Hispanic Convocation taps humorist for keynote address


December 10, 2013

Gustavo Arellano, a popular Mexican-American humorist, will don a cap, gown and serape-style sash, and deliver some laughs – as well as impart a few nuggets of wisdom – as keynote speaker for the fall 2013 Hispanic Convocation at Arizona State University.

The ASU Office of Public Affairs is inviting the media and members of the public to attend the ceremony at 11:30 a.m., Dec. 18, at ASU Gammage, 1151 S. Forest Ave., Tempe. Download Full Image

“This convocation is especially significant because it celebrates academic achievements in a festive, cultural environment shared with family and friends,” said Rhonda Carrillo, assistant director in the Office of Community Relations.

Arellano is the editor of OC Weekly, an alternative newspaper in Orange County, Calif., a best-selling author and a lecturer with the Chicana and Chicano Studies department at California State University, Fullerton. He writes “¡Ask a Mexican!,” a nationally syndicated column that has a weekly circulation of more than two million people in 39 states, and has won several awards for his column about America’s largest minority.

"I'm honored to speak at ASU, even though they thrashed my UCLA Bruins in football recently,” Arellano said. “No college rivalry will ever get in the way of me being able to celebrate the graduation of Latinos from college and reminding them this is the first step in a long march toward success."

Arellano will be sharing the spotlight with two exceptional ASU students:

• Yonathan Vivas, a double business major in the W.P. Carey School of Business, will be honored with the 2013 Jose Ronstadt Undergraduate Award.

• Natali Segovia, a Juris Doctor in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, will accept this year’s Ed Pastor Outstanding Graduate Award.

The Hispanic Convocation is a tradition established by ASU Hispanic students in 1984 that celebrates the accomplishments of ASU’s Hispanic graduates. This year’s event will include approximately 110 graduates.

ASU enrolled just over 76,000 students across its four campuses at the beginning of the fall 2013 semester. Of that total, more than 13,892 were Hispanic undergraduate and graduate students. Their academic achievements are supported by more than 1,300 Hispanic faculty and staff at the university.

For more information about ASU’s Hispanic Convocation, visit http://outreach.asu.edu

Reporter , ASU Now

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Ho hum holidays? 10 tips to make the season bright


December 10, 2013

’Tis the season to be jolly.

That’s a tall order for some people during the holidays who may envision a time filled with too much to do, interactions with unpleasant family members and a season focused on things rather than experiences.   Download Full Image

ASU's Larry Dumka, a family therapist and associate professor in the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics, offers insight into making the most of the season by focusing on things that really matter to you and those you love.  

1. Ask yourself what you value about the holidays and clarify what is most meaningful to you.

2. Prioritize your time, since it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to fit in all of the activities. “We all have 168 hours a week and no more. We also have other responsibilities,” says Dumka.

3. Have a conversation with loved ones about which events you want to focus on and scheduling time together.

4. If you are the person who takes care of most holiday tasks in your household and would like that to change, talk with others in your home and tell them how you think the usual routine should be altered.

5. Ditto for changing a holiday tradition. “Ask family members what is important to them, as well as telling them what is important to you. You’ll need to have household members on board with any change, especially those who liked the old plan,” Dumka says.

Expect pushback if you try to change a holiday tradition. “That’s inevitable. It’s how a family’s emotional system works,” he says.

6. If you have to see a family member who you don’t particularly enjoy, realize what your tolerance is and plan things that don’t overtax your coping resources. Decide if it’s worth it to have a conversation with that person to try to improve the relationship or if you can plan a way to interact that allows you to keep your integrity, as well as being respectful. “That’s a tough balance. Couples have to do that with each other, too,” Dumka says.

7. If you’re a college student with newfound freedoms returning to a home environment, be respectful of parents and their rules. It might also be a good time to have a mature conversation. “Young adults can initiate an adult conversation with their parents rather than act in a child role. I think most parents have an expectation that that is going to happen,” he says.

8. Take care of yourself during the holidays by getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating and drinking with moderation. “These are ways to keep your strength and resources up during a time that has a lot of emotion connected to it because friends and family are getting together,” he says.  

9. If someone has lost a loved one, make a special effort to include them in activities.

10. Realize that the purpose of the holidays is celebrating togetherness, relationships and the good things in life.

The T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics is an academic unit in ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.