Graduation year: 2017
Major: Biology (pre-dentistry)
Minor: Art history
Activities: Dr. Donna Bergen and Dr. Thomas Madden Whistler Research Scholar Program, Augustana Summer Academy Cadaver Dissection assistant, Augustana Community Health Outreach Organization (ACHOO)
Internship: I have a yearlong internship with Project Nest, a program sponsored by Junior Board of Rock Island that helps expectant women prepare for motherhood.
Post-grad plans: Attend dental school at Marquette University
I began freshman year at a large state university, but I quickly realized it was too big for me. I decided to transfer to Augustana beginning my sophomore year for a few reasons. It is a small school, and I liked the student-to-faculty ratio. In addition, the small class sizes made my professors more accessible to me. Being able to meet with my professors on a regular basis to ask questions and discuss concepts has helped me grow as a student and gain a better understanding of complex topics. I also chose Augustana because of the reputation of having a strong science program—something I have found to be true.
Are you where you thought you’d be when you first came to campus?
When I first came to campus, I simply hoped to not feel as lost as I had at the large school I previously attended. I truly believe I would not have achieved my goal of attending dental school if I had not transferred to Augustana. I have learned so much in the three years I have been here, but not only relating to academics. I have strengthened skills that allow me to communicate professionally and effectively with other students and professors. I also feel I have become a more well-rounded student, which is due to the liberal arts aspect of Augustana. I did not know anything about art history before I came to Augustana, and now I have a minor and a research position in the department.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
Every one of my teachers has helped me get to where I am now. Not only have they challenged me in the classroom, but they have also taken the time to form truly strong relationships with me. I believe it is these relationships that have helped encourage me to continue to strive toward my goals. I also would not be where I am today without the encouragement of my parents, who have been very supportive, yet realistic, of my goals.
What surprised you?
I was surprised to find how important it was to my learning that my professors knew my name. At my previous school, I felt as if I was just a number. However, all my professors at Augustana have made an effort to learn everyone's name during the first week of class. I think professors making an effort to know who I am helped me to feel more accountable for my work, and it made me more comfortable asking for help when I needed it, as well as discussing concepts if I wanted more detailed information. This naturally helped strengthen my relationship with my professors, which I value.
How did you use Augie Choice?
I used Augie Choice to fund my internship with Project Nest.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss the Augustana community made up of my classmates and professors the most because it is nice to always see a familiar face, whether it’s while eating lunch or in the library.
Advice for Class of 2021?
Take advantage of all Augustana has to offer. From the extra-curriculars to the small classes, Augustana provides an environment for students to grow in the classroom and outside of it. I was presented with several opportunities here at Augustana that I never imagined I would have, and I am grateful for all of those.
"Carli is exceptional! She combines stellar character with impressive work ethic, accomplishing academics with passion and vigor. I was delighted she enthusiastically pursued art history along with her biology/pre-dentistry major—a liberal arts success story! In addition to her acceptance to dental school, she distinguished herself in art history as a Dr. Donna Bergen/Dr. Thomas Madden Whistler Research Scholar, soon to be published. Carli will clearly be a leader in her dental vocation and beyond!"