“They took us down onto the sand and told us to all yell, at the top of our lungs, the Greyjoy saying," laughed Engl. “We all looked at each other in uncertainty and embarrassment. Yet when the time came, we all raised our shields, swords and banners high and screamed, ‘What is dead may never die!’” Other people were in that area and, whether they knew ‘Game of Thrones’ or not, were all looking at us like we were crazy. Some even took pictures of us. In that moment we could not have cared less.”

After these "mountaintop" experiences, Engl realized: “I am not done studying in my field.” She’s planning to go on to graduate school.

We sat down with Engl to find out more.

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study in your field? 

Answer: I realized I truly wanted to study in the field of film and media studies after I had already chosen the major. I took a class on the history of television in America and how it affected our culture. It occurred to me during this class that the idea of how any sort of media can change culture was something I could devote my life to studying.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?

A: After participating in two study abroad trips on two very different topics I learned that strangers can be made into a family in a few short weeks because of a common interest — and shared coach buses. I would never have thought people could pull together so quickly and so thoroughly.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: I chose ASU because I knew traditional schooling was not for me. I do not learn well in a structured classroom environment. Therefore, I knew I needed to complete college in a nontraditional way. After doing research I found that ASU online was the best fit for how I wanted to learn, and what I wanted to learn.

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: Jeremy Carr taught me that whatever you want to know is worth pursuing, even if it is not easy or common. He taught many topic classes that delved deep into areas of study in my field. In these classes I always found myself picking the hardest paper topics, or going about them from an odd angle. Professor Carr never discouraged me from this. Instead his comments on my papers showed me that a solid attempt at harder questions was always worth trying.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: My best piece of advice for those still in school would be to never give up on school. It took me five and a half years to finish three years’ worth of credits at ASU. I stopped and started again many times. Other aspects of my life got in my way, but I never gave up on the dream of getting my college degree. Now that I have finally finished I can truly say it was all worthwhile for this feeling of accomplishment that I now have.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I am currently applying to graduate programs.

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

A: With $40 million I would solve the problem of global climate change. Solving all of societies’ social problems is also necessary, but you cannot do that if the Earth is uninhabitable. Therefore, I would start with healing the planet.

Kristen LaRue-Sandler

Manager, marketing + communications, Department of English