Sanford School grad turns passion for childcare into degree


April 20, 2020

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2020 graduates.

Kenedy Schneeberger, a family and human development major graduating with honors from the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University, talks about studying family structures, and the importance of opening up and being well organized. Picture of Kennedy Schneeberger in cap and gown by large cactus Kenedy Schneeberger Download Full Image

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

Answer: As a child, I always thought that I wanted to be an OB/GYN or labor and delivery nurse due to my passion of loving babies and children. As a teenager I was always babysitting or putting in time at my childcare job, because I truly enjoyed interacting with young kids and their families. When I started my ASU application process, I had no interest in attending nursing school or working to become a doctor, so I started to explore other options. I came across the family and human development major and upon researching it further, I knew that it was the one for me. It has been the best decision that I could have made!

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

A: While at ASU, I found great interest in studying family dynamics and the way in which people interact. Prior to my education, I was unaware of the multitude of family structures and the diversity among them. However, engaging in my studies changed my perspective. Working with families is something that I will be doing throughout my career and it is important for me to be aware of these dynamics.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: As someone who is extremely close with my family, I could not get myself to move far from home. ASU was a great school within 30 minutes of my family and that was perfect for me!

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

A: While I have had many amazing professors at ASU, Dr. Laura Hanish taught me to always ask questions and seek help when needed. Before her class, I was shy and felt embarrassed to ask for help, however, being in her research methods class forced me to open up and realize the importance of seeking assistance when needed. By doing so, I was able to fully take advantage of her course and further improve my knowledge.

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

A: The best piece of advice that I have to offer to those still in school is to use a planner and avoid procrastinating. Using a planner allowed me to keep track of my assignments and encouraged me to avoid procrastination. By working on projects early, I was able to feel much more at ease throughout the week of the due date. Organization is key!

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

A: The Memorial Union was my favorite spot on campus to decompress between classes with my friends. With the abundant amount of food options and seating areas, there was a diverse range of places to hang out.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: After graduation, I will be attending ASU’s Master of Social Work program in downtown Phoenix. I am joining the program in hopes of becoming a social worker within a hospital or working with grief.

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

A: There are many vulnerable children, adults and families within our population that are unable to receive services such as proper medical care, nutrition, housing and education. I would choose to put the $40 million towards funding to provide more resources and services for these individuals.

John Keeney

Media Relations Coordinator, T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics

480-965-3094

Sociology grad seeks to help children in foster care


April 20, 2020

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2020 graduates.

Maricela Diaz, a sociology major from the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University, talks about changing majors, the benefits of studying abroad and her goal to work in the foster care system. Picture of Maricela Diaz in cap and gown sitting on green grass in the shade Maricela Diaz Download Full Image

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

Answer: My “aha” moment happened a little late, but oddly early enough for me to have time to switch majors. It was move-in week during my freshman year and I went to my suitemates’ room to get to know them better. One of them said she was a sociology major and explained everything she could do with that degree. As she was speaking, I could picture myself in all the careers she was mentioning. At that point, I was a French major because I was obsessed with the idea of becoming an FBI language analyst. The first day of class was a Thursday and it was also the day I switched my major to sociology. I went to my French class and by the end, I knew that I couldn’t do that for four years.

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

A: From my research method class, I learned that it is good to question things and be curious. There is always something new to learn or an issue that needs clarity.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: The main reason I choose ASU was because it fully funded my education. Also, it gave me the best of both worlds. I was able to live on campus and learn to be independent while staying close to my family.

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

A: During my time at ASU, I’ve had the opportunity to build relationships with amazing professors. I’ve certainly learned something from each and every one of them, but a lesson that stands out was taught to me by Dr. Cassandra Cotton. I had the opportunity to work with her for a few weeks, and during that time she taught me to embrace my interests and plans for the future. This past year I’ve questioned what I wanted to do after graduation multiple times. Dr. Cotton has always been supportive of my choices and encourages me to do what is best for me.

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

A: To those still in school, my best advice is to study abroad if possible. There is so much a person can learn from leaving and studying in another country. Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that allows students to not only see the world but also experience different cultures by interacting with different people.

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

A: My favorite place to relax and study on campus is the third floor of the student services building in Tempe. There is a balcony that overlooks the student services lawn. This is probably the only place that is not full during midterms or finals week because not many students know about it.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: After graduation, I want to work for an organization that helps foster care children. I hope to get a position where I can help with the adoption process of these children while making sure that they are going to a good home.

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

A: In the last two years, I had the opportunity to travel to Morocco, Spain, and Brazil and a common problem I saw are favelas or slums. The people that live in these areas lack basic sanitation, clean water and electricity. If someone gave me $40 million, I would invest the money in upgrading the infrastructure of these communities to improve living conditions and to provide access to services and education for residents.

John Keeney

Media Relations Coordinator, T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics

480-965-3094