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joe wood
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

​Joe Wood

Graduation year: 2015

Majors: Political science, economics

Activities: Phi Beta Kappa, Politics Club, Model United Nations, Phi Beta Delta, Pi Sigma Alpha

Post-grad plans: I am deciding whether to go on directly to earn my master’s in international affairs or to take a few years to work.

Why did you choose Augustana?

Since I went to a very small high school, I really appreciated the small class sizes at Augie. The opportunities for direct interaction with faculty and campus involvement were also very important to me.

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

Not at all. When I came to Augie, I planned on studying business and pre-law and going to law school. I wouldn’t change a thing though.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

Most importantly, my family and my wonderful girlfriend, Alicia, have encouraged and pushed me every step of the way. I also really appreciate the personal attention and motivation I have gotten from a number of my professors, who have had a huge impact on me over these last four years.

A peak experience?

Definitely studying abroad in Morocco. I spent six weeks studying Arabic and conflict resolution through a university in Morocco, and it was absolutely life-changing. Being so poignantly immersed in Arab, Muslim culture (particularly during Ramadan) really reaffirmed the importance of cross-cultural communication and understanding.

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

I really enjoy conducting research. Before coming to Augie I didn’t even have a clear sense of what it meant to do academic research, but now I would definitely say it has been one of the most fulfilling things that I have done while at Augie.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice to participate in the 2014 Fall Term in Brazil.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss being a student worker for the political science, history and philosophy departments. Getting to interact with professors outside of class so frequently was quite a bit of fun!

Advice for the Class of 2019?

Your plans will all change, and that’s totally fine!

“In 20 years of teaching, Joe ranks as one of the most intellectually gifted students I've had the pleasure to teach. Equally impressive are his personal drive and initiative. From starting our honors Political Science Club to taking over the leadership of American Model United Nations, Joe is a leader in every sense of the word. He’s a person who takes on way more responsibility than anyone could reasonably expect, and then exceeds expectations in every possible way.”


- Dr. Mariano Magalhães, professor, political science