Home Page Display: 

You can never have too much tuba

April 19, 2018

Burning Brass ensemble formed to showcase the talents of players of some real heavy metal (instruments)

Burning Brass turns it up to 11. 

The newest ensemble at Arizona State University packs some serious heavy metal. Not the "big hair, makeup and screaming guitars" kind, though: the "trumpets and horns that used to call cavalry into battle above the boom of the cannon" kind. 

“I would say the brass players tend to be the heavy hitters, the trumpets have the melody and the trombones have other loud stuff,” said conductor and doctoral student Melanie Brooks. 

“There can’t be enough tuba; you have to have more tuba.”


Four months ago a group of ASU tubaists, euphoniumists, trumpeter and hornists met over pizza and settled on a name for their new brass ensemble: Burning Brass. The group — 19 students and alumni with one conductor— formed to showcase the talents of brass players and raise funds for a brass scholarship at ASU.

Brooks, who just defended her dissertation, is like most in the group: balancing gigs, rehearsal and her own instrument and work.

She saw a challenge in conducting the group of instruments that often play a supportive role to the winds and strings. Brooks, a saxophonist, not only studies the music and leads her players, she also loads instruments and arranges a U-Haul for performances. To the conductor, it's worth the trouble. 

“This is a good chance for them to shine as their own entity,” said Brooks.

For graduate student Brianne Borden, who has loved the trumpet since she could drown out her brothers’ instruments with it, the challenge has been preparing for their first performance as an ensemble.  

"We are often accused of, and guilty of, being loud and overly confident and strong," said Borden, who hopes that the group can show the softer side of brass.

“I think the kind of default assumption of brass is that it's loud," she said. "We do have both of those components … but you can be both of those things and have the softer and more gentle and lyrical side."

The group will be playing its first concert at the Church of the Epiphany in Tempe and raising funds for a new scholarship. 

For those in the audience, Borden is sure they will experience an emotional reponse and be pumping their fists — very metal.

Burning Brass

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 20.

Where: Church of the Epiphany, 2222 S. Price Road, Tempe.

Admission: $10 online, $12 at the door.

Honoring outstanding alumni from construction and civil engineering

April 19, 2018

On March 2, the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment hosted their annual Academy of Distinguished Alumni and Hall of Fame awards ceremony and dinner.

The academy honors a select group of SSEBE alumni who have had stellar careers and given back to the programs within the school. On March 2, 2018, the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment hosted their annual Academy of Distinguished Alumni and Hall of Fame awards ceremony and dinner. Photo by Marco-Alexis-Chaira/ASU Download Full Image

Established in 1990, the Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who are not alumni but have contributed to the advancement of the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, one of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, its educational and research mission and its preparation of the industry’s workforce.

The ceremony inducted two of the school’s outstanding contributors into the Hall of Fame and six alumni exemplars into the Academy of Distinguished Alumni.

Entering the Hall of Fame

Bo Calbert and Charles E. O’Bannon are this year’s Hall of Fame inductees.

Calbert served as president of McCarthy Building Companies — Southwest Division from 2000 to his retirement in 2016, concluding 35 years with the company. Calbert’s contributions and leadership for the Del E. Webb School of Construction have been substantial.

“When I look at someone who really provides servant leadership, Bo [Calbert] comes to mind immediately,” said G. Edward Gibson Jr., director of the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment. “Bo has been a great leader of his company with a wonderful 35-year career.”

Calbert’s work with the Alliance for Construction Excellence and the Construction Industry Advisory Council made a significant impact on strategic direction and vision for the school, including the development of the construction engineering program. His commitment to the Block 12 Building fundraising campaign was instrumental in helping construct the College Avenue Commons building.

O’Bannon, the other 2018 Hall of Fame inductee, retired from ASU in 1997 after 33 years as a professor, including seven years serving as chair of the Civil Engineering Department.

During his tenure, he established a legacy of inspiring hundreds of leaders in civil engineering and construction. O’Bannon’s energy, intellect, humor and his quest for living in spite of physical challenges were an inspiration to his family, friends, students and all the “strangers he never met.”

Carey O’Bannon Kyler and D’Ann O’Bannon Clewis accepted the honor posthumously on behalf of their father, who passed away on July 14, 2000.

“Over and over again, when I first arrived at ASU, I heard stories from people who went through both the civil engineering and construction programs about how O’Bannon helped them make it through ASU and into their career,” Gibson said. “His career had a huge impact on the legacy we have here at the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment.”

These awardees join eight others who have been honored as Hall of Fame members in the past.

Joining the Academy of Distinguished Alumni

The Academy of Distinguished Alumni recognizes alumni who embody the spirit of ASU as a New American University and show excellence in their professional work as well as compassion and support for their communities.

These individual awards are granted to outstanding alumni of the Del E. Webb School of Construction and the Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering program.

This year’s awardees include:

  • George J. “Jim” Geiser, PE (’77 BS, civil engineering) is the retired principal of Prelude Engineering. Geiser was recognized for working with undergraduates through Friends of Civil Engineering and establishing a scholarship for civil engineering undergraduate students. Geiser, who retired from the United States Marine Corps, recently lead the effort to create a recognition wall outside of the Tillman Center for all of ASU’s fallen soldiers.
  • LeRoy C. Hanneman Jr. (’69 BS, construction) is a 35-year veteran of the housing industry and former president, chief operating and executive officer of Del Webb Corporation. Hanneman supported construction management for many years through the Industry Advisory Council, student competitions and establishing several undergraduate student scholarships.
  • Geza E. Kmetty, PE (’65 BS, civil engineering) has more than 40 years of civil engineering design and business management experience in transportation and urban infrastructure development. Kmetty is world renowned for value engineering, continues to teach civil engineering courses at ASU and was recently recognized with the Arizona Transportation Engineering Legacy Award.
  • Debra Larson, PE (’94 PhD, civil engineering) is provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Chico. Larson is the consummate PhD graduate, balancing experience in engineering and in academia. She has received significant recognition during her career, most notably the Excellence in Civil Engineering Education Leadership Award from the American Society of Civil Engineering.
  • Valerie S. Roberts (’87 BS, construction) is the senior vice president of Global Field Services at Jacobs Engineering. Roberts has had an exemplary career in construction management. Prior to Jacobs, she was the acting principal deputy for the NIF & Photon Science Directorate at Lawrence Livermore. She joined the NIF project in 1996 as construction manager. Prior to Lawrence Livermore, Roberts worked 11 years at Sandia National Laboratory. 
  • Michael D. Roy (’79 BS, construction – office operations) is executive vice president of Bragg Companies, Inc. Roy, a continuous supporter of the Del E. Webb School of Construction, helped establish connections with alumni and professional associations in Southern California during the College Avenue Commons building campaign. 

Many of these alumni have remained affiliated with ASU since their graduation and have contributed to the success of the Fulton Schools.

These awardees join 24 other alumni who have been inducted into the academy since it began in 1995.

Erik Wirtanen

Web content comm administrator, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering


From brain connections to memories: ASU psychology graduate student wins National Science Foundation fellowship

April 19, 2018

Blake Elliott, a graduate student in the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University, has received a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The prestigious fellowship funds Elliott’s tuition and stipend for three years and provides research funds. Elliott uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study how connections within the brain contribute to what we remember.

It was a breakfast burrito that started Elliott on the path to wanting to know about connections between neurons, which are the cells that make up the brain, and human behavior. A track-and-field coach at his high school bought Elliott the burrito while talking about running competitively. Blake Elliott, graduate student in ASU Department of Psychology Blake Elliott, a graduate student in the Department of Psychology at ASU, will use his NSF Fellowship to study how memory works. Photo by Robert Ewing Download Full Image

“Success on the track changed my life. It motivated me to keep improving, which caused me to train harder and smarter,” Elliott said. “I began reading everything I could on kinesiology, exercise physiology, nutrition and sports psychology.”

Elliott’s love of running fast introduced him to science and eventually landed him at ASU as a star member of the track team and an undergraduate psychology student. Elliott finished his collegiate running career last year when he began working toward his doctorate in psychology.

“When I was an undergraduate student at ASU, I became interested in how we can remember things that are valuable to us,” he said. “As a graduate student, I decided to use MRI methods that measure brain activity and map brain pathways to look at how the brain tracks value and uses it when we remember.”

To study what role brain connections play in memory, Elliott had to connect two research labs in ASU’s Department of Psychology. Elliott works with Gene Brewer, associate professor of psychology, in the Memory and Attention Lab and with Samuel McClure, associate professor of psychology, in the Decision Neuroscience Lab.

Brewer’s lab studies memory, and one area of focus is how the brain uses its limited resources to remember what is most relevant, important or useful.

“We cannot remember all the events and details of our lives,” Brewer said, “and we need signals that let us know something is important or relevant and is a priority to remember.”

Scientists think the dopamine system broadcasts signals in the brain that indicate an event or detail is valuable enough to remember. McClure’s lab studies the role of the dopamine system in decision-making by using mathematical models and by developing new human neuroimaging methods.

“Dopamine monitors how valuable something is to us. It tracks the value of everything, from cheeseburgers to abstract goals, and sends those value signals throughout the brain,” McClure said. “The goal of my work with Blake and Gene is to link the value signal to memory formation in the brain.”

Elliott will use the MRI scanner to create a map of the connections between brain areas where dopamine is made and brain areas where memories are formed. Working with McClure and Brewer, Elliott will compare the strength of those connections with value signals from mathematical models of memory formation.

“It is rare that you can find a link between a complex behavior, such as memory, and individual connections in the brain,” McClure said. “Pursuing this link is what makes Blake’s research innovative.”

Robert Ewing

Marketing and Communications Manager, Department of Psychology


image title

Training teaches ASU students how to be caring, supportive friends

ASU students get training to learn how to spot stress, offer emotional support.
April 18, 2018

Devils 4 Devils helps peers to spot distress, ask questions and offer comfort

Stress is a natural state for college students, and talking it out with friends is a great way to cope. Over the past year, Arizona State University has been helping students learn how to become better listeners to their friends who need emotional support.

Devils 4 Devils is a unique kind of peer counseling that empowers students to confidently pay attention and react to students who are stressed or facing mental health issues. The peers learn practical skills like active listening and how to ask open-ended questions.

“The idea is that emotional well-being is all of our responsibilities. It’s not only the responsibility of the Counseling Center or the health centers,” said Aaron Krasnow, associate vice president of ASU Counseling Services and Health Services.

“People turn to each other all the time to get support. But we also recognize that sometimes we might feel unprepared to talk to friends about their emotional difficulties,” he said.

“How do you help the helpers?”

So Devils 4 Devils, which was launched about a year ago, offers four levels of training:

Video: A four-minute video on the ASU website explains the importance of emotional well-being in a college community and offers brief information about signs of distress and ways to help.

Video courtesy ASU Counseling

General helping skills: This two-hour training is open to any ASU student who is interested. Primary goals are to learn about mental health and signs of distress and to hone skills as a helper.

Leadership training: This two-and-a-half-hour session is open to student leaders in residence halls, student government, clubs, Greek life, athletics or other areas with a focus on mental health and signs of distress in individuals and in groups and ways to build and sustain emotionally healthy communities and teams.

Care Squad: A six-hour training for students who want an active role in mentoring and serving individuals and groups of students. After training, Care Squad members will provide direct service in the form of outreach training and events, drop-in support groups and workshops.

Over the past year, 612 students were trained in general helping skills, 56 student-leaders took leadership training and 73 students trained to become part of the Care Squad.

The sessions offer specific skills in how to ask someone how they’re doing in a way that creates the openness for response and how to communicate in an empathetic way.

“We also offer students ideas about what to do when you hear something that’s concerning or sad or scary. Because we all have those things in our life. And if I share my sadness with you, now you have to hold my sadness a little bit,” Krasnow said.

“And so it’s both how to ask and how to receive information. Because if you only teach someone how to ask, they’re underprepared for what to do with it.”

Krasnow said that sometimes students worry that a peer will share something that shows they’re really at risk.

“My answer is that they’re already talking to each other about their pain. But if they’re not, and someone shares that, thank goodness. Because that person can get help.

“What we don’t want is students to feel alone in their pain. What we don’t want is someone to be at risk and to think that there’s no one they can talk to.”

Preston Johnson, a graduate student at ASU, took the Care Squad training and found that students were happy to learn specific ways of responding.

“What are some ways to navigate those conversations without being charged with, ‘How do I fix this for them?’ ” he said.

“It was an in-depth look at how to be supportive rather than remediative.”

For example, when someone describes stress over an exam, don’t point out that that he or she should attend tutoring.

Advice comes from good intentions. “But the subtext can be, ‘I don’t want to experience that stress with you. I want you to be out of it,’" he said.

“An empathetic response takes vulnerability and effort. A simple response is, ‘Wow, it sounds like this class means a lot and you’re worried.’ It’s communicating, ‘It’s OK for you to feel this way in front of me.’ ”

Johnson said that Devils 4 Devils is about creating an environment where people feel supported in sharing their feelings.

“It builds on this philosophy that people in general can handle the things that come up in their own lives. What’s difficult is when you feel like, ‘I’m in this by myself.’"

Other universities offer peer counseling, but ASU is unique because the trained students are not part of Counseling Services and Devils 4 Devils is a university-wide wellness initiative, Krasnow said.

“There will never be enough professional counselors in the world for everybody who will be in pain, and nor should we think that all emotional pain should be dealt with by professional counselors,” he said. “We invest in professional counselors, and psychologists and social workers, we invest in peer-to-peer impact, we invest in online strategies and self-help, all to try and reach as many people as possible.”

Next, the individual colleges will have their own Devils 4 Devils.

“What’s the Devils 4 Devils engineering version? Or journalism version?” he said.

“By doing that we’ll adjust it even further because there will be college-culture components.”

Learn more about Devils 4 Devils and ASU Counseling Services

Mary Beth Faller

reporter , ASU Now


ASU psychology students compete for best research thesis

April 18, 2018

Arizona State University Department of Psychology undergraduate students showed off their research findings to their peers, faculty and family at the annual Psychology Honor Theses Poster Session and Undergraduate Awards on April 12.

The students worked all year in psychology labs, conducting innovative research. ASU Psychology Undergraduate Finalists Undergraduate Best Thesis finalists: Justin Palmer, Anaelle Ganase, and Colleen Sullivan. Photo by Robert Ewing Download Full Image

“The quality of these research projects is something you would expect to see in graduate-level theses,” said Clark Presson, professor of psychology and director of undergraduate studies. “These exceptional undergraduates make the Department of Psychology look great.”

For the past 12 years, the Department of Psychology, with the support of Barrett, The Honors College, has hosted a competition to determine the best undergraduate research theses, added Presson, who also coordinates the Psychology Honors Program.

There were three finalists for the best thesis award: Colleen Sullivan, Justin Palmer and Anaelle Ganase. Sullivan, Palmer and Ganase each invited a scholar of their choice from across the country. Each student defended their research to a committee made up of the invited scholars and faculty from the department. After the research presentations, the panelists and three invited scholars deliberated and selected a winner based on the quality of the student’s research and presentation.

All of this year’s finalists are seniors with goals of attending graduate school. 

“The work that these three did was so spectacular,” Presson said. “We are very proud of all of them!”

Justin Palmer — Winner, Best Undergraduate Thesis

Palmer completed the research for his thesis, “An Evaluation of the Cognitive Effects of a Short-Term and a Long-Term Ovarian Hormone Deprivation in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease: Addressing the Critical Window” in the Neuroscience of Memory and Aging Lab, led by Heather Bimonte-Nelson, professor of psychology.

A native of North Royalton, Ohio, Palmer found his calling at ASU.

“It was hard leaving my friends and family, but it forced me to grow as a person,” Palmer said. “I found the faculty of the ASU psychology department to be devoted mentors.”

Palmer’s interest in psychology began in high school after he shadowed a neurologist. He is especially interested in neurodegenerative diseases and whether early detection provides a window of opportunity for future treatments.

After ASU, Palmer will pursue his doctorate in clinical psychology with Lee Ryan, professor of psychology, at the University of Arizona.

Anaelle Ganase — Finalist, Best Undergraduate Thesis

Ganase worked with Kathy Lemery-Chalfant, professor of psychology, on her thesis, “Understanding Emotion Dynamics and Observed Cooperation and Conflict in the Sibling Relationship.”

Ganase studied how conflict among siblings helped or hindered their long-term development. 

"Conflictual interactions between siblings really matter, and the current literature right now has a general consensus that conflict is purely negative. This research is important because it shows that isn't necessarily true and that conflict between siblings helps early development," Ganase said. 

She is passionate about studying autism and plans to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology at some point in the future.  

Her advice for incoming students is to get involved early on in research because it will make your academic studies more applicable and accessible.  

Colleen Sullivan — Finalist, Best Undergraduate Thesis

Sullivan completed her thesis, “The Multidimensional Nature of Social Support in Contributing to Adjustment Following Spousal Loss” in the Pathways to Character Lab, led by Frank Infurna, assistant professor of psychology.

Sullivan’s end goal is different from many of her peers because she wants to be a forensic psychologist. Her interest in forensic psychology stems from when she was in the fifth grade and watched a documentary on the Zodiac Killer. She became fascinated with the career path of a forensic psychologist.

“There was a woman in the documentary who described the crimes and possible motives of the Zodiac Killer,” Sullivan said. “I was hooked, and as soon as I found out she was a trained forensic psychologist, I immediately decided that was the career for me.”

Sullivan cited the prestigious and knowledgeable professors and the research opportunities in the many disciplines within psychology as the reasons she attended ASU.

After graduation, Sullivan will begin pursuing the MS in Criminology and Criminal Justice through ASU’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Additional students who participated in the Psychology Honors Theses Poster Session and Undergraduate Awards:

• Hira Ali presented "Parental Impact on Adolescent Prosocial Behavior at Socioeconomic Status Extremes" based on work with Suniya Luthar, professor of psychology. 

• Gabriella Cabrera-Brown presented "Analysis of Economic Demand for Nicotine Using an Abbreviated Behavioral Economic Protocol in Rats" based on work with Cassandra Gipson-Reichardt, professor of psychology.

• Ashlyn Gonzales presented "Benefits of high intelligence: Potential moderating effects of emotion regulation and friendship quality" based on work with Suniya Luthar, professor of psychology.

• Sydney Harrison presented "The Comparison of Frontostriatal Tracts Between ADHD Adolescents and a Typically Developing Adolescent Control Group" based on work with Sam McClure, professor of psychology.

• Kate Horner presented "Early Adolescent Socialization: The Effects of Internet and Technology Use in Grades 7-8" based on work with Danielle McNamara, professor of psychology.

• Victoria Jacoby presented "The Impact of Blocked vs. Distributed Category Learning on Subsequent Generalization" based on work with Donald Homa, professor of psychology.

• Jamie Josephs presented "Culturally Motivated Clinician Drift in the Treatment of Eating Disorders: How Clinicians Adopt, Adapt, or Abandon CBT for Latino Clients" based on work with Marisol Perez, associate professor of psychology.

• Navneet Kaur presented "Bidirectional Relationship Between Parenting and Problem Behaviors: A Longitudinal Genetically Informed Design" based on work with Kathryn Lemery-Chalfant, professor of psychology.

• Paige Murwin presented "Do Awe and Enthusiasm Affect Stereotyping?" based on work with Michelle "Lani" Shiota, associate professor of psychology.

• Ashley Preves presented "Impact of Maternal PTSD on Infant Problem Behaviors: Mediation Through Parenting Stress" based on work with Linda Leucken, professor of psychology.

• Samantha Rodrigues presented "Impact of Family Support on Early Childhood Dysregulation in the Context of Maternal Depression" based on work with  Linda Leucken, professor of psychology.

• Beth Rosenberg presented "Age of Social Transition, Parental Acceptance, and Mental Health of Transgender Adults" based on work with Nancy Gonzales, Foundation Professor of psychology.

• Ariana Ruof presented "Predictors of Effortful Control in Early Adolescence" based on work with Laurie Chassin, professor of psychology.

• Shaikhameedha Shaikjamaludeen presented "Growth Mindset and Future Self-Connectedness as Explanations for Cultural Differences in Self-Improvement" based on work with Virginia Kwan, professor of psychology.

• Jacyln Stack presented "Effects of Parental Monitoring, Parental Autonomy-Giving, and Personal Autonomy on Drinking Behaviors during the Transition from High School to College" based on work with Will Corbin, professor of psychology.

• Krysten Sullivan presented "Exploring the Relation between Confidence and Accuracy in Recognition Memory" based on work with Gene Brewer, associate professor of psychology.

• Emily Taracena presented "Differences among High-Achieving Adolescents in Day Schools and Boarding Schools" based on work with Suniya Luthar, professor of psychology.

• Margaret Drury presented "Xenophobia: The Amicable or Exploitative Preference for Members of an Outgroup" based on work with Steven Neuberg, foundation professor of psychology and chair.

Robert Ewing

Marketing and Communications Manager, Department of Psychology


Bike counter reaches 100,000 at ASU Tempe campus

April 17, 2018

Two bike counters installed on the Tempe campus have been tracking bicyclists since the first week of January. And on Sunday, April 15, the counter at Apache Boulevard and College Avenue reached a new milestone: 100,000 incoming riders.

The counters, installed by the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning in collaboration with ASU Parking and Transit Services, are the university’s first effort to obtain continuous data on the number of bicyclists on the Tempe campus. Bicyclists ride past the bike counter at College and Apache Bicyclists ride past the bike counter installed at College Avenue and Apache Boulevard. Download Full Image

“It’s really hard for ASU to know how many people bike; every time they stick in bike parking, it fills up right away and it’s difficult to know how to provide for the number of cyclists that are coming here,” said Trisalyn Nelson, director at the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning.

“We’re super excited to now — for the first time ever — have continuous data on how many people are riding into campus,” Nelson said.

The counter at Apache and College tracks incoming cyclists only, while the one at Forest Avenue and University Drive counts incoming and outgoing.

While still in the beginning stages of tracking, Nelson said they’re already getting useful data.

“This semester, Tuesday, Feb. 6 was the busiest day for bikes on campus. Coming in on College past Apache, there were 1,492 cyclists that day. So that’s pretty cool to be able to have that information,” she said.

According to Nelson, the cyclists counted in the past four months have helped to reduce carbon emissions by about 729,000 pounds, or 301 metric tons.

University travel surveys have shown that about 17 percent of the Tempe campus population bikes to work or school, and that number continues to increase each year.

“We think it’s because of the land use changes that are going on,” Nelson said. “A lot of student housing development has gone in. It’s relatively close to campus which makes it more accessible for people to bike and walk.”

Next fall, the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning will offer a class in combination with Parking and Transit Services to help answer how ASU can better support bicyclists.

"Parking and Transit have a bunch of questions they need answered and the students will be working on projects to answer those questions to help them get a better sense of what’s happening with bicycling on campus and how we can continue to support it,” she said.

“It’s really good for the university to get people out of their cars; partly because of parking, but there’s also a lot of physical and mental health benefits to riding your bike.”

Kirsten Kraklio

Content Strategist and Writer, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Honor Runs hosted across the country recognize Tillman's legacy

April 16, 2018

The Arizona State University Alumni Association’s chapter network will honor the legacy of the late Pat Tillman, the former ASU Sun Devils and Arizona Cardinals football player who died during military combat operations in Afghanistan in 2004, by holding Tillman Honor Runs in conjunction with the 14th annual Pat’s Run, which will be held in Tempe on April 21.

The Tillman Honor Runs, which will be held in 33 locations this year, are local tributes to the main Pat’s Run in Tempe, a 4.2-mile run/walk that last year drew more than 28,000 participants. Pat’s Run is the signature fundraising event for the Pat Tillman Foundation, which empowers remarkable military veterans and spouses as the next generation of public and private sector leaders. Learn more about the impact of the Tillman Scholars at PatTillmanFoundation.org. pat Tillman For ASU alumni who want to participate in Pat's Run but can't make it to Tempe, the Alumni Association Honor Runs are for you. Photo by ASU Now Download Full Image

The Honor Runs are community-oriented affairs, commonly held at parks, schools and recreation areas. Participation in the Tillman Honor Runs has grown from 150 runners in 2009 to 3,500 runners in 2017. The Honor Runs are expected to attract area military veterans and other Tillman admirers, in addition to Sun Devil alumni and their families.

View a complete list of all cities hosting Tillman Honor Runs.

ASU student liked public transit so much he sold his car

April 16, 2018

Political science junior Ryan Wadding's life changed about six months ago when he sold his car.

Wadding, who works at Arizona State University's Pat Tillman Veterans Center doing community and student engagement, is in Barrett, The Honors College and was in the Marine Corps for four years. ryan wadding Political science junior Ryan Wadding, a Marine Corps veteran, was frustrated with the hassles of driving and parking at ASU so he started taking the light rail and busses with the U-Pass. With no need for a car, he sold it. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now Download Full Image

“I was using my car to commute and parking in a structure. I paid $720 to park per academic year,” he said. “I also paid for gas, vehicle insurance, registration costs and regular maintenance.”

In Munich last summer, Wadding saw how simple and enjoyable public transit and walking can be. Public transportation is less stressful, more sustainable and gives you an opportunity to get some work done, he said.

He now uses a U-Pass, the light rail and the intercampus shuttle to get to campus.

“Many times (on public transit), I saw things I knew I would have missed in a car. I observed people I rode with and saw into the culture of wherever I was,” Wadding said.

He also saves more than $500 a year. Wadding’s U-Pass costs $200 for the academic year. A summer U-Pass costs $75.

“A U-Pass means that your fare is ready when you are,” said Susan Tierney, Valley Metro communications manager. "Tap (the U-Pass) and ride the train or bus."

In addition to the U-Pass, Wadding also takes the Orbit to campus, a free Tempe neighborhood bus. After he gets off the Orbit, he walks to class and work. For work-related trips, he takes the free intercampus shuttle to other ASU campuses.

“The intercampus shuttles are by far the best way to get to another campus,” he said. “I only take the light rail to the Downtown Phoenix campus or back to Tempe during rush hour.”

ASU provides many opportunities to save time, money and stress on your commute, said JC Porter, commuter services assistant director.

“We invested in connecting students to campus in whatever way works best for them,” he said. “Ryan is an example for all of us to consider a less expensive and stress-free alternative.”

Read more about campus transportation solutions. To ask questions and find the right product for you, contact Parking and Transit Services

Peter Northfelt

Editor assistant, Business and Finance Support – Communications


Rainbow Coalition students value similarities and differences

April 9, 2018

ASU group shares experiences in honor of Pride Week

It's Pride Week at Arizona State University, and ASU Now asked students from the Rainbow Coalition and the Barrett, The Honors College LGBTQIA+ group to share their experiences with the larger Sun Devil community. The coalition serves as an umbrella organization to the many lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex and asexual organizations that impact the ASU community, promoting dialogue as well as civic engagement for ASU students.

Freshman political science major Sarah Cichomski, who is affiliated with Barrett's group, sees how students are more alike than different.

"We're here for the same reasons as you," said Cichomski, who hopes to work in international law in China. "We're here to pursue what we want to do and we have a wide variety of interests."

Rainbow Coalition President Gayatri Girirajan sees a more open and forgiving dialogue as a way to dismiss stereotypes which are ultimately reductive and prevent us from fostering better understanding.

"This is a community that spans across every single demographic, across all walks of life and to realize that our identities are only one part of who we are," said the sustainability and geography sophomore. "Even if we're different then that's a beautiful thing." 

Girirajan sees the LGBTQIA+ community on campus as too broad to apply stereotypes.

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles on ASU's diverse student coalitionsLearn more about the Asian/Asian Pacific American Student CoalitionBlack African CoalitionCoalition of International StudentsEl Concilio and the Womyn's Coalition.

image title

Thunderbird alumni gather to say goodbye to their iconic campus

Nostalgic alumni celebrate Thunderbird's campus before it moves to Phoenix.
April 8, 2018

Graduates reminisce in Glendale before their school moves to ASU's downtown Phoenix campus

Hundreds of alumni gathered at the Thunderbird School of Global Management over the weekend to say goodbye to their iconic campus before Thunderbird moves to downtown Phoenix over the summer.

The “campus tribute” celebration marked the school’s past, with flyovers from World War II-era planes on Saturday, and looked ahead to its future, with a Sunday morning visit to the new site in Phoenix. In between was a lot of reminiscing by nostalgic graduates at the iconic Glendale campus.

“I came because it was the last chance to see the campus,” said Alan Horne, from the class of 1993. He learned Japanese at Thunderbird and after graduating, he worked in Japan for 10 years.

“I had read about Thunderbird before I came here and it was like they were writing about me. I knew I had to be a student here. And when I got here, sure enough, it was everything it was advertised to be,” said Horne, who now lives in Florida.

Alumni spent Saturday taking class photos and wandering around the campus. Graduates visited the library, with its artwork donated from around the world, and the Tower Building, home of the original flight tower and the iconic Pub, the social center of the school.

Alumni who gathered at the Thunderbird School of Global Management campus tribute event this weekend learned that the new site in downtown Phoenix will include many of the iconic parts of their campus, including artwork and the Pub. Photo by Marcus Chormicle/ASU Now

Allen Morrison, CEO and director-general of Thunderbird, told the alumni that the new site will include that legacy.

“We’re committed to retaining the heritage icons of this campus and capturing the history of Thunderbird as we move downtown,” he said.

Saturday’s festivities kicked off with a flyover, evoking the original use of the Glendale campus, which was started as a World War II air field. More than 10,000 pilots from 30 countries trained at Thunderbird Field before going off to fight in World War II.

After the war, Gen. Barton Kyle Yount, the retired commander of the Army Air Forces, bought the vacant air base for a dollar and started a school to train businessmen to work overseas. The American Institute for Foreign Trade opened in 1946. Thunderbird grew from a small trade school to a bustling center of graduate education. By 1990, about 1,500 students were enrolled from all over the world.

But by the late 1990s, people could earn degrees online and companies didn’t have to send employees abroad to do international business. Enrollment declined, leading to financial problems. In 2014, Thunderbird was bought by ASU, which stabilized Thunderbird's finances.

Today, Thunderbird has more than 44,000 alumni, with active chapters in more than 140 countries. The undergraduate program, which began in 2015, will remain at ASU’s West campus.

Morrison said that he’s spent the past three years meeting with alumni around the world.

“We have moved from a feeling, I would say, of discouragement to one of excitement and engagement,” he said.

Rennie Sloan, of the class of 1993, came to the campus tribute from Atlanta, where she works as an assistant communications director at the Carter Center.

“I’ve met some wonderful young undergraduates who are very impressive and seem committed to carry on the T-bird vision and uniqueness,” she said.

Sanjeev Khagram, who will become Thunderbird’s new dean and director-general on July 1, addressed alumni and students at ASU's downtown Phoenix campus on Sunday morning. “I know this weekend has been a powerful and emotional time for all of our alumni, students and faculty,” he said. Photo by Summer Sorg/ASU Now

“It’s so good to meet all the alumni and new people here. We all share a common bond and this has reinforced our connection to the school.”

The alumni network is one of the strengths of Thunderbird. Sloan came to the event with Kara Connell, a 2013 graduate who is a global senior marketing leader for GE. They met through the Atlanta alumni chapter.

“I moved a bunch for work because I was part of a post-MBA leadership program,” said Connell, who organized a “speed-networking” event for current students and alumni on Friday.

“Every time I moved, the alumni in each of those cities were one of the primary sources of how I made friends,” she said.

One quality that Thunderbirds share is their affinity for international travel, said Connell, who holds passports from Canada, the United States and England.

“I’ve been to 21 countries, I lived abroad in Colombia and Peru. I speak Spanish,” she said.

“We don’t have the sports teams to talk about, like ASU, but we do have that love of travel.”

Alex Sielaff, from the class of 1989, said she’ll always remember her time at Thunderbird as intense.

“People from all over the world come together with something indescribable, yet commonly valued. It’s a feeling I have not replicated unless I get together with other alums around the world.

“We’re a global club and we can always pick up where we left off.”

Sielaff, who’s a professor and corporate trainer in Milwaukee, recalled how rigorous the master’s of international management program was.

“We did real-life scenarios. I could get a call at 3 a.m. requesting me to drop deutsche marks. We all had accounts in our international finance class and we were trading against real currencies in the world market.

“At any time, you could be called upon to execute a trade for your team. Our professors were the real deal.”

Sielaff said she wanted to attend the tribute as a “last hurrah.”

“We’ll never again have this coming together at this place.”

The love of international cultures is what brought Corinne Holm to the American Institute for Foreign Trade, where she graduated in 1950.

“I already knew French, German and Spanish, so I majored in Portuguese,” she said. “There were so few girls then that we had a date every night.”

Holm lived abroad in Nepal, India, Pakistan and Ecuador for many years with her husband, an embassy doctor.

“I taught at schools for the Department of State and I taught them what I learned at Thunderbird,” said Holm, who came to the event from Tucson.

A decade ago, a group of Thunderbird alumni wanted to offer the school’s unique education to more people from developing countries, so they created the SHARE Fellowship, which provides funding and mentorship to high-potential students. Annie Wambita Okanya of Kenya, who has a degree in journalism from the University of Nairobi, is one of 18 current SHARE fellows at Thunderbird.

On Saturday, she talked to alumni about the program.

“These are people who have been involved in interesting projects to create impact in their regions. All of us have unique stories,” said Okanya, who will graduate in December. She worked on a project that helped doctors in East Africa get benchmarked to international standards for minimally invasive surgery.

“We’re a family created by the bigger family,” she said.

Okanya will be among the 400 current students and staff who will move over the summer to downtown Phoenix.

The new Thunderbird building, which will be at Polk and Second streets next to the Beus Center for Law and Society, is scheduled to open in 2021, the school’s 75th anniversary. The 85,000-square-foot building will be financed through donations, proceeds from selling the Glendale campus and a $13.5 million investment from the city of Phoenix.

In the meantime, Thunderbird will hold classes at One Arizona Center, near the downtown campus, starting in the fall.

On Sunday morning, several hundred alumni and current T-birds visited the new site and toured ASU’s downtown Phoenix campus. Sanjeev Khagram, who will become Thunderbird’s new dean and director-general on July 1, addressed them.

“I know this weekend has been a powerful and emotional time for all of our alumni, students and faculty,” he said “It's a time of change and I want you to join me in bringing that global village we had in Glendale here to downtown Phoenix."

Khagram, an expert on global leadership and sustainable development, said he knows what moving is like.

"Over my life, I have moved about 25 to 30 times. I tell you this because I know what it means to experience change. I've been through it and I know that we can take what happened in Glendale and take it right into the 21st century here at our new home."

Okanya said she is excited to make the move.

“There’s a misconception that letting go of this place will hurt,” she said.

“But being a T-bird is a mindset. You can throw me in the middle of Namibian desert and I’ll still be a T-bird.”

Connor Pelton contributed to this story.

Top photo: Thunderbird School of Global Management alumni from the 1990s pose for a class photo at the campus tribute event in Glendale on Saturday. More than 1,000 alumni celebrated the iconic Glendale campus over the weekend before it moves to Phoenix this summer. Photo by Marcus Chormicle/ASU Now.

Mary Beth Faller

reporter , ASU Now