Alumni Spotlight: Carl Fields

Carl Fields graduated in 2016 with an Earth and Space Exploration bachelor’s degree in Astrophysics. That same year, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Physics, was awarded a Ford Foundation pre-doctoral fellowship, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. 

Fields knew early on that he had made a good choice in selecting ASU for his undergraduate studies. Not only did ASU offer scholarships to help make his studies affordable, it also gave him the opportunity to learn from, and work with, world-class researchers. 

Fields had been interested in physics since high school, inspired by his Skyline High School teacher, Chad Jacobs. During his undergrad experience, he was able to solidify his research interests by working with School of Earth and Space Exploration’s Frank Timmes on stellar astrophysics.

Now Fields is a Ph.D. student at Michigan State University studying computational/ theoretical astrophysics, and he has set his sights on becoming a professor.   

“My college experience really captures what it means to be a Sun Devil,” says Fields. “At times I struggled in classes, contemplated if I was in the right major, and often felt unsure of what my future directions were, like most students do.” Ultimately, Fields persevered through coursework, sought support from mentors and advisors, and learned to excel.

“Determination is the key,” says Fields.

Fields’ advice to new School of Earth and Space Exploration students is to take advantage of the many resources available to students at ASU to help them succeed. He also recommends thinking about what interests them and to start looking for research and mentoring opportunities with faculty and graduate students.

“Even if you are unsure of whether you are truly interested in a topic,” says Fields, “you don't know what you like, until you know what you don't like.”

Photo Credit: Adele Han