Augustana College printing logo

More Than I Imagined

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Janelle's activities: John Deere internship
    Janelle VanWatermeulen

    "Janelle is a very bright business major who has done a great job of coordinating her classes with her part-time employment, applying everything from the classroom to her job and everything from her job back to the classroom."

    — Karen Petersen, Adjunct Instructor, Director of Business Internships

    Janelle VanWatermeulen

    Major: Business administration (marketing and management)

    Post-grad plans: Full-time position at John Deere Dubuque Works, Dubuque, Iowa, in supply management; I also plan to attend grad school part-time to earn my MBA.

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    No, four years ago I never thought I would have accomplished everything I have. I am graduating from Augustana in three years. I could have never accomplished this without the help and support from my family and friends. I would not change anything about my college experience.

    A peak experience?
    My peak experience at Augie has been working part-time at John Deere Seeding Group in Moline, Illinois. I have worked at John Deere for three years now, and last summer I was able to travel to China for work! It was an amazing experience, and one I will remember forever!

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years
    that surprised you?
    I have learned the importance of time management and how to prioritize. I have also learned that any challenge I am faced with I am able to accomplish. I am not usually a person to ask for help, but surprisingly, in college, I learned it is OK to ask, and to use your resources to their full potential. Everyone at Augie is very helpful, so just ask!

    Besides your family, who helped you get to where you are now?
    The business department at Augustana and my advisor, Karen Petersen, has played a significant role in where I am today. Karen has been a great mentor. She is always willing to help me choose classes, work with me during my Senior Inquiry internship and give me advice about my career path. I am very thankful for everything Karen has done for me. My current John Deere boss has been another huge mentor in my college career. She has supported me through my three years at Augustana by being flexible with my work schedule, conducting practice interviews, providing great networking opportunities, giving valuable advice and always supporting me in my career and life decisions.

    Advice for this fall’s incoming class (Class of 2015)?
    Plan ahead! Try to get an internship or part-time job in your related field. Also, if you have an opportunity to study abroad, take it! I unfortunately was not able to, but I was able to travel with John Deere to China. Now is your chance to experience things you never thought you would!

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Jennifer's activities: Chi Alpha Pi Sorority, Biology Club, ACHOO/Jets, UNYK Dance Troupe, Order of Omega, Beta Beta Beta Honors Society

    Jennifer Banach

    "I have had the pleasure of working with Jen in the biology department for three years. She has an incredible appetite for knowledge, life experience and travel! Her determination, kindness and intellectual curiosity have served her well at Augustana and promise a bright future for her as she continues her academic journey in graduate school. She is one of those students who I am both proud to see move forward and sad to see leave."
    — Stephanie Fuhr, Lab Coordinator and Instructor, Biology Department

    Jennifer Banach

    Majors: Biology, Pre-medicine
    Minor: Biochemistry

    Post-grad plans: Attend graduate school for my Master of Science in The Netherlands

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    No. After a few foreign terms, my love for traveling and my passion for the sciences helped me to realize that I would love to study and live abroad for more than just a few months. I would never have seen myself in the position where I am today—about to move overseas—but I am more excited than ever!

    Who helped you get to where you are now?
    My mom is definitely the person who has most supported me throughout my life and even more during college. Without her, I would not have made it this far, nor have had the possibility to experience my dreams. Then, my best friend Rachel (who is an Augustana graduate) has inspired me to work hard even when life tends to work against you. She is one of my role models, and has always been there during the hardships and struggles. Last, I could not forget my current roommates, who more than anything have helped me to realize who I am, and who I want to be. Thank you Alexa, Emma, Kate and Sarah for supporting me, never judging me, and inspiring me to continue traveling the world.

    What was a peak experience while you were here?
    Although both my Vienna term abroad and Nicaragua medical-service trip were amazing foreign experiences, it has to be climbing Telica, an active volcano in Nicaragua near León. After the 17-mile overnight hike, I knew that I could push myself mentally and physically further than ever.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
    I learned to be open to any to decision or idea. Close-mindedness leaves little room for creativity and inspiration. The more you start to see and experience, the more you realize you have yet to learn.

    Advice for this fall’s incoming class (Class of 2015)?
    Be open to adventures! Augustana has many opportunities to grow and learn your passions both inside and outside the classroom. Take the time, give the energy and experience the thrill. By far, an open and eager mind sets the foundation for any ambition.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Courtney's activities: Volleyball
    Courtney Jungnickel

    "Courtney is a dependable, focused, loyal and strong young woman. She has gone above and beyond for her teammates and this volleyball program. She is relentless in her dedication to her family and future career, and always strives for more than what is present. No matter what lies ahead for her future, I know she will be a tremendous asset to any organization that she is a part of."

    — Jamie Walters, Head Volleyball Coach

    Courtney Jungnickel

    Major: Business administration (marketing and management)
    Minor: Communication studies
    Post-grad plans: Work for a company called Alliance Plastics

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    No. I feel so much more prepared for the real world. Being a part of volleyball and going to Augustana helped me toward my career.

    What was a peak experience while you were here?
    Participating in volleyball and eventually becoming best friends with all of my teammates.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years
    that surprised you?
    The more life throws at you, the more you are able to handle.

    Who helped you get to where you are now?
    A lot of my help came from my professors. Everyone is willing to take extra time to help you out. I also received a lot of help from my boss, Dave Wrath. He provided me with a great on-campus job and became like a second father to me.

    What would you like to add that we didn’t ask about?
    Augustana truly becomes a family. With everything I dealt with in my life over the past four years, I have no idea how I would have made it if I didn’t have support from my bosses, coaches, professors and friends.

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    Enjoy building relationships here at Augustana because they will be with people who you will remain close with the rest of your life.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Louie's activities: International Relations Union (attends Model UN conferences in Chicago each year)
    Louie Bertenshaw

    "Louie is one of those students who uses college to reach outside of himself to find something new and challenging and life-changing. When Louie studied in Germany in 2009 on the initial Wittenberg Term, which I directed, he used every opportunity to experience German culture and expand his personal horizons. Louie is the epitome of the type of student for whom I designed this program."

    — Dr. Kim Vivian, Chair, Professor, Department of German

    Louie Bertenshaw

    Majors: German and political science
    Post-grad plans: Attend New York University to get a master’s in international education

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    When I was in high school, I actually had no intention of going to college. I hated school. But that changed (obviously) and to put it simply, I came to Augustana four years ago to get a degree…and, well…that’s just a few months away. I’d say mission accomplished! .

    Your peak experiences?
    My peak experiences probably happened while studying abroad (TWICE!). I’m one of the very fortunate and lucky few who have had the chance to skip the borders of campus and really step out of the comfort zone. It’s one of the most exciting, challenging, frustrating and rewarding experiences I think anyone can have! One of the most amazing realizations I had was that this small, tiny, little campus in the heart of the Midwest can offer such life-changing, personal experiences that are truly invaluable!

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years
    that surprised you?
    I came to college a bit naive (don’t we all), and I was here to pick a major, get a degree and get a practical job. Yet, I’ve realized that college isn’t just a means to an end but is a personal journey and learning experience. It’s also a philanthropic experience. I don’t see my years at Augustana as an expense, but an investment in myself and my future. I never thought I would see college as more than just another four years of ‘school.’ But I now see it as time to figure out who you are, what your role is in life and how you can best serve your community and the world. I’m much less cynical and more adept to change than I was four years ago — which might be surprising because I’m sure my parents can attest that I am, in fact, quite stubborn!

    Besides your family, who helped you get to where you are now?
    Well, Mom and Dad’s unwavering support was crucial, but also the support of individuals like my high school German teacher, Frau Jenny (Hahn) Keller. She did an amazing job of really praising everyone and helped me, and countless others, realize that we all have something special in us to contribute to the world…no matter how small!

    Anything you’d like to add?
    I never really figured out the whole ‘pick a major’ thing in college. I’ve always had an interest in language and majored in German. I also had an interest in ‘international…something’ and majored in political science. While I don’t regret my majors, I’ve since learned that I truly have a passion for understanding other cultures and learning through other cultures. As a result, I’ve decided to pursue graduate school options in international education and teaching — a decision that came halfway through my final year at Augustana! THE LEARNING NEVER STOPS!

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    Come to college with an open mind and PLEASE don’t take yourself too seriously. Take charge of your education. Study abroad, join clubs that interest you and just plain have the time of your life! I wish you all the best in the next four amazing and challenging years of your life! Viel Glück (German for “good luck”)

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Anny's activities: Business Club, Advertising Developers, Mortar Board, Chi Omega Gamma, Art Club, Department of Business Administration student worker
    Anny Hasse

    "Ann has accomplished so much during her four years at Augustana! She has been my student worker since the end of her first year, and I really cannot put into words the value that she has added to our department. She has also contributed her talents to the Child Abuse Council in Rock Island as the marketing and community relations intern, as an art therapy intern with Intouch Adult Day Services, and as the communications director for Mortar Board. Professionally, Ann has worked at John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc. in Elgin, Ill., as a marketing intern, again combining her art and business expertise."

    — Karen Petersen, Adjunct Professor, Director of Business Administration Internships

    Anny Hasse

    Majors: Business administration (concentration in marketing) and studio art
    Post-grad plans: Pursue a career in art, graphic design, advertising or marketing

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    In a way, yes. I have, however, accomplished more than I ever thought possible in terms of being involved in extracurricular activities, landing competitive internships and pursuing a double major.

    Your peak experience?
    My peak experience has to be the Senior Studio Art Student Exhibition that will be featured in Augustana’s Art Museum in Centennial Hall. I have worked for an entire year on the exhibition. I have been involved in every step of the process, including publicity, framing, pricing, installation, the reception and public presentation, and creation of all the work into one cohesive body. I have not only learned a great deal, but have also further developed my passion for art. I am very excited for the exhibition opening on Tuesday, May 10!

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years
    that surprised you?
    How much I have changed in four years! I feel like I am a very different person than the one who stepped into the College Center four years ago.

    Who helped you get to where you are now?
    Besides my family, my professors challenged me to work my hardest, learn as much as I can and add to my skill set. As my supervisor in the business office, Karen Petersen has helped me to utilize my artistic side and apply it to the business world. She has challenged me through projects, offered advice and encouragement, and has given me the confidence I need to take the next step in my career. Through art, professors like Megan Quinn and Peter Xiao have shown true passion in a career. They have encouraged me to be creative, take risks, be passionate and have fun while doing it. My friends at Augustana have supported me throughout my four years and made my college experience memorable.

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    Work hard and learn as much as you can at Augustana. Also, don’t forget to have fun! There is no other time in your life that you can wake up at noon every day, live with your best friends and go to a party on a weeknight. Enjoy it!

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Sam's activities: Cheerleading, Psi Chi/Psychology Club, Family Museum volunteer, Dance Marathon, Relay for Life
    Sam Kalmar

    "To me, Sam is the quintessential liberal arts student in the breadth of her interests and exemplifies the ideals of leadership and service presented in Augustana’s mission statement."

    — Dr. Jayne Rose, Chair, Professor, Department of Psychology

    Sam Kalmar

    Majors: Psychology and Spanish
    Minor: Sociology

    Post-grad plans: Pursue a master’s in clinical-counseling psychology at Illinois State University

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    Yes and no. I entered Augustana as a pre-dentistry/biology major, and I am graduating as a psychology and Spanish major so I’ve taken a different path than I originally intended. Despite the change in majors, I am still going to pursue an advanced degree, which has always been one of my goals. I also feel confident and well prepared for my future, which is exactly how I wanted to feel when ending college. Four years ago, I definitely did not have the same confidence and skills that I do now!

    Your peak experiences?
    It’s hard to pick, but I would probably say my time abroad on Latin America term and in Guatemala for the psychology department’s ‘Childhood in the Developing World’ class. These experiences greatly influenced the direction I want to take in my career. Also, getting to immerse myself in different cultures was an eye-opening experience and definitely affected my outlook on life. Besides all that, it was just plain fun! We did everything from climbing Machu Picchu to eating guinea pig to zip-lining in the rainforest. The people I traveled with were also amazing, and the experience wouldn’t have been the same without them. Studying abroad with others creates a unique bond that is hard to understand unless you were part of that group.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years
    that surprised you?
    I don’t think there is one specific thing I learned about myself that surprised me. It’s more that I’m surprised by how much of a different person I am now than when I started college. I’m still basically the same person, but many of my beliefs have changed and the way I look at and interpret the world has been profoundly affected by my experiences during college.

    Who helped you get to where you are now?
    My parents definitely played a huge role in where I am now. They have always helped me out in whatever way they could — whether it was giving me $20 so I could go out for dinner when I was sick of cafeteria food or supporting me when I decided to travel to foreign countries for 10 weeks, even though it probably terrified them. As far as Augustana goes, the professors in the psychology department played a tremendous role in my college career. Their enthusiasm led me to change my major and after that switch, they continued to help me reach where I am now. They gave me encouragement regarding grad school, let me be a student worker in the department (thanks Dr. Vincent!), listened to me complain when I thought my Senior Inquiry would drive me crazy (thanks Dr. Mull!) and, most importantly, gave me the tools to succeed in the field of psychology through their wide range of interests and knowledge and their passion for what they do.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Kimberly's activities: Chi Omega Gamma
    Kimberly Klein

    "Kim is very enthusiastic about her research. She started spring term of her junior year and in about 12 months, she completed several projects. One of her projects on memory won an undergraduate research award from Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. She also has received an $800 grant to fund a follow-up study to her Senior Inquiry project, which has been accepted for presentation at the Association for Psychological Science meeting. With her enthusiasm, skills and work habits, Kim will be very successful in her research career after Augustana."

    — Dr. Daniel Corts, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology

    Kimberly Klein

    Major: Psychology
    Minor: Spanish
    Post-grad plans: Attend Colorado State University for the cognitive psychology Ph.D. program

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    Not at all…I entered Augustana as a pre-vet major, but once I got going with classes, I loved psychology and stuck with it.

    Your peak experience?
    I completed a year-long research project which I will be presenting at the Association for Psychological Science conference in Washington, D.C., this May.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years
    that surprised you?
    I learned how to be independent and self-motivated, a big difference from the procrastinator I was in high school.

    Who helped you get to where you are now?
    The whole psychology department has been fantastic, but Dr. Corts especially helped to get me interested in research, and now I actually know what I want to do after graduation!

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    Come in with an open mind, and if you feel like changing your major, go with it! Also, be sure to get to know your faculty well to make the most of your time.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Leah's activities: Tutoring through the French department; translation and immigration work with Burundian refugees through World Relief in Rock Island.
    Leah Mortenson

    "Leah is a fine example of a liberal arts student: curious about almost everything, diligent in her studies in many disciplines and empathetic with people in other cultures. On the East Asia term, she excelled in the classes and enthusiastically used her free time to learn about the places and people we were visiting. This opportunity to return to China will allow her to use her talents in working with students and to expand her own understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture."

    — Dr. Norm Moline ’64, Edward Hamming Professor of Geography, Co-director, East Asia term (fall 2010)

    Leah Mortenson

    Major: French

    Post-grad plans: Teach English either in Shenzhen, China, a suburb of Hong Kong, or somewhere in East Asia through the Peace Corps; eventually grad school

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    Absolutely not! I had no idea where I wanted to be, let alone where I’d end up. I started out with a contract major, Environmental Communication, and eventually came to the conclusion that my real passion is language; thus, the French major.

    A peak experiences?
    Climbing Mount Fuji on East Asia term.... No, but really: East Asia term and all of the memories I’ve taken from that was by far the best part of my college experience. I met so many great people, both on the term abroad with me and in the places we visited, and I had my eyes opened to different ways of doing and living I knew nothing about before the trip.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years
    that surprised you?
    I learned that I can be a lot stronger than I may have thought, when I need to be. I have learned, and am continuing to learn, that I need not be so hard on myself: Nobody is perfect, and we’re all trying to figure things out in our own way.

    Who helped you get to where you are now?
    All of my teachers here have been extremely helpful, and my family and friends. Talking with them, scrutinizing over possibilities and options and being able to identify the things I truly care about…. Through their opinions and advice, I have learned different perspectives that have really helped me academically and personally get to where I am today.

    Advice for this fall’s incoming class (Class of 2015)?
    Take advantage of all the opportunities available at Augie! Get involved, and be open to new experiences. Form a good community of people around you — they will help you get through the tough times, and make the good times that much better.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Kendra's activities: Cheerleading, Psychology Club, Women and Leadership Symposium student coordinator, Dance Marathon
    Kendra Mulcahy

    "Kendra’s involvement in movements for gendered equality both on and off campus in the last few years has been impressive, and for that reason, I asked her to act as student coordinator for our first Women in Leadership Symposium. Her ‘trial by fire’ in putting this symposium together prepared her for real-life leadership, and attracted the attention of Dress for Success — sending her on the road to her post-graduation work. Kendra’s work here has embodied the combination of learning and doing that is central to Women’s & Gender Studies and to the liberal arts experience."

    — Dr. Jane Simonsen, Associate Professor of History and Women’s & Gender Studies

    Kendra Mulcahy

    Majors: Psychology, Women’s and Gender Studies
    Minor: Biology

    Post-grad plans: Work for the Handicapped Development Center in Davenport and help establish Dress for Success in the Quad Cities

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    No, I was given many more opportunities then I ever expected, including access to community involvement, several internships, assistance in maintaining a part-time job and aid in connecting to individuals who helped me build my future career.

    A peak experiences?
    My peak experience was realizing what I want to do after graduation. After a very inspiring internship at Edgerton Women’s Health Center in Davenport and being the student coordinator for the Women in Leadership Symposium at Augustana, I realized I wanted to be a leader in an organization that assists underprivileged women find their true potential. As a result, I have been active in several organizations that do just that, and I hope to stay active in the Quad-Cities community.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years
    that surprised you?
    I have a lot more potential than I ever thought. At Augie I met a variety of individuals who have mentored me and shown me how to enhance my best qualities. This has allowed me to be recognized for talents I never thought I had and become more confident in myself.

    Besides your family, who helped you get to where you are now?
    Augustana staff, faculty, close friends I have met on campus and the people in the community who have guided me on a very structured path. All of these individuals have given me the tools and confidence to prove to myself that there are no limitations to life.

    Anything you’d like to add?
    The small class size at Augustana has really allowed me to be more successful. It is not difficult at all to meet with a professor for extra help or advice.

    Advice for this fall’s incoming class (Class of 2015)?
    Get involved within the Augustana community and within the Quad-Cities area. Augie and the QCA have a number of resources that can lead you to a successful future after graduation. Also, take advantage of the faculty and staff at Augustana. There are great people everywhere who are very willing to help you with any issue you might have.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Vicki's activities: CA for residential life, Majestic Hearts, Black Student Union
    Vicki Owoo-Battlet

    "Vicki is a strong woman with a strong voice that is bolstered by her unshakeable faith. Though her time here has presented her with some challenges, both personal and professional, she has emerged from them relatively unscathed. I have no doubt that her time at Augustana has prepared her for an exciting life journey, wherever it may take her."

    — Dr. Scott Irelan, Assistant Professor, Department of Theatre Arts

    Vicki Owoo-Battlet

    Major: Sociology
    Minor: Psychology
    Post-grad plans: An internship at a counseling center, grad school and Ph.D. dreams :)

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    I can only hope so! I know what I want for my future now, and that’s a great feeling. Yet, the last two years have helped me realize that as you believe you have found your future niche, great blessings of insight from life filter in and guide you toward your fate. So I am looking forward to hopefully an amazing ride…toward being an experienced counselor!

    What was your peak experience while you were here?
    Last year, when I became a CA and when I changed my major! Through my job, I was able to better realize my drive to understand how we as a people and society operate. My goal occupation of being a counselor was developed through that time. :)

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years
    that surprised you?
    In the past four years, I learned that I am a lot stronger than I thought. When I lost my father at the end of winter term, I was hoping that I could get through the rest of my year, especially in memory of him. He was a major part of my source of strength with his divine wisdom! I’ve pushed myself through some difficult parts of this year without him through perseverance and MAJOR support. I’ve learned that asking for help is not wrong, and Augustana has been the best help with attempting to reach my academic goals.

    Who helped you get to where you are now?
    My family. They are my rock and have given me the best support through the most stressful times of my life. My friends have not been bad either; they have allowed me to be myself and with that I’ve been motivated to do my very best.

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    Wow, PRIORITIZE YOUR TIME WELL! Augie will show you how important time management is and conquering this will take you very far here and in the real world. :)

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Austin's activities: Wennerberg Choir, Ascension Singers, Alpha Phi Omega
    austin smith

    "After a rich and eventful four years at Augie, Austin is looking ahead to starting his career as an educator. Any faculty would be fortunate to have him — he’s an expert in his field, wonderfully enthusiastic, ever positive, a teacher who will relate well to everyone. He’ll be a true leader in his profession."

    — Dr. Michael Schroeder, Co-Chair, Professor, Department of Education

    Austin Smith

    Majors: English and secondary education
    Post-grad plans: Teach high school English

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    In some ways. I came to Augustana knowing I wanted to become an English teacher, and that’s what I will be doing. In my four years though, I had a number of unexpected experiences and surprises that got me where I am today. I wouldn’t trade my time here for anything.

    What was a peak experience while you were here?
    I have a lot of terrific memories, but winning Mr. Augustana my junior year really stands out to me. It was an exciting night that was put on for a good cause, and something that I think was a bit out of my comfort zone. It was a great experience.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years
    that surprised you?
    It’s strange to look back and see all that I have learned and how I have changed. I think I really grew into myself and figured out who I am. I also realized I am capable of accomplishing a lot and pushing myself to become a better person.

    Besides your family, who helped you get to where you are now?
    My friends from home and the friends I’ve made at Augustana have helped me along the way by becoming a family for me. My professors, choir directors and advisors have also been amazing. They have all helped me become a teacher, challenged me and provided the right guidance. I am also thankful for my karate teachers. Karate plays a critical and central role in my life. I don’t know where I would be without it.

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    These next four years can be four of the best years of your life. Live it up, be brave and take advantage of your time here. Don’t miss out on any opportunities.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Amy's activities: Track and field, Delta Chi Theta, Student Athletic Advisory Committee, Athletes Giving Back, Beta Beta Beta, Omicron Delta Kappa, Psi Chi
    Amy Walsh

    "When Amy was a freshman at Augustana, she did not make All-Conference at the CCIW outdoor track meet. During her sophomore year, a sore leg prevented her from competing. Rather than getting discouraged, she worked extra hard, and last spring she placed in three events at the CCIW Championships. As a senior captain, she is running even faster. Amy broke 60 seconds in the 400 meters for the first time in her life earlier this spring and is striving to break the school record in the 400-meter hurdles! With hard work comes success!"

    — Fred Whiteside, Head Coach, Women’s Track and Field/Cross Country

    Amy Walsh

    Majors: Biology, psychology
    Post-grad plans: Attend Mayo School of Health Sciences to earn a doctorate in physical therapy

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    I came to Augie not sure of what I wanted to major in but with the guidance of my advisors and professors I am now going to graduate school for physical therapy and very confident in my decision to do so.

    Your peak experience?
    Going on East Asia term the fall of my senior year and track my senior year.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years
    that surprised you?
    I’ve learned that if I want something enough and I put my mind to it, I can accomplish it. I am also surprised with how little sleep I can function with.

    Who helped you getto where you are now?
    I owe a lot of thanks to the amazing friends I have made at Augie and to my great family for all their support and encouragement. My coaches and professors also helped me to succeed in mentoring, pushing and believing in me.

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    Take advantage of opportunities to get involved on and off campus and participate in a foreign term! Study hard but also have fun and enjoy your four years at Augie — they will fly by.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Sarah's activities: Alpha Phi Omega, Augustana ARTisans, Residential Hall Association, VITA, National Residence Hall Honorary
    Sarah Willis

    "Just knowing how to do accounting it is not good enough — accounting is about communicating information people need in a way they will understand. Sarah has a rare natural talent, an ability to explain, present and defend her answers. This talent will take her far and distinguish her work from the work of others less talented."

    — Pamela Druger, S. James Galley Professor in Accounting

    Sarah Willis

    Majors: Accounting and mathematics
    Minor: Economics

    Post-grad plans: Inventory control analyst with Trinity Logistics Corporation in Davenport

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    I entered college planning to become a math teacher and will now graduate having studied accounting and economics with plans to do cost analysis. Besides a drastic change in career plans, I have also made so many great friends and experienced amazing things during my time at Augustana. Four years ago, I never would have dreamed how perfect my college years have turned out.

    A peak experiences?
    I had the opportunity to study abroad in Ireland during my junior year, and my three months there were definitely unforgettable. Being immersed in a new culture and allowing myself to study new subjects opened many doors for me. I also met the greatest group of people that have changed my life for the better.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years
    that surprised you?
    I learned that I am an independent person, but with the help and support of friends, I can achieve anything I want to. I have also learned that when I am open to new and exciting experiences, they often turn out to be the most rewarding.

    Besides your family, who helped you get to where you are now?
    I had a softball coach and close family friend who never stopped encouraging me to accomplish everything I wanted. His support and monumental faith in my abilities helped me achieve all my desires throughout high school and college.

    Anything you’d like to add?
    Attending Augustana College was one of the best decisions I could have ever made. The faculty, staff, community and many students have made a huge impact on my life.

    Advice for this fall’s incoming class (Class of 2015)?
    Make sure to get involved on campus with a mixture of different activities, but don’t allow yourself to procrastinate. Finding that perfect balance will allow you to succeed in class while still enjoying yourself in many extracurricular activities.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Scott's activities: Augustana Symphonic Band, cross country, Beta Beta Beta
    Scott Wood

    "Scott is a wonderful example of our students at Augustana. As liberal arts educators, we hope to instill in our students the importance of having a lifelong passion for life, not just a career. Scott has found the perfect balance of embracing his professional as well as non-professional interests. His dedication to veterinary medicine is greatly enhanced by his love for running and music — each reinforcing the skills of the other."

    — Cynthia Lambrecht, Instructor, Department of Music

    Scott Wood

    Major: Biology (pre-veterinary medicine)
    Post-grad plans: Attend the College of Veterinary Medicine at University of Missouri

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    I have wanted to be a veterinarian for as long as I can remember, so I am definitely where I hoped I would be.

    A peak experience while you were here?
    I have had too many peak experiences to just name one. I played a concert in Lucca, Italy, with the Symphonic Band and moved the audience to tears; I saw a live birth of twin calves during a job-shadowing experience my advisor helped set up; and I was finally able to match my 8K times from my first cross-country season after two years of injuries. You could say my entire time at Augustana was a peak experience.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years
    that surprised you?
    I have learned that I am actually more confident than I often give myself credit for, and I’m very capable of adapting to completely different situations. With the liberal arts education here, I have had to take many classes on different subjects with very different teaching styles. I was forced to tweak my study habits accordingly, and was able to do so successfully.

    Who helped you get to where you are now?
    My parents were the biggest help in supporting me throughout my life and helping me get to where I am now. The close friends that I have made at Augustana have also been a huge help. They have kept me sane these past four years by having snowball fights after midnight, getting away from campus for a day to go canoeing, and making studying an enjoyable time. My professors were also very helpful and were always available if I had questions, and Dr. Good, my advisor, was a huge help in preparing for veterinary school.

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    These four years go by faster than you think and something as simple as joining a music group, sport or small club will help you to develop very close friends and very fond memories.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Allyse's activities: STAND, Amnesty International, Anthropology Club
    Allyse Freeman

    "Allyse is one of those great students who has a passion for learning for the sake of it, instead of simply focusing on grades. This summer, she will travel to the West of Ireland where she'll be digging at an old stone fort site called Caherconnell with a select group of students and a team of archaeologists from the National University of Ireland, Galway. It's a rare opportunity, and one that will provide Allyse with the kind of fieldwork in archaeology that she can carry with her into graduate school."

    — Dr. Adam Kaul
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Welfare

    Allyse Freeman

    Major: History
    Minor: Anthropology and geology

    Post-grad plans: Pursue a master's and eventually a Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

    Are you where you thought you'd be four years ago?
    Luckily I am where I thought I'd be in four years. I will get my bachelor's, and I have been accepted to graduate school.

    What was your peak experience while you were here?
    My peak experience during my undergrad would be Dr. Hammer's Badlands trip in the summer of 2009. It was amazing to be out in the field and actually digging up fossils. It was where I decided that my job would need fieldwork and thus, I began to prepare myself for archaeology.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
    Throughout my four years here, I discovered that I love to learn. I realized I did not want to stop and find a job in a cubicle but to continue learning and enter the world of academia.

    Who helped you get to where you are now?
    Both Dr. Kaul and Dr. Ellis have really helped me realize what I want to do with my life. They both made me think in new and challenging ways and have opened my eyes to the world of academia. By pushing me to achieve more, they have helped prepare me for my future.

    What would you like to add that we didn't ask about?
    Dr. Kaul emailed the Anthro Club about an archaeology field camp in Ireland and encouraged us to apply. I was accepted, and this summer I will be attending the Caherconnell Archaeological Field School in the West of Ireland.

    Any advice to this fall's incoming class (Class of 2015)?
    My advice is always be open to new fields. I came in a history major and had no idea I would fall in love with anthropology and would be pursuing it in graduate school and as a career choice. Try not to be narrow-minded in your classes and try new things.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Lizeth’s activities: Ladies of Vital Essence, Latinos Unidos, Multicultural Programming Board, ACHOO/JETS

    lizeth galarza

    “Lizeth is an amazing young woman. She participated in our Australian internship program and worked with a public health team there and used that experience as a springboard to apply for (and receive!) one of our prestigious Texas Medical Center internships during the summer of 2010. Our affiliation allows us to place qualified students in a variety of internships in a Houston-area healthcare consortium, and Lizeth was our first public health intern. They were very impressed with her work and are asking for more like her if/when we have them!”

    — Dr. Dara Wegman-Geedey
    Professor
    Department of Biology

    Lizeth Galarza

    Major: Biology
    Minor: Sociology

    Post-grad plans: Pursue a master’s in public health (community health) and eventually a Ph.D. in biobehavioral health.

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    I actually was set on being a doctor when I came to Augustana. That is one of the many advantages of obtaining a liberal arts education; it allows you to explore different vocational venues. I eventually realized that I could do great things with my talents. That is why I decided to pursue a career in public health.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
    As a first-generation college graduate, coming to Augustana has been a tremendous accolade for me. I have accomplished and have excelled at many things at Augustana. that my counterparts will not be able to experience in their whole career.

    Your peak experience while you were here?
    My experience in Nicaragua on a service medical trip has been by far the most life-changing. On this trip, I would do public health home visits in a few of the impoverished rural towns that surrounded the bigger cities of Nicaragua. In my last home visit, I met the most charismatic 96-year-old woman, and before I left, she said to me, ‘Thank you for not forgetting about us.’ A 96-year-old woman who has numerous chronic diseases and lives in a house made out of palm leaves and scrap metal was thanking me for taking a five-minute ride in an air-conditioned bus to visit her. Her gratitude will serve as one of my many motivators to continue a career in public health. I will never forget her words, and I have made it my mission to make sure that people like that 96-year-old Nicaraguan woman does not feel forgotten, at least when it comes to their health.

    Who helped you get to where you are now?
    My mother has always served as a positive image of a strong, independent woman, and I have always strived to be that in all aspects of my life. Along with her inspiration, she has always pushed the importance of education, and she has made many sacrifices to make sure I continue to pursue my educational dreams. Another woman who I could never forget to mention is Dr. Dara Wegman-Geedey, my biology advisor, who has been my greatest supporter at Augustana.

    Advice to this fall’s incoming class (Class of 2015)?
    Take advantage of all the opportunities Augustana has to offer because believe me, the opportunities are endless here at Augie. Thus far, Augustana has truly given me the best four years of my life.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Andy's activities: Symphonic Band, Campus Ministries, Admissions ambassador, Club Ed
    Andy Ehrhardt

    “Andy is destined to be an extraordinary teacher, an educator who will bring creativity, enthusiasm, knowledge and positive energy into the classroom every day. He will inspire future generations, as a Viking that truly ‘seized the day’ during his years at Augie!”

    — Dr. Michael Schroeder
    Co-chair, Professor
    Department of Education

    Andy Ehrhardt

    Major: History and secondary education
    Minor: Endorsement in Middle School Language Arts

    Post-grad plans: Teach high school social studies and coach

    Are you where you thought you'd be four years ago?
    I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I just had no idea how invigorating the path to achieving my ultimate goal would be. I never could have predicted all that I have experienced and accomplished over the past four years. I would not take back a single moment or experience, good or bad, because they have all helped shape me into the person I am today.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
    I never once found a challenge I could not handle. Even though some mountains may be taller than others, they can all be scaled if you have the ambition, persistence and tenacity to keep climbing.

    Who helped you get to where you are now?
    My parents have supported me every step of the way, and have instilled in me the invaluable aspects of hard work, dedication and persistence. No one will EVER be able to top that!

    A peak experience?
    If I had to pick one, my peak experience would be my trip to Holden Village, a remote village tucked away within the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. The five weeks spent at Holden changed my view of the world and of myself, and it was an unforgettable experience that I will always cherish because it helped mold me into the person I am today.

    My professors at Augie, especially those in both the history and education departments, have also been extremely helpful in making me the teacher I want to become. They have helped me grow not only academically, but also as an individual who knows the values of creativity and collaboration. (I am able to Construct, Connect & Reflect in almost any situation!) Lastly, my friends at Augie are some of the best people I have ever met, and I am thankful to have each one of them in my life!

    Anything you'd like to add?
    If my liberal arts education at Augustana has taught me anything over the past four years, I think it is best summed up in the words of teacher John Keating (Robin Williams) in the film Dead Poets Society, when he proclaims, ‘Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary!'

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Ana’s activities: Advertising Developers, Alpha Delta Sigma Honor Society, Web Authors Guild, Communication and Marketing Office (sports marketing)

    Ana Mullin

    "Ana put her lessons in communication studies into practice in a variety of experiential learning opportunities. Her participation in the Advertising Developers group has provided Ana not only with professional advertising skills, but development of her organizational and leadership talents. All of this work culminated in an impressive civic engagement Senior Inquiry project aimed at bringing a worthy resource to those in the community who can benefit from it."

    — Dr. Stephen Klien
    Associate Professor
    Department of Communication Studies

     

    Ana Mullin

    Major: Communication studies
    Minor: Psychology

    Post-grad plans: Work as an advertising account manager or in event planning

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    I am far beyond where I thought I would be four years ago. I have had so many opportunities at Augustana. I have learned so much about what I want to do and gained so many skills just from the groups I have been involved with and the jobs that I have had on and off campus.

    A peak experience while you were here?
    My peak experience would have to be my Senior Inquiry in the communication studies department. I was given an opportunity to work with yogaG, a non-profit organization that offers free yoga instruction to victims of domestic violence. I helped organize a national public relations and advertising campaign with the founder and worked to make her organization grow. By the end of this project, she was featured in Fitness magazine and has had other publicity opportunities. I learned so much and was so surprised with how much I already knew from past experiences and classes.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
    I learned that I am capable of so much more than I thought. I never knew how far my ambition could take me before the last couple of years. I worked my way to president of Advertising Developers and find myself teaching others. I have learned that I am very open to new experiences and that I don't enjoy doing anything that is not going to challenge me. I think that is the most valuable thing I have taken from my college experience.

    Besides your family, who helped you get to where you are now?
    Doug Tschopp, my club advisor, professor, mentor and friend, has been the most influential person that I have met during my time here at Augustana. On top of teaching me everything there is to know about advertising and public relations through the Advertising Developers group on campus, he taught me to recognize my passion and to never pass up an opportunity that will allow me to achieve it. Additionally, I have the world’s most incredible friends who have kept me sane through endless laughter and support, unforgettable pranks and copious amounts of brownies and puppy chow. I would not be the same person without them.

    Advice for this fall’s incoming class (Class of 2015)?
    You will take so much more than a diploma from Augustana, but you need to keep an open mind to realize that. These will be the fastest four years of your life, so take any opportunity that presents itself. Use your time wisely and don’t take anything for granted.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Lauryn’s activities: Augustana Symphony Orchestra, Club Ed, ASTA, MENC, SAI, ODK

    lauryn dick

    “Lauryn was an absolute model student at Augie—creative, enthusiastic and always ready to share ideas in class. She was also a true leader on campus. She’ll bring the kind of dedication, energy and a sense of fun and adventure to her own classroom that will inspire future generations.”

    — Dr. Michael Schroeder
    Co-chair, Professor
    Department of Education

    Lauryn Dick

    Major: Music education

    Post-grad plans: Music teacher (full-time) in the Pleasant Valley School District in Bettendorf, Iowa

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    Words can’t express how happy I am to have ended up where I am now after four years. I am definitely farther that I ever hoped to be.

    Besides your family, who helped you get to where you are now?
    Every person that I have met at Augustana, whether it be a friend or a professor, has taught me a valuable lesson. I have learned patience, responsibility and dedication (among others). But I think the ones who taught me the most were the people who had faith in me and inspired me to have faith in myself.

    A peak experience while at Augustana?
    I would have to say my student teaching experience. It was a huge challenge, but an even bigger feeling of accomplishment. When I was finished student teaching, I looked back and saw what I was capable of doing. The experience reassured my passion for the career path I chose and gave me the confidence I needed to step out into the real world.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
    I have learned that I have much more motivation when it’s warm outside. I have learned that I can’t work or think straight in a messy room. And I have learned that my personality hasn’t changed one bit—that one surprised me.

    Advice for this fall’s incoming class (Class of 2015)?
    Get involved. :) And take advantage of as many opportunities as you can now because they won’t always be available to you.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Kimberly’s activities: Clogustana, Ekklesia (Greek Bible study), Campus Ministries, Admissions Ambassador Program, Peer Mentors Program, Handel’s Oratorio Society

    Kim Hedlin

    “Kim is an excellent reader of literature, able to find patterns, apply theories, and distinguish styles and discourses like the professionals. But unlike most professionals, literary texts are alive to her. They speak to her own life and open up compassionate viewpoints on the lives of others. She gets literature and the liberal arts better than almost any student I’ve ever known.”

    — Dr. David Crowe
    Chair, Professor
    Department of English

     

    Kimberly Hedlin

    Major: English
    Minor: Religion and New Testament Greek

    Post-grad plans: I am going to UCLA to earn my Ph.D. in English. I hope to become a professor.

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    When I came to Augustana, I was 100% positive I would major in elementary education with a minor in psychology. Like so many other students, I switched majors when I fell in love with my English classes. The religion and NT Greek minors were also late add-ons that resulted from taking interesting classes.

    If someone had told me everything I would do in my four years at Augie, I would never have believed him. Copyright my Honors Capstone project and present it at an education conference? Work in the geology museum? Run in a 5K? Put the underskirt on a house on the Campus Ministries service trip? Start a clogging team and bring it to the state clogging convention? All these things were wonderful surprises.

    Besides your family, who helped you get to where you are now?
    The close friends I’ve made at Augustana are…beyond words. I don’t know what I’d do without them. The professors at Augustana are also truly wonderful. I don’t want to make an exhaustive list because I’ll undoubtedly forget some, so I’ll just say that I’ve been intellectually and personally inspired by my interactions with them in and out of class. Four years ago, I had no intention of pursuing graduate study and would never have considered being a professor if they hadn’t encouraged me.

    A peak experience while you were here?
    My sister and I presented our Honors Capstone project at the Illinois Reading Council (IRC) conference, which was exciting and rewarding. For our project, we created a research-based poetry curriculum that uses clogging to teach abstract concepts like meter, onomatopoeia and rhyme. We shared our project with teachers at the IRC conference and received a lot of fun, positive feedback. Several of the teachers told us they couldn’t wait to use our ideas in their classroom, which was a great feeling.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
    Augustana has given me a much more complex and meaningful sense of my faith. I didn’t expect that, and I really appreciate it.

    Advice for this fall’s incoming class (Class of 2015)?
    Allow yourself to try new things and make mistakes. If you try something and aren’t immediately good at it, don’t make yourself give up right away.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Holly's activities: SAGA Art and Literary Magazine
    Holly Gore

    “Holly came to Augustana eager to learn and ready to take on challenges. She was exactly the type of student we hope for—excited, talented, committed and upbeat! Her four years here have proved that the right attitude, combined with taking advantage of Augustana’s rich array of choices can shape a mature, well-prepared student. I am confident Holly will be an outstanding art teacher, influencing others with her contagious enthusiasm and confidence, bolstered by solid preparation and an openness to what the world has to offer.”

    — Rowen Schussheim-Anderson
    Professor
    Department of Art

    Holly Gore

    Majors: Art education and studio art

    Post-grad plans: Teach art at a school in Illinois

    Are you where you thought you'd be four years ago?
    When I came to Augustana, I was interested in teaching and in creating my own art. I was not sure that I would be able to double major in these areas because I had been told at other colleges it was not even an option. Because I came to Augustana and worked hard to plan it all out, I will graduate with both majors and be a part of the senior art show!

    Besides your family, who helped you get to where you are now?
    Besides my family and friends, it was the faculty that helped me to accomplish my dream. The professors really get to know you and care about you here. I have had so many meetings and wonderful conversations with the professors; I have no idea where I would be now without them. The art department has always helped me to find a way to make both majors work. We had to plan out the classes and make sure I found a way into those classes, not to mention how much they have helped me to improve my artwork! The education department also has helped guide me immensely. My advisor is amazing as a professor and as a mentor. The education department helped to shape me into an amazing person and teacher; I owe a lot to them.

    A peak experience?
    In the summer of 2010, I was part of the St. Louis Teaching Internship. It was an amazing experience. We went there to teach the students of a Catholic School in a diverse neighborhood. It was the first time I taught my own art class, traveled on my own and worked with such a diverse student group. I had fun and learned so much from the people and experiences there. I grew and gained confidence as a teacher and as a person.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
    When I came to Augustana I was concerned with what would happen when I was away from my family and friends from home. I am very much a people person and hate to feel like I am alone. The idea of coming to college and leaving behind the people I loved and counted on was very hard. But it was not hard to meet people and to find a new network of amazing people I could count on. Now that my time at Augustana is almost up, I am wondering what life will be like without the friends and faculty here. It is surprising how much I feel like a part of the school and its community!

    Advice for this fall's incoming class (Class of 2015)?
    Augustana is a small liberal arts school — utilize it! Here you really get to know your professors and the other faculty. Make sure to ask them for guidance. They really care and are always happy to help their students become the best scientists, anthropologists, psychologists, educators, artists and people they can be.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Courtney’s activities: Delta Chi Theta Sorority, Royal Neighbors of America, intramurals, and volunteering in the Quad Cities.

    Courtney Kauffman

    “When I first met Courtney, she was this quiet and unassuming student sitting in the back of class. As I got to know Courtney, her personality began to come out, and she seemed to gain confidence in her abilities as an accountant. Subsequently, her work at both CPA firms she interned with was terrific—her supervisors could not have been more pleased. I see big things for Courtney in the future; she is a determined young lady and an outstanding example of someone that got the most out of her experience at Augustana.”

    — Dr. John Delaney
    Associate Professor, Chair
    Department of Accounting

    Courtney Kauffman

    Majors: Accounting and business administration: finance

    Post-grad plans: Complete 150 credit hours to sit for the CPA exam, begin work as an audit assistant with Deloitte & Touche LLP in the fall of 2012.

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    I’ve far surpassed where I thought I would be at the beginning of my college experience. I’ve completed two academic internships, accepted a job with one of the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms, been involved on campus, and created a strong circle of friends and mentors at Augustana. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

    Who helped you get to where you are now?
    My parents and sister have no doubt helped me reach my full potential, always full of encouragement and advice. The accounting department at Augustana has been beyond helpful and supportive throughout my four years. Dr. John Delaney has been my biggest mentor, always rooting for me and providing great networking opportunities. And of course, my friends have played a large role in helping me get where I am today.

    A peak experience while you were here?
    One of my peak experiences was choosing to participate in Greek life on campus. The relationships I’ve built with the women of my sorority, as well as with other Greek groups on campus, have made my college experience so fulfilling. I have found lifelong friends, as well as a strong support system.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
    I’ve learned that I’m capable of anything I put my mind to. If you surround yourself with positive people and take advantage of the opportunities presented to you, the possibilities are endless. I’ve learned that hard work and networking can make a huge difference!

    Advice for this fall’s incoming class (Class of 2015)?
    Take advantage of the opportunities and resources available at Augustana. The faculty and staff are here to help you succeed! Also, get involved on campus. Step out of your comfort zone and get to know people. It’s important to work hard and commit yourself to schoolwork, but make sure to also take the time to have fun and do the things you love.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Brooke’s activities: Augustana Choir, Asian Student Organization, Sigma Kappa Tau

    brooke armstrong

    "When I worked with Brooke in ANTH 419, our ethnographic research methods course, she drew on experiences she had while visiting family members in Bermuda to develop a fascinating and original study of Gombey dancers, traditional performance groups that have undergone some interesting changes lately. She was granted a Summer Student Research Fellowship in 2010 and used these funds to do a month of fieldwork in Bermuda. She will present her findings at the annual meeting of the Central States Anthropological Society in April. Brooke took a great idea and, through hard work and dedication, cultivated it into a successful Senior Inquiry project."

    — Dr. Carolyn Hough
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Anthropology

    Brooke Armstrong

    Majors: Anthropology and Asian studies
    Minor: Music

    Post-grad plans: Teach abroad for a year and then graduate school

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    Definitely not! As a first-year, I thought I was going to be a music major. I also would not have ever seen myself in a sorority or as the president of an organization.

    Besides your family, who helped you get to where you are now?
    I would have to say my teachers and advisors. They really supported me when my projects got tough and encouraged me to think outside of the box. I would also say my friends. They always encourage me to do my best and help me when I’m feeling troubled.

    What was a peak experience while you were here?
    It’s hard to choose, but I would say my experiences on East Asia term. I’ve been studying Asia since I was a first-year but actually going to the place is a much different experience! I learned what Asia is really like, but I also learned about myself as well.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
    I can do more than I think I can. Even though doing something might be scary, I learned that by following through with your ideas and actually doing it, you will be amazed by the results.

    Advice for this fall’s incoming class (Class of 2015)?
    Try doing something that you’re scared of and dream big—the results will be more than worth it.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Amanda’s activities: International Relations Union, Phi Beta Delta, Global Ambassador, faculty assistant to the chair of the Department of Political Science

    amanda seifert

    "Amanda is incredibly bright and hard-working. Her papers and presentations for my classes have always been remarkably well-researched, and she has consistently chosen topics that are difficult but fascinating. She also has given her time to the political science department on numerous occasions; meeting with parents and prospective students, dining with candidates for faculty positions, etc. And she has done all of this while working part-time to help pay her way through school. Despite her young age, Amanda is someone I consider to be a colleague, rather than a student."

    — Dr. Paul Weissburg
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Political Science

    Amanda Seifert

    Major: Political science

    Post-grad plans: Pursue a Ph.D. in public policy in grad school

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    I never could have guessed four years ago that I would have been a political science major. I came to Augie thinking I would be a German major, but quickly found my passion was elsewhere. As Margaret Farrar, the former chair of the political science department, told me, ‘Political science is the major no one plans for; very few people come in knowing they are going to be political science majors.’

    Your peak experience?
    My peak experience was going on Vietnam term. I was terrified of going to a developing country, where I didn’t speak the language (not to mention I am an indoors-air-conditioning type of girl, and it is HOT even in the winter, in Vietnam). But this was hands-down the best experience I have had. I learned so much, experienced so much and walked away with some really great lasting friendships. You cannot compare learning in a classroom with lectures in airports, on buses on steep mountain passes or the interaction with people from a different culture. Studying abroad allows you to see the world through a completely different lens.

    Who helped you get to where you are now?
    First, my family who has been supportive of me every time I changed my mind or took a chance. Second, the professors I have really become close with, including Dr. Mariano Magalhaes and Dr. Paul Weissburg. Dr. Magalhaes practically recruited me to political science, telling me I should try this class or that, and ultimately convincing me to go on Vietnam term. Dr. Weissburg has really helped push me academically by giving me some of the hardest assignments but also some of the most exciting and rewarding classes. When I told both professors that I wanted to go on to graduate school, they immediately helped me draft a plan, including what exam to take, how to prepare, classes I should take, and things to look for when I apply.

    Anything you’d like to add?
    Some of my best learning experiences have come from the time I spent off campus, including two internships with the Girl Scouts (GSEIWI) and the City Clerk’s Office in Silvis. These experiences allowed me to explore possible career options and areas of interest and boost my resume while making important connections in the community.

    Advice to this fall’s incoming class (Class of 2015)?
    Take whatever your expectations are, and throw them out the window. You will thank yourself later for taking a variety of classes your first two years so that you find the major that is really calling you.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    David's activities: Multicultural Programing Board, Black Student Union, Majestic Gents, APO, Latinos Unidos, track and field
    David Etheridge

    "David is insightful, honest and looking to change the world. He will certainly do just that. As he moves on to the next phase of his life, I am sure his experiences at Augustana will guide not only his vocational choices but also his personal journey."

    — Dr. Scott Irelan, Assistant Professor Department of Theatre Arts

    David Etheridge

    Majors: Mathematics and sociology

    Post-grad plans: Teach for two years in Milwaukee, Wis., through the highly selective Teach For America program; then grad school and eventually a career in high school or college administration

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    No. Four years ago I thought I would be a psychology major. I ended up having a stronger passion for math and sociology.

    Your peak experience?
    The first team meeting after the track team won the 2010 CCIW championship. It was so amazing because everyone was filled with so much joy, and Coach Olsen gave a very moving and powerful speech.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
    I learned that I can strive under pressure.

    Besides your family, who helped you get to where you are now?
    My advisors Dr. Croll and Dr. Clauss. They both helped me pick classes that would broaden my horizons and allow me to become more open to new ideas.

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    Join clubs and be active on campus…and be sure to make the next four years great while you celebrate life.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Melissa's activities: Chi Alpha Pi, Alpha Psi Omega, Omicron Delta Kappa, Pi Mu Epsilon, UNYK Dance Troupe, Residential Life, Erickson Hall Council, Upper Campus Council
    David Etheridge

    Melissa is the kind of student I love to have in class: engaged, enthusiastic and hard-working. For those same reasons she will be the kind of teacher I would love to have teach my kids."

    — Dr. Stacey Rodman
    Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

    Melissa Dalen

    Majors: Teaching mathematics and mathematics

    Post-grad plans: Mathematics teacher at Delavan Jr./Sr. High in Delavan, Ill.

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    Yes, I had hoped to become a teacher, and that’s what I did.

    Your peak experience?
    My student teaching experience. I walked into my classroom the first day, and I knew it was where I belonged. I was able to form great relationships with my students, and I didn’t ever want to leave.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
    I learned how much I could influence someone else’s life. When my student teaching experience was coming to a close, I received lots of letters, pictures, and words of thanks and appreciation from students and staff, and now that my college experience is coming to a close, the same thing is happening with my friends and co-workers. I had no idea I could make a difference.

    Besides your family, who helped you get to where you are now?
    Two of my math teachers. My high school math teacher’s passion and enthusiasm is what made me want to become a math teacher. After my first college math course, I started to question my mathematical abilities until I found the same character as my high school math teacher in one of my college math professors, and my interest in the subject was renewed.

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    Academics are very important, so always put forth your best effort. Also, make sure to get involved on and off campus in groups/clubs because that is where you will make your best memories and meet amazing people.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Sury's activities: Latinos Unidos, Ladies of Vital Essence, Campus Outreach for Multicultural Programming Board
    garcia

    Sury’s plan is to go on to law school and focus on immigration law. As a Latina and a native of Mexico who came to the U.S. at a young age, immigration issues are a personal, academic and professional passion of hers. I have taught Sury in several classes and have been thoroughly impressed by her — she is bright, thoughtful, a great writer and critical thinker, and her future is bright!"

    — Dr. Carolyn Hough
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Anthropology

    Sury Garcia

    Majors: Psychology and anthropology
    Minor: Sociology

    Post-grad plans: Take off a year to work as a residential counselor and then apply to law school for 2012

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    No! I never thought of myself as a leader until I was put into that position here at Augie. I had always been a behind-the-scenes kind of girl. Through my involvement in various organizations, I found that to make a difference, you have to take charge and voice your opinions and your ideas for that change. I never thought I would want to become a lawyer either, but my experiences at Augie have definitely made me more passionate about helping people in need.

    Your peak experience?
    My peak experience has to be the last couple years. I feel like I found my stride and my passion and just ran with it. I love what I am a part of and am happy to share that with everyone I know! If I were to pick one experience, it was being a part of a committee that brought the ‘White Privilege Summit’ to Augustana’s campus in conjunction with the Office of Student Activities.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
    That I’m actually a good leader! It seems counterintuitive to me because I never expected to be one. I also learned that I am passionate about helping others find their voice, and that I am OK with letting them use mine until they find the courage to use their own.

    Who helped you get to where you are now?
    First of all, my family. I am the first of my family to complete a four-year degree. Without their support, I would have never had the courage to stay here. They make it a point to remind me every day why I am working as hard as I am. Also my high school English teacher, Mrs. Heisel, who pushed me to apply to college even though at the time I was still an undocumented immigrant. One of my best friends, Alexandra Benson, and her family provided unending and unconditional love and support as I waited to hear about my future in the United States. Finally, my sisters in Ladies of Vital Essence. They are an integral part in helping me find my backbone and my strength. I could not have made this journey without any of them!

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    You will never get more out of an experience than what you are willing to put in. Do not be afraid to go outside your comfort zone because that is where you will find out what you are made of and what you are willing to do. Trust me, many of us have yet to reach our full potential for greatness. So, why not push until you do?

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Matt's activities: Mortar Board, APO National Service Fraternity, track and field captain
    Matt Bowman

    "I met Matt when he was a first-year student in my LS 102 class. It was exciting to witness his initial discovery and budding passion for art history. He will undoubtedly apply his talent and leadership, with the same drive that has already distinguished him in academics and athletics, toward successfully achieving his goal of earning a Ph.D. in art history!"

    — Dr. Catherine Carter Goebel
    Paul A. Anderson Chair in the Arts
    Professor and Chair of Art History

    Matt Bowman

    Major: Art history
    Minors: Spanish and religion

    Post-grad plans: Pursue museum internships around the U.S. for a year and prepare for graduate school to study art history

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    Haha, no way! I had no idea what art history was when I came to Augie. I came in pre-med, but art history made me realize that medicine was not my passion. Thank God for liberal arts!

    Your peak experience?
    Getting All-American in cross country this past fall — it was a hard road, but I ended my career on top.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
    I never thought I would join a fraternity, but I joined APO (national service fraternity), and it was the right fit for me.

    Besides your family, who helped you get to where you are now?
    My cross-country/track coach Paul Olsen: He gave me confidence and the tools to deal with everyday problems with a great attitude. Dr. Morse and Dr. Goebel: They have given me not only great letters of recommendation, but also provided me with their seemingly unlimited time and patience, and their kind and confidence-instilling words and advice.

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    Be flexible; don’t be afraid to branch away from the major you were so ‘dead-set’ on when you entered Augie because you just might find that your true passion lies elsewhere. Follow your heart! Get involved in the school/community. I don’t mean bog yourself down with 10 clubs. Be limited. Pick two or three things to dive into during college (ex. sports, fraternity, etc.). But be realistic. You will probably be able to handle more as school goes on; plan on adding things as you go. Bang on professors’ doors and talk to them. At Augie, they are your friends!

    Anything you’d like to add?
    I will pursue my Ph.D. in art history after Augie (emphasis most likely on 19th- and 20th-century art and architecture of the U.S. and Europe). I am going to have to pare this down in the future, haha. Before that though, I am taking a year off and pursuing museum internships around the U.S.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Natalie's activities: Latinos Unidos, Augie READS
    Natalie Markovich

    "Natalie was an outstanding first-year student, but she has really grown up in these four years, too. It is an absolute pleasure to work with students who are as motivated, dedicated and nice as she is. Natalie will make an excellent teacher for many reasons, but especially because her passion for Spanish is contagious. ¡Te deseo la mejor suerte del mundo en el futuro!"

    — Dr. Ana Borderia-Garcia
    Assistant Professor,
    Department of Spanish

    Natalie Markovich

    Major: Teaching Spanish

    Post-grad plans: Teach English abroad

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    In some ways, yes — but I never expected to think the way that I am capable of now. By working my way through the education department’s program, I feel that I can approach any problem with an open mind and find a variety of solutions to help solve it. Additionally, my Spanish classes have allowed me to explore ideas and perspectives I have never experienced before.

    Your peak experience?
    My time in Latin America was my peak experience. I spent almost three months in Ecuador, Peru and Mexico. In that short time, not only did I learn about the cultures and histories of those countries, but I also learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
    I’ve found that I’m a lot more capable than I had originally thought. Now I balance classes, clubs, jobs and outside research and study requirements without giving up much free-time to see my friends and family.

    Besides your family, who helped you get to where you are now?
    I would have to thank many of my friends for encouraging me to participate in different organizations and experiences here at Augustana and in the Quad City community. By participating in these activities, I was able to gain a real sense of belonging and home here.

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    Don’t be afraid of taking advantage of what Augustana has to offer! Find what you enjoy doing and do it!

    Anything you’d like to add?
    Since arriving at Augustana, I’ve found the opportunity to study many things outside of my major. Besides Spanish and education, I’ve chosen to take classes in philosophy, history, art and political science because I was interested — and it is through these classes that I’ve learned some of my most valuable lessons.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Ryan's activities: Augustana Choir, Dance Marathon, Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Society, Beta Beta Beta Biological Honors Society, ACES and Catholic Mass Service
    Ryan Shershen

    "Ryan was admirably engaged in campus events and organizations, an active citizen and a true leader on campus. He will be a marvelous educator — his enthusiasm for science, his dedication to working with young people, and his ability to challenge students to ‘become scientists’ will all serve his future students well."

    — Dr. Michael Schroeder, Co-Chair, Professor, Education Department

    Ryan Shershen

    Majors: Biology and secondary education

    Post-grad plans: Find a teaching job in Illinois and then pursue a master’s in education

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    No, I came here planning on majoring in pre-medicine, and then I found my true calling in education.

    Your peak experience?
    A peak experience was traveling to Sweden with the Augustana Choir my freshman year. It was a great experience to have because I am not a music major, but with the Augustana Choir, I was given the opportunity to travel abroad and sing in some amazing cathedrals. Not only did we sing in Sweden, but also at IMEA, ACDA, Washington D.C., Colorado, and in the spring, we will be performing in Carnegie Hall.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
    My true calling, my niche. I had always thought that I would be a doctor or a veterinarian. When I came here and started tutoring students and proctoring in labs, I felt more comfortable explaining the information to other students.

    Besides your family, who helped you get to where you are now? ?
    My friends that I made at Augustana…they always pushed me to do my best and helped me to realize my full potential. They were also the ones who encouraged me to switch majors.

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    Try out or join a group for something that you have always wanted to do, but have never had the chance. Augie is a great school with a lot of different organizations, clubs, teams, etc., that you may end up really enjoying.

    What would you like to add that we didn’t ask about?
    In my time at Augustana I made a lot of really great friends, and I even met my fiancée here. It’s important to take the time to get to know people and treat them with respect. Augie is a family of students, faculty, professors and administrators that come together for the good of everyone.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Corynn's activities: Augustana Choir, Chamber Singers, Gospel Choir, Heywire, Crew, ODK, Augustana Photo Bureau, ASSHA, Honorary XATT member, Handel Oratorio Society, Habitat for Humanity, intramurals, Augustana Photo Bureau
    Corynn Hanson

    "Corynn has excelled because she was open to new experiences and new challenges. She really has refused to back down from anything and approached everything with a sense of curiosity and fun."

    — Dr. Sangeetha Rayapati
    Associate Professor
    Department of Music

    Corynn Hanson

    Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD)
    Minor: Psychology

    Post-grad plans: Attend grad school at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    Not even close. I was originally a pre-vet major, and switched to CSD at the end of my first year.

    Your peak experience?
    Probably foreign term. I was able to go to Vienna, Austria, and study music/history, science and psychology in the actual place where discoveries were made. We learned about Mendel and his peas, and then visited the garden where his peas were grown, demonstrating genetic traits when certain plants were bred together. Also, as stressful as it was, my Senior Inquiry. I was able to create my own research project, which was intense, but rewarding.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
    I can do more than I ever thought I could. I can reflect better than anyone who went to a non-liberal arts school.

    Besides your family, who helped you get to where you are now?
    My professors, choir directors and faculty advisors. They helped by being supporting, encouraging and by challenging my abilities to push me further than I thought I could go. Also my friends who were/are always there for me.

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    Get involved! The clubs and activities I have been involved in have shaped my college career and given me opportunities and experiences I never would have had otherwise. (Heck, I get to sing in Carnegie Hall this summer!) Not to mention the INCREDIBLE people you meet and lifelong friends you make. Keep an open mind...you never know what will change your life.

    What would you like to add that we didn’t ask about?
    I am extremely interested in special populations (those with disabilities) and the deaf culture. I want to be fluent in sign language before I have children so they can grow up bi-lingual.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Amanda's activities: Business Club, cheerleading, Relay for Life, Dance Marathon, accounting tutor and Best Buddies
    Amanda Dennis

    "Amanda has been my go-to person with any Business Club activity for the past two years. She is a very, very dependable person, and she always fulfills her many responsibilities with a smile on her face. In addition, she is a fun (and funny!) person to be around. I met her as she completed her first internship during the summer before her first year, and now I have the pleasure to work with her again as she completes her senior capstone internship during her final term at Augustana. I will miss her very much."

    — Karen Petersen, Adjunct Professor
    Director of Business Administration Internships

    Amanda Dennis

    Major: Business administration–management and marketing; accounting

    Post-grad plans: Full-time management trainee with Enterprise Rent-A-Car

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    No. I can honestly say I am a different person than I was four years ago, in a good way of course. I am more open to experiences and have had the opportunity to develop as a leader on campus and in the community. I have reached out of my comfort zone and learned new things that have helped me to develop from a shy, quiet individual to an outgoing and confident businesswoman.

    Your peak experience?
    Visiting Rome in 2010 was quite possibly one of the best experiences of my life, and I learned a lot. I was able to experience a different culture and learn about the history of Rome while having fun at the same time. I plan to go back.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
    I came to this school as a soft-spoken individual with the dream of becoming something big. I never thought I would have the opportunity to become president of Business Club, captain of the cheerleading squad or co-chair for one of the largest job-shadow events on campus. Augustana has not only changed the way I view things, but also transformed me into a strong leader.

    Besides your family, who helped you get to where you are now?
    I would have to say my first-year advisor, Karen Petersen. I met her the summer before my freshman year, and she helped me obtain an internship that summer. She has been my advisor since then and has challenged me to always strive for success and take advantage of what Augustana has to offer. She has helped me plan my schedule, offered me advice and, most importantly, given me the confidence I need to take the next step in my career.

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    Have fun and get involved as much as you can — but not too much! I can’t believe how fast these past four years have flown by, and I could not have enjoyed my college experience without the extra activities. The important thing is to find balance between your school schedule and your extra-curriculars. Get involved in a few clubs and stay committed to them.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Rachel's activities: Advertising Developers (ADs), Multicultural Programming Board, College Union Board of Managers, Office of Student Activities (OSA), Chi Omega Gamma, Majestic Hearts, Office of Admissions, Office of Multicultural Services, peer mentor
    Rachel Stearns

    "The opportunity to participate in the ADs group for multiple years has greatly added to Rachel’s professional portfolio. Her experience doing work for companies like State Farm and JC Penney will look good to any employer."

    — Doug Tschopp, director of Entrepreneurial Development, Faculty Advisor, Advertising Developers (ADs)

    Rachel Stearns

    Major: Business administration (management)
    Minors: Music and theatre
    Post-grad plans: Intern at a music agency and/or work with children at a day camp.

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    I think I am. I have changed a lot and grown a lot, and overall I am proud of who I am now. I am ready to graduate from college and am happy for the opportunity to move on to the next stage in my life.

    Your peak experience?
    I have loved everything I have learned and done with the ADs group as well as any and all activities through OSA. For ADs specifically, I loved the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the business world with a small group of people. I have competed in the National Student Advertising Competition for the past four years, and I really enjoyed traveling to Detroit to present our proposal and discover what other schools are doing.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past
    four years that surprised you?
    I learned that I can do anything I want if I put my mind to it, and it's OK to be selfish and go after what you want.

    Besides your family, who helped you get
    to where you are now?
    God and my friends have made a huge impact in my life. Just as Philippians 4:13 says, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ I believe this to be so true; thus when times get tough I know I’m not alone because I follow the Lord. My friends help me keep my priorities straight and are always there for me when I need help. I would not be the same without the impact they have made on my life.

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    Figure out what, and go after it.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Tim's activities: Football, wrestling (NCAA Division III Scholar All-American Award), Phi Omega Phi
    Tim Day

    "Tim is a great example of an Augie student-athlete... great grades, helped our team to our first winning record in seven years, and he has an internship with Merrill Lynch. He was recently named to the 2011 Scholar All-American team by the NCAA Division III Wrestling Coaches Association."

    — Eric Juergens,
    Head Coach, Wrestling

    Tim Day

    Major: Business administration
    Minor: Accounting
    Post-grad plans: I am interning for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, and it has solidified my love for finance. I hope to work in financial services and become a Certified Financial Planner, and in the future, have my own firm.

    Are you where you thought you'd be four years ago?
    Not at all. Augustana helped me find my path in life through its great business program and internship opportunities. I came here with no idea what I wanted to do, and I’m leaving with a specific career goal that I truly have a passion for.

    Your peak experience?
    My internship at Merrill Lynch. It has been such a great experience to be able to work in the field I want for a career while still attending school.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years
    that surprised you?
    I learned that hard work and dedication pay off in the long run. In athletics and academics, I have lived by this principle, and it has given me rewarding experiences in both.

    Who helped you get to where you are now?
    The numerous professors and coaches I have gotten to know over my four years here. Without their support and ‘The sky is the limit’ type attitudes, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    Keep an open mind and make use of all the resources and connections that Augustana has to offer. If you can do that, then you will find your calling in life.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Kimberly's activities: Symphonic Band, Symphony Orchestra, Concert Band, Improvisation Ensemble, Sigma Alpha Iota
    Kimberly Joslyn

    "During this time of state and federal economic challenges, I believe any education student offered a job in March feels very blessed and relieved. Kim has always had a desire to teach music in another culture so, for her, this is the perfect culmination to her studies at Augustana. Everyone in the Department of Music is thrilled for her."

    — Cynthia Lambrecht, Instructor, Department of Music

    Kimberly Joslyn

    Major: Music education (instrumental)
    Post-grad plans: Middle school music teacher at Gyeonggi-Suwon International School in Suwon, South Korea.

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    I am! Music education is one of those majors that you have to start early. I had no idea I’d be teaching in Korea though! :)

    Your peak experience?
    I studied abroad in Vienna, Austria, when I was a sophomore. I’ve always been a traveler so I made it a priority to find a program for me while I was in school. Not only did I have the chance to visit nine countries in three months, but I also met some of my best friends and made memories that will last a lifetime. Learning about Viennese culture, language and art while actually in the city is a feeling that can’t be described in text books.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years
    that surprised you?
    That I can be outgoing! I used to be very shy, but being in such a great environment really helps pull people out of their shell. Somehow I made the transition from giving a nervous speech in front of 10 people to leading hour-long rehearsals of 90 students with complete confidence.

    Besides your family, who helped you get
    to where you are now?
    I could not have gotten where I am today without the friends that I’ve made at Augie. My friends have always been there for me and helped me get through the biggest disappointments and the toughest decisions. The faculty are equally as inspiring and really want to see each of their students succeed. There are so many great, supportive people here that make the experience fun and worthwhile.

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    Get involved in as many activities as you possibly can. You will be so busy, but it’s worth it! Join a bunch of clubs, a sorority/fraternity, study abroad, be a CA. The opportunities that you’ll have in the next four years are unique and may not be available once you’re out in the real world. You’ll meet amazing people and learn a lot about who you are.

    Anything you’d like to add?
    When I came to Augustana, I knew that I wanted to play in the Symphonic Band. I expected it to be similar to band in high school; we’d play great music, go on tour and maybe play at a basketball game or two. I had no idea though that it would be so much more than that. I found a family in this group, and a role model in Dr. [James] Lambrecht. I have so much love and respect for everyone in the band, and our close-knit relationship is what makes us play so well together. It has been an amazing four years, and I will never forget how much passion we put into every note.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Jeremy's activities: Augustana Choir, Heywire! Improv Troupe, Udden Geology Club, Delta Omega Nu
    Jeremy Hoffman

    "Jeremy not only understands what it means to be liberally educated but also lives that type of life. That is, whether discussing the 8.2 Kiloyear Cold Event with the American Geophysical Union or working on a live theatre production with me (first Omniscience and then Wrestling with Angels and Demons), he appreciates how a well-rounded life fosters a well-lived life. I have been blessed to meet him and have learned as much from him as he has from me. I look forward to seeing where his skills, gifts and talents take him from here."

    — Dr. Scott Irelan,
    Assistant Professor,
    Department of Theatre Arts

    Jeremy Hoffman

    Major: Geology
    Minor: Classics
    Post-grad plans: Pursue Ph.D. in glacial geology at Oregon State University

    Are you where you thought you'd be four years ago?
    Other than acknowledging that I’d be graduating (or was it wishing?), I had no idea I’d be here when I started at Augustana. I came to Augie as a pre-law major and am now looking forward to getting a Ph.D. in geology after graduation. If that doesn’t say something about the opportunities here, or how they can change your life, I don’t know what does.

    Your peak experience?
    Singing with the Augustana Choir at Orchestra Hall in Chicago (twice!) was something extremely special and unique to my experience as a musician and student. Working hard with other excellent musicians to produce something beautiful in a place so highly revered was truly a ‘peak’ during my time here. Also, reaching the summit of ‘Mt. Augustana’ near Cody, Wyo., twice was most definitely a ‘peak’ experience! (GEOL-105...take it!)

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years
    that surprised you?
    Learning that I could intrinsically motivate myself to sit in the mineralogy lab in the basement of Swenson Geosciences for nearly six to seven hours a day picking microscopic plankton shells out of sand last summer was perhaps the most important step in completing my Senior Inquiry project, which has catapulted me into the national undergraduate research limelight as of late. Further, it has given me confidence that I can complete any assignment given to me, whether it be academic or professional.

    Besides your family, who helped you get
    to where you are now?
    Nearly every faculty member I’ve studied under at Augustana has served to help me get here, but I especially credit the extraordinary talent within our geology department with really giving me the major push forward. Without them as a rock (pun intended) to cling to, I wouldn’t have made it very far in my senior research endeavors.

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    One quote comes to mind, from the great Dr. Hunter S. Thompson: “Walk tall, kick ass, learn to speak Arabic, love music and never forget that you come from a long line of truth-seekers, lovers and warriors.” GOOD LUCK!

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Christine's activities: Clogustana, Campus Ministries, Omicron Delta Kappa, Handel Oratorio Society’s Messiah, Girl Scouts horseback riding trail leader, Admissions Ambassador, Office of Communication and Marketing student writer, peer mentor, Kidz Clog
    Christine Hedlin

    "At a time when spots in graduate English programs are in short supply, Chris has accepted a spot at one of the top English Ph.D. programs in the country. Smart, spirited, curious and driven, she is sure to impress them at the University of Illinois just as she has impressed us at Augustana."

    — Dr. Meg Gillette,
    Assistant Professor, Director of Writing,
    Department of English

    Christine Hedlin

    Majors: English and Spanish
    Minor: Classics
    Post-grad plans: Attend the University of Illinois to pursue
    a Ph.D. in English. My sister Kim and I also hope to co-write
    and publish children’s literature at some point.

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    I had never considered becoming an English professor before coming to Augustana. I did not switch to my English major until partway through my sophomore year, and I added my Spanish major after that. However, now I can’t imagine doing anything else. I have always been a complete Type A personality, so I think the fact that I allowed myself to diverge from my original plans at all testifies to how much I’ve grown over the past few years. I’ve also grown spiritually during my time in college, which is really important to me.

    Your peak experience?
    I can’t possibly pick one, but the short list would have to include: studying in Spain two summers ago, interning at the Library of Congress this past summer, implementing my Honors Capstone at Longfellow School and presenting it at the Illinois Reading Council conference, coordinating Clogustana and attending the state clogging conventions with my clogging friends, going on the Campus Ministries trip to Kentucky, seeing Macbeth at the Guthrie Theater in Minnesota and going downtown Chicago to see Wicked with Foundations. Other highlights include breakfast night in the cafeteria, hearing Old Main’s bells ring on the way to class in the mornings, running along the slough path, Wednesday night chapel, Whitey’s ice cream and being able to be myself with my friends.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years
    that surprised you?
    I realized how much I love reading, teaching and being challenged intellectually, which is what led to my career plans. I also learned how much my faith means to me.

    Who helped you get to where you are now?
    My professors, friends, parents and sisters. The attention and guidance I’ve received from my professors here just amazes me. I can’t go into individual examples because it would take too long, and I’d undoubtedly forget people. Instead, I will just say that I feel truly blessed to have had role models who have not only taught me about literature and theology and language, but also helped me discern what’s important to me. In terms of how my friends helped me, I don’t know exactly how weekly dinner club factors into where I am today, but I can say that, without it, I definitely wouldn’t be here! One of the reasons I love Augustana is because this is where my best friends are. In the interest of space, I’ll lump my parents and sisters into one category...thanks for the unconditional love, family.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Kyle's activities: Varsity football, Athletes Giving Back, various intramurals
    Kyle Hundman

    "Kyle is ready to hit the ground running as he begins his financial analyst career position with Motorola upon graduation. His international experience in Africa and finance internship in Australia will shorten the transition from college to the work world, and help him to more quickly add value to the organization."

    — Karen Petersen, Adjunct Professor
    Director of Business Administration Internships

    Kyle Hundman

    Major: Business administration, concentrations in finance and management

    Post-grad plans: Financial analyst with Motorola Mobility starting in June

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    Four years ago, I had only a rough idea of what I wanted my college experience to be. I knew I wanted to travel, study business and play football. I fulfilled all of these.

    Your peak experience?
    My peak experience at Augustana was my study abroad term in West Africa. I had some profound experiences that would have been difficult to find at any other time in my life. Being immersed in such a vastly different culture increased my global perspective and improved my attitude toward the developing world. I also made great friends that I wouldn’t have met otherwise.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
    I have been surprised at how many different interests I developed while at Augustana. The liberal arts education, travel opportunities, athletics and social life here have allowed me to explore different ways of thinking and viewing the world. I have become a much more balanced and understanding person as a result.

    Who helped you get to where you are now?
    My family has always provided a great deal of support and motivation. Through their college experiences, my brother and sister helped me realize what I wanted out of mine. My parents worked to make sure I was getting the most out of myself. In addition to their example, I have had great friends, coaches and professors who have made college a blast while helping me grow.

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    Get involved in a few clubs or activities you really want to do and stay on top of your classes. There will always be plenty of time for fun.

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Lindsey's activities: Eta Sigma Phi Classics Honor Society, Collegia Classica (classics club), Handel Oratorio Society, Ekklesia Greek New Testament reading group, WVIK APRIS (Augustana Public Radio Information Service) volunteer

    “Lindsey is the only undergraduate accepted for graduate studies in Classics at the University of Cincinnati this year—one of the world’s top-ranked programs for Ph.D.-level studies in Classics. She’s a special one.”

    — Dr. Emil Kramer, Chair, Department of Classics

    Lindsey Haines

    Major: Classics and English literature

    Post-grad plans: Ph.D. in Classics, University of Cincinnati

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    Four years ago, I never, ever would have imagined being where I am right now. At that time, I didn't even know what Classics was, I vowed I would never be a teacher, and I was terrified to live away from home. Now I'm going on to graduate school to become a Classics professor, and I live in my own apartment!

    Your peak experience?
    My peak experience was this year when a paper I had submitted was selected for presentation at the Classical Association of the Middle West and South conference this spring.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
    I was surprised to learn what a strong person I am. Through both coursework and personal relationships, I discovered this well of strength in myself that I just didn't know existed.

    Who helped you get to where you are now?
    My family has been the best support I have had these past four years. They've stood behind all my decisions, and helped me figure out where to go when I was feeling lost.

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    I would recommend that they take plenty of courses outside their major and minor areas (provided that they are still keeping track of their gen. ed. requirements!). Some of my most rewarding classes at Augustana have been the ones I took only because they sounded interesting.

    Anything you'd like to add, such as research interests?
    My research interests lie in the intersection of gender studies, literary theory and Classical literature. It is my career goal right now to become a Classics professor and, honestly, I would love to come back some day and teach at Augie!

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Ben's activities: Cross country, track & field, CUBOM, OSA, Admissions ambassador, Club Ed, Athletes Giving Back
    ben sharko

    “Ben has every quality that you'd like to see in a future educator—he is creative, refreshingly enthusiastic, passionate about his subject and about teaching itself, and deeply committed to working with young people and making the world a better place. He'll be an outstanding role model to future generations, the kind of teacher who will inspire inside and outside the classroom!”

    — Dr. Michael Schroeder, Co-Chair, Professor
    Department of Education

    Ben Sharko

    Major: Secondary education and English
    Minor: Speech communication

    Post-grad plans: Teach high school English and coach

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    I knew what I was going to major in during college, but as a freshman, I wasn’t quite sure what else to expect. I couldn’t have foreseen the long-lasting friends and countless memorable experiences I’ve had. I’m extremely happy with where my four years has led me!

    Your peak experience?
    That is nearly an impossible question! Every year in college seems to get better than the last.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
    I used to be a person who always needed a ‘plan.’ Although I still do have that 'plan’ to an extent, I have learned that it’s perfectly all right to NOT have a plan. Plans always change anyway, and it is exciting to see what life brings me.

    Who helped you get to where you are now?
    Parents: They are the most supportive and loving parents that anyone could ask for; I’m extremely lucky. They supported, encouraged and guided me for the last 22 years. Augie’s Education Department: The brilliant and friendly professors helped to develop me into the teacher I am today. Paul Olsen: One of the most optimistic, enthusiastic and nurturing people I have ever met; a phenomenal role model to anyone. Incoming freshmen, get to know him! Cross Country and Track Teams: I’ve made lifelong friends who have been through the highs and lows of life with me. AC YOU KNOW!

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    Soak up these four years! They truly fly by in a blink of an eye. Don’t be afraid to get involved in clubs, activities or athletic teams on campus. Getting involved in Augie’s campus really gives you the full college effect and allows you to meet so many awesome people!

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Katrina's activities: Symphonic Band, Clogustana, ASSHA, ELCA World Hunger, Campus Ministries, Admissions, Peer Mentors, Girl Scout horseback riding program and a therapeutic horseback riding program for kids with disabilities
    katrina jensen

    “While Katrina has not made a final decision regarding which graduate school she will attend, she currently is sitting on an absolutely remarkable list of acceptance letters, many with financial offers.”

    — Dr. Kathy Jakielski, Chair, Professor
    Communication Sciences & Disorders

    Katrina Jensen

    Majors: Communication sciences & disorders, psychology

    Post-grad plans: Graduate school for speech-language pathology

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    I tell people all the time, ‘If you would have told me four years ago what my life would be like today, I would have said you were crazy!’ I have had undoubtedly the most amazing, challenging, fun, difficult and rewarding experiences of my life in my years at Augie.

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
    My experiences at Augustana have made me come to see myself as fearless. I have found myself in challenging situations that I thought impossible, but in persevering and seeing how I have grown as a result, I have realized that with a little confidence, faith and help from friends, you can get through anything.

    Your peak experience?
    I was able to volunteer abroad teaching English in Bangkok, Thailand, the summer after my sophomore year, and it completely changed the way I view life. The kids at my school were so excited about learning and were so affectionate towards me and the other volunteers. My last day at the school all my 3rd and 4th graders lined up to say good-bye to me. They sang me a good-bye song, they each gave me a card that they had made, and then swarmed me and were all hugging me and holding on to me so that I wouldn't leave. I have never felt so special in my whole life, and that is a moment that I will never forget.

    Who helped you get to where you are now?
    My mom and dad are definitely my biggest fans—they believe in my dreams and go along with my wild ideas for things I want to do, even when I think they think I’m crazy sometimes. Also, my professors at Augie have helped me to identify my strengths and improve my weaknesses and use them to do things that I am passionate about. Lastly, my friends keep me grounded and keep me laughing and make sure I don’t take life too seriously!

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    Take the time to think about what really makes you happy and what you really want to get out of your life. In the next four years, you will become the person that you will be for the rest of your life. Don’t be afraid to try lots of new things and take chances, but don’t over-schedule yourself either. You’d be surprised how much you can learn in those unstructured times with close friends.

    Anything you’d like to add?
    If there is one thing that this school has taught me, it is this: Do what you love, and love what you do. Life is too short to waste it doing things that we aren’t really passionate about or complaining about things we can’t change. If you can figure this out, life becomes infinitely more enjoyable and meaningful. The world is full of people who will go their whole lives and not live a single day. I sure don’t plan on being one of them!

  • (See all profiles by major and minor)

    Mary's activities: Symphony Orchestra, Epsilon Sigma Alpha, water polo, Art Club, Omicron Delta Kappa, National Residence Hall Honorary
    Mary O’Malley

    "This year’s senior cohort of Math Ed majors is really tightly knit, and I attribute that to Mary. She is wise and mature beyond her years, very hard working, humble and respectful, incisive and insightful, and a real pleasure to know. I’m glad that she has chosen a career in education because I think she will do the most good in the classroom."

    — Dr. Brian Katz, Assistant Professor
    Department of Mathematics & Computer Science

    Mary O’Malley

    Major: Mathematics and secondary education

    Post-grad plans: Work in the Quad-City area as a middle-school math teacher

    Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
    I never imagined that I would be where I am today. When I started Augustana as a first-year, I only had a vague idea that I wanted to major in math. However, after I became involved on campus and had an opportunity to truly explore my interests, I realized I also wanted to become a teacher.

    Your peak experience?
    Finding friends that will last a lifetime! We started out as students who happened to all be in the same math and education courses, and we ended up so close that we now call ourselves the ‘Math Family’!

    What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
    With the right attitude and determination you can be part of something great. When I started college, I never thought I would hold leadership positions in any student organizations, and now I am ending my four years having been treasurer of three groups and the co-captain of water polo.

    Who helped you get to where you are now?
    Hands down my math and education professors helped me to get where I am today. Because Augustana is a small liberal arts school I was fortunate enough to work with the same faculty throughout my four years here, so not only was I able to form relationships with them, but they were able to see me grow and help steer me on the path that I needed to be on.

    Advice for this fall's incoming class?
    GET INVOLVED!! I know how overwhelming the first year of college can be. However, the best way to make it through those first few weeks is to keep busy and spend time with new friends you make on campus. After all, it’s called the ‘college experience’ because it is just that, an overall experience and not strictly classwork.

    Anything you’d like to add?
    I am so happy that I chose to come to Augustana because I got to know my professors personally, had opportunities to have leadership positions in campus organizations, and met friends who will last a lifetime. Looking back on my experience I am confident that I wouldn’t change a thing!