, influences on his love of history, his work as inaugural holder of the James M. McPherson Endowed Professorship in American History at Gustavus, and engaging with the p…
 
Gustavus alum Joel Johnson,’96, the Sanford Peter Schotten Distinguished Professor and member of the Department of Government and International Affairs at Augustana University, talks about his experiences at Gustavus and then Harvard, why democracy requires an argument for it, defending liberal democracy through literature, and the case for studyin…
 
Professor Anna Versluis of the Gustavus geography department talks about how and why she became a geographer, researching, living in, and rethinking Haiti, southern Minnesota farmers’ attitudes toward changes in farming, the 2019 Gustavus Nobel Conference on climate change, the weekly Reconciliation Circles on campus, innovating her teaching, and t…
 
Richard Aune, Gustavus Class of ’81 and the College’s Associate Vice President and Dean of Admission, on his path to Gustavus and eventually its admission office, the changes and continuities in that office over time, and the crucial, challenging, and rewarding work (now amid a pandemic hammering higher ed) of building a new entering class each yea…
 
Pianist Esther Wang, the Ethel and Edgar F. Johnson Professor of Fine Arts and member of the music department at Gustavus, on her path to music and the piano, performing as a soloist and accompanist, interpretation in music, teaching a course on music and nature, and what is special about the music major at Gustavus. Bonus: A piano interlude. Click…
 
Sarah Ruble, Professor of Religion at Gustavus, on her love of history, Free Methodist background, book on American Protestant missionaries after World War II, and innovative adult Sunday School video series on Race and Christianity in the United States, as well as white evangelicals’ support for Donald Trump and why learning about religion matters…
 
Kathy Lund Dean, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Leadership and Ethics at Gustavus, talks about her education and research in management and ethics, ethics and academe, religious discrimination disputes in the workplace, corporate sustainability, and the case for studying economics and management at a liberal arts college. Click here f…
 
Historian and alumnus Timothy Thurber ’89 of Virginia Commonwealth University, talks about his research and book on the Republican Party and race in the three decades after World War II (it’s more complicated than we might think from today’s vantage point), his book on and assessment of Hubert Humphrey, his undergraduate education, and the personal…
 
Alum Joy Dunna ’20, whose parents came to the United States from Liberia, reflects on her path to Gustavus, her education as a double major in history and gender, women, and sexuality studies, her varied co-curricular activities like Student Senate and the annual Building Bridges Conference, student teaching online in the time of COVID-19, and what…
 
James Peterson, Gustavus Class of ’64, offers his memories and insights (leavened with humor) about his undergraduate experience, career in science (culminating in his position as CEO of the Science Museum of Minnesota), and the challenges, responsibilities, and rewards of serving, unexpectedly, as the 14th president of his alma mater. Click here f…
 
Kate Keller, Professor of history and chair of the history department at Gustavus, on becoming a historian, her research and book on French officials’ surveillance of “colonial suspects” in interwar French West Africa and how she came to that topic, her current book project on one of the suspects, and the case for studying history. Click here for a…
 
Educator, lawyer, professor of history, award-winning author, and Gustavus graduate William Green ’72 talks about coming to Gustavus from New Orleans as an African American student in 1968, his time at the College, the social and political history of Black Minnesotans in the 19th and early-20th centuries (including the little-known story of enslave…
 
Steve Kjellgren, Gustavus Class of ‘86 and Associate Vice President of Auxiliary Services at the College, on the innovations he and his team, with the input of students, have introduced in the campus Dining Service over the years, bringing national distinction to the dining program and making it an integral part of students’ liberal arts education.…
 
Mimi Gerstbauer, Professor of Political Science, Raymond and Florence Sponberg Professor of Ethics, and past director of the Peace Studies program at Gustavus, talks about her path to political science and peace studies, her research on peace-building and interstate reconciliation, and the role of contrition in international relations. Click here f…
 
Gustavus alum Joseph Gaugler ’95, Professor and Robert L. Kane Endowed Chair in Long-Term Care and Aging at the University of Minnesota and Director of the Center on Healthy Aging and Innovation there, on the impact of his Gustavus education in psychology, history, and football; the focus, rewards, and policy implications of his research; accessibl…
 
Professor, podcaster, and Spanglish author Angelique Dwyer of the Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Department at Gustavus talks about her personal story as a “gringa Mexicana,” her education and approach to teaching, her award-winning community-based learning projects, and her own podcast. Click here for a transcript.…
 
Paul Finkelman, President of Gratz College, a distinguished visitor to Gustavus, and the leading historian of slavery and the law, talks about the proslavery U.S. Constitution, Chief Justice John Marshall’s buying and selling of enslaved people, the proslavery jurisprudence of the antebellum Supreme Court, and the present-day monuments conflict. Cl…
 
Educator Crystal Polski ’04 on why she aspired to be a teacher, her new position aimed at fostering future educators of color for the Minneapolis Public Schools district, what she learned as a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching recipient in Finland, learning standards, and reopening schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for a transc…
 
Gustavus graduate Hope Crenshaw ‘04, Executive Director of Teen Health Mississippi, recalls her experience as a young black woman from Mississippi at mostly white Gustavus, and talks about her response to the murder of Mr. George Floyd by Minneapolis police, the mission and impact of Teen Health, and leadership. Click here for a transcript.…
 
Rebecca Taylor Fremo, Professor of English and Director of Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) at Gustavus, and author of Moving this Body, her recently published collection of poems, talks about the power of writing in constructing one’s identity and story, the WAC program, her memoir in progress, and what students gain from English courses. Click…
 
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