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hannah hart
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Hannah Hart

Graduation year: 2013

Majors: Biology, pre-veterinary medicine

Activities: Circle K, TriBeta (biology honor society), Mortar Board

Post-grad plans: Attend the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine this fall. My long-term plan is to be a food animal practitioner.

Why did you choose to attend Augustana?

I liked that the school had such a high acceptance rate into vet school. After talking with an admissions representative at a college fair in Minneapolis, I decided to visit. I was overwhelmed by the friendliness of everyone I met, and I was very impressed with the Science Building (now Hanson Hall). I got a sense that I would be well prepared for vet school if I attended Augustana, and I felt that I would have a fantastic support system on my way there.

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

Attending vet school was always the goal, but I don't think I realized how much I would grow personally and academically in my four years at Augustana. There are so many resources on campus to help students get where they want to go, and I found myself surrounded by the most amazing, driven, talented and passionate students, faculty and staff. I know that they played a big part in my development into a more confident individual and a more able scientist. I didn't imagine that I would achieve such growth when I started my undergraduate career.

Who helped you get to where you are now? 

The list is pretty long! Darrin Good, my former advisor, is probably the chief reason that I was able to accomplish so much at Augustana. He always pushed me to get as much shadowing experience as possible, even helping me set up a large-animal shadowing experience in the spring of my junior year. He encouraged me to volunteer with an on-campus organization, and that was a big motivator for me to join Circle K (one of the best experiences I had at Augustana). He was always so willing and able to help me choose the right classes when I was stressed out about registration! Others who helped me were my professors, who always held me to the highest standards, as well as my friends and classmates, who pushed me to be my best every day.

A peak experience?

Completing my Senior Inquiry project in prokaryotic genomics under Dr. Lori Scott was a peak experience. I enjoyed doing ‘real’ scientific work instead of just reading about it. I got the biggest sense of satisfaction from knowing that I was contributing something valuable to the field of biology and from being able to use what I had learned in previous biology classes to accomplish the task.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used it to fund a term abroad in London during the fall of my junior year. I could go on and on about those 10 weeks! I saw sights I had only dreamed of before, and I came home a dedicated and shameless Anglophile. I’d honestly go back in a heartbeat, and I know I’ll carry the memories and the cross-cultural education I gained there with me for many, many years.

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

I learned that I am a very flexible person. In high school, I hated group work because I thought I could do a better job on my own. I still like working independently, but I also have found that I enjoy working with others, too. I realized that many other Augustana students were just as motivated to do good work as I was, and I began to see the value of multiplied brainpower when solving a difficult problem or when trying to communicate knowledge to a broader academic community. I think this flexibility will be important for me down the road, and I am grateful that it was something I was able to develop during my college career.

What will you miss the most?

That's a tough question! I'll miss a lot of things: spending time with the incredible students on Augie’s campus, being a part of some great organizations, studying under enthusiastic and friendly professors. Most of all, though, I’d have to say that I'll miss just being a member of the Augustana community. Augustana has some of the most phenomenal people I’ve ever met, and I wish I had more time to enjoy their company.

"Hannah is one of the most academically gifted students I’ve known in the past 19 years. I have often observed such students being brusque or impatient with others who are less capable or less engaged with the course material. What sets Hannah apart in my mind is that she excels quietly, never drawing attention to herself in class or in group projects for class or lab. Hannah is a natural 'servant-leader,' the sort of person who does not take control overtly, but works so steadfastly toward a goal while maintaining open communication with group members that others are inspired to do their best work as well. Ultimately, the entire group benefits, and this was evident to me even on subsequent work by individuals. I have no doubt that Hannah will continue to inspire others in her own quiet way."

- Dr. Dara Wegman-Geedey Professor, Biology