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Brooke Dean
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Brooke Dean

Graduation year: 2022

High school: Olympia High School

Hometown: Atlanta, Ill.

Majors: Teaching mathematics; middle school education: mathematics

Minor: Philosophy

Activities: Varsity golf, Epsilon Sigma Alpha (service)

Internship: Student-teach at John Deere Middle School in Moline, Ill.

Post-grad plans: Teach high school math at Bettendorf (Iowa) High School

Why Augustana?

I wanted a Division III school for the class sizes and the relationships I could build with professors. I looked up D3 schools in Illinois. With the list being in alphabetical order, Augustana was at the top of the list. I visited the school and fell in love with the campus, my golf team, and the sense of community.

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

Yes. I knew I wanted to come to Augustana and major in math education and play golf. I was excited and eager to learn how to be the best teacher I possibly could be. Today, I am excited and eager to start my first teaching job.

I know Augustana has helped me grow in both my abilities to do that and in my confidence within myself. I am thankful to have had my professors and coach to support me on this journey.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

Dr. Egan was there for me both inside the classroom and out. He helped me believe in myself and my abilities to become a math teacher. He was a support system — if that was being a sounding board to talk about something on my mind or being a cheerleader to push me forward. I'm incredibly thankful for his support and guidance.

Dr. Clauss was my math professor for four classes. He pushed me outside my comfort zone in his classes to grow my confidence. I would find myself saying, "I don't know anything" during his office hours, but he helped me believe in myself more and more in every class.

My golf coach Tom Lawrence has been a significant influence on my college career. He encourages me not only on the course, but off as well. He has helped guide me to making the right decisions. He continuously shows support, and I know he will be there still after graduation.

Most importantly, my family is my biggest supporter. They are always there for both the highs and lows. Thank you.

Peak experience?

My peak experience was my study abroad trip to Jamaica. There I was given the opportunity to teach math to 7th graders. I experienced the culture and saw the way of life for many Jamaicans.

I learned how experiences that happen without planning are more important than worrying about schedules. It's about taking life as it happens rather than planning and meeting deadlines. Someone I met said "expect nothing, experience everything," and I hope to live by that.

What surprised you?

I am surprised by how much I have grown. My confidence has always been my biggest weakness, but with the overwhelming support Augie provided me, I am more confident in myself than ever before.

In my first year, I was nervous I would not make it, but my professors, advisors, teammates, coaches and friends helped me grow to be who I am today.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice for a trip to Scotland with the golf team.

What will you miss the most?

I am going to miss the campus. Augustana has this sense of home and community.

I am going to miss my professors and walking into office hours just to say hey. The professors truly care and show interest in students' lives. I will miss running into Dr. Scarlett and Dr. Schroeder in Evald on my way to class.

I am going to miss playing a varsity sport. Golf is a lifetime sport, but being on the team is something that I won't always have. I will miss my teammates and their support on and off the course.

Advice for the Class of 2026?

Go to as many club meetings as you can freshman year. You do not have to commit to any, but this will help you find people with similar interests and maybe a club that you love.

"It's been a great pleasure watching Brooke grow in her abilities and confidence — from when I met her in her very first math class here at Augie, all the way through Real Analysis! It was a privilege to be part of that journey. I know that it may sound cliché, but she's going to make a great teacher and will have a real impact on the lives of some fortunate students."

– Dr. Jon Clauss, professor, mathematics