U.S. Navy veteran transfers project management skills to a degree at ASU


Katie Hall

Katie Hall is graduating this May with a bachelor's degree in an organizational leadership with a concentration in project management. Photo courtesy of Katie Hall

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Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2024 graduates.

Katie Hall’s project management portfolio accounts for more than 50 projects ranging in value from $50,000 to almost $8 million, and that doesn’t include her leadership of a team of 15 junior colleagues in the U.S. Navy — yet, she was confident she could level up her skills at ASU by pursuing an organizational leadership bachelor’s degree with a concentration in project management.

Hall’s courses opened her eyes to the significance of integrating sustainability into a project. She also learned how to manage and overcome risk and recorrect the course of a project, among other skill sets. She says she learned these valuable lessons from Jennifer Chandler, an associate teaching professor in the School of Applied Professional Studies at ASU’s College of Integrative Sciences and Arts (CISA).

Hall, who is one of three graduates to be recognized as CISA’s inaugural Dean’s Medalists, “excelled in the classroom” according to Sean Williams, director and professor in CISA’s School of Applied Professional Studies, who nominated her for the prestigious honor. The CISA Dean’s Medalists are honored for their display of exemplary academic achievement and record of leadership and service.

“Her professional experience has been valuable for class discussions, informal mentorship of other students, as well as providing a model for other students on demonstrating academic excellence,” Williams added.

With a strong portfolio of experience backing her, Hall plans to continue her education this fall at ASU in CISA’s Master of Project Management program.

Question: Why did you choose ASU?

Answer: I chose ASU because my husband and I have a lot of family located in Phoenix and we knew we would be moving here.

Q: Did a scholarship help fund your academic journey at ASU?

A: Yes, I used my GI Bill from the military. This made it possible for me to pursue higher education.

Q: What was a memorable part of your ASU journey?

A: Thinking back on my journey, I met some very interesting people along the way and they truly made my time at ASU special. I loved learning from and meeting people who had completely different backgrounds than me. I met a foreign exchange student who was from Norway, and her Norwegian history made me so curious about visiting and experiencing the culture! 

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: Professor Jennifer Chandler taught me that no matter what, you will never have a project that goes exactly to plan without a single roadblock.

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

A: Take care of YOU. School is hard, work is hard and life is hard. However, we need to take a step back and take care of ourselves as well.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: After graduation, I will stay employed as a project manager at my current organization, JLL. I will also be joining the Master of Project Management program this fall at ASU.  

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I would tackle the lack of proper care for children in group homes or foster care. I would want to create a foster home organization that offers children their own bedrooms, proper meals, a tutor, access to a swimming pool, sports opportunities and anything else that would set them up for success after high school. I'd also want to provide scholarships, if possible, to these children. I would not want their childhood to impact their future.

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