Strong drive earns graduating veteran ESPN spot

December 12, 2016

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for fall 2016 commencement. See more graduates here.

Saying that Arizona State University graduate student Cory Kamerschak is driven is an understatement. portrait of Cory Kamerschak Cory Kamerschak had no journalism experience prior to starting his master’s program at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. But Kamerschak spent “countless” hours perfecting his videography and editing skills, and it paid off. Download Full Image

The 28-year-old California Bay Area native spent six years in the U.S. Air Force as a healthcare management technician where he was quickly promoted ahead of his peers and was a finalist in 2013 for Major League Baseball’s and People Magazine’s “Tribute to Heroes”—an initiative that spotlights top service members at the MLB All-Star Game. 

On Dec. 10, Kamerschak served as the student speaker for the Fall 2016 Commencement Veteran Honor Stole Ceremony in Tempe’s Memorial Union, where he addressed a crowd of over 800 attendees and earned their praise. 

The sports journalism major is graduating with a Master of Arts degree and soon after will relocate to ESPN headquarters in Connecticut to start his new job.   

“I will be a production assistant starting out,” Kamerschak said. “I hope to become a producer for a show such as E:60 someday, because I like documentary and feature style pieces.”

He had no journalism experience prior to starting his master’s program at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. But Kamerschak spent “countless” hours perfecting his videography and editing skills, and it paid off. He saw the ESPN job advertised online, went for it, and got it.

Kamerschak is grateful for his time at ASU, including the role of the Pat Tillman Veterans Center on campus.

“Overall I loved my ASU experience,” he said. “I had always wanted to go to a big name college and get that college experience and I feel I was able to do that during my time here.”

The Pat Tillman Veterans Center has always been there to support ASU’s veterans, Kamerschak said. Currently more than 5,200 veterans, active-duty, National Guard, reservists and military family members attend ASU. 

“I always felt like I was kept in the loop about events that were taking place or services they offered,” he added.

Here Kamerschak shares thoughts into his college experience and on other topics.  

student speaking at ceremony

Air Force veteran and ASU graduate student Cory Kamerschak speaks during the fall commencement 2016 Veterans Stole Ceremony held in the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus on Dec. 10. ASU recognizes graduating veterans with honor stoles corresponding to their military branch of service. The stoles may be worn over academic regalia at commencement ceremonies. The ceremony is sponsored by the ASU Alumni Association and the Pat Tillman Veterans Center. Photo by Dan Turbyfill/ASU

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?

Answer: I was applying for grad schools towards the end of my active duty career and 95 percent of the programs I was applying for had me staying in the healthcare field. Deep down I didn't know if that was something I wanted to wake up doing for the rest of my life. So when I came across this field at ASU I applied immediately.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you, that changed your perspective?

A: Coming to ASU was my first experience after separating from the military and the transition was a little tough at first. I was the only one in the program with military experience and I was used to a certain way of life for 6 years. However, everyone in the program came to ASU from all different parts of the country, which reminded me a lot of my time in the military. It brought everyone closer together because at first we only knew the other people in the program and was very similar to what it was like when I first joined the Air Force. It made me realize that even though things may not seem similar on the surface, you can find similarities in anything.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: I chose ASU because it was the first year of the sports journalism program for masters students and it sounded really interesting. I had also wanted to attend ASU since I had taken a tour here when I was a senior in high school.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: Stay committed to your decisions but flexible in your approach. Pursing your education is supposed to be challenging, but the sense of accomplishment you feel at the end is very rewarding.

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: I didn't have any classes on the main campus because my program was based downtown, but I whenever I was at the [Tempe] campus I always loved walking down Palm Walk.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I will be relocating to Bristol, Connecticut for a job I have accepted with ESPN.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I would put that money into the VA system in an effort to try and improve the care that is given to veterans.

Jerry Gonzalez

Media Relations Officer, Media Relations and Strategic Communications

Ethics Bowl team earns ASU's 1st bid to national championship

Goal of competition is to find ethical solutions for real-world problems

December 12, 2016

Should all drugs be legalized? Should doctors aid terminally ill patients who no longer wish to live? Should companies breach users’ privacy if it could possibly help others?

There is no clear-cut, right or wrong answer to these questions — the best answers will come from those who can best justify their reasoning. ASU team holding trophies ASU's Ethics Bowl team took first and second place at the Rocky Mountain Regional Ethics Bowl Competition this November, earning them a bid to the national competition. Download Full Image

The ASU Ethics Bowl team members have proven themselves as one of the best college teams in the country at finding ethical solutions for real-world problems, earning the Arizona State University's first-ever bid to the National Ethics Bowl championship after taking first and second place at the Rocky Mountain Regional Ethics Bowl Competition this November.

Ethics Bowl team members shy away from the yes/no, black/white responses and hardline stances more typically associated with debates. Here, you can agree with your opponent without undermining your argument. Instead, teams are judged on how well they understand and articulate the specifics behind a given case.

“What frustrates me about debate is that it comes down to the affirmative or negative side,” said Jennifer Brian, head coach of ASU’s Ethics Bowl team. “What Ethics Bowl gets you to do is to see that there aren’t ever just two sides, but a whole set of complexities and that reasonable people can see the case from many different ways. One of the things that’s interesting about all the cases is that there are no easy answers, and I love that.”

Using cases taken from real-life situations — like the FBI’s attempt to compel Apple to hack into the iPhone of the terrorists responsible for the San Bernardino shootings — teams of five use various ethical frameworks to justify their solutions to these dilemmas.

Each team gets a turn to make its point about a certain case, followed by the opposing team, and it concludes with a rebuttal from the first team. Afterwards, the judges select a new case and the opposing team gets a chance to make an opening argument and rebuttal.

Judges award teams points for their arguments, and the team with the most points after two rounds wins.

The ASU team has made impressive strides in short time. It was created in summer 2014 when Jason Robert, director of the Lincoln Center of Applied Ethics, asked Brian to head a prospective team. The team began competing the following semester.

“For the first two years we spent a lot of time discussing the cases and thinking about different ethical theories,” Brian said. “But I think what really helped is when we started doing the practice matches much sooner. Having them do more actual practices and then giving time to discuss what worked well or what worked less well, the points of weakness and the points of strength, allowed us to build up from there.”

The team practices two times a week to prepare for upcoming competitions, with each team member using their strengths in different ethical theories to contribute.

After two years of competing in Seattle, ASU sent two teams to the Rocky Mountain regional that swept the first- and second-place spots, guaranteeing the university’s first bid to the National Ethics Bowl competition taking place in Dallas in February 2017. 

“It was a really exciting thing to go in and see so much success even without too much experience,” said communications freshman and Barrett, The Honors College student Corbin Witt, a member of the team that took second place at regionals. “That’s a credit to Dr. Brian and [assistant coach] Isaac Dunn, just how well they prepared us. It was just a really cool thing.”

The ASU team will receive the cases that will be selected for nationals in January.

Reporter, ASU Now