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megan alano
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Megan Alano

Graduation year: 2014

Majors: Communication sciences and disorders (CSD), Classics-Latin

Activities: Augustana Symphonic Band, varsity golf, Collegia Classica, Phi Rho sorority, Augustana Symphony Orchestra, ASSHA and Royal Neighbors

Post-grad plans: Attend Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, to obtain a master’s in speech-language pathology.

Why did you choose to attend Augustana?

I visited campus on a recommendation from my friend’s dad, who is an alumnus. After touring campus and meeting faculty, I was really excited about making Augustana my home for the next four years. I continued visiting other schools because I was concerned I would not be able to attend for financial reasons, but I always thought back to my visit here. After receiving my financial aid package, there was no doubt in my mind that Augustana was the school for me.  

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

I had no idea what my plans were as a freshman! I switched my major at least twice and probably owe my parents an apology for stressing them out! I could not have predicted that I would major in Classics and pursue a graduate degree in speech-language pathology, but I’ve never been happier. Majoring in Classics has helped me gain a more in-depth understanding of language, and this has helped me in my CSD education. 

Who helped you get to where you are now?

I’d like to thank my parents for their support, my friends for the memories, and the faculty in the Classics and CSD departments for their willingness to work together. Because of their cooperation it was possible for me to relish the liberal arts atmosphere by creating an atypical combination of majors. I've found some really cool connections between my majors through the guidance of Dr. Kramer and Allison Haskill that I believe will be very helpful in my graduate education. Thank you so much for all you have done to help me in my undergraduate studies!

A peak experience?

My Senior Inquiry was the highlight of my undergraduate experience. After being an assistant to the More Than Words program at Augustana, I became interested in helping parents learn strategies to help their child with autism conquer daily activities such as toilet training, teeth brushing, and coping with challenging behaviors. I was able to use my writing skills that I acquired through Classics and combine these with the practical knowledge I gained through my education in the CSD department to create a manual for parents that addresses problems at home that impede communication. After showing the resource to eight families, I began to realize the impact my research project had on the families in the program, and this encouraged me to consider working with autism populations.

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

I am surprised at how much I’ve accomplished! I was looking back through pictures, and I can’t believe I’ve been involved in so much stuff both academically and socially! I used my time at Augustana very well and am pleased to look back on fond memories.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I traveled to Japan with the Augustana Symphonic Band to play with Japanese ensembles! This trip was a life-changing experience. Maybe it’s because I’m a CSD major, but it showed me that music is the universal language. We struggled to communicate, yet were able to play beautiful music together effortlessly. Thank you to Dr. Lambrecht for providing the Symphonic Band with such a cool opportunity!

What will you miss the most?

I will miss the faculty and the friends. I hadn’t given much recent thought in regards to the unique faculty-student bond at Augustana until I went on my first graduate school visit. Students from other colleges and universities were impressed that they could walk in their professors’ offices in graduate school to ask questions and talk about their lives. It’s something I have taken advantage of, and now it is something I am grateful to have experienced. I will also miss my friends. I have been able to live and be minutes from my best friends the last four years. It has taken little to no planning to see them outside of class, and I know it will be an adjustment to leave the close community of people that I’ve grown so comfortable with.

Advice for the Class of 2018?

If you’re the same person you were as a freshman, you’re doing something wrong. As new opportunities present themselves, take the chance to grow, set goals and keep an open mind. Sometimes the unplanned experiences are the things that shape you most. 

"Megan might well be the most well-rounded student I have worked with in my time at Augustana. She seems to move seamlessly from band to golf to her studies in CSD and, most importantly of course, her studies in Classics. Her standard is always excellence, but at the same time she is one of the most easy-going students I have ever worked with."

- Dr. Emil A. Kramer, associate professor, Classics

More Than I Imagined

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