ASU Online casts working actress in new role as film studies graduate


December 1, 2017

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for fall 2017 commencement. See more graduates here.

As a working Hollywood actress and model, hectic shooting schedules are Arizona State University student Brittany Panzer’s reality. Her most recent role was on an episode of “Lucifer,” a Fox television series. Graduating ASU student Brittany Panzer / Courtesy photo Film and media studies student Brittany Panzer. Download Full Image

“Shooting ‘Lucifer’ was really fun,” said Panzer. “And it was my first hot and heavy make-out scene!”

All those, uh, distractions would keep some students from making progress toward a degree — but not Panzer.

“It was pretty hard to manage school with [the ‘Lucifer’ shooting schedule], but I was proactive and actually emailed my teachers in advance to ask if I could submit some stuff early and/or get any extension on other projects and they were really accommodating," she said. "I think being proactive about upcoming situations is best.”

The Miami native relished the flexibility afforded her through ASU’s online platform. Panzer didn’t expect to learn much from the required discussion posts, which she dutifully completed around acting engagements and auditions. She certainly did not expect to enjoy them. Yet, she did.

They “helped me think of other mind-sets and other perspectives,” she said.

Panzer graduates from ASU with her bachelor’s degree in film and media studies this December, and with a more nuanced view of her chosen industry. She answered some questions about her career plans and future projects.

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

Answer: I’ve always wanted to major in either theater or film and media. I’m an actress, and both majors pertain to what I do. I think really learning about the world I’m in through film and media studies is invaluable. I can take acting classes anywhere, but it’s wonderful to be able to learn about screen acting, writing and everything TV and film.

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

A: Believe it or not, discussion boards helped change my perspective as to how people think. They made me realize that answers — that I thought were obvious — weren’t obvious to others and vice versa.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: I needed to do school 100 percent online because of acting and modeling, and ASU is a great school with a wide range of degrees that can be completed online. So happy about my decision!

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

A: Do NOT wait until last minute to do your homework. Something will come up — it’s Murphy’s law. Time management, my friends.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: Acting! I just shot an episode of “Dear White People,” which comes out next year, and I’m gearing up for pilot season!

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

A: I’d tackle the homeless problem first in [Los Angeles] and then in other areas. I live in L.A. now, and it’s shocking to actually see the homeless problem on a daily basis. It’s really heartbreaking, and I don’t think we as a whole are doing enough to help.

Kristen LaRue

communications specialist, Department of English

480-965-7611

ASU linguistics grad discovers desire to teach through his own learning


December 1, 2017

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for fall 2017 commencement. See more graduates here.

Arizona State University international student Meng Wei has a global view of education. The Weifang, China, native appreciates both the subtle and large differences between American and Chinese educational values, seeing benefits and drawbacks of both. Graduating ASU student Meng Wei / Courtesy photo Graduating English linguistics major Meng Wei hopes to land a job teaching English as a second language after he completes his graduate coursework at ASU's Thunderbird School of Global Management. Download Full Image

He is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English linguistics this December and is already admitted into a Thunderbird School of Global Management master's program. He acknowledges that he started out focusing only on his own grades, but soon learned through teaching internships how much he enjoyed helping others learn.

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

Answer: In the spring of 2016, when I took the course ENG 404: Teaching English for Specific Purposes, I realized that I really did want to teach English. In this class, I learned the definitions of TESOL, ESL, ESP, EOP and many other new things. I also learned a teaching style that was different from the Chinese style. After this class, I felt clearer about my career goals.

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

A: In China, teachers often scold students for mistakes on work or exams. At ASU, no professors scolded me; instead they patiently helped me get back on track. Another difference between China and the U.S.: Most high school teachers in China correct students’ every mistake. That makes it the teacher’s responsibility. The American teaching style is to let students find the mistakes themselves.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: My best friend studied at ASU, and he highly recommended the university to me.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I am admitted into the master’s program in global affairs and management at ASU for fall 2018. It has nothing to do with teaching English, but that does not mean I did not like teaching! I do still enjoy it, and I hope I can find a teaching job in the TESOL area eventually.

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

A: I would donate the funds to poorer countries for developing their educational systems.

Kristen LaRue

communications specialist, Department of English

480-965-7611