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Graduating transfer student finds her home at new program in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


ASU graduate Hannah Rose

Hannah Rose will graduate from the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership this May.

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April 29, 2020

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2020 graduates.

The summer before her third year of college, Hannah Rose felt out of place. Rose decided to apply to Arizona State University, majoring in a new program: civic and economic thought and leadership. She would describe that application as the "best impulse decision of my life." 

The Arizona native quickly found her place within the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, first by taking a Shakespeare course in Prescott, Arizona, and through a Global Intensive Experience in India. 

“Hannah and I bonded over our love of Shakespeare,” said Carol McNamara, associate director for public programs at the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership. “She joined the school and devoted herself to the study of Shakespeare to understand the ideas that help her make sense of the human heart and soul.”

After graduation, Rose had intended on serving with the Peace Corps in Paraguay as a Youth Health and Wellness Promoter, however, due to the changes brought on by the COVID-19 crisis, she isn’t quite sure what her future looks like but she knows she wants to travel. 

“I hope to move to a Spanish speaking country where I can continue my journey of learning through experience by working on a permaculture farm, or perhaps a blossoming yoga studio, or maybe just a hostel.” 

She will be graduating with her bachelor’s degree in civic and economic thought and leadership. The school caught up with her to ask her about her time at Arizona State University.

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

Answer: Sometimes I get so excited and motivated by the train of discussion that I feel the need to speak up and be a part of the discussion, however, I observed that many times my input is purely out of excitement and not necessarily anything of substance to supplement the conversation. So, I started to practice active listening. Instead of planning out my next thought or how I could chime in, I tried to just soak up the arguments and take note of what was interesting or intriguing. Of course, I still participated in my classes but in purposefully taking a back seat, I have come to appreciate thought-provoking discussions even if I am not a voice in it. I do not need to hear the sound of my own voice to feel a part of the conversation or to learn something. 

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus? 

A: My favorite place on campus is the Sun Devil Fitness Complex. I made it a daily ritual to make time for myself just to move my body, give my mind a break and reset. Plus, after my gym me-time, I love to sit with my lunch on the small hill just east of the (complex). There, I can lie in the grass and use my skateboard as a little table out in front of me while I people watch. 

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

A: I would attempt to remedy the food waste problem of the world by connecting grocers, farmers and buyers with local food banks, “ugly food” shops and malnutrition prevention nonprofits in an attempt to feed more people and create less trash. I don’t know what $40 million could realistically do on a global scale but that’s what I would at least try to tackle. 

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

A: Professor Carol McNamara served an important role in my ASU and SCETL experience. She unapologetically lets the class the conversation flow, even if it means that will take her off schedule. As a Type A person like myself, this was a vitally important and meaningful lesson to learn. Repeatedly she illustrated to me how you don’t need to have everything planned in life. It is okay to go with the flow and just let pieces fall where they will. 

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

A: Don’t be so hard on yourself. Remember that everything is temporary. The stress of classes, internships or the foreboding fear of life post-graduation will all end. There are times that are incredibly difficult mentally, physically and emotionally, however, they will eventually conclude and times of relief, joy and self-satisfaction will follow. 

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