Graduation year: 2014
Majors: Geography, environmental studies
Activities: Mortar Board, Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society, Geography Club
Post-grad plans: Gain additional work and research experience before attending graduate school
Why did you choose to attend Augustana?
The atmosphere, liberal arts education and close-knit environment.
Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
Not at all. I have grown as an individual in indescribable ways and am on a very different career track than I thought I would be. I am extremely happy with the person I have become and am ready to embrace a future in the environmental field.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
The exceptional faculty at Augustana helped guide me to where I am now. The mentorship of my advisors and other professors was unbeatable, and I would not be where I am now if not for the individuals who took special interest in helping me succeed.
A peak experience?
Working with the Upper Mississippi Studies Center introduced me to some of the most exemplary and knowledgeable people I have ever met. I really enjoyed working with cross-disciplinary faculty and my fellow interns. The experience helped me determine what I want to do in the future and will remain with me forever.
What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
I learned to embrace change, to accept what you want out of life and to go get it. There are an abundance of jobs that will pay the bills, but what really matters is that I find a career I love and am passionate about.
How did you use your Augie Choice?
I studied abroad on Augustana’s East Asia Term.
What will you miss the most?
My friends and professors and the abundance of opportunities that students have to learn and grow.
Advice for the Class of 2018?
Be open to new possibilities and be willing to try things that are out of your comfort zone. Also, get involved and make connections — networking is essential.
"To say that Jessica has taken full advantage of her time at Augustana is putting it mildly. She has developed research expertise in cartography and Geographic Information Systems, water quality sampling relative to wetlands and urban runoff, and the ecology of Chesapeake Bay. Her next research project is air pollution in China. This will be her second trip to China in her time at Augie, and I look forward to working with her and learning from her. Given her résumé and vast experience with collaborative research, I feel like I will be the junior partner in the project, but that is fine with me."