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Nishal Weems
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Nishal Weems

Graduation year: 2023

High school: Schaumburg Christian High School

Hometown: Carpentersville, Ill.

Major: History

Minor: Biology

Activities: Black Student Union, Residential Hall Association, Multicultural Programming Board, PACE Multicultural Mentorship Program mentor, ACI mentor, Chemistry Club

Internships: University of Chicago (CAMPUS) Pritzker School of Medicine, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, KGI institute

Post-grad plans: I plan on studying for the MCAT and applying for medical school. My dream is to become a psychiatrist who can help minority communities nurture their mental health.

Why Augustana?

I chose Augustana because of the small liberal arts school aesthetic. Coming from a small private school, the importance of creating lasting relationships with my professors was crucial. Augustana offered this almost instantaneously.

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

Honestly, I am. I came to Augustana to not only enlighten but also nurture my mind. The various opportunities provided by social clubs, academic advisors and student engagement allowed me to find my identity.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

Ashley Allen, director of OSID; Leticia Martinez, OSID; Michael Rogers, OSID; Ken Brill, OSL; Jose Boquin, organic chemistry professor; Brian Leech, history major advisor; Scott Gehler, physiology professor; Bradley Kennedy, anatomy professor; Elizabeth Lawrence, history professor; and David Ellis, history professor. 

Peak experience?

My peak experience was coming back after COVID. I did not know how school was going to be orchestrated academically or socially. Augustana did a great job creating events that kept students engaged in hard times.

I also believe my mentoring through ACI helped me develop as a leader. The relationships I’ve made through mentoring are truly a blessing.

What surprised you?

Junior year the coursework really surprised me. The majority of my classes were STEM classes, but I managed to persevere.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I went to Morocco and had the time of my life.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss PACE and the friends I made throughout my time. Four years fly by, so don’t take it for granted. There will be good times, and there will be bad times. Just make sure no one dictates your actions.

Advice for the Class of 2023?

College is hard, fun, sad, joyful, etc. Come with an open mind ready to learn. You will meet so many new people in the upcoming years.

"Since he arrived at Augustana, Nishal has become a thoughtful campus leader and a social connector. As a student, he has been willing to try new approaches and to work hard. His senior project — on the history of racial disparities in mental health care — encapsulates his deep care for others and his ability to synthesize insights from many disciplines. Although we’ll miss him greatly, I’m sure he’ll continue to build community and to achieve great things."

– Dr. Brian Leech, associate professor, history