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Educational trips abroad have shaped freshman's career goals

Travel abroad and time in foster care have shaped ASU freshman's life goals.
August 11, 2020

Business major Hunter McCormick is interested in international diplomacy

Studying abroad is a valuable and enriching experience that many students pursue while at Arizona State University.

But incoming first-year student Hunter McCormick has already had two educational trips abroad, and those experiences have shaped her career goals as she prepares to major in business at ASU.

McCormick, who lives in Ahwatukee, answered some questions from ASU Now.

Question: Where did you go on your study abroad experiences?

Answer: I have completed two different study abroad experiences. The first one was following my junior year. I was a youth ambassador through the city of Phoenix Sister Cities program, where I spent three weeks in Himeji, Japan, with a host family learning about the culture and way of life in a small rural community. After that my Japanese host sister came to Phoenix for three weeks and lived with my family and had the opportunity to learn about Phoenix, including a trip to ASU!

This past year I was selected for an NSLI-Y (National Security Language Initiative for Youth) scholarship through the U.S. State Department. Only five youths were chosen from across the United States. We spent a year living in Delhi, India, attending school six days a week specifically to learn the Hindi language and learn more about Indian culture. The purpose of this program is to inspire a new generation to learn and study the lesser-known languages, like Hindi, so in the future we can put these language skills to use through government work fostering goodwill and expanding intercultural relationships.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: I chose ASU because it is an amazing school with a diverse student body and unlimited options for programs of study. Going to ASU I will also have the opportunity to study abroad and continue to fulfill my passion of travel and learning. Of course, the stellar reputation of the W. P. Carey School of Business means that upon graduating I will have a strong foundation to continue my education or begin my career in international business.

Q: What is your major and why did you choose it?

A: My major is in business with a concentration in public service and public policy. I chose this major because I want to be able to put my experiences abroad to use in a way that will have a global impact. I am hoping my education from ASU will help prepare me for a career within a government agency that can influence and possibly even create policies that will foster better intercultural relations and diplomacy worldwide.

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

A: I am honestly really excited about starting classes that will challenge me in my areas of interest. I can’t wait to meet other students who have similar values and passion about what is happening in the world and how together we can be changemakers for a better future.

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

A: Well I really love ASU’s Charter, “We will be measured not by whom we exclude, but rather whom we include and how they succeed.” I have encouraged many of my international friends to come to ASU — in fact, my incoming roommate will be coming from India. We are inclusive and welcoming of students from every corner of the world. There is always a place for everyone to succeed at ASU.

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

A: From my experiences both in the States and abroad I believe I bring a more global perspective and a desire to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for other students whether they’re international students, students from diverse backgrounds, or even students who have come from foster care like myself. I will be looking for ways to put my care and compassion for a diverse and just community to work on campus. I also really love being challenged and have a strong worth ethic so I’m not afraid to push back on the status quo.

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

A: I hope to be prepared for continuing my education for an advanced degree and take advantage of every single opportunity that comes my way; internships, job, research opportunities during my time undergraduate time at ASU. I hope to make lifetime friends and really network to make connections that will be critical for my future career.

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

A: An interesting fact about me is that in my senior year of high school, I was No. 1 in the state for congressional debate. I competed in debate for four years and was able to travel to Boston, Chicago and Dallas to compete in the National Speech and Debate Competition. It was quite an amazing experience and really prepared me to have a much greater awareness and understanding of world events.

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

A: With $40 million I would love to help children who have experienced foster care overcome the financial barriers to college. Having experienced foster care as a young child, I never dreamed I would be able to attend a great university like ASU. I would really like to be able to help youth that may not be as fortunate as I was, adopted by parents who valued higher education — and are both alumni of ASU! — who helped me to get where I am. The sad statistics are that about 20% of foster youth attend college and only about 3% end up graduating because they aren’t given the proper support and resources desperately needed. So it’s not just about tuition, but providing support with learning life skills, community and social engagement and emotional support to hang in there.

Mary Beth Faller

Reporter , ASU News

480-727-4503

 
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‘Sideline Sammy’ makes a run toward Cronkite School at ASU

August 11, 2020

Journalism freshman Samantha Miller strives for excellence on and off the court

Not many Arizona State University freshmen come to campus with a catchy nickname, but Samantha Miller said it’s essential to her success.

Miller, also known as “Sideline Sammy,” is the daughter of former ASU assistant basketball coach and ESPN analyst Dave Miller. Her brother David coaches at the University of Arizona and another sibling played college football at San Diego State University. She said the nickname is her way of standing out in a crowded family of sports personalities and building her brand.

“I thought it was important to create a nickname at a young age so that it almost stands as a trademark,” said Miller, who graduated in June from Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, California, with a 3.9 GPA. “My No. 1 dream is to become a sideline reporter for the NFL and the NBA. I thought ‘Sideline Sammy’ was pretty catchy.”

The college freshman has picked an excellent place to study her craft. She knows the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is one of the top journalism programs in the country. She knows they have world-class instructors. And she knows she’ll have access to a thriving sports town.

ASU Now spoke to Miller to discuss her passion for sports broadcasting, journalism and what she hopes to accomplish at ASU.

Question: Why did you choose ASU?

Answer: First off, my dad, David Miller, coached basketball at ASU, so I definitely already had some Sun Devil in my blood, but when I toured the campus I just fell in love. I had a fantastic tour led by Kaylee Conners, and I was able to meet with former Cronkite Associate Dean Mark Lodato and Brett Kurland, director of sports programs, who showed me all of the amazing things that Cronkite has to offer. I was impressed by the facilities and all of the opportunities that would be available for me as a sports journalist. Everyone was also so nice, and it just felt like a family atmosphere so in the end, I knew that ASU was the place for me!

Q: What drew you to your major?

A: Basically, from the moment that I could walk, I was dribbling a basketball. I have two older brothers who played every sport imaginable and a dad who coached college basketball and in the NBA and now is an ESPN analyst, so needless to say, sports has been my life. While my dad was a Lakers analyst, he brought me on set for a segment when I was 10, and when I first saw that red light go on, I knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

There isn’t a day that goes by where I don't think about my goals and how I am going to achieve them. Sports have this special, indescribable power that brings people together, and I want to be that voice that people hear while they feel that special power. I want people to feel like they are right along the sideline with me. I have had some injuries throughout my volleyball career that forced me to sit out for months on end, so while I wasn't able to be on the court, I found my love for watching these sports broadcasters even more. They made me feel like I was a part of the game even if I was thousands of miles away. I really hope that one day I can have the same effect on someone like these broadcasters did for me.

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

A: Over the past few months, I have been talking to so many fellow incoming freshmen, so I am so excited to finally be able to meet them all in person! I am also excited to jump right into my major and be able to learn as much as I can about the ins and outs of sports broadcasting.

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

A: One of the things that I can definitely brag about to my friends is that we have one of the top journalism programs in the country that produces amazing journalists that get jobs right after graduation. I also brag about the rooftop pool because I can't say that too many schools have that and we also don't have to bring any huge snow jackets because of the awesome weather!

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

A: I have so much passion running through me for not only sports broadcasting but life in general. I don't want to be just good at something, I work to be great at everything that I do, and this mentality stems from my work ethic that is unparalleled. I also definitely consider myself an extrovert and cannot wait to have so much fun and bring lots of smiles and laughter to the ASU community.

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

A: I hope to not only better myself as a sports broadcaster but also grow as a person. Super Bowl LVII and the Final Four are both coming to Arizona, so I am very eager to hopefully be able to cover these games and gain exposure. Arizona is also home to the Suns, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Coyotes and the Phoenix Mercury, so I'm excited about internship opportunities and to be able to of course cover the Conference of Champions.

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

A: An interesting fact about me is that I can rap the entire “Lose Yourself” song by Eminem. I used to rap it before every volleyball game to get the team hyped up!

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

A: I would put the money towards research for a vaccine for COVID-19. I would want nothing more than to get back to normalcy and to be able to live our lives to the fullest again. COVID-19 has been economically and emotionally devastating for us all and has taken away so much, so I would love to see a vaccine so that we can take our lives back.

Top photo: “Sideline Sammy" Miller shadowing an ESPN reporter at a pregame warmup at the University of California, Irvine. Courtesy of Dave Miller

Reporter , ASU News

480-727-5176