Senior Spotlight: Samantha Vaverka

Samantha took part of a fish trawl that she did during her summer marine research fellowship in Rhode Island. She was able to survey all of the fish in Narragansett Bay. Pictured is a dogfish shark.

Get to know soon-to-be-alumna and senior Commencement 2019 speaker Samantha Vaverka and learn why she's so proud to be part of the AU Class of 2019.

Q: Where are you from?
A: Milford, Nebraska


Q: What's your major?
A: My majors are Biology and Spanish, and I have a MDFL minor, and an ecology/environmental science emphasis.

Q: Why did you choose Augie?
A: I chose to come to Augie because it just felt right. Something about the atmosphere fit with what I was looking for. The big decision-making factor was learning about the outstanding biology program, and Dr. Craig Spencer and Dr. O'Hara's tropical ecology and Spanish immersion course in Guatemala and Belize.

Q: What are you going to remember most about your time here?
A: I will remember the professors who made an effort to invest in me. Nearly every class I took, it seemed that the professors took a genuine interest in what I wanted to accomplish and who I was beyond the classroom. Even professors who were not in my major took the time to get to know me, provide ideas of opportunities, and were available to help me succeed.

Q: Plans after graduation?
A: After graduation I will be taking a gap year to do research and hopefully spend time studying abroad before pursuing either an MD or an MD/PhD.


Q: Advice for students?
A: I know a lot of people have ideas of what they want to do immediately when starting college, but my best advice would be, don't limit yourself. If something piques your interest, try it, go more in depth, and truly explore that interest. Take every opportunity you have to try something new. Whether that be a class in a different subject, an internship, or joining a club you've never heard of, allow yourself to grow and change by exploring all of the possibilities. You don't want to look back on your life and regret that you didn't try something you were genuinely interested in. Take a chance on something. A liberal arts university like Augustana is the perfect place for possibilities.

Greta Stewart
Editorial Strategist