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Isabella Taylor
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Isabella Taylor

Graduation year: 2022

High school: Downers Grove South High School

Hometown: Downers Grove, Ill.

Major: Communication sciences and disorders (CSD)

Activities: Phi Rho sorority, Her Campus, varsity track & field

Internship: Roseman Center for Speech, Language, and Hearing

Post-grad plans: I will be attending DePaul University for my master's in speech-language pathology.

Why Augustana?

Choosing Augustana was easy for me. I knew I wanted a small school for the intimate class sizes and so I could run track. Once I stepped on campus, I felt as though I belonged and that the students and faculty genuinely wanted me to succeed.

I was excited for the endless amount of opportunities that Augustana could offer me with its liberal arts education. I knew that by coming to Augustana that I would leave with a well-rounded education, leading me to be competent in all of my future endeavors.

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

I have come so much further than I could have ever imagined. Coming into my freshman year, I did not know what to expect. Little did I know that I would meet lifelong friends, push myself further than I ever have and find my passion.

Thanks to Augustana, I now know my worth and that I am capable of much more than I think. Augustana College had faith in me and has supported me in ways unimaginable.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

The first group of people who have supported me in every way is my family. With just one phone call, they have always centered me in times of stress and never let me forget how proud I am making them.

The second group of individuals who are behind all of my success is the many amazing professors I have had the opportunity to work with. In particular, the CSD family is not only close because we're all stuck in one building together, but the professors and supervisors have always offered a helping hand.

Especially Professor Williams, who always has an open door and caring words to share that remind me that I can do whatever I put my mind to. By pushing me in the classroom to helping me write my personal statements, Professor Williams has always made me feel empowered.

Last but not least, my friends have helped me get to where I am now. They have lifted me up on my best days and been a shoulder to cry on, on my worst days. I would not be where I am today without their constant love.

Peak experience?

Getting to work in Augustana's Roseman Center for Speech, Language, and Hearing. Not many undergraduate programs have an on-campus clinic, but with this opportunity, I was able to apply my education and see my impact on others.

Everyone deserves the right to communication, and from the impact I've made on my clients' lives, I walk away from Augustana feeling accomplished and so proud.

What surprised you?

Myself! I never could have imagined accomplishing all that I have. Augustana's supportive environment and rigorous classes have helped me develop into a strong and confident woman. I would have never believed anyone if they told me I would be attending graduate school, but with Augie's strong support system, I was able to grow and find my passion.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I will be traveling to Cambodia. Due to COVID, I will be going after graduation, but I will forever be thankful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This trip will take me out of my comfort zone and teach me selflessness and curiosity, and allow me to explore a new culture.

What will you miss the most?

Walking through the Quad. Augustana's campus is beautiful, and there is always a friendly face right around the corner. Seeing all of my friends on my walks to class has always brightened my day, and I will greatly miss having all of my favorite people in one place.

Advice for the Class of 2026?

Do not limit yourself. Augie has given me so many opportunities to learn and grow. As a freshman, I thought I knew what I wanted myself to be in four years, but that's not how it turned out, and that is okay! Take that interesting class, join that club and push yourself in unimaginable ways.

"Izzy is compassion personified. I have had the joy of teaching Izzy in three classes, supervising her clinical practicum, and leading her upcoming study abroad to Cambodia. She brings a presence and empathy to every interaction. She is thoughtful in class and not afraid to try on new ideas that challenge and expand the limits of her understanding. As we prepare for our study abroad and as Izzy prepares for graduate school upon our return, I am excited to see how she implements her experiences to continue to improve the lives of the people she interacts with in the field of speech-language pathology."

– Laurel Williams, professional faculty/clinical supervisor, communication sciences and disorders