Natural Sciences

Teresa Brandt

Oftentimes, a research project, personal experience or an academic course drives students into a particular field of study. For Arizona State University alumna Teresa Brandt, it was her inherent curiosity that lead her to study molecular and cellular biology.

“I’m very curious and this field has allowed me to explore my curiosity in science,” said Brandt. “Exploring science and being a role model for my family and my kids in doing a job that’s meaningful and rewarding drives me to stay in science and to mentor young scientists as well.”

Matt Shindell

“It was being in the right place at the right time,” Shindell said. “And studying the right thing – it was luck.”

Finding the job posting may have been luck, but Shindell’s qualifications for the job were a result of hard work and many years of education. In 1994, he started his undergraduate degree in biology and society at ASU and was an honors student in Barrett, the Honors College.

During his undergraduate years, he discovered the history of science as a distinct field of study, mostly due to his courses and the teacher-mentors in his program.

DeAnn Davies

She never expected to find herself training pediatricians, managing large-scale hospital programs and working for the betterment of children’s lives across the state of Arizona when she was a freshman.

“I had really enjoyed the psychology, child development and neuropsych courses,” said Davies. “[But] my advisor told me I didn’t need to take those courses beyond my sophomore year because, to be a pediatrician, you really don’t have to know child development or psychology. And I was so appalled! My heart really wasn’t into being a pediatrician anymore.”

Daniel Kolk

“We’re in the golden age of molecular biology,” said Kolk. “And we can make a difference quicker.”

Kolk received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and cell biology from the University of California, San Diego in 1983. He earned a doctoral degree in molecular genetics from ASU in 1992 and returned to UCSD’s School of Medicine to complete his post-doctoral work in 1995.

Paul Crecelius

“I think a good education is basically the basis of almost any success,” said Crecelius.

Crecelius graduated from ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry in 1969. He enjoyed chemistry in high school and followed a similar science path of his father, Dr. Harry Gilbert Crecelius, who was the director of the Arizona State Health Department laboratories from 1948 to 1975.

“I just like science,” Crecelius said. “I find it very, very interesting. I think chemistry/science is an excellent background for anyone.”

Gary Jahn

Why did you choose ASU and your major?

The university was close to home, and I was interested in entomology since the age of nine. I was the only entomology major at ASU. When I graduated in 1982, they discontinued the major as an option. Therefore, I’m the last entomologist the university has produced. 

How do you feel your degree program prepared you for a strong career/future?