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Lauren Endress
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Lauren Endress

Graduation year: 2020

High school: Geneseo High School

Hometown: Geneseo, Ill.

Majors: Chemistry, biochemistry

Minor: Mathematics

Activities: Delta Chi Theta sorority, Omicron Delta Kappa honor society, Active Minds, Office of Student Life

Internship: City of Moline Water Laboratory

Post-grad plans: Attend University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to get my Ph.D. in chemical engineering

Why Augustana?

I wanted to be somewhere I could form real relationships with the people around me. I wanted to be somewhere I could talk with my professors, study with my classmates, and walk around and see smiling, familiar faces everywhere I went. Here at Augustana I have gotten exactly that!

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

Not at all! From my majors to my personality, I've changed a lot since freshman year. I never expected to be continuing my education to pursue a Ph.D.; I never expected to join a sorority and develop close friendships with so many people; and I never expected to be as confident and ambitious as I am now. I am very proud of the progress and growth I've had both academically and personally during my time at Augie.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

I would never be where I am right now if it wasn't for my best friends, family and professors, who gave me so much confidence in my own abilities. My friends have taught me how to be bold, honest and genuine; my family has given me unconditional love and support through all of my endeavors; and my professors have armed me with the tools and resources I need to be successful in my field. I cannot thank them enough for helping guide me to this point in my life.

Peak experience?

My peak experience was living in an off-campus house with my six best friends my senior year. I'll always remember our Bachelor Mondays, living room dance parties and sunny afternoons spent on the hammock in the backyard. My friends made my college experience so much more than what I ever thought it would be, and I'll always miss living with them.

What surprised you?

I was surprised at how friendly and understanding my professors were. I always felt very comfortable asking them questions, and they always were patient and willing to help. They made me feel like they genuinely wanted me to fully understand the content they were teaching.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice for an internship during the summer after my sophomore year. It helped me pay for my commute, buy clothes for work and fund myself through the summer.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss the people! I love that everywhere I walked on campus I would see a familiar face. From my classmates, to my roommates, to my professors, everyone was always so friendly and welcoming. I will miss the sense of community I always felt here.

Advice for the Class of 2024?

Take time for yourself. College is a lot of work and can be overwhelming. Set aside time to relax and recharge your mental battery. Whether it's going for a jog, listening to music, writing in a journal or taking a nap, don't be afraid to make time for yourself!

“Lauren has had some great experiences, from her internship at the Water Laboratory to leadership within her sorority to working as a student assistant in admissions. She especially enjoys connecting with incoming students interested in STEM fields at Augustana, and showing them what is possible with a liberal arts education, combined with a strong science program. Lauren has used these opportunities to really grow as a person, a leader and as an academic. I think she even surprised herself that she would end up applying and being admitted to a Ph.D. program.”

— Dr. Greg Domski, associate professor, chemistry