Skip to main content
mary omalley
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Mary O'Malley

Graduation year: 2011

Majors: Mathematics and secondary education

Activities: Symphony Orchestra, Epsilon Sigma Alpha, water polo, Art Club, Omicron Delta Kappa, National Residence Hall Honorary

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!

"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 and Computer Science