Lauren Mills '18: Where Are They Now?

Lauren Mills ‘18

Major: Sign Language Interpreting

Self-employed sign language interpreter

Why did you choose Augustana University?

A: I chose AU because it is one of only 15 colleges in the country to offer an accredited bachelor’s degree in sign language interpreting. After touring and seeing the beautiful campus and learning about the program, I knew I had found the right school. It checked all my boxes — smaller size, liberal arts, the right distance from home, and a friendly, community feeling.

What was your favorite class?

A: It’s hard for me to pick just one class to call my favorite, but I think I have to say intro to government with Dr. Johnson. I took it my first semester of freshman year and it really set the tone for my Augie experience. We read fantastic books, had lively discussions, and I made some of my first college friends in this class.

Did you have a favorite professor?

A: Dr. Swanson was my favorite professor during my time at Augie because he challenged me to strongly defend my own beliefs while also being open to new ideas and perspectives. He encouraged me, inspired me, and always had his office door open, even when I wasn’t in one of his classes. Taking both of my religion classes with him was one of my best decisions I ever made at AU.

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

A: It’s impossible to pick just one! My favorite memories are the simple ones, like when a group of friends would get together and hang out in a dorm room or in the Stavig basement and play games or watch movies. That, and the Valentine’s Day sugar overload in the Commons!

Do you have a favorite classroom experience?

A: I studied abroad during J-term of sophomore year, which was probably one of the best experiences of my whole life. While traveling to London, Oxford, and Edinburgh, I learned so much about history, culture, literature, and had some incredible experiences I might not have had otherwise. For example, I saw a Shakespeare play and got to wander through the English countryside. I also made some lifelong friends and started my insatiable desire to travel the world.

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

A: I am a self-employed sign language interpreter in the central Iowa area. I feel that every class I took, friend I met, assignment I completed, and adventure I went on has helped prepare and shape me into the person I am now.