ASU grad found unexpected passion in geography


December 13, 2021

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

It took just one geography class for Juliette Clermont to get hooked.  Following graduation, Juliette Clermont is interested in working for the National Park Service and using her education for land conservation and sustainability. Download Full Image

Entering Arizona State University as an astrophysics major, Clermont took an introductory physical geography class with an enthused professor who piqued her interest. Her curiosity about the world and the places, spaces and relationships within it grew. She changed her major to geography the next semester. 

“I took ‘Intro to Physical Geography’ with Dr. Randy Cerveny and I knew it was for me,” said Clermont, who is graduating this December with a Bachelor of Science in geography and a geographic information science (GIS) certificate from ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning. “Dr. Cerveny was so enthusiastic about geography and everything that it entails that I just had to take more classes.”

Clermont, who is interested in physical and planetary geography, says that although she didn’t know much about geography in the beginning, she was pleasantly surprised to learn about the different themes and broad range of topics geography covers.  

“I knew next to nothing about geography when I switched my major. It was definitely a leap in the dark for me, but it really paid off,” Clermont said. “I think the most surprising thing was how wide-ranging this degree is — I could go into meteorology, GIS services or even an ambassador program with a geography degree.” 

Following graduation, Clermont is interested in working for the National Park Service and using her education for land conservation and sustainability.

“I did a project a few years ago focused on land-use change in a national park that affected the habitability of the California condor, and I am sure that is where the love for conservation comes from,” Clermont said. “Shoutout to Professor (Andrew) Trgovac and GIS 311.” 

Ahead of commencement, we asked Clermont a few questions about her time at ASU.

Question: Why did you choose ASU?

Answer: I chose ASU because it was my home school. All of my family members went here, and I was excited to finish off the Clermont legacy here.

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

A: School is hard, and you are not the only one struggling. Talk with your professors if you are struggling, utilize the counseling services at Student Services — please never forget that your health has to come first.

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

A: I lived off campus so I did most of my studying at home, but I have a soft spot for the Hayden C5 classroom. It's where the Album Listening Club that I am a part of meets, and it's where I met so many of my best friends. Join clubs. 

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I am still applying pretty much everywhere, but I would love to work somewhere that allows me to use my GIS certificate. I love GIS and mapmaking, and if that's what I did for the rest of my life, I would be happy.

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

A: Climate change. Even with $40 million, a number that I cannot even fathom, it wouldn't be enough. It would be more than what a lot of other countries are doing, but it would barely scratch the surface.

David Rozul

Media Relations Officer, Media Relations and Strategic Communications

480-727-8627

Cronkite grad went from in front of the camera to behind the pen


December 13, 2021

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

December 2021 Arizona State University graduate Alli Cripe spent her teens traveling the world modeling but found her way back home to the Valley once she found a career passion in journalism.  ASU grad Alli Cripe Through her student worker position at Access ASU, new grad Allison Cripe helped reach out to Arizona families to open up access to higher education. Download Full Image

It was when Cripe was a student at Mesa Community College that she first cut her teeth as a writer rather than a photo subject. She transferred to ASU and found that the Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication was a welcoming community. 

“It was like a small, close-knit family. We all knew each other and supported each other, especially on Twitter,” she said.

Cripe kept busy with work and internships, including working as a social media manager for Access ASU, which is dedicated to increasing access to higher education for Arizona families. There, she helped raise awareness about events and programs that aim to inspire underrepresented communities to attend college and connect families to resources that make higher education a financial and academic reality. 

She said the experience was great to get a head start on professional life.

“Working with Access ASU has given me the tools to move forward and find a career. Professionally, it means I’ve applied what I’ve learned in class and also means that I can bulk up my resume a bit,” she said.

“Personally, I think it shows that ASU truly cares about its students. The student worker position helped me financially because I had full-time school and couldn’t work a full-time job. I’m really grateful for that.”

As she prepared to graduate, Cripe reflected on her time at ASU and shared her advice for fellow Sun Devils. 

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

Answer: Before ASU, I entered community college to learn more about English and creative writing. I happened to find a job at the Mesa Community College student newspaper, the Mesa Legend. They gave me my first newspaper position as a sports editor, and I worked my way up to Opinions. 

I learned to love writing articles and meeting new, exciting people to interview. Then Mike Wong’s internship program helped me work with Phoenix New Times, and I truly enjoyed that.

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

A: My Mass Communication Law class — shoutout to (Professor Joseph) Russomanno — has taught me the important confines of journalism so that a media outlet doesn’t get sued. Learning that George Carlin is the reason we have obscenity laws for the media really surprised me. I had no idea.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: ASU’s journalism program is right up there with the best. So once I found journalism, I knew I had to go to ASU.

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

A: Professor James Teeple taught me life-changing editing and writing advice in my 301 class, and Sonia Bovio taught me the importance of communication audits, which I’ll never forget!

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

A: If you’re young and have the option not to work while in school, fight that urge and work anyway. Working while in school gives you so much more confidence when you’re about to graduate. You’ll be glad you put in the extra hours at an internship or in freelance. And take advantage of all that your school has to offer!

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

A: Hands down the First Amendment Forum. I’ll miss walking by the large TV screens playing CNN. 

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: At some point, I’d like to travel to Italy. No time frame on that, but it’s a goal.

Most importantly, now that I’ve graduated I intend to go out and better the world through a career. I’d love to make a positive difference.

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

A: Mental health, because I hate that there are unhappy people who don’t have the mental wherewithal to fix their own world. Additionally, if cured, it would massively lower crime and homicides, etc.

Hannah Moulton Belec

Digital marketing manager, Educational Outreach and Student Services

480-965-4255