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Chris Saladin
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Chris Saladin

Graduation year: 2017

Majors: Classics, history and political science

Activities: Varsity cross country, varsity track & field, Student Government Association (SGA), Educational Policies Committee,  Reading/Writing Center tutor, Latin tutor, Salon interdisciplinary discussion group, Classics Club (Collegia Classica), Phi Beta Kappa

Internships: Internship at The Hershewe Law Firm, P.C. in my hometown of Joplin, Mo.; a fieldwork fellowship at the Poggio Civitate Archaeological Project in Vescovado di Murlo, Italy; and an internship at the Putnam Museum in Davenport, Iowa

Post-grad plans:
I have been accepted to the History Graduate Studies program at the University of Minnesota where I will be doing a Ph.D. track program in history. My goal is to research and teach about the ancient Greek and Roman world at the college level.

Why Augustana?

I am originally from southern Missouri and had never heard of Augustana before a high school teacher encouraged me to apply here. Having nothing to lose, I sent out an application and visited the campus, where I met Coach Olsen, who is now my cross country and track coach, and Drs. Kramer, Day and Hooker in the Classics department. The kindness and passion for learning that these now mentors of mine showed made me instantly fall in love with Augie.

Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?

Not at all. I came into Augie intending to go to law school, but the Classics courses I have taken made me fall in love with the ancient world, leading me to study history as well. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my future, but over time realized that I could turn my passion for the past into a career as a college professor. I also would have never imagined how involved I would become on campus. I was very shy before coming to Augie, but the community here encouraged me to try new things and now I am involved in many aspects of campus.

Who helped you get to where you are now? 

My professors, teammates and fellow students have been an integral part of my Augie experience. My professors in the Classics, history and political science departments have encouraged me in my studies and helped craft directed studies and a combined Senior Inquiry project that allowed me to pursue all three majors. My teammates and coaches have all been great mentors as well, pushing me to always work hard at both my studies and athletics. Lastly, my fellow students have shared my passion for learning and have encouraged me to grow as a student and person.

A peak experience?

One of my most memorable experiences was when I was nominated to be the school's Lincoln Academy Student Laureate. Each college in Illinois chooses one student to receive this award, and I had the amazing opportunity to represent Augustana at a ceremony at the capitol in Springfield. I was honored to show my pride for my school to other students from around the state and to see the community of prestigious institutions of which Augustana belongs.

What surprised you?

I learned how much I rely upon my friends and mentors. Augie provided me with an incredible support system that has held me up when times have gotten tough and shaped me into a better person. I couldn’t have done anything without the support of the loving community around me.

How did you use Augie Choice?

To help fund my participation in the University of Massachusetts’ Poggio Civitate Archaeological Project in Tuscany, Italy. This was an amazing experience in which I learned valuable skills and made lasting memories, all of which would not have been possible without support from Augie.

What will you miss the most?

Easily the people. I have met the most inviting professors, the best mentors and the dearest friends at Augie. It will be hard to not be around this amazing community all of the time, but I have no doubts that I will maintain many of the amazing relationships I have established here.

Advice for the Class of 2021?

Keep your mind open to all possibilities. You may not think you have any interest in a given activity or subject, but you should give it a try anyway. You may just find your passion in an unexpected place.

"Chris is a true scholar with profound love for learning, languages, history and sharing his knowledge in the classroom, in the field and in teaching others. He thrives on curiosity, on discovering how ideas and events connect and shape an entire culture or local community. The same energy that drives his intellectual work inspires his dedication as a runner on the track team. Steady and thoughtful, Chris leaves an impressive record of accomplishments while at Augustana."

– Virginia Johnson, faculty tutor, Reading/Writing Center