Graduation year: 2018
Majors: Communication sciences and disorders, communication studies
Activities: Student Government Association, varsity track & field, Augustana’s EDGE Center, Delta Chi Theta sorority
Internships: Student clinician at Augustana’s Center for Speech Language and Hearing; Entrepreneurial (EDGE) Center internship; research assistant at the University of Sydney, Australia
Post-grad plans: I have a job as an ABA therapist and will be applying to graduate school in speech pathology next fall.
I fell in love with Augustana during my first campus tour. I specifically remember my mom telling me, “Courtney, you can’t pick a college just because it is pretty.” But it was more than that to me. l felt at home on campus the moment I arrived. The atmosphere is welcoming and home-y, and the people are even better. I was also able to compete athletically at the collegiate level with a team that expressed a clear focus on academics.
Are you where you thought you’d be when you first came to campus?
Gosh no. I came to campus without a clear path. I had no idea what I wanted to major in at the time. I also probably would have laughed if you told me I was going to be the vice president of student government. Although I definitely had plans to be involved on campus, I barely understood what SGA was and assumed it was purely geared toward political science students.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
Let me just say that the people you meet here are people who actually really care about you. I am very blessed to have a family back home that is always proud of me and supports me in every decision I make. I am also lucky enough to have made friends here that have become my family.
I would like to thank a few faculty and administration members in particular:
Dr. Varallo of communication studies taught me to think outside of the box. Since I met her, she has been the most uplifting and kind soul, and I appreciate her and her guidance. Mrs. Reinmann, my clinical supervisor, has not only been a role model for me, but also an incredible friend.
Dr. Jakielski helped me reach for the stars. As a terrified new CSD major, she encouraged me to go for the experiences that made me happy here. When I wanted to pursue leadership in SGA and was worried that I may not have time to do as many "CSD-type" things, she looked at me like I was crazy. Dr. Jakielski has been my person to vent to about SGA, my pen-pal while I was in Australia, and an overall incredible role model and friend. Thank you for convincing me that I CAN.
Dean Campbell, Augustana’s dean of students, is our advisor for SGA. She is an incredible person inside and out and has done wonders for this campus. I appreciate her for picking Allan and I up when we were down throughout this year; she taught me how to be the leader I am today. I would also like to express my thanks to President Bahls. His ability and willingness to listen to students is what allowed Allan and me to make a difference on this campus.
By far, my peak experience is my experience with SGA this year. I have never felt so empowered and grateful to go to such a school. What I have learned about leadership and about myself is more than I could have ever imagined. To that, I owe the most gratitude to my partner and now one of my best friends, Allan Daly (president of SGA). I cannot thank him enough as I have learned so much from him and look up to him greatly.
What surprised you?
I learned that I can make a difference. If you want to have an impact, I really believe you can. Especially at Augie. I learned how to pick myself up and make the tough decisions as well as how to have fun and enjoy the bigger picture.
How did you use Augie Choice?
I was an intern at the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia, as my study abroad. I had to pay for that experience on my own, and Augie Choice made a big difference. I was a research assistant in the speech pathology department under the head of the department, Dr. Tricia McCabe.
What will you miss the most?
The people...the feel of this community...Augie is home in so many ways. I will miss the connections I have made with the people I now call my role models and some of my closest friends.
Advice for the Class of 2022?
Take chances and encourage yourself to think outside of the box. There are SO many opportunities at Augustana, and it is easy to overlook them. So be curious and adventurous; try those new things that may make you uncomfortable at first. Your time here goes by fast so I encourage you to challenge yourself to be the person you want to be. And trust me, you can do just that here.
“Courtney is one of the most enthusiastic students I have met during my 27 years at Augustana. She is interested in everything around her and has used her Augustana experience, which included serving as vice president of the Student Government Association and completing an internship at the University of Sydney, to broaden her horizons while empowering everyone around her. She is an inspiration to me and everyone who knows her!”