By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
GSN Staff Writer
Triplets Claire, Grant and Anders Moen of Gilbert have spent a lifetime together.
Now that they’ve graduated from ASU’s Barrett, the Honors College, West Campus in Glendale, their lives will change. Claire and Grant are looking into medical schools, while Anders has applied to teach English in Japan and wants to further study international policy. He longs to work for the State Department.
“It’s going to be very weird,” Grant said about being apart. “There’s a good chance we’ll be living different places and going to different schools. Anders and I are preparing for grad school right now. We’ll be living together for a little while longer.
“I compare it to what our experience was graduating high school. We moved to a different state. It was a brand-new experience. There’s a good chance my brother and I won’t be living in the same place. That’ll be interesting.”
The Moen triplets moved from Benton, Arkansas, in 2015 to attend ASU with the support of scholarships, and because their father had a job opportunity here.
Each received a New American University Scholarship, along with a slew of other scholarships between them, including a private business scholarship for Anders, an SRP scholarship for Claire and a National Merit Scholarship for Grant.
“It was nice having people we knew, instead of going on this new adventure on our own,” Claire said. “I had a support system. Grant and I had three classes together, so I had somebody to study with. Throughout the years, we’ve had our own journeys in college.
“It’s really exciting to grow as individuals but to support each other. I know for our parents, it was nice of them to know we were all together. It was a good peace of mind for them, knowing we would all have each other.”
After looking at other Arizona universities, the triples chose ASU West because of the staff, especially Associate Dean Eric Ramsey.
“We really connected with the staff,” she said. “They made us feel this is the place. It was a safe and supportive environment for us. It was a big transition, going from a very small school in southern Arkansas to one of the largest colleges. ASU West was small enough that it wasn’t going to be overwhelming.”
Anders adds, “ASU made the choice for us. The Barrett staff at ASU was very helpful and very outgoing in trying to recruit us. They really sold their school well.
“The Barrett staff is all very impressive. The professor-to-student radio is very low, which is really nice. It makes things more personal with professors. You get to know them a lot better.”
Claire, who has experience as a medical scribe for cardiologists and oncologists, earned a bachelor’s degree with double majors in biology and psychology. Grant obtained a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in political science. Anders graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science.
The 22-year-old triplets were active in extracurricular projects as well. Claire researched the effects of climate on black widow spiders in an ASU lab, and helped plan student events as a member of the ASU West Program and Activities Board.
Grant researched a compound called Bexarotene and its possible uses in developing drugs to treat breast cancer. He also worked on student events and activities with the Program and Activities Board.
Anders interned with the Peace Corps in Washington, D.C., and studied Japanese.
UA Phoenix is Claire’s top choice for medical school so she can stick around town. She has established a relationship with Banner Thunderbird Hospital, as she volunteered there.
“I’ve been passionate about the medical field since I was little,” she said. “I was a weird kid. I would watch Discovery Health all day. I found it fascinating. I never deviated from that path. I was interested in it because it’s always changing. You never know what you’re going to see each day. It makes for a meaningful life to live, being able to help people on a daily basis.”
Grant has similar aspirations.
“I’m getting ready to take the MCAT,” he said. “I’m guessing I’d like to go into general practice. I’ve had the most experience in that. I had an internship where I worked for Desert Grove Family Medical Center in Tempe for a summer.
Their parents, Todd and Karin Moen of Gilbert, say their children have inspired them.
“They have a unique bond being triplets,” Todd said. “It’s a neat thing watching them grow up.”
For Karin, graduation made her reminisce about the life of the triplets, who are athletes, as well.
“For Claire, I mentioned to her she would be outside during recess, in second grade or earlier, reading books,” Karin said. “Early on, they all had a love of reading and learning. We made that a focal point of how we raised them. Seeing where they’re at now is amazing. It’s been a part of who they are since they were young. They have that interest and desire to always be learning.”
The Moen triplets are smart and have accomplished a lot in their 22 years, Karin said.
“They’re good people with good hearts,” she said. “They’re looking to do big things and take advantage of the abilities they have. That’s something we’re most proud of.”
Anders, too, has high hopes for his siblings and himself. “I know they’re (Claire and Grant) going to do great things and we’ll, of course, meet up often in the future,” Anders said. ”