Graduation year: 2015
Majors: Creative writing; sociology
Activities: Alpha Psi Omega, Electric Theatre Unplugged, Quidditch
Post-grad plans: I'll be pursuing an MFA in non-fiction at Columbia College, Chicago.
Why did you choose to attend Augustana?
Augie's one of the few small schools in Illinois with a creative writing major, and I loved the campus when I visited. What sealed the deal, though, was that I got the most financial aid from here.
Are you where you thought you'd be four years ago?
Yes and no. Academically, I think I'm where I expected to be. I knew I wanted to study creative writing, sociology and French, though I wasn't sure how the major/minor combination would work out. But I thought ‘You grow into who you are in college' was just a cliché. Turns out it isn't.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
Too many people to name. My parents come first because without them I wouldn't have been able to attend Augustana. Special thanks go to Dr. Ann Boaden, who's been much more than professor and advisor. Virginia Johnson and Lucas Street at the Reading/Writing Center have helped me with advice and knowledge.
Dr. Taddy Kalas has taught me more than I ever thought I'd know about French and French theatre. Classes with Dr. Sarah Skrainka (now no longer at Augustana), Dr. Jane Simonsen, Dr. Jonathan Crimmins and Dr. Laura Greene all changed me. And finally, one conversation and two weeks of rehearsal with Dr. Jennifer Popple have made me realize that I need (not just want) theatre to continue to be a part of my life in the future.
A peak experience?
Most people choose studying abroad for this question. But for me, it's directing "The Vagina Monologues" my junior year and participating in the student-led protest this year. It was a privilege to learn and educate others about social justice.
What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
That challenges are the most valuable experience that I can give myself. Whether it's challenging myself to be less reserved or facing challenges in the classroom or in clubs, I've learned from each experience and am grateful for it.
How did you use your Augie Choice?
I used Augie Choice to study abroad in Amsterdam during the spring of 2014.
What will you miss the most?
I'll miss the people, and I'll miss Electric Theatre Unplugged. My friends have taught me just as much as my professors have during these last four years, and ETU rehearsal is something I look forward to every week.
Advice for the Class of 2019?
Sign up for everything at the Activities Fair. There's always time to narrow your focus. By your senior year, you'll have a few activities you are really invested in, but they might not be the ones you expected to love.
"Ruki combines an understanding of and respect for tradition with a vision that reinterprets that tradition, winnowing out the best elements of it to shape a new reality. She has written thoughtfully, incisively and with extraordinary maturity about her experience with two cultures, Indian and European/American, and the balanced self that has emerged from this experience. To work with her has been joyful and inspiring."