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National Merit Scholar excited to learn to thrive at ASU

First-year 'green freak' from Hoover, Alabama, looking to combine her passions of engineering and sustainability


Incoming engineering first-year student Emily Hagood poses on a sidewalk with the ASU engineering school logo
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August 22, 2019

Emily Hagood knew she had found her college home as soon as she visited Arizona State University last fall.

"I don’t think I stopped smiling from the moment I set foot on campus," said the National Merit Scholar from Hoover, Alabama. "I was lucky enough to have a personal schedule set up for me through Barrett (The Honors College), so I got to attend a class within my major and meet personally with faculty from both the Fulton Schools of Engineering and the School of Sustainability."

The materials science and engineering major and self-proclaimed "green freak" had already been impressed with ASU's programs, having started her college search her sophomore year in high school, and was struck by the university's mission of inclusion. That campus visit sealed the deal.

"My mom kept commenting on how much my dimples were showing," she said. "I decided on the day of my visit that I was a Sun Devil at heart." 

We spoke with Hagood about what brought her here and where she plans to go with her studies.

ASU honors student Emily Hagood strikes a happy pose next to an Arizona state line sign on the highway

Emily Hagood says she is looking forward to exploring the opportunities offered at ASU.

Question: So you're from Alabama. What made you consider ASU?

Answer: All of the amazing opportunities. I started my college research in sophomore year, and the combination of Barrett, The Honors College, the Fulton Schools of Engineering and the School of Sustainability was completely unrivaled. Here, I get all the perks of a big school and the personal attention I would get at a small school.  

Q: What drew you to your major?

A: I attended a materials science and engineering camp at the University of Alabama at Birmingham the summer before my sophomore year and absolutely fell in love with the field. MSE can be applied to anything, and I want to pair it with sustainability — particularly with carbon sequestration or renewable energy. 

Q: What are you most excited to experience your first semester?

A: Making new friends through clubs, classes and other opportunities on campus. I am excited to learn from and alongside captivating, passionate, driven people with widely varying backgrounds and interests.

Q: What do you like to brag about to friends about ASU?

A: Other than the obvious “No. 1 in innovation” remarks, I tell all of my friends how proud I am of ASU’s charter. I am thankful and honored to attend a university that values inclusion over exclusion and collaboration over competition. My favorite way to say this? Cacti > ivy! 

Q: What talents and skills are you bringing to the ASU community?

A: My sunny personality and my talent for cheering other people on are two assets that I am excited to contribute to the ASU community.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your college years?

A: The ASU motto “Learn to thrive” captures my goals perfectly! I intend to live with passion and purpose, to grow lasting friendships and to create a strong foundation for an enriching career. 

Q: What’s one interesting fact about yourself that only your friends know?

A: Thanks to lots and lots and lots of discount tickets, I’ve seen 28 different Broadway shows in New York, and I’ve seen even more touring productions. My top three are currently "Hamilton," "Waitress" and "Come From Away." 

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem in our world, what would you choose?

A: I’m a total green freak, so my answer has to be global warming, although it is such a complex, intricate, massive issue to try to solve. 

Q: Predictions on the final score for this year’s Territorial Cup game?

A: We are going to win BIG! Gooooo Devils!

Photos courtesy of Emily Hagood

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