Graduation year: 2015
Internship: In fall term 2014, I had the most amazing internship experience at Craig Hospital in Denver. I had the honor of working and learning in the hospital's physical therapy, occupational therapy and neuroscience/psychology research departments. The hospital is exclusively a traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury rehabilitation hospital. Most patients who came through the doors were told they would likely never walk again. It was the most humbling and inspiring experience to work with such determined patients to be able to walk again, and I witnessed miracles daily. I met so many incredible patients, neurologists and physical therapists.
Activities: Young Democrats Club
Post-grad plans: After my experience at Craig Hospital, I decided I want to have a more clinical career in psychology/neuroscience. I have been applying to graduate schools in Colorado as well as California and Chicago to get my master's in counseling psychology and then possibly continue with school to get my Psy.D. in neuropsychology.
Why did you choose Augustana?
I chose to go to Augustana to stay a little closer to home. It has been an awesome experience learning and living in my hometown community on a very different level than before. I was also very attracted to Augustana's small class sizes and the ease of being able to talk with professors whenever I needed help or had questions.
Are you where you thought you'd be four years ago?
Four years ago I thought I wanted to be a social worker and major in sociology and social welfare. Although I still have an interest in social welfare, I am not completely where I thought I would be four years ago, and I'm really not where I thought I would be a year ago. So many possibilities I have been able to explore!
Who helped you get to where you are now?
My grandpa has been the biggest inspiration and help for where I am now. During my spring term as a freshman, my grandpa was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. I went straight to the neuroscience department and changed my major from social welfare to neuroscience. I was determined to find the cure for Alzheimer's. Watching my grandpa's condition progressively get worse through my college career only pushed me to work harder and stay focused. My grandpa passed away the summer going into my senior of college, two months before I started my internship in Denver. Although I am still very passionate about research for Alzheimer's disease, my career plans have changed. The inspiration and determination for my grandpa will always be in my head and heart.
A peak experience?
My peak experience has been meeting my two best friends, Cait and Sally. I am so very blessed to have such supportive and loyal friends in my life, and I don't think my experience at Augustana would have been anything special without them. They are truly my sisters, and all of the fun and wonderful times I've had with both of them will forever be a major part of my life and experience at Augustana.
What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
The most surprising aspect I have learned about myself is that I love to learn. A liberal arts education has been a blessing because every day I am exceeding in my core classes while having the opportunity to take other courses completely unrelated to my major.
How did you use your Augie Choice?
I used my Augie Choice during my internship in Denver. I was very thankful to have this money to really explore the city during my time there.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss learning in such a close-knit community. I will also miss all of the special and fun friends I've made and the intelligent and awesome professors who taught some of my favorite classes.
Advice for the Class of 2019?
Explore everything! Different internship opportunities, classes to take, subjects you can major in, Rock Island, the campus, clubs. Cherish and appreciate every opportunity available to you while at Augustana!
“It has been a pleasure to get to know Courtney on her internship at Craig Hospital in Denver, a world-renowned neuro-rehabilitation hospital. During her experiences with patients at Craig, she re-evaluated her career goals in research and now plans to work directly with patients with neurological disorders. Courtney's future is bright as she continues to pursue her passion. I wish her all the best upon her graduation.”