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ASU students rally in support of Mizzou protests

ASU marchers rally in support of Mizzou protesters
November 16, 2015

Marchers call for more respect for minority groups

A group of Arizona State University students rallied on the Tempe campus Monday in support of recent protests at the University of Missouri.

About 50 people marched and chanted “ASU supports Mizzou” and “Black Lives Matter” for about an hour on the Hayden Lawn and along the Palm Walk on Monday afternoon. The event was organized by the ASU branch of the NAACP.

At the University of Missouri in Columbia, nicknamed “Mizzou,” student protests over racial discrimination intensified over several days earlier this month, leading to the president of the university system to resign on Nov. 9. During the unrest at Mizzou, many black students and faculty members said that racial issues pervade the community.

Other universities, including Yale, in Connecticut, and Claremont McKenna, in California, have seen protests over racial tensions in recent weeks, with calls for more diversity among students and faculty.

At Monday’s rally in Tempe, the marchers called for members of all minority groups to demand respectful treatment.

“It’s not just black people,” said Chris Chavers, a former ASU student who helped to organize the rally. “It's Latinos and Asian-Americans and students in the LGBT communityHe was referring to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.. Do you have the audacity to ask for mutual respect?”

Several marchers shared personal stories about the experience of being minorities at ASU.

The group set up two large whiteboards on Hayden Lawn and invited people to write messages under the heading “Being black at ASU.” Several marchers wrote statements including “We’re not just athletes,” “Black and beautiful” and “We will not be silent.” 

“Our emphasis on expanding access to a quality education, not only has increased the diversity of our student body, but helped us build a robust student support system,” said Kevin Cook, Dean of Students on the Tempe Campus. “We welcome the many different viewpoints that our students bring to their campus experience, and we always take students’ concerns seriously.”

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A passion for history is her guide

ASU alumna shares her passion for history as a teacher.
This history teacher wants her students to learn from the past.
November 17, 2015

ASU alumna, veteran aims to excite students about history

Editor's note: This is part of a series on ASU alumni. Find more stories here.

She graduated in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree from the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, but it would seem Zsuzsa Szabo just can’t stay away from ASU.

Even though she currently teaches 11th-grade American history and 9th-grade world history at Dobson High School in Mesa, Szabo has returned to the university — where she was selected to receive the William C. Jenkins-Helios Teaching Fellowship — to obtain her master’s in history.

Szabo also finds time to coach the freshman cheer team at Dobson High, serve as the school’s coordinator for the Future Sun Devils Families program and is a member of the ASU Veterans Club group.

Letting her passion for history be her guide, the U.S. Air Force vet looks forward to building relationships with her students that allow her to impart some of that deep-seated affection for all things past.

Question: At what point in your life did you know you wanted to pursue a career in education?

Answer: I have always possessed a passion for learning history. It was when I was tutoring my nephews in history and seeing how excited and interested they were in American history that I realized that I may be able to get more kids excited about history through my teaching.

Q: How has your experience at ASU helped to put you in the position you are in today?

A: I had so many great experiences in the teachers program at ASU. The collaboration I experienced with my colleagues and professors was invaluable. After graduating from the program, I felt secure in knowing that I would be prepared to enter the workforce as a teacher.

Q: What excites you about teaching?

A: What most excites me about teaching is getting to directly interact and build relationships with students, while also getting them interested in learning about history. I feel that even if I can get them interested or excited to learn about just one person, place or subject about history, where they can then dig a little deeper about it, I have won a little bit.

Q: How do you think your experience in the Air Force helped prepare you for teaching?

A: The skills I acquired through my experience in the Air Force have been invaluable to me. The Air Force prepared me for teaching in many ways, such as accountability, ability to work under stress and keep deadlines, working with diverse groups of people, and planning and organization. However, I think the most important skill it taught me was adaptability. Like any teacher will tell you, you can plan your lesson down to the most minute detail, but I can guarantee there will be something that throws it off course. Being able to adapt and adjust is a must in education, and my experiences in the Air Force fully prepared me for that.

Q: What advice would you give to someone looking to have a career in education?

A: My advice to anyone looking into having a career in education is to first volunteer in a classroom. You really have to get in there and see if it’s the right fit for you. Although teaching can at times be very stressful, it is also highly rewarding.

Emma Greguska

Reporter , ASU Now

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