ASU students selected as finalists for innovation pitch competition

January 30, 2014

Three ASU students committed to making a positive social impact have been selected to participate as finalists in the Social Venture Partners Fast Pitch Competition on March 26 at the Tempe Center for the Arts. The Fast Pitch competition is a high-energy, rapid-fire presentation event where students will have an opportunity to share the mission, vision and impact of their innovative idea with an audience and judges. 

The student teams were selected through an exclusive opportunity for ASU Innovation Challenge applicants. Innovation Challenge is an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students from across the university to make a difference in our local and global communities through innovation. Team leaders Joshua Watson, Ashley Brennan and Jasmine Anglen will participate in a rigorous pitch training development program culminating in the selection of one team to win $2,000 and present at the Fast Pitch Competition event in March.  Download Full Image

The ASU selected teams are:

Project 12M – Joshua Watson, team leader
Project12M focuses on helping college students pay off loans through community service. The goal is to work with student loan providers to seek solutions for lowering student debt while students are still enrolled in classes. 

Local Exchange, Global Change – Ashley Brennan, team leader
Local Exchange, Global Change (LEGC) commits to the advancement of local immigrant and refugee human rights in Arizona by educating college students about historic and current adversities affecting these populations. 

All Walks– Jasmine Anglen, team leader
All Walks educates college students and the community about the commercial exploitation of women and children, and helps combat the issues of sex trafficking in the United States and aid its victims. 

"I am absolutely honored to represent Local Exchange, Global Exchange in the Social Venture Partners Fast Pitch Competition," says Ashley Brennan. "As a finalist, I am continually inspired by individuals and organizations also committed to positive social change."

All three student groups have also applied to attend Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), hosted by Arizona State University from March 21-23. CGI U is an annual event that brings together students and world leaders to address global challenges with practical, innovative solutions.

“It’s always difficult to narrow our list of applicants in the semifinal phase because each year we are reminded of the many innovative nonprofits that are doing great work in the Valley – most of the time without fanfare or adequate resources,” said Terri Wogan, executive director of Social Venture Partners Arizona. “We are excited to be a resource to help build and improve these organizations, and to see them compete in our signature competition this spring.” 

Tickets for the March 26 event at Tempe Center for the Arts can be purchased online.

Events at ASU's West campus celebrate Black History Month

January 31, 2014

A screening of “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” performances of the play “The Submission” and an exhibit showcasing a prominent African American visual artist are on the schedule as Arizona State University’s West campus commemorates Black History Month during February. This year’s celebration features the theme of Honoring Our Heroes.

Unless otherwise noted, events are free of charge. (Visitor parking on campus costs $2 per hour.) The West campus is at 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix. Rip Woods painting Download Full Image

The schedule is:

Opening Celebration & Art Gallery opening

Black History Month kicks off with an opening reception for The “Rip” Woods Studio Project. The reception is set for 6 p.m., Feb. 3, in Artspace West, room 228 of the University Center Building.

This installation is dedicated to preserving the work of this brilliant African American artist, in a manner that is accessible to everyone, beyond the rarified air of arts journals, private collections and museums. Roosevelt “Rip” Woods, who spent the majority of his professional career teaching at ASU by day and creating in his Phoenix studio at night, left a legacy of inspiring art.

The “Rip” Woods Studio Project will be available for viewing through Feb. 27, from noon to 5 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays.

Film Screening: “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”

This acclaimed 2013 film starring Forrest Whitaker tells the story of a White House butler who served eight American presidents over three decades. The screening starts at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, on the second floor of Café West in the University Center Building. Ice cream will be served.

Gumbo Challenge

Faculty, staff, students and friends are invited to an evening of gumbo, soul food, fun and celebration. Do you have a family gumbo recipe you want to enter into the challenge? Enter the contest, or just come to eat and enjoy. Starts at 6 p.m., Feb. 8. R.S.V.P. for details regarding this event’s off-campus location to LaKina Curry, (602) 543-5300.

Theatrical performance: “The Submission” by Jeff Talbott

7:30 p.m., Feb. 20, 21, 27, 28 and March 1; 3 p.m., Feb. 23 and March 2

Second Stage West, lower level of University Center Building.

Tickets are $10 general admission, $7 for seniors and $5 for students, faculty and staff. Tickets are available by visiting and searching “Arizona State University.”

A young white playwright writes a complex new drama about an African American family trying to get out of the projects, and it’s selected for the nation’s preeminent play festival. However, he submitted the work under a pen name in the hope of increasing its chances for production. So he hires Emilie, a black actress, to stand in for him as author, and then the real trouble begins! A co-production with iTheatre Collaborative, this is a fiercely funny and intelligent new comic drama about the words we use to describe each other, and the things we’ll do to get what we want. “The Submission” received the New York Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award and the 2011 Laurents/Hatcher Award for best new play. ASU’s Charles St. Clair directs this production.

13th Annual Pioneer Award Dinner

The 2014 honoree is former eduator Esther J. McElroy. Festivities include an awards ceremony, oral history, entertainment and dinner. African attire is suggested. The event is set for 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 22, in the La Sala Ballroom of the University Center Building. R.S.V.P.s are required for the dinner.

For information about Black History Month at ASU’s West campus, contact or (602) 543-5300.