Graduation year: 2017
Majors: Psychology and Spanish
Activities: Harry Potter Alliance, varsity cross country, varsity track & field, Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, Ecuador Project, Student Alumni Council, Phi Beta Kappa
Internships: Scott County Jail, Global Communities, Robert Young Mental Health Center
Post-grad plans: I plan on taking part in a service year with the Border Servant Corps, working as an emergency homeless shelter case manager in El Paso, Texas. Eventually I would like to pursue a master’s in social work.
I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, but everyone kept asking me about my plan. Augustana was the only college that had a presenter tell me that it was okay, actually encouraged, to not have a plan yet. I was comforted by this and all of the resources available at Augustana for students who didn’t know what they wanted to do in the future.
Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
Nope. I had planned on going back to the Chicago suburbs because that’s where my family is. But after living independently in the Quad Cities and studying abroad, I realized that I would like to see more of the world! Augustana has really prepared me, and actually made me excited for this next chapter of my life.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
There’s a whole smorgasbord of people who have helped me grow into the person I am now. Countless staff at Augustana, particularly in the psychology and Spanish departments, have fostered an intense love of learning and an appreciation for a liberal arts mindset. Pastor Priggie, Pastor Kristen and Father Anthony Co have all helped me grow spiritually during my time here.
My roommates and teammates have given me the support to grow socially, strengthen myself physically and mentally, and provided me with a wonderful system of support. Most importantly, my parents have encouraged me to try out all the Augustana has to offer and have been strong role models in all areas of life.
A peak experience?
To preface this answer, there were many peak experiences at Augustana, but this one is particularly special. I was a huge Harry Potter nerd coming into college. I figured it was something I would grow out of, but quite the opposite happened. I took the Soul of Harry Potter LSFY offered by Pastor Priggie my freshman year. After going on a retreat to “Hogwarts,” I was invited back to help on the weekend retreat each year. The retreat is designed to help us gain insight into our own lives and find out how the story of Harry Potter can be life-changing. This weekend is one of the best ones each year because I get to embrace my inner nerd while also going deeper into my spiritual life and reflecting on my purpose.
What surprised you?
I never saw myself as much of a leader, but Augustana has brought out the leader in me. By finding things that I’m really passionate about, I’ve had a lot of opportunity to be a leader. For example, I started a club my junior year based around both my love of social justice and Harry Potter. I’ve learned a lot about working with others and have gained leadership skills through trial and error. Although I haven’t always been sure of what I’m doing, Augie has given me the tools to be confident in myself and my ability to work with and lead others, which I didn’t have before college.
How did you use Augie Choice?
I used Augie Choice after my sophomore year when I went to Ecuador for the summer. I traveled there with 15 other students and one professor. We took classes, stayed with host families and traveled to some awesome places.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss the variability that college allows. I’m constantly busy spending time with people I enjoy and participating in things that I get a lot out of. Everything is right at my fingertips. I hope my future can continue to be so fulfilling.
Advice for the Class of 2021?
Make an effort to become part of the Quad-Cities community. Once I stepped out into the Quad Cities, Augustana started to feel like home, and I gained a lot of experiential learning. The Quad Cities has developed my love for social justice, running and coffee, and the growth in perspective I have gained here are invaluable.
“Nora is an incredibly bright, passionate and hard-working individual who cares deeply about others. She humbly embodies the holistic educational growth in mind, body and spirit that makes Augustana such a special place. Her list of accomplishments is long and varied: studying abroad in Ecuador, developing and leading a mindfulness group for inmates during an internship at the Scott County Jail, and presenting her research at the Midwestern Psychological Association Conference. She is always seeking to empathically serve others and our world, and I am excited for the impact she’ll make beyond Augustana."