Meet Your Admission Counselor

Finding the right fit for college takes time and help from others. At Augustana University, we value personal relationships, especially during your transition to college. As you discern your plans, please know we look forward to your questions and the opportunity to serve you.

Contact your admission counselor at their email address, email, call 800.727.2844, text 605.789.8260 or fax 605.274.5518.

First-year students living in the United States

Wendy AndersenWendy Mamer
Assistant Director of Admission

Wendy primarily serves students from: Sioux Falls Washington, Sioux Falls Lincoln, Southern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas

As your admission counselor, I’m committed to…

As your admission counselor, I’m committed to helping you find a college where you feel comfortable and at home. I will be the biggest cheerleader for you and your family throughout your college search process— answering all of your questions and celebrating your successes. I am passionate about getting to know my students and I look forward to connecting with you!

Why should students choose Augustana?

You should choose Augustana because you will always be our priority. Our community is comprised of professors who are committed to not only teaching you but learning from you, and administrators who make decisions with you in mind. Our student-centered mentality is my favorite part of Augustana—you will quickly discover that your voice matters here and that your holistic well-being is cared about.

Three things Wendy is passionate about:

  • Advocating for mental health education
  • Buying high-end products at a very discounted price
  • Using unnecessary adverbs for dramatic effect (i.e. “I am SO excited!”)

Call: 605.274.5504
Text: 605.777.0152

Sul Dibba
Admission Counselor

Sul primarily serves students from: Sioux Falls Roosevelt, Sioux Falls Jefferson, Iowa, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, East North Central, and North Atlantic

As your admission counselor, I’m committed to… 

Embracing students' true authentic selves and creating a trust between us that allows you to do so. He will strive to help you on your path to success and celebrate your accomplishments and wins in your journey here at Augustana. He will be an advocate, ally, and to the best of his ability provide great service to you and your needs. As a first-generation college student, Sul knows the anxiety, pressures, and uncertainties of going to college. For Sul, Augustana provides a unique atmosphere and feels like home away from home.

Why should students choose Augustana?

Augustana provides a unique atmosphere and feels like home away from home. Here on campus you will be challenged to be your greatest self and will learn skills that transfer outside of the classroom like leadership, networking, and critical thinking for example. The resources readily available for all students are second to none and really allow you to make informed decisions and have an impact on the Augustana and greater Sioux Falls community. The economy of Sioux Falls continues to grow rapidly and with Augustana at the center you have plenty of options to explore the city and get familiarized. Also I should mention that Augustana is great at supporting students in their endeavors and strongly encourages them to get out of their comfort and be involved. 

Three things Sul is passionate about:

  • Family 
  • Community
  • Traveling

Call: 605.274.5506
Text: 605.205.7135

Emily Hoffman
Admission Counselor

Emily primarily serves students from: Sioux Falls O'Gorman, Southeast and Western South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii

As your admission counselor, I’m committed to… 

Listening and serving as your supporter. I am committed to helping you find your best college fit and a place that you can proudly call home. As a first-generation college student myself, I understand the uncertainties that may arise during your college search and am here to help. I am excited to get to know you, to answer all of your questions, and celebrate you throughout your next journey in life!

Why should students choose Augustana?

As an Augustana graduate, I fell in love with the community and the liberal arts education that the University has to offer. Augustana is invested in you and wants to help you achieve all of your aspirations in life. You will make lifelong relationships and connections here; the experience is like no other. Augustana opened my world of perspectives, opportunities, experiences, and I want to share this incredible opportunity with you.

Three things Emily is passionate about:

  • My family.
  • Traveling to experience new places, meet new people, and to try new foods.
  • Running

Office: 605.274.5048
Text: 605.777.7415

Lara Thiem

Admission Counselor

Lara primarily serves students from: Brandon Valley, Minnesota-Twin Cities, Nebraska, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico

As your admission counselor, I'm committed to...

As an Augustana admission counselor, Lara is committed to helping you navigate this chapter of new opportunities. The process of choosing a college is unique to everyone, and she is dedicated to fostering a trusting relationship to help you evaluate these decisions. Lara looks forward to serving you in any way possible! In her free time, Lara enjoys traveling, coffee and making a difference in the lives around you. 

Why should students choose Augustana?

Augustana is a community focused on growth and opportunities that are life changing. Professors are caring and invested in your development and growth. Faculty and fellow students challenge you to seize opportunities such as studying abroad, internships, service learning, research experiences, and more. Above all, Augustana will shape your future far beyond the next four years and empower you to change the world around you.

Three things Lara is passionate about:

  • Traveling & learning from those experiences
  • Coffee and coffee shops
  • Making a difference in the lives around you

Call: 605.274.5843
Text: 605.777.0306

Melissa Dykstra

Admission Counselor

Melissa primarily serves students from: Harrisburg, Sioux Falls Christian, Sioux Falls Lutheran, Northeast South Dakota, Northern Minnesota, North Dakota, South Atlantic

Call: 605.274.5510
Text: 605.231.9190

Students considering transferring to Augustana University

Haley ElnessHaley Elness
Admission Counselor

Haley primarily serves students: Considering transferring into Augustana University

As your admission counselor, I’m committed to… 

Hearing your story. I'm eager to walk alongside you as you navigate this complex time in life. The college search process comes with many different emotions and difficult decisions. I look forward to providing advice and guidance throughout the process.

Why should students choose Augustana? 

We believe in you. At Augustana, our students and all members of our University are part of this special place where you're cared for—not just your mind, but your whole self. When all members of a community are cared for and free to be their authentic selves, learning is life-changing and limitless.

Three things you're passionate about:

  • Plants: in my house, in my office, in the garden.
  • Dessert: baking it, eating it, sharing it with others.
  • Beyoncé

Call: 605.274.5501
Text: 605.231.9226

Adam HeinitzAdam Heinitz
Director of Enrollment

Adam primarily serves: Graduate, transfer, and accelerated nursing students

As your admission counselor, I’m committed to ...

Making your transition to Augustana as seamless as possible.  Whether you are a transfer student looking for a fresh start, or a graduate student looking for your next challenge, my role is to connect you with the many people who wish to support you on your next journey.

Why should students choose Augustana? 

Augustana is a community full of people who not only want to change the world, but believe that what they do on a daily basis can impact that change. That mindset changes the way students approach their course work, conversations with professors and each other, and the ways in which they serve the greater Sioux Falls community and beyond.  The faculty and staff here know that the students in our midst will change the world, and thus our role is to provide them as many opportunities as possible to learn, grow, and serve on campus, in Sioux Falls, and around the world.

Three things you're passionate about:

  • My family
  • My coffee
  • My Minnesota Vikings

Call: 605.274.5529
Text: 605.231.9354

Students living outside of the United States

Wade GemarWade Gemar
Assistant Director of International Admission

Wade primarily serves: International students

As your admission counselor, I’m committed to…  

Creating a safe space where you can bring your whole self to the process. You can expect an advocate, someone who is dedicated to helping you access each and every opportunity available to you. I am laid back but incredibly hardworking, and I love connecting with people and helping them through a process. You can also expect to laugh and feel a sense of belonging with me. I'm best known for my sense of humor, frequent hugs (if you're not a hugger, high fives), and signature red beard. Lastly, you can expect transparency. The college admission process can be intimidating and complex. It's my job to make sense of it all. I am focused on helping you find the best college home for you.

Why should students choose Augustana?

I couldn't do this work anywhere else. As an Augustana graduate, I am passionate about an Augustana education and everything this type of learning community can do for a person, not only professionally but also personally and spiritually. I also know that it has its shortcomings, and I want to be a part of the process that brings positive change to Augustana.

Three things you're passionate about:

  • Traveling and eating
  • Reading
  • Going to the Augustana Commons and talking to students

Call/WhatsApp: 605.274.5250
Text: 605.231.9300

Ben IversonBen Iverson
Director of International Programs

As your admission counselor, I’m committed to…

Being an active listener. I want to get to know you. I want to know more about your interests, your goals, your dream job, your fears, the things most important to you in your college search, and understanding how you'd like to be engaged in the process of learning more about AU. I'll work to get you the best information possible about those topics, and to connect you with the right people at AU. And, if you're willing, I'd love to engage you in deeper conversation about your future and maybe even to suggest additional ideas or possible paths and opportunities at AU that you haven't considered just yet.

Why should students choose Augustana?

Students should choose AU because we have passionate faculty and staff who will help you succeed. You'll get personal attention and mentoring from talented professors. You'll have the opportunity for incredible internships, study abroad, and research experiences - things that will set you apart as you apply for your first job or graduate school. And, you'll be pushed to examine problems from a variety of angles, to communicate more effectively, and to know more about the world - things that will set you apart as a leader in your chosen field. And, on top of that, we're in Sioux Falls, which for me is the best of all worlds - big enough to offer lots of opportunities for students as far as entertainment, service, and internships go, but small enough to be be safe, manageable, and friendly.

Three things you're passionate about

  • AU, and helping students find their fit at AU.
  • Math
  • Baseball

Call: 605.274.5885