Graduation year: 2018
Majors: Communication studies, creative writing, Africana studies
Activities: Augustana Cheerleading Team; Ladies of Vital Essence (L.O.V.E.), a multicultural sorority
Internship: Midwest Writing Center in Rock Island
Post-grad plans: Attend Illinois State University for a master's in communication
I chose Augustana because of the educational atmosphere. I appreciated that I wouldn't be some nameless face in a crowd and that I would have opportunities to establish a relationship with my professors. For me, smaller class sizes facilitate a better learning environment and a certain comfort level.
Are you where you thought you’d be when you first came to campus?
I am in a completely different position from when I first came to campus. I came in with a desire to major in biology (on a pre-veterinary medicine track) and minor in creative writing. Eventually I had to have a talk with myself and realize that my talents are not with the sciences. I eventually found my home with the communications studies department, and along the way, I picked up Africana studies as something I wanted to pursue further, but not necessarily as a potential career option. I never planned on joining a sorority, and I was not interested in going Greek, but I am forever grateful that I joined L.O.V.E.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
It takes a village. I cannot say that I haven't had some help from others during this journey. From the beginning of my first year, I had several friends who were juniors and seniors, and they made sure I did not make mistakes they did. I also had a great first-year advisor, Dr. Umme Al-Wazedi. She was always so thorough when it came to making my schedules, and she was interested in me as a person. She always checked up on me and didn't make our meetings feel like strictly business. I have also had a great cheerleading coach, Laura Terronez, for the past few years. Though my days might be stressful, she made practice run very smoothly. I happily trek up flights of stairs to pop into her office just to say hi when I have some extra time.
A peak experience was probably my opportunity to participate in some social justice activities on campus that caused conversation among other students.
What surprised you?
I was surprised to really discover my talents and skills and have them relate to what I study in class. It made my learning experience so much better and worthwhile.
How did you use Augie Choice?
I used my Augie Choice toward my internship and transportation.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss my sorority and everyone in it. L.O.V.E. has brought me friends that I will always have in my life and that will not change no matter the distance.
Advice for the Class of 2022?
Be open to change. Don't be afraid of the unknown that comes along with finding yourself in college. It may seem scary, but there are plenty of people to help you along and make the path a little easier.
“I remember meeting Nicolette as my first-year advisee. She has always been interested in working with others. She has passion for reading and writing as well. She wishes to pursue these aspects while getting a master's at Illinois State. She will do well. I wish her all the best!"