Graduation year: 2018
Activities: Varsity lacrosse, Chemistry Club
Internships: I spent two summers and the majority of my junior and senior years doing research with Dr. Amanda Wilmsmeyer of the chemistry department. I paid my expenses during the research experience with my Augie Choice funds and also the Edwin Erickson Summer Research Fellowship.
Post-grad plans: Attend Marquette University to earn a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry
My decision to attend Augustana was based on my desire to get a great education and play collegiate lacrosse. I loved the balance of academics and athletics that Division III provides, and Augustana was the best school in that regard among the ones I looked at. On top of that, Augie has renowned science programs, and my visit to the chemistry department showed me that they pride themselves on helping students prepare for the future by providing excellent facilities and many opportunities for research as an undergrad.
Are you where you thought you’d be when you first came to campus?
I came to Augustana knowing that I wanted to major in chemistry, but I never knew how much I would grow to love the subject. The chemistry faculty have helped me in so many ways to grow as a student and as a person, and I have developed a true passion for the subject.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
All of the chemistry faculty helped me get to where I am by my having had most of them as professors for classes and getting to know the rest by being on campus during the summer doing research. I also have my girlfriend, friends, parents and everyone else within the Augie community to thank for creating an environment that encouraged me to strive to be the best that I can be.
A peak experience was when I learned that I had been accepted into my first choice for graduate programs: Marquette University. It felt so good to finally feel that all of my hard work was paying off in the best way possible. It was made even better by the reactions of my family, friends and faculty that I had gotten to know well. They were all so happy for me and to share that excitement with them was truly amazing.
What surprised you?
I was honestly surprised to discover how hard I could work here at Augie. On the lacrosse field, I pushed myself way past the limits that I thought I had for myself and worked harder on the field and in the weight room than I ever had before. In the classroom, I took the hardest classes that I could and pushed my abilities academically, putting in more hours studying than I ever thought I would have to do. I discovered that working hard and putting in the extra time can be so rewarding.
How did you use Augie Choice?
I used my Augie Choice to pay for my research expenses and living arrangements for the summer between my sophomore and junior year.
What will you miss the most?
The friendships that I have made and all of the relationships that I have built here. I look forward to staying in contact with so many of these people throughout the rest of my life.
Advice for the Class of 2022?
The best piece of advice that I can offer the incoming class of students is to find something that you are truly passionate about and enjoy doing, because when you do that the long hours of hard work become so much easier and feel so much more rewarding when you are done.
“Hayden has been a fixture on the defensive side of the field for the Augustana men’s lacrosse program the last four years and also a tremendous leader for his teammates. More importantly, Hayden discovered a real passion with his academic interest in chemistry, which opened the door for his upcoming graduate work experience at Marquette University. We talk to our student-athletes consistently about the importance and value of relationship-building, and Hayden absolutely took that advice to heart!”