ASU Online student Christie Moore

ASU graduate has turned life’s biggest challenges into unique learning opportunities

By

Carrie Peterson

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2020 graduates.

ASU Online student Christie Moore proves that every turn in life can still lead us to our goals. Her perseverance and determination to overcome any challenges motivated her to push the limits of her own accomplishments to create a better future for herself and her family.

She started at a community college in her late 30s, balancing school, family and other responsibilities. Through tremendous focus, Moore will now be counted as an Arizona State University alumna and teach her children that anything can be accomplished through hard work and determination.

“I learned dedication, critical thinking and self-confidence,” Moore recalls. “But most importantly, I discovered the power of knowledge as a motivator toward accomplishing my dreams.”

Through the focused and flexible curriculum that ASU offers, Moore quickly embraced the high standards, values and commitment to education that embodies the Sun Devil Nation, earning a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies with concentrations in sustainability and organizational leadership.

Throughout her ASU journey, Moore has shown the dedication and fortitude that have helped her overcome many of life’s challenges. And while earning her degree has certainly helped her discover the potential within herself, it has also set her up well for a prosperous and rewarding future where she can aim for higher achievements.

Since enrolling at ASU, I have been promoted four times at my job,” Moore said. “ASU helped me realize that I can accomplish anything as long as I am determined and have a great support system around me. This experience has really transformed my life.”

Question: What was your “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?

Answer: I have always been pulled into leadership roles so most of my professional life led me to that concentration. I have also always had a passion for treating the world better. I found out that the name for that is sustainability, and I heard a radio ad that offered an online sustainability degree at ASU. I knew immediately that was my new path.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?

A: The most surprising, and I believe the most important, skill I take away from school is the ability to think critically. I did not realize my entire thought patterns would change by learning how to critically analyze problems for school, but now I use that skill multiple times a day in my life. 

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: I have always been interested in sustainability, and when I learned that ASU offered an interdisciplinary studies path so I could study a passion along with a topic that would immediately elevate my present working position, there really was no other choice I considered.

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: I learned something valuable from almost every professor so I couldn’t choose one who taught me the most. However, one of the most valuable life lessons I learned came from BIS 340: The Aikido Way to Conflict Transformation. This should be a required course! Professor Bill Erwin’s approach was fun and memorable. The lessons are life-altering. 

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: Use Grammarly for all your writing. Ask for help when you feel like you don’t understand something. And most importantly, remember you can do this! 

Q: What was your favorite spot for power studying?

A: My home office.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I am currently a lead project manager for a large corporation. I would love to find a position in project management for an environmentally sustainable company where I could use both aspects of my degree. Eventually, I would like to own my own company, something that gives back more than it takes from the world. 

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: This would be a very hard decision. Forty million dollars would be just a drop in the ocean for most of our most pressing problems. I believe I would use it to set up a standard lesson program on sustainability to be integrated into all public schools K-5. If we teach the young ones from the beginning that our world and our society are fragile — that we can’t continue to treat it like a disposable item — then future generations may have a chance to repair our past mistakes. I remember being a kid and having Smokey Bear come into school and teach us about preventing forest fires. We all ran home and taught our families what we had learned. That lesson stuck with you — almost every person in my age group remembers that clearly. I would like to help develop a program that can have the same effect on the young generation about recycling, reusing and reducing all consumables.

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