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Phoebe Strell
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Phoebe Strell

Graduation year: 2018

Majors: Biology (pre-veterinary medicine), neuroscience

Minor: Biochemistry

Activities: Rotaract Club, Psi Chi (psychology), TriBeta (biology), Sigma Xi, Mortar Board, Board of Trustees Fellowship

Internships: Catnap from the Heart (non-profit animal shelter) for two summers; Texas Medical Center for one summer

Post-grad plans: Attend the University of Minnesota for a dual D.V.M./Ph.D. program in the fall 2018

Why Augustana?

Augie was initially brought to my attention because my uncle and cousin went here. Augustana had the pre-veterinary 3-4 program, and they thought that this would allow me to work toward a future career goal of mine. I also wanted a small student-to-faculty ratio, so that I could really grow academically, professionally and personally, at my undergraduate institution.

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

No, I’m not. I am somewhere much better! I initially thought I only wanted to be a veterinarian, but I discovered that I want to pursue research and an academic career in addition to the clinical aspect of my future career. 

Who helped you get to where you are now?

The faculty members in my neuroscience and biology courses and activities. I would like to give a special thanks to my academic advisors and the other mentors that I’ve acquired while I’ve been here. These people supported me while I made decisions and encouraged me to take risks that would benefit me in the long run. It will be bittersweet to leave these amazing people at the end of this year. 

I would also say that my roommate/best friend and my family have also been key players in my success. Outside of the academic setting, these people have been a constant support system. They have reminded me that taking time for yourself is just as important to your success in life as working hard. These people have taught me balance and brought me much happiness. 

Peak experience?

My peak experience was my Texas Medical Center internship at Baylor College of Medicine. I walked away knowing that I did not want to give up research in my future career. This was the final push that made me apply to dual (D.V.M./Ph.D.) programs. Additionally, I met some incredible people during my summer in Texas that I hope to stay in contact with in the years to come.

What surprised you?

I learned that I am resilient. I never realized how malleable I am when it comes to recovering from difficult situations. I learned I am a person who embraces those situations by choosing to learn from them, allowing myself to grow as a person. 

How did you use Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice for my Texas Medical Center internship.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss the people the most. The people you meet here, whether that be friends, professors or mentors, want you to succeed and be happy in the life you lead. 

Advice for the Class of 2022?

If you like to explore things on campus or if you want to go further and explore the Quad Cities and surrounding areas, then go for it! If you want to try a new cuisine for the first time or travel through study abroad or conferences, then go for it! Make the most of your time here; it goes by so fast.

“Phoebe is such a modest, unassuming person that it’s easy to forget just how much she has accomplished. She has a remarkable breadth of knowledge and has completed research in diverse areas ranging from neural mechanisms of learning to academic integrity. She even has a wealth of knowledge about food and cooking! It’s no wonder she’s headed to a dual-doctorate program—I doubt that any single degree would even begin to satisfy her curiosity.”

– Dr. Dan Corts, professor and chair, psychology and neuroscience