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More Than I Imagined 10 years later

In 2011, we asked faculty which graduating seniors had taken advantage of all Augustana has to offer — who had grown academically and personally. We then asked the students to reflect on their time here, and the frequent answer was that the experience was "More than I imagined."

A decade later, we're catching up with some of them.

Lauryn Deets

Lauryn Dick Deets, orchestra director, Pleasant Valley (Iowa) Junior High

Lauryn Dick Deets has a B.A. in music education from Augustana College and a Secondary Math Education Endorsement, and is working on a National Board Certification.

"I like when unsuspecting students surprise you. Like when the silent student at the back seems to not be paying attention, but later brings you a music composition that she has been working on outside of class time." (more)

Lindsey Haines

Lindsey Haines, underwriter for a national insurance provider

After receiving her B.A. in Classics and English at Augustana College, Lindsey Haines earned her M.S. in Classical philology at the University of Cincinnati.

"My job gives me the freedom and means to pursue other interests, such as reading, traveling, food and music. While they may not be as lucrative, these are the things that make me feel the most human, which is the whole point of studying the humanities!" (more)

Lizeth Galarza

Lizeth Galarza, senior quality manager at Baxter Healthcare

Lizeth Galarza has a B.A. in biology from Augustana College, and an M.P.H. in health services management from Northern Illinois University 

While working her way up to her current position at Baxter, Galarza discovered something: "Most of my career has been leading a microbiology lab of approximately 18 analysts. Most of them came in pretty early in their career, so I had the opportunity to help them develop and grow professionally. I found a hidden passion in mentoring young professionals." (more)

Alyssa Freeman

Alyssa Freeman, curator, Minnesota Discovery Center

Alyssa Freeman earned a B.A. in history at Augustana College and an M.A. in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

"I believe that history is a human right and by focusing on the inclusion of working class and BIPOC viewpoints, we can offer a more nuanced version of the past to the public. This type of work makes me incredibly proud to be a historian." (more)

Katrina Graf and family

Katrina Jensen Graf, speech-language pathologist, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center 

After earning a B.A. in communication sciences and disorders and psychology at Augustana College, Katrina Jensen Graf earned an M.S. in speech-language pathology at the University of Arizona.

“Working in the NICU, I love empowering families in a setting where they often otherwise feel powerless. Feeding is such an intimate time for parents and their new babies, and it is their first mode of 'communication,' which fits nicely into my training in other areas of speech pathology. Getting to snuggle little babies every day isn't too bad either.” (more)

Chris Hedlin

Dr. Chris Hedlin, reporter, fellow and adjunct professor

Dr. Chris Hedlin earned a B.A. in English and Spanish at Augustana College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

She is recently married to another academic and just starting a fellowship in the public humanities. “I sense that, in this next stage of our careers, we'll have to do some coordinated zigzagging, as we each pursue career opportunities in turn,” she said. First stop, California. (more)

Jeremy Hoffman

Dr. Jeremy Hoffman, chief scientist, Science Museum of Virginia

Dr. Jeremy Hoffman has a B.A. in geology from Augustana College, and a Ph.D. in geology/paleoclimatology from Oregon State University.

“I found that helping others discover the wonders of science was more important to me than discovering new wonders of science on my own in a lab. So, instead of focusing my time on creating new knowledge (which I can still do to a lesser degree), I now seek ways of sharing knowledge more effectively.” (more)