Graduation year: 2015
Pre-professional program: Physician assistant
Internship: Undergraduate research intern at Baylor College of Medicine Children's Nutrition Research Center in Houston (summer 2014)
Post-grad plans: Work for a year as an emergency medical technician and emergency physician scribe, then attend physician assistant school in 2016
Why did you choose to attend Augustana?
I chose to attend Augustana because I was presented with the opportunity to pursue both my academic/professional goals as well as my goals as a collegiate football player. I knew I would be challenged beyond what I was in the past and, as a result, I would be better for it. Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
Are you where you thought you'd be four years ago?
I have known I wanted to have a career in medicine since high school. While four years ago I may not have been as set on being a PA (physician assistant) as I am now, taking the steps to attend PA school has always been something I have considered.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
My family, especially my parents, has always been my strongest form of support. My parents have put so much time and effort into providing my brother and me the opportunity to attend college. In addition to the financial support I have been blessed with, they have given me mental and emotional support. They have always been there for me to talk to when I was struggling with school or football. I can honestly say without my parents I would have never made it this far.
A peak experience?
One peak experience of mine would have to be this past football season on Senior Day when we beat Millikin University. It was the last game of our season and of my football career, so being able to pull off that one last victory will always hold a place in my memory.
What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
I was very surprised to learn just how enthusiastic I could become about my education. I grew tremendously in regards to taking my education into my own hands and making the most of it.
How did you use your Augie Choice?
In the summer of 2013, I used my Augie Choice to help fund a trip to France with the rest of the Augustana football team. We defeated the National French professional American football team.
What will you miss the most?
What I will miss the most will be weekends spent with all my friends.
Advice for the Class of 2019?
Be an active explorer; you do not need to make a decision about your future right when you get into school, but you do need to start searching. The four years you spend in college will be here and gone quicker than you will ever want. That's why starting your exploration sooner rather than later is beneficial not only for your personal and professional growth, but also for making the most out of your college experience.
“Ben balances his academic interests with athletics and preparation for his future, and excels on all fronts. He’ll make a great physician assistant because he is genuine, humble and uses his knowledge to help others.”
— Dr. Jason Koontz, associate professor, biology