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More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Hannah Norris

Graduation year: 2020

High school: Springfield High School

Hometown: Springfield, Ill.

Majors: Political science, public health

Activities: Political Science Student Advisory Board, Mortar Board, College Democrats

Internships: QC Harm Reduction, Davenport, Iowa; Office of Senator Richard Durbin, Springfield, Ill. 

Post-grad plans: Pursue a career in global health policy

Why Augustana?    

While I was touring colleges during high school, my mom and I visited Augustana as part of a weekend trip of schools. The tour of Augustana was probably the hardest walking tour we went on (so many stairs and hills!), but our tour guide was great and really gave us a good impression of Augie and the community. After the tour, we ate at La Ranch, and I was sold!

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

When I first came to Augie, I started on a pre-med track. After my first chemistry class, I realized that was not the path I wanted to take, but I did not know how to express what I wanted to do. With the help of Augie faculty and staff, I was able to follow my passions in political science and public health. Now I am on a path I never knew existed before coming to Augie, and I am excited to see where it leads me.

Who helped you get to where you are now?    

I want to thank my entire family for supporting me throughout my education, especially my mom for always pushing me to do my best. I would also like to thank all the friends I made at Augie, all my professors, my co-workers, everyone at QC Harm Reduction, and everyone who has ever supported me during my college career.

I especially want to thank both of my advisors, Dr. Hann and Dr. Magalhães! My advisors helped me find my internships, supported me while I reached my goals and pushed me to do my best. Dr. Magalhães supported me during my time on the Political Science Student Advisory Council and helped me find political science internships. Dr. Hann gave me the wonderful opportunity to work with her on her research and travel to South Africa.

Peak experience?   

I had so many wonderful experiences, from traveling to South Africa to interning at QC Harm Reduction. My trip to South Africa gave me a chance to present research at an international conference, an opportunity I might not have had until further in my career. My time at QC Harm Reduction helped me learn more about myself and made me realize just how much work community organizations do to help people and save lives.

What surprised you?    

I was surprised by how much I learned about myself during my time at Augie. I don't know if I really changed that much, but I definitely grew and evolved into a better version of myself.

How did you use your Augie Choice?    

I used my Augie Choice to travel to South Africa. It was an amazing experience, and I hope to go back someday.

What will you miss the most?    

While I will definitely miss my friends and my professors, I think I will miss having the opportunity and the reason to always learn something new. Augie has so many opportunities to go to guest seminars, take an art class or learn a useful skill. I think I will miss how easy it is to access those things after I leave Augie.

Advice for the Class of 2024?    

Stand up for what you believe in! Don't be afraid to speak up about issues you see on campus, in the community or in the world at large. Now is the time to be vocal and fight for the change you want to see in the world!

"Hannah is one of those students who make teaching a real pleasure. She is an avid learner, a hard worker and a deep thinker. Her performance in my classes was stellar. She also served admirably on the Political Science Student Advisory Council and earned the 2019-2020 Departmental Leadership Award for her commitment to the program. Despite her young age, Hannah is someone I consider a colleague, rather than a student."

– Dr. Mariano Magalhães, professor, political science