A window inside life at Augustana College

Not Your Typical “Faculty and Staff”

I was doing a bit of reflection this past week on the time that I have spent so far at Augustana. I have made the realization that I not only have my network of friends that support me, but I also have have a network of faculty and staff who have been extremely helpful to me on so many levels here at Augustana. The faculty and staff here are much more than just faculty and staff.

It doesn’t matter what time of day, or what season of the year, I can always rely on Public Safety and Facilities. It doesn’t matter if I am picking up a parking pass for a visiting friend, or reserving tables for an event, I feel welcome. Walking around campus I have also noticed that I generally feel safe, and the staff does an excellent job of keeping it clean as well. The staff in the Community Engagement Center are always willing to review my resume. The staff in the Center for Vocational Reflection are always willing to help me sort of my wide array of interests into what I am called to do. The librarians at the Thomas Tredway Library are always helpful when it comes to me finding valuable references and other materials. I also always feel comfortable around the custodial staff in the residence halls. Since they are consistently here almost  every day, after being in the same residence hall for two years there is always a level of trust that you build with them. Even when I go to eat in Westerlin or the College Center, I am able to socialize with the staff there and they also know my name.

A while ago I posted a blog about professors being able to know a name, which is really important. This small gesture of learning your students’ names really goes a long way. But I have discovered a few things about the Faculty here that are much more important than their ability to memorize names…

  1. The faculty here are always available, and more than willing to take extra time out of their hectic schedules to answer your questions. If I don’t understand a certain concept, a professor is more than willing to explain it in different ways again and again. Whether it is letting students come to the office at any time during the day, or letting students call the house phone at 2AM the night before a test, the professors here want to see their students succeed, and are willing to be available to them so they can do so.
  2. While some students might not like specific teaching methods of certain professors–there is no denying that Augustana hired some brilliant profs. Seriously though, they are all incredibly intelligent. Whenever I go in to visit a professor during office hours I just want to pick at their minds for a while. I don’t think that they know everything, but they do know a hell of a lot more than I know, and I respect them because of this. Professors know much more beyond their discipline, and they know what it means to have a liberal arts education.
  3. I am challenged to think for myself. This has shaped me into a more critical thinker, as well as a more open-minded individual. Students are provided with an environment in which we are encouraged to disagree on opinions, and at the end of the class there is still respect maintained for each other no matter what kinds of disagreements were made during a discussion.
  4. The faculty care. They help give me advice on research and internship opportunities. They invite the class to their house for a home cooked meal. They are willing to meet up and have lunch with me to discuss my future and give advice on how to accomplish my ambitions and goals.

There are probably a lot of other things that I am missing, but overall I think that it is safe to say that the experiences that I have had at Augustana with the faculty and staff could not have happened at a large university. I am glad that I chose Augustana two years ago. The faculty and staff here have always been supportive and welcoming, and I am confident that they will continue to do so for years to come.

Leave a Reply