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Ryan Jenkins
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Ryan Jenkins

Graduation year: 2018

Major: Multimedia journalism and mass communication

Activities: I served on the executive boards of SGA, RHA, the Augustana Observer newspaper, SLPB’s Live on Campus Committee and MPB’s Lectures and Leadership Committee. I also served on the President's Advisory Council, the Student Policy Committee and the Provost Search Committee.

Internships: SingleHop LLC, Chicago; WQAD-TV, Moline, Ill.; KWQC-TV, Davenport, Iowa; "CBS This Morning," New York City

Post-grad plans: I recently signed a contract to be a digital content producer at WQAD-TV through 2020.

Why Augustana?

Augustana felt like home to me after my very first visit. The way the college connected me with the community, professionals in my industry, professors who cared, and peers and organizations who had similar (and different) interests was unparalleled by any other school I visited.

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

The people, challenges and opportunities I met during my time at Augie unlocked a leadership ability in me that I never knew existed. My confidence is boosted, and my ability to interact with the world around me is much more sophisticated. I am truly not sure I would have grown into my own self the way that I did if I had gone somewhere else.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

• Dr. Carolyn Yaschur advised me and guided me through classes and my academic experience. 

• Kevin Carton helped boost my confidence and took the time to fully understand my needs and wants as my CORE advisor for several years.

• Angie Sharp, a local news anchor and an Augustana alumna, took me under her wing and guided me toward my dreams by showing me opportunities and being an excellent role model, mentor, friend and now co-worker.

• Dr. David Schwartz was instrumental to unlocking my leadership skills when I served as co-editor-in-chief for the Augustana Observer newspaper. He stayed late, worked through problems with me, and was always available to coach and mentor me. He took the time to understand me as an individual, which ultimately led to my confidence to overflow into my ability as a journalist and as a leader of an organization.

Peak experience?

My peak experience was joining a fraternity. My brothers in Rho Nu Delta encouraged me to embrace my personality and talents in order to fully become myself. The amount of support and the number of lifelong friendships I made in my four years at Augustana as a result of joining Greek life are very special to me.

What surprised you?

A college experience is not just an opportunity to take classes that might help you land a good job. It is an opportunity to challenge yourself, your beliefs, your understanding of the world around you. By attending Augustana, I was supported and also challenged to think differently, and in doing so, I learned who I am as an individual, as a citizen, as a a human.

How did you use Augie Choice?

I lived in New York City and worked on a national news program at CBS News. Augie Choice helped pay the fee and buy my plane ticket.

What will you miss the most?

My friends who were always ready to challenge each other to step out of our comfort zones and try new things and my professors who know me personally and would do anything to aid my academic experience.

Advice for the Class of 2022?

When you're in class, and someone different from you is speaking, LISTEN. Challenge your own mindset and your thoughts. Learn from each other, and be patient and understanding. You will learn so much more about yourself by doing that.

“What one first notices about Ryan Jenkins is how he uses education to fund his ambition. Before he has even graduated, he already has landed a full-time position as a television-news producer in the Quad Cities, one of the 100 biggest TV markets in the United States. Each class he takes, each assignment he completes, is fueled by purpose. Ryan reminds us what can be achieved when we stay focused.”

– Dr. David Schwartz, assistant professor, multimedia journalism and mass communication