Augustana College printing logo

Dana Swanson

Hometown: Barrington, Illinois

Major: Sociology and English

Plans after graduation

After graduation, I am doing a year of service with the Lutheran Volunteer Corps. I'll be living in Seattle, WA, working at Earth Ministry, a faith-based organization committed to promoting environmental stewardship.

How did Augustana prepare you for life after college?

Augustana has educated me as a whole person. I'm a Sociology and English major who knows about Shakespeare, but also a little about Handel's masterful counterpoint in Messiah, a thing or two about the benefits of bureaucracy centered policy making, and bit about soil degradation. In addition to preparing me academically, Augustana has prepared me to be an active citizen, invested and engaged in bettering my community. I am not sure where life will lead me, but I feel confidence from my education to handle whatever the world tosses my way.

What are you looking forward to about life after graduation?

Although I am reluctant to leave Augustana, I am looking forward to doing. Along with my classmates, I have spent the last four years learning and now I am ready to put that knowledge to action. I look forward to using what I've learned--and continue to learn--to address the needs of a changing world, as well as the needs of my community.

What will you miss about Augustana?

I'll miss much about being a student at Augustana, but most of all I will miss the community. The Augustana community includes students, but also faculty, staff and residents of the Quad Cities. I'll miss intense classroom discussions, chatting with professors and being greeted by so many smiling faces while walking across the quad.

What was your favorite memory from Augie?

Some of my favorites memories of Augustana have occurred during Campus Ministries week-long service trips to assist with Hurricane Katrina relief. Not the typical spring break, we've spent time cleaning up debris, chipping paint and installing installation. I love the trip for many reasons, in particular the time spent serving others and learning their stories. I enjoy getting to know other students as well, bonding over itchy installation and laughing the hours away.

What advice would you give to current students?

I would encourage current students to explore academic interests outside your major. Don't write off different subjects, "Oh, well I'm an Psychology major so I don't know anything about Biology." Liberal Arts recognizes the connections between all disciplines, how a knowledge of ecosystems could benefit someone studying psychology. Step outside of your academic comfort zone, take that Landforms and Landscapes class that looks interesting. It just might lead to a geography minor. If it weren't for an environmental learning community, I wouldn't have realized how interested I was in environmental issues. Now, I'm going to work for an environmental agency.