“I’m Joanne. I am a first-year student and I’m proudly a lesbian and transgender. I was born in Utah and moved around a lot because my dad was in the U.S. Army. Right as my dad got out of the Army, my mom joined the U.S. Air Force and recently transferred to the Space Force.
In my senior year, I took AP Psychology and realized this was exactly what I’m very interested in. It’s really fascinating to me how people operate. I used to study how people moved at those awkward high school dances. There are so many invisible walls, it’s incredible. It almost operates similarly to thermodynamics, with fluid interactions and pressure. It’s fascinating.
This year, I’m switching from a psychology major to a business major, not because my interests have changed but because my career goals have changed. My mom has an MBA, and she gets to do a lot of project management, which is a versatile field since you can take management into any industry. I’ve spent most of my time with my mom because my dad was deployed in Afghanistan for a lot of my early years. I think that’s a big reason why I’m very close with my mom and why I idolize her career choices. But I’m a fusion of my parents because I look just like my dad but am very similar to my mom. Also, my dad’s major was psychology and my mom’s major was business. So, I am following my mom’s example in pursuing a business degree.
My experience at the U has been good. It’s been fun to hang out with my brother, who is a junior studying computer science here. Moving around when I was young was tough because it was difficult to maintain a friend group. I’ve had the opportunity to make real friends here and have been putting myself out there, which is something I was not able to do before because I was moving all over the place. I haven’t moved in the past five years, so getting to build stability here has been really awesome.”
—Joanne Clark, 2022-23 recipient of the For Utah Scholarship