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jackie kreiner
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

​Jackie Kreiner

Graduation year: 2015

Major: Elementary education

Activities: Phi Rho sorority

Post-grad plans: I am excited to say that I will be teaching first grade at a school in Bettendorf, Iowa. In a few years, I plan to return to school to obtain a master’s in education.

Why did you choose Augustana?

I actually transferred to Augustana from a university. I chose Augie because the small class sizes allowed me to build relationships with my peers and my professors; the atmosphere on campus was warm and inviting; and the education department’s excellent reputation.

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

I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, but it’s hard to believe that I’m actually going to be one next year. Although the end goal is what I anticipated, my journey to get there was far from what I expected. It has been far more memorable and fulfilling than I ever could have imagined.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

First and foremost, I have to accredit a lot of my success to my incredible family. They have been encouraging in all of my endeavors, and I know that all that I am is a result of the love and support that they’ve given me over the years. Another person I can’t neglect to thank is my boyfriend, Eric Josupait. His character and drive inspire me to be the best version of myself. I also couldn’t be more grateful for the guidance of Augustana’s education department, especially my advisor Randy Hengst. His attitude, along with the other members of the department, has instilled a passion for education that I will carry with me for the rest of my career.

A peak experience?

It’s hard to choose just one because I’ve enjoyed so much of my time here at Augustana. But if I had to pinpoint just one, it would be the opportunity I had to study abroad in Australia. I learned that I am capable of being an independent adult and that I have valuable skills to contribute to the workforce. I also learned to appreciate and embrace different cultures, and that is a mindset that I will treasure forever.

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

I have learned that I am far more capable than I give myself credit for. Being in classrooms and sharing my love for teaching with students and my peers has really helped my confidence grow.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice money to help pay for the Australia study abroad program.

What will you miss the most?

I’m going to miss living with my amazing friends and living so close to this beautiful campus. Luckily, I’ll still be living in the Quad Cities next year so I won’t be too far from good old Augie!

Advice for the Class of 2019?

Take advantage of the immense amount of opportunities that Augustana has to offer. Use your passions to drive your involvement, but at the same time don’t be afraid to try something new that interests you. Augie is a place well-suited for discovering yourself and fueling your passion.

“Wow, I am certainly glad Jackie transferred to Augie. I have worked with her in classes and on a yearlong research project, and supervised her student teaching. I have seen her interact with peers and kindergarten students in classrooms, and with practicing teachers as she presented at a state math conference. She is passionate, engaging, caring and a wonderful ambassador for all that is Augie. She will be teaching in the Quad Cites next year, and I can't wait to work with her as a cooperating teacher. Well done, Jackie!”


- Dr. Randy Hengst, professor, education