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Jacob Stillwell's journey from Mesa Community College to ASU: A path to conservation biology and ecology

Jacob Stillwell's transfer journey from Mesa Community College (MCC) to Arizona State University culminated in the Spring 2024 semester with a degree in biological sciences with an emphasis in conservation biology and ecology, thanks to the simplicity and the help of MyPath2ASU.

Inspired by his best friend who was a researcher at ASU, Stillwell embarked on his higher education journey with an open mind and a desire to find his true calling. "I always thought I was a terrible student," he said. "It turned out when I discovered something I was really interested in, it was so much easier to apply my attention to the material."

Choosing MCC allowed Stillwell to explore his interests without the pressure of committing to a specific degree immediately. His involvement with GreenLight Solutions, where he gained consultation and project management skills, further enriched his experience. The MyPath2ASU tool supported his course planning while transferring to ASU, keeping him on track to graduate in four years. "It's important to change your mind a lot in undergrad unless you are absolutely set," he said.

ASU was a natural choice for Stillwell, who grew up in Tempe. The seamless transfer of credits and comprehensive support from the MyPath2ASU program made the process easy. "Students should be able to check their progress any time," he said.

At ASU, Stillwell said he enjoyed his classes and supportive faculty at The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. His connection with Associate Teaching Professor Michael Britton in the School of Life Sciences also led him to a unique opportunity to study AI for ecological research, resulting in a machine learning project presented at the BioSci Southwest symposium.

His advice to new transfer students is clear: "Do not skip any of the intro transfer videos! Take notes and learn how your electronic resources work." (Watch Stillwell’s MyPath2ASU transfer video).

Post-graduation, Stillwell hopes to work for the government or in a contracting role, making a meaningful impact with his education and experience.