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Rashaun DeBord
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Rashaun DeBord

Graduation year: 2017

Major: History

Minor: German

Activities: Varsity track & field, Rho Nu Delta fraternity, Phi Alpha Theta history honor society

Internship: German American Heritage Center in Davenport, Iowa

Post-grad plans: Pursue a master’s in public history at the University of Illinois Springfield 

Why Augustana?

It is a small, beautiful campus that has felt like home since the first time I saw it. Plus, Coach Ols was a huge factor in convincing me that Augustana was the right place to be. 

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

Actually, no! I’m much better off than I would’ve ever expected. I wanted to be a science major at first, but the history courses I took here made me realize the true passion I had for the past.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

My track and field family, fraternity brothers, classmates and professors helped me end up in the position I’m in. Without them, I would’ve missed out on amazing opportunities and lifelong friendships.  

A peak experience?

One of my biggest achievements was interning at the German American Heritage Center. I created my first museum exhibit on German inkwells and their significance to German culture. This exhibit was one of the most rewarding experiences because it was displayed for the public, and the internship taught me how to apply the skills I used in the classroom to a real-life situation. 

What surprised you?

I learned not to be afraid to take chances. Everything I’ve accomplished here was a result of me taking a chance. Now that I’ve broken out of my shell and explored the possibilities around me, I believe that I can do whatever I set my mind to.

How did you use Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice on my internship at the German American Heritage Center over the summer.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss the sense of family that Augie had. Four years flew by very fast, and I wish I would’ve broken out and taken advantage of the great opportunities I had earlier in my college career. 

Advice for the Class of 2021?

Be yourself and follow your passion. If you love something, do it. If you want something, take it. Augie is designed to help you explore, and you will find what you truly want if you look hard enough. 

“Rashaun exemplifies a crucial outcome of our major: a love for history. Whether he’s using the identity of the writer to parse a historical document in the classroom, presenting his research in front of a crowd of strangers at the Figge Art Museum, tracing the origins of inkwells or identifying Kewaunee boilers in Sorensen’s basement, Rashaun’s enthusiasm for the history all around us is apparent. His graduate work in museum studies will allow him to continue revealing the stories embedded in material artifacts.”

– Dr. Jane Simonsen, associate professor, history and women’s & gender studies

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