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Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for fall 2018 commencement. Read about more graduates.
Originally from Katy, Texas, Cera Lange will be graduating in December with a bachelor’s degree in geological sciences from Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration.
Lange has loved geology since she was a child and wanted to live somewhere she had never lived before, so ASU was a natural fit. As to her choice of majors, it could be said that “it was meant to be” — her name (as pointed out by one of her professors, Rick Hervig) is completely made of elemental symbols: Ce Ra La N Ge!
Prior to graduation, Lange answered a few questions about her time at ASU and her plans for the future.
Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?
Answer: I have loved geology since I was a child. When deciding on a major, I chose geology because it was a lifelong love and something I wanted to learn more about.
Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?
A: I learned a lot about other cultures and how other people view the world. This has applied to how I view science as well because scientific problems don't always have a straightforward answer. Sometimes you have to look at it from several viewpoints in order to determine the best path to understanding it.
Q: Why did you choose ASU?
A: I chose ASU because I wanted to live somewhere that I had never been before. I had never been to a desert or in the western part of the United States, so ASU and the Phoenix area were attractive to me.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?
A: Do not become discouraged by difficult classes. I have struggled with courses that sometimes made me question if I was good at my major, but by the end of the semester, I had learned more from that course than any of my "easier" classes. The difficult classes teach you about your work ethic and are extremely rewarding when you succeed.
Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?
A: I really enjoyed a coffee shop called Cupz. The coffee and food was always delicious, and the owner is very sweet. All the patrons are respectful of studying, so it was always quiet enough to get work done. Plus, it was really close to the buildings where most of my classes were held.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: I plan on working in the environmental industry. I would like to help make an impact on cleaning up the methods humans use to change the environment to better our lives. I would like to help make these methods as clean as possible so that coming generations are left with a planet that is better than what I have.
Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?
A: I would like to design a type of clean energy that would be cheap enough that it could be easily distributed to communities that can't afford traditional energy types. I think access to energy would be a great first step to improving poor infrastructures, and it would allow for many places to begin improving their food/water resources and their health care.