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Molly Garrison
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Molly Garrison

Graduation year: 2024

High school: Kaneland High School

Hometown: Elburn, Ill.

Major: Engineering physics

Minor: Spanish

Activities: Augustana Physics and Engineering Society (APES), APS-IDEA peer mentor

Internship: Nuclear physics research assistant for Augustana's Dr. Nathan Frank

Post-grad plans: Career in environmental engineering/sustainability

Why Augustana?

I chose Augustana because the smaller liberal arts college is something that I really wanted, along with the fact that the relationships between professors and advisors and their students seemed so strong (and it is)!

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

Absolutely not; I was very shy and reserved and did not think I would get as many opportunities as I did. I never thought that I would leave the country on my own, be able to work on physics research and present about it, or make so many impactful relationships.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

Definitely my mom first and foremost. Also two of my advisors, Dr. Dyer and Dr. Frank of the physics, engineering and astronomy department, helped me tremendously to gain confidence and skills. And of course, my close friends in the major who have helped me push through these last months.

Peak experience?

Probably my trip to Germany and Switzerland. I would not have had that opportunity if not for Augie Choice.

What surprised you?

How helpful the professors and advisors were. I was scared to ask for help at first, but their guidance has been irreplaceable.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss the campus community the most, and more specifically, the engineering physics community. They are some of my closest friends and supporters, and without them I would not have made it this far.

Advice for the Class of 2028?

It's okay to take things slow; there are a ton of new things to do, people to meet and topics to learn. Just know that you will find your true friends and passions at the end of your four years. Also, take advantage of CORE and your advisors!

"Molly is a quiet force of nature! She is an active Augustana Physics and Engineering Society (APES) and APS-IDEA group member who brings vitality to the group and supports her fellow students. She is an excellent research student and demonstrated such when she won second prize in an undergraduate research contest at the spring meeting of the Illinois State American Association of Physics Teachers. She has an amazing future ahead of her."

– Dr. Nathan Frank, professor and chair; physics, engineering and astronomy