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

Abby Campisi

Graduation year: 2024

High school: Woodstock North High School

Hometown: Wonder Lake, Ill.

Major: Environmental studies

Activities: Augustana Symphony Orchestra, Sigma Pi Delta sorority, Sierra Club, Homecoming Committee

Internship: I was a community development intern at Rock Island County Soil and Water Conservation District from November 2022 to December 2023.

Post-grad plans: I will be a soil conservation technician for the National Resources Conservation Service in Elkhorn, Wis.

Why Augustana?

I chose Augustana because I wanted a school where my professors know who I am and want me to succeed as much as I do. My sister also went to Augustana, and I saw how happy she was, the friends she made and the things she accomplished. Not only does Augie provide you with a diverse and explorative education, it gives you a space that feels like home and where you can be yourself.

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

I did not think I would be where I am now. In my studies, I started out on the pre-veterinary track with a major in biology and quickly learned environmental studies is the right fit for me. On campus, in general I did not think I would be as involved as I am and know so many wonderful people. 

Augustana has truly given me the opportunity to grow and learn who I am and what I want with the rest of my life!

Who helped you get to where you are now?

I first want to thank my parents for providing me with the opportunity to receive a higher education. They are my biggest supporters in my life, and I really would not be where I am now without them.

To my mom, you showed me that hard work leads to great successes and that no matter the circumstances, there is always something good to look forward to. 

To my dad, I want to thank you for showing me that being passionate about something is important, even if it's something weird like bugs. You have taught me that even if life takes you on a different path than planned to always make the best of it.

To my sister who has helped lead me to where I am now. I see how much you have grown and all you have achieved, Dr. Campisi. This has pushed me to want to do the same. I'm truly lucky to have a big sister!

Lastly, my friends I have made at Augie. You all broke me out of my shell and pushed me to just go for it. Thank you for always being there for me.

Peak experience?

My peak experience at Augie was presenting Senior Inquiry research with my classmates to the City of Davenport. 

Dr. Geedey, Dr. Lashley and Dr. Reisner gave us the opportunity to go out into the field and collect data on riparian zones in the Goose Creek Watershed. Being able to use the data we collected and present it was a life-changing experience. The feedback from the city gave me the confidence to do something like this again.

What surprised you?

Something that surprised me was holding a chair position in Sierra Club and in Sigma Pi Delta. Seeing that other people believed in my ability to lead and take on more responsibilities gives me the confidence to do the same in my future career.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss the environmental studies department the most. They truly want the best for all their students and are always there for help and guidance when needed. 

I will also miss my viola lessons professor, Deborah Dakin. She has been there for all my ups and downs and always leaves a smile on my face.

Advice for the Class of 2028?

Go to that meeting for the club you're interested in. I promise you will end up finding some wonderful people who may end up being your closest friends. Plus, you already have a similar interest! Just go for it!

"In her four years at Augustana, Abby has taken advantage of so much that Augustana has to offer: internships, community-based research, music ensembles, Greek life, and environmental clubs and organizations. Abby brings dedication, curiosity, persistence and kindness to all her pursuits. When presented with a challenging task, she asks questions, takes advice and works hard to accomplish it. Abby can do anything that she sets her mind to do, and I am excited to watch her career trajectory unfold."

– Dr. Sarah Lashley, assistant professor, environmental studies