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Marissa Iverson
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Marissa Iverson

Graduation year: 2018

Majors: Environmental studies, geography 

Activities: Sierra Club, Sigma Pi Delta sorority, Student Alumni Council, Mortar Board

Post-grad plans: Applying for jobs

Why Augustana?

During my senior year of high school, a tornado destroyed a good portion of my town, affecting all of us. Augustana staff sent a handwritten note regarding their concerns and sincerities for myself, my family and my town and sent along one of their white T-shirts. I knew this college was unlike any I could ever attend.

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

I knew I would be involved in the campus life here, but I’ve become such a better version of myself since I came here. I’ve taken on leadership positions, and I have made so many valuable connections within my department.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

My professors in the geography and environmental studies departments helped me get to where I am now. They gave me the confidence and support I needed to succeed here at Augustana and in the future.

Peak experience?

A peak experience would have to be walking the Camino De Santiago in Spain with the friends I made in my classes and the two professors who made the trip possible. I accomplished the extremely difficult task of that pilgrimage and journey without giving up on myself. I also learned that I am not alone in my daily struggles of life.

What surprised you?

I learned that I am powerful, that I am more of a leader than I ever thought I could be. I also learned to have confidence in myself, something I have always struggled with in my life. I have also learned that I am an independent individual who can do anything I set my mind to.

How did you use Augie Choice?

I used it to go to Spain for the Camino de Santiago in the summer of 2017!

What will you miss the most?

I will miss the community that Augustana provided me over the past four years. It has been such a close-knit family, which makes it hard to leave.

Advice for the Class of 2022?

Don’t pass up opportunities. From a professor asking you for help with a project to running for a leadership position, putting yourself out there for the chance of success will always reward you.

“I've known Marissa since her first year when she took my Weather and Climate course. It was clear from the beginning that Marissa was an outstanding student and ready for the world of geography. As she progressed through her geography courses, she took on leadership roles in cartography team projects and even became a trusted teaching assistant for cartography in her senior year. It's been a delight to watch her growth from a first-year student to a polished senior conducting Senior Inquiry research using GIS to analyze island changes in the Mississippi River.”

– Dr. Jennifer Burnham, associate professor and chair, geography