Transfer student profiles
Lauren Hoffman '14
Lauren Hoffman transferred to Augustana in 2011 after originally enrolling at Purdue University to study dietetics.
“It’s kind of like a melting pot of experiences," she said of her time at Augustana. “I’ve taken classes in theatre, political rhetoric, and physics (for my minor), and I’ve enjoyed them all. Every class I’ve taken has contributed to the success I’ve had both in class and outside of it.”
Hoffman, who graduated Augustana with a degree in biology, is fascinated by the study of anatomy. Pairing that with a desire to help others inspired her to pursue a career in prosthetics, and she’s been accepted to Northwestern University's master's program.
Like most Augustana students, Hoffman has had multiple opportunities to use her interdisciplinary Liberal Arts education both in and outside of the classroom.
Competing as a member of the track team, as well as an internship at the Hanger Clinic have been defining experiences for Hoffman.
“For me, track has been a huge part of my experience here,” she said. “It has led me to some of the greatest friends and coaches and has given me memories that I’ll treasure for years to come.”
Professionally speaking, her internship gave her the opportunity to be immersed in the ins and outs of her future career.
Choosing a college to attend is never a simple decision. Hoffman advises students to “do your research and keep an open mind. Augustana has given me the chance to explore other areas of study besides my major and I’ve really enjoyed doing so. Also, make sure to ask the questions you’d wished you asked before deciding on your first school!”
Courtney Simross '16
Courtney Simross ’16 transferred to Augustana in 2013 and has been making an impression on faculty and students ever since.
At the end of last year, Simross competed in the "Gift to the World" essay contest sponsored by the Center for Vocational Reflection. The contest encouraged students to reflect on a gift that they can offer the world. Her essay, entitled “The Gift of Understanding” offered a moment to reflect upon the impact acceptance and understanding can have on the world around us.
The campus-wide response shocked Simross, who had only been a Viking for a few months when she won the contest.
“Emails flooded in from all over campus with messages of congratulations,” she said. “Students and staff members whom I had never even met, took the time to compliment me on my writing.
“This entire experience made me realize how much Augustana truly is a family. The day you step onto campus, you become a member of a network of support that will be there though all of your college experiences.”
Simross recognizes that during her college search, Augustana always stood out to her.
“Primarily, the idea of a liberal arts school appealed to me,” she explained. “I love trying new things and experiencing life from different perspectives.
“Now, as a student, I am encouraged to take classes in other subjects than my own major, and it has opened me up to so many things I never would have otherwise explored.”
The Augustana campus is full of opportunities to have academic, social , and personal adventures. Courtney suggests that potential students come check out the campus first hand.
“I am so fortunate that I took the opportunity to visit and really get a feel for student and classroom life,” she said. “Once I did so, the choice was very clear to me.
“Whether it be an overnight with a current student or a personal tour day with an ambassador, I hope that anyone considering Augustana will take the time to see what we are all about.”
Joe Suriano '14
During his two years at Augustana, Joe Suriano made the most of his time in and out of the classroom. His experiences included a term spent in east Asia.
“Hands down my study abroad has been one of the most important experiences I’ve had, not only in college but in my life so far,” he said. “I thought that I wouldn’t be able to study abroad because it wouldn’t fit in with my required classes, but being on trimesters I was able to make it work and I don’t regret it at all.”
Suriano looks forward to continuing his education at graduate school and later becoming a pathologists’ assistant.
Suriano enrolled at Augustana after a productive campus visit.
“I decided to transfer to Augustana after community college because I was really impressed with the science department,” he said. “I knew I wanted to be as prepared for graduate school as possible and the science department convinced me that I would be by the time I was finished at Augie.”
When asked about advice for prospective students, Joe points to patience and hard work as key to a successful transition. Based on his experience, he advises students to, “be prepared to work significantly harder and do a lot more reading in your future classes.
“It took me a couple weeks to adjust, but I am glad I decided to transfer to Augie.”