Graduation year: 2022
High school: Minooka Community High School
Hometown: Channahon, Ill.
Majors: Graphic design; art history
Activities: SAGA art and literary magazine, theatre costume shop
Internship: grain of salt magazine social media residency
Post-grad plans: I will be taking some time to work and finish the Whistler Project [Augustana Centre for Whistler Criticism] and plan to pursue a master's in library science and museum studies in the future.
Of all the schools I visited, one of the first things that struck me was how beautiful the campus was. The more of campus I saw, the more I loved it. Getting to hear about what the liberal arts structure had to offer and the different opportunities available to students really drew me in and solidified my decision.
Are you where you thought you'd be when you first came to campus?
In many ways I am! I originally planned on attending for graphic design and art history and I've maintained those majors, but I never thought I'd pick up Chinese as a minor. I took it my first year to fulfill the language requirement, and ended up wanting to continue.
I've also had several opportunities and experiences through campus that have pushed me to grow in ways I don't believe I would have otherwise.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
Definitely my family. They've been a great support system over the years and have helped me in more ways than I can count.
I've had several professors impact me as a student, but working closely with Dr. Morse, Dr. Goebel and Vickie Phipps over the years has been a great privilege. They have all helped me grow in different ways and pushed me and my work to a place I'm truly proud of.
I also have to thank my friends Evie and Blaine, who have always been there with a hug and a helping hand since we were kids.
I think my peak experience would actually have been not too long ago when I got to present my Senior Inquiry. To have the chance to talk about a project that I'm passionate about and have people genuinely interested in my work was really wonderful.
What surprised you?
I'm surprised by my growth as a person and a scholar. It isn't always something you realize as it's happening, but looking back on my work from my first years here, it's apparent that I've come a long way.
How did you use your Augie Choice?
I used my Augie Choice for a couple things! As part of my Senior Inquiry [The Cost of Mourning], I wanted to make a Victorian-era dress, and Augie Choice allowed me to do so. Along with this, I took a trip to New York and visited museums with collections and objects closely related to my research.
What will you miss the most?
The campus environment overall. It's such an energetic place, and it's always nice to see the trees change in the fall and how lively it gets in the spring as everyone starts to go back outside.
Advice for the Class of 2026?
Take the opportunities presented to you! It can definitely be a bit nerve-wracking going starting something new, but it's always been worth it for me.
"Elisa completed a fabulous Senior Inquiry that explored the visual culture of Victorian mourning attire through a digital museum exhibition — she even made a mourning dress based on a Victorian pattern! It was a truly interdisciplinary project that brought together her two majors, her experiences working in the costume shop, and her participation in a summer program at the Bard Graduate Center in New York City. It's been a joy to watch Elisa embrace the liberal arts and grow intellectually over these last four years."