Barrett student Katie Davis finds new ways to engage, excel and remain active during pandemic

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February 4, 2021

Fall 2020 marked the first full semester with Arizona State University students living and learning under the effects of the worldwide novel coronavirus pandemic. 

As health concerns grew and social distancing was required, there’s no doubt that students were forced to change their way of working, going to class, and socializing with friends. Zoom calls became the main source of communication and connection. 

For Katie Davis, a second-year Barrett, The Honors College student, challenges became opportunities. 

Davis, a business data analytics major, used new strategies to remain engaged – despite the isolation brought on by the pandemic. 

“I knew last year was really difficult, for myself and everyone. But I just thought about how I could keep going, stay involved, and do my best. It became a time of reflection about what I could do to make my situation better,” she said. 

Davis said she made a commitment to herself to look for opportunities and keep excelling in a difficult time. 

She focused on academics first and made it a point to study at the university library as much as she could. She completed her honors contracts last semester, earlier than required, and earned a 4.27 GPA. 

She served as a mentor in the Barrett Mentoring Program. She lived on campus and made a standing date with a friend to walk every day at 7 a.m. These early morning walks served as mental and physical health breaks. Talks with the friend helped Davis stay grounded and connected.

To combat isolation, she took advantage of free activities available on the Tempe campus, such as visits to the ASU Art Museum, and remained active in her sorority, Alpha Delta Pi, serving as the chapter’s leadership engagement specialist.

She also checked Sun Devil Sync for opportunities to join student organizations. She got involved with the ASU Accessibility Coalition, an organization focusing on inclusion for people with disabilities, and the Business School Council at the W.P. Carey School of Business, an organization that offers students an opportunity to learn, grow and develop leadership and professional skills. In addition, she joined Sun Devil Data Science and began serving as the group’s director of communication.

Along with fellow Barrett students Jacqueline Foley and Hannah Holland, Davis founded the Country Line Dancing Club with the goal of building a country line dancing community at ASU to learn new dance skills and bond with fellow Sun Devils.

“ASU has hundreds of opportunities (for students). They’re on Sun Devil Sync. Why would you not want to get involved to have social interactions or to get leadership experience?” she said. 

Davis encourages her fellow students to remain focused and engaged during these difficult times by “taking full advantage of all that ASU and Barrett, The Honors College have to offer.”

Barrett students, how have you stayed connected and engaged during the pandemic? Share your helpful ideas and tips.

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