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Outstanding Graduate, Spring 2024

Meagan Barnhurst

Meagan Barnhurst struggled to choose a major that would both interest and challenge her. She started as a psychology major but felt as though a better fit existed for her college experience.  

“I was feeling very limited in what I could pursue in my higher education,” Barnhurst says. “When I finally came across it, the description of human systems engineering caught my attention immediately: an integration between the psychology I had already been studying and the STEM, or science, technology, engineering and math, focus I was craving.”

She knew the human systems engineering program with a concentration in user experience, or UX, in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University would satisfy her interest in helping people and the technical side of engineering.

Barnhurst credits her growth professionally and personally to Rod Roscoe, an associate professor of human systems engineering in The Polytechnic School, part of the Fulton Schools. 

“He gave genuine feedback to assist his students in their growth and had a real desire to help us learn,” she says. “He made me excited about learning again.”

Barnhurst is proud of her work redesigning a website which began as a group research project and continued as an individual UX design project. Through her UX work on the website, she learned the value of collaborating with others to get help and found her passion for the field. 

“I was able to learn the joy of an iterative, user-centered process that pulled on my knowledge of psychology and human behavior, graphic design and technological accessibility to create something I was really proud of,” Barnhurst says. 

The project also added a well-rounded UX project to her work portfolio and experience that she plans to use to impact others’ lives in the future. Barnhurst says her field is entirely about considering others’ needs in design and encouraging compassion and understanding for her fellow human beings.

After graduation, Barnhurst is considering pursuing a master’s degree in another state and looking for job opportunities in the Pacific Northwest. In the long term, she aims to use her expertise to develop more accessible technology solutions that are also beautiful and inclusive.

Read about other exceptional graduates of the Fulton Schools’ spring 2024 class here.

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