Skip to main content
Ellie Reckamp
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Ellie Reckamp

Graduation year: 2024

High school: Prospect High School

Hometown: Mt. Prospect, Ill.

Major: French education

Activities: Augustana Dance Company, Delta Chi Theta sorority

Internship: Student teaching at Rock Island High School

Post-grad plans: Searching for teaching jobs in the Chicago suburbs

Why Augustana?

I found myself at Augustana in a similar way to many students. I came for a Visit Day and fell in love with the campus. The campus here feels designed for community, and it's so beautiful, too! I met my future freshman roommate at my visit on Scholarship Day, and just knew that Augie was for me.

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

Definitely not. I was not super involved in extracurriculars in high school. I thought I would come to Augie, make some friends, get my degree and be on my way. But I realized quickly that involvement in leadership positions and extracurriculars was a huge part of campus culture, and I'm so glad I embraced it. Seeing others on campus be enthusiastic about their groups and clubs is really inspiring!

Who helped you get to where you are now?

I had a lot of mentors in Dance Company who inspired and encouraged me to choreograph for the team and to run for the Executive Board. The upperclassmen I met through Dance Company helped build my confidence and guided me through how to balance school with extracurriculars. Because of them, I try my best to be a mentor and a good example to the members in the classes below me, and I have built so many awesome friendships out of it.

My French advisor, Kiki Kosnick, also helped me so much throughout my time at Augustana. Their advising check-ins with me are not just about classes, but a time to discuss plans for the future, things happening outside of Augustana, and how balancing college life is going in general. They have helped me by challenging me in French classes while also being supportive of all of my goals in every way. I have learned so many useful skills for dealing with anxiety and motivation blocks surrounding schoolwork that I will be able to carry with me past graduation.

Peak experience?

My peak experience at Augustana was definitely being elected the president of Dance Company for my senior year! I never thought I was going to be able to continue with dance in college, let alone become the leader of one of the dance groups, but it has truly been the defining experience of my time at Augie. Getting to continue to dance in college has meant so much to me, and I wouldn't trade those friends and experiences for anything.

What surprised you?

I was surprised at how involved students are on campus and throughout the community in the Quad Cities! While Augie is a small school, it lacks nothing in extracurriculars as compared to big schools. In fact, I think there are even more opportunities for leadership and involvement.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice to fund my study abroad trip to Dijon, France, in the summer of 2023. As a language major, having this kind of extended immersion experience was so essential for my language skills to develop quickly. I spent six weeks attending a French university while staying with a host family!

What will you miss the most?

I will miss campus life the most for sure! There's nothing quite like living so close to all of your friends and having so many spaces available to meet up and hang out. There's also always fun events going on like plays, shows, game nights, etc., so you never get bored.

Advice for the Class of 2028?

Finding your niché at Augie doesn't always happen overnight. Give it some time to try new things and meet more people. I didn't feel fully comfortable on campus until the spring of my freshman year. It takes time to adjust to college life, and that is totally normal. You might grow into it!

"I have so enjoyed being in community with Ellie these past four years. From her presentations in First-Year Honors to her graduate-level literary analysis in senior seminar, Ellie has always been a perceptive student and a natural teacher. While I will miss Ellie’s cool enthusiasm, dynamic creativity, and commitment to cultivating inclusion and belonging here on our campus, these qualities will benefit her future students exponentially. Ellie has a bright future in world language education, and I’ll be grateful to call her my colleague so very soon."

– Dr. Kiki Kosnick, associate professor, French