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More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Rosalia Flores

Graduation year: 2020

High school: Wauconda High School

Hometown: Wauconda, Ill. 

Major: Sociology

Minor: Spanish

Activities: Latinx Unidos, Chi Omega Gamma sorority, OSL Multicultural Programming Board

Internship: Worked off campus for two years at the Boys and Girls Club in Moline, Ill. 

Post-grad plans: I'm taking a gap year to gain experience, but I plan on going to grad school to get my master's in student affairs and higher education.

Why Augustana?    

In high school, I participated in a summer leadership program called the National Hispanic Institute, and Augie is the host campus for the freshman year program in the Midwest. I remember going on a tour back in 2013 and just falling in love with the campus. When it came to deciding which college I was going to attend, I just kept thinking back to how much Augie felt like home when I was on campus for four days. I did an overnight visit my senior year, and it all just fell together.

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

Definitely not. I came into college with the intention of majoring in elementary education and becoming a teacher, but that all changed, and I decided to major in sociology instead. I’m a firm believer that the best things in life are the most unexpected ones, and that came to be true! Because of the amazing professors in the sociology department, I am confident in what I will accomplish in my future career.

Who helped you get to where you are now?  

There are literally so many people I want to thank; I don’t have enough space to thank each of them. Before anyone else though, I give almost all of the credit to my parents and sister. Without their support and sacrifices, I don’t think I would’ve made it through.

I also want to thank all of the friends I’ve made during my four years—they’ve truly been my rocks.

Next I want to give special shoutouts to Dr. Croll, Ken Brill, Michael Rogers, Ashley Allen, Leticia Martinez and Sayra Jimenez. From the moment I stepped onto campus, they’ve all supported me in some way. Whether it was teaching one of my favorite classes, writing a letter of recommendation, giving me feedback about my work or just letting me vent, cry and talk, I truly appreciate all that they’ve done for me.

Peak experience?   

Going to Disney World for the first time my junior year with OSL! We went on a leadership retreat with students from Maryville University and got to see some behind-the-scenes magic in the parks. Going on this trip really helped me become a more effective leader, all while enjoying everything Disney World has to offer. Little tip: don’t skip out on the rides just because it’s raining; the lines are actually much shorter!

What surprised you?   

I really didn’t expect myself to be as involved on campus as much as I was, much less hold the leadership positions in the different groups I was a part of. Because of all the groups on campus, there’s always an opportunity for a leadership position, and I’m so happy I took advantage of that.

How did you use your Augie Choice? 

I went on the Guatemala J-term trip with Dr. Rose and Dr. Schultz this year. During the 12 days we were there, we met so many amazing people and just experienced a whole lot of emotions as we learned about the powerful work they do as well as listened to their stories. They welcomed us into their lives. 

What will you miss the most?    

Definitely the connections I’ve made both on and off campus! Because of my off-campus job, I connected with so many wonderful members of the community, and I felt comfortable calling the Quad Cities my home during my time here.

One of my favorite things about being on a small campus is that you’re always bound to run into someone you know, no matter what part of campus you’re on. Even if it’s a friendly hi or smile in passing on the Quad, it’s nice knowing the people you go to school with.

Advice for the Class of 2024?   

Don't be afraid to ask for help! Your professors are there to help and trust me, they WANT to help in whatever capacity they can and see you succeed in life. Augie has so many great resources for so many things, and it's important to take advantage of them!

"If you've had the opportunity to interact with Rosalia, you know she has the ability to brighten up a room with her personality and smile. She is warm, empathetic and strives to connect with others—regardless of differences. I am most proud of the model leader that she is and how she has left an impactful mark on our campus. I am grateful to have known Rosalia, and she will be greatly missed. But I am excited to see her flourish, far beyond Augustana, and confident that she will continue to achieve amazing things, as she moves forward."

– Ashley Allen, assistant director, Student Inclusion and Diversity