ASU Gammage tests new accessibility and translation app for theatergoers

June 19, 2018

ASU Gammage is partnering with GalaPro to provide a new accessibility and translation app to theater patrons. The service will be tested beginning June 19 for the run of Broadway show "The School of Rock."

GalaPro is an app that provides accessibility and translation, resulting in a better overall experience for users. Individuals using the app are able to enjoy the show in their own language with subtitles, dubbing, audio description, closed captioning and amplification.    Download Full Image

Through the process of voice recognitionGalaPro provides real-time services. 

The technology is the first of its kind. It gives attendees the opportunity to not only hear and see the performance but to fully grasp the entire context of the show. 

We are so excited to bring GalaPro’s innovative technology to our patrons to enhance the accessibility options we have available and continue to fulfill our mission of connecting communities, said Erica Lin, ASU Gammage digital marketing specialist. 

The application is compatible with any smartphone or tablet and is tailored to perform its services in any theater venue in the world. It’s free and only requires a one-time installation from either the Google Play store or Apple's app store 

Once downloaded, the next step is to simply choose the venue, the show and the preferred language. The application will then provide the content of the show with a complete itinerary and program. The users will have the option of choosing real-time services like subtitles, closed captioning, dubbing and an audio description program for the visually impaired.  

What makes this GalaPro distinct is the technology designed to specifically adhere and respect the strict rules of theater. As soon as the application is being used, the airplane mode on the phone is activated, prohibiting any phone calls during the play. In addition, the content on the screen is displayed through a low-light black screen eliminating any distractions for any other attendee.  

Marketing and Communications Assistant Worker, ASU Gammage

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ASU Now launches Sun Devil Shelf Life

May 31, 2018

A new searchable database of books by ASU faculty, staff and alumni is your gateway to exploring the perfect summer reading list

Arizona State University abounds with academics who are also authors — often prolific ones — and their publications range from research-backed guides to literary works to theoretical explorations. So wouldn’t it be great if there was a one-stop shop where you could go to see who’s writing about what?

Now there is.

Sun Devil Shelf Life, a new resource for readers and writers, is an online platform that serves as a database for the myriad publications written by members of the ASU community, including faculty, staff and alumni.

Publications are searchable by author name, subject and genre. Listings provide a synopsis, author bio, publication information and details on where to find or purchase a copy (including links to the ASU Library when available). Those who wish to submit their publications to be included in Sun Devil Shelf Life should contact the communications officer of their college or unit.

Given the size of ASU and the breadth of academic fields, such a tool is extremely useful.

“[ASU] is so big that it can be really hard to know what everybody’s doing, to always have your finger on the pulse,” said Julia Himberg, assistant professor of film and media studies.

Her first book, “The New Gay for Pay: The Sexual Politics of American Television Production” — an examination of how television production influences societal notions of sexuality — became available in January. She’s looking forward to using Sun Devil Shelf Life to learn more about the work of others around her.

“I think this is an incredibly valuable resource for faculty and students to learn about each other because it’s such an important aspect of community building,” she said. “And I think ASU really believes in that.”

ASU alumni Fernando Pérez, an assistant professor at Bellevue College, and Tayari Jones, a professor at Rutgers, also have books released this year: “A Song of Dismantling: Poems,” and “An American Marriage: A Novel,” respectively.

All three authors shared with ASU Now the inspiration behind their books and the value of writing in addition to their other academic duties.

Julia Himberg

The New Gay for Pay: The Sexual Politics of American Television Production
University of Texas Press, 2018

Question: What was the inspiration behind this book?

Answer: I felt like what I did in my dissertation was a great lesson for me in how to undertake a big project, but I wanted to take that further and say something different in a book. And I didn’t want to just write it for the sake of writing a book. I wanted to fill a gap in the scholarship and speak to some issues that I didn’t think were being talked about by other scholars around sexual identity and gender identity, especially LGBT identities and how television has a major role in how people understand social change.

Q: Why do you feel it’s important to write in addition to teaching and other scholarly work?

A: It challenges your mind in different ways. So for me, the challenge of teaching is that you’re essentially breaking down existing knowledge, trying to make it relevant, digestible and interesting to students. That’s an incredible challenge. Writing and doing research is the opposite; it’s about building knowledge. You’re going from the ground up versus going from the top down.

The other thing is that the two of them go hand in hand much more than people realize. I think many professors would agree that their interactions with students in the classroom often greatly influence their research and writing. Students raise important questions and criticisms. I don’t know that students are often thanked enough for their impact on professors’ work. 

Q: Do you have any advice for academics on balancing their other duties with the huge undertaking of writing a book?

A: It is so hard. I had papers and books spread out everywhere. I was in chaos. There were tears involved. I had to separate teaching and writing completely. The days I taught were completely dedicated to teaching. It’s very rewarding when you have a great class session, but it’s really hard to feel satisfaction day in and day out writing a book that takes years. So it’s really tempting to spend all your time doing a fabulous job just preparing for class. I had to be really disciplined about separating those two things. On days when I wasn’t teaching, I was writing. And I had a plan of what to write that day. When you don’t have an agenda, it becomes too overwhelming; you have to break it into pieces. 

Tayari Jones

An American Marriage: A Novel
Algonquin/Workman, 2018

Q: What was the inspiration behind this book?

A: I overheard a couple arguing in a mall. The woman said, “Roy, you wouldn’t have waited on me for seven years.” I always feel like I have a novel when both characters have a legitimate point. At the time, I was at Harvard researching incarceration, but I was getting nowhere with my novel because I had a problem but no people. Once I had people, the novel snapped into focus.

Q: Why is writing important to you?

A: Particularly with fiction writers, I feel like we make the record of the intimate lives of our society. That’s where the real truth is. 

Q: While at ASU, you had the chance to work with Ron Carlson and Jewell Parker Rhodes. What was that like?

A: It was a really informative moment for me. [Carlson’s] advice was: Write about people and their problems; don’t write about problems and their people.

Q: Do you have any advice for writers?

A: My advice to people trying to write is this: You can do it. It may take you a long time. A lot of people feel like they need to write every day. That’s not true. My advice is try to write three hours a week. When other people are at the gym, you can write.

It took me six years to write this book. There were times I thought I wouldn’t be able to finish. What I learned is that patience is an important part of writing. You can’t force it. You have to be patient and have faith (in) the story. It’s almost like waiting for the story to meet you. The bus may not come today, but you need to sit at the bench until it does. You’ll get rained on. There will be some not-so-nice people there. But the bus will come. 

Fernando Pérez

A Song of Dismantling: Poems
University of New Mexico Press, 2018

Q: What was the creative process for this book like? 

A: “A Song of Dismantling” has been a work in progress since the MFA program [at ASU]. It looks nothing like my thesis, but at the same time so much stems from those same roots. I kept adding and revising and taking away poems. I enjoyed printing the manuscript draft out from time to time to hold it and look at it and edit it on paper instead of just on my laptop. I kept shuffling the order, and what I loved to do was something that [ASU Regents' Professor] Norman Dubie and TitoASU Regents' Professor Alberto Rios, who in 2013 was named the inaugural Arizona poet laureate. had suggested, which was to spread the manuscript out on the floor and tape it to a wall, just like a storyboard. 

Q: Why do you write? 

A: I first write for myself, to explore ideas/problems/obsessions. But I also write to play with language. Recently I have come to understand the writing and sharing of poetry as a kind of generosity. I am starting to embrace the idea that what is simultaneously happening is that I am writing for others too. I am giving voice and validation to an experience. In some ways we help people who cannot put what they experience in words; we help them feel as though we have put them right there in that moment of empathy. Poetry is empathy.

Q: Why do you think it’s important to practice what you teach?

A: I think it's about staying relevant. I would be writing and publishing anyway. The fact that I "do" and teach is a bonus for the school and my students, I guess. They seem to like [my class]. Maintaining a boundary for writing poetry is very important as a teacher. I have to say "no" to certain people or requests sometimes. 

Q: What tips would you give to emerging writers/poets?

A: Be vulnerable. First with yourself, in the privacy of your own writing; get out of your own way. Don't compare yourself to others. You are on your own journey. Look to learn from others, but do not compare. Read a lot. 

I make my students submit their poems at the end of the quarter. I want them to get used to rejection. Publishing is certainly about the quality of one's work, but it’s also just a numbers game. Eventually someone is going to publish your work. Even bad writers have places to publish, too. There’s room for everyone. I'd just say to be persistent. The world of publishing is a reflection of your peers in the field. Their rejection or acceptance of your work can be a gentle guide.

Sun Devil Shelf Life is a growing resource; check in over time as more entries are added. All members of the ASU community, past and present, are welcome; those who wish to submit their publications to be included in Sun Devil Shelf Life should contact the communications officer of their college or unit.

Emma Greguska

Reporter , ASU Now

(480) 965-9657

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Hayden Library reinvention breaks new ground

May 25, 2018

ASU President Michael Crow and Librarian Jim O'Donnell take a sledgehammer — literally — to old ideas about what a university library should be

The Arizona State University community celebrated the progressing transformation of its largest library at a groundbreaking ceremony Friday morning.

Speaking at the ceremony, ASU President Michael Crow said the redesign of Hayden Library is one step in many to ensure that the library remains at the center of the ASU knowledge enterprise.

“There will always be at the heart of every great learning organization a library,” said Crow. “In the core of the core of the core of this enterprise is the library — the place of mediated, articulated, verifiable and quantifiable knowledge, not random dither. You cannot have a core of a learning enterprise without that.”

Currently under comprehensive renovation with completion scheduled for January 2020, Hayden Library’s five-story tower will feature new classrooms, state-of-the-art learning labs, engaging print collections, and study space to accommodate more than 2,000 students.  

The remodel advances a new vision for academic libraries at a time when demand for student space on campus continues to grow and knowledge is being created, accessed and shared with an ever-expanding set of tools.

“The library will take many forms: physical, digital and philosophical,” Crow said. “Who knows how libraries will end up in the next hundreds of years, but they’re not going away.”

Michael crow
President Michael Crow, along with University Librarian Jim O’Donnell (left) spoke about the vital importance of libraries to the university's mission at the "groundbreaking" of the renovation of Hayden Library. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Rethinking libraries

ASU joins other universities across the country that are rethinking their libraries.

“Libraries are books, and much, much more beside,” University Librarian Jim O’Donnell said. “Libraries are central to the educational enterprise — the critical link connecting students to the university and to the world of knowledge.” 

Features of the Hayden Library "reinvention" include:

  • an above-ground entrance with multiple points of access
  • six classrooms and more than 1,000 additional seats for students to study, collaborate and learn
  • actively curated and community-led print collections on every floor
  • rotating exhibits that showcase the university’s innovations and scholarly work
  • main-floor access to ASU Library’s distinctive and special collections, especially rich in documenting and illustrating the history and cultures of Arizona and all its peoples
  • a suite of learning and research spaces specializing in data analysis, creativity and maker culture, technology learning, research support and geographic information systems
  • student support services integrated on every floor

O’Donnell said ASU Library is well positioned to serve as a showcase for the university and as a central hub for its commitment to inclusion, transdisciplinary exploration and student success. Traditional services retain great value in serving those goals, but new kinds of services will be particularly supported by the reinvented Hayden.

“Everybody knows what a library is — or thinks they do,” O’Donnell said. “At ASU our library transforms old collections and services with new kinds of information, new ways of finding information, and new ways to use what we have.”

Hayden redesign exterior
The Hayden Library reinvention will include an above-ground entrance with multiple points of access.

The new spaces that are coming to Hayden will be accented by new services and initiatives, some of which have already launched through grant funding awarded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Last fall, ASU Library was awarded a Mellon grant to reinvent open-stack print collections by making them more strategic, inclusive and engaging with the aim of energizing readers, scholars and learners through a more accurate and broader reflection of their experiences.

About 325,000 print volumes will return to Hayden in 2020, as a highly curated collection. 

“The print volumes that will live at Hayden will be powerful and necessary tools that give visibility and definition to the past and present artifacts of culture,” said O’Donnell, the principal investigator on the grant. 

Another Mellon grant is helping drive the library’s commitment to social embeddedness.

Library archivist Nancy Godoy was awarded a $450,000 grant last year to lead the development of community-driven archival collections in an effort to more accurately represent Arizona’s population and the contributions of minority communities to state and local history.

“Our archival work really demonstrates the inclusive values of ASU, and is helping to empower historically marginalized communities in Arizona,” O’Donnell said. 

Hayden Library redesign exterior
In addition to rotating exhibits and community-led print collections on every floor, Hayden Library will offer main-floor access to ASU Library’s distinctive and special collections.

‘We’re still open’

With Hayden tower closed and the renovation in full swing, O’Donnell has an important message for ASU students and faculty: “We’re still open for business — the business of learning.”

The Hayden Library lower concourse and lower level will remain open throughout the entire renovation, and will maintain its 24-hour service during the fall and spring semesters. 

To make up for the temporary shortage of space in Hayden Library, 150 seats have been added to Noble Library, which began operating 24 hours a day, five days a week, during the spring 2018 semester. Additional study space for students in Armstrong Hall also opened this month. 

“We anticipate few disruptions to service and are doing everything we can to ensure that students and faculty get what they need,” O’Donnell said. “It’s an exciting time, and 2020 will be here before we know it.”

Learn more about the Hayden Library renovation.

Top photo: University Librarian Jim O'Donnell punches through the old drywall at the "groundbreaking" of the renovation of Hayden Library on Friday, May 25, 2018. Though it will remain open during the great reinvention, the library is set to have a grand reopening in 2020 and will include above-ground entrances, classrooms, student collaboration spaces, student support services, collections, exhibits and much more. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Emerge conference brings discussion of big technology ideas to ASU IT professionals

May 25, 2018

Arizona State University recently hosted Emerge, an energy-filled internal collaboration event for all ASU IT professionals. Emerge brought over 700 participants together to engage in idea-generating peer discussions and passionately discuss technology trends.

“This event is the first of its kind at ASU," said Tina Thorstenson, ASU’s chief information security officer and one of the executive sponsors for the event. "And given the amazing energy in the room it certainly served as a catalyst for creatively exploring and ultimately delivering a new level of service to students and faculty.” emerge conference Over 700 attendees discussed big ideas in the future of IT and learning at UTO's Emerge conference. Download Full Image

Attendees were encouraged to reflect on how ASU can leverage current technology advancements to embody the direction of the New American University.

From the welcome address from Mark Searle, executive vice president and university provost, to the panel of ASU leadership and student leaders, to a series of lightning talks meant to spark ideas, the tone of thinking about big ideas was set for the day.

“The Charter of ASU and its ambition for making access and quality the key elements in the New American University is made possible by technology and the contribution of the ASU IT professionals in this room,” Searle said.

Deputy Provost Stefanie Lindquist, the event’s emcee, moderated a discussion between Tempe campus Dean of Students Nicole Taylor; Executive Vice President, Treasurer and CFO Morgan Olsen; Associate Vice President Research Tamara Deuser; and two incoming undergraduate student government presidents, Tempe's Allison Sorgeloos and West's Alexander Haw.

Innovative initiatives were presented by the conference’s lightning talk presenters:

  • "LROC: Nine Years Exploring the Moon" by School of Earth and Space Exploration Professor Mark Robinson

  • "Dream, Do, Drive — Finding the Next Gear" by Chief Information Officer Lev Gonick

  • "Education through eXploration" by President’s Professor Ariel Anbar

  • "EdPlus — Inclusive Design for International Populations" by Senior Director, Lifelong Learning Initiatives at EdPlus, Bethany Weigele

  • "Ask a Biologist: Teaching and Learning K to Grey" by Chief Technology Innovation Officer Charles Kazilek

Over lunch, attendees selected one of 50 big ideas to discuss with their lunch partners. These innovative Birds of a Feather discussions ranged from artificial intelligence academic pathway, to blockchain infrastructure for lifelong learning, to enterprise-wide VR adoption, and beyond. 

In the afternoon, participants also hosted breakouts based on their own ideas, gathering the like-minded and the curious to discuss enhancements to processes around career progression in IT and making the digital experience effective for students.

At the end of the conference, participants enjoyed a gamified experience to highlight the most intriguing ideas of the day. Capping off the event, Gonick said, “There is enormous talent across the IT professionals at ASU. If we are intentional about emerging as a loosely coupled community of practice, we can, and we will be a catalyst for advancing the mission of the New American University.”

All in all, the conference was a joyous, productive day full of important conversations looking to the future of technology and education at ASU, a constant relevant facet in all fields.

Learn more about the event, and make sure to follow UTO on Twitter.

Written by Tristan Ettleman

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The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences moves to Armstrong Hall

May 24, 2018

ASU's largest college has moved into the historic location, its first stand-alone building since it was founded in 1954

The largest college within Arizona State University has coalesced under one roof.

This week, deans and administrative staff of the College of Liberal Arts and SciencesThe College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the largest and most diverse unit at Arizona State University, with 23 academic units, 95-plus undergraduate majors, 140-plus graduate programs and 40 interdisciplinary research centers and one-of-a-kind institutes. packed up their offices, scattered at various points across the Tempe campus, and headed for Armstrong Hall. 

As CLAS’ new home, Armstrong Hall will serve as a main hub for students, providing a standardized set of courses and orientations for incoming freshmen and transfer students, as well as services to help outgoing undergrads secure internships and prepare for graduate studies.

”Having a central location with a more uniform approach is really going to be beneficial for our students,” said CLAS Dean Patrick Kenney.

This first floor of the newly-renovated building features nearly 46,000 square feet of space for academic advising and student services focused entirely on student success, including The Futures Center — a project built in partnership with ASU’s office of Career and Professional Development Services as a 21st-century career center for liberal arts and science majors.

There are also two levels of student study space staffed by ASU Library and open after-hours from 5 to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, during summer session, where students will have access to an active learning classroom, group study rooms, event space and academic support from an ASU librarian.

Located on the southeast end of campus, CLAS' new home is in a building named for a man with an equally sizeable import — legislator John S. Armstrong, who was instrumental in the passage of a bill to establish the Territorial Normal School that would become ASU.

The man

John Samuel Armstrong was only 27 years old when on Feb. 26, 1885, he introduced into the Thirteenth Territorial Legislature House Bill No. 164, “An Act to establish a Normal School in the Territory of Arizona.”

At the time, legislators had proposed the establishment of both a university and a normal school to address the need for higher education in the state and representatives were vying to secure one or the other for their city. Also up for grabs was a mental health facility, which came with a substantial appropriation of $100,000.

The second youngest representative in the Thirteenth Legislature, Armstrong had been elected on a platform of securing the mental health facility and the university for Maricopa County. Historical accounts conflict as to why, but Armstrong eventually sought to secure the normal school instead of the university, which he won, in addition to legislators’ support on a public school reform bill and the appropriation of the mental health facility.

That normal school, of course, became Arizona State University.

The building

In 1964, university president George Homer Durham proposed the creation of a law school at ASU. Durham’s biographer Gordon Sabine called the move, which followed ASU’s losing out on the establishment of a medical school to the University of Arizona, a careful and strategic one. Sabine posits that Durham saw it as an opportunity to funnel more metropolitan ASU graduates into a state legislature dominated by UofA graduates from rural communities.

After the Arizona Board of Regents approved the law school, Durham hired Willard Pedrick in 1965 to serve as its first dean. Pedrick advocated for the creation of a brand-new building to accommodate students’ burgeoning interest in the field, and in the late summer of 1967, the university welcomed the inaugural class of 117 students. With the law school building still under construction, classes were initially held in the old Matthews Library, now Matthews Center.

John S. Armstrong Hall was dedicated on Feb. 26, 1968, with U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren in attendance.

“It was a way to honor the memory of Armstrong as an effective legislator,” said Rob Spindler, university archivist.

In 1970, the first class of law students graduated from ASU, and the building would go on to serve as the home of ASU law for almost 50 years, until the program relocated to downtown Phoenix in 2016.

Forty-seven graduating classes and more than 7,000 law alumni have passed through the doors of Armstrong Hall.

The future

On Thursday morning, CLAS senior special events manager Aida Lyon was just finishing packing up her office in the Fulton Center in preparation to make the move to Armstrong Hall. An alum of the college herself, Lyon is looking forward to being on campus, having students around and all the energy that brings.

“I think it’s going to be amazing,” she said. “Until now, we didn’t really have a central home. And hopefully it’ll help create an affinity for the college.”

While Armstrong Hall is looking a lot different these days, with its restored original terrazzo floors cozied up to modernized study spaces and contemporary color schemes, evidence of its legal history is still there.

Inside, natural light pours in through the massive skylight, illuminating the substantial Native American art piece suspended beneath it, a gift to the law school from the Hopi artist Dennis Numkena. Outside, a large copper plaque depicting John S. Armstrong keeps watch over the building’s south entrance.

“We’re happy to occupy such an iconic building,” Kenney said. “And we’re looking forward to the opportunities it will give our students.”

Top photo: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences administration moves from its offices in the Fulton Center to its new home in the recently renovated Armstrong Hall, Thursday, May 24, 2018. When the College of Law moved to downtown Phoenix, it vacated both Armstrong and Ross-Blakley halls, which were remodeled and updated for $21 million. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

ASU, Lyft agreement offers ASU discounts, provides sustainable transit

May 2, 2018

A new agreement between Arizona State University and Lyft, the fastest-growing ride-share company in the U.S., connects campuses and locations in Arizona and beyond.

“Lyft’s 100 percent carbon-neutral rides pair well with ASU sustainability efforts,” said Nichol Luoma, University Business Services associate vice president, Sustainability Operations officer and chief procurement officer. “Offering Lyft as part of the transportation mix advances our goal of zero emissions from transportation by 2035.”  People ride in a Lyft car As the first step in an agreement between ASU and Lyft, people who create a Lyft business profile using their ASU email address will get a $15 personal ride credit. Sun Devils who have already set up a business profile with their ASU email will automatically receive this coupon soon. Photo courtesy of Lyft Download Full Image

Lyft helps support ASU’s sustainability objectives by connecting Sun Devils where they live to sustainable alternatives like the bus or light rail.

ASU students, faculty and staff may download the Lyft app, create a Lyft business profile using their ASU email address and get a $15 personal ride credit. The offer is valid within 30 days of signing up. Sun Devils who have already set up a business profile with their ASU email will automatically receive this coupon soon.

“This is just the first step in the Lyft-ASU agreement,” said Melinda Alonzo, ASU Parking and Transit Services director. “Students, faculty and staff can look forward to many more opportunities in the coming months as we work to integrate this service with other university transportation solutions.”

Departments, colleges and schools should contact Parking and Transit Services if they want to sponsor a service for their organization.

In mid-May, the ASU-Mayo Clinic shuttle will be replaced by Lyft rides, and ASU will install marked ride-share pick-up and drop-off points on every campus. Those who participate in programs associated with the ASU-Mayo partnership will receive a code for free rides between the locations.

“This agreement means responsible, convenient, inexpensive travel anywhere Sun Devils are,” said JC Porter, PTS commuter services assistant director.

To make program and service suggestions, contact Parking and Transit Services. Learn more about Lyft.

Annual Event Vendor Showcase to be held at ASU on May 16

May 2, 2018

The ASU Meeting, Event Coordinator and Associates (MECA) group will be hosting the annual Event Vendor Showcase from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16 in the Sun Devil Fitness Complex on the Tempe campus. 

The Event Vendor Showcase features vendors who offer products and services to the meeting and event producers of Arizona State University. Event production areas represented include promotional items, food and beverage, decorations, signage, hotel accommodations and facilities, event services, staging, and more. Download Full Image

The showcase is open to all ASU employees. Bring business cards for the networking and an appetite for food samples.

To RSVP visit

ASU Downtown Phoenix campus piloting healthy vending program

May 2, 2018

Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus is launching a pilot program designed to promote healthy living by adding new snack and beverage options to its vending machines.

Starting this week, vending machines at certain locations across the campus will add healthier snack and beverage choices to accompany traditional food and drinks found in the machines. Food and beverages will include nuts, granola bars and high-fiber chips as well as water, juice and tea.  Vending machine ASU has added healthier snack options to its vending machines at certain locations across the Downtown Phoenix campus. Download Full Image

The new vending options will be located at the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, the Mercado, the University Center and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, as well as the Sun Devil Fitness Complex, which will have snack options for the first time since opening in 2013.

The new initiative was spearheaded by Teri Pipe, ASU’s chief well-being officer, and Christopher Callahan, vice provost of the Downtown Phoenix campus. The program was made possible through Auxiliary Business Services, which manages the vending partnerships at ASU.

Callahan called Pipe “a national leader in creating an environment that supports the health of college students.”

As ASU’s chief well-being officer, she is charged with creating an environment that supports mental and physical health for students, faculty and staff.

Pipe, who is completing her tenure as dean of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation so she can focus full-time on her university-wide role as the chief well-being officer, said ASU has “the opportunity to help students shape their own lives and influence positive change.”

“This particular initiative, connecting the different units of the Downtown Phoenix campus with the goal of healthy living, really gets me excited,” she said.

The new food and beverage options are through Coca-Cola and Gilly Vending. The vending machines with healthier snack and drink options will include special signage on the machines. 

Krystal Lewis, manager of strategic partnerships at ASU who played the key role in executing the initiative, said the pilot is aligned with the Live Well @ ASU program, which provides information and resources to empower the Sun Devil community to achieve a healthy lifestyle. 

She said the new initiative will help the university understand consumer behavior when it comes to making decisions about snacks. 

“Many of the new healthier snacks have a similar taste to the more traditional vending options,” Lewis said.  “We’re looking forward to examining the impact this initiative has on our campus.”  

Communications manager, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication


ASU graduate credits study abroad trip for choosing communication major

April 29, 2018

 Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for spring 2018 commencement

Araceli Villezcas is graduating from Arizona State University with honors this May, completing her honors thesis on the stories of her father's life as an immigrant.  She is a recipient of a Wells Fargo award and serves as editor-in-chief of Lux Undergraduate Creative Review, a publication that showcases literary, artistic, musical and cinematic work by undergraduate students.   Araceli Villezcas Araceli Villezcas. Download Full Image

Villezcas will earn her degree in communication, with a minor in sustainability.

Question: What's your current job?  

Answer: I am working at Arizona Kids Think Too (AZKTT), a nonprofit organization serving disadvantaged youth and their families in the greater Phoenix area. At AZKTT, I work as an instructor for a program named Building Our Leaders Through Science (BOLTS). I lead groups of children through STEM-based activities that promote leadership and teamwork. I also tutor math and language arts for third-fifth grades at Academia Del Pueblo.

After graduation, I plan to work in marketing and public relations in the media. I am interested in communication design and creating impactful messages. Communication is a powerful tool to inspire action and change, and I would love to work in a position that allows me to be creative while also doing work that matters to me.

Q: What was your "aha" moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in? 

A: It was when I was on a study abroad trip in Liege, Belgium. At the time, I was a student at Mesa Community College and taking an intercultural communication class. Traveling within the European Union was an incredible experience. I learned about theory in the classroom and witnessed it play out during my travels and interactions with the local people. Communication is truly an essential part of everyday life and is applicable to every situation. I have greatly enjoyed choosing to pursue this area of study because I know it will always remain relevant in my life, work, and experiences.

Q: What made you choose ASU? 

A: I primarily chose ASU because it was important for me to stay close to my family while pursuing my education. I also loved the campus, programs, and opportunities that ASU offered. I knew I would thrive here so it was the natural choice for me to make. 

Araceli Villezcas
Araceli Villezcas receives an award in recognition of her volunteer work.

Q: Is there a particular faculty member at ASU who was influential?  

A: Dr. Heather Curry was one of (my) most influential professors at ASU. I took both her Introduction to Communication and Intro to Communication Inquiry classes in my first year at ASU. She taught with such a passion for the field and it made me excited to go to class. The discussions and coursework were also interesting and insightful. Taking both classes with her as the professor motivated me to continue pursuing this field of study.

Dr. Olga Davis at the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication was also one of (my) most influential professors at ASU. I took her Identity, Performance, and Human Communication class in the spring of 2017. I had never previously considered performativity as a way to engage with coursework and it opened up a whole new world to me. In part, her class inspired my honors thesis work, which focuses on challenging harmful master narratives.

Q: What were the most useful classes you took?

A: They were COM 325 Advanced Public Speaking, SOC 365 Sociology of Mass Communication, and COM 316 Gender and Communication. COM 325 encouraged me out of my comfort zone and helped me become a more practiced speaker. SOC 365 challenged me to become a more thorough writer and allowed me to sharpen my research skills, something that has greatly influenced my academic success. Lastly, COM 316 taught me about the pressing issues affecting LGBTQI+ individuals. Since taking these classes, I have continued to learn more about the subjects.

Q: Were you involved in any student organizations or clubs? Or athletics? 

A: This year, I am the editor-in-chief of Lux Undergraduate Creative Review. Lux is a student-run annual publication that accepts submissions in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, music, film, and screenplay from all ASU undergraduate students. The publication is produced with the help of Barrett, The Honors College. 

Q: What advice do you have for students who may be following your path? 

A: Become involved in student organizations during your first year at ASU. You may not realize it but you’ll only get busier so take advantage of the spare time that you have early on. Attend meetings, events, and lectures. There is always something going on at every campus. Also, push yourself to engage in a different internship at least once every year. Experience is the key and ASU offers so many opportunities — all you have to do is look for them! Finally, study abroad at least once during your time at college. It sounds cliché but you really do meet your best friends and make life-changing memories!

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

A: Changemaker Central on the Tempe campus was my favorite spot for studying and working on projects with friends. They have comfortable seats and the walls are covered with events, projects, and organizations. It was always a good spot to study in between classes.

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

A: I believe that one of the most pressing problems of our time is climate change. Unfortunately, it is disproportionally affecting developing countries, even though it is developed nations that tend to have a higher ecological footprint. If someone gave me $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, I would focus on promoting sustainability efforts by making education more accessible in developing countries across the world. In the words of Julie Ann Wrigley, “It’s people who cause the most daunting sustainability challenges we face. Thus, it’s people — with the right knowledge, tools, and experiences – who can change the current trajectory to a more hopeful, more positive one.”

Araceli volunteering at citizenship fair
Villezcas volunteering at at a citizenship fair.

Manager, Marketing and Communication, Hugh Downs School of Human Communication


ASU receives HAWP Gold Level Award

April 26, 2018

For the third year in a row, Arizona State University has been named a Gold Level Award recipient by the Healthy Arizona Worksites Program (HAWP).

HAWP is a part of a public health initiative to help Arizona employers successfully implement evidence-based worksite wellness initiatives to improve the health of their employees and businesses. A Gold Level Award is given to businesses that are tracking and documenting outcomes and behavior change. Download Full Image

ASU has a robust Employee Wellness Program which includes The Mayo Clinic Annual Health Assessment, the Health Impact Program and the Employee Assistance Office.