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Don’t worry, it’s a dry heat!” When my friends and family heard my dog and I were moving to Arizona for graduate school, their reactions seemed to include this popular refrain. After teaching high school for eight years, I knew I needed a change in more than just the weather. ASU’s Theatre for Youth program provided an amazing opportunity to improve my artistic and teaching practice…and to escape Minnesota winters.
Over the past four years, I’ve enjoyed working with young people across the Phoenix valley, teaching drama techniques and theory to amazing undergraduate students, conducting research that inspires me, and travelling across the world to meet theatre scholars and practitioners. When I decided to join the best Theatre for Youth program in the country, I had a feeling I would have those great experiences. What I did not expect was my involvement in the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA).
Now, I’ve always had a problem keeping my mouth shut, so at my fourth Assembly meeting I was already speaking up to improve the organization’s bylaws. By my eighth meeting, I had taken the leadership position of Assembly President Pro-Tempore to help run the meetings and the graduate student organization funding system. I could have stopped there, but I was hooked. I love meeting new people, talking about policy, solving problems and providing opportunities for others. I served a year as the Assembly President and a year as the Vice President for Professional Development.
This year, I’m serving as the GPSA President. What I’ve enjoyed most has been meeting graduate students with such diverse research interests, backgrounds, and passions. It’s easy to get buried in the libraries, campuses, our own labs, and classrooms. However, it’s easier to come to a GPSA event, meet new people, and learn about the great work happening at ASU.
Photo: Andy Waldron, GPSA President