Black at AU: Awar Okello '27

By AU Strategic Communications & Marketing | February 28, 2024
Black at AU

Augustana understands the value and impact that historically marginalized people have on communities all over the world — recognizing that this university would not be the place it is without these students, faculty and staff. In the "At AU" series, the university aims to showcase these exceptional people so we can all hear their voices in an effort to foster positivity and create awareness of their experiences on campus.

For Black History Month — created to focus attention on the contributions of African Americans to the United States — Augustana is featuring Awar Okello ‘27. Born and raised in Worthington, Minnesota, the business administration major is of the Anyuak people, a small tribe native to the southwestern region of Ethiopia. Okello is bilingual in both English and her native language.

Q: What extracurricular activities are you involved in?

A: I am a part of the Business Club, as well as Black Student Union (BSU), and I am a Journey Scholar.  I chose to be involved in these organizations to find a sense of belonging at Augustana, being that it is a predominantly white school.


Q: What are your career goals/aspirations?

A: My aspirations are to obtain a degree in business administration and I hope to have my own business one day. I just have so many passions and interests, so I don't yet know what kind of business I would like to open.

Q: What is/are the reason(s) you chose to come to Augustana?

A: I chose to come to Augustana because of the quality of academics that it has. In addition, there are so many opportunities that can be found at and through AU that I wouldn't be able to find anywhere else.

Q: Do you have any other connections to Augustana?

A: I have two siblings who graduated from Augustana University, so I've been pretty familiar with the campus for years.

Okello Q: Is there anything you’re passionate about and/or activities you’re involved in outside of AU?

A:  Yes. Since my senior year of high school, I've been employed at an assisted living facility as a home health aide/caretaker in my hometown. I really enjoy working with the elderly and I enjoy doing the nurse-related work. I’ve even been considering changing my major to nursing because I am so passionate about the work that I do at my job and I love the environment.

Q: What is it like for you to be Black at AU?

A: Being that there is so much more diversity and colored students than there used to be at AU, my time here is going a lot better than I imagined. But, since AU is a predominantly white institution, I find it hard to find a sense of belonging away from the Black community.

Q: What would you like others to know about your culture?

A: Within our culture, we have royal families as well as kings and queens, and we honor each other by the titles that our families and ancestors have held.

Q: Is there anyone at AU who inspires you?

A: Willette Capers (assistant vice provost of Augustana’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion).

To learn more about the "At AU Series," visit

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