Graduation year: 2013
Activities: Phi Beta Kappa
Post-grad plans: I’m planning to take a couple of years off before going to grad school for my Ph.D. in medical anthropology. Next year I hope to go to Ometepe, Nicaragua, to do organic permaculture farming.
Why did you choose to attend Augustana?
I transferred to Augustana from Reed College mostly because I was attracted to the unassuming nature of Augustana. It’s quiet and unobtrusive — a perfect environment to make your experience exactly what you want it to be. Also, when I first visited Augustana, I met with Dr. Kaul. I was genuinely impressed by the humility he carried with his extensive knowledge, which was something that my other college was lacking.
Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
Four years ago, I thought I would be majoring in art studio. I also would have never guessed that I would be getting published in an academic journal or that I would be conducting, presenting and creating my very own ethnographic research from the ground up. I suppose I really would not have expected anything about where I would be right now — all I can say is that I’m happy with how everything fell into place.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
I cannot even express the gratitude I have for my professors, specifically Dr. Hough, Dr. Kaul and Dr. Zargar. Dr. Kaul has been my advisor since I transferred to Augustana and has always been supportive, encouraging and most of all understanding. Dr. Hough and Dr. Zargar both presented me with academic publication opportunities, for which I am sincerely honored.
A peak experience?
I went to Cambodia during the winter term of my senior year. My experience was much more than anything that could have been academically ‘taught,’ which is why it was so life-changing. The friendships that I developed and the experiences that we shared are ones that will stay with me beyond college, no doubt.
How did you use your Augie Choice?
I used Augie Choice to help fund my study abroad trip to Cambodia.
What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
I never used to see myself as a leader, but after my involvement with multiple projects and organizations on and off campus, I realized that I do actually have the ability to effectively lead, network and market (all things I never thought I could do before). I’m also just generally surprised at how much I am able to accomplish when I put my whole self into it.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss all of my friends that I’ve made (especially the ones from Cambodia!) and all of my professors. I’m always going to be nostalgic about my time at Augustana, but I’m ready for the next page. I’m excited about all that comes next.
"It has been really fun to work with Mo on her Senior Inquiry project. Last summer she received a Student Summer Research Fellowship to do fieldwork with women who were learning Transcendental Meditation to achieve physical and emotional healing. This research contributes to important scholarly discussions about the role of complementary and alternative medicine in American women’s health care decisions. To cap off her Senior Inquiry experience, she recently presented her findings at the Central States Anthropological Society conference in St. Louis."