Austin’s Post-Secondary Secret – SMUG University

SMUG logoYou are familiar with the post-secondary educational institution Riverland Community College and may have heard that Winona State University offers courses in town, but you may not know about another post-secondary option – Social Medical University, Global, (SMUG), founded by the current Chancellor, Austin native, Lee Aase.

SMUG is dedicated to providing practical, hands-on training in social media to lifelong learners. According to the university Web site, SMUG was founded in January 2008 and is world-wide in reach, as its name implies, but is based in an ivy-covered, oak-shrouded 3,400 square-foot facility fondly call “Old Main.” This is a Lee’s home located on Northwest Fourth Street. (I remember the house from my youth as the Felshiem house. The Felshiem’s had ten or eleven children and all of their first names began with the letter “R”, but that has no bearing on this story.)

It’s Not That Hard

I also remember Lee Aase as an AHS basketball player from my youth, but, now, he works as director of Mayo Clinic’s Center for Social Media. However, the views he expresses through SMUG are his own. The school motto, Suus non ut Difficile, is translated to English as “It’s not that hard” and members of the student body are called SMUGgles. Although the “University” concept is presented partially tongue in cheek (the tuition is free, after all), the SMUG site does provide tangible curriculum ranging from Intro to RSS, Twitter and blogging to producing podcasts and exploring the use of Social Media in presidential elections.

I saw Lee give a SMUG presentation few years ago that was as entertaining as it was educational and his SMUG site is the same. It is definitely worth a visit.

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