Graduation year: 2020
High school: Morton High School
Hometown: Morton, Ill.
Major: English education
Activities: Varsity volleyball, varsity track & field, Phi Rho sorority, Phi Beta Kappa
Internship: Student teacher at Bettendorf (Iowa) Middle School
Post-grad plans: Language arts teacher at Pleasant Valley Junior High in Bettendorf, Iowa
The moment I stepped on campus I knew this was where I was supposed to be. I felt so comfortable here; I could be myself. I saw the relationships that people had created and knew that is what I wanted to be a part of. The entire education department drew me in with their passion and love. Not only would I be challenged with the academic courses at Augustana, but I knew I would be pushed athletically as well with great coaching and training. It was also the perfect distance from home and my family.
Are you where you thought you'd be when you first came to campus?
I cannot believe how far I have come since moving into Andreen my freshman year. Being able to meet so many new teammates and friends has pushed me to be a better leader and teammate. I also have gained so much more confidence in myself as a future teacher through all of the clinical and student teaching experiences I have had. It makes me so excited for my future since I feel like Augustana prepared me so well. I have also made many great connections within the Quad Cities.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
SO SO SO many people have helped me get to where I am now. My academic advisor, Katie Hanson, has helped me see my potential as a teacher and guided me through every bit of my academic career. All of my professors have put in so much time and effort to make their classes so worthwhile.
My coaches, Kelly Bethke and Dave Thompson, have believed in me when I have not and supported me throughout my entire time at Augie. The friends I have made here on campus will continue supporting me even after we go our separate ways. My teammates have continuously pushed me to be better, and I thank them all for the success we have had together.
I am so grateful and appreciative for everyone who has helped me get to where I am now and will never be able to repay them for what they've done for me.
I feel like I have many peak experiences so I will just touch on a few. I absolutely loved having the opportunity to be in a sorority on campus and meet so many new friends that I would never have gotten the chance to get close with if it wasn't for Phi Rho. Finishing four years of volleyball with my very best friends as teammates was one of the most bittersweet moments but definitely a highlight to look back and see how far we have grown together. Running on a banked track was also super fun!
What surprised you?
I am still surprised at how blessed I feel when thinking about the people I have gotten to know at Augie. Teammates, classmates, sorority sisters and faculty are just a few of the great people I have gotten to know and who I want to continue to stay in touch with. It surpassed anything I had ever guessed I could experience in just four short years.
How did you use your Augie Choice?
I went to Brazil during J-term with the volleyball team!
What will you miss the most?
I will miss being able to hang out with my friends all the time and so conveniently. I know I will make time to go and visit them, but FaceTime will have to do for most of the time since we will all be so busy with our new adult lives.
Advice for the Class of 2024?
Appreciate each and every day you have here on campus. Even if it is does not feel like anything special happened, reflect on your day and be thankful for something or someone. Cherish the moments with your friends because they will go by so quickly. Tell them you love them!
'Madi is one of the best future teachers I have ever worked with. She is the whole package—smart, hard-working, curious, creative, kind, self-disciplined and caring. The world of education is fortunate that Madi has decided to be a teacher. She will have a positive effect on thousands of lives in her future career, both as an English teacher and a coach. She will continue the legacy of Augustana teaching excellence and represent us well."