news

Rapid City Junior Wins Covenant Award for Community

SIOUX FALLS – Mari Stensgaard, a junior from Rapid City, S.D., is the recipient of the 2010 Augustana Covenant Award for Community.

“This award means a lot to me since it comes from the community I have learned to love and respect,” said Stensgaard.

The Covenant Award has become a notable and significant tradition at Augustana. It is presented five times each year – one award for each of the College’s five core values: Christian, Liberal Arts, Excellence, Community, and Service. A committee of faculty and staff review nominations from the entire campus community. Specifically, the award for Community is given to those individuals who have been committed to serving the Augustana community.

Stensgaard, an English and journalism major, has been a peer advisor in Stavig Hall for the past two years, and also works in the Admissions Office, where she helps introduce prospective students and their parents to Augustana.

“Mari has the unique ability of making prospective students feel like they are a part of the Augustana Community,” said Dr. Michael Nitz, associate professor of communication studies. “She sees her role as a Student Ambassador as so much more than a tour guide. When she interacts with our campus visitors, she not only identifies what Augustanma might provide to them, but what they might add to the Augustana community.”

Dr. Nitz also applauded Stensgaard for her efforts as a peer advisor. “Her door is truly always open as she will always make time for a student who needs help.”

Stensgaard, who has also worked for The Augustana Mirror, is the daughter of Kathleen and Dwight Stensgaard.

“Mari is delightful, creative, thoughtful, curious, and applied,” Dr. Nitz said. “She loves critical thinking and truly appreciates the nature of liberal arts.”

Also nominated for the award were seniors Liz Dolven-Kolle (St. Joseph, MN), Erin Mangen (Fairfax, MN), Olivia Matthys (Elk Point, SD), Ashley White (Lennox, SD), and juniors Tom Alexander (Belview, MN) and Lindsey Olson (Luverne, MN).