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More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Macy Hancock

Graduation year: 2020

High school: Orion High School

Hometown: Orion, Ill.

Major: Elementary education (K-12 Reading Teacher Endorsement)

Activities: Best Buddies, Education Club, Sigma Pi Delta sorority

Internships: Student teaching at Paul Norton Elementary School; Kindergarten Numeracy Program at Longfellow Elementary School

Post-grad plans: Teacher in an elementary school

Why Augustana?      

Augustana just felt right. It was close to home yet far enough away. When I visited campus, I felt a sense of community, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of it. I learned about all the opportunities that would be made available to me and knew Augustana was the one for me!

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

I have to admit I had a hard time adjusting to life away from my small high school. I also initially struggled with choosing a major, but once I settled in, made some lifetime friends and chose elementary education as my major, everything just clicked! Everything I have learned at Augustana has helped me grow not only as a student, but also as an individual.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

All of my education professors have been a tremendous source of knowledge and instruction.

I can't thank my advisor, mentor and professor, Randy Hengst, enough for his constant guidance, support and enthusiasm. He believed in me and has pushed me to accomplish goals that I could have only imagined. He has helped me see my potential as a teacher.

I also have an amazing support system at home that believes in everything I set out to do, and I am so grateful for their love and encouragement.

I will forever be appreciative for everyone who has helped me get to where I am now!

Peak experience?    

The education department has given me so many opportunities as I prepare to become an educator myself. My peak experience was tutoring a student who overcame a severe health issue. I have worked with her consistently for two years, and the growth she has made is simply amazing. She isn't just a student I tutored...she's like a little sister to me and being a part of her success has been the most rewarding experience!

What surprised you?          

Augustana is truly a place where the professors know their students by name and want all of us to succeed. I have been impressed since day one with the care and attention to our success that they demonstrate. I can't thank my professors enough for their guidance and support. Not all colleges offer such attention. My professors have pushed me to be the best I can be!

How did you use your Augie Choice?        

I used my Augie Choice to visit the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. While there, we did research on literacy strategies for students with visual impairments. We presented our research at the Council for Exceptional Children conference in Portland, Ore.

What will you miss the most?     

I will miss the supportive environment that Augustana has to offer. I feel so much support from my professors and friends. I am going to miss being a part of Augie's community, but I am ready to use all that Augustana has given me to succeed as a future educator!

Advice for the Class of 2024?    

Take advantage of all the opportunities Augustana has to offer. Augie opened so many doors for me, and the result of those experiences has benefited me greatly. Go the extra mile and do the extra work. It will be worthwhile and impact you forever!

"I taught Macy in three literacy classes and found her to be a very sincere and dedicated student. She is attentive to details, takes her work seriously and works hard. To strengthen her practical knowledge of the elementary classroom, she extended herself beyond the confines of her classes and volunteered in different elementary schools. She is passionate to work with students who are differently abled and wrote an expository book to create awareness about the cause among schoolchildren. She will be an asset to any educational institution."

– Dr. Anita Nigam, assistant professor, education