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Matthew Koch
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Matthew Koch

Graduation year: 2018

Major: Public health

Minor: Biochemistry

Activities: Augustana Symphonic Band, Pre-SOMA, Campus Ministries, Damascus Road, Board of Trustees Fellow

Internships: Cardiology intern at Cardiovascular Medicine, P.C., in Moline, Ill.; trauma research intern at Genesis Medical Center-Davenport

Post-grad plans: Pursue a career in healthcare consulting and administration

Why Augustana?

Three key factors played into my decision to attend Augustana. First was the feel on campus. Students here are highly driven and intelligent, but are not looking to put each other down. There’s an air of cooperation, not competition. Second was the opportunity to play music at an extremely high level with Dr. Lambrecht and the Symphonic Band. The third was the amazing people in the career development office who were invested in me from the day I arrived on campus.

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

No, absolutely not. If you would have told me when I arrived on campus that I’d develop not one, but two research projects from scratch, then publish them, tour the world with the Symphonic Band, have the chance to intern with one of the most respected cardiologists, and make friendships that will last a lifetime, I’d think that you were crazy.

Who helped you to get where you are now?

There are too many people to name that have helped me get where I am now. Professors, advisors, mentors, pastors, the list goes on. While they each operated within a different facet, they each shared a common sentiment: Know yourself and have faith.

Peak experience?

It's hard to pinpoint a singular peak experience from these past four years. Whether it was playing music in Spain, working one-on-one with a professor on my Honors Capstone or even the simple day-to-day interactions that bring joy to my life, the magic of Augustana is that there isn’t a singular peak experience—there are many.

What surprised you?  

In the past four years, I learned that I am a morning person, rather than the night owl I thought I was throughout high school.

How did you use Augie Choice?  

I used Augie Choice to help offset the cost of the Symphonic Band’s tour to Spain during my junior year.

What will you miss the most?  

Without a doubt, I will miss the people the most. Professors, advisors, friends…. You're used to seeing them on a regular basis and all of a sudden that will not be the case.

Advice for the Class of 2022?  

I have two pieces of advice. The first is that everything is a learning experience. Every interaction, every reading, every walk to class can teach you something, if you're willing to learn. The second comes from scripture, 1 Corinthians 16:14 – “Let all that you do be done in love.”

“Matthew was actually one of the very first students I met at Augustana—he was on the student panel that helped interview me for my current position! From that first interaction, Matthew’s passion for public health was clear. Whether he is saving lives as an EMT, visiting public health courses to teach about opioids or spending his summer researching the epidemiology of trauma, Matthew’s energy and commitment to helping others is unmatched. I am beyond proud of his work as a public health major and look forward to seeing the amazing path he will lead after graduation.”

– Dr. Lena R. Hann, assistant professor, public health