Meet ASU Online’s 2021 brand ambassadors

Being an ASU Online student means juggling it all – school, work, a social life and more. We caught up with our three new brand ambassadors to talk about what that balance means to them and how they navigate new opportunities to learn, connect and build their futures.

Our new brand ambassadors all have something in common: each one is engineering their own path and writing their story as they go. They all agree that ASU Online affords them the flexibility to live their lives and achieve their educational goals.

ASU Online student Kyle Ballard

Kyle Ballard, BA in political science, North Augusta, SC

For military student Kyle, his educational path has been anything but linear. After starting his studies at another institution and landing in the U.S. Navy as a cryptologic technician (interpretive), he knew one thing: he wanted to continue learning. What attracted him to ASU Online was the military-friendly nature. He also had an interest in the Earned Admission program, which allowed him the flexibility to pursue classes on his own time before starting his full-time political science studies.

Kyle credits the flexibility of ASU Online classes with his ability to successfully balance his job with the Navy and involvement in student organizations while still crushing his academic goals. Should his military career take him abroad again before his chapter in the military comes to an end, he knows he can take ASU Online with him.

Future-forward. After earning his bachelor’s degree in political science in 2021, Kyle plans to keep the forward momentum by pursuing a master’s degree in either global security or political psychology. With his eyes on finishing his MA in spring 2023, Kyle is looking at leaving the military service and applying to work with the State Department.

Kyle looks forward to sharing his experiences and offering advice to veterans or others currently in the military interested in becoming students again. A piece of advice: “Take advantage of the resources offered!” For military students, this may mean utilizing the Pat Tillman Veterans Center. For all students, this could look like connecting with their success coach or making a personal connection with an instructor.

Follow Kyle on Instagram as he shares his ASU Online journey.

ASU Online student, Selene Gonzalez, smiling for photo

Selene Gonzalez, BA in Spanish, minor in health care coordination, Bay Area, California

When native Spanish speaker Selene took her first Spanish class through ASU Online, she thought it would be her only one. She didn’t realize she’d re-fall in love with her language and culture, and this would lead to changing her major to Spanish.

“I fell in love with the class, the passion that the professor had for the language and the culture, and ultimately the School of International Letters and Cultures as a whole,” Selene explains.

As she continues her ASU journey, Selene plans to forge her own path, grounded in building community. What she enjoys most about her ASU Online experience is the vibrant communities she has joined. Her interest in Spanish language and Hispanic and Latinx culture has led Selene to join the Hispanic Honor Society, participate in the SILC Café through the School of International Letters and Cultures, and found her own student-led group, Si Se Puede. These digital communities have shown her that friendships and peer connections don’t know geographical borders.

When asked about tips she’d give to new ASU Online students, she pointed to the following:

  • There is always more you can do at ASU.
  • It is important to be a lifelong learner, no limits needed.
  • Know why you started, but be open to your purpose pivoting as you learn and experience more.

In her free time, Selene likes to hike with her dogs and fiancé. She points out the need for balance between screen time and the self-care needed to reset and refocus. Selene also enjoys getting crafty. In fact, she recently customized a graduation topper. She concludes that although graduation is still a year away for her, “It’s a daily reminder to keep going.”

Follow Selene on Instagram to see how she embraces new opportunities and continues to build communities around her as an ASU Online student.

Female Arizona State University student smiling

Lauren Dohr, BA in organizational leadership, Homestead, Florida

Lauren is always on the go and she wouldn’t have it any other way. In addition to pursuing a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and a minor in history through ASU Online, she’s a mom to a 7-year-old daughter, owner of three dogs and a future military spouse to her fiancé, who is an active duty Air Force member. Did we mention she’s just two weeks shy of earning a real estate license, a trained pastry chef and involved in online student communities?

Lauren is a connector. When deciding where to pursue the next step in her education, she was impressed with her ability to quickly connect with the ASU Online enrollment team. They were able to answer all of her questions and launch her into the next step of her academic journey. On why she loves ASU Online, she points to positive experiences with faculty in her courses. It had a great impact on her that her professor remembered her nickname “Ren” and referred to her as such when giving her feedback on an assignment.

As a fully embedded student, Lauren also values social connections. When she moved from Texas to Florida for her fiancé’s job, she says she had to come out of her shell to meet new people. She found connections with fellow Sun Devils and faculty through digital communities. An important part of her ASU Online experience is feeling consistently connected to her peers, her instructors and the university community.

Lauren takes great pride in her time management skills and is excited to share tips with others. Staying on track includes color coding, prioritizing and time-blocking tasks. Of course, she notes it’s always important to leave some flex times because things come up. With such an active lifestyle, Lauren jokes, “School is the easiest add-on to my routine!”

On what motivates her to keep going, Lauren enthusiastically shares that she is inspired by her daughter. She teaches Lauren the importance of staying committed to her goals and embracing the endless possibilities in her personal and professional life.

To keep up with Lauren, follow her on Instagram.

We know, our new brand ambassadors are pretty great! Be sure to follow them all on Instagram.

Let’s stay connected. Follow us on social at @ASUOnline, learn more about ASU Online programs and see how our online students stay connected virtually.

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