Alia Brown

Graduate Degrees: 
Associate in General Studies, Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Arizona General Education Curriculum
Graduation Year: 
2020

Mesa Community College had just what Alia Brown was looking for when it was time for her transition from high school into college.

Coming from a small Montessori school, she was used to small class sizes and personal interaction with professors. Brown first heard about MCC through her grandparents Roz and Lee Featherston.

“I came here because I wanted to have a smoother/calmer transition into college before transferring to a university,“ said Brown, who plans to earn a doctorate in philosophy or a doctorate in psychology. in cognitive neuroscience. “MCC was also the financially better option while I figured out the specifics of what graduate program I wanted to attend.”

Brown, a graduate of MCC and Grand Canyon University’s first psychology cohort program, recently earned a bachelor of science degree in psychology from Grand Canyon University. This spring she will graduate from MCC with three degrees (Associate in Arts, Associate in General Studies and an Associate in Science), two certificates (AGEC-S and AGEC-A) and a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

She has also been extremely active in Phi Theta Kappa, Psi Beta, Sigma Chi Eta and the MCC Honors Program while attending MCC. Brown received the Summit Student Leadership Award, Excellence in Service Medallion, President's Volunteer Service Award and the Psi Beta Scholarship for Psychological Science.

It hasn’t always been easy for Brown. When she was a high school junior, she dropped out of school because of anxiety and depression. She now uses that experience to motivate herself to keep going and to catch up to where she would have been.

“When things got tough, I would have to pull away from extracurricular activities and focus more on academics and family,” Brown said. “I rely a lot on my family to keep me from pushing myself too far.”

Brown said many of the campus activities helped her develop professional skills that she can use in the workplace, like how to run a meeting, plan events and do project development.

“MCC professors and staff helped me find resources and get involved,” Brown said. “Dr. Preisser has been a constant supporter who was always passionate about learning. Dr. Lipinski, the now-retired chair of psychology, guided me to different opportunities that have improved my critical thinking skills and let me apply psychology in new ways. He introduced me to Dr. Franklin who taught me and several others how to use psychology in emergency scenarios, which we used to support the paramedic students in their practical exercises.”

Brown’s major is in psychology, but she plans to study cognitive neuroscience eventually as a researcher and professor at a university. The psychology cohort program helped her fast-track her degree and obtain most of the credits through MCC. She has also applied to several graduate programs and is waiting to hear back.

Brown said she will never forget the friends she made at MCC.

“I have gotten to work with so many fantastic people, who have helped me as much as I have helped them,” She said. “We were able to grow together and experience so much while having fun.”