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samantha paddock
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Samantha Paddock

Graduation year: 2014

Majors: English, graphic design

Activities: Augustana Dance Company

Post-grad plans: I have been accepted into the University of Chicago’s program for a Professional Editing Certificate. Long term, I am keeping an open mind, but a career in art direction or returning to school to receive my Ph.D. in literature are strong possibilities.

Why did you choose to attend Augustana?

I chose Augustana for its English program. I loved all of the faculty members that I met on visits, and I was excited for the opportunities they offered for students interested in editing and publishing.

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

Not at all. I have this whole other major besides the English major that I had planned on, and I found a talent in the fine arts that I had no idea I had.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

Professors like Jason Peters, David Crowe and Kelvin Mason are the reasons students should choose Augustana. Being a part of each of their classrooms changed who I am as a student, and more importantly as a human being. I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to each of them. In their own way, each of them inspired me, challenged me and taught me skills that will be invaluable in my future.

A peak experience? 

My peak experience was a field trip to the Shawnee Hills that I took with Reuben Heine’s geography class. I will be honest. At first, I was not too thrilled to be spending my first weekend back on campus on a field trip, but that is what made it such an amazing experience, because it was so unexpectedly wonderful. I was able to meet people that I would not have met otherwise, and I got to be out in the gorgeous scenery all weekend long.

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

I learned that I am an artist, which I never in a million years thought I would be. In high school, I didn’t take a single art class or venture out of my comfort zone for that matter. Then I came to Augustana, took a photography class freshman year, and am now on an entirely different path than I thought I would be.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice towards a graphic design internship that I had last summer.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss getting to be a student. I really do love it, and I feel extremely fortunate that for the last four years I have gotten the chance to learn from some extremely gifted individuals.

Advice for the Class of 2018?

Take a class with Jason Peters or David Crowe. It will change your life, I promise you.

"Now and then a student will appear in one of your classes whose eyes tell you there’s a lot going on behind them, including a profound sense of gratitude for our rich cultural inheritance. Here’s a mind poised to leap on the next book, certainly, but here, too, is a soul prepared to be instructed by it. Samantha is such a student — a very worthy heir of that priceless thing we call a liberal arts education."

- Dr. Jason Peters, professor, English