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Brianna Ebenroth
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Brianna Ebenroth

Graduation year: 2024

High school: Lincoln-Way East High School 

Hometown: Frankfort, Ill.

Majors: Psychology; sociology and anthropology

Minor: Communication studies

Campus activities: Augustana Choir, Camp Kesem and Heywire

Post-grad plans: Grad school at DePaul University for clinical mental health counseling

Why Augustana?

I wanted to go to a school where I would feel like a name rather than a number. Augustana was that not just because it is small, but because I felt accepted by other students and faculty and a part of everything on campus.

Being a liberal arts school, Augustana has also provided me with so many amazing opportunities to explore how different classes and concepts are interconnected. I feel that when I leave this school, I am going to be an incredibly well-rounded person.

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

I had a general idea of where I wanted to be career-wise, and I was able to accomplish that at Augustana. However, outside of the academic aspect, I never thought I would have come this far in self-growth. Augustana gave me so many opportunities to explore leadership roles and see what truly made me happy. I have made wonderful friendships and am so much more confident going into my future than I ever thought I would be.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

I always knew I could talk to professors and they helped me greatly, but in the big picture I see myself where I am now because of my peers. They pushed me to make the most of college. I never would have taken so many opportunities if I wasn’t encouraged and told about them by others on campus.

My mom has also been such a big influence on who I am. Being three hours away has strengthened our bond. I continued to call throughout my time at Augustana, and she helped to guide me when I was worried or facing something new. However, when I would do things on my own, and they turned out amazing, she was there to give her full support.

Having a support team helps so much in affirming the direction you are going.

Peak experience?

The best experience I had was traveling to Germany with the Augustana Choir my sophomore year. It was my first time traveling out of the country and being able to sing in those beautiful cathedrals was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I loved being engaged with a different culture doing something that I love.

What surprised you?

I was surprised by just how fast the four years went. I know it is a cliché when people say college flies by, but now that I am at the end, I finally realize what they mean. Even though it flew by, I look back and see that I was still able to do so many amazing things, and I am really happy I got the chance to.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used it on my trip with the choir to Germany. It cut an across-the-world trip down to the price it would be to go on a road trip for a few days. For a college student, being able to travel for an affordable price was a godsend.

What will you miss the most?

I am going to miss the community I have found at Augie. I found who I was and met so many amazing people on this campus. Augustana and the Quad Cities have become my home.

It is surreal to know that after this year, friends who have become family are going to be spread across the country. However, it is a great feeling knowing that we are going on to live the lives we have wanted to. I know I have found my lifelong friends here.

Advice for the Class of 2028?

Get to know the faculty. Feel free to go to office hours even if it isn’t to ask about classwork. The professors here at Augustana are some amazing people who want to see you succeed. Forming these connections can help you feel more comfortable on campus and give you a great future network.

“Not only is Bri an exceptional student academically, she also lights up the classroom with her enthusiasm. She is always genuinely excited to learn something new or to share something she’s learned with others. She has that natural ability to connect to those around her, too. We know that she is going to excel in her graduate program and well beyond.”

– Dr. Adam Kaul, professor of anthropology, sociology and social welfare