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ASU students get insider's view of sustainability at the Super Bowl


January 28, 2015

After fans have left Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1, ASU students from the School of Sustainability will head up a post-Super Bowl recycling project the next day.

It’s an opportunity to demonstrate Arizona State University’s continuous focus on sustainability. compost and recycle bins Download Full Image

“We have the fortunate opportunity to give our students an on-hand experiential opportunity to actually understand sustainability and how it is done in regards to waste diversion by going to the stadium,” said Colin Tetreault, faculty associate at the School of Sustainability.

More than 20 ASU students will be sorting the recyclables from the non-recyclable items in and around the entire stadium.

Most of the sorting and cleanup will be done by hand and is expected to take several hours.

“The students will get to peek into the locker room, almost, of a professional organization like the NFL and how it’s run from a sustainability perspective,” Tetreault said.

The student volunteers, ranging from undergraduates to master’s students, will be treated to lunch at the stadium’s midfield as a thank you for their efforts.

ASU’s commitment to sustainability has been a big part of its involvement in the events around the Super Bowl, and the university even has a booth at Super Bowl Central in downtown Phoenix to highlight its work on the issue. The booth is covered with solar panels, and visitors are able to play hands-on football games powered by the solar energy.

The booth also contains screens playing videos about some of ASU’s accomplishments in the sciences, including the ASU Mars Rover, the creation of the jet pack that can help the military service members run a 4-minute mile, and how ASU collaborates with organizations like the Clinton Global Initiative to support and allow leaders and entrepreneurship.

On the Tempe campus, ASU invited NFL Environmental Program Director Jack Groh to give a lecture Jan. 27 in the Memorial Union to talk about his work.

When he started with the NFL in 1993, Groh said there had never been a can or bottle recycled in a professional sports stadium in the entire country, and no one in sports knew what recycling or waste management was.

Today, Groh said, the Super Bowl is recognized as the greenest professional sports championship in the United States.

“We look at what the benefit is of getting sports involved with sustainability, and I think everyone recognizes the fact that sports attract a lot of attention,” Groh said. “There’s hardly a person in the country who won’t either watch the Super Bowl next Sunday or get deluged by comments of it the next day at work.”

For ASU student Regan O’Brien, who heard Groh’s talk, creating awareness of ASU’s sustainability efforts and helping to show people how to do the simple things like recycle is an important part of a big event coming to town.

“The Super Bowl is a huge party, it’s awesome,” O’Brien, first-year architecture student with a certificate in energy and sustainability, said. “It’s cool how sustainability has become more mainstream, and I think it’s awesome ASU is involved. Sustainability is a buzz word on this campus. I feel like we have our hands in all kinds of pots.”

Written by Samantha Pell, ASU News

Emma Greguska

Reporter, ASU Now

(480) 965-9657

ASU students drafted by NFL for Super Bowl command center


January 29, 2015

Jacob Garcia has been fielding questions all week from football fans coming to the Phoenix area.

He’s been asked about transportation, event locations and even which stars will be holding autograph signings. ASU students train for Super Bowl ASU students receive Super Bowl training at the Cronkite School. More than 200 ASU students are assisting the NFL and major media outlets, providing critical support and news coverage for Super Bowl XLIX. Photo by: Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication Download Full Image

The Cronkite School sophomore isn’t an expert in those topics, but this week he’s working with the NFL in its Social Media Command Center during the lead-up to Super Bowl XLIX.

Garcia is one of more than 150 ASU students who are monitoring all activities and conversations on the NFL social media channels and helping to answer fan questions about the big game.

“The fact that the Cronkite School was able to garner these types of opportunities for its students is incredible and just goes to show how much respect and credibility the program has from outside companies like the NFL,” Garcia said.

The Social Media Command Center at the Phoenix Convention Center is also home to one of the many NFL Network television studios where broadcasters are on the air in advance of the big game, allowing students the opportunity to watch professionals at work.

In addition to those volunteering at the Social Media Command Center, more than 200 students who attend the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication are reporting and writing about the Super Bowl for major media outlets.

Thirty students in Cronkite’s Phoenix Sports Bureau are producing stories about the Super Bowl for the Cronkite News broadcast and digital outlets.

Cronkite News, the Cronkite School’s award-winning broadcast news and digital media outlet, will have student journalists reporting on breaking news and events from Radio Row, the media epicenter of the Super Bowl.

In addition, nearly 50 Cronkite students are helping with Super Bowl-related show operations at major television networks and production companies such as ESPN, CBS Sports, NBC, MSNBC and Dick Clark Productions.

As part of the newly launched sports journalism program at the Cronkite School, students also produced Super Bowl-related content for news organizations such as NFL.com, Sports Illustrated, azcentral.com and FOX Sports Arizona.

In the Cronkite School’s Public Relations Lab, students will be working on four NFL-sanctioned Super Bowl events, including the 24th Annual Taste of the NFL, the NFL Gospel Celebration, the NFL Player Networking Event and NFL Mom’s “Basket of Hope.”

After the Super Bowl, Cronkite students will conduct a social media audit for the NFL, analyzing the league’s Super Bowl-related activities on social media. Students will provide recommendations in a report and presentation to the NFL.

Back at the Social Media Command Center, where the student volunteers were given Super Bowl polo shirts as a thank you for their time, Jacob Garcia is monitoring the Super Bowl twitter feed, pulling up a question from a fan asking about the exact location of the super-sized, 20-foot football in downtown Phoenix.

“Being affiliated with the NFL and the Super Bowl isn’t something that many can claim, so the experience was just invaluable,” Garcia said.

Written by Samantha Pell, ASU News