Dr. Michelle May '84 B.S.

Dr. Michelle MayWhich groups or activities were you most involved in at ASU? What did you gain from that involvement?
I was a member of the Chi Omega sorority and served as chapter president during my junior year. Besides learning to balance my time and making many wonderful friends, I learned leadership skills that have served me well throughout my career. I also volunteered in the Student Health Center and learned a lot about creating social media campaigns—back then, we didn’t have the Internet but we hung a lot of health-related posters in bathroom stalls!
How did your education at ASU prepare you for your current job or business?
My undergraduate major at ASU was psychology. I went on to medical school at the U of A and practiced family medicine in Ahwatukee for 16 years. My background in psychology laid the foundation for helping people understand why they do what they do—and how to change it when that will serve them better.  When I “retired” from medicine at 44 to focus on building my company, Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Workshops and Facilitator Training Program, I essentially returned to my roots. Our programs rely heavily on psychology to help people establish a healthy relationship with food and physical activity.
What’s your favorite ASU memory?
It’s the little things — staying up late studying or going to local hang-outs with friends — that I remember the most.
Which ASU professor(s) made a lasting impression on you and why?
Robert Cialdini, a Regents’ Professor (now emeritus) in the psychology department. I assisted with many of his social psychology experiments that later became the foundation for his books and speaking career. Interestingly, although I’ve only spoken to him a couple of times since then, my career has followed a very similar path.
What current development at ASU do you find most exciting? Why?
I love the focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. Although I didn’t have a crystal ball to let me know how valuable a business education would have been for my future, I now believe that small businesses like mine fuel our economy. Turning my passion into a profitable business model allows me to do work that I love.
What are three “can’t-miss” ASU experiences every Sun Devil should participate in?

  1. Football games—of course!
  2. I think that the Greek system is great for some people, because it is a smaller community that provides connection and incredible growth opportunities.
  3. I also wish I had taken advantage of more of the cultural events on campus while I was there.

What advice would you give to today’s ASU students?
Don’t be so worried about choosing a major for a career that you’ll have for the rest of your life. Take advantage of the opportunities at ASU to explore your interests and develop new ones. A great education and passion will take you exactly where you are supposed to be (says the doctor turned business owner/author/professional speaker/yogi).

Year of graduation: