Asa Carasco “I’ve really rediscovered how important and beautiful science can be, at SMC.”

“One of the best things I’ve done was joining the swim team and swimming for J.J. (coach John Joseph). I swam for him the last two years of his career,” says Asa Carasco. “I swam the 200 breaststroke—my first time in competition. And J.J. made it possible for me to train and become a lifeguard too.” Asa has lifeguarded on Venice and Santa Monica Beaches and has encountered a lot of the problems that have made him determined to work in some environmental area. “There’s a lot of damage done to our ocean,” he says. “And I’ve felt it’s effects on my own body. You can get a lot of mysterious kinds of flu swimming in Santa Monica Bay.”

“I’ve been into the environment and the outdoors from square one,” says Asa, who has been at SMC for three years now. “I started out in engineering and I’m continuing to take care of all my sciences. Science and being outdoors have always intrigued me,” he continues. “So I’d like to go into environmental engineering in some capacity. Designing transportation systems or environmentally better road systems would be a good place for me.” He adds that he plans to transfer to UC Berkeley or to Davis. “But I’m paying my own way so I’ll have to figure out how to do it without tripling my own ‘National Debt!’” he says laughing.

Another place you’ll find Asa in the Great Outdoors are the clifffs, spines and rock faces around Southern California. “A partner of mine and I started the SMC Rock Climbing Club,” says Asa. “We got a group from campus to head out with us to Joshua Tree. It’s always a lot of fun, anytime you get to be outdoors.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.