ASU graduate pursues his dream by combining passion for art and communication studies

December 8, 2021

Editor’s Note: This story is one in a series of profiles of notable fall 2021 graduates.

For almost everyone, the COVID-19 pandemic has come with major life changes, new routines, and perhaps a different outlook on life. Kelly Freter, a student at Arizona State University, is no exception.

This fall, Kelly Freter will graduate with a master’s degree in political psychology; She also received her BA in Journalism from ASU in 1996. “For me, my story with ASU is not that it’s never too late. I think I’m more excited about what’s to come, just like I was 21, although I’m much better at setting limits and being cheeky than I was back then. I have no plans to graduate from ASU again at 71, but anything can happen.
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“As the pandemic set in I was fortunate enough to continue working, but I was home and as everyone knows everything was different,” Freter said. “During this forced change, I finally paid attention to that nagging feeling of wanting to find the sequel.”

What would follow for Freter was something she never expected – pursuing a masters degree in political psychology from ASU at age 46. She received her BA in Journalism from ASU in 1996.

“It will be 25 years between my two degrees, and I found myself thinking a little bit about this trip to ASU,” she said. “… For me, my history with ASU is not that it’s never too late. I think I’m more excited about what’s to come, just like I was 21, although I’m much better at setting limits and being cheeky than I was back then. I have no plans to graduate from ASU again at 71, but anything can happen.

Freter, who grew up in St. Louis and currently lives in Los Angeles, completed the masters program through ASU Online. As director of marketing and communications for the Los Angeles LGBT Center, she said she found the online program to be a perfect fit for her.

“Time management is definitely a big challenge in any program. For me, it had been a long time since I had to do so much reading and homework, ”she said. “But I wanted to kick-start a part of my brain and skills that I hadn’t used in a while, so this program definitely gave me that opportunity. ”

Here, Freter shares more about his Sun Devil story and what to expect.

Question: Why did you choose ASU?

Reply: My ASU bachelor’s degree had taken me a long way and done some amazing things for me, but I felt I needed a boost before starting my next professional adventure. I knew ASU had a solid online program and literally went online to see what was available and found the political psychology program. It was the lesson plans and the usefulness of the online format that really made my decision easier.

Q: What did you learn while you were in college – in class or elsewhere – that surprised you or changed your perspective?

A: The real magic of this program is that much of it gives the impression of learning things that were hidden in plain sight. Most of the students in my classes had a high level of political interest coming up, and for several weeks there would be a joke in the discussion forums that the assumption we came up with was going to be upset by the new material this that week. . To be open to new ideas and experiences, you have to really let go of the preciousness of what you think you know – which I guess has been the most transformative lesson in the program.

Q: Were there any opportunities that positively impacted your ASU experience?

A: I’m not sure if it was just because of the COVID restrictions, but there have been a lot of virtual lectures and speakers sponsored by my college and university. These were amazing conversations to participate in, and I hope the virtual format can somehow continue after the COVID restrictions. The conversation with Cecilia Muñoz struck me the most.

Q: What is the best advice you would give to those who are still in school or to future freshmen?

A: Take advantage of the opportunities available to you. There are many great speakers and events that students can attend, even online. And that includes the ability to communicate with your classmates and teachers if you have any questions or want to feel like you are part of a community, rather than sitting alone at night on your laptop doing your homework. . Also, if anyone is considering taking an online program at ASU: do so. It’s a well-oiled and transparent online community. In addition to your program, the administrative, IT and financial aid support staff are wonderful.

Q: What are your plans after you graduate?

A: I will be moving to Washington, DC from Los Angeles in January to start at George Washington University as part of their Masters in Professional Studies Political Management program. I was also accepted into the Presidential Management Fellows program – this is a two-year leadership training and development program and the federal government’s first pipeline to bring higher education graduates to positions. government leadership.