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Mia Reese
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Mia Reese

Graduation year: 2024

High school: Wheaton North High School

Hometown: Wheaton, Ill.

Majors: Communication sciences and disorders (CSD); Spanish for professional use

Activities: Varsity tennis, Augustana Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASSHA), Sigma Pi Delta sorority

Post-grad plans: Attend UW-Madison for my M.S. in speech-language pathology

Why Augustana?

I chose Augustana because it was where I felt most comfortable. Both of my parents attended Augie, which helped ease my worries of the big change of entering college.

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

I am way ahead of where I thought I'd be when I first came to campus. As a quieter person, I never imagined working up the courage to hold a leadership position, but I have held several. I have been on the executive board of ASSHA for the last two years, I've held three leadership positions in Speed, and I'm a current co-captain of the women's tennis team! Moreover, I have excelled in academics and have been developing strong clinical skills.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

My parents have helped me get to where I am now through their constant love and support, especially when I felt burnt out or down. 

Also, some staff have helped me to get to where I am now. Lucas Street in the Reading/Writing Center spent an entire semester helping me strengthen and develop the personal statements that I needed to apply for graduate programs.

Dr. Potratz gave me the opportunity to develop research skills by allowing me to be her research assistant in the Child Speech Lab. Beth Ford in CORE helped give me the courage and confidence to present the best version of myself via a polished graduate school résumé. 

My coaches Jon Miedema and David DeSimone have helped me balance school and academics and extracurriculars in a way that enabled me to stay active and see my friends consistently.

Peak experience?

My peak experience was my study abroad trip in Seville, Spain. Augustana partners with Spanish Studies Abroad (SSA) and through this organization, I was able to spend two months of the summer after my sophomore year in one of the most beautiful cities on earth. 

I was able to advance my Spanish language skills while being fully immersed in a different culture. I lived with a wonderful host mom named Charo, and I wish to return one day soon.

What surprised you?

Something that surprised me about Augie and specifically the CSD department was the opportunity to start working in the clinic during the second semester of our junior year. This is very out of the ordinary when compared to other schools, but it's highly beneficial in terms of developing clinical competence and confidence.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice to study abroad in Seville, Spain. The trip itself was very expensive because it was a summer term, so my tuition did not roll over like it would have for a semester abroad. I had to pay nearly $8,000 out of pocket to cover this trip, so the additional $2,000 was helpful.

What will you miss the most?

Getting to see the people I made connections with as frequently. Nothing will ever compare to living in community with friends and peers of your same age group. My college experience has been super fun and memorable, but I will certainly miss seeing my friends whenever I want or even randomly in passing. I am very lucky to have made such strong friendships, and I will do my best to keep in touch, but life undoubtedly gets busy.

Advice for the Class of 2028?

Get involved in everything you can. There will be times when you just need to be surrounded by different people and by getting involved in different organizations, you will be able to make so many more friendships and memories.

“I recruited Mia to be a research assistant in the Child Speech Lab since she was a stellar student in class. In the lab, she’s helped with data management, conference poster design and academic publications. I’m impressed with how Mia balances her superior academic work with being the tennis team co-captain. It is exciting to know that Mia will attend a top-notch speech-language pathology graduate program next year at UW-Madison.”

– Dr. Jill Potratz, assistant professor, communication sciences and disorders