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Emily Martin
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Emily Martin

Graduation year: 2024

High school: Fort Zumwalt West High School

Hometown: Troy, Mo.

Majors: Environmental studies; geology

Activities: Varsity swimming, Udden Geology Club, Sierra Club, Club Rowing, herbarium cataloger 

Post-grad plans: Working with the city of Moline’s stormwater division

Why Augustana?

The trees and natural beauty of the campus, along with the amazing opportunities that the environmental studies and geology programs offer really drove me to choose Augie. I wanted a smaller school with smaller classroom sizes for a more individualized learning environment. As soon as I stepped on campus, I knew that it was the right place for me.

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

Growing up, I was very shy and reserved, and I was still this way when I started freshman year. Today, I am much more open and expressive; the people I met here are what made me who I am. Back in 2020, I also had ZERO clue what I wanted to do with my life beyond it being environmental-related. Now I have goals and know how to get there.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

Everyone I met at Augie helped me in some way, shape or form. My roommates taught me about friendship and happiness, my professors taught me to believe in myself and that it’s okay to ask for help, my friends taught me about laughter and happiness. I wouldn’t be anywhere without my parents and brother though.

Peak experience?

Being a part of the swim team that won conference for both men and women for the first time in school history was such a monumental and rewarding experience.

What surprised you?

I was surprised at how much everyone gets along. I was so excited when I experienced just how welcoming and loving everyone is.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice to go to Bonaire in the Caribbean as part of Geology 321: Island Geology to learn more about the nature of islands and threats upon them.

What will you miss the most?

I’ll miss talks with my friends that have us standing in the middle of the Quad or in someone’s house for hours, enjoying each other's company and conversation.

Advice for the Class of 2028?

Enjoy everything that comes your way; you won’t get any more experiences quite like these.

"Emily challenges herself physically and academically — achieving Eagle Scout; National High Adventure Award’s Triple Crown Winner; SCUBA-certification; two-time record holder, three-time Academic All-Conference as a four-year varsity swimmer; and conducting a physically demanding internship in remote Washington state. How fitting that Emily’s Senior Inquiry research, assessing baseline radon gas emissions in the Quad-Cities area, went so swimmingly and showcased her ability to dive into a problem and go above and beyond. Emily’s self-motivation, maturity and discipline will take her far!

– Dr. Mike Wolf, professor, geology