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Christine Beach
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Christine Beach

Graduation year: 2019

Hometown: St. Charles, Ill.

Majors: History education; middle grades education: social science

Activities: Chi Alpha Pi sorority, Viking Pups

Internship: Student teaching

Post-grad plans: I am searching for a job teaching high school social studies classes, with a goal of entering the field of museum education in the near future.

Why Augustana?

I visited Augie for the first time during the scholarship competition held in the winter. After walking around campus, meeting faculty members of the history department, hearing about Viking Pups and talking with current students, I knew I had to choose Augustana. Augustana also hit all of credentials I was looking for in a college: close to home (but not too close), generous scholarship opportunities, small class sizes and a gorgeous campus.

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

Yes and no. If you would have told me that I would be the co-historian of a sorority; the Mayor of Historytown (It’s a real accolade. Look it up.); or that I would help to train, foster and place multiple service dogs throughout my four years here, I would not have believed you. However, I knew Augie would provide me with the skills necessary to be successful in the classroom and that I would make numerous connections with my peers. So in that aspect, I am where I thought I would be.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

Who at Augustana hasn’t helped me in some way, shape or form? My family has always encouraged me to work hard and pursue an education that was meaningful to me, which led me to Augustana and studying history education.

Of course my friends helped me along the way, academically and socially. I also could not have completed these past four years without the best peers I could have asked for. From reminding me that we have lesson plans due, to helping me find a ride to clinicals when I did not have a car, to accepting the history memes I send them nightly, they helped shape my experience as both a student and future educator.

Last but not least, the incredible professors in the history and education departments. Their classes were relevant, and they were always available to talk to, brainstorm with or ask for help.

Peak experience?

How do I pick just one?! Placing multiple service dogs taught me the value of teamwork, communication and patience. My GEOG-102 field trip to Southern Illinois taught me to immerse myself in whatever I am learning, step out of my comfort zone and explore content outside of my own major (because you may just fall in love with it like I did). And student-teaching taught me to be flexible, that laughing via horribly cheesy daily jokes is a great stress reliever, and that we are all lifelong learners.

What surprised you?

I am capable of more than I think I am. My confidence in myself has grown significantly these past four years, whether it be in public speaking skills, writing skills, time management skills or leadership roles. I now know not to underestimate myself and my abilities.

How did you use Augie Choice?

I used Augie Choice to help fund my student teaching experience. I used some of the money for professional clothing, gas costs and other generic bills because it is hard to have a job while student teaching.

What will you miss the most?

The people: professors, friends, advisors, roommates and peers.

Advice for the Class of 2023?

Prioritize daily, weekly, monthly and throughout the year. Look ahead and know what is most important to you, and when you should start/finish assignments. You’ll help yourself keep your sanity both academically and socially! Good luck!

“The history department gave Christie our Mark Schwiebert Spirit of History Award this year because she was the graduating senior who most exhibits a clear love for the field of history and a desire to impart that love to others. Having seen her dive fully into papers and projects in my courses, I'm excited to see just what a great teacher she'll make now that she'll be running her own classroom.”

– Dr. Brian Leech, associate professor, history