Joanna Sweatt '10 B.A.

Which groups or activities were you most involved in at ASU? What did you gain from that involvement?

Because I was a returning adult to college after my service in the U.S. Marine Corps, I didn’t have many organizational affiliations at ASU, but I did attend many on-campus events and volunteered my time to be an Obama Scholar Mentor. That experience allowed me to continue working as a leader even though I was in school.

How did your education at ASU prepare you for your current job or business?

I have a bachelor’s degree in Literature, Writing, & Film through the English Department, which gave me the tools to problem solve in a way that was different than what I learned in the Marine Corps. It really provided me with a foundation to have more empathy for my peers, and that comes extremely handy in my job as a military/veteran advocate at ASU. Our military/veteran students are attempting to overcome many new obstacles outside of the culture that they are accustomed to from their service, and it is nice to be able to provide them with the tools to succeed.

How did ASU help you achieve your dream?

ASU provided the welcoming environment I needed once I left the service, one that ultimately helped me with my readjustment into the civilian world. Prior to attending ASU, I went right to work out of the Marine Corps and was having a difficult time meeting people and becoming acclimatized to my new environment.

ASU provided a new intimate community amongst my peers and instructors at the ASU Polytechnic campus. I was well received and felt immediately like a contributor at ASU and in my educational path. ASU also helped me become the first college graduate of my family at the age of 32! Now, I have gifted that legacy to my daughter, who is a current freshman at the Polytechnic campus studying in the W. P. Carey School of Business.

Tell us about your involvement as a chapter leader for the ASU Alumni Association.

I am the current president of the Veterans chapter of the Alumni Association. We are in our fourth year as a chapter, and it is my goal to grow the chapter not only independently as a local unit in the Valley of the Sun, but to have representation throughout all of our geographical chapters. We must celebrate and acknowledge all Sun Devils who have answered the call to duty and welcome them completely into the ASU community – near and far.

Why have you chosen to be a member of the ASU Alumni Association?

It is with great pride that I am a member of the ASU Alumni Association. It allows me to be a part of the continued legacy at ASU. Growing up, college seemed to be for the elite. But now that I know that isn’t true, I want to help send the message to future generations that they all can become Sun Devils if they truly want it!

What advice would you give to today’s students?

The best advice I give to my current students is to get involved! We can all live “regular” lives but there’s no fun in being regular! Get out there, experience as much as you can and give whatever gifts you have to offer to as many people as you can touch!