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austin smith
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Austin Smith

Graduation year: 2011

Majors: English and secondary education

Activities: Wennerberg Choir, Ascension Singers, Alpha Phi Omega

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.

"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