Jack Brown '19: Where Are They Now?

Jack Brown ‘19
Major: Government/International Affairs
University of South Dakota School of Law student

Why did you choose Augustana University?

A: I transferred to Augustana after the first semester of my freshman year at another university because I was seeking a greater sense of community. My mom and a host of other family members of mine all went to Augie, so I knew there had to be something special about the place.

What was your favorite class?

A: My favorite class at AU was advanced composition with Dr. Patrick Hicks. This class was an upper-level writing course focused on the nuances of becoming a better and more engaged writer. I enjoyed the class because of how open and collaborative it was — there were probably only 10 of us including Dr. Hicks, sitting around a conference room table in Humanities, having free-flowing conversation about writing strategies and discussing different pieces of work every day. It also forced us out of our comfort zones because we would read our own writing in front of the class, getting immediate feedback from our peers in a way that wasn't judgmental but instead supportive and constructive.

Did you have a favorite professor?

A: My favorite professor(s) at AU would have to be a tie between Dr. Michael Mullin and Jason Harris. One of the first classes I ever took after transferring to Augie was Dr. Mullin's introductory western civ course, and he was the first professor I ever had who pushed me to think differently about various subjects throughout history and push harder to be skeptical about things we might hold as commonly-held beliefs. He was also the first professor where I felt comfortable enough to go into his office at any time for things outside of the classroom, talking about life or other challenges outside of the next homework assignment. Taking Jason Harris' business law course my junior year solidified why I wanted to go to law school, and his guidance and knowledge over the years inside the classroom and out of it about all aspects of life have been crucial for me when trying to decide what I want to do with my life and what kind of life I want to lead going forward.

What’s your favorite memory during your years at AU?

A: My best AU memory would have to be all of the friendships I've made during my three and a half years. When I was looking at different colleges during the end of my high school career, I think I overlooked the value of community, and Augie has completely shown me how important it is to have a positive college experience. I know without a shadow of doubt that I've made strong relationships with both friends and professors, and those relationships will be lasting.

Do you have a favorite learning experience outside of the classroom?

A: My favorite experience outside of the classroom would have to be the two J-terms I spent abroad. In 2017, I spent a month in India with Dr. Sandra Looney and Dr. John Pennington, where I found myself completely immersed in a different culture and way of life I never thought I would come into contact with. The food, smells, sounds —everything about India — are all things that I would have never experienced if I hadn't gone to AU. Studying abroad in India was truly a transformative experience. In 2018, I spent a month in the United Kingdom with Jason Harris and Dr. William Swart, where I took a class regarding the ins-and-outs of the ever-changing Brexit crisis (the United Kingdom attempting to leave the European Union), looking at its effects on business, politics, and culture. We spent the majority of the course in London, (with a quick trip to Paris) and being able to learn about a specifically modern issue in the country where the issue was conceived was such a thought-provoking experience.

Now that you’ve graduated, what are you currently doing?

A: I plan on attending the University of South Dakota School of Law in Vermillion. While the prospect of law school is pretty daunting, I feel extremely prepared for its intellectual rigors because of the academic demands of AU. In my opinion, I feel more prepared than others who went to larger schools, simply because of Augie's smaller class sizes, which make you not just punch your time card and show up to class and leave, but instead push you to consider issues critically and think on your feet in a way that a large lecture at a bigger school wouldn't.