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Macy Koepke
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Macy Koepke

Graduation year: 2018

Major: Biology (pre-optometry)

Minor: Psychology

Activities: President’s Student Advisory Council, varsity tennis, Phi Rho sorority

Internships: Clinical assistant at Specsavers in Sydney, Australia. I also shadowed and interned at Sears Optical in Crystal Lake, Ill.

Post-grad plans: Continue Augustana’s 3:4 program with the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago (starting her second year this fall)

Why Augustana?

The pre-optometry 3:4 program with the Illinois College of Optometry was one of the main reasons why I chose Augustana, along with the well-rounded liberal arts education that I knew I would receive.

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

Academically, personally and professionally I have exceeded my goals throughout my time at Augie. I have been able to grow not only as a future optometrist, but also as a person. My peers, professors and teammates have made my time in college so unforgettable. I have learned so much about myself not just in the classroom, but also outside the classroom, living on my own for the first time. My time here at Augie was definitely more than I imagined it would be!

Who helped you get to where you are now?

My family has always supported me and encouraged me to follow my dreams, even when I told them I knew I wanted to go to optometry school when I was in the sixth grade! My advisor, Dr. Dara Wegman-Geedey, has always pushed me to do my best in school and to help me organize a plan to be as efficient as possible in my three years here.

In addition, Dr. Kevin Geedey was one of the most influential professors I had during college. He supported me throughout my Senior Inquiry project and allowed me to do research about the subject that I am most passionate about: vision. Working with professors during office hours and outside of class was an extreme benefit that would have been hard to find at other schools.

Lastly, my peers definitely helped to motivate me by having friends to study with and to work on countless labs and group projects as well.

Peak experience?

A peak experience was interning for an optometrist at Specsavers in Sydney, Australia. I was able to learn a new culture and get to do what I love on the other side of the world. This experience made me a more professional version of myself, and it allowed me to learn more about what an average day would be like for me once I graduate from the Illinois College of Optometry.

What surprised you?

I learned that no matter what the circumstance is, I am my biggest critic.

How did you use Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice when I studied abroad in Australia. I went to Sydney to intern for Specsavers, and it was the best experience of my life. Along with that, I spent two weeks in New Zealand and experienced its culture as well. While in Australia and New Zealand, I pushed myself and adventured to do several things, such as zip-lining, scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef and surfing.

What will you miss the most?

I will definitely miss the people and the bonds that I have made in my time here with my friends, professors and teammates especially.

Advice for the Class of 2022?

Enjoy every day because time goes by so much faster than you can ever imagine. Make the most of the little time you do have and get involved. For me, getting involved in the President’s Student Advising Council, the tennis team and the Phi Rho sorority made my college experience so much better. It allowed me to step outside my comfort zone and into the campus community. My college experience would not have been the same without these amazing groups!

“Macy came to college with a clear vision for her future and has not looked back since! As a first-year student, she applied for Augustana's 3:4 articulation with the Illinois College of Optometry (ICO) and in just a week, Macy will graduate from Augie having transferred credits back from her first year at ICO. Careful planning allowed Macy to complete a psychology minor in addition to her biology major—which included an optometry internship in Australia!”

– Dr. Dara Wegman-Geedey, professor, biology