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Jessie Laporte

Hometown: Rochester, Minnesota

Major: Biology

Plans after graduation

After graduation, I plan to pursue my Master's Degree in Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities.

How did Augustana prepare you for life after college?

I am very satisfied with the liberal arts education I received at Augustana. The general education requirements gave me the opportunity to explore many different areas of study. In addition to science, I was able to study art, theatre, religion, literature, and more. This helped me develop a more well-rounded perspective of the world that I think will be valuable in my future endeavors.

What are you looking forward to about life after graduation?

I'm excited to begin a new chapter of my life. I look forward to moving to a new city closer to home and simultaneously taking another step toward independence. I'm especially eager to apply my knowledge and skills to meaningful issues as I continue my education.

What will you miss about Augustana?

I'll certainly miss the friends and faculty who enriched all of my experiences here; they made my time at Augustana truly memorable, and I hope to stay in touch with many of them. I will also miss the beauty of campus in the springtime.

What was your favorite memory from Augie?

Last summer, I got to work on a research project with two professors and another student at Augustana's Beling Ecological Preserve along the Rock River. Our project involved a lot of fieldwork, so I became used to muddying my clothes nearly every day--or so I thought. On our last day in the field, I sank hip-deep into the mud. I was completely stuck. My colleagues proceeded to laugh at me as I struggled unsuccessfully for about ten minutes. I finally escaped by crawling out of my waders, which of course, had to be dug out. Needless to say, when we returned to campus, I was covered in mud. I'll never forget the hilarity of that day.

What advice would you give to current students?

Don't be afraid to break out of your comfort zone and try new things, both on and off campus. The Quad City Area has many hidden gems outside the Augie Bubble, including amazing parks, museums, and local restaurants. Take advantage of these opportunities as soon as you can, because four years go by much quicker than you think!