Graduation year: 2015
Major: Instrumental music education
Activities: Varsity cross country, varsity track & field, Augustana Symphony Orchestra, American String Teacher’s Association
Post-grad plans: I am looking for a job teaching orchestra!
Why did you choose Augustana?
Honestly, I think I’ve wanted to come to Augie for my entire life. I’ve always been surrounded by Augie alumni: my grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, my parents, my sister, and now my brother is a first-year! That being said, I wanted to come to Augie to be a part of something that has been so special to my family. On another note, I loved the school’s value of the liberal arts education, and I wanted to go to a school where I would be able to continue with the two things I love — running and playing the violin.
Are you where you thought you'd be four years ago?
I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to study or join or even think four years ago. With my experience, I have been able to reach goals within music and running that I would never have imagined possible before Augie.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
I feel like I have had so much help along the way from my friends to my teammates to my teachers to the music faculty. I am especially grateful to my family, who has done everything to support me throughout my Augie experience. I’m so thankful to the string faculty, my violin teacher Dr. Stone, my orchestra director Dr. Culver, and the music education faculty, who have been my teachers, coaches and mentors. Also, Fred Whiteside, my cross country and track coach has helped me so much throughout my time at Augie. Like he does with all of his athletes, Fred believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. He helped me find a love for running, and he taught me to look for “wonders of the world” in ordinary things. I’m so thankful to all of my wonderful teachers and coaches who gave me a chance even when I didn’t always deserve it.
A peak experience?
One peak experience was this past spring break when I went to Jamaica and got the chance to teach music at the Alpha Boys School in Kingston. Words cannot express the beauty I had the privilege to see within the nature of the island, the people I met, and the students I was lucky enough to work with. Another peak experience was definitely being a part of the Augie cross country team. I have so many incredible memories of hard work, endurance and determination, but one of the most wonderful moments was this past fall when all of the seniors stood up together to make a motivational speech before conference. We each told stories all about the friendships we made, the long runs we completed, and the races we all finished together. This moment really reflected the importance of being on a team for me. The greatest moments are not always about the fastest times or the 1st place prizes, but rather being together with a wonderful group of women sharing a common love for the community and sport of running.
What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
These past four years have taught me to have some confidence in myself as a musician, teacher and athlete. I never would have thought that I would gain the confidence to speak in front of people, let alone perform and sing in front of people!
How did you use your Augie Choice?
I used my Augie Choice for the Jamaica Study Abroad trip this past spring break.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss the people at Augie the most. I have had an incredible four years being surrounded by such amazing, kind-hearted teachers, coaches and students. I will miss all the smiles and laughter that come from walking down the halls in Bergendoff. I will miss all of Dr. Culver’s jokes during orchestra rehearsals and playing with my string quartet. I will miss running the bridges route with my teammates and finding shortcuts with Fred. Mostly, I will miss doing the things I love with the people I love.
Advice for the Class of 2019?
Give your best effort and work hard, but also take a step back and remember to laugh! Don’t stress yourself out about little things. From the wise words of Bob Marley, “Don’t worry about a thing, ‘cause every little thing is gonna be alright!”teams
“Lizzie was in two upper-division literature classes that I teach; I have watched her train and compete in track and cross country; and I have heard her play her violin. Her abilities and her passion for everything are inspirational. And that smile seen so often is warm, sincere — and contagious!”