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maren mathisen
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Maren Mathisen

Graduation year: 2012

Major: Geology

Minor: Spanish

Activities: Augustana Photo Bureau, Udden Geology Club, Sigma Gamma Epsilon, Chi Omega Gamma

Post-grad plans: Pursue a M.S. in geology at the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin

Why did you choose Augustana? 

My dad, an Augie alum, really encouraged me to come to Augustana because he loved it and knew that it would be a good fit for me. I decided to come here after visiting, meeting students and learning about the geology program and all that Augustana had to offer. The generous scholarships also helped in the decision-making process.  

Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?

In most ways, yes. I’m graduating with a degree in geology and continuing on to pursue a M.S. in geology, but I’ve had so many fantastic experiences and learned so much more along the way than I thought was possible.    

Who helped you get to where you are now? 

Everyone in the geology department and Office of Communication and Marketing. They’ve encouraged me in every way possible and have become like a huge family to me.      

A peak experience?

I have too many peak experiences to pinpoint just one! Exploring geology in the field (learning Spanish and meeting people from all around the world while studying abroad in Ecuador, Peru and Mexico; teaching geology to local Rock Island elementary school kids; presenting my senior research at several scientific meetings and symposiums across the country; presenting photography at Augustana Sights and Sounds, and the list goes on...

What will you miss the most about Augustana?

I’ll miss the people here — especially my friends and everyone in the geology department and Office of Communication and Marketing. They truly care about me and my future and have always been so supportive and encouraging. I’m going to miss many other friendly faces around campus, too. Maria Fonseca, who works for food services, knows every student by name, and it’s people like her who make Augustana special. 

“It’s often said that the best geologists are those who have seen and studied the most geology in the widest range of places. As Maren begins her graduate work at University of Texas at Austin, she will be able to draw from her field experiences over the past four years in the Andes, Hawaii, the Florida Keys, the Grand Canyon, and the Rockies of Colorado and Wyoming. She is a gifted scholar with the ability to understand and articulate clearly how the minute details of the science contribute to a greater understanding of the big picture. Her adventurous spirit and steadfast determination to learn have guided her well at Augustana, providing the foundation for an excellent scientist and problem-solver."

- Dr. Jeffrey Strasser Professor of Geology