Wrenn named assistant athletic director for football operations

May 10, 2010

Arizona State University Head Football Coach Dennis">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/erickson_dennis00.html"... Erickson announced Monday that he has named Perry High School Athletic Director and Assistant Principal John">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/wrenn_john00.html">John Wrenn as Assistant Athletic Director For Football Operations. Wrenn comes to Arizona State for his second tour of duty after having spent the past three years at Perry in Gilbert, Arizona.

Wrenn served as running backs coach and assistant special teams coach in 2006 for former head coach Dirk">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/koetter_dirk00.html">Dirk Koetter. Download Full Image

"I am thankful for the opportunity to return to Arizona State University with head coach Dennis">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/erickson_dennis00.html"... Erickson," says Wrenn. "Dennis is creating a special program at ASU and it is a dream come true to be able to be a part of that. It is the perfect situation for me. I have coaching and administrative experience and I know this community. I know what it takes to be successful."

Wrenn compiled an impressive 223-46 won-loss record in 23 years of high school coaching, both at Hamilton High School and in the state of Illinois. He earned state Coach-of-the-Year accolades five times, three times in Arizona (1999, 2003 and 2004) and twice in Illinois. He has earned regional Coach-of-the-Year honors 15 times and was Chicago-area Coach-of-the-Year on four occasions.

Wrenn's teams competed in the state playoffs 19 times, winning three state championships. His squads were runners-up twice, semi-finalists three times and quarter-finalists four times. Wrenn won 16 Conference/Region Championships.

At Hamilton High, Wrenn's team posted a 91-11 eight-year record and won two state championships. Twice more his teams made it to the state championship game. His Hamilton resume also includes one state semi-finalist team and two quarter-finalist teams. Hamilton won the region championships five times (2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005).

At Perry High, Wrenn provided overall leadership, supervision and coordination of all sports programs. As Athletic Director at Hamilton High, Wrenn hired all coaches, helped develop all athletic facilities and supervised all athletic-related activities. He also served as the Department Head for Physical Education.

Wrenn's state of Illinois career included a 10-year stint as head football coach at Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Flossmoor, Illinois. His teams there compiled a 99-18 record, including one state championship, nine conference championships, nine state playoff appearances, two state semi-finalists and two quarter-finalists. Wrenn also served as the Assistant Athletic Director at Homewood-Flossmoor in 1995-96. In 1985-86, Wrenn was the Wide Receivers coach under Mike White at the University of Illinois. The Fighting Illini ranked in the nation's top 10 in passing that year and played in the 1985 Peach Bowl.

From 1982-84, Wrenn was the Head Football Coach at West Aurora High School in Aurora, Illinois. There, his teams posted a two-year record of 18-11 and won two conference championships and two state playoff berths.

Before a one-year stint at a private company in 1981-82, Wrenn was the Head Football Coach at East Aurora High School for two seasons (1979-81) and posted a 14-5 record, one conference championship and one state playoff appearance.

From 1977-79, Wrenn was an assistant football coach at West Aurora High and served in the same capacity between 1974-77 at Elgin Larkin High School in Elgin, Illinois.

As a player Wrenn was the Most Valuable Player for Western Illinois University in 1972. He lettered there between 1970 and 1973, captaining the teams in 1971 and 1972. He was a Division II All-American and still holds the school career interception record with 18. He is a member of the Western Illinois athletic Hall of Fame and was a Blue Key National Honor Society member.

Wrenn graduated from DeKalb High School (DeKalb, Illinois) in 1969 and was all-conference and all-area in football. He also competed in basketball, baseball and wrestling.

Bridging languages, connecting cultures

May 10, 2010

Sihua Meng studied English in her native China, and she doesn’t have much trouble holding one-on-one conversations with people who speak English.

But get a few Americans together, and Meng is lost. “When American people talk together I can’t understand them,” she said during a recent Conversation Club at Einstein’s in the Memorial Union. Download Full Image

The Conversation Club, sponsored by the American English and Culture Program, is a good way for students such as Meng to start. Every Monday when ACEP is in session, year-round, the Conversation Club meets for an hour, starting at either 4:30 or 5:30 p.m. depending on the time of year, to offer ACEP students the opportunity to talk with American students.

It’s a chaotic but intense hour, with approximately 60 ACEP students mingling with 15 to 20 Americans, all talking non-stop.

On that Monday, along with Meng, students from Panama, Venezuela, Turkey, China, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Korea, Kazakhstan and Venezuela crowded into Einsteins, eating cookies, and drinking coffee and iced tea, their voices a cacophony of accents – and verbal accidents.

Their main goal is to practice speaking English, but many are hoping to extend their friendship circle as well.
Meng, who wants to study at ASU said, “I live with an American family but I want to make friends with people from all over the world.”

Victoria Serrano, from Panama, welcomed the chance to come to Conversation Club because, she said, “I live alone and I don’t have anyone to practice with.”

One of her difficulties with English, she said, is that she “doesn’t know how to end conversations.”

Jimmy Liu was here from Taiwan to practice his English for business purposes. “I learned English in Taiwan, but I don’t use it,” he said. “I work for an international organization, Campus Crusade for Christ, and they wanted me to learn to speak more fluently.”

Turki Al Sheikh, from Saudi Arabia, said he has been in the United Sates for a year, and wants to earn a business degree from ASU, so he found the Conversation Club a good opportunity to prepare for taking his classes in English.

Seulgi Le, from Korea, also said he hoped to study at ASU, and he has his eyes on the supply chain management degree.

Jimena Gazzanego, from Argentina, another prospective student, said she hopes to one day be a Sun Devil. “I want to study human resources at ASU,” she said, at ease with her English.

The American students also hope to broaden their horizons by participating in Conversation Club. Christine Collier, an ASU student majoring in Japanese, who is a regular at the gatherings, explained, “I like meeting people who are from different places. They have a different perspective.”

Going to the Conversation Club is sort of like going to a party where you don’t know anyone. “Sometimes the ACEP students are shy and ask me to introduce them to an American. I always enjoy doing that,” said Zachary Makawi, activities coordinator for ACEP.

“Other students are more passive about it – they usually expect an American to approach them. To facilitate that, I sometimes approach the Americans and bring them over to our students.”

ASU students and ACEP students who wish to develop more in-depth relationships may participate in ACEP’s Conversation Partner Program.

“This means that both parties apply, giving their contact information. From there, they’re matched according to gender (male with male and female with female to avoid any cultural misunderstandings). The goal is that these students would then meet up for language and cultural exchange, as well as friendship. Meetings are at a time and location of their choosing.”

Conversation Club has been going on for 18 years, according to Mark Rentz, director of AECP, as an “outside-class, real-world conversation opportunity for students learning English as a second language.

“Some of our students found it challenging to join regular ASU student clubs because the ASU students and ASU international students spoke English at a very high level and at a very fast speed.

“Our students wanted an opportunity to practice English, too, but in a warm and encouraging environment where everyone is at different levels of English, even at very beginning levels.”

ASU’s American students are welcome to attend the Conversation Club, Rentz added. “Their presence and their patience makes the Conversation Club so exciting and encouraging for our AECP students because our students feel like they are in the real world using real language and getting to know people who are insiders to the culture when they talk to American students.”

Students interested in attending should send an e-mail to Makawi (zachary.makawi">mailto:zachary.makawi@asu.edu">zachary.makawi@asu.edu) for more information.
AECP has been offering intensive English as a second language instruction at ASU since 1974. For more information on ACEP, go to http://global.asu.edu/aecp.">http://global.asu.edu/aecp">http://global.asu.edu/aecp.