2019 Undergraduate Student Spotlight: Shane Bechtel

Shane Bechtel is currently a junior at ASU, majoring in Earth and Space Exploration with concentration in astrophysics. He is also pursuing minor degrees in physics and mathematics.

While he didn’t originally consider ASU, his high school astronomy teacher recommended a visit to campus and after seeing the School of Earth and Space Exploration and the emphasis placed on astronomy and astrophysics, he knew it was the right fit. “If I had to pick one thing,” says Bechtel, “I would say it was the notable and respected faculty members who teach here that made me want to attend ASU.

Aside from his studies, Bechtel has also enjoyed working at the Marston Exploration Theater, which provides live 3D astronomy shows which are open to the public year-round. “Working at the theater gave me the chance to help the School and I made good connections with staff and faculty members,” he says. Bechtel also joined the ASU branch of the Planetary Society, which he says has been a rewarding experience.

When asked about his favorite place to study or just relax on campus, Bechtel says he likes the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV third floor “Crater Carpet.” This unique space features a carpet comprised of images of craters from throughout the solar system. “Whether I’m working by myself or in a group, the comfortable chairs, ample amounts of outlets, and relatively quiet setting make it the perfect place.”

After graduation, Bechtel would like to pursue graduate studies and eventually become a professor at a university, so that he can teach and help students achieve their dreams. “I’ve always said that if I can stay at school my entire life, then I would have successfully accomplished my dreams,” he says. “To that end, I’m hoping to be accepted to a graduate program to study either some facet of cosmology or gravity.”

Of his time here at ASU, Bechtel says, “I’ve gotten to work with wonderful professors, inspiring mentors, and the most incredible friends I’ve ever had. If all else fails, my time with them has reaffirmed my desire to teach and help others pursue what interests them.”