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Elise Fletcher

Hometown: Libertyville, Illinois

Major: Biology

Plans after graduation

I'm going into the Biosciences PhD Program at the University of Iowa next year, which is about a five year program.

How did Augustana prepare you for life after college?

This probably sounds cliche, but the liberal arts education here has definitely prepared me for life after Augustana! All the classes I have taken have given me the ability to look at issues from a variety of different perspectives. Having different perspectives has changed my thinking to be more complex. Issues in the "real" world are never just black and white; there is usually always a huge gray area. Because I have developed the ability to look at issues from multiple perspectives, I will tackle the issues non-judgmentally and with many view points in mind.

What are you looking forward to about life after graduation?

I'm looking forward to starting the next chapter of my life. I feel Augie has really prepared me for the "real" world, and I'm excited to experience the new challenges that grad school has to offer.

What will you miss about Augustana?

I will definitely miss all the support and encouragement that I receive from my professors here. They have really been my strength throughout college. I know that I can always go to them for help if I don't understand something in their class, or if I am worried about a test. Their doors are always open. I will also truly miss all of my friends I have made here! They have been there for me through the very hard times and also just as important, my friends have been the ones who I have celebrated with, hung out with, and overall had a great time with!

What was your favorite memory from Augie?

I've had so many great memories here at Augie that it's hard to pick just one. One of the best memories I have had while being a student at Augustana includes my Australian experience. I went on Australian term this past winter term, and I had the time of my life! I loved everything about their culture, and really adapted to their life-style quite quickly. I did everything from hiking through the Blue Mountains, going to surf camp, doing a weekend trip to New Zealand, scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, going on bush walks with native Australians, swimming through waterfalls in the Rainforest, and conversing with Aborigines. My internship at the Brain and Mind Research Institute was life changing. I'm considering going into neuroscience just because my internship exposed me to this field which I found to be fascinating. I also made long lasting friendships with my co-workers there. I can't wait to go back!

What advice would you give to current students?

My advice to current Augustana students would be to try to have a balance between their social life and academic life. Don't party all the time, but also don't study all the time. I made it through college while studying a lot, and also having a lot of fun with my friends too!