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Abigail Clark
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Abigail Clark

Graduation year: 2022

High school: Wilmot Union High School

Hometown: Twin Lakes, Wis.

Majors: Geology; geography

Minor: Geographic information science and technology (GIST)

Activities: Viking Pups, Udden Geology Club, Geology Club, varsity bowling, Yarn Club, Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society

Internship: GIST internship (research)

Post-grad plans: Attend McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, for my master's in earth and environmental sciences

Why Augustana?

I chose Augustana after my first visit to campus. After talking with professors at a Scholarship Day, I already felt comfortable and knew that I would be supported in any course throughout my four years.

Along with the incredible faculty, the community feel around campus really drew me in. The entire campus has a welcoming environment where I knew I could find my place and find departments, clubs and friends that I would cherish beyond my time here.

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

When I accepted my offer to attend, I imagined myself in a different department than where I am now. I am glad that I was able to grow as a person with my education and make the best decision for myself. I am now going into a field that I am passionate about and want to continue learning about.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

My family has by far been my biggest supporters and have helped me along every step in my education.

On campus, my advisors in my majors and minor, and my coaches have also supported me, helped me grow, and helped me understand myself and my interests better — as well as teach me in my courses and about life after college and about the sport and clubs I am in.

Without my friends, family and advisors challenging and encouraging me, I would not have been able to get where I am today. I appreciate every one of them because I don't know if I would have become who I am now without them.

Peak experience?

My favorite experience was my trip to Bonaire with the geology department. This differed from my other trips with the department because not only did I study geology in a new place, but I also got to experience another culture and learn new skills.

This trip allowed me to work on understanding new cultures and languages, helping other students, and most exciting of all, I was able to conquer my fear of the ocean through scuba diving.

What surprised you?

I was surprised by how many opportunities I was able to participate in. I had heard about everything that I could do while I was here, but I never imagined myself doing as much as I did in only four years. I was able to take six trips, participate in an internship, join many clubs and present at conferences.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I chose to use my Augie Choice on my GIST internship to cover costs. I used it as a stipend for the research I was doing.

What will you miss the most?

I will most miss the closeness of the departments, clubs and classes that I took. I was able to become friends with many people that way. The gatherings that took place because of this closeness is something I will always miss after graduation.

Advice for the Class of 2026?

Get to know your professors. There are so many opportunities for research assistantships, internships and other research projects, as well as opportunities to learn how to conduct individual research.

"Abby began her Augustana adventure by taking on our summer course in the Rocky Mountains. On that trip, she pushed herself to learn as much geology as possible, and she strove to understand the relevance and to make connections. Over the next four years, her curiosity of the Earth, the environment and human interactions motivated her to take challenging courses and pursue fascinating research in geology and geography. She is detail-oriented in all of her work, but she always connects those details to the 'big picture' of Earth systems. Abby has a bright future as she heads to graduate school!"

– Dr. Jeffrey Strasser, professor and chair, geology