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chase matzinger
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Chase Matzinger

Graduation year: 2014

Major: English education 

Minor: Music

Activities:  Reading and Writing Center, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Bata Ensemble, World Hand Drumming Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble

Post-grad plans: Immediately — Teach language arts in public school. Long-term — Study rhetoric and composition in graduate school and become a coordinator for a college writing center.

Why did you choose to attend Augustana?

I was familiar with the campus after attending Leadership Lab several summers during high school. I originally planned to be a music education major, and a close friend of mine who attended here told me Augie had a great music program. As I began visiting as a prospective student, the faculty were all very welcoming, and I knew the supportive atmosphere would be a great place to learn.

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

No. College has been part of a long — and not yet complete — journey. My goals and values have crystallized during these years at Augustana, and I now feel certain about what I want to do and prepared to achieve it.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

The names of those who helped me are innumerable; Augustana has a wealth of resources, which I hope all students take advantage of. The faculty of the education department guided me to hone my skills as a reflective, informed teacher with their high expectations and endless support. The Reading and Writing Center's faculty gave me a place where I always feel at home on campus as well as the opportunity to use my talents to help fellow students. I am also indebted to the teachers at local schools who welcomed me into their classrooms.

A peak experience? 

Being a part of the Augustana Percussion Quartet. We were an extracurricular ensemble that formed when a tight group of friends found some fantastic chamber literature and decided "Well, heck, let's play this." Tony Oliver — and the rest of the music faculty, especially Robert Elfline — supported us as we took on these ambitious pieces, and I made huge gains as a musician while spending quality time with my favorite people.

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

I've learned that people actually want to spend time with me — all I have to do is ask.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice to go on an immersion experience at the Florida School for The Deaf and Blind, seeing firsthand how a specialized school accommodates the needs of its students.

What will you miss the most?

I'll miss the music the most. My word, Augustana has a lot of ensembles to participate in, and the community that the music program fosters is an amazing group of friends. People should take advantage of these opportunities by joining ensembles or attending their performances.

Advice for the Class of 2018?

Decide what you care about and align your involvement with your values. You will have a fulfilling time, and will gain experience that can open doors for careers you're interested in while also connecting you with like-minded individuals.

"How do I describe Chase? He is smart, curious, creative and diligent. He enriches any class he is in with his astute questions and comments. As his academic advisor, I have enjoyed long conversations with Chase about the future of education, literary criticism, jazz, graphic novels and his aspirations to make a difference in the teaching profession. I am excited for the school district that hires Chase. He will quietly and effectively change his students’ lives."

- Katie Hanson, assistant professor, education