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Darielle Sherrod
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Darielle Sherrod

Graduation year: 2019

Hometown: Chicago

Major: Public health

Minors: Communication studies, sociology

Activities: Augustana Community Health Outreach Organization (ACHOO), Augustana Student Medical Reserve Corps (AS-MRC), NAACP, Emerge peer leader, peer mentor (2016-2017), Augustana National Alliance of Mental Illnesses (NAMI), Chi Alpha Pi sorority, Augustana Chapter of Student United Way

Internships: Rock Island County Health Department, Denver Health Medical Center

Post-grad plans: Attend graduate school at DePaul University. I will be completing my master’s in public health, specifically in community health practice with a focus in maternal and child health. In the future, I want to complete a master’s in social work. I want to do licensed clinical social work with a focus on health, infectious diseases or mental health/substance abuse.

Why Augustana?

I chose Augie because of the welcoming environment and how active the students, faculty and administration were. As a person of color, I also chose Augustana to become exposed to a diverse environment to learn from others who do not look or come from similar backgrounds as me. I felt it was important to learn from different cultures and to see how diverse cultures can positively affect communication, perspectives and relationships.

I also chose Augie because of its beautiful campus (especially during fall) and small classroom environment. Augie offers personal and professional opportunities such as study away opportunities, Augie Choice, close connections with faculty and a close-knit community. I also was interested in a liberal arts education and how majors and careers connect.

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

I am now a public health major, but I entered Augie as a biology pre-medicine major. Where I am now and who I have become was unforeseen for sure.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

My faith, my family, friends’ support, and my constant motivation and level headedness helped me get where I am now. On a professional level, my department, several other faculty members, my mentor and CORE helped by motivating me to do things out of my comfort zone. All of them have molded me into the woman I am now.

Peak experience?

My peak experience was attending the American Public Health Association Conference. It was my first professional step to exploring different career opportunities, and it was my first national conference. I met many people and learned more about myself and my field in a matter of a couple days. I learned my strengths and weaknesses and what I like to do and do not like to do, and where I would like to see myself post-undergrad.

What surprised you?

I learned a lot about myself in these past four years—to be more confident in myself and my abilities and that anything is possible by having self-motivation and the support from family and friends! I learned how to manage life, school and my profession. I learned how to not give up and back down from situations and how to be more patient and understanding. However, this is a never-ending journey, and I am thankful for how much I grew from where I started freshman year. I know I am capable of doing anything that I have imagined.

How did you use Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice for my Senior Inquiry internship. I wanted to complete my senior internship somewhere outside the Quad Cities and apply my knowledge and skills in a different environment. During fall 2018, I interned at the Denver Health Medical Center for 10 weeks. I was placed in the Women’s Care Clinic, the pediatric department and partnering pediatric clinics due to my strong interest in maternal and child health. I was the first of many public health students to use a study away as an internship opportunity. I am glad to be a part of paving the way for other students to “think outside the box,” which is an exciting feeling to leave Augie with.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss the Augie bubble and the fun times I have had with friends and faculty. I will miss the Augie family! I will cherish and truly miss stopping by some of my professors’ offices and discussing their class, other classes and overall life.

Advice for the Class of 2023?

Do not enter thinking you have to have your entire life or career figured out. Take up the different opportunities CORE, OSL, and other groups and organizations offer. Come in willing to work, have fun and face challenges. You will overcome those challenges by being passionate, dedicated and patient with the overall process. You will meet many of your forever friends and make everlasting relationships with organizations and faculty. Live it up because these WILL BE the best four years of your life!

"Darielle is hard-working and joy-filled—even when things are challenging. She was very open during our class discussions, even when there was disagreement in opinions between students on public health issues. She could be counted on to respectfully agree to disagree without hard feelings or discord—an important life skill and a great example for her classmates. I will miss her ready smile and quick mind after she leaves Augustana, but I am excited to see what her future holds!"

– Dr. Rebecca Heick, assistant professor, public health