Augustana University Promotions and Tenure Announced

The Augustana University Board of Trustees approved five faculty members for promotions and/or tenure at its December meeting, effective Sept. 1, 2020.

Congratulations to the faculty members recognized through the process of promotion and tenure by their faculty peers and the Board of Trustees. These promotions represent many years of excellent and generous work in and out of the classroom by these scholar-teachers. On behalf of Academic Affairs, the Augustana community, and the students we seek to serve, thank you for your tremendous efforts and best wishes with your many exciting and bold endeavors in the years to come." — Dr. Colin Irvine, senior vice president for Academic Affairs.

Promoted to Professor

  • Dr. Andrew Alton (Physics) is commended for his remarkable publication record both as the primary investigator and as a co-author along with national players in the field. Alton has continued success in competing for extramural funding from the National Science Foundation and in participating in the South Dakota Space Grant Consortium from NASA. Alton has been a leader on campus, most notably as Chair of the Physics Department. In that position, he lead the department in their successful application for the Award for Improving Undergraduate Physics Education from The American Physical Society. As a service to the community beyond campus, Alton has quietly made a decade-long habit of science outreach to local middle schools and high schools. Most importantly, Alton has exhibited dedication to teaching Augustana students, and to careful evaluation of the effectiveness of his teaching. 

  • Dr. Lindsay Twa (Art) began her Augustana career in the fall of 2006 as an instructor and director of the Eide/Dalrymple Gallery. Since then, she has moved from instructor to assistant professor to associate professor and department chair (and, for a semester, interim division chair), all while retaining the time-consuming job of curating, scheduling, designing installations and fundraising for the Gallery. As department chair, she has been instrumental in creating a BFA program in studio art that puts Augustana at the same level as other programs in the region, as well as making key connections between the department and local museums and galleries. In Dr. Twa’s substantial work as a scholar, her book Visualizing Haiti in U.S. Culture has been hailed for its insight into how an American understanding of Haiti has informed both visual arts and public discussion of race and representation. Dr. Twa’s teaching at Augustana has developed art majors’ awareness of the history of art, in addition to bringing her knowledge to a wider campus audience through Civitas courses she has taught on architecture, modern art, and Haiti. She has also been a faculty participant in the interim study-abroad course in India, of which she will assume leadership this coming January. Finally, Dr. Twa is continuing to develop her own skills as an artist by learning and practicing printmaking: Those who preach must also practice.

Promoted to Associate Professor and Granted Tenure

  • Dr. Daniel Gerling (English/Journalism) began his Augustana career in the fall of 2013. Hired as the composition specialist in the English department, he found himself in a curious position when that course was folded into the new First Year Seminar in the fall of 2015. Dr. Gerling, however, took on a vital leadership role in FYS, training faculty across campus the grammar and style skills needed to teach the course and developing a course manual on grammar and style, a project which won him the 2019 Lofthus Award. Dr. Gerling has also served as director of the Augustana Writing Center over the past six years, which has seen a steady growth in the number of tutors and clients working there. He publishes an annual journal for the Writing Center, Palimpsest, which features tutors’ writings about writing. Dr. Gerling is also a recognized national expert in both writing pedagogy and in the history of sewage, which serves as the focal point of his FYS course, “Fecal Matters.” His skill as a teacher in that and in other courses garnered him the ASA Professor of the Year award this past spring.
  • Dr. Jaciel Keltgen (Business Administration) has been a valued member of the Business Administration Department since 1997, and she has served as an assistant professor since 1999. She teaches a variety of popular marketing-related courses, and her students engage in real-world marketing opportunities with local businesses and non-profit organizations. Keltgen coaches students competing for annual Sales & Marketing Executives scholarship awards, and she was a winner of the 2012 YWCA Tribute to Women in the education category. Her research focuses on job satisfaction among physicians; social media and marketing; and generational patterns in the workplace. Notably, Keltgen recently spearheaded the mission to design and gain approval for Augustana’s Master of Business Administration program, which will offer 4+1 and two-year tracks to degree completion. For her campus leadership, her cutting-edge scholarship, and her dedication to Augustana students, Keltgen is to be commended.
  • Dr. Christopher Unger (Music) began his Augustana career in the fall of 2015 after two years directing bands at the University of British Columbia. Since he arrived at Augustana, Dr. Unger has noticeably improved the quality of the band and the brass choir in both performance and repertoire; more importantly, through tireless efforts at recruiting both in and out of state, he has been responsible for a growth in the numbers and the energy for band at Augustana. Dr. Unger has also traveled to serve as a guest conductor for university bands in Illinois and Nevada, as well as at the Eastman School of Music, where he obtained his Ph.D. He has made numerous visits to middle schools and high schools throughout the region to conduct and offer clinics. Dr. Unger also brings that work with secondary school students to campus in his role as assistant director of the Augustana Summer Music Camp.


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