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Americus Mahatshahi
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Americus Mahatshahi

Graduation year: 2024

High school: Rato Bangala School, Lalitpur, Nepal

Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal

Majors: Pre-medicine; anthropology

Activities: Global Engagement Team, peer tutor for general chemistry, student research assistant, Global Ambassador

Internship: Medical scribe

Post-grad plans: This summer after graduation, I will be interning at the Harvard T.H. Chan School for Public Health.

Why Augustana?

I grew up in a school where I knew all my teachers, and they knew me as well. This interaction with teachers was something I wanted to have even in college. Therefore, I chose Augustana for its small class size. Additionally, I was attracted to its pre-medicine program. Augustana also gave me the best financial aid package among the colleges I applied to.

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

When I came to campus, I was a shy, quiet girl who had never lived away from home. I had never really been able to fully come out of my shell in high school, but Augustana gave me a sense of belonging. I was able to be the person I always wanted to be without feeling shy. I think today I am so much more confident and sure than when I first got to Augie.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

All my wonderful professors have helped me grow into the person I am today. I especially think the entire anthropology department, which has had a huge hand in guiding me towards my goal. Additionally, Dr. Kimberly Murphy played a huge role in making me believe in my abilities. My three best friends, who are now my family, have always encouraged me. Lastly, my greatest cheerleaders are my parents, sister and grandmother, who have always believed in me and my goals.

Peak experience?

My peak experience being a student research assistant for Dr. Kimberly Murphy and doing research on maternal health in the Quad Cities. I am very passionate about maternal health care, and this opportunity taught me a lot. I also believe this opportunity led me to secure an internship at the Harvard T.H. Chan School for Public Health.

What surprised you?

I was surprised by the diverse student body and the activities one can be involved in on campus. This makes Augustana a safe and nurturing space for everybody's interests.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice when I did a summer internship as a medical scribe after my junior year.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss the beautiful Augie campus and how my friends and I would go around looking for the bronze squirrels hidden among campus buildings. I will also miss all the connections I made at Augustana — my classmates, friends and amazing professors, who taught me a lot in these past four years.

Advice for the Class of 2028?

Always be kind to the people around you. Understand that our differences make us unique, not wrong. As my grandmother always taught me — in life, the best thing you can earn is the love of the people around you.

"As a pre-med and SOAN [sociology and anthropology] double major, Americus shows an insatiable curiosity for understanding both the complexities of the human body and the depths of human culture. Her ability to empathize with diverse perspectives promises a future physician who not only heals bodies, but also respects the cultural contexts in which health exists. Americus never gives up on her goals — I can't wait to see what she does next!"

– Dr. Rachel Horner Brackett, associate professor, anthropology