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ASU Magazine announces winners of alumni writing contest

March 28, 2011

ASU Magazine, the quarterly magazine of Arizona State University and the ASU Alumni Association, recently announced the winners of its first-ever alumni writing contest.

The contest, open to all graduates of ASU, garnered nearly 200 entries. “Transubstantiation” by Steven Cottam ’08 B.A., ’08 B.A. was the winning entry in the nonfiction category, and “Maomao” by Jian Qin ’95 M.TESL. was the winner in the fiction category. Dana Bos ’97 M.Ed., who wrote “Reef,” was awarded an honorable mention in the nonfiction category. Download Full Image

Excerpts from all three stories appear in the March 2011 issue of ASU Magazine. In addition to the three winners, the top entries in the "Briefly Speaking" category, which challenged entrants to write something significant in 140 characters or less, will be published in the March issue, as well.

The entries submitted reflected the depth of alumni excellence in this area said, Christine K. Wilkinson, president of the ASU Alumni Association.

“We’re pleased that our contest attracted so many talented writers from ASU alumni,” Wilkinson said. “The subject matter on which entrants chose to focus on varied widely, but their finished works were compelling narratives that brought to life a real or imagined time and place, or communicated bedrock values, such as empathy, trust and critical thinking.” 

Judges for the fiction category were Peter Turchi, director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at ASU and Jewell Parker Rhodes, artistic director for Piper Global Engagement at ASU. Nonfiction judges included Bill Konigsberg ’05 M.F.A., a faculty associate with the ASU Writing Programs in the Department of English, and Paul Morris ’75 B.A., director of the Master of Liberal Studies degree program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The Briefly Speaking category was judged by Dan Gillmor, director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship and the Kauffman Professor of Digital Media Entrepreneurship at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Full versions of the winning entries and additional information on the contest are available on the Alumni Association’s website at" target="_blank">

The Night Gallery presents Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture Thesis Shows

March 28, 2011

ASU School of Art Master of Fine Arts candidates in Sculpture, Damian Johnson, Nan Vaughn and Kris D. Waid-Jones present their thesis exhibitions, the culmination of several years of explorations in art.

Damian Johnson’s show, A Fowl Approach to Eschatology: Part I, is comprised of a collection of mixed media sculptures exploring iconography in a contemporary carnival setting. Clown, is showcased as part of Damian Johnson’s MFA thesis exhibition, A Fowl Approach to Eschatology: Part I. Photo by Photo by by Robert Disraeli, 1935 Download Full Image

“Sometime in the mid 1970’s I embarked on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and never got off,” says Johnson about his work.

In her thesis exhibition Gatherings, Nan Vaughn explores transitional states of being. Through a cross-disciplinary approach to sculpture using time-lapse photography, printmaking, video projection and the lost objects of Craigslist, she gathers a visual language of time, identity, beauty and significance.

“The romance of the lost and found weaves its way through Nan’s work, whether it is lost youth or lost and irreplaceable objects,” says Jim White, ASU School of Art sculpture professor and advisor to the Night Gallery. “Her observations connect the viewer to the work in a unique and personal way.”

The old adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” stands true with Kris Waid-Jones’ artwork. “Things are seldom what they initially appear to be. My Master of Fine Arts thesis exhibition, On the Edge, is a collection of twisted familiarity," says Waid-Jones. "It is my hope that my exhibition will generate questions about reality, our understanding of history, our environment, our self-perception and how others perceive us.” Waid-Jones explores these ideas using a variety of sculptural materials.

The Night Gallery at the Tempe Marketplace is an exhibition space for ASU School of Art faculty, graduate students and alumni in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. The gallery is a result of a partnership between the Herberger Institute and Vestar Development Company. 

The Night Gallery is located at the Tempe Marketplace, 2000 E. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ. The gallery is on the west end and south side of “The District” between Barnes & Noble bookstore and Aeropostale.

Exhibition: April 7–May 1, 2011

Meet the Artists: April 8, 6–9 p.m.

Live Music by Robby Roberson: April 8, 7–9 p.m.

Dr. Roberson is Director of the ASU Life Sciences Electron Microscope Facility

Night Gallery hours: 6–9 p.m. Tuesday–Sunday


This exhibition and meet the artists event are free and open to the public.

Public Contact
James White
ASU School of Art professor

The School of Art is a division of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. Its printmaking, photography and art education programs are nationally ranked in the top 10, and its Master of Fine Arts program is ranked eighth among public institutions by U.S.News & World Report. The school includes four student galleries for solo and group shows by graduate and undergraduate art and photography students: Gallery 100, Harry Wood, Northlight and Step. To learn more about the School of Art, visit

Media Contact:
Michelle White 
ASU School of Art 
Night Gallery