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Jordan MacNeil
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Jordan MacNeil

Graduation year: 2021

High school: West High School

Hometown: Torrance, Calif.

Majors: Communication sciences and disorders (CSD), Spanish for professional use

Activities: Varsity track & field ; Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association; peer mentor

Internships: Closet2Closet; Augustana Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic; ABA technician with Kmk Consulting Inc.; pharmacy technician with divvyDOSE pharmacy

Post-grad plans: Attend graduate school to get my master's in speech-language pathology

Why Augustana?

When I visited Augustana, it was the middle of March, and it started snowing as soon as I landed! The admissions counselors kept apologizing for the snow, but all I remember was being so excited because I had never seen snow fall before! Beyond the beautiful campus, I saw Augie as an opportunity for me to try everything. The great CSD program and welcoming pole vault and track team made this my top school as soon as I visited.

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

Four years ago if you would have told me I would be a Spanish major, my jaw would have dropped. I came into Augie with three years of French under my belt, and decided to take Spanish 101 on a whim. Now, not only am I a major but I had the privilege of living in Ecuador for 11 weeks to even further grasp the language and culture. The CSD program is largely why I came to Augie, so I knew I'd get an amazing education. What I did not expect was how much it shaped me and how many people I'd meet.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

First and foremost, my parents for not only letting their daughter go halfway across the country for college, but for being a fantastic support system even though they're 2,000 miles away.

My professors! Especially Dr. Jakielski and Dr. Haskill of the CSD department for guiding me through this treacherous major, all the while keeping a smile on my face. And Dr. Jennifer Heacock-Renaud, America and Dr. Jeff Renaud for pushing me to continue Spanish and helping me through the difficulties of completing such a lofty goal.

My coaches and teammates from the track team – I would be sad and out of shape without all of you there to help me finish my workout!

Peak experience?

Studying abroad in Ecuador and Peru! Living with a host family and traveling around the country with my compañeros! The food, the culture and the interactions with locals were beyond what you could ever explain in a brochure! From climbing Machu Picchu to showering in a waterfall while staying in the Amazon, I can say this experience pushed me far beyond my comfort zone, and I'm all the more better for it. If you have a couple days, I might have enough time to tell you all about it!

What surprised you?

The biggest surprise for me was the confidence I have grown both academically and personally. Academically, I have never felt so prepared to attend grad school and be a "real" adult. In a personal manner, I now go into situations confident that I will accomplish something as opposed to being too afraid to even start.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

Studying abroad in Ecuador.

What will you miss the most?

The Fishbowl! I'm going to miss my late nights staying up studying in the Fishbowl with all my friends. It is hard to picture another time in my future where I will be in a group of people from all different majors working together to ace their tests. These late nights may have been the peak of our shenanigans; however, they also showed our dedication for our academic achievement. And it doesn't hurt that the coffee shop was just steps away!

Advice for the Class of 2025?

Don't be so afraid to fail that you forget to try. All of my favorite moments from these past four years have been because somebody challenged me to do something I was hesitant to try. Whether it was taking on a new major or applying for a job, these challenges are the moments I am most proud of.

"It requires a special student to complete a Spanish major starting in 100-level Spanish, and Jordan was one such student. She had a passion for the language beyond completing the requirements, and it showed in her dedication to the culture and the language and those who speak it. Jordan’s kindness drove her to continue with Spanish so that, as a future speech-language pathologist, she can help Spanish speakers who might not otherwise receive such care. It is this generosity that the Spanish faculty will miss about Jordan."

– Dr. Jeff Renaud, assistant professor, Spanish