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Michele Hill
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Michele Hill

Graduation year: 2018

Majors: English, creative writing

Minor: Religion

Activities: SAGA Art and Literary Magazine, Zeta Phi Kappa sorority, HerCampus, Phi Beta Kappa

Internships: River Readings intern, Rock Island; Scholastic Book Clubs strategic marketing and editorial intern, New York City

Post-grad plans: Find a job and eventually go to grad school and become a published author

Why Augustana?

While Augustana wasn’t where I intended on going, I made the decision based on my visit. It was my first college visit, and I fell in love with the beauty of the campus. I was also impressed by the passion, kindness and care that was shown by the faculty members I met.

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

Absolutely not! If you had told me that during college, I would study abroad in Ireland, travel around the U.K., and have an internship in New York City, I definitely wouldn’t have believed it. I would never have even thought that any of that was a possibility.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

While I have had a lot of help going through college from my family and friends, there are specific professors who helped me find my classes and establish my passions. Dr. Joe McDowell was the first professor I met on my first campus visit; he was the director of the Ireland term that I went on spring term of my sophomore year; and I’ve (coincidentally) taken so many of his classes (almost all) that we joke that I have a minor in McDowell. He has helped me realize just how passionate I am about literature, and he has always been there for me.

Dr. Cyrus Zargar also helped me a lot because I didn’t plan on having a religion minor, but I added it my junior year with his help. We found out how it could fit in my schedule alongside my two majors and my internship away in the fall. He guided me toward classes that have further expanded my worldly understanding. His classes were always interesting, and I thank him for all his passion in helping me complete my minor.

Peak experience?

How can I choose just one? My sorority sisters have given me strong women to look up to; I went out of my comfort zone to become first the prose editor, then a co-editor-in-chief of Augustana’s art and literary magazine; and I’ve become a published author through SAGA and HerCampus. That’s not even mentioning studying abroad in a beautiful country or interning at a well-known publishing company that brings the joy of reading to younger generations. Really, most of my time at Augie has been a peak experience, and I am so grateful to be able to say that!

What surprised you?

Throughout high school I was quiet, and I never participated in class or talked to my teachers outside of class. I never thought that I would be able to get outside of my comfort zone and go to professors to ask about classwork. Doing this also helped me have conversations with them beyond just classwork and have mentors that I can talk to about anything.

How did you use Augie Choice?

I used it to help pay for study abroad in Ireland.

What will you miss the most?

All the people I have met through my time at Augustana. I will miss having an entire group of girls to associate myself with, as well as getting to share the art, poetry and prose pieces that are created by Augie’s students.

Advice for the Class of 2022?

Take advantage of everything Augustana has to offer and find opportunities that will broaden your leadership skills and worldly understanding.

“At Homecoming during her first fall term, Michele came to Augustana’s first Medieval and Renaissance Fair, where she donned a costume dress and helped a local blacksmith make cutlery from scratch. That’s when I knew that college for Michele would not be a passive four-year holding pattern before graduation, but a field of opportunities to be grasped or pursued. She has managed our Visiting Readers program, interned in New York and become one of the brightest students of humane letters. Michele Hill is a part of my Augie experience worth remembering.”

– Dr. Joe McDowell, professor, English