Her love of travel continues this semester, she is participating in a study abroad program in South Africa with the School of Human Evolution and Social Change. Erickson received the Gilman Scholarship, the school's study abroad scholarship and the Global Education Office Travel Grant to help fund her trip. 

Erickson will graduate this spring with honors and is applying for PhD programs with a strong interest in bioarchaeology. 

Leading up to commencement, we asked Erickson a few questions about her time at ASU. 

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

Answer: It happened in two parts. On my trip to England, when I was visiting Stonehenge and the many historical sites there, it struck me how amazing and powerful these sites are, as well as the information we have gleaned from them. I still had no idea that anthropology was something I could actually study. When Uber offered their scholarship for ASU, and I was looking through their many majors, anthropology jumped out at me. I realized this is such a better description of what I want to study than just history. The quest to learn more about the many different cultures that preceded us and those that exist in our own time just felt right to me.

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

A: I learned a lot about the history of the U.S. and how diverse the different native histories are. This happened in school in the anthropology classes I took, as well as during my travels to anthropological sites. I believe I had a very narrow view of that diversity prior to these experiences. On a personal level, I learned that I can do anything I put my mind to and I can adapt to any situation.

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

A: The best piece of advice I can give to those in school is that there is no right or wrong way to do this. You can go straight from high school to college, be on your third attempt, or never attempt it until later in your life. No matter which route you take to get to where you want to be, it is the right route for you.

Nicole Pomerantz

Communications specialist, School of Human Evolution and Social Change