Ashton at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum 100 Tree Spree Kickoff with CSO Addison and an Arborist

Scene: Another day in the lively city of Glendale, Arizona. Or so we thought.

Enter: Ashton Grove, the new Program Coordinator of the Chief Science Officers (CSO) Program in Arizona. With his deep passion for science, education, and sushi, Ashton is on a mission to inspire and empower the next generation of STEM leaders in the Grand Canyon State.

A Glendale Native with a Love for Science:

Ashton hails from the city of Glendale, nestled in the heart of Arizona. An ASU grad with a bachelor’s degree in biology (specializing in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior), as well as a sturdy academic foundation, Ashton has a well-rounded understanding of the scientific world as seen through an educational lens. This experience makes him a wonderful fit to oversee the Arizona CSO Program.

Passion for the CSO Program:

What ultimately led Ashton to his current role as the AZ CSO Program Coordinator was his own history of involvement in STEM programming and leadership during his youth. Ashton’s personal experiences in similar programs left an indelible mark on his personal, social, and professional growth. He sees the CSO program as a powerful platform to encourage and support leadership and ambassadorship in the field of STEM in Arizona and beyond.

Goals for the Future:

Ashton’s aspirations for the CSO program are ambitious. He hopes to expand, grow, and strengthen the program in Arizona, fostering greater community and youth engagement. Diversity and inclusivity are also at the forefront of his goals, with a focus on enhancing the overall experience for CSO participants and advisors.

Words of Wisdom for CSOs:

To all aspiring Chief Science Officers, Ashton offers valuable advice. He emphasizes the program’s potential to shape CSOs’ personal and professional journeys. He encourages CSOs to prioritize self-directedness and develop action plans that genuinely interest them, while offering opportunities for personal growth and skill development.

A Love for Science and Nature:

Ashton’s favorite branch of STEM is science itself, and he’s captivated by the way it answers the questions that ignite human curiosity. His current fascination lies in the world of microbiome research, but he’s always had an enduring passion for animal behavior, biology, and environmentalism as well.

A Personal STEM Memory:

One of Ashton’s best memories from his own high school experience is a creative scavenger hunt project in his AP Biology class where he had to find, photograph, label, and describe different species. This project encouraged him to explore and appreciate the diverse world of nature in unexpected places, fostering a deeper connection to the natural world.

Getting to the Fun Stuff:

As both a point of pride and disbelief, Ashton can honestly say he’s never broken a bone. His shoe size—a men’s 4. His favorite bird—the California Condor. His first taste of live music— the Jonas Brothers Burning Up Tour. In the great debate of the pumpkin spice latte’s deliciousness, he falls on the side of “the haters.” What he does love is the energy of a scorching Arizona summer, proving he can truly take the heat.

When it comes to fast food, Ashton definitely has his go-to favorites – Raising Canes and Salad & Go ranking at the top of the list. But he also has a taste for intellectual challenges, with crosswords and sudoku puzzles being his preferred brain teasers.

Get in Touch:

If you’re interested in connecting with Ashton or learning more about the CSO program, you can email him at or reach out via phone or text at 602-980-8313.

End Scene

Ashton making waves in NYC at the Yayoi Kusama exhibit, “Aspiring to Pumpkin’s Love, the Love in My Heart”, at the David Zwirner Gallery

Morris the Cat, showing his human Ashton some love on Halloween

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