Meet Your Candidates

President

VP of

Operations

VP of

Communications

Kris Ganzel

Astronomical and Planetary Sciences
Physics

Hello! My name is Kris Ganzel and I started at ASU in Fall of 2020 after deciding to return to university in order to take advantage of the extra down-time due to COVID quarantine and pursue a degree in astronomy.

When I'm not working on classwork, I can often be found in my backyard staring at the sky late at night with my telescope and/or shooting astrophotography. Aside from that, I also enjoy playing music (singing or playing guitar), playing video games, being a history nerd, taking care of my reptiles, and traveling. I also work from home full-time as a Software QA Engineer, and am a Supplemental Instruction Leader at ASU for AST 111 and 112.

Education and Career Goals

My current plan is to finish my BS in Astronomical and Planetary Sciences and then move on to a PhD in Astrophysics. I would also like to make astronomy/astrophysics more accessible to the general population via online content creation and use that platform to help younger students in particular. The goal would be to help students connect the scientific concepts they learn in elementary school and high school to their personal hobbies.

IDEAS Involvement to Date

I first joined IDEAS in August of 2020 when I was introduced to them during the first ASU Online Welcome Week. In my time here, I have contributed articles to Itzeel's Gazette project, helped co-host events with the astronomy club I founded called Sun Devil Stargazers, met with faculty at the School of Earth and Space Exploration at ASU (SESE) and advocated for online students; particularly with regard to getting more research opportunities.

Most recently, I have spent this past year serving as the Vice President of Operations for IDEAS. In that role helped I have managed the roster and helped kickstart a few initiatives such as the creating an IDEAS Discord server, creating a Discord bot that automates registration on said server, creating new automation processes to streamline operations for IDEAS, and working with Kacy and Lindsay to create new officer positions within IDEAS to provide more opportunities for all members to get involved with club management and provide input on new ideas for club growth.

Vision for IDEAS

I would like to continue to use IDEAS' platform to effect positive change within STEM, and ensure that every STEM college/school at ASU is represented in some way. In particular I would like to see IDEAS continue to advocate for online students at ASU, especially with regard to research project involvement, scholarships, etc.

What is one thing you would want to accomplish for IDEAS in your new position?

IDEAS has long promoted itself as a club for all STEM students, however, it feels very focused on SMS/SOLS in particular. While this is great, I'd really like to implement some initiatives that help prop up other STEM fields to ensure a greater number of students feel represented, and like they also have the support of a club like IDEAS.

Describe a situation in which you embodied the IDEAS motto, "collaboration, not competition."

I feel I have had this mindset since my first day at ASU. From my first day I have tried to collaborate with my peers in a multitude of ways: creating study groups in my astronomy classes, recruiting fellow students to attend SESE Task Force meetings, advising students on how to get in touch with faculty members when they needed assistance, and even helping SESE advisors develop a double major for Astronomy and Physics to better prepare online Astronomy students for grad school. I have even polled my fellow students through the Stargazers club to bring feedback to faculty to show these ideas aren't mine alone, but shared by the majority ASU Online's STEM student population.

Robert McCollum

Biological Sciences

Hello! I am Rob McCollum and I am here to run for the Presidency of IDEAS. I am a positive person looking to run a positive campaign that results in the election of the best candidate for this position. I believe in IDEAS and all it has provided to me; I wish to be a part of this moving forward as I help to move the club forward!

Education and Career Goals

After obtaining my degree from ASU in Biological Sciences, I will be moving on to Physician Assistant school as an entrance to medicine.

IDEAS Involvement to Date

As a member I have looked into the potentials of the club and how it can serve its members. My conclusion is that I feel its size and contacts in the University give it a unique opportunity to provide opportunity to its members. As the Pre-Physician Assistant Officer I assisted students in learning about the complex and varied processes for entering PA school.

Vision for IDEAS

I look forward to continued partnerships within the University to get students involved in ways that pique their interests and allow growth as we all travel our paths through University life. Promoting and taking advantage of research opportunities is key for us as STEM individuals moving forward, as well as networking our ways into successful careers using the education we dedicate so much time toward.

What is one thing you would want to accomplish for IDEAS in your new position?

My ambition is two-fold: I want to expand membership involvement in the opportunities we have as well as seek additional input from club members and University staff on what needs students have that need to be met to best move them forward.

Describe a situation in which you embodied the IDEAS motto, "collaboration, not competition."

When I worked in the offshore oil and gas sector I found myself leading a department that was naturally and traditionally in direct conflict with another department throughout most of our operations. This adversarial relationship is traditional throughout the worldwide maritime O&G sector of industry. I capsized this unproductive model in multiple locations by establishing trust and a culture of cooperation through personal example.

Kristen Krip

Biochemistry

Hi! I'm Kristen, and I'm entering my final year at ASU. I live in NJ with my husband and three children. I homeschool, so I'm with them a lot. We love nature, science and Legos! I'm currently the Director of Outreach & Engagement for IDEAS and the General Chemistry tutor on SLACK.

Education and Career Goals

I think it's funny how much my vision has developed since I first came back to school in 2019. I imagined that I would study evolution and end up working at a museum. I never thought I'd fall in love with organic chemistry, be swept away by microorganisms, and then (of all things!) register for the MCAT. But here I am, with dreams of becoming a physician scientist. I'm passionate about the human gut microbiome and how it impacts the pathogenesis of disease.

IDEAS Involvement to Date

I've been a member since November 2019, and for the 2021-2022 school year, I have acted as Director of Outreach & Engagement as well as Pre-Graduate School Officer (although it would seem that I'm pre-med now).

Vision for IDEAS

Community is a big deal in science, and the fact that we are online students only amplifies its importance. No one is an island, and I want IDEAS to continue to be a place of collaboration, building each other up, making room at the table - a place to network, even. I have grown so much as a person because of the friends I have made and the professors who have inspired me, and I'd like to see that everyone gets those same opportunities.

What is one thing you would want to accomplish for IDEAS in your new position?

There have been a lot of things in the works, and I would love the opportunity to continue to carry them out - like hosting speaker nights where we can hear wisdom from professors, the research they're conducting, and what their field is like. People like Kacy and Dr. Austin have been pushing for opportunities for online students, and I want to continue that work. We attempted a 2nd OH Hour in the fall, but it fell flat. However, those on the East Coast are often left out of social time because of the time difference, so I want to explore avenues to make this easier and still cohesive as a community.

Describe a situation in which you embodied the IDEAS motto, "collaboration, not competition."

It's so hard to name a single occurrence, because I feel like this is just how I live my life. I really just want to see the best possible outcome for IDEAS, whatever my role in that would be. I'm an online chemistry tutor, and I collaborate with the other Gen Chem tutor. We work together and play off each others strengths and weaknesses. We build each other up because it's not a competition -- it's about helping students. As a student, I love study groups. I love working together, hearing different perspectives and study methods. In the end, I'm not an island and I can't do this without others.