Question: What was your “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?

Answer: I did not know immediately upon starting college where I wanted to end up, so my path was not quite so straight forward. I began as a sustainability major and absolutely loved the program and all the people within it. I planned to do a biology minor or double major, but upon taking General Chemistry 1 second semester freshman year, I fell in love with the subject — in part due to an amazing professor, Ashli Morgan. I’m not sure that was necessarily an “aha” moment, but in that class I really felt like I was able to refine my problem solving and logic skills in a way that appealed to me. That class led me to pursue concurrent degrees in environmental chemistry and biology.

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

Answer: I am from Arizona, so it is fair to say that a lot of my decision to attend ASU can be attributed to familiarity with the school and the benefits of in-state tuition. However, if I had to pick again, knowing what I know now, my choice would have little to do with convenience and much more to do with ASU as an institution; these four years here have shown me that there is so much possibility and potential at a school like ASU. It is huge and sometimes intimidating, but there are so many smart and friendly people that make it so easy to find where you belong. On top of that, the resources ASU has to support your research goals are incredible.

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

Answer: Definitely my research mentor professor, Hilairy Hartnett. Not only is she incredibly knowledgeable in her field, she always went above and beyond for me as a student; supporting my work, encouraging me to apply for certain programs and always doing her best to ensure I was getting everything I could out of my undergraduate experience.

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

Answer: Ask for help if you need it. In my experience, professors are thrilled whenever students take the time to ask questions or attend office hours. Even if you feel so lost that you don’t even know what you don’t know, ask questions. Doing this lets you really absorb the material and it can also open so many doors to build connections with professors that become invaluable when you want to do research or need recommendations.

Question: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

Answer: So on the east side of campus there is the very impressive Biodesign building. There are nice paths all the way around the building, and to the east of the building there is — I don’t know exactly how to describe it — almost like a lower-level outdoor park? It is surrounded by trees and has steps that make a very good seat. It is on campus but just far away enough to be a peaceful retreat from all the bustle of students milling around. When it is not absurdly hot it makes a very nice place to get fresh air and watch for animals.  

Jenny Green

Clinical associate professor, School of Molecular Sciences