Hurley Wins Covenant Award for Excellence

By Kirstie Wollman
 The Augustana Mirror

Exemplifying Augustana's standards of academic quality and integrity, senior Rachel Hurley received the Covenant Award for Excellence during the keynote address of the symposium on April 9.

"[Hurley] is completely unpretentious in spite of her tremendous success," vice president for enrollment Nancy Davidson said. "Her commitment to integrity and the highest ethical standards are without question."

Hurley is a double major in biology and ACS chemistry and has been involved in numerous activities throughout her time at Augustana, including the Augustana band and wind ensemble, New Student Orientation, Outreach Ministries, Pre-Med Club and the Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Society.

"These organizations have helped me become a part of the Augustana community and challenged me to grow in many ways," Hurley said. "Without participating in these organizations, I would not have met as many people or become as invested in my college experience at Augie."

Through her involvement, Rachel has made an impact on the faculty and staff of Augustana.

"She strives for excellence in all aspects of her experience as a student, whether that is in the classroom, in a research lab, in a professional society such as the American Chemical Society, as a volunteer in an elementary class or at a pediatric oncology center or here with campus service as a student leader in groups, chapel, band or organizing student events," chemistry professor Jetty Duffy-Matzner said.

Hurley became interested in chemistry in high school and added a biology major to further explore the field of medicine.

"I was interested in the health field but was not sure where to go from there," Hurley said. "The biology major gave me the opportunity to learn more about topics related to the medical field and explore different career options."

Hurley has been accepted into the M.D./Ph.D. program at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The program will last eight years and she will graduate with both a medical degree and a Ph.D. in pharmacology. Her long-term career plans involve working in pediatric oncology treating patients as well as researching potential drug and therapy options.

"The Covenant Award for Excellence in reference to Rachel goes far beyond her academic achievements and potential for future success," Davidson said. "It speaks to the way she approaches learning and life, the way she treats others with caring and respect. It speaks to her ability to strengthen her faith while showing a genuine interest and respect for those with interests different from her own."

The other nominees for the award were seniors Trent Anderson, Dani Doran, Robert Fick, Rachel Gerber, Bethany Jochim, Lindsey Olson, Natalie Ronning and Kyle Tamminga and juniors Ryan Schuetz and Karise Stillson.

"It is truly an honor to receive the covenant and to be recognized by the Augustana community," Hurley said. "It is also a privilege and an honor to join all of the nominees for this award. All have accomplished so much and have incredible futures. It is a true testament to the caliber of the students at Augustana."

Kelly Sprecher
Director of Communications & Media Relations