Global health grad found inspiration and purpose at ASU
Consuelo Arroyo received the ASU Alumni Association Medallion Scholarship all four years
Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2021 graduates.
Medallion Scholar and spring 2021 graduate Consuelo Arroyo is devoted to helping her community through science. During her sophomore year, the global health major took a class on infectious disease, where she became fascinated with the topic. She continued taking related courses, which proved helpful during her internship last summer.
“In June 2020 I took an internship with ASU to address the university’s COVID response and assist in their contact tracing program they were building,” she said. “This then turned into my part-time job where I am still working.”
She shared that being able to help Arizonans, particularly the Spanish-speaking community, in a time of crisis has been extremely rewarding. Arroyo expressed how important it is for the Spanish-speaking community to be represented in science and public health careers.
Though Arroyo grew up near ASU in Tempe, she was surprised at the support she received as a Sun Devil. “I liked knowing that no matter what issue I was facing, ASU could be my support net for resources, which I did not expect from a large university.” Her mentors, professors and staff at The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences helped her realize that she would never have to struggle alone — there were always people willing to support her.
One professor that particularly helped her during her academic career was Peter Schmidt, a professor in Barrett, The Honors College. Before starting college, Arroyo wasn’t always confident in her academic abilities and writing skills. She was not expecting to do well in The Human Event, an interdisciplinary seminar course for first-year honors students. The course examines human thought from several perspectives, such as philosophy, history, literature, religion, science and art.
“This course was one of the most intensive writing and critical thinking courses that I had ever taken,” Arroyo said. “I grew so much in that class from the first essay I submitted to the last and it taught me to have more confidence in not only my abilities, but also in my potential to learn.” She appreciated that Schmidt took the time to give her feedback in a way that helped her grow as a writer and student.
Outside of the classroom, some of Arroyo’s favorite memories took place through her involvement in the Medallion Scholarship Program. She received the ASU Alumni Association Medallion Scholarship all four years, along with the Burton AVID Scholarship. She loved being able to connect with her cohort of scholars and build relationships with students outside of her academic focus.
Arroyo shared that if she could pass on one piece of advice to students, it would be to go to as many events as possible in order to meet new people. Arroyo actively attended Medallion events, and loved attending concerts in ASU’s Secret Garden. Though she described herself as shy her first year at ASU, she pushed herself to go to events like these, and she’s so glad that she did. “I met so many new people this way. It's important that we push ourselves out of our comfort zones so we can grow,” she said.
Upon graduating this summer, Arroyo will be studying abroad in Seoul, South Korea, where she will be learning the Korean language. She also plans on taking some time off after returning home before working toward a master's degree in public health.