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Katrina Friedrich
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Katrina Friedrich

Graduation year: 2017

Majors: Biology and psychology

Activities: Varsity cross country, varsity track & field, Campus Ministries Leadership Team, Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society, Psi Chi psychology honor society, Beta Beta Beta biology honor society, Phi Beta Kappa

Internship: MD Anderson Cancer Center through Augustana’s Texas Medical Center program

Post-grad plans: I am looking for psychology research assistant positions in order to make my application stronger when I apply to graduate school for clinical psychology. I am really interested in working with children and adolescents who have body image and self-esteem disturbances.

Why Augustana?

I actually visited Augustana FOUR times before I decided to come here! For everyone who knows me, that isn’t surprising; I take forever to make an important decision. I wasn’t sure if a small school was for me, but after my overnight visit with the cross country and track teams, I knew it was the place for me. All the girls were so warm, welcoming and excited to meet little ole me! I didn’t have the fastest times, but that didn’t matter. They were more concerned about who I was as a person. After that, it was an easy decision to make.

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

Definitely not! When I came to Augustana, I was planning on being a physical therapist. That all changed after I took Brain & Behavior with Dr. Harrington. Who knew that I would like conducting research? Or want to get my Ph.D. in clinical psychology? All the courses and experiences through the psychology department really allowed me to explore my wide variety of interests.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

My friends have had the biggest impact on my life, especially my roommates. They each have taught me how important it is to be true to myself and believed in me when I found it hard to believe in myself. Each of them has supported me throughout my time at Augustana, and I know that they will continue to support me after graduation. Without them, my Augustana experience would not contain all the smiles and laughs that it does today! :)

A peak experience?

Interning at MD Anderson Cancer Center through the Texas Medical Center program was an incredible experience. I worked with Dr. Michelle C. Fingeret, a clinical psychologist who focuses on body image in cancer patients. It was such a privilege to work in a world-renowned institution, and what made it a peak experience was how well Augie prepared me. I was able to apply what I had learned from my psychology courses and position at the Office of Institutional Research to create and conduct my own research project. Prior to arriving, I was nervous that I was not going to be able to keep up with all the projects and assignments, but I found it was the other way around. People were trying to keep up with me!

What surprised you?

One of the most surprising things I learned about myself actually just happened within the last month. I learned that I have a passion for research. Never in my life did I think I wanted to conduct studies and publish articles. I always saw myself being a practitioner, but now I want to be a scientist-practitioner. I blame Dr. Salisbury and Dr. Dyer for that one! After conducting a project focused on microaggressions, I learned how important and applicable research is in order to improve the lives of others.

How did you use Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice to study abroad in Prague and Paris. While I was there, I took two courses examining the connection between psychoanalysis and art. Not only did I get to visit Freud’s birth house (every psychology major’s dream), but I also got to live five minutes away from the Eiffel Tower! If you haven’t seen the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night, it’s definitely something to put on your bucket list. It is a good thing I run because I lost track of how many macaroons and baguettes I ate that summer. I would go back in a heartbeat.

What will you miss the most?

The better question is what won’t I miss! There are so many aspects of Augustana that I can’t imagine living without, but I will definitely miss Campus Ministries. Being on the Campus Ministries Leadership Team has been an amazing experience. Not only did I meet so many awesome students and plan events for the Augustana community, I grew so much in my own faith. Before coming to Augustana, I was not quite sure where God fit in my life, but Pastor Priggie and Pastor Kristen helped me see God in every aspect of my life.

Advice for the Class of 2021?

Try everything! It’s so important to put yourself out there because you never know what you might be interested in. So whether that is trying the vegan chicken at Wild Thymes (which is so YUMMY) or taking a class in a subject you know nothing about, your time at Augustana will be that much more enjoyable and fruitful. Have fun!

“Katrina has blossomed into a nuanced critical thinker. She brought a wonderfully positive demeanor into her position in the Institutional Research Office and found a way to blend it masterfully with a stronger research mindset. Her work on researching microaggressions on campus and understanding the complexities of this phenomenon allowed her to both grow personally from her own work while at the same time present her findings in a way that influenced many of her peers.”

– Dr. Mark Salisbury, assistant dean and director of institutional research and assessment