Barry McNamara  |   Published June 10, 2021

Where Are They Now?

They’ve only been gone a month, but early news is available on where many members of Monmouth College’s Class of 2021 are headed next.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – Graduate school, professional school, medical school and the workforce are early popular destinations for members of Monmouth College’s Class of 2021.

MED SCHOOL-BOUND: Will Fox will take his talents to the University of Illinois College of Medicin... MED SCHOOL-BOUND: Will Fox will take his talents to the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford, making him one of several members of Monmouth's Class of 2021 headed to further education. In early 2022, Monmouth will announce the results of its annual “First Destination Survey,” which is a comprehensive report on what members of the most recent graduating class are doing in relation to employment or graduate school.

But less than a month after graduates walked across the Wallace Hall stage on May 16 to receive their diplomas from President Clarence R. Wyatt, the College knows that half a dozen members of the class will pursue advanced degrees in chemistry, studying at such schools as the University of Illinois, the University of Iowa and St. Louis University.

Medical school is also a common next step for Monmouth biochemistry majors, with four graduates accepted into programs and others who have plans of med school but are taking a gap year.

Other science majors will attend graduate school to pursue careers as neuroscientists, engineers, dentists, nurses, physician’s assistants, mental health counselors and physical therapists, as well as careers in public health.

A big reason Monmouth graduates have already had successful placement comes from strong advising, which chemistry professor Audra Goach said is an important part of the job for professors across the College’s disciplines.

“Our faculty truly enjoy the mentoring portion of their position as professors,” she said.

Goach said that while faculty do advise students on classes they should take, professors also discuss with students the opportunities that exist in terms of research, internships, summer experiences and short-term trips that will help expand their knowledge and apply what they have learned in the classroom.

“We have always worked hard with students interested in health careers, but it was not until this past year that we offered a class, ‘Introduction to Health Careers,’ where we made students aware of the different opportunities and helped them in the application process.” Laura Moore


“In the sciences, we often take the students to the University of Iowa for a day to learn about graduate school and to make connections,” said Goach. “We have many graduates that work and have worked at Sigma-Aldrich in St. Louis, so that has also become one of the trips that we have supported for students to experience industry. We realize that learning occurs inside and outside of the classroom.”

A new course offering has also helped.

“We have always worked hard with students interested in health careers, but it was not until this past year that we offered a class, ‘Introduction to Health Careers,’ where we made students aware of the different opportunities and helped them in the application process,” said Laura Moore, one of Goach’s colleagues in the chemistry department.

For the second year in a row, a Monmouth graduate is moving on to study law at Indiana University, and for the first time in several years, the College has two graduates who have completed ROTC training and will join the Army.

Several educational studies majors have secured teaching positions, including three who were part of the College’s TARTANS (Teachers Allied with Rural Towns and Neighborhood Schools) program and will teach at rural schools.

Accounting graduates will be employed by such companies as Ernst & Young and Caterpillar, and one member of the Class of 2021 will serve as an aerospace physiologist with the Air Force.

“Each year the Wackerle Center coordinates mock interviews with local school administrators, who are often Monmouth College alumni, to assist our graduates with preparing for the interviewing and hiring process.” Marnie Dugan


Marnie Dugan, who directs the College’s Wackerle Center for Career, Leadership and Fellowships, said she and her staff have numerous initiatives in place to help Monmouth students with their post-graduate plans.

“The Wackerle Center works closely with many in the sciences to prep for their graduate/medical school applications, assisting with personal statements and a lot of interview preparation,” she said. “Many of our business and accounting majors especially benefit from programs such as the Fall Interview Day, which is sponsored by the College Career Consortium of Illinois, since accounting typically has an early hiring process. Also, each year the Wackerle Center coordinates mock interviews with local school administrators, who are often Monmouth College alumni, to assist our graduates with preparing for the interviewing and hiring process.”

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