Taylor AugerI am originally from Reno, NV, and decided to attend IUP because they offered me a chance to continue swimming at the collegiate level, which I did for four years.

Although I was considering the Computer Science program at IUP, Eberly became the place I chose because of the Business Honors program, which gave me a chance to pursue a technical major I wanted (MIS) while still being able to gain a degree that is highly applicable in today’s world. I had great experiences during my time at Eberly until the COVID-19 pandemic, when the world went into shutdown.

In this post-COVID environment, my experiences continued to be good, albeit with some unexpected challenges, such as the retrenchment of many MIS faculty. Being a part of Eberly helped me transition through this, and provided me the opportunity to study abroad and actively participate in all the organizations I was interested in. Additionally, I gained an interest in the field of economics. I decided to pursue a second degree in this, which paired well with my future career plans in the banking industry. I am very happy that I had the opportunity to be a part of Eberly.

I was involved in numerous organizations on campus during my time at IUP. As mentioned above, I competed on the men’s swim team for four years, where I was a captain my final year; I qualified and scored at our conference championship for all four years. I represented men’s swimming in the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, an organization where two athletes represented each sports team and voted on important legislation for the NCAA. While on this committee, I served as the treasurer for two years.

In Eberly, I joined the Association for Management Information Systems during my freshman year. My final two years in AMIS, I held the positions of vice president and president and left the club in capable hands. I was also involved in the College of Business Student Advisory Council for two and a half years, where I held the role of executive chair my final semester at IUP; COBSAC is a great organization that gets student leaders from various organizations throughout Eberly together, promoting improvement and support for each other. I was a member in Phi Gamma Nu, the professional development organization, beginning in fall of 2021. During my time in PGN, I served as the Professional Development chair and Alumni Relations chair. Academically, I was a student in the Business Honors program and the Cook Honors College, both of which helped me prepare for my future in the professional world.

Athletically, I am proud that I completed my four years with men’s swimming and was named a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (Scholar Athlete for all four of those years. Academically, I earned a place on the Dean’s List for seven out of eight completed semesters at IUP and was named a Provost Scholar in fall 2021, all while pursuing three different honors programs, including Cook Honors, Eberly Business Honors, and Economics Honors. I am extremely proud to have completed both econometrics courses offered at IUP, which were some of the most challenging courses I have taken. Additionally, I was one of 10 IUP students selected to study abroad in Norway through Eberly on a national grant, providing me the opportunity to experience another culture and giving me memories that will last my lifetime.

As a student of the Cook Honors College, we were asked to complete 60 hours per semester volunteering and helping our community. Some of the major events that I have volunteered for include IUP football games, where we helped usher and serve concession food to the people attending them. I also helped with some Aramark events, such as various comedians and musicians that have come to the Kovalchick Complex. Through IUP swimming, we volunteered for landmark event planning, providing security and ushering for both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pitt Panthers football games.

Hailing from a faraway state made me struggle to get my voice heard my first few months enrolled at IUP, leading me to become an advocate for others who wanted to provide input at school. Specifically, a way that I contributed to IUP’s diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus was through AMIS, where I served as the chair for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for a year. I did this by working to ensure that all voices in the organization were heard, making sure that each member who wanted to contribute did, and promoting our organization to include graduate students (including a few PES students pursuing the MIS track).

IUP and Eberly have given me the confidence to navigate the ever-changing landscape of the professional world while preparing me for any obstacles life will throw at me. The experienced faculty and staff paired with some amazing opportunities have helped me understand what path I want to pursue, and I look forward to seeing how I can help return the favor to Eberly and IUP in the near future.

After I graduate, I will continue to help the current students at Eberly and IUP with whatever they need; many current students have my phone number and personal email address, and I have encouraged them to reach out with any questions. I would love to be included in the Business Advisory Council, which I attended as an undergraduate student since I know that they have great input on how to improve students’ lives at Eberly. As a member of PGN, I will always be willing to come back and offer advice and assistance to any member (past and present), including my experiences at Eberly and in the professional world.