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stephanie burbidge
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

​Stephanie Burbidge

Graduation year: 2015

Major: Biology-pre-physical therapy

Minor: Psychology

Activities: Varsity cross country, varsity track and field, Honor Council, Greek Council, Phi Rho sorority, Tri-Beta Sigma Gamma, Omicron Delta Kappa, Order of Omega

Post-grad plans: Attend Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis as a student in the Doctorate of Physical Therapy program in the fall

Why did you choose to attend Augustana?

I chose Augustana because I liked the small-school setting and wanted to continue to run at the collegiate level. Not to mention, I fell in love with the campus the second I arrived!

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

I'm where I was hoping to be four years ago and am very grateful that I can say that! As a first-year, I always thought that becoming a physical therapist was what I wanted to do with my life, so it is such an amazing feeling getting into the PT school of my dreams and seeing all my hard work these past four years finally paying off. Although I have stayed on the same path these past four years, I have learned and experienced a lot more than I ever imagined throughout my career here at Augustana.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

There are so many people who have helped me. Without them, I do not think any of this would have been possible! The constant support from my parents has helped me immensely, and having two amazing role models present throughout my life has truly been a blessing. My professors have been incredible mentors and continue to challenge me every day. Without their support and guidance I would not feel nearly as prepared for graduate school as I do now. Lastly, my coaches and teammates have pushed me to be the best that I can be day in and day out and have contributed a lot to who I am today. So thank you to everyone who has helped me throughout this amazing journey here at Augustana!

A peak experience?

My trip to Nicaragua was probably one of my peak experiences here at Augie. It was such an eye-opening and rewarding experience and something I do not see myself being able to do later on in life, so having the opportunity to take this trip during my time at Augie was great. On our trip, we spent six of the 12 days doing clinicals and helping the people of Nicaragua get some of the health care they need, while the other six days were dedicated to sightseeing and learning more about the culture of Nicaragua. I will never forget the people I met on the trip, nor will I forget the immense amount of gratitude the people of Nicaragua showed us for helping them. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me.

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

I am surprised at the amount of things I have accomplished and my ability to manage my time. By being a part of two athletic teams that basically compete all year, while also being involved in other organizations and tough classes, I am surprised that I was able to maintain a solid GPA and still have a great time! Augustana has definitely prepared me for the life of a graduate student and future physical therapist, and I couldn't be more thankful!

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice on my trip to Nicaragua. It helped to make it more affordable.

What will you miss the most?

I will definitely miss the Augie community the most: a group of amazing friends, classmates, professors, coaches and teammates who genuinely care about one another and strive to achieve excellence. I will, however, especially miss my friends. It is scary to think of life without all of your best friends five feet away from you or a hop, skip and a jump across the slough, but I am excited to see where everyone ends up in the next 10 years and what life has in store for me!

Advice for the Class of 2019?

Study abroad! It is seriously such an amazing opportunity — no matter where you go — and it's definitely worth the money! I would also say always challenge yourself and don't be afraid to try something new. There are so many opportunities here at Augustana, so get involved and make the most of your Augie experience!

"It has been my good fortune to have called Steph Burbidge a student, employee, advisee and friend these past four years! She is a wonderful example of hard work and commitment leading to opportunity and success; a high-achieving student with a willingness to offer her time and skills in the service of others. I look forward to keeping tabs on her through the next leg of her life journey in the prestigious DPT program of Washington University. You will be missed at Augie, Stephanie!"


- Stephanie Fuhr, IRIS/Advising coordinator and instructor, biology