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Sarah Zipp – Outstanding Graduate and Distinguished Graduate

Sarah ZippSarah Zipp
B.S. in Human Systems Engineering
Graduated from Dobson High School in Mesa, Arizona

Sarah Zipp has been on the Dean’s List and was selected as a student speaker for the FURI Symposium Luncheon in Fall 2014. She spoke about her opportunities for research in the Fulton Schools, and what FURI/research means to her. Additionally, she was published as a co-author on a paper in a professional journal with her mentor, Assistant Professor Scotty Craig. She has also been selected as a recipient of the Moeur Award for graduation this semester.

Why did you choose ASU?
I came to ASU to continue my family’s Sun Devil tradition. I am part of the third generation in my family to attend ASU. My grandma, aunt, uncle, mom, and brother are all alumni and my grandpa worked for ASU for 30 years.

Describe a memorable moment at ASU.
A memorable moment for me at ASU was at my first FURI symposium last fall. I was very nervous for that day, but everything went better than I could have hoped. I talked to so many different students, professors, and even industry people about my research, and I received amazing responses from them. It meant so much to me that the engineering community liked and was interested in my research. Plus, my family and mentor were there, and it really hit me how hard I had worked for this. I was so proud of myself and it felt great to be able to share and celebrate that.

Can you name a professor that was instrumental in helping you grow?
Assistant Professor Scotty Craig. Without a doubt, he had the largest impact on my journey at ASU. I took a class with him the first semester of my sophomore year. On the first day, he told us that he hardly ever asks students in his classes to work for him. At the end of the semester, I was shocked that he asked me to start volunteering in his research lab. I was nervous because I wanted to impress him, but joining his lab was the best thing I ever did. Looking back now, I realize that he saw more potential in me than I had ever hoped I possessed. He trusted me to assist him and his graduate students with research projects. He consistently pushed me to take on more advanced tasks to help me learn. Even when I thought I wasn’t capable of something, he always provided me with guidance and encouraged me to learn and challenge myself with new things. He helped me grow from simply assisting with projects to taking on my own, and obtaining funding through FURI. I have learned so much from him, both technically and personally. Because of him, I feel confident in my research skills, from designing and executing a valid experiment to data analysis to interpreting and writing up results for publication. On a personal level, he has taught me to trust my abilities and to continuously challenge myself. He has always believed in me and has helped me be confident in the fact that I can be successful in everything I do. He helped me discover the passion I have for research and using it to make contributions in the real world. Without him, I would not have been able to achieve as many things as I have at ASU. He is a true mentor and I will always be thankful for the guidance and support he has provided me with over the last two years. It has been a true honor to work with him.

What are your plans after graduation?
Since I am finishing my degree a semester early, I plan to use the extra semester to travel, pursue volunteer work, and research graduate programs. I will be continuing my education in the near future, but I would like to take some time for myself first to make sure I choose the correct program. My long-term career aspiration is to conduct research that will make life better for people. I’m not sure what exactly I will do yet or where I will do it, but I would like to make an impact on society that will make life easier for people.

About The Author

Erik Wirtanen

Erik Wirtanen graduated from Arizona State in 2001 with a BS in Recreation Management and Tourism. He got his start in the communications field as an undergrad with the ASU Athletics Media Relations office. He worked at UC Irvine from 2002 until 2014 in the Department of Athletics and then The Henry Samueli School of Engineering. In August of 2014, Wirtanen joined the communications office at the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Media Contact: [email protected] | 480-727-1957 | Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Communications

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