Graduation year: 2023
High school: DeForest Area High School
Hometown: DeForest, Wis.
Major: Communication sciences and disorders
Activities: Varsity volleyball, varsity lacrosse, Camp Kesem, Chi Alpha Pi sorority
Internship: Black Hawk Area Special Education District
Post-grad plans: University of Wisconsin-Madison Doctor of Audiology Program
When I visited Augustana, it felt like home. I felt comfortable walking around campus and felt like I could be myself and thrive on campus. I could tell that the students were successful because they were pushed to become their best selves by the people around them.
Are you where you thought you'd be when you first came to campus?
I am definitely not the same person I was four years ago. I have learned so much about myself and grown into my own, the person I am today. I have been given numerous opportunities and learned so much from all of the activities and involvement on campus. I was able to break out of my shell, learn more about myself, create wonderful memories and expand my skills.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
I have been lucky enough to be involved in many groups. In each group, I found a support system.
I have been fortunate to play under two female coaches during my time at Augustana. Both Coach Bethke and Coach Holder created an environment where female athletes can thrive, and I thank them for that. I became a more confident, independent, and team player in their programs. I would not be where I am today without the support of my coaches.
While it is difficult to name all of the professors who have helped me throughout my four years, I want to make certain I name Dr. Perreau as one of my biggest supporters. I would have never had some of my amazing opportunities without her. She invited me into her research lab and gave the best advice when I needed it.
I also cannot forget to mention my parents. They are my biggest supporters and without them and their support, I would not be where I am now.
One of my peak experiences was my clinical practicum at the Black Hawk Area Special Education District with their district's educational audiologists. This was the first time I was able to get hands-on experience working in the community. I grew the fundamental skills of audiology that I will be able to use in the future in the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Doctor of Audiology Program.
What surprised you?
I was surprised by how many opportunities I would experience. Opportunities are endless at Augustana. There are so many activities that I never thought I would be involved in when I first got on campus, but I'm so glad I joined.
How did you use your Augie Choice?
I used my Augie Choice to travel to London with the lacrosse team. With this experience, I was able to explore downtown London, Cambridge and Oxford with my team. My team and I also competed against the Welsh women's national lacrosse team.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss the Augustana community. I will miss the connections I have made with professors, friends and teammates. These connections have made my four years at Augustana so memorable. Time goes by fast, and I'm grateful for the memories I have made with everyone.
Advice for the Class of 2027?
Try new things and join different organizations. Make connections and reach out to new friends, new experiences and to your professors. The connections you make will last a lifetime.
"It is clear that Melanie has made the most of her time at Augustana. She has taken every opportunity that she has had here, including participating in two sports, traveling internationally three times, and achieving success in the classroom! Melanie has been great to work with on the volleyball team. She has embraced multiple roles and showed strong leadership this season as a senior. She is well prepared for success in the future. I can’t wait to see all that she accomplishes!"