Graduation year: 2016
Major: Communication sciences and disorders (CSD)
Activities: Camp Kesem, Delta Omega Nu fraternity, Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Campus Ministries leadership team, Augustana Choir.
Internships: Clinical experience at St. Joseph the Worker House in Milan, Ill., which serves homeless women and children
Post-grad plans: In the fall, I will attend Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kan., to pursue a master's of science in speech-language pathology.
As cliché as it may sound, Augustana just felt right for me. Coming into Augustana, I wasn't exactly sure which path I was going to take and where I was going to find myself down the road. Augustana offered me an environment to learn, grow and eventually thrive. It offered me flexibility in choosing a major from a variety of options, while providing role models who would help me shape my ideal self.
Are you where you thought you'd be four years ago?
I am where I thought I'd be four years ago and further. If you had told me that I would change lives and lead others when I first came to Augustana, I'm not sure exactly how I'd respond. I came to Augustana with an ambition to learn about myself and grow as an individual, but I'm leaving with a vocation to help serve others and make a valuable impact on my community.
Who helped you?
I would not have gotten to where I am today without the love and support of my family and friends. My parents have shaped me into the individual I am today. Additionally, the entire CSD department has been influential in helping me learn, grow and essentially get to where I am today. The CSD department is so unique in its drive to see you succeed in pursuing your career and growing into the best person you can be not only as a student, but also as an advocate for others.
A peak experience?
A peak experience for me must be a culmination of my experiences with the Augustana Choir. Being involved in the choir has brought me not only friendships that will last a lifetime, but also shared experiences of traveling around the world and performing music that can touch the hearts of others. In my time with the choir, I've formed some of my fondest memories that I'll never forget.
What has surprised you?
I learned that I can be successful and that I have reason to be confident in my abilities to make a difference in this world. Whether it was from clinical experience, volunteering or leading, I found that I can have a positive impact on my community and help improve the lives of others through my actions. Augustana helped shape me into an individual who can recognize injustice in our society and take actions to bring about change.
How did you use your Augie Choice?
My Augie Choice went toward touring with the Augustana Choir to Germany, Denmark and Sweden for three weeks.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss the people more than anything. The students, faculty and staff are what make Augustana's atmosphere so unique. I've found friendships that will last me a lifetime through Greek life, Camp Kesem, choir and various other places here. Knowing how influential these relationships have been makes it all the more difficult to think about saying goodbye.
Advice for the Class of 2020?
Don't hold yourself back from being anything but the best version of you. You're the one who dictates what you do with your time here, and I'd recommend making the most of it by following your passions. Don't be afraid to try new things or immerse yourself in those things you love. Here you will meet people who share your interests and values as well as those with differing ones. Take advantage of these opportunities to learn and grow in your four years here, and you will not be disappointed.
“Mike is a person that everyone wants to hang around with because he is wise and inquisitive, talented and fun, all in one person. Mike is also committed to helping children through his chosen vocation as a speech therapist. He is passionate about Camp Kesem, a camp for children with a parent who either has or had cancer, and about his friendships and his faith.”