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Keri Bass: 'Students and I get to dream'

Keri Bass guides students who are exploring majors and careers. She helps students find their paths in life when they’re not sure what they want to do or how to get there.

Keri Bass

Career coach Keri Bass

She starts by asking: What brings you joy? What drains you? You did this job in high school for four years? Why? What did you like about it? What did you not like about it?

“Students and I get to dream. We get to plan those dreams. We leave behind fear and anxiety and embrace a hopefulness that is bold for both them, and what they hope to do. It’s a privilege to walk with students on that journey and I really enjoy it.”

What does vocation mean?

“We are meeting the needs of the world by utilizing our own gifts and strengths. Some students don’t want careers – they want purpose, meaning and passion. I really enjoy working with students to figure out who they are and how they want to live that out with, and for, others in the world.

"Asking those simple (but maybe tough) questions is a really reflective process of what they’ve done and what they want to do –  and holding space for both the future and the past in the same conversation. 

“If we make more space for students to not know, we make more space for students to grow. By doing that, we create space for them to live into who they are in meaningful ways.”

She challenges students to switch their mind-set of: “What do I want to be when I grow up?” to “What problems do I want to solve?” She believes this helps students see all the possibilities. 

Why Augustana?

"It’s an incubator for ideas – where we get to learn and listen from others who have different thoughts and opinions. I really like that we don’t let students declare majors until the spring semester of their first year, because we know and acknowledge the huge life transition college is and we want them to get settled, first.

"It really doubles down on pursuing what you love and engaging in curiosity to develop the life plan you want – that’s what matters."

How to reach Keri Bass

Phone: 309-794-8613
Office: Olin 107 (students say it’s the most calming office!)

Bass ' hometown is Griffin, Ga. She graduated from Augustana College in 2000 with a B.A. in psychology, and Illinois State University in 2004 with a master's in clinical, counseling and applied psychology.

Whitey’s order: Strawberry Oreo shake made with strawberry ice cream (a concoction made by her Augie roommate) continues to be her go-to.