Faces of Resilience (part 2 of 4)


Jordan Cone

During these uncertain times, the Observer has teamed up with Farrah Roberts, director of student well-being and resiliency, to launch the Faces of Resilience project, which spotlights members of the Augustana community who have shown resilience during this challenging season. Students, faculty and staff were encouraged to nominate each other for finding ways to stay connected, for going above and beyond in distance learning or for bouncing back from adversity.  

We are pleased to present to you part two of a four part series celebrating our community.



nominated by Dr. Lena Hann

“Tracey Keane was in the middle of an internship with the American Red Cross in Moline when COVID19 hit and she had to move home to Connecticut. Tracey said she felt called to continue helping others during this crisis and signed up to work at a nursing home in Danbury, CT. She knows that she is putting herself in harm’s way, but says she would rather know she tried to help the vulnerable than sit at home and worry. Tracey’s commitment to public health, human wellbeing, and service to her community is awe-inspiring.” – Dr. Hann

Keane is a senior and though she says it stinks to have her Augustana experience end this way, she says that working at the nursing home has given her something productive to do while trying to figure out her next move. A lot of what she does at the nursing home, she says, is making sure residents are comfortable and have everything they need. When she can, she talks to them as much as possible as they can’t see family members during this time – something Keane says is confusing to some.

“They’re in a very vulnerable position, so while they may not know exactly what’s going on, it’s obviously very different as they can’t go and do their activities with other people in the nursing home and they can’t see their family or their friends,” Keane says. “So I just kind of think helping with their mental health almost, and sanity, is kind of why I’m there.”

Keane says she’s been spending a lot of time with her parents, which has been nice since Augustana is states away from her home in Connecticut and she was nervous about not having an opportunity to spend as much time with them after graduation. She’s also been training for the Chicago Marathon.

“It’s just been important to realize that you’re not the only one that has had your plans derailed,” Keane says. “I mean, everyone’s future plans for the next couple of months or the next year are altered and kind of set back, so I just think we shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to other people’s situations because everyone’s is different.”



nominated by Destined Sehgbean

Shadrick and I started our friendship back home, but he came to the U.S. earlier because my visa got delayed. I arrived in the U.S. in the Fall Semester and my transition has been smooth because of Shadrick. When I was not allowed to move on campus due to my early arrival, Shadrick took me straight from the airport to a family that I could stay with while I awaited my move in date. He had prepared things for me and had also purchased enough wearings and school materials so we could share together. That was so beautiful of him. In this difficult time, he has brought me along to stay with his family in Waterloo, Iowa, because I don’t have any relatives here in the U.S. And I’m enjoying it here because his family is so hospitable and supportive. I’m grateful to Shadrick for always helping me in difficult situations.” – Sehgbean

Whabyely says he has always been inspired by Mother Teresa to be a cheerful giver. One of his favorite quotes of hers is, “It is not about how much you do, but how much love you put into what you do that counts,” which has motivated him to share with others. Whabyely says he was helped when he first came to Augustana, and wanted to pass along that kindness. He says he believes friends are not just for today, but for the future.

Whabyely says he avoids going out to be with friends in order to help protect himself and others from the virus. So instead of playing his favorite sport, volleyball, he plays video games with his younger siblings.



nominated by Logan Worrick


“Emmy Sharaan has continued to be a leader for Augustana Students for Life and the pro-life movement, constantly engaging with peers in a productive and positive way. Through her efforts, Augustana Students for Life has raised almost $500 for the Women’s Choice Center in Bettendorf, a wonderful pregnancy resource center that provides much needed help to pregnant and parenting mothers. She has gone above and beyond to stay connected and continue to support women and children, locally and nationally.” – Worrick

Sharaan co-founded Augustana Students for Life as a first-year and is to be the president of the organization this fall. She said in order to raise money for the Women’s Choice Center, Augustana Students for Life created a wishlist on Amazon where people could purchase items and have them sent directly to Women’s Choice Center. The organization is also a part of the Students for Life of America’s national virtual baby item drive, through which they’ve raised close to $5,000 in items for mothers and their babies.

Sharaan says that during these difficult times she is working, staying involved in the movement and spending time with those she loves.

“Even the worst days end,” Sharaan said. “It may be hard to imagine getting back together and seeing friends and faculty that we are missing right now, but once it will be safe we will be, and it will be even sweeter than when we were together originally. For now, stay safe. Take care. Try to take advantage of these different times, but don’t feel pressured to be working harder than you would be normally. Do what’s right for you, and remember that even though it may feel like it sometimes, you aren’t alone. Even when you are physically – there is still a huge community around you that is here to support you!”



nominated by Haley DeGreve

“I’d like to nominate Kevin Donovan for many reasons. To keep it short, he is someone who does so much for every single person around him. He is always within reach, he always offers to do the hard jobs, and he did an incredible job with our Gray Matters video to students after the coronavirus hit. He is a star in the making and one of the most resilient people I know. He gives hope without even trying, just by who he is. Everyone should be like Kevin Donovan (and that’s just a fact).” – DeGreve

Donovan says he tries to operate under the rules of ‘Don’t be an asshole’ and ‘Make other people laugh.’ He says the Gray Matters gave him an opportunity to use design and photography to really make a difference as, he says, mental health affects everyone’s life – especially during college.

To maintain sanity as best as he can during this time, Donovan has been drinking coffee and getting creative, one project at a time.

“Community is one of the things that Augie does really well,” Donovan says. “It’s just a really strong part of Augustana and right now, that’s how we make it through this, is community. I know it’s hard, and it’s stressful, it’s anxiety inducing. It’s tough, frankly, but we get through this together. And we’re going to get through this together.”