Outstanding Graduate, Spring 2021
Valentia Peruzzi says that attending the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University was a natural choice for her.
“I wanted to obtain my education from a reputable university that fostered an innovative environment while allowing me the flexibility to pursue my passions both in and outside of the classroom,” says Peruzzi.
She has always loved devising solutions to problems and engaging in creative design. So, software engineering proved to be the perfect intersection of both interests.
“I was surprised by how critical teamwork and collaboration is in software engineering,” says Peruzzi. “I thought coding was a solo endeavor, but I quickly realized true software engineering occurs through the interactions of an entire cross-disciplinary team.”
In one of her courses, Peruzzi worked in a group of five on a project that represented her first experience of what effective teamwork looks like.
“My teammates and I collaborated seamlessly to improve upon each other’s ideas in order to convert our initial design into reality,” says Peruzzi. “Not only did we produce a project that was greater than the sum of its parts, but we cultivated a bond and new friendships that will accompany us through graduation and beyond.”
When Peruzzi took the class SER 422: Web Application Development, she says Associate Professor Kevin Gary quickly became a great influence on her academic trajectory.
“Dr. Gary’s enthusiasm for software is exhibited in everything he does, from his verbose lectures to his office hours,” says Peruzzi. “The way Dr. Gary teaches engenders intellectual curiosity that inspires students to apply knowledge beyond the bounds of the classroom.”
Peruzzi worked as an online peer mentor as well as the webmaster of CodeDevils. She also was an undergraduate teaching assistant for SER 222: Data Structures and Algorithms.
“As an undergraduate teaching assistant, I had the opportunity to create assignments and engaging content in one of the most fundamental software courses on our major map,” says Peruzzi. “I felt privileged to be in a position to encourage and motivate my peers on their academic journey.”
After graduation, Peruzzi will be starting a position as a software development engineer at Microsoft, working on the Cloud and Artificial Intelligence team in Seattle, Washington.
Peruzzi says that engineering provides her with a medium to directly empower others in the ways they live, but she herself was impacted by her connections with others at ASU.
“My experience at the Fulton Schools provided me the opportunity to interact with an array of students and faculty from every corner of the world at various stages in their careers,” says Peruzzi. “I have learned that I should value every connection I foster, because we all truly can learn something from everyone.”