Brothers, opportunities and lifestyle led Quinn Kelso into ASU’s Barrett, The Honors College

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January 14, 2020

Quinn Kelso followed family footsteps in his journey through Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University. 

In December, Quinn became the third Kelso brother to graduate ASU with honors from Barrett. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in management through the W.P. Carey School of Business. His honors thesis was titled “Analysis of the Unabomber Manifesto.”

His oldest brother, Sean Kelso, attended ASU from 2011 to 2016 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a minor in jazz musical performance. His second brother, Rhys Kelso, attended ASU from 2013 to 2017 and received an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering. In 2018, Rhys completed a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at ASU. 

Sean Kelso, Quinn Kelso, Rhys Kelso

(left to right) Kelso Brothers Sean, Quinn, and Rhys

“I chose to attend Arizona State University for its proximity to where I grew up, the lifestyle that the campus supported, and the esteemed programs offered by the W.P. Carey School of Business. Choosing to take on Barrett, The Honors College came as a result of me wanting to follow in the footsteps of my older brothers; I wanted to set myself apart from the masses as they once did. Taking the high road—or the road less traveled, in this case—was a challenge that I wanted to embark upon,” Quinn said.

Quinn will attend Grand Canyon University’s Colangelo College of Business to pursue a Master of Business Administration. 

“After completing the program at GCU, I aspire to enter the field of public service. Attending ASU and Barrett has allowed me to adopt the ideal qualities and skillsets of a professional employee that will allow me to prove myself to be an asset in the workforce,” Quinn said.


We recently reached out to Quinn for his perspective on his experience at ASU. Here’s more of what he had to say.

Is there something that you experienced that defines your time at ASU, an opportunity you had that stands out, something you accomplished that you’re proud of, or an interesting moment you experienced as a student?

My most defining moment was when I completed my honors thesis project. The amount of unrelated classwork, graduation responsibilities, exams/projects, and pressures that I was dealing with at the time made the thesis project a great challenge to get done. Along with that, being able to work alongside Dr. Gregory Broberg and my second reader, James R. Fitzgerald (a retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent on the UNABOM Task Force), proved to be a very rewarding, but challenging, task. Fitzgerald’s expertise on the subject was extremely helpful, but it also entailed applying a constant, direct pressure to my work as he was able to fact-check me on everything I did and steer me in various directions. Dr. Broberg’s patience and care for my success as a student allowed for me to stay motivated throughout the duration of the project. It was an exhausting process, but I got it done!

What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in? 

The “aha” moment that made me realize that I wanted to study management at ASU was when I noticed my natural propensity/desire to lead or serve as a leader figure in teams. Proper management and leadership is important for various reasons. We all work in teams in some capacity, and I wanted to find a way to sharpen my skills as a leader wherever I end up.

What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?

This might sound more negative than it is intended to be, but what I learned from ASU that changed my perspective is that at the end of the day, nobody cares about who you are or what you do. I learned that if you mess up a speech/presentation, if you put your shirt on backwards or wear something that doesn’t match, or do something that you might consider to be embarrassing, own it, learn from it, and laugh at yourself. Nobody is going to talk about the mishaps of their peers for longer than the span of time that it is relevant.   

Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU and what was that lesson?

The professor that I credit with having the most influence on me as a student is Dr. Rivadavia C. Drummond de Alvarenga Neto (Dr. Drummond). I had Dr. Drummond as my professor for two classes: Cross-Cultural Management (MGT-400) and International Management (MGT-459). He taught me the imortance of having conviction in my beliefs. Through his class, there were countless instances where I was called upon to support my opinions and findings in front my classmates. Every single day, I had to come to class prepared to defend my stance and speak confidently on the subject matter.

What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

The advice that I would pass along to someone who is still school is to keep focused on the future. Plan to take at least one step every day towards improving yourself in your pursuits of a professional career. It is very easy to become distracted and lose focus on your goals. These days, it’s especially easy to lose sight of the future implications of our actions; think before you act.

What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

My favorite place on campus to relax and/or study was on the top floor of the Life Sciences Tower E-Wing (LSE). It had a great, outdoor, 180-degree, panoramic view of the west side of campus. I’m not entirely sure if the staff wants students up there for sightseeing rather than attending classes/labs, but I know the view was always worthwhile and nothing would really stop me from going up there.

If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

If I were to be given $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, I would direct the money towards research for the cure/prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. One of my relatives succumbed to the disease a few years back. Having witnessed the impact of the neurodegenerative disease at an early age had a lasting impact on my childhood.

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