Barrett Senior Spotlight

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April 24, 2018

Barrett Faculty and Staff Spotlight Seniors from all Four Barrett Campuses.

Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University is home to some of the most outstanding and award-winning students in the entire country, from Fulbright Scholarship winners to NCAA Post Grad student-athletes, Barrett students are the brightest and the best. The Barrett Senior Spotlight seeks to recognize those students who go above and beyond every single day without recognition, and truly make Barrett the “Gold Standard” among Honors Colleges. The Senior Spotlight students were nominated by faculty and staff for their achievements at their individual campuses.


James Arwood
James Arwood will graduate with a degree in Public Policy and was nominated by Katherine O’Flaherty, an Honors Faculty Fellow. O’Flaherty says” Jimmy embodies what it means to be a Barrett student. In addition to his excellent academic record, Jimmy is politically and socially active, fighting for local schools and students in AZ. I can think of no better example of a student who worked hard in class, worked multiple part-time jobs throughout his years at ASU and dedicated himself to grass-roots activism and involvement at the local and state level. To be excellent global citizens students must first be excellent local citizens. Jimmy Arwood is the epitome of this excellence.

Allison Tooms
Allison Tooms will graduate with a degree in Nursing. Tooms was nominated by Kira Gatewood, the Senior Program Coordinator at the Downtown Campus and Rachel Fedock, an Honors Faculty Fellow. Gatewood said” Alli has made the most of her Barrett experience by engaging with the college continuously throughout her four years. She has participated in study abroad and taken advantage of the Great American Cities trips. She has given back to Barrett by being a Residential College Student Leader, a Student Programmer and the downtown representative to the Barrett Honors College Council. She also helped to reboot the Barrett Student Nurses club. Alli has made it a priority to give back to her community. She serves at Phoenix Children’s Hospital in a volunteer capacity. She has the goal of becoming a Pediatric Oncology Nurse and has been recognized by the hospital for her outstanding work.”

Tooms plans on working as a pediatric critical care nurse and says of her Barrett experience “The most important thing I will take away from my Barrett experience are the skills I developed through the opportunities I seized through Barrett. Whether it be crafting an argument through the Human Event, experiencing new cultures through study abroad and GAC, or networking through all of the amazing connections I have made through research and volunteering I did through Barrett, the maturity and professionalism my Barrett experience has given me will cultivate my future.“


Eric Frazier
Eric Frazier will graduate with a degree in Applied Biological Sciences. Frazier was nominated by Brady Hamilton, the academic coordinator on the Poly campus. Hamilton said “Eric is an academically gifted and exemplary honors student that I have gotten to know the past 4 years as my advisee. I have seen Eric grow into a mature and self-confident student who has taken on many responsibilities in his role as a Barrett Mentor and Student Leader. He has developed strong communication skills and a thorough understanding of ASU resources, traditions and pride points. He has served on student information panels during new student recruitment and orientation events, and presented Barrett, The Honors College and ASU in a positive light and provided a model of what is expected of our students.

Eric goal is to attend medical school, become a doctor and help others. I know Eric will utilize his mentoring/teaching abilities in the medical profession to communicate with others, display compassion and understanding, and share his knowledge. His determination and natural academic ability will see him through the academic rigor of medical school and his personality and love of people will give him the heart necessary to persevere through difficult challenges that all doctors face.”

Upon leaving Barrett Frazier plans to attend medical school but will always remember his time at Barrett saying “Being a member of Barrett, The Honors College facilitates the formation of closer connections that will serve students in future careers as both support groups and critical, professional networks. I will forever cherish the friendships that I formed through the tight-knit community that Barrett provides for so many students”

Christina McBroom
Christina McBroom will graduate with a degree in Applied Biological Sciences (Pre-Vet) and was nominated by Rebecca Folk, a Student Support Specialist on the Poly Campus. Folk says” As a graduating Poly Honors Devil, Christina has gone above and beyond in representing Barrett at recruitment events. These include high school visits, meeting with prospective students and their families, and her overall eagerness to share her ASU and Barrett experience. She is a role model for both incoming and current Barrett students here at Poly.

McBroom stated that “Barrett has taught me that opportunity is out there, and if you have the initiative to grab those chances, then you can go so much farther than you ever dreamed.”


Marcene Hoover-Bennett
Marcene Hoover-Bennett will graduate with a degree in Communications after transferring from Central Arizona College. She was nominated by Matthew O’Brien, an Honors Academic Advisor. O’Brien says “Marcene came into Barrett as an Upper Division admit, transferring from Central Arizona. She is a non-traditional student and is a mother of 3. Most students returning to college would look for the easiest way to complete a degree, but Marcene entered Barrett fully committed to getting the full experience. She embraced everything from HON 370, each Honors Enrichment Contract she has completed, and even Studied Abroad with Barrett last summer to the U.K. Furthermore, she is a regular in the Advising office, looking for Barrett Bucks and showing off her Barrett pride. When asked to speak with potential Transfer students at a recruitment event last summer, she jumped with excitement to help others get to see the benefits and opportunities at BHC. Last all, she brought her whole family out for Family Weekend, showing her kids where their mother goes to school, and setting a high standard for their own futures. Now, she is doing research with Native American populations to investigate awareness of Autism spectrum disorders. Based on her own experiences as a mother, she hopes to gain a greater understanding and provide more insight into her community all thanks to her Thesis. I have never advised a more unique and spirited Barrett student.

Hoover-Bennett plans to continue to research the effects of Autism on Native Americans. She says “There are so many things I enjoyed about Barrett. I think anything, I will always be grateful for the opportunity Barrett provided. Even though I am a stay at home mom, I was able to study abroad and have this amazing experience! The thesis was also a major take away. I am grateful for the opportunity to complete a thesis. I gained a better understanding of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and how it affects other Native American families.”

Casey O'Connor
Casey O’Connor will graduate with a degree in Psychology. He was nominated by Dr. Laura Popova, an Honors Faculty Fellow. Dr. Popova said “Casey is one of our upper division transfer students. He came to higher education later in life after a horrific accident required his right hand be amputated. This might have been a setback for some, but Casey told me that this incident pushed him to turn his life around and focus on something that really matters. He went back to school (first community college then ASU and Barrett). He just passed his honors thesis defense, a straight pass with no revisions. In his thesis, Casey argued for the types of changes that need to happen in the development of prosthetic devices so that all people with limb deficiencies can have the best quality of life. He is going to get his Masters in Social Work at ASU starting next academic year and his long-term goals are to work at the VA Hospital with veterans who are amputees. All in all, I think Casey is an amazing example of how hard work and vision can help a person succeed and find their purpose.

O’Connor plans on continuing his education pursuing a Master’s Degree in Social Work. O’Connor says "Barrett has motivated me to reach for the stars where all of my dreams and aspirations can be attained through hard work and dedication."

Madeline Williamson
Madeline Williamson will graduate with a degree in Business. She was nominated by Dawn Rendell, Assistant Dean of Students. Rendell said “Maddie was very involved during her time in Barrett. She served as a Barrett Peer Mentor for Business students, was a mentor through the McCord Scholars Program, taught a student success class, prepared tax returns for the less advantaged through the VITA program, and was a part of the Ernst and Young Emerging Leaders Summit. During her time as a Peer Mentor, she was a great resource for other students who, like her, were from out of state. She has an infectious personality, loves Barrett and all it represents, and will graduate with a 4.0 this May. Plus, she was just selected for the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program in Estonia, a competitive program for which only one student is selected each year! She truly exemplifies a well-rounded student.”
Williamson enjoyed her time at Barrett and said “Barrett has taught me the importance of being surrounded by a supportive and encouraging community that continually pushes you to strive for better—better friendships, better communities, and better opportunities.”


Argenis Moreno
Argenis Moreno will graduate with a degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences. He was nominated by Associate Professor Kristen Koptiuch. Koptiuch said”I have worked closely with him as supervisor of his senior Honors thesis during the past few months. I have also observed Argenis’s skills and dedication in his role as a researcher in an undergraduate, college-supported ethnographic collaborative project I direct. The engaged, assignment-intensive nature of my courses afforded me ample opportunity to become very well acquainted with Argenis’s outstanding intellectual capabilities and strong academic skills, including scholarly research, analytical and critical thinking, written and oral communication. Argenis’s sterling career achievements and community engagement will continue to bring meritorious recognition and honor to New College and, of course, to his soon-to-be alma mater, ASU.”

Brianna Mouton
Brianna Mouton will graduate with a degree in Psychology. She was nominated by Sasha Billbe, Program Manager at the West Campus. Billbe said “It is not often I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to nominate a student, but Brianna Mouton has managed to have that effect. Brianna is one of the most impressive students I have had the pleasure of working with and is a true leader to her peers. Not only has she consistently demonstrated a dedication to academic rigor, but she also understands the intrinsic value of being an involved participant within the community which is why I am nominating her for the Community Builder award. She is one of the few people I know who is willing to pursue tasks not simply because they are appealing in some manner or another, but rather, she pursues tasks and opportunities that will best aid the group as a whole. She is an exemplary representative of what it means to be a servant-leader. Her accolades are diverse and robust, including her role as Lead Peer Leader for Barrett, the Honors College and Chair of the Barrett Residential College at ASU’s West campus. Additional involvement has included: membership in the Honors Devils, West Devil Ambassadors, Barrett Mentoring Program, and so much more. Brianna’s passion and enthusiasm for her role in the Barrett community is awe-inspiring and humbling. She is the first person to go sit with students eating by themselves or ask people if they need help. Perhaps the most inspiring part is her interest in others is genuine and based on cultivating a climate of care. When she engages students in conversation, even small-talk, you can tell she is genuinely and deeply invested in hearing what the other person has to say. Her caring for others is not forced; her care impacts every decision she makes and the Barrett West community has grown and benefited from having her.”

Mouton is grateful for her time at Barrett saying “The one thing I'll take away from the Barrett experience is how everyone I worked with and interacted with helped me become a more confident person. I came into Barrett questioning whether I belonged or if I was the right demographic, or if I was as smart as my very brilliant peers. I was afraid I had to pretend to be someone I wasn't to fit in. But Dr.Manninen, Dr. Gruber, Sasha Billbe and Dean Ramsey all personally invested in my experience and reassured me to always be myself and they all pushed me to be more confident in myself while helping me cultivate into a paraprofessional and a student leader. They all made me feel like I made feel Barrett West was my home. Not only did I learn hermeneutics, philosophy, mindfulness, and arts but I learned how to confidently navigate in a world even beyond Barrett without compromising who I am. I am very grateful for the caring and inclusive community that exist at Barrett West and I am very thankful for all of my peers and faculty that helped me grow during my college journey.”

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