Graduation year: 2016
Majors: Religion and English
Activities: APO and Micah House
Post-grad plans: I'll be taking a year off and moving to Iowa City. During that time I'm going to get some work experience, try to write a novel and apply to graduate school.
I chose to attend Augustana because the professors that I met on campus visits were excited about their work. The Honors Program was also a contributing factor in my decision.
Are you where you thought you'd be four years ago?
I suppose my answer is both a ‘yes' and a ‘no.' I've grown, rethought my convictions and become (though becoming is a never-ending process) a better version of myself. Through those changes, however, I have remained a curious, idealistic little bookworm. I'm just older, wiser and more addicted to coffee now.
Who helped you?
The professors in the religion and English departments have had a massive impact on me. They taught me how to write, how to (really) read and have supported me in all of my endeavors. I would name names, but each and every one of them deserves a book. My friends and family deserve shout-outs, too... for all the laughter, support and late-night Chinese food deliveries.
A peak experience?
Participating in and completing the honors program was a peak experience. I learned how to think critically and make my academic work a reflection of my passions outside the classroom. Writing my capstone was an incredible culmination of everything that I learned over the course of the honors program. Everything I had studied came together in one paper: It showed me just how far I've come, and how much more learning I have to do!
What has surprised you?
I learned that, most of the time, the only thing stopping me from accomplishing something is me. I've learned to conquer the voice — whether it be internal or external — that tells me I can't do something. When I set my mind to something, I can do it. Half the battle is mental, and once you get past that, you can take on any challenge life throws at you.
How did you use your Augie Choice?
I used my Augie Choice to participate in the Faiths in Dialogue Program in Rome last summer.
What will you miss the most?
I'm going to miss the people at Augie. I'm going to miss running into my friends in the Brew and talking for two hours when I should have stayed for five minutes. I'm going to miss talking to my professors about everything from the mundane to the groundbreaking. I'm going to miss dropping in at work to talk to my bosses and co-workers, even when I'm not on the clock. I'm going to miss the overwhelming feeling of support that all those people unconsciously give every day. But I know they'll continue to support me long after I've graduated, and I love them all for it.
Advice for the Class of 2020?
Be authentic. Be weird. Pursue what makes your heart sing and your soul smile. When you are unapologetic for the things that make you feel at peace, the rest of the world falls into place. Sometimes it will fall messily, but that's just fine. Life is most beautiful when it's messy.
"Since first-year honors courses, Kaity has modeled robust intellectual curiosity. While incredibly active in extra-curriculars, Kaity also takes time to read deeply and broadly, to play with ideas and to refine her gifts for academic writing. In her Senior Inquiry, she astutely researched American Puritans and Unitarianism to consider how Nathaniel Hawthorne deconstructs old doctrinal dichotomies. Students like Kaity make Augustana the vibrant intellectual community that it is!"