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September Model Ram - Carina Sturgeon

September 01, 2016

This month’s Model Ram is Carina Sturgeon. Carina graduated from ASU in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts. Currently, Carina works as an Outreach & Enrollment Assistance Worker. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, volunteering, and traveling. 

Name: Carina Sturgeon  

What degree(s) did you receive from ASU? I received a Bachelor of Arts.

When did you graduate from ASU? I graduated in 2004. However, I took classes over the years for my own development and for fun.

While at ASU, were you involved in any organizations or teams? 

No.  I attended a few meetings of AMAS (Association of Mexican American Students) but was never too involved.  As an undergraduate I didn’t have the free time to be a traditional student.  While at ASU, I worked and cared for two small children in addition to being a fulltime student.

What is your current occupation? 

I am an Outreach & Enrollment Assistance Worker at Esperanza Health & Dental Centers.

How did ASU help you achieve your goals after graduation?  How did ASU help you get to where you are today?  

I have a MA, I was selected for a fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control, and I am on a career path in public health that I truly love.  I feel my current status would not have been possible without the support and encouragement I received from ASU faculty members long after I graduated, particularly Dr. Gloria Duarte and Dr. Susana Badiola. Had it not been for them challenging me, I doubt I would have taken another class post-graduation and that I would have the advanced degree I have today.  Had I never left San Angelo to pursue my graduate studies, I would not have returned and fallen into public health, as I had never conceived that trajectory as an undergraduate. I owe a lot of my recent accomplishments to ASU and feel infinitely blessed to be paid to help hundreds of people within my community annually, because this is most certainly something I would do for free.

What skills did you take away from ASU?

Through ASU I learned not only higher thinking, but also how to look within and preserver when facing adversity.  At ASU I became an effective communicator, a better writer, and improved my Spanish- which I now use almost daily in my current position. I learned about organizational structures and networking, which is invaluable to me today when building partnerships and collaborations with agencies in order to secure services and access for others.

Can you please provide a quote about your experience at ASU/what ASU means to you? 

My time at ASU was challenging emotionally, financially, and academically. However, I am glad I was able to finish school despite all of these challenges.  Whenever I felt a task was too much, I often remembered Dr. Gloria Duarte saying, “There’s a reason not everyone has a Bachelors” and later, “There’s a reason not everyone has a Masters.”  Now, whenever a task seems impossible, I always remember these words and this motivates me to keep going.  ASU was a point in my life where I was tested on so many levels and made great friendships along the way that helped me become a better person who is able to help others.

Would you mind giving us a little bit about your background? Your hobbies, what you like to do you in your spare time, etc.

When not spending time with friends and family or traveling, I am into volunteering and advocating.   I recently began volunteering with the Adult Literacy Council, and consider myself fortunate to work with people dedicated to improving their English fluency.  I am also a host through ASU’s Multicultural & Student Activities Programs’ Host Family Program.  I participate in several boards, coalitions, and committees locally- such as the Concho Valley Health & Social Resources Coalition, the Concho Valley Adult Aging & Disability Resource Center, and San Angelo’s chapter of the American Association of University Women to name a few of the collaborations that motivate me.