ASU-Starbucks partnership key to reaching graduation


May 6, 2018

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for spring 2018 commencement

For Katelyn Hughes, graduation day is a reality because of the partnership between Starbucks and Arizona State University. ASU graduate and Starbucks partner Katelyn Hughes was surprised to discover her drive after enrolling in ASU Online. "I was not always the person to get up and do things right off the bat. Going to school online at ASU pushed me to do things on my own," she said. "It is a great skill that I have learned." Download Full Image

“The Starbucks College Achievement Plan made it possible for me to go to school,” Hughes said.

Originally starting her college career at Grand Canyon University, Hughes left after her freshman year when she came to the conclusion that it was not the right environment for her. After withdrawing from school, Hughes realized she needed a job to help support herself and was encouraged by a family friend to apply for a job with Starbucks.

It wasn’t until after Hughes started with the company that she learned about the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, and after becoming benefits eligible, applied for the program.

“After moving out of the dorms at Grand Canyon, I moved into a house with my boyfriend, so I knew I had to work. Attending ASU through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan allowed me to continue working as well as get my degree,” said Hughes. “I was actually able to make money, and not have to spend that money on college.”

As for her transition to ASU Online? Hughes discovered not only her own self motivation, but more freedom in her day-to-day life.

“While at GCU, I spent a semester living in the dorms and another semester as a commuter student taking both online and on-ground courses,” said Hughes. “Switching to a fully online format with ASU was different, but it allowed me to continue living my life, including working and volunteering at my local theater, while getting an education.”

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

Answer: When I first enrolled in college it was at Grand Canyon University, where I was studying business management and theater. After withdrawing, and once I started the process of applying and transfering to ASU Online, I spoke with my enrollment coach about which majors worked for me. Based on my transfer credits, and my areas of interest, I realized that organizational leadership fit with what I was already doing.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you, that changed your perspective?

A: I was really surprised to learn about my own self drive. I was not always the person to get up and do things right off the bat. Going to school online at ASU pushed me to do things on my own. It is a great skill that I have learned.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: That was in part because of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan. This opportunity made everything make sense. It was affordable, accessible, and allowed me the opportunity to continue my education.

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

A: Focus. As much as you want to be done, focus on getting to the end. When you are done, a whole new world of possibilities opens up. You are able to get out, network and really move to the next level of life.

Q: What was your favorite spot to study?

A: As an online student, it was really nice to be on my couch, in my pajamas and with a glass of wine while doing my homework. I liked being in that setting, being able to be at home, be comfortable and just learning what I needed to learn.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I plan to continue working at Starbucks, as they are an awesome company. In a couple of years, my boyfriend and I are planning to move to New York City to pursue our dream of working in theater (he works on the technical side while I am in the artistic side). We want to be able to start our lives together in the industry. This is something we have always talked about, and now is the time to do it.

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

A: Being a theater person, I would like to fund arts education. It was such a big part of my upbringing, and having those programs survive for other kids to realize their dreams is super important to me.

Q: What is your favorite Starbucks drink?

A: I drink a Passion Tea, with no water, no sweetener and two Stevia packets!

Carrie Peterson

Media Relations Manager, EdPlus at Arizona State University

4808841541

ASU Polytechnic campus English, history grad earns Fulbright to South Korea


May 6, 2018

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for spring 2018 commencement

For ASU Polytechnic campus graduating senior Julia Christine Anderson, the news that she was chosen to receive a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Award to South Korea for the 2018-19 academic year ticked just about every one of her passions: her love of teaching (she’ll be an English teaching assistant in secondary education), her fascination with history and political science, her wanting to make an impact in international development, and especially her blossoming knowledge of and interest in South Korea.    ASU grad Julia Anderson at ASU Polytechnic campus After her Fulbright year in South Korea, ASU Polytechnic campus graduate Julia Anderson intends to earn a law degree and pursue work related to international development. Download Full Image

“I’ve been interested in the two Koreas since I was a freshman in high school,” Anderson said. “I was a policy debater, and my topic for the entire year was on U.S. military involvement in South Korea. Since then, I’ve closely followed the news on the conflict, tutored South Korean students and learned about the situation from their perspective. Waking up to the news that the two countries had reached a peace agreement was a very joyful moment for me,” she added, “and I’m so happy for the citizens of Korea who have long struggled with this divide.” 

Anderson came to ASU’s College of Integrative Sciences and Arts from Petaluma, in Northern California, as an English major. 

“I chose ASU because I was impressed with the Polytechnic campus and with Barrett, the Honors College,” she said. “ASU offered affordability and quality, and I had wanted to go to school away from home, so it was a good choice for a number of reasons.”

Her sophomore year, she added a second major in history, with a political science focus. She signed on as a student lead in Changemaker Central and became active in student government. That same year, Anderson also went to Peru with Global Resolve, the Polytechnic campus-based initiative that connects students with communities to co-develop and implement projects that improve quality of life for those in poverty.

“I helped install solar units at an orphanage but also had the opportunity to teach kids English,” she said. “I found it amazing how people can communicate even without a common language.” 

But Anderson said it was the semesters she worked as a writing tutor in ASU’s University Academic Success Programs as a sophomore and junior that got her further interested in the Korean Peninsula — and turned a general awareness and curiosity about the Fulbright Program into a serious pursuit. 

“I was hosting conversational English sessions with international students, and two education master’s students from South Korea began participating regularly. I really enjoyed talking with them, and they taught me so much about the culture and educational systems in their country,” she explained. “My supervisor, Kelly Chase, was the one who pressed me to consider applying to Fulbright.”  

While Anderson won’t learn until later this summer about her specific placement location and institution, she’s excited about the world of possibilities the experience will open.

“The award letter noted that among the 380,000-plus Fulbrighters since the program’s inception in 1946, there are 59 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 71 MacArthur Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and non-profit sectors,” she stated. “That is pretty inspiring. It definitely expands the go-big feeling that I’m leaving ASU with.”    

Anderson answered some additional questions about her ASU experience.

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

Answer: English was my favorite subject in high school, as was history. Paired with my desire to go to law school, I thought majoring in the two subjects would be a great choice.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you, that changed your perspective?

A: I have learned so much these past four years! Most notably, I’ve learned how to be an effective leader. I learned this as student lead of Changemaker Central and as president of Undergraduate Student Government Polytechnic. I learned to have an open mind, to be nonjudgmental of others and to have empathy for fellow students, professors and community members. I learned how to strike a balance between school, work and a social life. I learned that making connections is as important as getting good grades. And academically, I learned how to become a better writer, to conduct research and to think with a historical perspective.

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

A: Hard work really does pay off! Take advantage of the amazing opportunities that you have being at this university. Pay attention in class, do your homework and study, because it will all be worth it. Also be sure to have fun, which is easy to do at ASU.

Q: What was your favorite spot on the ASU Polytechnic campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: The walkway between the Dean of Students office and the Fulton advising office. It’s beautiful. Whenever I walk through it I reflect on how beautiful my campus is and how lucky I am to attend ASU.

Q: Did you do an internship related to your major?

A: Yes, I interned full-time for a semester at the Arizona State Senate. I was a research analyst intern for the Health and Human Services Committee. This fulfilled my political science focus in my history major.

Q: What are your plans after graduation? 

A: After law school I’m interested in pursuing work in a government position related to international development. 

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

A: Girls’ access to education. So many girls are prevented from going to school simply due to accessibility. Our world cannot progress so long as girls are unable to become educated.

Maureen Roen

Manager, Creative Services, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts

602-496-1454