Graduation year: 2011
Majors: Biology and secondary education
Activities: Augustana Choir, Dance Marathon, Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Society, Beta Beta Beta Honors Society, ACES and Catholic Mass Service
Post-grad plans: Find a teaching job in Illinois and then pursue a master’s in education
Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
No, I came here planning on majoring in pre-medicine, and then I found my true calling in education.
Your peak experience?
A peak experience was traveling to Sweden with the Augustana Choir my freshman year. It was a great experience to have because I am not a music major, but with the Augustana Choir, I was given the opportunity to travel abroad and sing in some amazing cathedrals. Not only did we sing in Sweden, but also at IMEA, ACDA, Washington D.C., Colorado, and in the spring, we will be performing in Carnegie Hall.
What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
My true calling, my niche. I had always thought that I would be a doctor or a veterinarian. When I came here and started tutoring students and proctoring in labs, I felt more comfortable explaining the information to other students.
Besides your family, who helped you get to where you are now?
My friends that I made at Augustana…they always pushed me to do my best and helped me to realize my full potential. They were also the ones who encouraged me to switch majors.
Advice for this fall's incoming class (Class of 2015)?
Try out or join a group for something that you have always wanted to do, but have never had the chance. Augie is a great school with a lot of different organizations, clubs, teams, etc., that you may end up really enjoying.
What would you like to add that we didn’t ask about?
In my time at Augustana I made a lot of really great friends, and I even met my fiancée here. It’s important to take the time to get to know people and treat them with respect. Augie is a family of students, faculty, professors and administrators that come together for the good of everyone.
"Ryan was admirably engaged in campus events and organizations, an active citizen and a true leader on campus. He will be a marvelous educator — his enthusiasm for science, his dedication to working with young people, and his ability to challenge students to ‘become scientists’ will all serve his future students well."