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Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for fall 2017 commencement. See more graduates here.
Scott Brazelton was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, but would later move to Tucson, Arizona, with his family. He began pursuing his degree at Arizona State University in 2007 and has now completed his program from more than 7,000 miles away in Australia through the university’s online history program.
“I learned it is never too late to come back, never too late to finish,” Brazelton said.
He will be graduating with his Bachelor of Arts in history from the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies this fall.
After leaving ASU in the spring of 2012, just one course shy of his degree, Brazelton moved to Boston and later to Australia where he began to work with animals. He is grateful for having had the opportunity to finish his degree and was surprised by how easy the reentry process was.
“I came back and was able to take my last few credits and passed with an A,” said Brazelton. “I have never been more proud of myself, to be able to come back and finish something I had started 10 years earlier.”
Brazelton answered a few questions about his experience at ASU.
Q: Why did you chose to study history?
A: History was not my first major at Arizona State University. I initially began school there looking to join the school of dance but decided after a semester that dance was not what I wanted to do for a living. I had always loved studying history and decided that I would pursue an education in that.
Q: What’s the most valuable thing you learned while at ASU? What has been your biggest accomplishment at ASU?
A: The most valuable thing I learned while at ASU, and also my biggest accomplishment at ASU are about the same thing. Graduating with my degree. I stopped attending school a few years ago, mere credits short of finishing. I had many reasons for delaying finishing my degree and the longer I waited to come back the more nervous (I got) about the chances that I would be successful. Finally my husband convinced me to finish, that it was the first and best step toward my desired career.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?
A: The advice I would give to students still at ASU is that it is OK to not know what you want to do for living. I did not know until late last year and am now well on my way towards that goal. Take the time to think outside of the box, there are so many careers out there and you can work at any of them. Figure out what you love and make that your goal career.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: My plans now that I am graduating are to continue school. I have been accepted into the Taronga Training Institute at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia, where I will get the education I need to pursue a career as a zookeeper.