Experiences that form an education | Max's Student Story

When Max F. was looking at college programs, his dad, an Arizona State University alumni, showed him a press release of Governor Doug Ducey talking about

the newly instated School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership. 

Intrigued by philosophy, political science and economics, “[the school] just seemed to bridge everything that I was interested in.'' said Max, who is now a major in civic and economic thought and leadership and pursuing a minor in digital culture. 

Whether through student government, with his Sigma Nu fraternity brothers or with his Apollo Bravo bandmates, Max applies the lessons of leadership and statesmanship learned in his civic and economic thought and leadership courses. 

“No matter what you’re going to do, what you’re going to pursue in life or things you’re going to accomplish, I think that you can always fall back on the concepts you learn in SCETL.”

Being one of the first students to major in civic and economic thought and leadership, Max enjoys being a part of the growth and has felt supported from the beginning. 

“It was really interesting to be a part of it from the grassroots level,” Max said. “A lot of times universities can just seem like these mega machines that turn over every four years, but things don’t really change — this was something that was developing and happening right around me.”

“We weren’t just looking around and taking pictures” 

Max was a first-year student when he went on the school’s Global Intensive Experience to India. For Max, this was an opportunity to get an up-close look at the largest liberal democracy in the world. 

Through volunteer work with Barefoot College in rural Rajasthan and talking with scholars at the Fulbright House in New Delhi, everything Max experienced hit him on a personal level. 

“You can read about something in a textbook or on the internet. You can scroll through Twitter and you can learn a lot that way…  but there’s an irreplaceable knowledge that you gain from those experiences, and it’s just something you can’t get everywhere.”

Although the cohort visited sites such as Humayun’s Tomb, Taj Mahal and India’s largest mosque, Max added that this experience wasn’t tourism. 

“We weren’t just looking around and taking pictures,” Max said. “These experiences were trying to form our education and the things that we are trying to do later in our lives. The more perspectives, the more people that you really engage with, that you invest your time and energy with, that’s where the real growth comes from.”

The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership offers Global Intensive Experiences during academic breaks. These are opportunities to travel and apply themes learned in classes to real service and leadership projects abroad. Prior to traveling, student participants will join classmates and faculty in the study and discussion of culture, politics, and relevant contemporary issues in the countries they will visit. During their travels, GIE participants will research, explore, work, and collaborate with people from different backgrounds and perspectives in order to gain a deeper understanding of the important issues that they will need to consider in order to be effective, thoughtful, globally-conscious leaders.