Sun Devil Spotlight: Zach Featherstone
Following his dreams, on and off the field
Like many young boys with a love for sports, Featherstone grew up dreaming of playing professionally. From an early age, he set his sights on a career in baseball, fueled by his passion for the game. This unwavering dedication and hard work ethic propelled him forward, ultimately laying the foundation for his future success.
"My initial goal was just to play professionally," Featherstone recalls. “As a baseball player, you have to work hard and have a goal in mind, especially if you’re trying to become a professional in that field. Everything I did was directed toward that goal, and I learned how to follow the steps to get to where I want to go.”
After being drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 2016 and playing professional baseball for six years, Featherstone found himself at a crossroads, contemplating his future beyond the diamond. Recognizing the importance of education and seeking a flexible learning option, he decided to pursue ASU Online’s Bachelor of Science in biological sciences with a concentration in biomedical sciences.
"ASU had all of the degrees I was interested in, particularly in business and the sciences,” Featherstone said. “Having theseoptions allowed me to explore different paths and make an informed decision about my future."
Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Featherstone utilized the online format to his advantage, seizing the opportunity to resume his education while continuing to pursue his passion for baseball.
A seamless transfer experience
The transfer process to ASU Online proved to be a straightforward and hassle-free experience for Featherstone. All of his previous coursework easily transferred, allowing him to pick up where he left off. With the guidance and resources provided by ASU's transfer guide, Featherstone was able to quickly determine which credits would transfer.
"Transferring to ASU was a super simple process,” Featherstone said. “The transfer guide makes it easy to understand which classes will transfer and what the requirements are.”
Within two weeks of applying, Featherstone was already enrolled in classes, ready to continue his academic journey.
Enhancing the learning experience with in-person labs
While ASU Online offers the convenience of distance learning, Featherstone recognized the importance of hands-on experience, particularly for his future aspirations in dentistry. ASU's in-person labs provided him with an opportunity to participate in lab work that's highly valued by dental schools and other medical programs, as it offers practical, real-world training.
By attending in-person summer labs, Featherstone gains valuable skills and experiences that will undoubtedly strengthen his application to dental school and future career prospects.
Making a difference in other’s lives, one smile at a time
Featherstone's interest in dentistry stems from his personal experiences with dental treatments during his childhood. Dealing with a missing tooth at a young age, he underwent various dental procedures, including orthodontics and a dental implant.
“I was born without a front tooth, so I always had a gap there,” Featherstone explained. “This made me a little self-conscious growing up, but I was able to have a bunch of dentistry done.”
By combining his passion for helping others with the hands-on experience and knowledge he’s acquiring in his degree, Featherstone hopes to bring smiles to people's faces, just as his own was transformed years ago.
“I want to be able to increase people’s self-image because the smile is the biggest thing people look at in one’s appearance."
Resilience, determination and a dream
In the realm of sports and academics, there are individuals who defy the odds and prove that passion and dedication can lead to remarkable achievements. Zach Featherstone is one of these individuals.
In balancing both his academic and athletic pursuits, Featherstone demonstrates that with resilience, determination and a dream for making a positive impact on others, you can accomplish any goal you set your mind to.