Military moms sought for special ASU groups beginning Sept. 12

August 25, 2016

Motherhood can be stressful, and for those connected to the military the pressure can be even greater. But free help is on the way for military moms at Arizona State University.

Designed and supervised by ASU professor of psychology Suniya Luthar, Authentic Connections is a science-based program consisting of groups that address the stresses of mothers in demanding roles.  Authentic Connections poster Download Full Image

This will be the first time the Authentic Connections groups will form at ASU to work with military mothers. Organizers are looking for university-affiliated military moms in active service, veterans, guardsmen/reservists or anyone else serving in a caregiving role for significant others in the military, said Luthar. 

“The program will help them develop, sustain and strengthen close, mutually supportive, authentic connections with other moms like themselves,” said Luthar. “It is through these close connections that participants show significant improvements in multiple aspects of well-being plus parenting-related and other stress.”

Luthar and her group are committed to working with mothers who by the nature of their life circumstances or professions are under more stress than most. Moms in the military — or with military spouses — certainly meet this criterion. 

The Authentic Connections concept was recently tested at the Mayo Clinic here in Arizona with mothers who are medical-care providers, including physicians, registered nurses and physicians assistants. 

It was a success.

“Mayo administration gave them one hour freed time a week to attend the three-month program,” said Luthar. “Mothers who participated showed significantly greater improvements across multiple indicators of well-being and stress as compared to a control group, who also had one hour freed time.” 

Like physicians, military moms are women who display remarkable personal strength and resolve in their professions. Being a “good enough mother” month after month, year after year, is hard enough under the best circumstances, Luthar said.  

“When mothers experience high everyday stress, it is essential to ensure that they receive ‘tending’ themselves, on a regular basis,” said Luthar.

Focusing on military moms made sense to Luthar. She highlights three reasons why. 

“One, there are significant challenges associated with deployment and therefore absences from home, which can be difficult for all in the family,” said Luthar. “Two, the nature of their profession involves constant exposure to events that can be potentially disturbing, if not traumatic. Three, as with physicians, seeking help for distress is not something that comes easily to military folk, given the culture emphasizing strength and self-reliance.”

Luthar is a mom of two grown children herself and understands first-hand (and not just through her research on resilience), the enormous challenges associated with being a parent — especially when one is the primary parent and raising kids under conditions of high everyday stress. She is committed to doing all she can to ensure that all mothers in these circumstances regularly receive "mothering" themselves.   

“Benefits of the program at Mayo actually increased in the three-month period after intervention finished,” said Luthar. “It is our hope that military moms will also show incremental gains in well-being over time, as a result of strong, sustained personal relationships that they forge through the program.”

The Authentic Connections program for military moms at ASU is a collaborative relationship among Luthar, the Pat Tillman Veterans Center and the Office for Veteran and Military Academic Engagement.

Organizers want to recruit and start the groups the week of Sept. 12, said Nancy Dallett, assistant director with the Office for Veteran and Military Academic Engagement. The groups will meet for one hour once a week for three months. 

Military moms interested in participating should email Dallett at and include “Moms Group” in the subject line. She may also be reached at 480-965-9331.

Jerry Gonzalez

Media Relations Officer, Media Relations and Strategic Communications

ASU’s College of Integrative Sciences and Arts celebrates name change with page from da Vinci

August 17, 2016

If you’ve been away from ASU for the summer, you may notice on your return that there’s a “big man on campus” — Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic “Vitruvian Man” has been enlisted on seven-foot banners to help herald the news that the ASU liberal arts college most recently known as the College of Letters and Sciences is now the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts.

“The new name more accurately describes our approach to teaching, learning and discovery,” said Duane Roen, dean of the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, “and we're leaning on Leonardo da Vinci to help us crystallize an understanding of that approach.  Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man "The name College of Integrative Sciences and Arts accurately describes our approach to teaching, learning and discovery,” said dean Duane Roen, “and we're leaning on Leonardo da Vinci to help us crystallize an understanding of that approach." Download Full Image

“Da Vinci connected broad knowledge from many arenas to envision imaginative solutions in the 1400s and 1500s that were future-ready. We hope to develop similar capabilities in our students during their time at ASU,” he said.

The college, one of three liberal arts colleges at ASU, began using the new name in its website and other communications on July 1. Students were alerted to the name change on their My ASU pages and e-blasts over the summer, Roen said. They will begin to see the new college name on their degree records this week, after updates in the university’s PeopleSoft systems.

‘Build what you need, not what’s always been done’

The evolution of the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts has been organic, according to Roen, and very much in the “build what you need, not what’s always been done” tradition that has helped shape ASU as The New American University.

The college traces much of its lineage to East College, formed in 1997 at what is now ASU’s Polytechnic campus, and to the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, formed at Tempe campus in 2004. Over the years the college has grown to include new faculties across the humanities, sciences and social sciences, as ASU expanded geographically and reshaped academic units. It became known as the School of Letters and Sciences in 2008 and the College of Letters and Sciences in 2015.

Some 6,100 ASU students are completing majors or Exploratory tracks in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts on ASU’s Polytechnic, Tempe, Downtown Phoenix and ASU Online campuses; at the Colleges at Lake Havasu City; and through in-person bachelor’s degrees in partnership with community colleges in the region (ASU@TheGilaValley, ASU@Yuma, ASU@Pinal).

“We serve many students whose life situations, responsibilities, and geography don’t allow them a traditional undergraduate experience,” noted faculty head of Leadership and Interdisciplinary Studies Kevin Ellsworth. “We’re committed to making education accessible to Arizonans who live far from the Phoenix valley, including those who are better served by in-person classes than by online education.” 

“Lean and nimble” is how Professor Barbara Lafford, head of the Faculty of Languages and Cultures, describes her faculty group and the college. “We’ve always been quick to respond to university initiatives to help foster student success.”

For example, the nearly 50 Languages and Cultures faculty on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus teach courses in seven different disciplines (communications, English, history, philosophy, religion, Spanish and women’s studies) and some individuals have taught in more than one area. They often share teaching strategies with one another that work across disciplines to help students succeed.     

Enthusiasm for integration, collaboration, innovation

What makes some of the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts majors and programs distinctive? The courses, degrees, and service projects noted below convey the range of integrative and applied work going on within each of the college’s faculties. 

Faculty of Leadership and Interdisciplinary Studies (Tempe campus)

In interdisciplinary studies, the college’s most popular major, students choose two concentration areas from more than 100 possibilities and then integrate those in a capstone course and in an applied internship or project. 

Degrees in liberal studies and general studies offer flexible options for students returning to school with previously earned credits.

The faculty’s 12,424 graduates over the past 19 years have collectively spent more than 1.6 million hours interning with public, private and nonprofit organizations. 

Science and Mathematics Faculty (Polytechnic campus)

Degree programs are designed for students interested in using science and mathematics to solve real-world challenges, such as managing sustainable wildlife populations and urban ecosystems, plant and food production, veterinary medicine, analysis of massive datasets, nano-optics and computational materials, bio-manufacturing, green technology, and bio-medical production.

New degrees include applied mathematics, applied quantitative science, and applied physics, which brings physics, computer science and modern mathematical modeling to bear on real-life problems in materials sciences and engineering. 

Faculty of Interdisciplinary Humanities and Communication (Polytechnic campus)

The online literary magazine Superstition Review integrates student learning, online communication technology, art, and literature.

Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in technical communication integrate issues of communication and technology.

Faculty of Social Science (Polytechnic campus)

Propelled by a new model that merges social science disciplines and allows for true fusion of ideas and methodologies, the faculty is developing degree proposals for undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs in integrative social science. Students will apply a multidisciplinary lens on societal questions from multiple angles, with technology integrated throughout the curriculum.  

Faculty of Languages and Cultures (Downtown Phoenix campus)

English faculty are working with the College of Health Solutions to offer a ProMod (project-based learning) project to engage students with real-world health solutions. They’re also working with the College of Public Service and Community Solutions on two ProMod projects: one focused on solving issues of recidivism and the other on issues related to the foster care system. 

Communications faculty are developing a course with the College of Health Solutions to help future medical professionals learn effective communications skills for better patient-centered care. They are also involved in ProMod W.P. Carey, which combines courses in many disciplines to help students develop and practice their skills as sustainability consultants.

Three Spanish for the Professions medical courses were created with the College of Nursing and Health Innovation to meet students’ needs.

Interns in the Spanish for the Professions program volunteer as medical interpreters at local clinics and law offices, and help community members hone English and computer skills. 

Faculty assist in delivering ProMod High School, which integrates multiple high school and college courses into single projects and eases the college transition for Phoenix-area students.

Writers' Studio, an online and face-to-face option for first-year composition, helps students become confident composers as they use multiple media to integrate rhetorical skills and practice essential cognitive habits.

English faculty from across the college of Integrative Sciences and Arts are involved in ASU’s Global Freshman Academy, where students learn writing as an integration of academic, informational, technological, and social literacies. 

Faculty of Science, Mathematics and Social Science (Downtown Phoenix campus)

Chemists, biologists, mathematicians, social scientists, and physicists offer 42 foundational courses for students from a variety of majors offered by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the colleges of Health Solutions, Nursing and Health Innovation, and Public Service and Community Solutions, which includes preparing students for professional career paths such as pre-medicine, pre-pharmacy and pre-dental.

Up-to-date teaching techniques make students active, participatory explorers of current issues in chemistry, biology, mathematics, and social science. In the "Science Hub,” students take advantage of one-on-one tutoring by more than 80 math and science staff.   

Faculty of Counseling and Counseling Psychology (Tempe campus)

Faculty train counselors and psychologists to work with diverse communities in a variety of mental health settings. Faculty conduct research on acculturative stress, intersecting social identities, immigrant well-being, and mental health disparities.

Graduate students gain experience in the Counseling Training Center, working faculty who are licensed psychologists to help individuals, couples, and families resolve issues that are barriers to healthy relationships and well-being.

Join the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts communities on social media at:



Single tickets for ASU Gammage 2016-2017 Broadway season available Sept. 12

August 12, 2016

Single tickets for ASU Gammage 2016-2017 Desert Schools Broadway Across America/Arizona season, including "Beautiful — The Carol King Musical" and "An American in Paris," are set to go on sale at 10 a.m. Sept. 12 at the ASU Gammage box office, and

Shows include: "Mamma Mia!", "The Illusionists," "Matilda — The Musical," "Finding Neverland" and "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time." Download Full Image

In its 26th season, the Desert Schools Broadway Across American-Arizona series at ASU Gammage is the largest theatrical subscription series in the state of Arizona and the most successful Broadway series in the country. There’s also still time to purchase 2016-2017 season subscriptions — with seven shows starting at $145. A season subcription guarantees your place in line for the 2017-2018 Broadway season that includes the Tempe engagement of "Hamilton." 

Full list of single-tickets-on-sale shows are: 

"Beautiful — The Carol King Musical"
Nov. 22-27, 2016

"Beautiful — The Carol King Musical" tells the Tony and Grammy Award-winning true story of King’s rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music; she wrote the soundtrack to a generation.

"Mamma Mia!"
Dec. 6-11, 2016

"Mamma Mia!" combines ABBA’s greatest hits, including “Dancing Queen,” “S.O.S.,” “Super Trouper,” “Take A Chance on Me” and “The Winner Takes It All,” with a tale of love, laughter and friendship. 

"The Illusionists — Live From Broadway" 
Jan. 17-21, 2017

Direct from Broadway, the world’s best-selling magic show is coming to Tempe. "The Illusionists — Live From Broadway" has shattered box-office records across the globe with a powerful mix of outrageous and astonishing acts.

"Matilda — The Musical"
Feb. 7-12, 2017

Based on the beloved novel by Roald Dahl, "Matilda — The Musical" is the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. It was named TIME Magazine’s No. 1 Show of the Year and is the winner of 50 international awards, including four Tony Awards.

"Finding Neverland"
March 14-19, 2017

"Finding Neverland" is the winner of’s Audience Choice Award for Best Musical. Directed by visionary Tony winner Diane Paulus, "Finding Neverland" tells the story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters: Peter Pan. Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie leaves his old world behind for Neverland, where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever. 

"An American in Paris"
April 18-23, 2017

"An American in Paris" is the new Tony Award-winning musical about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war. Acclaimed director/choreographer and 2015 Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon brings the magic and romance of Paris into the perfect harmony with songs from George and Ira Gershwin in the show that earned more awards than any other musical in the 2014-2015 season. 

"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"
June 20-25, 2017

"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" is the winner of five 2015 Tony Awards including Best Play. This new play by Simon Stephens is adapted from Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel and directed by Tony winner Marianne Elliott. Fifteen-year-old Christopher has an extraordinary brain; he is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. When he falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog, he sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever.

Single ticket sales for "Cabaret," "The Sound of Music" and "The Book of Mormon" are already on sale.

Sept. 13-18, 2016

The critically acclaimed and award-winning Roundabout Theatre Company presents Sam Mendes ("Skyfall," "American Beauty") and Rob Marshall’s ("Into the Woods" and "Chicago," the films) Tony Award-winning production of "Cabaret." Come hear memorable songs such as “Cabaret,” “Willkommen” and “Maybe This Time.” 

"The Sound of Music" 
Oct. 18-23, 2016

This brand-new production of "The Sound of Music" is directed by three-time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien. The musical story of Maria and the von Trapp Family includes a Tony-, Grammy- and Academy Award-winning Best Score, including “My Favorite Things,” “Edelweiss” and the title song. "The Sound of Music" enjoyed extraordinary success as a live television production when “The Sound of Music Live!” aired on NBC in December 2013 and was seen by more than 44 million people. 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of the film version, which continues to be the most successful movie musical in history.

"The Book of Mormon"
May 18-28, 2017

This nine-time Tony Award-winning Best Musical follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the "Good Word." Now with standing-room-only productions in London, on Broadway and across North America, "The Book of Mormon" has become an international sensation. Contains explicit language.

Tickets available by phone at 800-982-2787 or online at and

Public relations manager, ASU Gammage


ASU Gammage tickets for 'Cabaret,' 'Sound of Music' on sale Aug. 1

2016-17 season kicks off with single-ticket sales

July 29, 2016

ASU Gammage is ready to kick off its 2016-17 Desert Schools Broadway Across America/Arizona season with single-ticket sales available Aug. 1 for "Cabaret" and "The Sound of Music."

“We’re so excited for these definitive productions of these two classics coming this fall to ASU Gammage,” said Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, ASU Gammage executive director and associate vice president of Cultural Affairs for ASU. “We’re just around the corner from the season’s launch, and we’re excited to share these timeless classics with our community.” Download Full Image

Tickets are available at and

Sept. 13-18

Direct from Broadway, the "Cabaret" returns to Tempe in mid-September. The critically acclaimed and award-winning Roundabout Theatre Company presents Sam Mendes ("Skyfall," "American Beauty") and Rob Marshall’s ("Into the Woods" and "Chicago," the films) Tony Award-winning production of "Cabaret." Hear some of the most memorable songs in theater history, including “Cabaret,” “Willkommen” and “Maybe This Time.” John Kander, Fred Ebb and Joe Masteroff’s Tony-winning musical is about following your heart while the world loses its way.

"The Sound of Music"
Oct. 18-23

Single tickets are also available for a brand-new production of "The Sound of Music," directed by three-time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien, coming to ASU Gammage in October. The musical story of Maria and the von Trapp Family boasts a Tony-, Grammy- and Academy Award-winning Best Score, including “My Favorite Things,” “Edelweiss” and the title song. "The Sound of Music" enjoyed success as a live television production when “The Sound of Music Live!” aired on NBC in December 2013 and was seen by more than 44 million people. 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of the film version, which continues to be the most successful movie musical in history.

Public relations manager, ASU Gammage


ASU network provides career development for university trainers

July 21, 2016

Sun Devil staff now have the opportunity to join the Learning, Training and Development (LTD) network group, which supports professional development for learning professionals at Arizona State University.

The group aims to gather university staff members to collaborate and share ideas to streamline the training process. Download Full Image

Kiersten Gjerstad and Julie Binter started the group over a year ago while they were working in the Offices of Human Resources; however, the LTD is directed through a steering committee so that it may exist out of any particular department.

One of the key members of the committee, IT services analyst Mindy Trittipo, wants the group to create simpler access to people who do training at the university — whether formally or informally — so they can exchange ideas to further strengthen the staff of the university. 

“A lot of people do training as part of their job, but perhaps not their job title,” Trittipo said. “We already have so many people who can come to the table with different experiences, so it makes sense we would try to put together a group of people where we could collaborate.”

The collaboration includes discussions on determining when to use a certain database, program, or method to improve upon the resources the university already provides. 

“We’ll answer questions like, ‘when do I use online learning or in class learning?’ When is it effective?” Trittipo said.

The LTD meets regularly throughout the year and plans hold a conference at ASU in January.

In the meantime, the group relies on a grassroots effort to get the word out and uses Blackboard as a main communication hub. There, various members post updates and maintain connections made over the course of the year. 

“We know a lot of people who might not know about the network, and they might enjoy it,” Trittipo said. “We’re interested in training in development, and we’re hoping this also helps for career development.” 

For more information and to learn how to be involved, contact the LTD at Those interested in joining are invited to complete this survey by Aug. 12 so they can be invited to the next meeting.

Reporter, ASU Now

From ‘The Magic Flute’ to ‘Shrek’: ASU’s Lyric Opera Theatre announces lineup for 2016–2017

July 20, 2016

For 53 seasons, the Lyric Opera Theatre program at ASU has showcased the talents of student singers, dancers and actors in operas and musicals.

This upcoming season promises to continue the tradition with operas and musicals that include one of Mozart's greatest works and a show based on the movie "Shrek." The cast of ASU Lyric Opera Theatre's production of "The Drowsy Chaperone," on stage. The cast of "The Drowsy Chaperone," presented by ASU's Lyric Opera Theatre in spring 2016. Download Full Image

The program is also launching two new initiatives, including the Lyric Opera Theatre Lab, which features entirely student-driven productions, and a New Works Reading series at the ASU Kerr Cultural Center. Lab productions will take place throughout the year and will be announced at a later date.

“Our season represents great works from the past four centuries, each centering on important social issues of their time,” said Brian DeMaris, associate professor and artistic director of the Lyric. “We are also proud to be producing three works by female composers: Jeanine Tesori’s ‘Shrek the Musical’ on the main stage season, as well as readings of two new works by female composers and librettists — one opera, one musical — both involving ASU alumni. We’re excited to welcome Andrea Jill Higgins and Beth Morrison back to ASU for these exciting new projects.”

The program also presents several smaller projects each year, including a Musical Theatre Showcase, which will be held at the Phoenix Theatre this year, and the traditional end-of-the-semester Opera Scenes program.

Here are the upcoming performances:

"H.M.S. Pinafore" 
Music by Sir Arthur Sullivan
Libretto by W. S. Gilbert
Conductor: Brian DeMaris
Director: Dale Dreyfoos
Choreographer: Molly Lajoie
Performances: 7:30 p.m., Sept. 29-30 and Oct. 1; 2 p.m., Oct. 2 

Lyric Opera Theatre sets sail for the season with Gilbert and Sullivan’s ever-popular comic operetta “H.M.S. Pinafore,” a delightful parody of the British class system in Victorian England where “the high seas” meets “the high C’s.” This nautical treasure is filled with effervescent and tuneful music, hilarious stage action, and colorful scenery and costumes in a show for all ages.

"Babe: An Olympian Musical" (new work reading)
Music by Andrea Jill Higgins (Lyric Opera Theatre alum)
Book and lyrics by Carolyn Gage
Performance: 6 p.m., Nov. 6 at ASU Kerr Cultural Center

The Lyric is proud to present a reading of this new musical composed by ASU alumna Andrea Jill Higgins and librettist Carolyn Gage, based on the story of the great American athlete Mildred “Babe” Didrikson. Full of music that is beautiful, big and brassy all at once, the story follows Babe’s career from high school basketball star to Olympic gold medalist to vaudevillian sideshow to first woman on the professional golf circuit. You will leave inspired by this brilliant new musical and the incredible woman it portrays. This performance is appropriate for ages 13 and up.

"Guys and Dolls" 
Music and lyrics by Frank Loesser
Book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows
Director: Toby Yatso
Conductor: Miles Plant
Choreographer: Molly Lajoie
Performances: 7:30 p.m., Nov. 17-19; 2 p.m., Nov. 19-20 

Frank Loesser’s classic “musical fable of Broadway” has captivated audiences for decades with its colorful characters, iconic music and endearing story about love, honesty and finding one’s true calling. Set in Damon Runyon’s mythological New York City, where disparate groups such as gamblers, evangelists and show girls come together, the story centers around a group of gamblers trying to find a place for a game, while their girls have different priorities in mind. This show is appropriate for ages 13 and up.

"The Magic Flute" 
Music by W.A. Mozart
Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder
Conductor: Brian DeMaris
Director: Dale Dreyfoos
Performances: 7:30 p.m., Feb. 23-25; 2 p.m., Feb. 26

“The Magic Flute” has long been hailed as one of the greatest musical masterpieces of all time. Mozart’s heavenly music provides the perfect setting for this timeless fairy tale, which is an enchanting blend of magic, mystery, lofty Masonic ideals and earthy humor that is truly Shakespearean in its scope. The opera will be sung in German with English dialogue, and it is an ideal introduction to opera for audiences of all ages.

"Love: An Opera in One Act" (new work reading)
(Excerpts from a work in progress)
Music by Ellen Reid
Libretto by Roxie Perkins
Produced by Beth Morrison (ASU/Lyric Opera Theatre alum)
6 p.m., April 2 at ASU Kerr Cultural Center

“Love” tells the story of a mother, V, and her daughter, L, who have locked themselves away from the world in order to heal L from a mysterious sickness that grows from within her. However, between the awakening of a new symptom and L’s maturing relationship with her chorus of imaginary friends, L and V’s carefully constructed world begins to crumble — causing L to question her mother’s motivation for locking them away and the very validity of her sickness. “Love” explores humans’ desperate need to make sense out of senseless situations, and the different ways we attempt to heal after a trauma — both one another, and ourselves. This performance is appropriate for ages 13 and up.

"Shrek the Musical" 
Music by Jeanine Tesori
Book and Lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire
Director: Matthew Wiener
Conductor: Josh Condon
Choreographer: Molly Lajoie
Performances: 7:30 p.m., April 20-22; 2 p.m., April 22-23

Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks film, Jeanine Tesori’s “Shrek The Musical” is a Tony Award-winning fairytale adventure that brings all the beloved characters you know from the film to life on stage, and proves there’s more to the story than meets the ears. An unlikely hero finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue. Irreverently fun for the whole family, Shrek proves that beauty is truly in the eye of the ogre.

Ticket prices: $11 – Flash Friday, $21 – adult (for all dates except Flash Friday), $15 – faculty, staff, alumni, $12 – senior, $10 – group (minimum of 10 tickets), $8 – student.

Tickets are on sale as of Aug. 1 for the general public. Save 25 percent by ordering tickets to three or more Herberger Institute events per person by Sept. 15. A $2 handling fee applies to all orders, and a web per ticket purchase fee will apply.

Summer box office hours are 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and  and 1:30–4:30 p.m., Monday–Thursday.

To order tickets and find more information on the complete season, call the Herberger Institute Box Office at 480.965.6447 or visit

Heather Beaman

Communications liaison, School of Music


image title

ASU researcher debunks flu shot myths

The semester and flu season are coming fast, be in the know before they arrive.
Assistant research professor explains types of vaccines and how they work.
July 7, 2016

Does the vaccine work by making you sick? How long does it last? A Biodesign Institute professor explains it all

The fall semester is approaching fast, and so is flu season. Arizona State University employees are eligible for free flu shots in October, but there are several misconceptions about the vaccine — and the flu, itself.  

Karen Kibler, an assistant research professor in ASU’s Biodesign Institute, sorts out the myths and facts.

Question: Is it true that the vaccine works by getting you sick?

Answer: Well, there’s a long answer to that. There are two forms of the vaccine. Maybe you’ve seen the kind that you spray into your nose? That one is a live, attenuated vaccine. Now that means that in the lab, with genetic mechanisms, we can make the virus weaker. So it’s not like the flu that’s out there and infects you. It’s different. It’s modified. But it is able to replicate. Maybe not in a normal healthy person, because that’s why we make it weak, but for instance, if someone is immune compromised and they don’t realize it, then that live vaccine is contraindicated. And it’s always important to speak to a doctor before you have that vaccine.

The shot, there’s no living virus in the shot. It’s an inactivated vaccine. So the ways that viruses are inactivated are with heat, with radiation or chemicals. So it’s dead. It’s really just a little pile of proteins.

And that brings me to the next step in this: the proteins — whether it’s a natural infection or live vaccine or dead vaccine — it’s those proteins that our immune system recognizes as foreign. So the immune system sees those proteins and puts into gear all its antiviral defense systems. And part of that system will produce a substance called interferon. And interferon makes you feel awful. Kind of yucky. So sometimes people are feeling the effects of interferon, and they think they’re sick with the virus. It’s actually a sign that your immune system is working very well, it’s mounting a defense against these proteins. But the really critical part of the vaccine is that whether it’s a natural infection or a vaccine, the same mechanism takes place: When the immune system sees those proteins, it starts producing memory cells. And those cells will stay with you for a very long time. So those memory cells are what are really important, because the next time you’re with some people and you get exposed to the flu virus and the virus gets inside you … the memory cells respond within one to three days. That’s a really quick response. You won’t even know you were infected by the virus because your immune system will kill it off so fast. Now, the beauty of the vaccine is that the same thing happens when you get a natural infection, but you have to go through the whole infection to get to the point of the protection. So what a vaccine does, is give you that same exposure to the proteins, but in a much safer, a much more controlled way, and you don’t have to go through two weeks of illness to get the protection for the next time.

Q: What’s the time frame for the immunity? Around a year or so?

A: Well, the reason we have to be revaccinated with flu is that the flu changes constantly, it mutates and becomes different. Eventually, its proteins don’t look like the proteins your immune system saw the year before, and they don’t recognize the new ones. So they have to start all over in creating memory cells, and those memory cells take about 30 days. So by the time you’ve made memory cells, you’re past the infection, if you got a natural infection. And that’s why every year, some really incredible people take a look at all the flu viruses around the world and they try to figure out which strains of which subspecies, which virus’s versions of the virus are going to be around in six months, because it takes six months to make all those vaccines, the vaccination injections. So they try to figure out which one is going to be most prevalent, and that’s what they base the vaccine on.

Now, the vaccine actually covers three flu viruses, and there are vaccines that cover four. So they do their best — there have been a few years that the virus changed and went in a different direction and the vaccine wasn’t as effective. It’s always going to help some, because the whole virus doesn’t change. There are two primary proteins in the flu virus that are what the immune system recognizes, and those can change somewhat. And even if they change a little bit, they’re not completely different — it’s not like a horse becoming a dog. So your immune system is still helpful. You probably will get less sick, even if the vaccine doesn’t cover it as effectively as it might have the year before.

Q: I’ve also heard if you get the virus or vaccine, you’re done — you don’t have anything to worry about, and you’re completely safe.

A: That is not true. Sometimes a person’s immune system just isn’t as healthy. You may not be immune compromised, but maybe your immune system isn’t quite as active as someone else’s, so it maybe kind of sloughs off on producing the memory cells. Usually, if you’ve been vaccinated and get the flu, it’s because the virus that infected you just looks too much different from the one that was in the vaccine. And that’s why they try really hard to anticipate which versions of the virus will be most commonly around. And there will always be odd ones, and sometimes people are just the unfortunate ones who get infected with that really odd version, and it’s not covered by the vaccine.

Q: So what precautions you can take to try and make sure you lessen the risk of catching the virus?

A: Washing hands constantly is the biggest thing. And it’s reflex for me and many people who are virologists. Never cough and sneeze into your hands, because your hands touch everything. Now, the viruses don’t survive indefinitely on the surface, but when we’re in close proximity with other people, we touch so many things, we touch our faces — somebody did a study on this and it was something like 1,000 times a day we touch our faces. So if you have viruses and they get anywhere near your mouth or eyes or nose, they’re going to get inside. If you sneeze and you’re infected and you touch surfaces and someone else comes along and touches surfaces, that’s how it spreads most quickly. It’s really important to not let anything be on your hands. So if you have to touch surfaces where other people are, then you wash your hands. If you are the one who’s sick, you don’t touch surfaces unless you absolutely have to, and if you do you wash your hands before you do that. But unless there’s a medical reason to not be vaccinated, everyone should be vaccinated.

Q: So when you mention places where we’re in close proximity with other people, dorms, universities…

A: Yes, universities are terrible! (Laughs.) Schools, elementary schools, kids tend to be less careful about hygiene than adults, though sometimes college students aren’t too much different. How many students sit in the same desks and touch the same doorknobs and the same bathroom doors? And the faucets. And the drinking fountains. And the same computers. The list goes on and on.

Q: So what makes the flu season, the flu season in the first place? Why are people more susceptible to viruses in these fall and winter months?

It does tend to be the fall and winter months, but not because it’s cold outside — although it is kind of side effect of that — your nasal passages tend to get a little bit drier during the fall and winter. The natural means of keeping particles out of your respiratory system isn’t as effective. So you’re more likely to inhale some viruses. And that’s true with the flu and cold viruses.

Q: What are some common myths or stories you’ve heard about the flu?

A: As an instructor I was often told by students, “I’d rather just get sick then get the vaccination.” Because they figure they could try to avoid it and if they get sick, so what, they could just tough it out. And the problem with that, is that there are people who cannot get vaccinated. There are children too young, there are the elderly — their immune systems don’t work well, vaccinations aren’t nearly as effective in the elderly, and they die very quickly from the flu infection. There are people HIV infected, people on chemotherapy, people with organ transplants. They’re so fragile when it comes to the immune system. So if you aren’t vaccinated as a young, healthy person that can tough it out, even though we could probably get through it, if you give it to someone who can’t, that person might die from it. More than 35,000 people in just the United States die each year from flu infection. I think of this as a community responsibility.

Q: Do you have any additional information about the flu’s symptoms?

A: You know, I would much rather refer you to a website. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a great flu section, as well as the Mayo Clinic and the World Health Organization (WHO), if you’re interested in worldwide.

ASU employees can receive the flu vaccine at these locations during the month of October:

West campus

10 a.m.-1 p.m., Monday, Oct. 3, UCB La Sala A

Tempe campus

7 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday, Oct. 4-6, MU 228

Downtown Phoenix campus

8 a.m.-noon, Tuesday, Oct. 11, UCENT 580 A

Polytechnic campus

10 a.m.-1 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 12, Student Union, Cooley BR A

All benefits-eligible ASU employees are welcome. Non-benefits-eligible employees can also receive flu shots, but they will cost $20, payable in cash or by check only. (Employees' family members, retirees, student employees, graduate assistants and other students are not eligible to receive a shot through this program.)

To receive a free flu shot you will need:

• a valid state-issued (Arizona) employee insurance card (if you are benefits-eligible and do not have insurance through ASU, just bring your Sun Card)

• a valid ASU Sun Card

There are no exceptions to these requirements. Shots will be given on a first-come, first-served basis for as long as the supply lasts.

Reporter , ASU Now

ASU blue bag recycling program expands beyond Tempe

July 6, 2016

Sun Devils have more chances to capture landfill-bound waste as the blue bag recycling program extends to the ASU Downtown Phoenix, Polytechnic and West campuses the week of July 4.

The blue bags complement the university’s widespread blue bin commingled recycling program, which currently captures plastic, paper, metal and glass. The five-gallon blue bags are free to any ASU community member to place in university kitchens, break rooms or common areas. The following campus-generated items are blue-bag friendly:  Blue Bag recyclable items The blue bags capture more recyclable items than ASU's extensive blue bin commingled recycling program, which collects plastic, paper, metal and glass. Download Full Image

• batteries (dry cell, non-rechargeable)
• coffee pods (one-time use)
• energy bar or candy wrappers
• chip bags
• small eWaste (such as calculators and MP3 players)
• small ink and toner cartridges
• spent pens & markers
• used plastic gift cards
• water filters

The ASU Zero Waste department directs the Blue Bag program. According to Joshua Ellner, Zero Waste program manager, since the January 2015 program launch on the Tempe campus, 540 blue bags placed in 77 buildings have prevented more than 2,500 pounds of material from reaching the landfill.

“We are encouraged by the enthusiasm we have witnessed from the ASU community about this additional waste-diversion program,” Ellner said. “To see the program extend to more ASU campuses is thrilling for our team since every full blue bag brings the university closer to its zero-waste goals.”

ASU defines zero solid waste as a 90 percent reduction in material sent to the landfill from current business-as-usual status. ASU encourages diversion and aversion tactics to meet its zero-waste goals. Waste is averted through reduced consumption and diverted from the landfill via recycling, composting, and reusing or repurposing.

Blue bag basics

A few blue bag items require special care. For instance, single-use coffee pods should be bagged separately from other items since the pods contain small amounts of liquid. The Zero Waste department also recommends dry cell batteries are bagged separately in small plastic baggies or grocery bags. A partnership with ASU Environmental Health and Safety ensures spent batteries are safely processed to reclaim recyclable metals.

The waste collected in blue bags is sorted by hand. Some blue bag items are shipped to New Jersey-based TerraCycle. The company repurposes items from countries around the globe that are problematic to recycle. The materials then are transformed into new products.

Blue bags are collected every week. If users need bags emptied before the regular pickup schedule, the Zero Waste department accepts requests and usually can arrange pickups within a few days.

Request a blue bag via the department’s request form. If you have questions about blue bags, contact the Zero Waste department via email

Wendy Craft

Marketing and communications manager, Business and Finance Communications Group


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ASU Alumni Association makes membership free for all grads

Alumni association benefits include discounts on range of products and services.
Change goes into effect this month.
July 5, 2016

Move aims to create stronger social, professional networks among more than 400,000 Sun Devils

ASU just made it easier to stay a Sun Devil for life. Starting this month, ASU graduates automatically receive membership in the ASU Alumni Association — no dues required.

Membership provides exclusive benefits and connection to more than 400,000 fellow Sun Devils around the world, enabling ASU students, alumni and friends of the university to create stronger professional and social networks.

The alumni association has evolved from the dues-based membership to a giving-based model, including revamped access and privileges and enhanced philanthropy toward university scholarships and programming. The levels of membership are: Member, Sparky Member, Maroon Member and Gold Member.

“Whether you received your degree a year ago, or more than a half-century ago, two things connect all of us who call Arizona State University our alma mater — shared memories and a stake in our university’s future,” said Christine Wilkinson, senior vice president of the university and president and CEO of the ASU Alumni Association. “It is through our new philanthropic membership model that, beyond membership giving, alumni will have additional opportunities to contribute — to the Traditions Fund, alumni scholarship programs, and other gifts that support and advance the mission of ASU.”

Alumni are able to make tax-deductible donations, recorded as gifts. This inclusive membership program builds ASU connections among students, alumni, and friends of the university to create stronger professional and social networks, and foster a culture of giving.

A strong network of alumni stretches across the nation and around the globe. The ASU Alumni Association informs, engages, connects and celebrates the network of alumni through activities, programs, and publications.

Contributing members — Sparky, Maroon and Gold levels — will not only experience the gratification that only giving can impart, but enjoy exclusive perks such as discounts to the ASU Karsten Golf Course and Sun Devil Campus Stores, career counseling, and exclusive alumni events.

All members also receive programs and services including ASU Magazine, access to ASU Travel & Tours, career resources and a robust chapter network.

Current paid members’ membership will automatically transfer to the new corresponding levels. Annual members will become Sparky Members, paid Life members will become Maroon Members and Gold Devil members will remain as Gold Members.

For more information on membership, giving and alumni services visit,

Top photo by Robin Kiyutelluk/ASU

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7 tips for a sustainable vacation

Planning a vacation? Here are some tips on making it more sustainable.
June 30, 2016

ASU tourism director provides insight on how to relax and be sustainable this summer

Editor's note: This guest post comes to ASU Now from the desk of Christine Vogt (pictured below), director of the Center for Sustainable Tourism at ASU's College of Public Service and Community Solutions. 

Christine Vogt

Americans are traveling this summer in record numbers. This Fourth of July weekend, with the holiday falling on a Monday, many vacationers have plans to drive or fly to favorite or new destinations. AAA predicts a record 43 million travelers. Besides a long holiday weekend, lower gas prices and a stronger U.S. economy will provide some of the necessary ingredients for travel this summer.

Relaxation and rejuvenation are important to many when vacationing. Travelers can also be sustainable with their choices making the tourism industry a responsible contributor to our society and planet, without giving up fun. 

1. Consider minimizing the number of vehicles used on the roads, and if a hybrid or electric vehicle is an option, then use it. If hiking or biking is an option to travel to your destination or while at your destination, then leave the vehicle behind. 

2. Think about patronizing local stores and restaurants so that vacation spending benefits the local community. Support businesses that are owned by someone from the community. Take the time to talk to local merchants to learn more about what they sell or serve and how they might source local ingredients. Local First Arizona is a great source for finding those local businesses that keep our economy diverse.

3. Shop and stay in businesses that utilize older buildings rather than buildings that are newly built. Less development saves natural resources used in building materials and keeps land in its natural state. Look in the downtown areas for reused or historic buildings. Bed-and-breakfasts, ranches and lodges are often housed in historical buildings and near other local businesses.

4. If an older building is hard to come by, look for newer buildings with LEED certifications and whose businesses use their own sustainable practices, like water-saving measures such as low-flow showers or solar- or wind-energy production on site.

5. A vacation that is mentally relaxing but also physically active will provide personal benefits to travelers. If menus are healthy and recreation activities burn calories, such as hiking, running, kayaking, and swimming, then a Fourth of July vacation fits nicely with health outcomes, and is fun and entertaining while enjoying and respecting nature.

6. If recycling is not available at a destination, then consider bringing bottles, cans and newspapers home to put in your household recycling bin rather than contributing to a landfill away from home.

7. Volunteering while on vacation is another way to make a sustainable vacation decision. Individually or as a group, your efforts can improve the environment or help others. There are many volunteer matching services. One is International Volunteer Card: