Impact Award, Spring 2021
Andrea Russell decided to study environmental engineering because she wanted to implement environmental solutions in the world that would have an immediate impact on the world.
“I knew that environmental engineering was the right choice for me when I found out how much can be done with the degree,” Russell says. “I could work on what I was passionate about without necessarily being in an engineering position. There is flexibility and freedom to choose what to do with an engineering degree because of the problem-solving mindset we develop through our education.”
Russell aspires to apply her environmental engineering skills with a holistic approach, working on solutions to contemporary global challenges such as water availability and the impact of manufacturing on the environment.
Arizona State University’s variety of research, academic and extracurricular programs were what drew Russell to the school, and she immediately got involved in a variety of experiences ranging from research to volunteer work.
Russell was an undergraduate researcher for four years in the lab of Associate Professor Cesar Torres at the Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology, as well as a member of Fulton Ambassadors.
“Leading tours as a Fulton Ambassador was something that I knew I wanted to do since I took a tour myself before coming to ASU,” Russell says. “When I joined the organization, I had a wonderful time volunteering at engineering events and leading tours. Speaking with others about engineering has helped me stay inspired about my path.”
Russell’s dedication to engineering outreach took on other forms as well. She was a Young Engineers Shape the World mentor, an ASU 101 section leader, and a camp counselor for E2, an engineering camp for incoming ASU freshmen to meet their classmates and professors, learn about ways to get involved in the Fulton Schools and practice teamwork and problem-solving skills.
“While academics have been challenging and trying to figure out what sector I specifically want to work in has sometimes been discouraging,” Russell says, “interacting with younger students reminds me of why I chose an education in engineering.”
After graduation, Russell will return to ASU for graduate studies to earn a master’s degree in sustainable engineering through the Fulton Schools 4+1 accelerated degree program.