Graduation year: 2011
Majors: English and Spanish
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
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.
"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."