Graduation year: 2021
High school: Rockridge High School
Hometown: Taylor Ridge, Ill.
Majors: Psychology, sociology
Activities: Psi Chi (psychology), Psychology Club, Mortar Board National Honor Society
Internship: Service coordinator intern at Family Resources (Fairmount Pines) in Davenport, Iowa
Post-grad plans: Attend a Master of Social Work program
I chose Augustana because of the small, beautiful campus. I appreciated small class sizes when I was in high school, and I wanted to maintain that atmosphere. Knowing my professors is important to me, and I knew that coming to Augustana would give me that opportunity. When I took a tour of campus during my senior year of high school, everyone was so kind and welcoming.
Are you where you thought you'd be when you first came to campus?
Not even close! I came to Augustana with the plan of majoring in psychology and going on to get my Ph.D. in clinical psychology. As I took different classes and learned about different social issues, my path turned toward combining my psychology and sociology majors to pursue a social work route.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
At Augustana, my advisors and professors. Dr. Szafran has been my rock since the day I met her, advising me, giving me free therapy and never failing to make me laugh.
Dr. Corts has pushed me to tackle coursework (statistics) that I never thought I could do and mentored me through the research process for three years now. Dr. Croll has encouraged, assured and showed endless confidence in me as I figured out what I wanted to do with my majors.
The friends I have made have gotten me through tough classes and late nights finishing assignments. My family has supported me from beginning to end, and I could not have made it this far without them.
I am forever grateful for everyone who has been with me these past past four years.
My peak experience was spending 3.5 weeks traveling Japan with other sociology students as well as students from the Japanese department. It was my first time traveling out of the country, and I learned so much. I made some amazing friendships and memories, and I can't wait to go back in the future.
What surprised you?
I was most surprised at how close I became to some of my professors. Faculty and staff care about students beyond the classroom, and that is so amazing to me. Professors encourage students to take care of themselves and their mental health/well-being. If a professor noticed I was having an off day, they would reach out to me to make sure things were alright.
How did you use your Augie Choice?
I used it to go to Japan during J-term 2020! I would never have been able to have such an incredible experience if it weren't for the help of my Augie Choice funds.
What will you miss the most?
I will definitely miss my professors the most. They have done so much for me personally and academically. I will miss being in the classroom learning from them, but I am grateful for everything I was able to gain from them during my time at Augie.
Advice for the Class of 2025?
Take classes that sound fun or interesting, even if they are not in your intended major(s)! There is a lot of room in your schedule to take bonus classes, and you may even end up adding an additional major or minor because of it!
"I truly believe Madi embodies everything we wish for our students to be. She is motivated, organized and enthusiastic. She took advantage of the opportunities that Augustana offers to explore her interests. She conducted and supervised research projects, traveled abroad and completed an internship. Importantly, she has reflected on these experiences and how they have shaped her as a person. As a result, Madi has found her passion to be a social worker focused on social justice/equity. I am confident that she will have a positive impact on many lives."