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Incoming students bring talent to the table, are ready for success at ASU

A look at some notable new Sun Devils for fall 2023

Students celebrating and making a pitchfork sign with hands at ASU Fall Welcome
August 04, 2023

From mechanics to fashionistas, there's a wide pool of talent joining the Sun Devil community this fall as incoming students.

Get to know some of them, as they share their backgrounds and hopes for the future as they pursue their education at ASU. 

Young woman sitting in front of classic car

Claire Gunderson

Incoming student plans to build a future — and cars — with ASU

Claire Gunderson, a National Indigenous Recognition Scholar who graduated high school with a 3.81 GPA, has come to ASU this fall to study mechanical engineering in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

She said she chose ASU because of “the boundless opportunities,” including the hope of eventually becoming a member of Fulton’s Formula SAE program.

“ASU has so much to offer with their mechanical engineering program, automotive engineering program and Native American support services on campus, more so than other universities," Gunderson said. 

High school student playing beach volleyball

Rylen Bourguet

Student follows in family's footsteps to become next Sun Devil athlete

The name Bourguet is not unfamiliar at ASU for Sun Devil Football fans. Trenton Bourguet is a redshirt senior quarterback for ASU, and younger brother, Coben, is a redshirt sophomore wide receiver.

Now you can add a third Bourguet to the mix: accomplished athlete and 4.0 student Rylen Bourguet, who will major in business and play for ASU's beach volleyball team.

"My brothers and my parents kind of set the tone early on," Rylen said. "I had no other choice but to continue that after them. I have my own journey for course, but I hold myself to high expectations just like they do."

Student in graduation cap

Katie Bell

16-year-old ready to tackle career goals at ASU Local – Lake Havasu

Taking online classes is nothing new for Katie Bell, who was able to get her diploma early because she earned credits from an online high school starting in eighth grade. Now she's a first-year student at ASU Local – Lake Havasu majoring in preveterinary medicine.

“I took all my junior classes my sophomore year, and I decided to graduate early because I had all the credits,” Bell said. 

ASU Local is an innovative hybrid college program that pairs in-person coaching and mentorship with the flexibility of accessing all coursework online, 24/7, through ASU Online.

“I can get tutored if I need to, and I can bring my classes with me anywhere,” Bell said.

Portrait of young man in front of map

Farhan Babur

First-year student has a passion for global health

Incoming Sun Devil Farhan Babur brings a lot to ASU. He founded a tutoring organization that has raised thousands of dollars for the International Rescue Committee, and is now interning at the Harvard Undergraduate Foreign Policy Initiative.

At ASU, he hopes to explore a career in health care and get involved with global health equity.

"I want to work in a lab, ideally working in microbiology or neurobiology," Babur said.

But his student goals don't end there.

"Additionally, I want to be a part of volunteering initiatives where I can make a direct impact, like hospice care for example. I am also hoping to get involved in student government."

Woman smiling behind lectern

Ysenia Mora

Dreams of becoming a Sun Devil finally come true for adult learner

At 47, Ysenia Mora will be attending her first semester at Arizona State University this fall — and to her, the timing is perfect.

After suffering in an abusive marriage for 25 years, Mora is now is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology, with plans to become a licensed professional counselor to support other women facing similar struggles.

"I can help others because I have the empathy and the understanding,” Mora said. "My goal is to serve and inspire women."

Man sitting in recreated Van Gogh bedroom

Jared Wall

Fashion aficionado ready to expand horizons at ASU FIDM in downtown LA

Jared Wall had been taking general education and art classes in his hometown of Rocklin, California, when he heard about ASU's expansion with the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in downtown Los Angeles.

Wall ended up being the first student to be registered in the new ASU FIDM program. He starts this fall, majoring in fashion design.

“I knew ASU was a credible school and I know some people who go there. But I didn’t even know ASU had a fashion program and I looked it up and didn’t know it’s a huge thing. That was really cool,” he said.

Through ASU FIDM, Wall will be able to connect with some of the world’s most recognizable brands and companies in the fashion industries.

Young woman sitting in an oversized red wooden chair

Genevieve Hook

First-time Sun Devil finds resilience, purpose in writing

It was originally Genevieve Hook's dream to pursue a career in music, but in high school, Hook was diagnosed with hyperacusis, a hearing condition that reduces tolerance to sound, which resulted in moderate hearing loss.

Hook buried herself in writing poems, songs and journaling. Now, in literature, she has found a new way to connect with people.

This fall, through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, Hook will be pursuing an English degree through ASU Online that will allow her to expand on that connection through her writing.

 “Learn about yourself and who you are and take a deep look at what you love," she said. "There is always an outlet for your fun hobbies that can turn into a career.”

Top photo: Students flash the fork during the annual Sun Devil Welcome event, which recognizes incoming students for the fall semester. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

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