Emily Montoya

Engineering Futures Scholar

Emily Montoya, a chemical engineering major from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering said she wants to focus her studies on neurology and the chemistry of the brain through an engineer’s perspective.

Initially, Montoya gravitated toward chemical engineering food, but after one of her best friends committed suicide, it sparked a curiosity to answer questions like ‘how could this have been avoided?’ and hopes to find the answer someday in her career.

Montoya hopes to find a solution to negative side effects of medication used to treat mental illnesses as well. One of her friends, who has bipolar disorder, has said that they prefer to work through the symptoms of their disorder instead of taking the medication offered to them because the side effects make them feel worse.

“If there’s a way to fix that, that’s be really good for everyone,” Montoya said.

Montoya chose to apply to Arizona State University because she wanted to be close to family and heard from friends who had already graduated from the engineering school that the program, Barrett especially, had a lot of great reviews.

She said living on campus her first year has been enjoyable, and from the first day of moving in the atmosphere felt welcoming and friendly.

“It’s been really cool because no matter what you always have people to talk to you and hang out with and a lot of them are taking the same classes as you, so it’s really nice,” Montoya said.

For Montoya, the transition from high school to college wasn’t difficult, and having her family live close makes things less stressful.

One of Montoya’s favorite things about college is feeling like the information she learns in class is going to be useful in her life and career field.

“I know that everything that I’ve done now is applied to my major and what I want to do as a job, so I feel like I’m setting myself up,” Montoya said.

When Montoya isn’t bustling through homework or school, she works for Busy Bees, an online babysitting company, where she usually works the evening and gets to choose her own hours. And if she has any downtime, she said she likes to visit her brother at home because she lives so close.

For incoming freshman, she wants them to know that even though the curriculum is going to be rigorous, the school offers so many resources for struggling students and upper classmen are great support systems to help them get through things.

“I think it sounds a lot more intimidating than it feels once you’re there,” Montoya said. “You feel like you’re a part of something cooler now and you have a huge support system.

By Laura Stack, Science and Technology Writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
July 29, 2020