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Etta Brooks
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Etta Brooks

Graduation year: 2022

High school: Wells Hairston Institute

Hometown: Monrovia, Liberia

Majors: Sociology; psychology

Activities: Office of International Students and Scholar Services, African Students Association, Student Government Association, Augustana Observer

Internships: World Relief; CORE internship; Theodore Roosevelt Foundation; Educate Children, Liberia

Post-grad plans: Study applied quantitative methods and social analysis at Northeastern University in Boston

Why Augustana?

I received the highest financial aid from Augie compared to the other schools I was accepted to. I was also impressed by Augie Choice and the beautiful campus. Additionally, Augustana was at the top of my list because I received a lot of information from the college and the admissions team. Liz Nino was really responsive to my questions and concerns.

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

No. I have achieved more than I anticipated despite the mental and financial challenges I encountered along the way. My experience has taught me important life lessons that will be valuable to me forever. 

I have learned independence, self-discipline, empathy, resilience, leadership, and more than I can even list. When I came to Augie, I wasn't even sure of what I wanted to study, but now I can see how much I have grown.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

A lot of people!

I am grateful to my family for always being there for me. I also met a wonderful American family who has shown me immersed support and made me feel like I have a home away from home.

I am especially thankful to SMART Liberia for its financial support and for giving me the opportunity to achieve my educational goals. Joining the Lift Liberia Scholar program has been the most important investment in my future.

All of my professors has being truly amazing! My sociology advisor, Dr. Fatima Sattar, played a vital role in my professional development and career choice. Dr. Sattar inspires me a lot and has given me ample opportunities to grow. Taking her classes and working as her research assistant have been some of the peaks of my Augustana experience and growth.

I am equally grateful to Dr. John Boateng for his support. He is one of the professors that I can always run to or count on for guidance. He is very welcoming and always seeks my best interest.

Peak experience?

My peak experience was attending the STEM Policy Seminar in Washington, D.C., hosted by PLEN [Public Leadership Education Network]. I met wonderful people and felt empowered.

What surprised you?

I was surprised by the many opportunities to participate in and celebrate my culture as well as the many enriching cultural groups and activities on campus.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice for an internship with Educate Children.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss my friends and our wonderful Augie memories. I will miss being on campus because it is just so beautiful.

Advice for the Class of 2026?

There are so many resources for you at Augustana; take advantage of them. Always seek ways to take care of your well-being. Believe in yourself and nothing should hold you back from pursuing your interest. Lastly, update your Viking Score, I repeat, UPDATE YOUR VIKING SCORE! I didn’t and regret it.

"It has been a joy advising and teaching Etta over the last four years. Etta is a very insightful, thoughtful, responsible and hardworking student who has taken advantage of numerous opportunities that have helped prepare her for graduate school! She is very passionate about gender, education and social justice issues (particularly in Liberia) and has done important recognized research in this area. Her global experiences and diverse perspective contributed to valuable classroom experiences. Congratulations Etta, you will be missed!"

– Dr. Fatima Sattar; assistant professor; sociology, anthropology and social welfare