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Ariane Omerza
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Ariane Omerza

Graduation year: 2021

High school: Batavia High School

Hometown: Batavia, Ill.

Major: Music education – instrumental

Activities: National Association for Music Education, Sigma Alpha Iota, Augustana Symphonic Band, Augustana Symphony Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble

Internship: Student teaching

Post-grad plans: I'm planning on teaching music in the Quad-City area.

Why Augustana?   

I love Augustana because of how well I've gotten to know my professors. The small class sizes are what really drove me to come here. I didn't want to be just another student in a big lecture hall. At Augustana, I've had one-on-one conversations with every single one of my professors, and they all know me personally. This has helped me so much to build a support system and to help me be confident in my academics.

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

Nope! This year, I have served as president of two student organizations, arranged a virtual professional workshop, student-taught in a rural school district — all during a pandemic!

Who helped you get to where you are now?

My family is my #1 support system. They encourage me to explore new ideas and go wherever life takes me, and I couldn't have gotten through my college experience without them.

My advisors, Drs. Farmer and Rathgeber, are also a big part of my support system. Throughout my college career, they have made sure I am staying on track with my classes and milestones, and have shown me what is possible for college students to accomplish.

I am grateful to all of my teachers and professors who have helped to get me to this point, and I'm excited to pay it forward with my own future students.

Peak experience?

My peak experience has definitely been student teaching. I love being able to go to school every day and get to know the students at my placements. I also enjoy how I've been able to gradually build my level of responsibility, so I can feel confident when I'm teaching and planning lessons.

What surprised you?

I was surprised by how many leadership opportunities were available to me early on in my time at Augustana. If you want to hold a leadership position by your sophomore year, you definitely can!

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice to supplement my student-teaching semester, which paid for my gas, school supplies and fees to apply for a teaching license.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss rehearsing and performing music with my friends. I've had some of the most incredible performance experiences with people I've developed close friendships with, and I will cherish those memories forever.

Advice for the Class of 2025?

Get involved in anything that interests you. This is your chance to get to know yourself and what you're good at. The world is waiting there for you!

"Ariane is an impressive leader, a thoughtful learner and a responsive early-career music teacher. Her leadership as president of the National Association for Music Education collegiate chapter has been invaluable, especially as she worked with chapters from around the state to organize two days of amazing beginning teacher workshops. While I will miss her presence and collaboration as she graduates, I’m excited to see/hear about the amazing things she does for/with her future students."

– Dr. Jesse Rathgeber, assistant professor, music education