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Outstanding grad overcomes many barriers to achieve her degree 


Headshot of Cheryl Wynn

Cheryl Wynn. Courtesy photo

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May 07, 2024

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

As a full-time Arizona State University employee, Cheryl Wynn began taking classes part time. But in the midst of her degree, she faced medical issues that forced her to take a break from school.

Furthermore, while recovering, she was one of many who had to overcome the lifestyle changes that came with the COVID-19 pandemic. She found it “extremely difficult to work towards normal again,” but she persevered and continued to focus on her healing.

Wynn is now graduating from ASU’s School of Social Transformation with a master’s degree in gender, women and sexuality studies, along with a graduate certificate in African studies.

She received the honor of being The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Outstanding Graduate for Social Sciences and will continue spreading her perseverance through her work and beyond. 

Here, Wynn shares more about her ASU experience and a few words of advice for students:

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

Answer: The best piece of advice I would give to students is to listen to that voice inside you that tells you when something resonates with you. That voice is telling you this is for you. "This" can be your program, your mentor, your new friendships, and so much more that ASU has to offer.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU that surprised you or changed your perspective?

A: In the classroom, I was surprised and humbled by how we (students) could read/listen to the same materials but come away with several different interpretations. It was humbling to learn from my classmates as we brought our personal experiences to our learning experience.

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

A: Dr. Heather Switzer taught me to research with a critical yet creative mind/approach. That is, research is greater than looking for authors that agree with my perspective or what these experts say about it. It’s also searching for what is not said.

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

A: My "aha" moment was in Dr. Heather Switzer’s Girlhood and Adolescence course. The materials and lectures ignited a passion to look at what I knew with fresher, discerning eyes.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: I chose ASU because a colleague and mentor raved about the faculty here. She was absolutely right about their level of expertise, enthusiasm, and commitment to students.

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