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Mark Teschke
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Mark Teschke

Graduation year: 2022

High school: Carl Sandburg High School

Hometown: Orland Park, Ill.

Majors: Geography; environmental studies

Minor: Geographic information science and technology (GIST)

Activities: Varsity lacrosse

Internships: Field GIS intern, UrbanGIS; GIS intern, Augustana geography department; field technician intern, V3 Companies

Post-grad plans: GIS Technician for Baxter and Woodman

Why Augustana?

I chose Augustana for the opportunity to earn a degree from a top college while continuing to play the sport that I love.

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

Yes. When I arrived on campus, I was welcomed with open arms by my teammates and a received a plethora of help from professors and faculty.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

My teammates, professors, family and coaches have helped me become the person that I am today. The teachers and advisors I have had in the geography department have genuinely been some of the best and most helpful teachers I have ever had in my life.

Without their help, I would not have found what I want to do for a career. Their support throughout my Senior Inquiry project also led me to find a topic that I really felt passionate about. 

Playing on a sports team as well has given me skills in leadership and communication that have prepared me for the real world, and I could not have learned these without my teammates and coaches.

Peak experience?

My peak experience was finally completing my geography Senior Inquiry and being able to feel proud of all of the work that I had completed, then later earning recognition for how hard I worked on it. I was able to pick something that I felt passionate about, and I was able to create something that I genuinely cared about and enjoyed working on.

What surprised you?

I was surprised with how painless it was to achieve a double major. The classes are very easily compatible, and the advisors help you out a lot to make sure you are able to have more than one major.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice to get clothes and take care of travel costs during my summer internship.

What will you miss the most?

Being around all of my closest friends all of the time, as well as interacting with my favorite professors all the time.

Advice for the Class of 2026?

Enjoy every moment you can and explore your options in different majors so you can find what you love.

"Mark’s Senior Inquiry embodies the hard work and initiative that he has shown at Augustana. He used his skills in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and spent countless hours in the GIS lab creating maps showing how low-income communities in the Quad Cities are particularly vulnerable to the urban heat island effect. Even though he submitted his final project months ago, Mark continues to find new outlets for his research and advocate for change locally, and it’s great to see the assured, confident person he has become."

– Dr. Chris Strunk, associate professor, geography