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Lauren Hagedorn
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Lauren Hagedorn

Graduation year: 2018

Major: Elementary education        

Minor: Theatre arts

Activities: Jenny Lind Vocal Ensemble, Augustana theatrical productions (plays and musicals)

Internship: I was a student teacher in a second-grade classroom during fall term of my senior year.

Post-grad plans: Applying/interviewing for elementary teaching positions in Illinois

Why Augustana?

When I started my college search, I knew I wanted to go to a small school with a good education program where I could be involved in theater and music. Augustana fit my criteria; the school has a great education program as well as a variety of theatrical and musical opportunities.

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

When I arrived, I had no idea what to expect, but even then, I could never have imagined all the amazing experiences that I have had here. I would not have believed that so much could happen in four years, but it really is possible. Augustana opened so many unique opportunities that I have been very lucky to take part in.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

The professors here have truly helped me get where I am today. They have really helped me out by offering flexible meeting times outside of class. The professors have so much knowledge to share and are incredibly supportive.

Peak experience?

My peak experience was my student-teaching experience in a second-grade classroom. Going in, I was nervous, but once I met my cooperating teacher and students, the nerves melted away. My education classes prepared me so well for real classroom experiences, so I was able to step up and take on many teaching responsibilities. While student teaching, I had opportunities to create and teach my own lessons for both large and small groups of students. I was also able to work with my cooperating teacher and other teachers within our Professional Learning Community to formulate long-term plans for the classroom. The student-teaching experience solidified my desire to become a teacher, and I know Augustana has prepared me well.

What surprised you?

I learned that I am incredibly determined and capable of doing anything I set my mind to.

How did you use Augie Choice?

While I was never able to study abroad, I used Augie Choice during my student-teaching experience. While student teaching, I was not able to work much (only on weekends), so I used Augie Choice as a stipend to help me pay for my rent, utilities and food.

What will you miss the most?

The people! I have built so many wonderful relationships both with my peers and with the faculty and staff. I have met and worked with many amazing people in my classes, at work and in extracurricular activities.

Advice for the Class of 2022?

Don’t let anyone place limits on you! Try new things and get the most out of your college experience!

“Wow, I’ve been working with Lauren for four years...from her first weekend on campus all the way through her student-teaching experience and applying for jobs! When I think of Lauren during those four years, what comes to mind is compassionate, organized, dedicated, enthusiastic and collaborative. She displayed all of those characteristics during a very successful student-teaching experience. Those same characteristics helped foster her engagement in a variety of opportunities on campus: voice lessons, Jenny Lind Vocal Ensemble, theatre minor, and earning a “best of” recognition for her submission to Saga. Keep in touch, Lauren, and thank you for coming to Augie!”

– Dr. Randy Hengst, professor and director, elementary education