New American University Scholar embraces innovative learning opportunity at School of Molecular Sciences
Editor's note: This profile is part of a series of profiles showcasing students in the School of Molecular Sciences.
Gabriel Juarez is a junior majoring in chemistry. A native born and raised in Phoenix, Juarez is a New American University Scholar, offered to outstanding incoming undergraduate students as they pursue academic excellence at Arizona State University. Sun Devil pride runs deep and Juarez always knew he wanted to go to ASU, following in his alumnus father’s footsteps.
Juarez is following his passion to learn at ASU in the School of Molecular Sciences. While he is undecided about his career path, one thing Juarez knows for sure is the learning experience extends beyond his classroom curriculum. He credits this to the great professors who are researching and teaching about cutting-edge topics.
“Earning the New American University Scholarship was an outstanding opportunity for me,” Juarez said. “It set me on the path to succeed and fulfill my passion to learn.”
Juarez answered some questions about his experience and why he choose to attend ASU.
Question: What are your academic and career plans?
Answer: I have an extremely large passion for learning. This has aided me throughout my undergraduate studies, and I hope to attend graduate school with the same fervor. I currently have a student-worker position in the Fulton Schools of Engineering Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering department performing tasks related to research advancement. While not necessarily calling upon my education in chemistry, I, to my surprise, enjoy the accounting and proposal side of research. I have also had the opportunity to tour various labs at ASU for research and can see myself performing research as well.
Q: What has earning a scholarship meant to you, and how has it helped you succeed?
A: I earned the New American University Scholar Dean’s Award directly out of high school. As a result, I was able to begin my post-secondary educational career right here at ASU. Without this scholarship, my ability to attend a university right away would have been sharply affected. Some of my siblings who could not afford to go to a university had begun jobs to save money and ended up with a career. While not wrong by any means, this was not my aspiration, and my scholarship has allowed me to begin fulfilling my passion.
Q: Why is it important that the school provide scholarships or awards for its majors?
A: Without scholarships or awards, many students like me — dedicated, passionate and hardworking — would be unable to immediately further their education following high school. As a result, many would undoubtedly fall victim to the inescapable workforce and never fulfill their dreams. Scholarships also not only recognize hardworking individuals and their work but allow students to focus more strongly on school rather than work. This enables them to succeed as I am succeeding.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to students interested in coming to ASU to study chemistry or biochemistry?
A: The School of Molecular Sciences has given me an invaluable education experience. The courses offered at ASU have introduced me to many different fields in chemistry. With laboratory courses in tandem with lectures, I have also learned important skills in operating various instruments utilized in industry, medical and research paths. I have had every opportunity and resource to succeed in earning my undergraduate degree in chemistry including multiple class times allowing me to work and attend class.
Q: What’s something you have learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?
A: My professors, both in SMSSchool of Molecular Sciences and at ASU, have been willing to alter office hours or add extra time for students unable to attend regular office hours, and this alone has allowed me to succeed in many of my courses. Attending ASU has been a wonderful experience for me, with a beautiful campus and students studying here from all over the world!