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Henry Stauffenberg

Hometown: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Major: Geology

Plans after graduation

If accepted at MSU (Mississippi  State University), I plan to attend graduate school for a master's degree in geology and life sciences.

How did Augustana prepare you for life after graduation?

Augustana has refined many of my academic skills. Writing effectively and the ability to ask critical questions would be two skills that Augustana has improved the most since my enrollment in 2008. More importantly, through my senior inquiry Augustana has prepared me for life in the real world. My research opened my eyes to the fact that a classroom will not teach you everything that you need to know; through Augustana field trips, the Missouri GSA convention and the senior inquiry, I was able to learn the most through experience and connect my experience with what I learned in the classroom. Overall, Augustana has promoted me to grow and challenge myself. With that growth I gained new confidence and an awareness of my abilities that will prove invaluable in the real world.

What are you looking forward to about life after graduation?

I'm looking forward to applying what I have learned, especially geology, and to make a positive impact within the community. I'm looking forward to a life of freedom and independence that I hope to build.

What will you miss about Augustana?

I will miss all the great people that I have come to know and respect. I will miss not having the chance to take other classes that are within my interest. Overall, I will miss the pleasant and professional atmosphere that Augustana provides.

What was your favorite memory from Augie?

There are many memories for me to choose from. If I had to pick one, I would say the Grand Canyon trip with my geology peers. The trip was a weeklong hike through the Grand Canyon. I remember it fondly because for the first time I felt alive, healthy and complete. I lived my passion for travel, geology and nature. I was able to isolate myself from society and focus on geology as well as reflect questions to myself; questions like, "what is the relationship between man and nature?" Overall, the trip was a true challenge. I absolutely love a tough challenge and Augustana has most certainly provided it.

What advice would you give to current students?

Don't take the easy classes-the best learning comes from the tough ones. I would recommend taking at least one geology class because the professors are great and geology applies to many other disciplines. Always throw yourself into the open and be involved. What do I mean by that? I mean to say that by getting involved with the community, especially outside of Augustana, you will have opportunities open up. For instance, when I went to the GSA (Geological Society of America) convention in Missouri, I met many geologist who were interested in my research. One geologist from MSU expressed her interest for me to come work for her as a research assistant. I also learned about internships and other great academic opportunities. You never know what will happen when to go out and meet people.