James Casey

Engineering Futures Scholar

With a love for problem-solving and system-optimization, the industrial engineering program at ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering just seemed to fit Jimmy Casey’s personality.

Casey is an Engineering Futures scholar, beginning his sophomore year in the Fall. However, like many other rising sophomores, Casey is still figuring out what path is best for him.

“It [Engineering] naturally came to me … I just need to figure out what I want to do, I guess, discipline-wise,” he said.

Beyond the engineering program and industrial engineering clubs, at the end of his freshman year, Casey became a camp counselor for an ASU program called camp Kesem, a multiple-day sleepaway camp for students whose families have been affected by cancer.

Along with typical summer-camp activities, there were segments of the camp devoted to reflection. “They call ’em, “Remembering,” he said.” Time to “let them express how they feel. And I guess, make sure they know that we’re there for them.”  Casey enjoyed being a part of the program and branching out from activities directly related to his major.

In the Fall, Casey will be returning to school as a Community Ambassador (CA) for his residential hall. He said he is grateful for Tirupalavanam Ganesh, professor and assistant dean of engineering education at ASU, who helped him prepare for the aforementioned job, and also for his family, who’ve supported him during his first year at ASU.

Casey’s sister is a couple of years older than him and is going to ASU as well.

“She was always kind of there for me if I ever needed help with anything,” he said. He’s also noted that his mother, who went to ASU before him, was another big contributor to his success last year.

“I was a kid who didn’t really ask for help. I tried to just figure it out my own,” Casey said. The tutoring center is always something he heard people recommend, but he noticed that the percentage of students taking advantage of it was low. “There’s so many different perspectives on things. There’s so many resources at ASU … And people just really need to take advantage of them.” Something Casey plans on doing moving forward.

But Casey wouldn’t count the academic strain the hardest challenge he faced during his freshman year- the hardest challenge was figuring out what path is right for him. For other engineering students going through a similar internal conflict he advises talking to major-specific classes’ professors and researching the major more in-depth.

By Summer Sorg, Science and Technology Writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
September 04, 2019