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Rebecca Smuck
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Rebecca Smuck

Graduation year: 2023

High school: Thousand Oaks High School

Hometown: Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Majors: Communication sciences and disorders (CSD), psychology

Activities: Delta Chi Theta sorority, Epsilon Sigma Alpha, Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association, club volleyball, peer mentor

Internships: Three semesters of clinical experience at Augustana's Roseman Center for Speech, Language, and Hearing; research assistantship for the Augustana Baby and Child Development Lab

Post-grad plans: Attend the University of Kansas to earn my master's degree in speech-language pathology

Why Augustana?

Augustana focuses on the individual student and ensures each student has the opportunity to get involved in whatever they are passionate about.

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

I truly could not have imagined graduating with all the experiences I have had while at Augustana when I first came to campus. I knew I wanted to do CSD when I first visited, but I did not know how involved I would become in Greek life or how passionate I would become about research. I grew every year I was at Augie in ways I can't even explain.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

My professors helped me achieve my goals, in CSD and psychology. My advisors challenged me to apply for opportunities I wouldn't have done if not for them. My boss in admissions, who was my admissions counselor, supported my career development.

My family, those who came to Augie and those who didn't, encouraged me in engage in every opportunity I could. My friends who celebrated every win and loss with me.

Peak experience?

My study abroad experience in Guatemala when I got to practice my Spanish with a psychologist at ADISA, a school for children with disabilities in Santiago Atitlán. We talked about mental health stereotypes within our cultures and how they differed but were still extremely harmful for individuals with disabilities.

What surprised you?

I am constantly surprised by how connected the Augie community is. I went on my Guatemala experience because that information table just so happened to be right next to the Cambodia table where I was talking. The faculty I want to conduct research with at my graduate school went to Augie. Augie has so many incredible connections that I never knew existed.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice to study abroad in Cambodia for three weeks. We spent two weeks in Siem Reap and volunteered in a non-governmental organization, practicing English with students. We spent one week in Mondulkiri at an elephant sanctuary, hiking with the elephants and engaging in ethical service.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss the close family atmosphere. I will miss saying hi to everyone I pass on my way to class. I will miss having something to do with my friends, sorority members and classmates whenever I am bored.

Advice for the Class of 2027?

Be open to everything Augie can provide for you. So many people here want you to succeed, and however you want to do that, there will be people to support you. Be open to this support because it will push you to do things you would never imagined possible.

"I have had the privilege of getting to know Rebecca through having her in class, leading her study abroad trip to Cambodia, and being her clinical supervisor at Clock, Inc. In all of these environments, Rebecca arrived prioritizing compassion, inclusivity and grace. She is actively trying to make the world a better place, and she is not afraid to ask the questions and show up to all experiences in a way that moves us towards a more inclusive, understanding and equitable world."

– Laurel Williams, professional faculty/clinical supervisor, communication sciences and disorders