The end of a semester typically brings around a handful of celebrations, especially for Fall 2018 graduates at CU Boulder. As for Austen Jankowski, being named the College of Music’s Outstanding Graduating Senior for Fall 2018 calls for an even greater celebration, as he will be giving an address at the College of Music commencement ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 20.
“I was honestly surprised and humbled,” says Jankowski. “I have so many great colleagues who are awesome students and people, and it’s just amazing to be considered for this honor, let alone be awarded it.”
For Jankowski, this will be his first time writing a speech for a public setting, providing a fun and exciting outlet to share his thoughts and recognize his and his fellow graduates' accomplishments during their time at CU.
“I hope to pay homage to what we’ve done, look forward to the possibilities after graduation and end on a great note for everyone,” says Jankowski.
A dual bassoon performance and music education major, Jankowski has been spending his final semester wrapping up various classes while completing student teaching at a middle school in Lafayette.
“Student teaching has given me a renewed passion for teaching,” says Jankowski. “When you’re sitting in class, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but teaching in the classroom has given me a taste of what life will be as a teacher and performer, which has been enjoyable and enlightening.”
His long-term goal is to be a band teacher, but in the meantime, Jankowski is happy with being a substitute teacher in the Boulder/Fort Collins area and taking time for himself while enjoying other passions such as skiing.
“The College of Music has provided me with many opportunities to really explore what I want to do with my life,” says Jankowski. “Whether it be performance or teaching, there have been countless valuable opportunities.
“And I, of course, have to thank Professor [of Bassoon Yoshi] Ishikawa for helping develop myself as a professional, along with my friends and colleagues, who have pushed me to be who I am,” says Jankowski.
When asked about one of the most memorable moments of his time at CU and the College of Music, Jankowski answered, “Definitely playing a Miley Cyrus mashup with the bassoon studio, just making fun music and being with fun people.”
And at the end of the day, isn’t that what college is all about? Congratulations to Austen and all the Fall 2018 College of Music graduates! Commencement is at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20, in Grusin Music Hall.