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Sara Melchior
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Sara Melchior

Graduation year: 2017

Majors: Psychology (pre-occupational therapy) and Spanish for professional use

Activities: Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA) sorority, Learning Commons Spanish tutor, Opportunity Kicks tutor, Campus Ministries, Psi Chi honor society in psychology

Internship: Children’s Therapy Center of the Quad Cities

Post-grad plans: Take off a year before applying to graduate schools. During my gap year, I will take the GRE, apply to occupational therapy (OT) school, and hopefully work in a clinic or hospital as a medical assistant.

Why Augustana?

I chose to attend Augustana because of the small class sizes and the close connections that professors form with their students. I went to a relatively small high school, and I knew that I wanted to go where my professors would know who I was and care about me as a person.

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

Yes and no. I came to Augustana knowing that I wanted to major in psychology and go to OT school after graduation. However, I came here thinking I would do the 3:2 program that Augustana has with Washington University in St. Louis. I decided not to do the 3:2 program because I earned enough credits at the end of my three years here at Augie to graduate. I also came to Augie thinking I would maybe minor in Spanish, but the Spanish for professional use major seemed to fit better with my future plans.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

I would not be where I am now without the help of my parents, other family members and the wonderful professors I have had. My parents have always supported me in everything I have done, and they have been there for me during the highs and lows of college. My two advisors, Dr. Havard and Dr. Rose, were instrumental in helping me finish my degree in three years by giving me the best advice about which classes to take. In addition, each and every professor has helped me become the student and person I am today.

A peak experience?

A peak experience would definitely be my study abroad trip to Ecuador last summer. I made new friends, explored Ecuador and Peru, lived with a host family and greatly improved my Spanish language skills. I also visited Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Ecuador also helped me to look at topics covered in my Spanish classes from a different perspective.

What surprised you?

I learned to try new things and to open myself up to new experiences. I have also learned that when I put my mind to something, I can accomplish anything.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice for my study abroad trip to Ecuador.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss all of the people, including my friends, my ESA sisters and all of my professors. I have made so many wonderful memories with all of my friends and sisters, and I cannot imagine not being around them every day next year. I will also miss being able to stop by and talk with my professors when I just want to say hi.

Advice for the Class of 2021?

Introduce yourself to your professors during the first week of each term; just saying hello and taking the time to introduce yourself goes a long way. Also, don’t be scared of your professors because they aren’t as scary as you might think.

“What stands out about Sara is that she is meticulously studious, as well as smart. She has a great understanding of how language works because she is a good listener, very observant and pays attention to details, she has a logical mind that can analyze concepts and ideas, and she can connect and apply her knowledge without difficulty. Because she is also mature and responsible, Sara was chosen to be a Spanish tutor. In this capacity, she worked with a few students who struggled with the language, showing diligence and care for their learning and wellbeing. It's been a pleasure to have her in my classes and to work with her as a tutor, and I wish her the best in her future endeavors."

– Dr. Ana Borderia-Garcia, associate professor, WLLC-Spanish