Legacy Scholarship recipients follow in family footsteps to attend ASU


August 20, 2013

Students majoring in education, biomedical engineering, broadcast journalism and sustainability are among the latest recipients of the Arizona State University Alumni Association’s Legacy Scholarship program, which was established in 2010 to ensure that receiving an ASU education becomes a family affair.

The 11 awardees for the 2013-2014 school year will receive $1,200 each, or $600 per semester. Relatives of ASU Alumni Association members were eligible to apply for the scholarship. 2013-14 Legacy Scholarship recipients Download Full Image

The following students were selected as 2013-14 Legacy Scholars:

Annika Andersen will be a freshman at ASU and plans to major in sustainability. A graduate of McClintock High School in Tempe, Andersen was active in the National Honor Society, Young Democrats, Amnesty International, McClintock Cares and was the co-founder of the school's Eco Club. She was president of her school's French Club and ranked in the top 25 in the nation on the National French Exam from 2009 to 2011. She has volunteered for NHS, the Tempe Sister Cities program, the Mayor's Youth Town Hall and serves as a Sunday School teacher for two- and three-year-olds at her church.

Both of Andersen's parents attended ASU and she credits them with providing a "constant example" of alumni involvement for her. She hopes to join the Peace Corps after graduation and learn how to run a Non-Governmental Organization. "With my education, I can help my generation fulfill the responsibility of making the world a place for posterity," she said.

J. Gage Buness is a freshman majoring in biomedical engineering at ASU. His Sun Devil lineage includes grandfather Guido G. Weigend, dean of ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences from 1976 to 1983 and a professor emeritus of geography. His mother, Cynthia Weigend Buness, has three degrees from the university and volunteers as an advocate for the ASU Physical Science Oncology Center.

While attending Brophy College Preparatory, where he maintained a weighted 4.25 GPA, he was a member of the lacrosse team, a quarterback on the freshman football team and an officer for the Brophy Cookie Project (a charitable activities club). He also worked as a lab assistant during the summer for Joshua LaBaer, director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics at the Biodesign Institute at ASU.

Buness intends to go to medical school after graduating from ASU and become an orthopedic surgeon.

Brett Gadberry, a sophomore majoring in chemical engineering, credits his mother, alumna Teresa Gadberry, with encouraging his interest in ASU as a child by sharing her positive memories of the university with him. He currently carries a 3.69 GPA.

A graduate of Seneca Valley High School in Harmony, Penn., Gadberry posted a 4.25 GPA and was active in varsity lacrosse, National Honor Society and the school's ski club. He served his community during high school by being a Miracle League "buddy," as well as coordinating a benefit to raise funds to assist those living with Angelman Syndrome.

Olivia Green, a freshman, plans to major in either psychology or criminal justice, both of which would allow her to follow her aspirations to help others. She graduated from Alhambra High School in Martinez, Calif. earlier this year, after serving as captain of the varsity girl's lacrosse team and volunteering at the Concord (Calif.) Senior Center as a receptionist and a special recreation dance host. Her parents have always emphasized the importance of college and finding a career, she says; she hopes to follow in the footsteps of her older sister, Tiffany, who is an ASU alumna.

Alexis Lupercio is a freshman who plans to major in business at ASU. She recently graduated from Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix, where she was involved in Student Council, junior varsity and freshman volleyball, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She performed community service for St. Vincent de Paul, Chicanos Por La Causa, Tempe Cares and Feed My Starving Children. Part of her desire to study business has come from her job as a receptionist for the Earnhardt Ford car dealership, where she has engaged with the marketing staff to further her knowledge about the field.

Both of Lupercio's parents worked their way through ASU and she reports that she has many aunts, uncles and cousins who are Sun Devil alumni, as well.

John McCulloch is a sophomore majoring in geological sciences at ASU. Last year, he was enrolled in Barrett, the Honors College at ASU and maintained a GPA of 3.65. He has been a member of ASU Students for the Exploration and Development of Space and the ASU AstroDevils, a group that performs outreach to middle and high school students to interest them in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers. He has also done volunteer work with Circle K International (Kiwanis) and the Salvation Army.

While attending BASIS Scottsdale Upper School, McColloch was active in National Honors Society and National Junior Honors Society, varsity basketball, the Tri-M (Modern Music Masters) honors society and also served as editor-in-chief of the school's yearbook.

McColloch's father, Darcy, is a two-time ASU alumnus. After graduating with his bachelor's degree, John McColloch plans to pursue graduate education and work in the energy sector.

DiAnglea Millar is a senior at ASU. She is concurrently pursuing a bachelor's degree in journalism and a master's degree in creative writing. While at the university, she has been enrolled in Barrett, the Honors College at ASU and has served as a community assistant in a residence hall floor for Barrett students. She has interned at the Arizona Republic, the New Orleans Times-Picayune and the Los Angeles Times.

A graduate of John B. Connally High School in Austin, Texas, where she was a section leader in the band and editor of the school's newspaper, Millar hopes to become involved in the Teach for America program after graduation from ASU. She also is pursuing jobs in book publishing and journalism.

Millar said she was inspired by the example of her sister and brother-in-law, Rachel and Travis Snell, alumni who were instrumental in forming the ASU Alumni Association chapter in Austin, and who are now active in the association's Orange County chapter in California.

Jacqueline Padilla, a sophomore at ASU, is pursuing a degree in broadcast journalism. She is a 2012 graduate of St. Michael's High School in Santa Fe, N.M., where she served as an instructor for the school's dance team for three years. At ASU, she volunteered during the November 2012 presidential election as the university's student representative for the Arizona Republic Lounge, where she was responsible for all photography. She currently works for TestMasters as a proctor.

Padilla said in her application that "my involvement with ASU is sincere and constant," and pointed to her father, uncle and aunt as her Sun Devil role models. She hopes to remain in the Valley of the Sun and serve the community through live television broadcasting after she graduates.

Allison Reynolds is a junior at ASU and is double majoring in education and psychology. She is a student in Barrett, the Honors College at ASU and is active in the Barrett Choir. During her time at ASU, Reynolds has served as a peer mentor for freshmen studying education and has served on the public relations committee of the Phi chapter of Omega Phi Alpha, a national service sorority. She currently carries a 4.0 grade point average.

While attending Hamilton High School in Chandler, Ariz., Reynolds was a member of the National Honors Society. She also volunteered with the Chandler Service Club Flower Girls group and participated in the Phoenix Girls Chorus.

After graduation, Reynolds hopes to encourage her students to pursue post-secondary education. She was herself inspired by her sister's ASU story and asserts, "As an ASU alumnus, I will share my story and motivate my future students to continue the legacy of ASU."

Joel Sands is a sophomore majoring in business at ASU. His father, Steven, is also a graduate of ASU. Joel is a graduate of Plano (Texas) Senior High School, where he was active in marching band. During high school, he also was a member of the Jewish teen organization BBYO, serving as chapter president and regional treasurer for the organization.

At ASU, Sands has been active in Chabad at ASU and SunDevils for Israel. His other service activities include performing 40 hours of volunteer work for Impact D.C. Jam and participating with his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Mu, to raise money through the Walk for Alzheimer's Research.

Amanda Tivens, a sophomore, is studying business communication at ASU. She graduated from Newbury Park High School in Thousand Oaks, Calif. in 2012.

Tivens has served her community by working at Old Meadows Special Needs Camp in the summers during high school. She credits frequent visits to Arizona throughout her childhood with helping her decide to attend ASU. Her father, Randy, is a graduate of ASU.

In order to be selected, Legacy Scholarship recipients had to demonstrate evidence of academic success, a strong commitment to community service and/or university involvement, and achievement of personal and educational goals. At least 50 percent of the scholarships were distributed based on demonstrated financial need. In addition, two scholarships were awarded to California residents (Olivia Green and Amanda Tivens) as part of the California Legacy Scholarships initiative.

For more information on the Legacy Scholarship program and other awards and scholarships offered by the Alumni Association, visit http://alumni.asu.edu/services/student-scholarships/legacy-scholarship

Rare meteorite preserved for present, future scientists


August 21, 2013

The main mass of a rare meteorite that exploded over California’s Sierra foothills in April 2012 will be preserved for current and future scientific discoveries, thanks to the collaborative efforts of five U.S. academic institutions.

The meteorite has found a permanent home among: Arizona State University in Tempe; the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.; American Museum of Natural History in New York City; The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago; and the University of California, Davis. Together, the institutions have successfully acquired the biggest known portion of the Sutter’s Mill meteorite. meteorite divided Download Full Image

The meteorite is considered to be one of the rarest types to hit the Earth – a carbonaceous chondrite containing cosmic dust and presolar materials that helped form the planets of the solar system.

Its acquisition signifies enhanced research opportunities for each institution and ensures that future scientists can study the meteorite for years to come.

“The joint acquisition of this rare and scientifically important meteorite by five major research institutions represents a winning situation for all concerned,” said Meenakshi Wadhwa, director of the Center for Meteorite Studies at ASU. “Each of us is wholly committed to maximizing the scientific value of this meteorite and to preserving and caring for it so that it will be available to future generations of scientists.”

The meteorite formed about 4.5 billion years ago. While it fell to Earth roughly the size of a minivan before exploding as a fireball, less than 950 grams have been found. Its main mass weighs just 205 grams (less than half a pound) and is about the size of a human palm.

The main mass was X-rayed by a CT scan at the UC Davis Center for Molecular and Genomic Imaging. This was the first time a meteorite acquisition was CT scanned before its division among a consortium of institutes, allowing prior knowledge of each piece’s contents. Then it was cut into five portions, reflective of each institution’s investment, before being delivered to the institutions.

The portion of the main mass acquired by each institution includes:

• American Museum of Natural History: 34 percent

• Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History: 32 percent

• The Field Museum of Natural History: 16 percent

• Arizona State University: 13 percent

• UC Davis: 5 percent

When the meteorite landed near Sutter’s Mill, the gold discovery site that sparked the California Gold Rush, it spurred a scientific gold rush of sorts, with researchers, collectors and interested citizens scouring the landscape for fragments of meteorite. The institutions that have acquired the main mass were among those that acted on this rare scientific opportunity to gain insights about the origins of life and the formation of the planets.

Several months following the fall of the Sutter’s Mill meteorite, ASU’s Wadhwa learned that the main mass was owned by Robert Haag, a well-known meteorite collector residing in Tucson, Ariz. On speaking with Haag, who has a long-standing interest in meteorites and has previously collaborated with researchers, she found that he was willing to make the meteorite available for sale to research institutions. She then contacted the other four institutions to initiate its joint acquisition.

According to Wadhwa, “The collaborative way in which the five institutions acquired and apportioned this sample, and Bob Haag’s willingness to cooperate with us as we conducted the CT scanning and subdivision, were instrumental in making this acquisition possible.”

Prior to obtaining a portion of the main mass of Sutter’s Mill, ASU had been able to acquire several small fragments of this important meteorite. Laurence Garvie, collections manager in the Center for Meteorite Studies, has been studying the mineralogy and chemistry of this material to understand the formation history of the parent asteroid from which it originated.

ASU’s Center for Meteorite Studies, which currently houses almost 2,000 distinct meteorites, is one of the largest university-based collections in the world. The center’s mission since its inception in 1961 has been to pursue new knowledge about the origin of our solar system and planets through studies of meteorites and other planetary materials, and to sharing this knowledge with a broad audience. The acquisition of nearly ~25 grams of the main mass for the center’s world-class meteorite collection will allow further detailed studies on this important meteorite, not only by ASU researchers, but also by other scientists across the globe.

Involvement from the other institutions included:

• UC Davis, located 60 miles west of Sutter’s Mill, provided local outreach and education for meteorite donations, and confirmed for the original discoverer of the meteorite’s main mass that it was carbonaceous chondrite. The university also X-rayed the meteorite and determined its age and chemical composition.

• The Smithsonian Institution cut the mass into five portions.

• The American Museum of Natural History worked closely with UC Davis geology professor Qing-zhu Yin to secure specimens of Sutter’s Mill right after its fall, and performed nondestructive computed tomography (CT) scans of several specimens kindly loaned by their finders. These scans were used to determine the density of several samples to a very high accuracy, confirming the type of meteorite represented by Sutter’s Mill.

• The Field Museum of Natural History found several presolar stardust grains in two smaller pieces of Sutter’s Mill donated by private meteorite collector Terry Boudreaux. Presolar stardust grains are the oldest solid samples available to any lab and are essentially time capsules from before the solar system formed, 4.6 billion years ago.

Nikki Cassis

marketing and communications director, School of Earth and Space Exploration