Outstanding Graduate, Fall 2018
A spur-of-the-moment decision to apply for a study-abroad opportunity — only a week before the deadline — led Kathryn White to spend a semester in Brighton, England. And there, she says, “I found my love and passion.”
That happened her sophomore year at Arizona State University, after realizing during her first year that the major she had initially chosen was not her calling in life.
But in Brighton she connected with people who were ardently devoted to creative pursuits in photography, videography and related visual media. When she returned to ASU, she found others who shared those interests with equal intensity in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering’s graphic information technology program.
During her undergraduate years, White joined the Poly Photography Club at ASU’s Polytechnic campus and served as the club’s president for a time.
She and several fellow students started the campus Visual Production Club and she was active in the Polytechnic campus student chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, better known as AIGA.
White says her most rewarding educational experiences occurred during the semester when graphic information technology teachers allowed students to pursue a passion project, which meant giving them free rein to do whatever “super cool thing” they chose. White got involved in the production of a short film.
“I was able to gain experience in getting sponsors, writing a script, organizing actors and the overall production of a movie,” she says. “This involved many late nights, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything because we were given an opportunity to create something we loved.”
Other memorable moments came when faculty members taught especially motivating lessons.
Senior Lecturer Laurie Ralston showed White that even when the work wasn’t easy, “you could still have fun doing it.”
Lecturer Chad Westover challenged students to examine their finished projects and find ways to make it better, “and we always made it better,” while Lecturer Christina Carrasquilla “really showed me what passion and hard work look like,” White says.
White has been able to use some of her skills outside of the university. She did an internship with Find Your Influence, a software-as-a-service-based influencer marketing solutions company, and has continued working there part-time in promotions and branding operations.
White hopes to eventually return to the place that inspired her career aspirations, Brighton, to use her talents in both traditional marketing enterprises and as a freelance photographer and videographer.
“It is my favorite place in the entire world,” White says, “and I would love to set up my life there.”