ASU News

West campus events series features former child soldier

September 5, 2012

A visit to Arizona State University’s West campus by author and former child soldier Ishmael Beah is among the highlights of the fall semester’s ThinK (Tuesdays here in the Kiva) series. The public is invited to participate in this wide variety of presentations, sponsored by ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.

There is no admission charge for ThinK events. Visitor parking on campus costs $2 per hour. Ishmael Beah Download Full Image

Beah’s Sept. 18 visit is in conjunction with New College’s freshman book project, in which all incoming freshmen read “A Long Way Gone” over the summer. The book describes Beah’s experience of being forced to serve as a child soldier in Sierra Leone.

The New York Times described “A Long Way Gone” as “remarkable,” with the reviewer stating that the book “…makes you wonder how anyone comes through such unrelenting ghastliness and horror with his humanity and sanity intact. Unusually, the smiling, open face of the author on the book jacket provides welcome and timely reassurance. Ishmael Beah seems to prove it can happen.”

The annual freshman book project is now in its fourth year. According to Elizabeth Langland, dean of New College and vice provost of the West campus, the book project has proven successful in building a sense of community on the West campus and encouraging New College students, from the start of their college careers, to make connections and develop leadership skills.

“Participating in the book project and our ThinK series exposes students to a variety of intellectual perspectives and disciplines that enrich, integrate and advance the ideas they are encountering in their courses,” Langland said.

The list of ThinK activities during the fall semester includes:

• Sept. 11 – Let’s Talk “Greening” Maroon & Gold, 4 p.m., Kiva Lecture Hall

• Sept. 18 – Ishmael Beah discusses “A Long Way Gone,” 7 p.m., La Sala Ballroom (book signing to follow)

• Sept. 25 – “Meet the Tutors” from the Student Success Center, 4 p.m., Kiva Lecture Hall

• Oct. 2 – Town hall debate on “Inequality and the Role of Government,” 6 p.m., La Sala Ballroom

• Oct. 9 – Pre-health Conference, keynote speaker presentation, 4 p.m., Kiva Lecture Hall

• Oct. 16 – New College Professor Marlene Tromp discusses “Untold Titanic: The Living, The Rich, and The Dead,” 4 p.m., Kiva Lecture Hall\

• Oct. 23 – Free Speech and Citizenship Contest, commemorating Free Speech Week, 4 p.m., Kiva Lecture Hall

• Oct. 30 – New College Professor Mary Burleson discusses “Reach Out and Touch Someone: Influence of Affectionate Touch on Stress and Relationships,” 4 p.m., Kiva Lecture Hall

• Nov. 6 – Election Coverage Watch Party with the Graduate and Professional Student Association, 4 p.m., Kiva Lecture Hall

• Nov. 13 – New College Professor Matt Newman discusses “The Lasting Impact of Being Bullied,” 4 p.m., Kiva Lecture Hall

• Nov. 20 – “Scholarships, Grants, Federal Work Study, Loans: Oh My! Where Do I Qualify,” the annual presentation on options for financing a college education, 4 p.m., Kiva Lecture Hall

• Nov. 27 – New College Professor Lindsay Mean discusses “Love It or Hate It, It’s Simply the Greatest: The Power of Sport, Media and Culture,” 4 p.m., Kiva Lecture Hall

• Dec. 4 – Professor Joseph Carter from ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business will discuss “Off-Shoring, On-Shoring, Near-Shoring: The Supply Chain Logic,” 4 p.m., Kiva Lecture Hall

For more information about ThinK events, contact Heidi Maxwell at 602-543-4521 or