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Celeaciya Olvera
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Celeaciya Olvera

Graduation year: 2024

High school: United Township High School

Hometown: East Moline, Ill.

Majors: Communication studies; multimedia journalism and mass communication; theatre – performance

Minor: Entertainment media

Campus activities: Theatre productions, The Observer, Chi Omega Gamma sorority

Internships: Fresh Films production intern (sophomore year); EDGE Center intern (junior year); marketing intern at local non-profit organization (senior year)

Post-grad plans: I will be taking a gap year, traveling and finding a job that aligns with my passions. Then go back to school, hopefully at the University of Iowa to receive my masters in communication studies, then on to a doctorate. I hope to eventually come back to Augustana to teach.

Why Augustana?

I feel the decision to come to Augustana was mutual between myself and the college. My family and I attended the Scholarship Fair for incoming freshman, and that day completely won us over. 

I had known for a while what I wanted to study in college. The professors took the time to converse not only with me, but also with my parents. They talked with us about class expectations, internships I could be taking, and graduating from a college with so much life experience on my résumé.

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

The great thing about life is you never know what’s going to happen. I am someone who doesn’t have many expectations, but hopes to succeed in life in the best way possible. 

To say I am graduating from a college that has given me so much is truly a surreal feeling. I never thought I would be as involved with campus life, especially being a commuter. I never thought I would make so many relationships throughout these four years. 

Leaving Augustana will be a hard transition, yet so exciting.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

I am proud of the capable young woman I am today. At Augustana I have strengthened my greatest relationship I have with someone, myself. It is definitely a hard process, but I have learned to appreciate who I am. I have also learned to accept help from others, to listen to others' life experiences, and to learn by example. My professors see the potential I have and they guide me each day with their lessons.

My educators have been my motivation to continue on with school. I have enjoyed all classes throughout the years because each subject has an importance. The class subject may not be one of my strengths but I got to build that relationship with my professors and teachers throughout the semester. 

To be able to converse with your teachers about both academic and personal concerns is truly a wonderful gift. They have all encouraged me to continue on in the best direction. They advocated for me when called; they will always be the people I come to for guidance. Thank you!

Peak experience?

My peak experience was getting cast as the female lead in a student-led production my senior year. I have been involved with theatre for the past five years, both on and off campus. Theater is a community of its own. Whether you’re on stage or off stage, you create an atmosphere that people love to be around. Being a lead in a production requires a lot of discipline and creativity. I was so proud of the work I put into that character and that production.

What surprised you?

What surprised me was the number of events and social/educational organizations this campus has. Augustana does a wonderful job at keeping everyone engaged. Whether you live on campus or commute, every student can be involved. I am so happy with the inclusion and diversity Augustana showcases because it is so important to make everyone feel welcomed.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I studied abroad my senior year during J-term. I took another religion course and traveled to Holden Village, Washington. I got to adapt to new ways of living, learn what it’s like to work within a community and appreciate the wonders of the outdoors.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss the family I’ve made here on campus. There are so many people who have brought so much happiness and joy into my life. There are so many relationships I have created. I will miss walking to my class and looking up from the sidewalk to smile at someone for a split second. 

It is devastating to think about after four years, you finally nailed down a routine, and just like that you’re off to new adventures. I am thankful for all of the memories I’ve made.

Advice for the Class of 2028?

Take your time to get to know yourself. Find your strengths and build on them. Find your weaknesses and make them stronger. Take advantage of all the resources, clubs, organizations and events Augustana has to offer. Listen to yourself and your body, and allow time for adjustments. Enjoy everything!

"I had the pleasure of meeting Celeaciya before she was an Augustana student, during an event for prospective students. I remember being impressed by Celeaciya's inquisitiveness and engagement the very first time that I met her. Later, when I became one of Celeaciya's advisors, I was not at all surprised that Celeaciya had chosen an ambitious and varied academic path for herself. Celeaciya is the model of "intellectual curiosity," and I hope she never stops finding new questions to ask!"

– Dr. Lucy Burgchardt, assistant professor, communication studies