A research project, personal experience or academic course often drives students into a particular field of study. For Arizona State University alumna Teresa Brandt, it was her inherent curiosity that led her to study molecular and cellular biology.
“I’m very curious and this field has allowed me to explore my curiosity in science,” Brandt said. “Exploring science and being a role model for my family and my kids in doing a job that’s meaningful and rewarding drives me to stay in science and to mentor young scientists as well.”
Justin Wolter started his doctoral program with one child at home. Even though it was challenging to split his attention between home and school, he welcomed two more children into his family during the following four years.
“Initially it was hard to strike a balance, and each half of my focus often made maintaining the other more difficult,” Wolter said. “But over the years, I think raising a family while trying to do research gave me an amazing ability to take my mind off the stresses of the lab.”
When Mary Drago participated in her undergraduate commencement ceremony, the Ebola virus had not been discovered and the term global warming was used in its modern sense for the first time. A lot can change in 41 years, including Drago herself.
Some students may expect to coast through college with ease, just like they did in high school. At least, that’s what Darin Ellison said he thought during the summer before his freshman year.
“At first, I didn’t take my classes serious and thought my study habits from high school would get me the excellent grades I got back then,” Ellison, a soon-to-be graduate from the School of Life Sciences Microbiology undergraduate program, said. “I could not have been more wrong.”