On May 11 and 12, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University will recognize its highest-achieving students from the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences at the spring 2023 convocation ceremonies.
Each semester, departments and schools within The College select outstanding students who have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to academic excellence during their time at ASU. These students will be awarded a prestigious Dean’s Medal in honor of their scholastic achievements.
Meet the outstanding Dean’s Medalist awardees from The College for spring 2023:
Dean’s Medal: Department of English
Major: Creative writing
Minors: Mathematics, art history, French
Beadle represents the Department of English as a creative writing major; a triple minor in mathematics, art history and French; and a student at Barrett, The Honors College.
Through her research, she worked to spotlight young adults struggling with grief, first in her honors thesis on productive vs. unproductive coping measures of adolescents with complicated grief, and second, through a short story about young adults going through grief.
Beadle is a two-time undergraduate fiction short story honorary mention recipient of ASU’s Swarthout Award, which she received in 2021 and 2022. While at ASU, she served as a teaching assistant, writing tutor and member of the women’s club water polo team.
Beadle hopes to expand the conversation around grief in adolescents and show young adults how to cope productively and in a realistic manner.
Dean's Medal: School of Earth and Space Exploration
Major: Earth and space exploration (astrophysics)
Minor: Geological sciences
Blaske is a Barrett student from Michigan passionate about building an inclusive community by mentoring first-year students from diverse backgrounds.
She was an ASU/NASA Space Grant intern and assisted with the ASU-led Psyche Mission. She has presented various projects at scientific conferences and even won an award for her presentation at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.
A 2022 Barry M. Goldwater National Scholarship recipient, Blaske published two papers on planetary research.
She was the founder and president of the SESE Undergraduate Student Council, the founder and president of the Sun Devil Curling Club and a Coyotes Curling Club committee member.
Dean’s Medal: Department of Military Sciences
Minor: Military leadership
Certificate: International studies
A Barrett student, Bove received her degree in chemistry and a minor in military leadership and is a member of ASU’s Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).
Bove has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her time at ASU. She is ranked among the top 3% of 3,700 cadets nationally and leads 39 cadets as a company commander.
Bove received scholarships from ASU, the U.S. Army ROTC and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and was presented with the Reserve Officers Association JROTC Award in recognition of her outstanding achievements and exceptional leadership.
She was also part of the on-campus running club Road Crew and Run Devils.
Bove prepares to commission into the U.S. Army as an officer after graduation.
Dean's Medal: School of Transborder Studies
Major: Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o studies (media and expressive culture)
Minor: Justice studies
Campos came to ASU as a transfer student to further her education in Chicano and Latino studies.
While completing her degree, Campos held several leadership positions on campus. As a storytelling chair at Changemaker Central, she used storytelling and other narrative forms to promote awareness and catalyze social change. She also worked as an event coordinator with the health and fitness company CHAARG.
Campos has worked as a research aide on several projects, including the LA ADU Housing Program Evaluation project with Associate Professor Francisco Lara-Valencia, where she was instrumental in transcribing interviews in English and Spanish and coding data to identify relevant themes related to housing-insecure people in Los Angeles.
Her passion for storytelling and theater inspired Campos to audition for “Safe at Home,” a production exploring larger political and human rights issues using baseball as a framework.
Dean’s Medal: School of Molecular Sciences
A Barrett student, Chen excelled as a researcher and self-starter while pursuing her degree in biochemistry at ASU.
Chen was an undergraduate researcher in Associate Professor Nicholas Stephanopoulos’ bionanotechnology lab, where she focused on synthesizing peptides with multiple functionalities and worked hard to figure out new synthetic routes and strategies.
She also worked as a grading TA for a biochemistry lab and a reading volunteer, helping to promote interest in reading among elementary school students.
Chen’s dedication and work ethic have prepared her for the rigors of a top-tier graduate program. She has been accepted into the ASU biochemistry PhD program for fall 2023.
Dean’s Medal: School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies
Major: Philosophy (morality, politics and law)
An Ohio native, Gutmann set her business aside five years ago and became licensed to foster children in Ohio while pursuing her degree online. She demonstrated a graduate-level understanding of philosophy concepts during her time at ASU.
Gutmann strives to make a positive difference in the world, displayed in her work at a youth shelter and as an emergency foster parent. She also provides free dog training for those who have dogs with behavioral issues or those with medical conditions who benefit from the assistance of service dogs.
Now that she’s wrapping up her degree, she’s in the process of searching for a new job.
Dean’s Medal: Department of Psychology
Majors: Psychology (psychological science), global health
The Arizona native and Barrett student accomplished a lot, double majoring in psychology and global health while pursuing a minor in Spanish.
Hummel worked in various research labs and mentored students through Psi Chi and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging initiatives in the Department of Psychology. As a research assistant with the Arizona Twin Project, she helped examine the genetic and environmental factors contributing to childhood development.
She also worked in labs that examined the influences of COVID-19 on child and adolescent mental health.
Hummel is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was a mentor to help motivate interest in psychological science and promote college enrollment for underrepresented high school students.
After graduation, she is considering pursuing a PhD in psychology.
Dean’s Medal: American Indian Studies
Majors: American Indian studies, justice studies
A Tucson, Arizona, native, Jose came to ASU with a plan to pursue philosophy. When given a chance to explore other areas of interest, she learned about her passion to help the Native American community. She is graduating in May with a double major in American Indian studies and justice studies.
While completing her degree, Jose interned for the attorney general's office of the Tohono O’odham Nation, where she learned about the justice system and assisted in child welfare cases. She also interned for the city of Gilbert, where she helped plan Native American events in the community.
After she graduates, she hopes to find a way to represent her community in whatever she does, whether that is providing work in the judicial system, helping with mental health services or other career paths.
Dean’s Medal: School of Politics and Global Studies
Majors: Political science, French, religious studies
Certificates: International studies; Russia and Eastern European studies; religion, conflict and peace
Kinney represents the School of Politics and Global Studies as an honors student and triple major in political science, French and religious studies, while also pursuing a minor in Russian.
A hardworking and dedicated student, she amassed over 200 course credits in her four years at ASU, completed multiple independent research projects and has been nationally recognized for that work.
Kinney worked as a fellow for the Melikian Center for Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies and the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, where she contributed to research on several projects focused on language and religion. She also interned for the U.S. State Department working on Green Climate Fund projects in Central and South Asian countries.
She was a Pi Sigma Alpha and Phi Beta Kappa member and received scholarships in political science and religious studies.
Dean’s Medal: Hugh Downs School of Human Communication
Majors: Communication, political science
Minor: English (literature)
A Barrett student, Kohtz graduated with degrees in communication and political science and a minor in English literature.
While completing his degree, Kohtz held two leadership positions with the Association of Human Communication, where he promoted community development and career readiness by assisting with events and social gatherings. He also supported his peers as a student worker for ASU's Career and Professional Development Services department.
Kohtz was a member of The College Ambassadors, where he shared his Sun Devil story with high school students interested in joining The College and introduced them to university life.
In the community, he worked as an English Learners instructional assistant at Moon Valley High School in Phoenix.
After graduation, Kohtz will work with Teach for America during the summer and then begin his PhD in the fall.
Dean’s Medal: Department of Economics
Lewis is an ASU Online student graduating with a degree in economics.
While completing her degree, she joined College of Health Solutions Associate Professor and Department of Economics faculty affiliate Ellen Green on a National Institutes of Health project, exploring and designing health care policy to improve the allocation of deceased-donor kidneys.
According to Professor Green, Lewis is an “exemplar of our best students in ASU’s online program” and her accomplishments are “even more noteworthy as she is an amazing mother to two beautiful twins.”
Lewis’ hard work and perseverance led her to attain her goal of attending graduate school. She has been accepted into several prestigious economics PhD programs.
Dean’s Medal: Department of Naval Science
Major: Aerospace engineering (astronautics)
Minor: Military leadership
McAlister pursued a degree in aerospace engineering as a student contracted by the U.S. Navy.
During his time in school, McAlister served in many high-ranking positions in the ASU Naval Reserve as a squad leader, platoon commander and assistant administrator. He attended a summer training program in Washington, where he learned about supply chains, the chain of command and trained and flew in an EA-18G aircraft.
He also competed with the university’s men’s club water polo team, the Sun Devil Battle Bot competition and the Sun Devil Rocketry Club.
McAlister is on his way to earning a commission as a Student Naval Aviator in the U.S. Navy.
Dean’s Medal: School of International Letters and Cultures
Majors: Spanish, organizational leadership
An international online student from the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Nisbett pursued a concurrent degree in Spanish and organizational leadership.
While completing her degree, she represented the School of International Letters and Cultures in the Our New Gold Festival, an international storytelling festival exploring the Spanish Golden Age and how exceptional art and literature from that era can inform current social issues.
Her academic excellence placed her on the Dean’s List in both Spanish and organizational leadership for several semesters.
After graduation, Nisbett wants to work as a Spanish translator in her country’s foreign affairs department and eventually start her own translation business.
Dean’s Medal: School of Human Evolution and Social Change
Minor: Global studies
Graduating with honors in anthropology and a minor in global studies, Oricchio represents the School of Human Evolution and Social Change as its Dean’s Medalist.
Oricchio spent her time at ASU as a research apprentice in several labs examining fossils of mammals found at various African sites. She also served as an undergraduate representative for the diversity, equity and inclusion committee in the school.
In the community, she served as an engagement volunteer and a substitute teacher.
After graduation, Oricchio will pursue graduate school to continue studying fossil primates.
Dean’s Medal: Department of Physics
A Barrett student, Pezzelle pursued a degree in physics, focusing on theoretical physics and answering questions about the natural world.
During his time in school, he researched the technical concept of “double copy,” which touches on the relationships between gauge theories and gravity. For that research, Pezzelle received the Department of Physics Research Award.
Associate Professor Damien Easson said he was amazed at Pezzelle’s understanding of complex topics as an undergraduate student and will “no doubt go on to accomplish significant achievements in theoretical physics in graduate school and beyond.”
Outside the classroom, he was a member of the ASU Society of Physics Students and Cosmology Initiative Journal Club and Seminar.
Pezzelle will pursue his doctoral degree in physics at another university in the fall and hopes to eventually become a professor.
Dean’s Medal: School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership
Majors: Civic economic thought and leadership, management
Pitts is a Barrett student and New American University Scholar who double-majored in civic and economic thought and leadership and management.
During his time at ASU, he researched current social issues, including the rise of divorce, remarriage and cohabitation in the U.S., and broader trends toward social disintegration.
Pitts also has served in a variety of roles for several political campaigns, including Congresswoman Debbie Lesko, former Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and former U.S. Sen. John McCain.
After graduation, Pitts will work for the American Enterprise Institute in their education policy section.
Dean’s Medal: T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics
Minors: Anthropology, family and human development, religious studies
Ramsey came to ASU as a New American University scholar and graduated with a degree in sociology and minors in family and human development, religious studies and anthropology.
She worked on the ASU SIBS Project that helps facilitate after-school programs for students at Mesa elementary schools. She also worked as a research assistant for a project centered on mental illness in the workplace.
In addition to her research experience, she served on the executive council for the Sanford School Undergraduate Student Association.
After graduation, Ramsey will pursue a doctoral degree in sociology.
Dean’s Medal: School of Social Transformation
Major: African and African American studies
Russell came to ASU as an online student after 21 years in the United States Army to finish her education and pursue a degree in African American studies.
Inspired by stories of her grandmother and mother’s civil rights activism, Russell wanted to educate herself on African American history and work to one day share that knowledge.
She did not let being an online student deter her from capitalizing on all the experiences ASU offers. Russell studied abroad in Amsterdam, where she learned about the global slave trade.
Upon graduation, Russell plans to attend graduate school and pursue a degree in museum studies.
Dean’s Medal: Department of Aerospace Studies
Major: Aeronautics (aerospace engineering)
Minor: Military leadership
Sarrasin is graduating with a degree in aerospace engineering.
As a cadet in the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, Sarrasin led training for cadets as a point-of-contact squadron commander and a cadet vice wing commander. He also received the Military Order of the World Wars Award, given for overall improvement in both military and scholastic grades.
During his time at ASU he interned at AFWERX, an innovation arm of the Air Force that connects technology developers in diverse industries with airmen and guardians. There he worked with engineers to develop flight tests for an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft.
Sarrasin served as both the chapter and regional president of the Silver Wings, a military-affiliated college club focused on professional development and community service.
After graduation, he will be commissioned into the U.S. Air Force.
Dean’s Medal: School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning
Majors: Anthropology, geographic information science, geography, history
As an online student, Stafford represents the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning as a quadruple major in anthropology, geographic information science, geography and history.
He returned to ASU after completing a business degree in 2021.
While completing his degrees, Stafford worked in the Teotihuacan Research Laboratory, where he matched and analyzed site records from original excavations in the 1970s and translated and cataloged site information.
After graduation, Stafford will pursue his master’s degree in applied geospatial information systems and technology.
Dean’s Medal: School of Mathematical and Statistical Science
Major: Actuarial science
A Barrett student, Waldman is a Nevada native who came to ASU to pursue a degree in actuarial science and a minor in economics.
In the ASU community, she mentored first-year Barrett students and served as vice president for the Gramma Iota Sigma Kappa chapter, organizing events to facilitate connections and development.
While completing her degree, Waldman worked with Tutors Across America and as an actuarial intern at Humana and Cigna with their financial teams.
After graduation, she hopes to continue to learn more about the insurance industry and expand her actuarial knowledge.
Dean’s Medal: School of Life Sciences
Major: Biological sciences (genetics, cell and developmental biology)
Minor: Studio art
A National Merit Scholar and Barrett student, Weiss is graduating with a degree in biological sciences with an emphasis on genetics, cell and developmental biology.
Weiss was a member of Assistant Professor Susanne Pfeifer’s lab, where she characterized rates and patterns of recombination across the primate clade. She was also active in the School of Life Sciences Undergraduate Research program.
As an artist, Weiss had her work featured in a metal sculpture show at the Mirabella Art Show and led a group of six in a welding class that created a 13-foot-tall art installation titled “Hope in the Face of Climate Change” for ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination.
She was a member of the ASU Cycling Club and a youth cycling coach.