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alan daly
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Allan Daly

Graduation year: 2018

Majors: Mathematics, Classics

Activities: Student Government Association (SGA), Emerge Peer leader, varsity cross country, Rho Nu Delta fraternity

Internship: I was an intern in the Department of Healthcare Research Services at MD Anderson Cancer Center this past summer. This opportunity was made possible by the Texas Medical Center Summer Research Internship Program at Augustana.

Post-grad plans: Pursue a master’s in health care research at The Dartmouth Institute, located at Dartmouth College

Why Augustana?

When I was looking at colleges, I wanted to go somewhere I could get a stellar education, while having the opportunity to continue running competitively and pursue other interests. Augustana was on my list, and after visiting, I could see that I would have no problem accomplishing that goal. More importantly, I saw myself making a home at Augie.

Are you where you thought you’d be when you first came to campus?

No, not even close, but I’m very pleased with where I am now. Coming into college, I wanted to be a political science major (a field that I still value greatly), I was thinking about math, had no idea what Classics was, and if you would have told me that I would be going into healthcare after I graduated, I would have laughed. 

Who helped you get to where you are now?

Just about everyone I met on campus helped me, but I would not be here without several key people. Ols, my wonderful cross country and track coach, is an inspiring individual and a wonderful friend. He helped shape my outlook on life; that no matter what life throws at you, always smile and find the positive. Dr. Storl, an outstanding professor, believed in me when others did not and gave me the opportunity to go to Texas for the best summer of my life. She was instrumental in helping me figure out my after-college plans and how best to achieve them. Courtney Kampert, my amazing friend, who always has my back, and together we did a fantastic job in leading SGA this year.

And most importantly, [Jon] Clauss, my advisor and a man I cannot thank enough, who has mentored me since I was a freshman. He has continued to push me in my academics, and is always free to talk about anything from math, politics or the weather. Every important decision I made at Augie, I always went to Clauss for advice, and he always supported me in my decision.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the help I received from the wonderful folks in the Classics department—Dr. Day, Dr. Hooker and Dr. Kramer—who I probably will never be able to repay for the guidance they have given me. Also Dr. Rodman, Dr. Bengtson and BK [Brian Katz]—the other wonderful professors I had the privilege to take math classes with. I also owe Dean Campbell for her support and advice on how to handle tough situations in a leadership position.

Peak experience?

This is a hard choice, between going to Chattanooga almost every spring break and Greece, but my internship at MD Anderson has to take the cake.

While in Houston this summer, I worked with Dr. Cantor on a decision analysis for a smoking cessation program that studied if using cell phones to deliver behavioral support is effective in helping people quit smoking and worth the cost to implement these programs. Our work is in the process of being published, and I am lucky enough to be an author.

More importantly though, I met some fantastic people in Texas, found the field I want to do research in, and I became friends with some of the best people I have met at Augustana.

What surprised you?

I truly love people and learning new things.

How did you use Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice on a study away trip where I got to travel around Greece for three weeks. The beauty of antiquity is breathless.

What will you miss the most?

The people, hands down. Being able to walk into the CSL and seeing my cross country teammates. Getting home and jokingly yelling at Marcy and Zach. Being able to walk into Clauss’s or the Classics nook to have a conversation. These interactions are available only at Augustana.

Advice for the Class of 2022?

Number one, become a Classics major. It is a wonderful major that teaches you more about life than any other subject. Classics got me my internship, which got me into grad school. You will not regret becoming a Classics major.

Number two, be flexible. You never know what will happen or when you will fail at something so be prepared to adapt to what comes your way. Sometimes the best things that happen to you are completely unexpected.

“Allan has made great use of his time here, participating in athletics, studying abroad, taking on leadership roles, and capitalizing on his Classics and mathematics double major to obtain a prestigious Texas Medical Center Summer Research Internship. He is a bright and thoughtful young man with wide-ranging interests. In many ways, he exemplifies all that a student can get out of a liberal arts college like Augustana, but he has given back much as well. We will miss Allan, but I look forward to seeing him succeed in graduate school and beyond!”

– Dr. Kirsten Day, associate professor and chair, Classics