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Allison Dzik
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

​Allison Dzik

Graduation year: 2016

Major: Elementary education

Minor: Creative writing

Activities: Zeta Phi Kappa sorority, UNYK, Quidditch Team, Opportunity Kicks tutor, Circle K International, Mortar Board, Omicron Delta Kappa, OSL Leadership Academy

Internship:Student teaching in a sixth-grade classroom

Post-grad plans:Teach in an elementary school or a middle school (English)

Why Augustana?

I had conducted a fairly extensive college search. I toured many nice schools; however, the school that stood apart from all the others was Augustana. When I was at Augustana, I felt comfortable there, like I had found a second home. Also, the Augie community was so welcoming. Each letter I received from the school had a personal touch to it. I felt that Augustana valued me as a person. I know I made the right choice.

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

When I began college, I was unsure of who I was and what I wanted to do. I was timid and terrified of moving to an entirely different city where I would have to live on my own. I did not even have a specific major in mind when I started school. Through my experiences at Augustana, however, I have been shaped and molded into a better individual, one who is a leader and feels confident in who she is and what she wants to do in life. I am no longer the shy girl who arrived on campus four years ago. I have discovered an inner confidence.

Who helped you?

My family has always been extremely supportive of me. They have encouraged me to be the best person I can be. I have also been helped through the support of my friends and the wonderful faculty. Specifically, the education program has significantly helped me. Through the suggestions and assistance from Dr. Bracke and Dr. Scarlett, I have been given many professional development opportunities such as the chance to present at the LDA International Conference and the Council for Exceptional Children Conference, and the opportunity to visit the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. These experiences have helped me develop academically as well as personally.

A peak experience?

I have had many peak experiences. Two in particular stand out. When I was a first-year, the Harry Potter castle retreat was an amazing experience! This trip accompanies The Soul of Harry Potter LSFY class taught by Pastor Priggie. As an avid Harry Potter fan, this was definitely a magical experience. More recently, my trip to the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind was a peak experience. As an elementary education major, it was so interesting to see the impressive supports provided for the students there. This experience has made me think differently about teaching and the use of special education in schools. I know that I will be a better teacher because of this trip.

What did you learn about yourself that has surprised you?

I was surprised to learn that I had a hidden inner confidence just waiting to emerge. When I look back at the person I was prior to college, I never would have thought I would be doing half the things I’ve done. For example, I was terrified of public speaking. Through my college experience, however, I have volunteered to present at multiple national conferences.

I think that, as people, we are always a work in progress. Within the last term, I discovered how much I have changed since freshman year. When I began student teaching, I was very nervous about successfully leading a class. I knew that Augustana’s education department had thoroughly prepared me, but I was still anxious about putting it into practice. I didn’t have to worry, though. I was well equipped, and success came naturally. During my last observed lesson, I came to realize how much confidence I had gained within the past four years. I feel that I am ready to have my own class and to move on and embrace my independent, post-college life.

How did you use Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice money to visit the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. This experience was life-changing! I would definitely recommend it to any future educators.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss everything about Augustana. It has been such an essential part of my life. These four years have been amazing! I think, above all else, I will miss my friends. I have made so many wonderful friendships during my time here. When I began at Augie, I was told that the friends you make in college become a second family. I remember being skeptical of this, but I have found that it is entirely true. The friends I have made in college are the ones who have celebrated my joys and supported me through my sorrows. I will treasure these friendships for the rest of my life.

Advice for the Class of 2020?

Don’t be afraid to try new things! Get involved on campus. Put yourself in situations that might be a bit out of your comfort zone. When you do this, you can have an unlimited number of new and meaningful experiences.

“In the classroom and on the Quidditch field, Allison finds ways to do what it takes. I’ve had the privilege of knowing her as an advisee, as a teacher candidate and as a dedicated tutor at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. Her quiet determination and calm, supportive manner are evident in everything she does. Allison is selfless in her pursuit of student learning and works tirelessly to promote a vibrant classroom community. In the words of Albus Dumbledore, ‘Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’”

— Dr. Deb Bracke, associate professor, education