Adrienne Celt

“And it's true,” Celt said.

Celt said she can draw a direct line from a Vladimir Nabokov seminar she took while an undergrad at Grinnell College in Iowa to her latest novel, “Invitation to a Bonfire,” which debuts this summer.

After receiving her Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and Russian language, she went to work in advertising for Google, but eventually found her way back to her love of words.

Jack Erickson

In 1967, Jack Erickson received his Bachelor of Arts in Russian from the School of International Letters and Cultures in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. After attending a smaller university his first two years of college, he knew ASU could offer him many opportunities.

Amanda Ventura

“I think people who are creative are naturally curious so they gravitate toward the sciences,” said Ventura, who started her undergraduate studies as a biology major. “That’s what appealed to me most, but my strengths were definitely in writing and reporting.”

Ventura switched her major after being drawn to the written word and learning how to manipulate language to tell stories. In 2011, she received a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in creative writing from the Department of English.

Elizabeth Meadows

“I wanted to do something with language and also with Spanish,” said Meadows, who completed her undergraduate and graduate coursework at ASU. “I was attracted to linguistics because I was interested in how concepts are translated from one language to another and in the different ways language develops.”

Brooke Passey

“Growing up, I was always taught that anything was possible if I wanted to work hard enough for it,” said Passey, published author and founder of Passey Ranch.

In May 2013, Passey received a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis on creative writing in fiction from the Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Prior to graduation, she spent three years studying biology at Brigham Young University.

Nick Lambesis

“My passion was education,” said Lambesis, who was a lecturer in the Department of English and other junior colleges in the Phoenix area for 12 years. “I had to put it on the back burner to make sure I could support my family.”

Lambesis received a bachelor’s degree in English literature along with two minors in humanities and business from the University of Minnesota. While he majored in literature as an undergraduate, the humanities moved him. He later pursued his first master’s degree in humanities at ASU.

Samantha Winter

“It was hard to turn down the opportunity to go to a major research university in a major city,” she said. “ASU offered me the best of all worlds, and it was something I was very familiar with.”

As a Flinn Scholar from a small high school in the valley, Winter knew the university’s large size could be an adjustment. But she quickly found comfort in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Barrett, The Honors College.