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Jared Slusher
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Jared Slusher

Graduation year: 2024

High school: Wheaton North High School

Hometown: Wheaton, Ill.

Major: History education

Activities: Greek Council, Rho Nu Delta fraternity, Augustana Choir, Student Life Programming Board, Peer Mentor, Best Buddies, Pi Alpha Theta Honor Society

Post-grad plans: Teaching history at the high school level

Why Augustana?

Many of my teachers had gone to Augustana and always talked so highly of it. Once I took my first walk around campus, I felt that I knew this was the right decision. 

After a couple of months my first year, I knew Augie was a special place, and that I was going to learn so much not just in the classroom, but also through clubs and activities. 

I believe Augie has something to offer everybody, and the faculty want to see you succeed and thrive. The community and culture here are unmatched.

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

Not really. My first year was COVID, so it was super intimidating at first as I did not know much about campus life. Once I got involved in Greek life and the Office of Student Life (OSL), I met so many role models, including students and faculty who really pushed me to be the leader I am today. 

As for my major, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, but I cannot believe how ready I feel to go into a classroom, thanks to the education department at Augie.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

I would say that those in the Office of Student Life truly got me to where I am now. Ken Brill and Tia Steele were two of my biggest mentors, and they taught me so much by being outstanding leaders themselves. Without their guidance and leadership, I would not have been able to learn and grow as much as I did. Ken and Tia prepare students to be leaders in their future endeavors by giving them the skills for effective event planning, collaboration with teams, and respect for those around you. 

My advisor Michael Scarlett has also definitely helped me in my teaching journey. The education program at Augie truly prepares their students for the road ahead, and I am so thankful to have gone through such an incredible program. 

Finally, my friends and family constantly supporting and cheering me on has been immensely helpful. I have met such incredible people here, and I would not be where I am now without them!

Peak experience?

My peak experience was traveling to Germany and the Czech Republic with the Augustana Choir. The music program at Augustana has been such an honor to participate in throughout my four years. Getting to experience these two countries and perform in various churches was an experience I will never forget.

What surprised you?

I was surprised by the amount of things to do at Augustana. There is such a rich social life in terms of clubs, Greek life, activities, etc. Getting involved in Greek life and OSL really opened my eyes to how much I could do at Augie. While it is a small school, the students here love to get involved, and that was something that really surprised me my first year.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice for student teaching. I was originally planning on studying abroad, but I ended up not doing that. This worked out for the better as my Augie Choice was extremely helpful in my student teaching experience by helping me pay for gas, professional clothes and groceries.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss the atmosphere at Augustana the most. The beautiful campus, the Slough, the various places to chill and study. I will miss doing homework in the Brew or sitting in the Quad enjoying the sun between classes. 

The people here are a part of that too, and I will miss living so close to my friends. Augustana is such a special place, and I am excited to eventually come back and enjoy it as an alumnus!

Advice for the Class of 2028?

GET INVOLVED. The amount of resources, opportunities and activities that Augustana offers is unlike any other college. If you don't know where to start, find one club you are interested in and join it. You will make so many connections and find countless other things to try through that one club.

"Jared has had a tremendous impact on the Augustana community. He immersed himself in the liberal arts experience and played a significant role toward engaging his peers inside and outside the classroom. Whether singing in the Augustana Choir, serving as Greek Council president or chairing the Homecoming Committee, Jared could always be seen leading on campus. His positive perspective and charm will be missed in the Office of Student Life. I am thrilled Jared is going into teaching where his impact will continue for future generations."

– Ken Brill, associate dean and director of the Office of Student Life and Leadership