ASU West student body president made an impact that will last a lifetime

June 3, 2021

College is a unique experience for every student. For ASU graduate Natalie Carranza, 22, it took a major change and a campus switch for her to realize her true potential. 

The spring 2021 graduate and Obama Scholar wore many hats while at ASU. She was the Undergraduate Student Government West president for the 2020–21 school year. Before that she was an intern-turned-assistant director for the Programming and Activities Board since her sophomore year. 

“It was very hard to leave the PAB, but I knew I wanted to do more and I am really glad I did USG,” Carranza said. 

 ASU grad Natalie Carranza smiles in her graduation gown in front of Old Main.

ASU grad Natalie Carranza, 22, majored in biology with a minor in Spanish.

During her time as president, she helped create a temporary home at ASU’s West campus for multicultural students and organizations, which opened this semester. 

“Being able to give multicultural students something that represents them was so great. I can’t wait to see when we get the official multicultural center,” Carranza said. 

To add on to the many things that Carranza has done for the West campus, she was also president of a pre-dental society, which she worked hard to re-activate. 

Carranza graduated with a degree in biology and a minor in Spanish. She plans to apply to dental school and take the dental admissions test in July to continue her career in the fall. 

As she graduated, Carranza reflected on her time at ASU and shared her advice for other Sun Devils. 

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

Answer: I kind of always knew I wanted to do dental since eighth grade. My freshman year in college I was struggling so bad. I wanted to be home so I almost changed my major. I ended up switching to biology from biological sciences to be closer to home and moved to the West campus. This is when everything changed. It was sophomore year, and I fell in love with West and knew I wanted to stick to dental. It has been so fun learning about dentistry. 

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: My family are big ASU fans; I always knew I was going to ASU. The only other school I applied to was the U of A, but I knew I didn’t want to go there.  

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: Devon Mitchel and Dean Hicks. They both mentored me and encouraged me to join USG. They are so special; I think everyone at West can speak highly of them both. 

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

A: Do not give up, no matter how hard it gets. I had a lot of moments where I wanted to quit, but if you keep going you will find a breakthrough. Just keep pushing. 

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

A: The USG lounge, PAB and club council are right next door. It is just so nice to see people coming in and out and interacting with everyone. It is nice seeing everyone.  

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

A: Everything under the umbrella of racism: systemic racism, the prison system and everything in between.