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caitlin walker
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Caitlin Walker

Graduation year: 2013

Majors: Biology, pre-optometry

Minor: Classics

Activities: Delta Chi Theta sorority, Order of Omega, Eta Sigma Phi (Classics honor society), National Society of Leadership and Success, Club Soccer, Alumni Board, Student Alumni Council, Phi Beta Kappa

Post-grad plans: Attend The Ohio State University College of Optometry to obtain my Doctor of Optometry (O.D.)

Why did you choose to attend Augustana?

I was drawn to the small student-to-faculty ratio and the great biology program that Augustana offers. I also wanted to play collegiate soccer while remaining engaged in my studies/extracurricular activities, a balance which not many larger schools can offer.

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

Yes, only things are better! I thought as an emerging senior I’d have majored in biology with plans to continue onto graduate school. Yet, I never thought I would have made such great connections at Augustana though my involvement on campus nor did I expect to pick up an additional minor in classical studies, which has actually enriched my biology major.

Who helped you get to where you are now? 

My family has always been my rock. My parents and my sister have always supported me through the good times and the tough times, offering me kind words or a prayer. The close friends I have made at Augustana have become my ‘substitute family’ and always push me to be my best. Also, the faculty in the biology department and classics department has truly made my time at Augie worthwhile. They are always patient in answering my never-ending questions and continue to encourage my academic curiosity.

A peak experience?

Traveling to Rome, Italy, for a two-week study abroad experience. I have always dreamed of going to Italy and seeing my classics minor come to life in Rome was pretty exciting!

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice to travel to Rome, Italy, with the religion department during the summer.

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

I have learned how important confidence is — confidence in myself and in my abilities. Being confident has allowed me to branch out and gain new experiences, most of which I have truly enjoyed. I know I am going to make mistakes, but allowing them to interfere with my confidence will only prevent future successes.

What will you miss the most?

The close relationships I have with my professors, especially the professors who I have taken multiple classes from. The professors at Augustana have been so influential in my growth as a student and as an individual. They have encouraged me to set high goals and have gone above and beyond to help me achieve them. 

Advice for incoming freshman?

Don’t hold back!! Be bold with your Augie experience. Focus on your studies but still make time to get involved. Stop by a professor’s office sometime just to chat and ask about his famous mug collection rather than anything school-related. Forming relationships with peers and professors can really make a positive impact on one’s time at Augustana.

"I learned to know Caitlin her sophomore year when she was a participant in the Rome 2011 Program. She was one of the top students in the class. Her paper, titled “Martin Luther and His Avocation for Private Interpretation,” was done exceedingly well. A very energetic, enthusiastic person with all sorts of questions about what we were seeing and experiencing in Rome, she was a joy to have on the trip."

- Dr. Dan Lee Marian Taft Cannon Professor in the Humanities Professor, Religion/Ethics