Skip to main content
Luis Navarrete
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Luis Navarrete

Graduation year: 2024

High school: International School of San Salvador

Hometown: San Salvador, El Salvador

Majors: Communications studies; French

Minor: Sociology

Activities: Club Volleyball; Iota Chi Epsilon fraternity; Global Ambassador for OISSS; French Table

Internships: Augustana's EDGE Center; custumer experience intern at State Farm

Post-grad plans: Taking a gap year for work to save up for a master's in linguistics

Why Augustana?

As an international student, the U.S. wasn't really in the picture when choosing higher education. That changed when I met Liz Nino through a college advisor. She was the one who guided me through every step of applying, and she'd always check up on me. 

It was during the middle of the pandemic, and Augie was the only school that seemed to have a plan of action regarding how to proceed with classes as normally as possible. It also felt like the right fit in terms of location and size.

Are you where you thought you'd be when you first came to campus?

In a way, yes. I remember during International Student Orientation that I wrote a letter to my future self, and in it I talked about the vision I had for myself for my time at Augie. Thus far, I think I've gone beyond the expectations I initially wrote down, and I'm going to strive to continue to grow in any and every possible way.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

First and foremost, God, my parents and my sister. Even though I'm far from home, I've felt my family's unconditional support since the day I chose Augustana.

Dr. Taddy Kalas, who believed in me and challenged me to grow in writing and speaking French, and who returned to me the spark I was missing when I first started learning the language. Through classic works of French literature, I was able to learn so much from her.

Dr. Kiki Kosnick, who'd always been present along my French journey in some way or another. Thanks to Kiki and all the courses in which we collaborated, I've grown academically and personally, and for that I'll be forever grateful.

Chief of Augustana's Police Department, Tom Phillis, with whom I've worked running ACES, since I was a sophomore.

Lastly, all the faculty I've had the chance to learn from, as well as the friends I've made at Augustana, all of whom have become my family.

Peak experience?

Going to Dijon, France, during the summer of my junior year. I had always wanted to study abroad, so the six-week program in Dijon, where I got to stay with a host family, take French classes, and fully immerse myself in the language, seemed like the right fit for someone like me. I also got to travel and put into practice all the knowledge I took from my literature courses.

What surprised you?

The many ways you can be involved on campus and how much you can grow through those involvements. Augustana doesn't limit you to be subject to only one domain. At a liberal arts school, student organizations, clubs and job opportunities can be found at every corner, and you can excel and thrive through all of them.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice to fund my trip to Dijon, France.

What will you miss the most?

Definitely my friends, my club volleyball team, the faculty I got to make connections with, and the people I worked with at ACES. Being the leader o/f three student organizations truly allows you to get to know the people around you.

Advice for the Class of 2028?

To truly take advantage of all the resources at Augustana. It might seem small, but once you see it from within, it has so many opportunities. From student organizations to different majors, you can create whatever you want because there is no other you!

"I'm having a hard time imagining classes without Luis next year. What a vibrant presence he has been: always engaged and curious, full of insights and interests. I will miss his expansive, exploratory spirit very much."

– Dr. Taddy Kalas, professor, French