"I feel so much more confident now than when I came as a first-year student. Being able to work in so many positions and having all of these experiences, I feel so ready for my next step in the world."
Anna's Ambrosian experience made a life-changing impact. Personal attention, opportunities galore, and the freedom to shape her education to her goals led her to graduate with honors, as well as deep confidence in her abilities and dreams. This is what makes a St. Ambrose education remarkable.
Home Town: Quincy, Illinois
Anna wanted a career working with people, perhaps counseling adolescents, so she majored in Psychology. "As I got more involved on campus I started working in a lot of student engagement activities, and I realized I like working in higher education," she says. She added a second major in English, which fits perfectly into higher education, and launched her new career path. Anna is now a graduate student in the Master of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis program at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and plans a career in higher education student affairs.
Anna values relationships and one-on-one interaction with professors, which is why she wanted to attend a small university. Her older brother encouraged her to stop worrying about finding the 'right' school because belonging was something she would simply feel. "My mom and I were visiting campus and met some faculty and advisors. We were standing near the BeeHive when I realized my brother was right: I had a connection with everyone I met and with the campus itself," she said. Those imporant connections are easily identified and created due to the bevy of services focused on student success and well-being: on-campus counseling and health services; individual academic advising; tutoring; career center, and more.
How were you involved at SAU?
Anna was a New Student Seminar Peer Assistant for three years; a STAR (Students Trained as Role Models) during two summer orientation seasons; a writing tutor in the Student Success Center; a library circulation assistant for four years; and was on the cheerleading squad for two years. She also helped refugee children learn English and studied abroad in Italy. "These were all awesome learning experiences and led me in the direction of my future career," Anna says.
What impact did SAU have on your life?
We give students so many options to grow academically, get involved, and impact the world. Just ask Anna, who says her education and on- and off-campus experiences prepared her for grad school – and life. "I am able to balance work, school, and relationships so much better now. That only comes when you have the type of experiences I did as a student. I was able to get everything done and still have healthy, happy relationships with my friends."
Why choose the English & Psychology programs?
As an Ambrosian, Anna discovered how much she can accomplish academically. "I've always enjoyed school, and when I came to St. Ambrose, I found I was more capable than I thought. My professors and supervisors really pushed me, told me I could do more, pushed me to think deeper," she said. "I'm glad I picked two majors I was really interested in. It didn't feel like work, and my professors were always available for help. I would not have graduated magna cum laude without all of their support. I had an incredible four years. I am so grateful and thankful I found St. Ambrose."