Graduates look back at their time at ASU

Before the ceremony, four graduates shared their thoughts about the importance of their achievements.

School of Criminology and Crinimal Justice graduate Samantha Jo Perez said she was excited to receive her Bachelor of Science. Her future plans include studying for a master’s degree, before attending law school. Wherever she goes next, Perez said she’ll always remember her ASU community. “They were so inclusive,” she said.

With her Master of Social Work, Andrea Mendoza plans to go into providing hospice care. She said her internship in a hospice environment, one of her ASU journey’s most cherished memories, helped influence her career decision.

“It’s closing a chapter in your life,” Mendoza said about receiving her MSW degree.

Graduating also meant the closing of one chapter, as well as the start of a new one, for School of Public Affairs graduate Ian Higgins, who received his Bachelor of Science in public service and public policy.

“It’s a launch pad into something else,” said Higgins, who also plans to study for a master’s degree.

Higgins said he knew life in the public sector was for him after he and his roommate, with whom he was sitting at the convocation ceremony, both completed a policy internship in Washington, D.C.

One activity involved a visit to the White House for a Fourth of July barbecue, which he said cinched his decision.

School of Community Resources and Development graduate Christopher Joseph said his path to his diploma included having to drop out during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I worked really hard,” said Joseph, whose Bachelor of Science is in tourism development and management with an emphasis on sustainable tourism. “I came back to finish my last year.” Joseph helped new and prospective students while working part time as a student recruiter for the Watts College.

Joseph said he’ll always remember a moment that occurred while he was leading a Downtown Phoenix campus tour for incoming first-year ASU students. One of the participants asked about the local population of people experiencing homelessness.

“I said, ‘This is why I’m in school. I want to work on the real-life problems.’”

A recording of the livestream of the Watts College spring convocation may be viewed here on ASU Live.

Mark J. Scarp

Media Relations Officer, Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions