Double major Victoria Froh designs her own path

February 14, 2020

Victoria Froh is in her junior year at Arizona State University, and in addition to captaining the women’s rugby team, she is working on a double major in Earth and space exploration and environmental chemistry.

This has allowed Froh to design an educational path all her own — a path that includes a healthy dose of the kind of interdisciplinary study that makes the School of Earth and Space Exploration an exciting place for undergraduate students. School of Earth and Space Exploration undergraduate Victoria Froh. Download Full Image

Question: Were you always interested in science, even from a young age?

Answer: Yes. It was always the subject I felt the most attachment to — the challenge of it. Also, my favorite teachers were always science teachers. I took organic chemistry in college, and it was fascinating. Just an intro version, but still!

Q: What brought you to ASU and to the School of Earth and Space Exploration?

A: I’m a National Merit finalist. One of the reasons I came to ASU was because it offers great academic scholarships, which made coming here really affordable, even compared to a state school in Wisconsin where I am from.

The other reason I wanted to come here was because the School of Earth and Space Exploration seemed like such an exciting place to study, as well as a cool community.

Q: What is a memorable experience you have had at the school?

A: Last year I took a course called Fundamentals of Planetary Geology. It was a pretty small class that had mostly graduate students in it. The semester culminated in us going on this really cool weekend field trip to Flagstaff and Sedona, where we hiked Meteor Crater and saw volcanic formations, and even slid down a lava chute. I don't know any other kinds of classes where you get to do something as hands-on and interactive.

Another cool aspect of the school that I was involved in was the first group of students to participate in the SpaceWorks program, which is essentially a string of consecutive classes centered on real-life workforce prep, giving students in all sorts of related majors the opportunity to learn applicable skills and work on project design teams. I was in the first class of students to take it, and it now has online students nationwide and a collaborative program with the NASA Lucy mission. It was a really cool way to get the experience of team involvement early on in my undergrad.

Q: Have you had any mentors in the school?

A: I’ve been in a research lab with Assistant Professor Maitrayee Bose for about a year now. She has quite a few undergrads in her lab that come from all different parts of the school, so we can all come together and learn from each other. It's great to work in an environment with such a range of interests. Not surprisingly, there are also a wide array of different projects going on in Professor Bose’s lab. The project I’m currently working on is looking at different meteorite particles with isotopic anomalies.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: I'm planning to go to grad school, but not right away. Especially with having two majors, I need a little bit of a break from school. This summer I want to get more experience doing research. I’ve applied for a bunch of programs. The one I’m most excited about is called DAAD-Rise, which would have me doing research in a lab run by PhD students this summer in Germany.

Written by William Kennedy

History student awarded MCLEAPS internship for environmental services

February 14, 2020

Leah Terry is an Arizona native who has always enjoyed her history classes. When it came time to look at colleges and pick a major, Terry remembered a teacher saying, “Think about what you like, because what you are drawn to can become your major.” 

Two years into pursuing her history degree from the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, Terry received a newsletter from the school informing her about an opportunity called the Maricopa County Leadership and Education Advancing Public Service (MCLEAPS) internship program. The program is a special partnership between Arizona State University and Maricopa County that offers top students hands-on experience in county departments or divisions.  Leah Terry Leah Terry is pursuing a bachelor's in history and a minor in sustainability, both of which she saw as having a role in her internship work for Maricopa County. Photo courtesy of Leah Terry Download Full Image

On top of getting full-time, immersive work experience, the internship includes a full semester waiver of ASU tuition and fees, academic credit and a $5,000 stipend. 

Terry applied to join the environmental services department and, despite the tough competition for the program, was awarded the internship, beating out graduate students who applied for the same position. At first she worried she wouldn’t be accepted because she didn’t have a background in environmental services, but she is pursuing a sustainability minor from the School of Sustainability and had other indicators on her resume that told the department she would be a great fit.

“The one thing that set me apart was I’d been working with the André House downtown, which is homeless services, [a] homeless food kitchen, things like that,” said Terry. “So I worked with them for a long time, and a part of the internship, specific to the environmental services, is the Healthy Giving Council, which is an effort from the county to make giving to homeless populations more sustainable.”

Terry went into the internship thinking most of her peers would be in public policy or would be Arizona natives like her, but was surprised to find a different group. Most of the other interns are from out of state, and a few are international students studying all types of majors. 

“Meeting the other interns is really nice because some of them come from more unique majors, so it’s a very diverse group of people, which is interesting,” said Terry. 

Her internship advisers kept emphasizing the internship would be what she made of it, encouraging her to ask questions as well.

“I’m really trying to put myself out there and try to latch on to any different projects that I think are coming up,” she said. “That’s a big thing, just trying to be proactive. Once I get settled, even though the different divisions in the department are the ones that really initiate working with me, I will hopefully make each of them proud.”

Terry’s faculty mentor and associate professor of history, Catherine O’Donnell, wasn’t surprised to hear the internship was awarded to Terry. 

“Leah is a marvel: curious, hardworking and eager to contribute to every community of which she is a part,” said O’Donnell. “She will bring all of those traits, as well as the analytical skills she's developing as a history major, to bear in this terrific internship.”

Although the internship is not made specifically for history majors, Terry still sees her degree as important to the program.

“There’s a service aspect to it,” said Terry. “It’s so important to know the history of what’s around you. Growing up in Arizona, there was so much I didn’t know until coming to college, but it’s so important. Even just learning about the rhetoric of public policy through the years — it matters and it makes a difference.”

Rachel Bunning

Communications program coordinator, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies