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mark tanner
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Mark Tanner

Graduation year: 2012

Majors: Biochemistry and biology

Minor: Chemistry

Activities: ACHOO/JETS, Chi Alpha Pi sorority (honorary Cutie), Relay for Life, Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society 

Post-grad plans: Pursue a Ph.D. in translational biology and molecular medicine at Baylor College of Medicine

Why did you choose to attend Augustana?

I chose Augustana because it intuitively felt like the right school for me. The strong academics, picturesque campus and overall reputation of the college gave me a strong desire to come here. Along with the myriad of extracurricular activities that were available, Augustana just seemed like the perfect fit.

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

Definitely not. If you told me four years ago that by my senior year I would have worked in rural Nicaraguan clinics, done research in the world's largest medical center, and even joined a sorority, I would have thought you were crazy...but now that has all become a reality.

Who helped you get to where you are now? 

The faculty, particularly in the biology and chemistry departments, has consistently shown an interest in helping me throughout my time as an undergrad. Whether I wanted to study abroad, do on-campus research, get an internship or just succeed in a class, these professors have always been there to help out in any way they could. 

A peak experience?

Participating in the Texas Medical Center Summer Research Internship Program was my peak experience. Through this program I got to be immersed in the world of biomedical research and put what I learned in the classroom to use while working in one of the nation’s top institutions. It also proved to be pivotal in helping me to secure plans after graduation.

What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?

I’ve learned that if I want to make an accomplishment or do something memorable I need to step out of my comfort zone. My best times at Augustana have been when I’ve done this, and the memories I have from them comprise my fondest times as an Augie student.

What will you miss the most?

I’ll miss the friends that I had the pleasure of getting to know while at Augustana. They truly made these last four years a unique and unforgettable experience, and for that I am incredibly grateful.

“Mark is very altruistic and understands how critical public health issues can be to a country’s overall status at a variety of levels — individual, community and national. He is a fairly quiet individual, but was a guiding force in his clinic group while in Nicaragua, nudging others to consider less obvious interpretations of a patient’s history and to diligently follow the protocols provided by the doctors. I believe his good sense of humor and warm interpersonal manner will serve him well in either clinical or laboratory research settings.”

- Dr. Dara Wegman-Geedey Professor of Biology