Student Stories

Hear from students in the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership about what brought them to Arizona State University, the experiences they have had in college, and how they plan on applying their education to their futures. 

A passion for human rights, foreign policy and law.


When looking for a university to attend, Anusha N. knew two things: she wanted to stay close to home and she wanted exciting opportunities for research. She found those two things and more at Arizona State University. The current sophomore is a part of Barrett the Honors College, majoring in Sociology and History with minors in Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership and Spanish, and certificates in Human Rights and International Studies.

Read more of Anusha's story.

A program worth waiting for.


After graduating from the University of Mary, North Dakota in 2015, Jonathon H. had been looking for an opportunity to further his education. Initially he wanted to go to med school, and then thought about dental school and pursuing a doctorate degree, but none of those options aligned with what he really wanted to do. When Jonathon learned about the school’s new Master’s degree program in Classical Liberal Education and Leadership, he felt like this was the program he was waiting for. 

Read more of Jonathon's story.

Making a real impact

Arizona State University Students


The summer after her first year at ASU, Nicole moved to Washington, D.C. to intern at a congressional office for the summer. While in D.C., Nicole had the opportunity to interview Bernie Sanders, meet Jeff Flake, and experience the day-to-day business of working on Capitol Hill. "I like to think that I was having a real impact, and that's not really something I associated with most internships."

Read more of Nicole's story. 

Lowering the barriers to education.

Julia, an Arizonan native, spent 2 months in Israel this summer. Following the end of the Global Intensive Experience with the school of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, Julia remained in Tel Aviv and worked as an intern for the African Refugee Development Center as a higher education caseworker with Sudanese and Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers to help get them resources to apply for university, look into vocational and language education, and help them get integrated into the Israeli society.

Read more of Julia's story.

Arizona State University Students

Work outside of the classroom.

Thanks to the Next Generation Service Corps scholarship, Taylor S. found herself at Arizona State University creating her own four + one program that will allow her to graduate with a degree in urban and environmental planning this May, and a masters in Spring 2021. 

Read more of Taylor's story. 

An opportunity to grow.

Cameron D. was initially drawn to Arizona State University because he wanted opportunities to succeed both in and outside the classroom. He was looking for a rigorous curriculum, internships, study abroad opportunities and conferences to attend. Since starting at ASU in August, this first-year student has taken advantage of all of these opportunities. 

Read more of Cameron's story. 

A very humbling experience.

"This experience changed my worldview and challenged my mindset by exposing me to a completely new culture and community. I was able to hear diverse perspectives and opinions on politics, service, and leadership." 

Read more of Carla's story. 

Planting a better future.

Looking around at our interview location, a thriving garden on the perimeter of the Social Sciences building, Jonah excitedly gave us a tour and told us a little bit more about the student garden club he started, Food For Change. With a mission to educate and empower students to engage in all aspects of the local food system, Food For Change supports and promotes local food initiatives on and off campus with the goal to bring awareness to the local food movement happening around the country in the community.

Read more of Jonah's story.

Arizona State University Students

Experiences that form an education.

Max's student story

Max was a first-year student when he went on the school’s Global Intensive Experience to India. "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."  

Read more of Max's story.

“I haven’t really seen an education like this before."

Currently majoring in neurobiology, Ariana decided to add a minor in civic and economic thought and leadership to her academic pursuits. “I’m better in my STEM classes because of SCETL, but I’m also better in my SCETL classes because of my STEM major.”

Read more of Ariana's story. 

A new outlook on education.

In May 2017, Kainoa S. was finishing his sophomore year at Seton Hall University in New Jersey when he started to feel ill. “As I’ve found out, you make a plan and God laughs at you, right?,” Kainoa says. “I’m definitely a testament to that. He wasn’t laughing at me for taking away my plan, but just not understanding the grandness of it.”

Read more of Kainoa's story. 

"It’s a world-changing experience."

Dominics student story

As a transfer student from Chicago, Illinois, Dominic F. was drawn to Arizona State University because of the rankings of the schools in the University and the different global programs they have to offer, which he has taken advantage of by going on the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership’s Global Intensive Experiences to Israel and the West Bank. 

Read more of Dominic's Story.

Life after college.

In May 2019, Elana Q. was the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership’s first graduate. Since receiving bachelor degrees in civic and economic thought and leadership and philosophy from Arizona State University, Elana has moved to Washington, D.C. and works for Georgetown Law at the Georgetown Center for the Constitution. 

Read more of Elana's story. 

A Passion for Civic Discourse.

Justin's student story

Justin attended his second Global Intensive Experience in Israel and the West Bank in May 2019, which was the first trip to the deeply conflicted nation in Arizona State University’s history. “I had the opportunity to speak with people on both sides of the political issue of the Israeli-Palestinean conflict, and actually hear their perspectives first hand. That was incredible.”

Read more of Justin's story.