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Women and gender studies student finds community at ASU

Thea Eigo, the Dean’s Medalist for the School of Social Transformation, is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in women and gender studies, as well as a minor in Asian Pacific American studies.

December 08, 2023

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable fall 2023 graduates.

A Phoenix native and child of ASU Associate Professor Kathryn Nakagawa, Thea Eigo decided that they wanted to go out of state for college to experience a new area. Soon after their first semester began, they realized that Phoenix and ASU were calling them back.

Their second semester of freshman year, they transferred to ASU and quickly created a new community. Eigo is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in women and gender studies, as well as a minor in Asian Pacific American studies. Eigo served on the executive board for the Asian/Asian Pacific American Student Coalition, was involved in the sexual health club Devils in the Bedroom, and worked in the Sexual and Relationship Violence Program as a student educator and employee.

Their involvement in and out of the classroom greatly impacted the experiences that they were able to have at ASU.

“My professors provided a lot of support for me throughout my time at ASU! I am very grateful for my women and gender studies professors and the School of Social Transformation as a whole,” Eigo stated.

As Dean’s Medalist for the School of Social Transformation, Eigo said they are very grateful for the opportunities and those they were able to meet at ASU.

Question: What’s the best piece of advice you would give to students?

Answer: The best piece of advice I would give to students would be to try not to rush your college experience! It is OK to take time to figure out what major or field you are interested in. I encourage you to take interesting classes and make your education enjoyable. It is very easy to get burned out, so take your time and have fun.

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

A: When I started college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study, so I started out by taking a few general courses, women and gender studies being one of them. It was a higher-level course, and I had the best time. I soon realized this was the right major for me because I felt really accepted and heard by everyone.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU that surprised you?

A: Something I love about ASU is how diverse it is and the number of communities and opportunities you can find here. At a smaller school, it can be really easy to get your foot in the door, but that doesn’t always bring a lot of opportunities. At a big school, it can be harder to get started and find your community, but once you do, there is so much more to offer — and no matter what your background is or where you come from, there is a place for everyone at ASU.

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