Staffer helps start Working Parents Network

October 4, 2012

When Jennifer Kampp returned to her position as executive assistant of ASU’s Office of Public Affairs after taking a maternity leave to have her daughter, she “felt like a fish out of water. Everything at work was the same, but I wasn’t the same,” she said.

Overwhelmed by the transition from new motherhood back to career mode, Kampp struggled to find on-campus resources available to new parents. Certain that she was not alone in her pursuit, Kampp felt a growing desire to connect with other new parents at ASU who were experiencing the same things she was. Spurred on by this feeling, she decided she needed to take action and began brainstorming. Download Full Image

The eureka moment happened as Kampp was reading a blog on Fit Pregnancy that talked about the importance of having a support group at work for parents. She sent a link to the blog along with her ideas to ASU Human Resources, who referred her to the Employee Assistance Office.

As luck would have it, the EAO was in the midst of brainstorming something very similar to what Kampp had in mind. Suzanne Jacobs and Korah Hoffman of the EAO worked with HR to survey ASU employees who had recently taken a parental leave to create a distribution list of people interested in joining a group for new, working parents. Thrilled that Kampp was willing to take the initiative, the EAO agreed to be the official group sponsor and designated her coordinator. Thus, the Working Parents Network was born.

The WPN is an on-campus resource for parents of children five and under that meets the second Thursday of each month from 12 to 1 p.m., at the Fulton Center, in room 2490. During meetings, members share resources, have discussions about anything and everything parent/child-related and work on building a support network.

Because the WPN is still in its infancy, now is the perfect time to join up and help influence the path it takes. It is a peer-led group, which means that while Kampp is the coordinator, no one person is in charge. The members decide what is discussed and thereby determine what they get out of it.

During a recent meeting, a popular concern that was brought up was how to carve out time for fitness with a busy schedule as a working parent. Kampp and members addressed the issue and came up with a list of on-campus fitness classes, as well as an idea to assemble a “walking group” that could meet a few times a week to walk around the air-conditioned Wells Fargo Arena during their lunch break.

Kampp also has been working on finding guest speakers for the group’s meetings. In September, Hoffman and Jacobs gave a presentation on work-life balance and Maureen Duane from ASU Family Resources will join the October meeting to talk about child care options. Chari Woodward, with the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College Preschool, is also slated to speak about child development stages at a future meeting and contact has been made with First Things First, a statewide organization committed to helping Arizona children five and younger prepare for a successful future in education.

In addition to guest speakers, Kampp has reached out to magazines, such as Raising Arizona Kids, who have agreed to provide print materials to the WPN, free of charge for all members. Left-over copies of the magazines are distributed to the lactation rooms around the campuses, via Family Resources, for nursing moms to enjoy. The Children’s Museum of Phoenix also has agreed to provide donated guest passes to group members.

WPN member Jamillah Anderson pitched in by volunteering her free time and tech smarts to create a WPN website:, where members can learn about on-campus and community resources. It also provides an avenue for the group to virtually connect with each other via an online forums option. Kampp also sends out bi-weekly emails with additional resources and updates.

While Kampp is very enthusiastic about this initiative and has high hopes for its future, she acknowledges that it may not be for everyone.

“Some people don’t feel the need for a parenting support network, and that’s totally fine,” she says. “I did, and that’s why I wanted to help create the Working Parents Network – so if you are one of those people who need it, it’s here.”

In time, Kampp hopes to work with HR to make sure employees who are about to go on parental leave are aware that the WPN is available to them when they return. She also believes there is a possibility of the opportunity to have a WPN for parents of kids of all ages.

“It doesn’t matter how old your kids are, as parents at every stage need support,” says Kampp.

Meanwhile, she is excited to be associated with the EAO, whose reputation for providing quality services to ASU employees free of charge is well-revered, and also quite happy with everything that has been accomplished so far.

Emma Greguska

Reporter, ASU Now

(480) 965-9657

Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering team wins 2012 ASU Academic Bowl

October 4, 2012

Engineering last won the title in 2006

Just moments before the final buzzer sounded, the Bolshevik Revolution was among the last answers to be uttered in the championship round of the 2012 ASU Academic Bowl – ultimately dethroning the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences from their five-year championship reign and declaring a new winner: the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering (maroon team). Download Full Image

Engineering had advanced through several nail-biting matches Thursday night, in the Eight, Arizona PBS studios, before a live television audience, not losing a single one. Barry Ritchie, vice provost of academic personnel and professor of physics, served as moderator for all the matches.

The winning team will take home $24,000 in scholarship money, divided among its members. 

A Western hero who fired silver bullets was among the first set of bonus questions in the first matchup of the semi-finals, which pitted the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Maroon team against the College of Technology and Innovation team. Though Engineering did not recognize the Lone Ranger, they knew a handful of others questions – enough to help themselves to an early 60-point lead, which quickly snowballed into a score of 120-0.

Calling out with certainty the answers to questions about the empirical formula, the quadratic formula and the theory of relativity, the Engineering team dominated the CTI team much like the Greek gods, nearly all of whom they knew. 

"Mission Impossible" was not just another correct answer Engineering threw out like a strike over the plate – it began to look more like a taunt to CTI's dream of victory. Through the civil rights movement, "Moby Dick," and Harriet Beecher Stowe, the engineers would not let up. They buzzed often and rarely missed. With pencil and paper, they solved for x and won yet another opportunity for a set of bonus questions.

When the match was over – much to CTI's relief – the scoreboard read 410-0, and Engineering continued on their way to the winner's match.  

Knowing their transition metals, the W. P. Carey team got right down to business in the second matchup of the semi-finals against the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Maroon team, who had not one chance to buzz in by the time the business majors already had added a hundred points to their score. 

But in typical fashion, CLAS came back; they managed to snag a bonus round and scored a quick 40 points. Napoleon and the Congress of Vienna helped them to a few more, as Business watched their comfy lead fade into the blinding light of the Eight television studios. 

With five minutes to go, CLAS suddenly found themselves in the lead by nearly 50 points. Answering questions about the American Civil War, they cranked their lead up by a few more. But Business won the next toss-up, answered correctly and impressively sped through a set of bonus questions to even the score. 

What happened next was pivotal and, from what I've observed over the last six years of Academic Bowl play at ASU, an unprecedented move. Lightning fast W. P. Carey slowed their speed considerably during a bonus round that ultimately gave them a 45-point lead. With the clock on their side in the final moments of the match, the business majors closed the deal with a smooth stroll – resulting in a strategic win with a score of 215-170.

Joining the Ira. A. Fulton Schools of Engineering in the winners' round, the W. P. Carey School of Business could not get on the board as quickly as their opponent. However the two teams kept a balanced pace. Engineering successfully fired through a set of questions on Indian literature, as Business shouted out the name of the mother of the goddess of youth. 

The capital of Helsinki, the Winter War and Russian rule lent 40 points to Business' score, and although Engineering won the next toss-up, the team botched a few answers, confusing Salem with Portland, Ore. They redeemed themselves though with their proven knowledge of Southern writers.

And there must have been a musician on the Business team because they aced not one, not two, but all three bonus questions on music composition – but it didn't help them much. Engineering soon won with a final score of 255-190.

In the losers' match, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Maroon team met up with the College of Technology and Innovation. CLAS gained a 90-point lead polished off by Pascal's Triangle. William Jennings Bryant and Tom Brady helped CTI narrow their deficit, as they charged ahead in a bonus set on comic books. But CLAS would not have it; they won the next toss-up and put the match to bed.

Nicholas Tesla, a value of zero and the House of Lords were all correct answers that led the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Maroon to a 240-65 victory over CTI.  

With the College of Technology and Innovation eliminated, the W. P. Carey School of Business faced off once again with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Maroon team in the fifth match of the night – a match that would determine who would advance to the final round against the Engineering team. Having competed against each other earlier in the night, the two teams fell into a familiar rhythm, sparring over the Reformation, Broadway shows and Albert Einstein. For much of the match, the dual scoreboards looked reflected as though in a mirror.

However when CLAS took a 100-point lead, it was not certain how long they'd keep it – sure, Business had some catching up to do, but they had done it before and won. The Battle of Bunker Hill brought Business back to life, followed up by a fruit fly-themed bonus set which threw a few more points their way. CLAS led by a mere 30 points when they won the next toss-up with less than two minutes in the round, and while Business fought admirably, they just couldn't keep up with the almighty CLAS.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences had borrowed a page from the Business book by slowing their pace with the clock, winding down, and the points on their side. A final score of 235-195 confirmed W. P. Carey's elimination, and CLAS advanced to the finals. 

The Sumerian Empire was the first answer given in the final round of the 2012 ASU Academic Bowl – 10 points taken swiftly by the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Maroon team, who had their eyes on one last win that would earn them the championship. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Maroon team had a little more work to do – needing to beat Engineering twice to win the trophy in a final seventh match – and work they did. CLAS matched Engineering's 50 points and then some. Cleopatra, Marc Antony and the Battle of Actium gave CLAS a 35-point lead over Engineering. 

But the lead was fleeting. The island of Crete, "The Lord of the Flies," and "The Last of the Mohicans" put Engineering back on top. With a 100-point lead, Engineering correctly answered questions about thermodynamics and entropy, but missed one on pressure (probably due to the pressure). CLAS made a solid attempt to fight back, but Engineering was relentless, buzzing in for nearly every toss-up and using the time wisely as they answered bonus questions.

When the buzzer sounded, there was a clear winner of the 2012 ASU Academic Bowl. Engineering had defeated the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 315-120, to become the Academic Bowl champion for the first time since 2006.

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library