Coffee with Anna

Rooftop supper in Dallas

I wasn’t sure what to think of Anna Stritecky. A few weeks before Welcome Week 2016, I received an email from one of my Viking Guides: Anna. At the time, I thought Viking Guides would be at least 40 years old, so I thought the terms Anna used in her first email were sorry attempts to sound like a college student. (She told us to follow her Instagram, which I thought was the behavior of a desperate adult.)

When I arrived on campus, I discovered Anna was a year older than me. She had an unbridled passion for Augustana and eagerness to help our welcome week group adjust to college. I decided that her “young person terms” were totally appropriate for her age.

A year and a half later, Anna and I sat down in the Huddle for coffee and conversation, which I consider a great accomplishment – Anna Stritecky is a busy woman.

Anna is a double major in journalism and government, the Augustana Student Association (ASA) director of communications, an admissions and advancement ambassador, summer intern for the City of Sioux Falls, writing intern for “605 Magazine,” a sports section editor for the yearbook, a member of the board of directors for the Stritecky Family Foundation, mentor for the Augustana sophomore retreat, a frequent study abroad traveler, Welcome Week leader, a co-chair for a Viking Days section and the 2018-19 ASA president.

“A lot of it [what I do] is spread throughout the year,” Anna said. She sipped her dark roast coffee. “I want to put all my resources into one thing at a time and do the best for it.”

With various activities spread throughout the year, Anna is flexible – which is probably why her favorite color changes every time someone asks what it is.

For our interview, her favorite color was gold.

“That’s my Augie spirit coming out,” Anna said with a laugh.

Dallas ACPCMA college media convention
Sophie Geister-Jones, Taylor Olson, Anna, me and Shi Almont at the 2017 ACP\CMA College Media Convention in Dallas.

Anna said she learned to be flexible after her traveling experience, which has taken her abroad to 29 countries.

“Whether you’re missing buses or flights, it’s like the amazing race,” Anna said. She sipped her coffee. “That taught me to roll with the punches.”

Even Anna’s philosophy minor was a surprise. Anna’s time abroad filled three of the five classes required for a philosophy minor – without her realizing it – so when Anna took philosophy 110, she was only one class short of the minor.

Anna didn’t have set plans for her majors, either; however, Anna’s journalism major led her to ASA director of communications and eventually president.

“This year I served as the director of communications and you spend more time with the president and vice president than anyone else does,” Anna explained. “You just see how the president and vice president interact and that just led me to be interested in running.”

Anna is excited to bring a student perspective into her role as president next year. She is also looking forward to working with Tyler Beck, the vice president.

“I’m kind of a dreamer and he’s a doer, so we’re going to work well together,” Anna said. She laughed.  

Rooftop supper in Dallas
Enjoying a rooftop supper in Dallas.

Anna’s dreams aided her internship for the City of Sioux Falls, when she offered suggestions for city improvements.

“What benefits me is my experience,” Anna said. “I’ve been here my whole life. I love it here.”

If you’ve toured with Anna, you probably heard her explain her “big move” to Augustana.

“I do have to cross the Minnesota border and sometimes the stoplight is a little long,” Anna said. She laughed and took a drink of her coffee.

Whether she’s crossing Minnesota Avenue on her way to Augie or getting mugged in Ecuador, Anna feels called to return to her home and parents who motivate her to do well.

“Anyone else’s parents are awesome, I’m sure,” Anna said. “Mine are extra awesome. I definitely think about them a lot.”

From parents to acquaintances, Anna is excited about everyone she meets.

“If I meet someone one time, I assume we’re going to smile at each other for the rest of our lives,” Anna said and grinned. “People are important – especially people that go to Augie.”

Dallas media convention
Me, Anna, Taylor Olson, Shi Almont and Sophie Geister-Jones at the 2017 ACP/CMA College Media Convention in Dallas.

Fall 2016 I didn’t know what to expect from Anna Stritecky. Spring 2018, I still don’t know what to expect from her, but I’m certain she’s going to do incredible things.

Thanks for reminding me to be flexible and always dream big, Anna.

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Journalism, communication and media studies major at Augustana University (S.D.). Lover of coffee and writing feature stories.

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