Graduation year: 2020
High school: Olympia High School
Hometown: Minier, Ill.
Majors: Multimedia journalism and mass communication, communication studies
Activities: Augustana Choir, Outside the Box, Heywire, Alpha Sigma Xi, Phi Mu Alpha, Augustana Observer student newspaper
Internship: Student reporter at WVIK, Quad Cities NPR (two years)
Post-grad plans: Not confirmed yet
Augustana felt like home the minute I stepped on campus. Some of the other colleges I visited made me feel so far away from everyone else there; they felt cold and sometimes clinical. Augustana felt like a place that I would come to know and love personally, and I did. I made friends and had experiences at Augustana that I will be grateful for and reflect on for a lifetime.
Are you where you thought you'd be when you first came to campus?
Not at all. I didn't expect to remain as involved in college as I was in high school, but Augustana had so many doors for me to open. My freshman year, I didn't get very involved in theatre, and I didn't throw myself entirely into music because I thought a college student couldn't juggle those things if they weren't majoring in them. But, happily, I was proven wrong. Augustana's programs and faculty made it easy to take advantage of all sorts of opportunities across my spectrum of interests.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
My family, first and foremost, remained supportive of me throughout all the different things I tried. From sketch comedy, to improv, to dramatic and comedic theatre, and more. They showed up to everything they could. Additionally, I had some amazing professors. Dr. Yaschur and Dr. Schwartz in the MJMC department fostered and grew a love for journalism that I barely even knew I had. I looked forward to every day of every class I had with them.
And then there's Dr. Kunde. My first question in her class was whether I should be there. Her answer to that: absolutely, yes. It eventually led me to a major in communication studies. Dr. Boone in the comm studies department, who I kept looking for classes with, encouraged me to work harder and research longer on projects than I ever had before, as well as stepping up and sponsoring Heywire when we needed an advisor.
Then there's the incredible directors, students and others that I got to work with. The amazing Augustana Choir family. There's my fraternity brothers, who were always there to talk, and my best friends, who made every day of college exciting. So many people helped me, and I'll always be thankful for them.
The beginning of my senior year I got to experience so many different things. From directing a sketch comedy show, to hosting an open mic night, performing in Flemming (a highlight of my acting experience) and working as a reporter during my break over J-term. The first half of my senior year was the peak of my time at Augie.
What surprised you?
The range of things I could do. My most important advice to future students is to try everything that interests you. I think you'll be surprised how many incredible experiences you have.
How did you use your Augie Choice?
I used it to go on the international tour with the Augustana Choir my sophomore year. We went to Sweden, Spain, Italy and France. Singing in those beautiful, magnificent, huge cathedrals was a life-changing experience. I'll never forget it.
What will you miss the most?
I'm going to miss singing every day the most, with people I care about. That's not something that you can replicate easily outside of college. But I'm going to keep singing; I know that much for sure.
Advice for the Class of 2024?
Savor every moment. Spend time thinking about how you feel about your college experience; it's the only one you get.
"During the three classes I've taught Collin, he has impressed me with both his writing and his presentation skills. His involvement on campus crosses theatre, music and writing for the Observer. In a class on technology and presentation skills, Collin showed that hard work, dedication and creativity can turn routine assignments into entertaining and informative performances. He is a liberal arts triple threat—strong academic knowledge, imaginative media production ability and impressive performance talent."