Luther College awards endowed professorships and endowed chairs to honor Luther faculty whose teaching careers and accomplishments have:
- exemplified the philosophy and values of the liberal arts,
- enriched the intellectual life of students,
- enhanced the academic character of the institution, and
- demonstrated leadership in the teaching profession.
Nena Amundson Distinguished Professorship
The Nena Amundson Distinguished Professorship honors the late Nena Amundson, a 1956 graduate of Luther College who taught physical education and coached women’s athletics for more than 40 years, primarily at California Lutheran University. A pioneer in collegiate women’s sports programs, Amundson provided an estate gift to fund the endowment for the Luther wellness program. The Amundson Professorship Award provides funding for a selected research project, with particular focus on health and wellness issues for women.
Angela Kueny succeeds prior Amundson professors Betty Hoff, Nancy Barry, Lea Pickard, Wanda Deifelt, and Karla Suomala. With a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Luther College, Professor Kueny went on to earn Certification in Transcultural Nursing in Greeley, Colorado, and the Ph.D. in nursing at the University of Iowa, with an emphasis in anthropology. She practiced nursing in Denver, CO and at the Iowa Children’s Hospital in Iowa City, IA before returning to teach at Luther in 2010. Dr. Kueny's Amundson project is called “Women’s Role in Amish Community Forgiveness.” By studying how women aid in teaching and exhibiting forgiveness, this project will also shed light on the spiritual wellness of the Amish and demonstrate how informal avenues of teaching forgiveness can permeate spiritual wellness throughout communities.
Center for Ethics and Public Life
The Center for Ethics and Public Life exists to enhance the liberal education Luther promises its students. By encouraging deep reflection about ethical matters and responsible citizenship, the center should help students learn something of what it means to live a good life. Specifically, the center promotes research, writing, and an ongoing conversation about the public choices confronting society and the role ethics ought to play in making those choices. The director of the center, appointed from the Luther faculty, guides both on-campus and external initiatives in keeping with its purpose.
Greg Jesson succeeds inaugural director Dr. John Moeller, professor of political science, as the Center's second director. Professor Jesson earned a B.A. from the University of California-Los Angeles, M.A. degrees from the University of Southern California and the University of Iowa, and the Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in philosophy focusing on philosophy of mind, metaphysics, epistemology, phenomenology, and philosophy of religion. Dr. Jesson envisions the Center as a place where difficult ethical questions are explored and debated, and then acted upon.
Bert M. and Mildred O. Dahl Chair in Economics and Business
Professor Holland succeeds previous Dahl Chairs Ed Kaschins and Mark Lund. With a bachelor’s degree in economics and English from St. Olaf, Steve earned the J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and the Ph.D. in applied economics from the University of Minnesota. Before joining the Luther faculty in 2005, Steve served as a policy associate at Macalester College. Professor Holland’s problem-based, cross-disciplinary approach to teaching explores the intersection of economics and public policy. His work with undergraduate students has included research in microeconomics, public policy, environmental economics, hunger and globalization.
Dennis M. Jones Distinguished Teaching Professorship in the Humanities
Professor Muggli is the eleventh faculty member to be named to the Jones Professorship since its establishment in 1994. With a bachelor’s degree in humanities from St. John’s University, Mark earned the M.A. and Ph.D. in English at the University of Minnesota. A member of the Luther faculty since 1978, Professor Muggli has directed the college’s Paideia program, served as associate dean, written multiple grants for the college, and been an innovative teacher bridging the humanities and fine arts. Mark’s international travel, sabbatical leaves and study abroad course leadership have provided opportunities to explore theatre in various parts of the world. His Jones Professorship project focuses on the wide-ranging impact of the work of Shakespeare. For information on "Our Shakespeare," the 2011-13 Jones Professorship project, go to <www.luther.edu/english/ourshakespeare>.
Orlando W. Qualley Chair of Classical Languages
Freeman, a graduate of the University of Texas, holds the doctoral degree from Harvard University. An internationally recognized specialist in Greek, Roman, medieval culture and Celtic studies, he is the author of numerous books including "Alexander the Great" (Simon & Schuster, 2011); "The Philosopher and the Druids" (Simon & Schuster, 2006); "St. Patrick of Ireland" (Simon & Schuster, 2004); "War, Women, and Druids" (University of Texas Press, 2002); "The Galatian Language" (Mellen Press, 2001); and "Ireland and the Classical World" (University of Texas Press, 2001).
Before joining the classics department at Luther, Freeman taught at Boston University and Washington University. He has been a visiting scholar at the Harvard Divinity School, the American Academy in Rome, and the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C. A frequent speaker and presenter, Freeman has given talks on the ancient world at the Smithsonian Institution and interviews on National Public Radio.
Russell R. Rulon Endowed Chair in Biology
Professor Kaehler succeeds previous Rulon Chairs Jim Eckblad and Kevin Kraus. With a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Gustavus Adolphus College, Marian earned her doctorate in biochemistry from Michigan State University, and before coming to Luther, completed a staff fellowship at the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development. Dr. Kaehler's scholarship includes chromosomal research in collaboration with Hans Van Etten of the University of Arizona, and her particular interest—arising from her doctoral research—is on RNA methylation, a chemical modification of sites on RNA that can help regulate the lifetime of molecules. She will use the funding from the Rulon chair to launch a new RNA project, engaging students in developing her research plan and in the bench work for the project itself.