Welcome! My name is Amanda Thart, and this portfolio is dedicated to mapping out my Grand Challenge Scholars experience. While at ASU, I am studied Electrical Engineering with a focus on Electromagnetics in Barrett, The Honors College. Next year, I will continuing my studies in the 4+1 program at Arizona State, and I will be graduating in May 2019 with a Master's degree in Electromagnetics, Antennas, and Microwave Systems.
Since freshman year, I have participated in the Grand Challenge Scholars Program and explored the theme of security. Though I joined the program thinking it was similar to Science Olympiad, I was even more excited once I attended the GCSP Summer Institute and gained a clearer impression of the goals and expectations of the program. Instantly, I knew that this experience would be valuable and it would make a positive impact on my career. When I first came to Arizona State, I already had goals of doing research, getting involved, and gaining hands on engineering experience. Ultimately, I was drawn to GCSP because it appeared to provide the participates with opportunities to accomplish things that I've already decided to do.
When joining GCSP, though, I never realized how much it would affect my outlook and my path in engineering. As a freshman, I was confident in the fact that I loved engineering and wanted to make change in the world; however, I had no idea how I would make an impact. In Grand Challenge, I explored themes; such as education, health, sustainability, energy, tools of scientific discovery; that I had never even considered before. Along the way I found that had an interest in security, which lead to incredible experiences that I never would have been exposed to without GCSP. I chose to focus on this area because I was inspired by the work and interested in the security-related research projects. Not only did Grand Challenge spark my interest in the theme but it also encouraged me to get a broader view of the topic through the lenses of research, interdisciplinary, global, entrepreneurship, and service. After four years in the program, I am able to walk away with a better understanding of who I strive to be as an engineer and the change that I want to make in the National Security sector. GCSP introduced me to security, but I ultilized my own initiative to gain internships in government and at Raytheon Missle Systems which allowed me to compare the differences between the private and public sector. I was also benefit from extensive research experience which not only provided me with applied engineering knowledge, but it additionally taught me about the different aspects of security and how those may overlap. Above all, this experience taught me that an inspiring message is essential in a career as an engineer and that we must view these Grand Challenges from a broader perspective in order even begin to tackle them.