Class of 2009: School of Letters and Sciences

By

Lisa C. Robbins

The School of Letters and Sciences has been preparing graduates for the complexities of a changing world with degree options that not only have an applied emphasis, but also can be custom-built by students.

“Our bachelor of interdisciplinary studies degree, whose alumni now number nearly 10,000, gives students the opportunity to leverage all the possibilities ASU has to offer, building a major that reflects their career goals and interests by combining two concentration areas with the study of interdisciplinarity,” says Duane Roen, School of Letters and Sciences acting director.

With an emphasis on integrating theory, creativity, applied learning and an entrepreneurial spirit, the school’s degree programs – and the career paths of some of its newest alumni, as indicated below – reflect the cross-boundary, border-collapsing needs of today’s world.

Brianna Raymond, professional service consultant, Infusionsoft
Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (business and special events management)

For small-business owners who need help with getting organized, marketing tactics and growing sales, Infusionsoft is more than just software – it can be a vital lifeline in living out their dreams. “I joined the Infusionsoft team because we’re championing entrepreneurs and fighting for small business success,” says Brianna Raymond, who joined the company after working with Education Management Corporation. “We understand the joys and pains of entrepreneurship, as more than half of our employees have operated a business venture at one time.”

Between finishing her undergraduate degree and earning an MBA, Raymond lived and worked with a hill community in northern Thailand, which was working with the United Nations to manufacture and sell local coffee beans in order to send tribal members to college. She continues to be active in her Phoenix community, serving in a leadership role with Toastmasters at ASU and as a member of Arizona Philanthropists  

Lindsay Tustison, product analyst, CXT Software
Bachelor of Science, multimedia writing and technical communication

As a technical writer and trainer for five-plus years with Lockheed Martin, and now in her work with the Phoenix startup CXT Software, an innovator in the logistics software space, Tustison finds fulfillment in melding tech and people skills. “I enjoy helping people perform at the highest level. I also enjoy the challenge of picking apart software applications and documenting the functionality in a way that is easy to understand for the reader,” she says.

While at Lockheed Martin, she served as a diversity and inclusion ambassador for the company’s Goodyear campus, and, as a self-professed Microsoft Word guru, produced a blog with tips for Word users: “a true tech writer geek-out!”

Tustisan is completing a master of engineering in engineering management at UC-Boulder “to become a leader in engineering and a mentor for people just beginning their careers.”

Derek Stamnos, operations assistant, Miami Dolphins
Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (mass communications and communication)

“When ASU football coach Dennis Erickson’s staff was hired, I essentially walked into the football offices and volunteered as a sophomore to help the program in any way possible,” says Derek Stamnos. His offer was accepted. Stamnos parlayed that opportunity into three years of part-time service in ASU football operations and recruiting. After graduating, he transitioned to a staff position in Recruiting Quality Control until moving to South Florida in 2011.

“I was able to build a network of unbelievable connections while I was working at ASU. When I learned the Dolphins offered internships and had an open spot, I reached out to them and, after a lengthy interview process, got the position.” As operations assistant, he handles a range of logistics related to the team (including a 2014 game scheduled in London) and the Dolphins’ training facility in Davie, Fla.

His advice to current students? “Tons of people have an outstanding work-ethic but don’t have the network to grow in their profession,” Stamnos says. “Get out and meet people, and don’t be afraid to call or email people in your desired field to pick their brain or get advice.”