Graduation year: 2017
Major: Graphic design
Minors: Chinese, Asian studies, studio art
Activities: Varsity softball, Royal Neighbors (non-profit organization), Delta Chi Theta sorority
Internships: Augustana’s EDGE Center and OC Creative, DeKalb, Ill. (Brian Oster ’00 is OC Creative’s creative director/president.)
Post-grad plans: Work part-time with JD Events, a special occasion event set-up company, and apply for a full-time job at a design agency, hopefully near my home in Geneva, Ill.
I wanted to attend a school that allowed me to take not just art classes, but also science, math, literature and other courses so I could become more well-rounded. I also wanted a smaller school, so I could talk to my professors one-on-one and have them actually know my name.
Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
I never expected to get to travel so much within four years; join a sorority and make so many friends; and become an Asian studies and Chinese minor. In my four years, I traveled to the Dominican Republic and South Africa with the softball team; Florida every year for a softball tournament; Georgia for another tournament; and China, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan for my study abroad program.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
I have to thank my softball coach, Kris Kistler, for always pushing me to be better mentally and for always seeing more in me than I did myself. Vickie Phipps, one of my graphic design teachers, always had a way with understanding how I learned and was willing to help me outside of class. Also, my Chinese teachers, Jen-Mei Ma and Hua-Mei Chang, who encouraged me to continue my studies and follow my passion for Asian studies. Lastly, I need to thank my parents for pushing me and always saying the right things at the right time.
A peak experience?
I think one of my biggest accomplishments was hiking up Mt. Fuji in Japan during my study abroad program. I had never been hiking before, but I told myself that I would get to the top. Four hours later I did, and then I had climb four more hours to get down! When I got to the bottom, I was wishing I was back on top again, but I realized in that moment I could do or go wherever I wanted. I promised myself I would continue to travel and see the world and to push myself to be a better me.
What surprised you?
I have learned so many things over the past four years, such as it is okay to be an extrovert and an introvert. I've learned that not everyone will like you, that it is important to be patient and take things one step at a time, and that it is better to listen than to talk. Most importantly though, I've learned that even when you think you know yourself, you may not. You learn new things about yourself along the way because you are forever growing and changing.
How did you use Augie Choice?
I used my Augie Choice to study abroad for a term in East Asia. It is a trip I will never forget.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss being so close to my friends that I can just walk to their rooms or houses.
Advice for the Class of 2021?
Be yourself, try new things and always strive to be better than you were.
“I have been so proud to watch Amanda grow into a young professional during her four years at Augustana. Amanda took advantage of almost every opportunity that Augustana offered to her. At times, I felt like she took on too much. However, the result is that she has traveled the world, been a successful student-athlete, gained hands-on experience, and made friends and memories of a lifetime. She has definitely prepared herself for the real world, and I couldn’t be more proud.”