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More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Brooke Harmon

Graduation year: 2020

High school: Lindbergh High School

Hometown: St. Louis, Mo. 

Major: Secondary math education

Activities: Varsity volleyball, varsity track & field, Campus Ministries Leadership Team, President’s Student Advisory Council, Chi Alpha Pi sorority

Internship: Student-taught 6th grade math at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Moline Ill. 

Post-grad plans: Move back home to St. Louis, Mo., and teach middle school math

Why Augustana?  

I never had a “dream school” that I wanted to go to. I knew I wanted to go to a small school where I could continue to play volleyball. I visited various universities, but I never got that instinctive feeling until I came to Augie. As soon as I came to campus, I felt very comfortable. I talked with professors, coaches and my future teammates, and all made me feel very welcome. I got that gut feeling I had so badly wanted, and I knew I had found my future home.

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

Absolutely not! When I first came to campus, I was set on being an accounting major, but fate led me to being an education major and I’m so glad it did. I’ve also had experiences these past four years that I never would have expected. I joined a sorority, held leadership positions, joined another varsity sport, created a worship night for Campus Ministries, traveled the world with teammates, and so many more countless things that I'm so grateful to have experienced!

Who helped you get to where you are now?

So many people! I owe so many things to my academic advisor, Dr. Mike Egan. He was the person who encouraged me to pursue math education my freshman year and has been by my side, guiding me through every difficult decision and opportunity throughout my entire four years.

The professors in the math and education departments were a big help. Every math class and education class that I have taken was led by amazing people. They always believed in me and my classmates and encouraged us not only in the classroom but in our everyday lives as well.

I also owe a huge thank you to my coaches, teammates and people in the athletic department. Every single one of these people has impacted my life in more ways than they could imagine. They not only encouraged me on the court and track, but in the classroom and life as well. They helped shape me into the athlete, leader and individual I am today, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have such an amazing support system.

Peak experience?  

I have two experiences. This year my volleyball team made it to the second round of the conference tournament. This may seem like a small thing to people, but the strong bond our team created this year and overcoming obstacles was one of the highlights of my college career.

We also rang in the new decade on Copacabana Beach in Brazil surrounded by millions of people and watching the most beautiful fireworks over the ocean. It was a surreal experience, and I’m glad I got to share it with my best friends!

What surprised you?   

How much professors really do care about each student, both in and out of the classroom. They go out of their way to make sure you understand the material and check on you during stressful times. Many of them would also keep up with my sports, asking about upcoming matches or meets, and sometimes would even show up in the stands to cheer us on!

How did you use your Augie Choice?   

I traveled to Rio de Janeiro and Búzios, Brazil, with the volleyball team this past winter break. It was definitely an experience I will never forget!

What will you miss the most?

I will miss living so close to all of my friends. There’s nothing like walking across the hallway or going up a floor to hang out with people who became your home away from home at college (and having so many closets to borrow clothes from!).

I will also miss walking across the Quad throughout the day or in between classes, and seeing so many familiar faces. Our campus is one of the most beautiful places, and I cannot wait to come back and visit!

Advice for the Class of 2024?    

Don’t forget to stop and enjoy it. Believe people when they say time goes fast. Celebrate the big things, and even the small things too, and cherish those late-night conversations with the people who became your best friends.

"I know that Brooke will be a phenomenal teacher. Here at Augie she was a standout volleyball and track athlete, a leader in Campus Ministries, an excellent student, and, perhaps most importantly, a genuinely kind person. Her well-roundedness will ensure that she will connect with her future students, make them feel welcome and important, and encourage them to become as accomplished as she is."

- Dr. Mike Egan, associate professor, education, and associate dean, Academic Affairs