Army veteran finds natural fit in ASU global studies program

October 16, 2018

Arizona State University student Carla Castillo likes to do her research before making big decisions, and that included determining what her major would be. Upon reading the academic plan for global studies, she knew she had found a natural fit.

“Yes, global studies, that’s me,” said Castillo. Army veteran and global studies major at ASU, Carla Castillo Army veteran and ASU global studies major Carla Castillo. Download Full Image

Growing up, Castillo spent time in Denver and El Paso, Texas, before settling in Phoenix. She attended North High School, where she participated in JROTC and learned from various law enforcement professionals through the school’s Metro Tech Program.

After graduation in 2002, upon the heels of 9/11, Castillo enlisted into the U.S. Army. She would go on to serve over nine years. During one year of her deployment, Castillo was stationed in Egypt, where 11 different countries were represented.

“I consider myself sort of a global citizen,” Castillo said. “I love meeting new people, being engaged with new cultures and new languages. That is all very interesting to me.”

Once back in Arizona, Castillo started taking classes at Phoenix College. Although she knew that eventually she wanted to go to ASU, Castillo was unsure of which major she wanted. While researching degrees related to international studies, she found the Bachelor of Arts in global studies within the School of Politics and Global Studies.

“While in the military, you have all sorts of cultures, backgrounds and races,” said Castillo. “It just seemed like a natural step.”

With the help of the Veterans Upward,Bound Program through ASU TRIO, she transferred to ASU.

According to Castillo, she has a curious personality, so ASU’s transfer days and welcome week were a treasure trove of information. She quickly formed relationships with other veterans and enrolled in multiple student organizations.

One of the organizations Castillo joined was the Hispanic Business Association. The idea of a business club initially seemed like an odd fit for Castillo, but she decided to give it a try. After a few meetings, she participated in networking events, career fairs and other opportunities that she normally would not have taken advantage of.

Castillo had to limit her participation to three clubs for now even though she has interest in 10.

One of the key attractions to the global studies degree for Castillo was the internship programs hosted within the School of Politics and Global Studies. Knowing that she wanted to participate in a program — if not more — she quickly introduced herself to Gisela Grant, an internship coordinator within the school.

“Ms. Grant really is my mentor now,” said Castillo. “She has so much knowledge and experience. She does an awesome job of sharing that with students.”

Castillo is currently working with Grant to embark on a study abroad experience — a requirement for global studies majors. She wanted to challenge herself and study in a country that doesn’t speak English or Spanish but still had warmer weather. She eventually landed on France. Next spring, Castillo will participate in Sciences Po Aix where she will take classes that have a global aspect.

With spring 2019 accounted for, Castillo is already setting her sights on 2020 where she is looking to participate in the Policy Design Studio and Internship Program. She recently attended a Q&A event with Ambassador Edward O’Donnell from the McCain Institute to learn more about the program in Washington, D.C.

“I only have two years and there’s all these programs, internships and opportunities,” said Castillo. “It’s important to be engaged.”

Matt Oxford

Manager of marketing and communications, School of Politics and Global Studies


Visiting Quartet Residency Program welcomes renowned Brooklyn Rider

October 16, 2018

The School of Music in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts welcomes the renowned Brooklyn Rider as the 2018-19 resident artists for the Visiting Quartet Residency Program. The group will visit Arizona State University three times as part of this year’s residency program, which fosters collaboration and diversity.

“Brooklyn Rider is one of the most engaging and diverse quartets of our time,” said Jonathan Swartz, professor of violin in the School of Music and artistic director of the program. “The range of their interests is incredible, spanning across genres of music — they play the great masters like Mozart, Beethoven and Ravel as well as anyone in the profession and, at the same time, they are engaged in new music: performing composers of our time and writing their own music.” Brooklyn Rider Brooklyn Rider Download Full Image

The quartet, hailed as “the future of chamber music” by Strings magazine, was founded in 2005. Members include Johnny Gandelsman, violin; Colin Jacobsen, violin; Nicholas Cords, viola; and Michael Nicolas, cello.

The quartet’s first visit includes a world-premiere performance of a new piece by composer Matana Roberts. The work was commissioned for Brooklyn Rider as part of the quartet’s new project, "Healing Modes," which explores Robert’s perspective on healing and music. The collaborative second visit with Irish fiddler Martin Hayes connects two different styles of music and explores Irish music and folk traditions. The final visit brings the quartet and Mexican vocal jazz singer Magos Herrera together and includes a little bit of classical music, a little bit of jazz and a little bit of Latin-American influence.

Swartz started the Visiting Quartet Residency program 13 years ago to engage world-renowned quartets to serve in residence for one year at a time in the School of Music strings program. Unique among music schools nationwide, the program’s resident artists work intensively with students on projects designed to form the basis of the chamber music curriculum.

The opportunity to study with a professional ensemble allows students to see the collaborative process from the inside out — including the way the quartet communicates, rehearses, performs, manages and prioritizes its schedule.

“Students witness extraordinary music-making and feel the power of what can be achieved when everyone contributes a 100 percent effort,” said Nancy Buck, associate professor in the School of Music strings program. “They see how chamber music is not about following, but rather leading.”

Over a four-year period, students work with four different professional string quartets and on three projects each year for a total of 12 projects as part of a comprehensive chamber music curriculum.

Students also engage with the community through the creation and performance of new music. Each year, ASU composition students visit the Phoenix Art Museum and select a work of art as inspiration to write new music for string ensembles. The visiting quartet workshops the new pieces with the student composers, culminating in world-premiere performances by School of Music string students at the museum — in the galleries with the artwork that inspired the composition.

The largest project in the program invites more than 1,000 high school students to ASU annually to hear the visiting quartet perform, hear ASU students perform alongside the quartet, participate in discussions and learn the history of and traditions about the music.

At the completion of the projects, students also share what they have learned by performing at Mayo Clinic as part of a collaboration to support the clinic’s mission for humanities in medicine.

The residency program also engages the Tetra String Quartet, a local string quartet composed of School of Music alumni, to assist with presentations for visiting high school students and to visit high schools and work directly with students prior to the annual performance.

Jill Osborne, strings teacher at Tempe High School, said her students have participated in workshops with Tetra for four years.

“The students have said the program has inspired them to want to practice more, hear more concerts and attend more concerts,” said Osborne. “There’s definitely an impact on the Tempe High strings program in the last four years — our program has grown at least 400 percent. I believe a large part of our growth is because the students are so inspired by the ASU performances.”

Swartz said the program is a benefit to the community by providing a unique opportunity to learn about each quartet with three featured concerts throughout the year.

“I think there is an incredible impact that these artists have on our individual students, our school and our community,” said Swartz.

Brooklyn Rider’s performances are in Katzin Concert Hall on ASU’s Tempe campus. Purchase tickets from the Herberger Institute box office.

Brooklyn Rider String Quartet
“Healing Modes”
7:30 p.m. Nov. 2

Brooklyn Rider String Quartet with Martin Hayes
7:30 p.m. Jan. 31

Brooklyn Rider String Quartet with Magos Herrera
7:30 p.m. March 21

Lynne MacDonald

communications specialist, School of Music