Meet Abbie Sell, Class of 2018

Meet Abbie Sell, class of 2018, from Brookings, South Dakota. She’s a double major in psychology and English.

Q. What are you involved in on campus?

A. I’m a sophomore senator in the Augustana Student Association (ASA), a small event coordinator for Serving And Learning Together (SALT), an assistant coordinator for the Psychology Club, a violinist in the Augustana Orchestra, and a member of Civitas. I am also a Viking Advisor and a Viking Guide, and I tutor for the psychology department. When I’m not doing those activities, I have fun by participating in intramurals, playing club volleyball, volunteering in the Sioux Falls community, and eating mini corn dogs at the Huddle.

Q. Why did you choose Augustana?

A. I chose Augustana because of the small class sizes and the importance of community on campus. I enjoy being able to get to know all my professors and my classes allow for great class discussion! However, the thing that really drew me to Augustana was the incredibly strong sense of community.

I wanted to go somewhere that made me feel like I was more than just a number, and at Augustana, everyone invests in and supports one another.

Q. Favorite class or professor so far?

A. My favorite class so far has been Civitas (Religion) 110 with Dr. Ann Pederson. I was nervous to take a religion class here, but Dr. Pederson was respectful of all religious views and made everyone feel comfortable sharing their thoughts in the classroom and in our writing. She pushed us to think about things I had never thought about before, and our class discussions were great! That class taught me how to think critically about some of the bigger things in life, and it has prepared me to reflect on my life experiences in a deep, philosophical way.

Q. Favorite Augustana memory, so far?

A. My favorite Augustana memory so far would probably be going to Minneapolis at the end of finals week last year to perform our choir and orchestra Vespers concert. We got to play in a really gorgeous church, and afterwards some friends and I ventured through the downtown area to get some really good pizza. It was really special to be able to share Augustana’s musical gifts with an audience that lived several hours away, and I really enjoyed spending time with everyone in the orchestra!

Q. Reflecting on your freshman year, what were the most impactful experiences?

A. During my freshman year, the most impactful experiences arose from my involvement on campus. One impactful experience I had occurred when I helped out with a project through SALT called Teen Town, which raises money to buy Christmas gifts for underprivileged teenagers in Sioux Falls. Without our help, those teenagers wouldn’t have received gifts for Christmas. We distributed 640 gifts in December of last year.

Helping with the gift distribution made me realize how important service is to me and how important Augustana is within the Sioux Falls community.

Q. Tell us about the hands-on learning experiences you’ve had so far.

A. During spring break last year, I studied abroad in Greece and London. It was the first time I had ever left the country, and it totally changed my worldview. I learned so much, academically and culturally. The trip prepared me for life because I learned practical skills like navigating public transportation and overcoming language barriers, but I also learned that there is so much more in the world I want to see! Knowing how much more there is out in the world motivates me to make the most of my life and my career, and this trip definitely instilled a love of travel within me!

Q. What are the top one, two, or three skills/values/lessons you’ve learned here that you will take with you after you graduate?

A. A valuable skill I’ve gained in my short time here at Augustana would be the ability to communicate effectively. My writing skills have increased ten-fold during my short time here, and my involvement on campus has helped me develop my interpersonal skills.