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Alyssa Macias
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Alyssa Macias

Graduation year: 2024

High school: Assumption High School

Hometown: Davenport, Iowa

Major: Public health

Minors: Psychology;  women, gender, and sexuality studies

Activities: Chi Omega Gamma sorority; Boundless Health and Wellness; Reading and Writing Center peer tutor

Internships: My junior year I interned at the Rock Island County Health Department as a mosquito technician. Presently, I intern at the Boys & Girls Club in Moline, Ill.

Post-grad plans: I plan on working at EveryChild in Moline, Ill., as a community doula.

Why Augustana?

I chose Augustana because of the small-big school atmosphere. It provided the small class sizes and quality professor-student relationships. Additionally, even though I grew up in the QC area, being on Augie's campus was like being hours away from home.

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

To be honest, no. When I came to Augustana, I was a completely different person from who I am today. The growth that I achieved is all thanks to Augie's education, professors and extracurriculars. I was guided to put my best foot forward and try my hardest in every aspect as an Augie student.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

My parents have been a major help in ensuring that I am successful. They instilled in me the resilience and hard work that I needed to achieve academic success and in the end, future employment. I am truly thankful for their commitment as parents and will forever be grateful for their love and support. 

In addition, Augustana's professors in the PUBH and PSYC departments were a significant inspiration. Throughout these last four years, I have heard about professors' enlightening academic and career journeys, which in turn motivated me to be open-minded to different internships and career choices. 

Finally, I would not be here without the friends I have made through these last four years. They provided me with a true college experience and seeing them being passionate about their fields only made me more passionate about mine.

Peak experience?

My peak experience was taking Reproductive Justice with Dr. Hann. This course opened my eyes to the multiple disparities people with uteruses and those marginalized face. We also discussed the different factors that influence access to reproductive resources and the spectrum of emotions that an individual may face when utilizing them. This class lit my passion for public health and even motivated me to pursue my minors (PSYC and WGSS).

What surprised you?

I was surprised to find myself joining a sorority, and now I am the vice president of the wonderful Chi Omega Gamma sorority. Being a member of this delightful group of strong individuals has given me the confidence to be myself and grow as a leader. I will forever be grateful for the numerous friendships I have made through Greek life.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augies Choice to study abroad in Iceland and Sweden. This was a public health-orientated trip, and I had the opportunity to learn about the multiple influencing factors of health and wellness in Scandinavia in comparison to America.

What will you miss the most?

Besides being close to my friends, I will probably miss working in the Reading and Writing Center (RWC) as a peer tutor the most. The RWC is a place of care and support for not only the students who utilize the RWC but also the students who work there. 

Whenever I walk into the RWC, I am always greeted with a smile followed by a meaningful and light-hearted conversation. In addition, I will apply the skills I have learned from peer tutoring throughout my professional and personal life.

Advice for the Class of 2028?

Remember that you are experiencing college for the first time, just like your peers. You are not the odd one out, and everyone is probably just as anxious about starting this new chapter of life. I hope this motivates you to truly dive into the Augie experience.

"Alyssa is a shining example of how to combine academic interests with a passion for helping people. From interning at the Boys & Girls Club, to serving as president of Boundless Health and Wellness, to engaging with international health professionals while studying abroad, her ability to connect with communities in need is unmatched. Alyssa’s drive, insightfulness and collaborative spirit have been assets at Augustana and in the community. We are excited to see where her next adventures lead. Congrats Alyssa!"

– Dr. Lena Hann, associate professor, public health