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Scripted for the role of English major

ASU English grad (Poly campus) Nathan Askins and family

Nathan Askins, an English graduate in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts at ASU's Polytechnic campus, said the birth of his sons was the most rewarding part of his undergraduate years.

May 02, 2017

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for spring 2017 commencement. See more graduates here.

As a kid growing up in Gilbert, Arizona, ASU English major Nathan Askins loved to read and write.

“I would write little ‘fan fiction’ stories for shows I watched or for action figures I would play with. By the time I got to high school, I knew that my degree would be in English,” said Askins, who completed the ASU course English 101 as a high school senior.

“It was amazing to see a huge piece of my life come into the picture,” he said, reflecting on his decision. “Realizing English was my path seemed more like a lifelong affirmation than a choice.”

Askins completed his English major in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts at Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus, where he especially enjoyed the course Literature for Young Adults, focused on books in different genres within Young Adult Literature, and the course Literature to Film: “We read different books and watched the movies made about them and then analyzed and wrote about why filmmakers change certain things when adapting to film.”

He’s also completed two minors: one in sustainability and one in family and human development.

After graduation, Askins will be attending law school in Idaho. 

“While I’m not sure which type of law I will practice,” he observed, “I’m interested in learning about environmental law and seeing if this might be something I would like to pursue.”

Askins answered some questions about his ASU experience.

Question: Why did you choose ASU?

Answer: Honestly, I originally choose ASU because it was so close to home. Until starting at ASU, I had no clue just how great a school ASU is.

Q: When you think of your time studying with ASU, is there an interesting moment, experience, or accomplishment that stands out for you?

A: My greatest accomplishments were my two sons being born while I was at Arizona State University. It was hard to balance life between school, work, and raising two young boys, but it was the most rewarding experience.

Q: What’s something you learned while studying at ASU that surprised you, that changed your perspective?

A: My views on just about everything changed while at ASU. On a slim recommendation from my advisor, I decided to minor in sustainability. This completely changed my mind about climate change and motivated me to change my life.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I would work to help promote the research and use of alternative energies.

Q: Did you have any favorite campus spots where you especially liked to study or hang out?

A: I completed my degree at the Polytechnic campus. I'm a nerd and loved being in the library. When it cools down, I love to sit in Neely Plaza.

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