Marisa's activities: National Association for Music Educators, Sigma Alpha Iota, National Band Association, Augustana Symphonic Band, Augustana Symphony Orchestra, Flute Choir, Percussion Ensemble, Omicron Delta Kappa
Majors: Music education
Post-grad plans: Teach music in the Midwest
Why did you choose to attend Augustana?
While the education and music departments are highly esteemed at Augustana, I ultimately chose to come to Augustana for the atmosphere. Sure, there are many schools out there with top programs in my field, but the sense of welcome and community I experienced each time I came to campus influenced my final decision. I could really see myself enjoying my time here, and I have!
Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
Yes and no. Coming into college, I knew I wanted to be a music education major, so in that regard I am where I envisioned — student teaching done, applying for jobs, ready to graduate. However, I have made personal gains through my college experience that I didn’t foresee as an incoming student. Augustana has prepared me not only for my profession, but has been a driving force in my personal growth.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
I owe much of my success to my parents, as they are financing the portion of this endeavor that scholarships did not cover. I can also credit all the wonderful faculty, staff and students of Augustana. Every interaction and interpersonal connection I’ve made on campus has been a learning experience, preparing me for the ‘real world.’
A peak experience?
Student teaching was my ‘peak experience.’ Twelve weeks in real classrooms with real students allowed me to put all the skills and knowledge I’ve gained at Augustana to the test. This culminating experience gave me a taste of the years to come, and I experienced real-life examples of all the content I’d studied for three years. I was able to explore my teaching style with students, network within my cooperating schools and districts, and learn more about myself as a teacher.
How did you use your Augie Choice?
I used my Augie Choice money for the 2011 Augustana Symphonic Band Tour to Italy. This experience is irreplaceable. The band traveled all around Italy to Venice, Florence, Verona, Lucca and Rome for 14 days, performing and absorbing the Italian culture.
What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
In the past four years, I’ve learned that I am able to achieve whatever I set my mind to. It’s just a matter of intrinsically motivating myself to make gains toward my goals. At Augustana, I have had all the resources and support to make a goal a reality.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss the people and atmosphere of Augustana most of all. At this point I’m still applying and interviewing for jobs so my geographic location for next year is still up in the air. I do know though, unless I end up teaching in my hometown, I won't be able to walk down the street and run into 15 people I know and walk from my house to school in one minute. I will miss the ‘Augie Bubble’ — having the ability to meet up with anyone on campus at virtually anytime, anywhere, any day. That same sense of community that I came to Augustana for is what I will miss most in leaving.