ASU grad shows all students that they belong

Tasmia Alam portrait

ASU grad Tasmia Alam.


Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2021 graduates.

During her time at ASU, Tasmia Alam worked to show all ASU students that they belong, that their mental health is supported and that resources are available for their well-being. 

Alam, born and raised in Phoenix, is graduating this spring with a Bachelor of Arts in secondary education, focusing on English.

Outside the classroom, Alam was committed to education in the realm of mental health. She was the committee chair for education and training for Devils 4 Devils, a student-led community that is dedicated to improving the social and emotional well-being of students and the community.

“I was trained in teaching students and staff the importance of empathy, how to respond empathetically, as well as what actions to take when someone has expressed their struggles. My job was to promote as well as provide the training to student organizations to staff and different colleges within ASU,” she said.

Alam said that her favorite part of working for Devils 4 Devils was the members. 

“We are all so supportive of each other and are working together to achieve a shared goal of promoting and advocating for mental health resources at ASU and beyond,” she said. “We are all very collaborative, and that sense of belonging is what makes me enjoy working with Devils 4 Devils!”

Alam feels proud of having studied abroad and deepened her knowledge and research about education while living in another country. She is looking forward to the future and to experiencing another place in grad school. 

Alam spoke with ASU Now about her time at ASU, what advice she’d give to current students and what the future looks like for her. 

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

Answer: My “aha” moment arrived quite early: third grade to be exact. I used to be always helping others, editing papers, correcting spelling and grammar and watching relief on my classmates’ faces as their hard work paid off with a decent grade. At that moment, I realized that getting people where they needed to be, to teach them and watch them grow as a learner, really gave me a pep in my step. Hence, the decision was made. 

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

A: Going to the study abroad fair and picking out a program helped further change my perspective on the type of educator I aspired to be. I went to Finland for a little over two weeks and was able to truly immerse myself into learning more about education as well as the educational approaches that the teachers practice. 

Learning more about what education looks like outside of the classroom and the country taught me how big the world truly is. Seeing that there are so many different possibilities out there made me more excited about the future!

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: To be honest, I wanted to stay close to home, and ASU was 15 minutes away. I also thought ASU was a cool university to go to, given the multitude of resources and opportunities that they provide for their students.

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

A: Professor Blasingame; he taught ENG 471. He would always be authentic and always checked in on each and every student. He taught me to be excited and to make the most out of everything in life and to do everything you wanted. Because in the end, you will end up where you need to be.

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

A: Seize any opportunity that tugs at your heart. College is all about exploring, and none of us have it all figured out. Take every opportunity that interests you and excites you, and explore more about what you want to do and who you want to be. It’s the best time to figure out what you want, who you are and how you function. 

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

A: It is definitely really hard to pick just one favorite spot, but whenever I had a bad day I would always just sit at the Hayden Lawn or head to the Secret Garden. I loved the Secret Garden because once you’re down there, it’s completely quiet and usually empty, which is the perfect place to think about life. Other than that, I use the Hayden Library to study and the Memorial Union when hanging out with friends!

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I’m going to be doing a huge coming-of-age move to New York, where I will be getting a master’s in secondary education online at NYU while teaching full time at a school!

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

A: Definitely climate change. I believe that is one of the most pressing issues right now, given that it is time-sensitive.

Written by Austin Davis, ASU Student Life

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