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Eric Reinertsen
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Eric Reinertsen

Graduation year: 2023

High school: Metamora Township High School

Hometown: Metamora, Ill.

Majors: Public health, Spanish for professional use

Minor: GIST (Geographic Information Science and Technology)

Activities: Student Government, Young Democratic Socialists of America, Campus Recreation

Internships: Quad Cities Harm Reduction; Woodford County Health Department

Post-grad plans: I plan to work in public health research and help address rampant disparities in health outcomes and access.

Why Augustana?

I chose Augustana because I believed this college invests heavily in the success of its students. The small class sizes and wealth of resources resonated with me. I wanted to build close professional relationships with my professors and be more than a face in the crowd of a lecture hall.

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

I have far surpassed where I thought I would be. At Augustana, I found interest in public health and GIS. These are two areas of study critical to my career desires that I hadn't even heard of before Augustana.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

I am immensely grateful for my parents. They are my biggest supporters, and without them, my time at Augustana would not have been possible.

I am also grateful for the dozens of teachers and professors who have pushed me toward excellence throughout many years of school.

Finally, my friends kept me going during many long nights of difficult studying.

Peak experience?

A peak experience was serving on the executive board of Student Government during my senior year. I was honored to have the opportunity to work with a variety of leaders on campus from administration to students.

What surprised you?

I was amazed by the caliber of Augustana's professors. This college has remarkable faculty with truly impressive backgrounds. Augustana students receive an education from some of the brightest scholars of any institution.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice to fund my internship at Quad Cities Harm Reduction.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss the friends I made, but I look forward to watching us all grow as we move into this next part of our lives.

Advice for the Class of 2027?

Use all of the resources that Augustana provides during your time here. CORE, the Reading/Writing Center and more offer so much help to students, and I wish I would have used them sooner!

"From the spring of 2020 when he managed to stay engaged and write a well-researched paper in a first-year Honors seminar interrupted by the pandemic, to this past fall when his leadership in a 300-level Spanish course was capped off by an unforgettable costume and a winning presentation in our multi-week role-playing game, Eric has never ceased to impress me. It has been such a pleasure to work with him, and I look forward to seeing where his skills and passions take him after graduation!"

– Dr. Megan Havard Rockwell, associate professor, Spanish