Graduation year: 2013
Majors: Political science, sociology
Activities: Phi Rho sorority, Student Government Association, President’s Student Advisory Council
Post-grad plans: Enjoy grad life and be open to wherever it might lead.
Why did you choose to attend Augustana?
I was so impressed by the number of faculty that attended and engaged with prospective students during the summer scholarship reception. I later sent President Bahls and Kent Barnds an email thanking them for such a great visit. My email was forwarded to the faculty and staff, and I received responses from the professors I had spoken with on that day. It was then that I knew that the quality and character of Augustana was deep and unparalleled.
Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
I am worlds beyond where I thought I would be four years ago. I have traveled abroad, conducted undergraduate research, made long-lasting relationships with faculty and administrators, found friendships that will continue to blossom, and I have learned more about myself than I ever imagined I could.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
The Phi Rho sorority is a group of truly exceptional women who have helped me to grow and love deeply. Dr. Mariano Magalhães and Dr. Paul Croll have been most helpful and influential advisors to whom I owe much of my academic success. My parents, siblings and extended family have been the greatest support system that I could have ever asked for.
A peak experience?
Conducting research on domestic violence in Brazil in the summer of 2012 was the peak of my off-campus Augustana experience. The trip was challenging and rewarding in so many ways. On campus, my happiest experiences have been related to the leadership positions that I’ve held and grown from.
How did you use your Augie Choice?
I used my Augie Choice funds for Brazil Term, winter 2012.
What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
I have learned to understand difference in a way that I never could before. The people who I have been exposed to through Augustana come from different backgrounds that I enjoy learning from. I’ve also learned that not every person is as open to difference and that you must meet each individual from wherever they are currently situated. Stand up for what you believe in, even in the most difficult of times, but never forget to respect those who are different from you.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss being surrounded by the uniquely Augustana way of life and, most importantly, the people that comprise this amazing institution.
Advice for the Class of 2017?
- Study abroad — It is an experience that will push you outside of your comfort zone and teach you more than nearly anything on-campus could. It is life-changing and crucial to do during this time.
- Get involved — This means with things that immediately sound intriguing as well as with things that you’re not so sure about yet. You will get out what you put in, and getting involved on campus will create a lasting impact on your college experience. Again, challenge yourself!
- Trust and work with Augustana's administration — Find a way to get involved up on the Hill. Our administrators are focused solely on the best interest of our students and I, unlike many of my disgruntled peers, have learned this by having spent time with people like President Bahls and our deans. I have been able to shed truthful light on numerous rumor-based situations regarding our administration because I simply walked into an office, set up a meeting or asked a question via email.
"Ellen shows a passion for Augustana that I’ve seen in few students. Her love for Augustana is one the things I most admire about her. She has coupled this passion for her school with a deep dedication to her studies. As a culmination of her double major in sociology and political science, Ellen wrote a superb Senior Inquiry paper on domestic violence in Brazil, research for which she conducted in Brasília during the summer of her junior year."