Posted on May 30, 2019 by Tia Lalani

Critical thinking, putting yourself out there, enjoying the experience and getting involved in the community—these grads are urging new students to make the best of their time at Augustana, just as they did.

Alex Ho

Member of the Augustana Student’s Association | Photographer | Augustana Leadership Award Winner

Who was your favourite mentor or professor at Augustana?
My favorite mentor would have to be Cindy Roose (manager of the Augustana Students’ Association) and my favorite instructor would be Janet Wesselius.

What was your favourite class at Augustana?
My favorite classes always consisted of philosophy, as the subject pushed me to become a thinker and to adopt new ways of thinking.

What’s your best memory from Augustana?
My best memory is walking through the forum to be greeted by so many friendly faces. From administration to teachers and classmates, it was always a happy moment seeing so many loving faces in one place.

If you could give a new student a piece of advice about coming to Augustana, what would it be?
I would tell them to put themselves out there. Joining student governance allowed me to grow so much and learn more about myself than I ever thought I would. Trying to become an example for others allowed me to meet some of the best people, and to find myself and build confidence when it came to dealing with hard problems and situations.

What’s next for you?
I am currently looking into employment with my computing science degree and will eventually branch off into a business of my own. I have some ideas right now that will kick off my project building, but I can’t give all my secrets out just yet.


Jamie Grunwald

Campus Visits Team Member | Studied abroad in Costa Rica | Presenter at the UAlberta Festival of Teaching and Learning | Recipient of the Augustana Roger Epp Award

Who was your favourite mentor or professor at Augustana?
My favourite professor was Neil Haave. He had a significant impact on my development as a scientist and researcher and influenced my perspective of learning, science and society.

What was your favourite class at Augustana?
My favourite courses at Augustana were Vertebrate Form and Function and Shakespeare. Taking the Vertebrates course was critical for building my laboratory and dissection skills and provided me with a deeper understanding of and passion for mammalian physiology. The Shakespeare course was heavily discussion-based and included opportunities to engage in meaningful conversation while balancing creative and critical thinking (which also made the course a lot of fun).

What’s your best memory from Augustana?
Watching the sunset in the Osa Peninsula during my Costa Rica field research course is my best memory from Augustana. It rained a lot during that trip, but one evening we were granted a beautiful view of the sun setting over the rainforest and the ocean. That moment made me feel incredibly grateful for the experiences that I have been granted at Augustana and being able to share that moment with friends made it even more memorable.

If you could give a new student a piece of advice about coming to Augustana, what would it be?
Take the time to think critically about what you want to learn and the kind of person you want to become during your undergraduate degree, and then take advantage of opportunities that will help you grow towards those goals. Intentionally reflecting on your experiences throughout your degree will teach you more about yourself and what you are passionate about than re-reading lecture PowerPoints ever could.

What’s next for you?
I plan to pursue a career in medicine or continue my education in the health sciences.


Lina Lim

Philosophy Major, Chemistry Minor | Published in Spectrum | Recipient of the Augustana Dr. Roger Epp Scholar Athletes of the Year Award | Headed to Dental School

Who was your favourite mentor or professor at Augustana?
Every professor in the philosophy and religion department have had an immense impact on both my academic and personal life. They have shown me that learning does not have to be a scary, stressful thing, but rather a process of continual and pervasive development. But the very first professor who made me excited about going to class was Ian Wilson. With humility, expertise and sincerity, he has taught me not only how cool Ancient Israelite history can be, but how to think about the choices that I make with regards to my daily life and future plans—always with respect (for myself and others) and a sense of accountability. I have walked away from so many of our conversations with the conviction that I am learning and growing—that I am really at university—and for that, I will be forever grateful.

What was your favourite class at Augustana?
Melaina Weiss (philosophy instructor) was kind enough to take me on as a Directed Reading student, through which we studied phenomenology by practicing yoga. The class consisted of discussions at cafés and attending a yoga class at Sacred Arts—the epitome, I think, of “symphilosophein” (to philosophize together). Needless to say, class doesn’t get much cooler than doing yoga with your prof. As well, the one-on-one meetings were always stimulating, albeit challenging; as someone who prefers writing (I like to dwell on ideas and revise what I’m saying), I found it difficult yet also liberating to allow the words to tumble out, revealing to me my questions and thoughts as they were being vocalized. Under Melaina’s guidance and support, I felt free to explore my own areas of interest, which I am still pursuing now.

What’s your best memory from Augustana?
Potlucks! I love cooking and eating, and that’s always made merrier with other people. My friends and I used to hold “Pizza Fridays” where we would gather at someone’s house, with each person bringing a topping or two to make homemade pizzas together. Of course, anyone and everyone was welcome. Even though we say that Augustana is small, a lot of the times we were so busy that it was hard to make time for one another. Also, I find it’s unfortunately too easy to close yourself off to your one group of friends. So potlucks were always nice to catch up, meet new people and participate in the sense of sharing and community. And it was always a good excuse to take a break from studying, because you gotta be alive to study, right?!

If you could give a new student a piece of advice about coming to Augustana, what would it be?
Don’t be obsessed with “finding yourself”. There is no one “self” to be “found”—you are a combination of your beliefs, your environment and those around you, constantly being created and re-formed. So make sure you remain open to new experiences and ideas and let yourself be created. If school gets tough, take the time to realize and marvel at the pure fact that you know more today than you did yesterday.

What’s next for you?
I’ll be attending dental school at the University of Alberta starting this fall, but will forever be talking about philosophy with anyone who is interested and spreading the gospel of phenomenology!


Jasohna Haukenfrers

Research Assistant | Studied abroad in Vienna | Pursuing Musical Therapy

Who was your favourite mentor or professor at Augustana?
My favourite professor and mentor at Augustana is Ardelle Ries. Throughout my four years, she has challenged me and pushed me as well as given me opportunities that I could never imagine. She teaches with her whole heart and always goes the extra mile, whether that includes extra help or a research project. Through the good times and the hard times, Ardelle was there to support and guide me, encouraging me to go for my dreams. Thank you so much!

What was your favourite class at Augustana?
Do I have to pick one? There are so many! Professor Tim Parker’s Introduction to the Brain and Nervous system was so challenging yet so interesting. Building a brain was one of my favourite projects! Any course with professor Alex Carpenter was full of great life advice along with the course material. He is an absolutely amazing lecturer, always keeping things interesting. My piano lessons with Inna Luzanac were irreplaceable and I looked forward to them weekly. She is an inspiration. And last but not least, professor Ardelle Ries’ Choral Techniques, Literature and Interpretation was one of the most practical courses I have ever taken.

What’s your best memory from Augustana?
One of my many favourite memorable moments of my time at Augustana happened in Vienna, Austria in professor Carpenter’s interdisciplinary course studying the music and culture of the city. Although there are many great memories from that trip, the most memorable was during one of our free evenings for supper, when we decided to leave the comfort of the tourist area where English was quite common. We decided to play it safe and go straight down one direction on the train, to get off after eight stops and see what was around. During our journey to our undetermined destination, we rode the subway above ground and over a bridge to a harbour filled with sailboats, just as the sun was setting. This view was one of the most picturesque of the whole trip, though I don’t have a picture of it because it was there one second and gone the next! Then, before the subway went back underground, we had the opportunity to see the UN building in Vienna and the semi-circle of flags in front of the building. Lucky for us and our hungry stomachs, when we arrived at the eighth stop there was what we assumed was an Austrian “Chinese food place”. The lady who ran the shop spoke no English, so we were using beginner-level German vocabulary in trying to deduce what the menu said. Although none of us were sure exactly what we ordered, the food was delicious and it was an experience that we will never forget. By the time we were riding the train back to our hotel for the evening, the sun had set and the scenery was gone…

If you could give a new student a piece of advice about coming to Augustana, what would it be?
Get involved in Camrose, because Augustana is only a small piece of the rich community. Leave campus and go for walks on one of the amazing trails, bring your bike and explore the city. Volunteer whenever you have time and make connections. Augustana has many connections with the community of Camrose, so use them to get to know new people to expand your frame of reference and connection. There are many gems waiting to be found!

What’s next for you?
In the Fall, I will be moving to Winnipeg for two years to complete a music therapy after-degree at the Canadian Mennonite University (CMU). Although I will not graduate for three years, I plan on returning to Alberta to complete my internship and final year of my degree at CMU. Following the completion of my Bachelor of Music Therapy at CMU, I hope to write my accreditation exam for music therapy and open my own music therapy practice.


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