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Sun Devil Welcome gets first-year students hyped for fall 2020

August 18, 2020

The annual event was held virtually but didn't skimp on school spirit

Just like every fall, thousands of first-year students at Arizona State University gathered on Tuesday to kick off their college experience — but this year they did so virtually, with members of the Class of 2024 logging in to watch the annual Sun Devil Welcome and get excited for the start of their educational journey.

The show included some of the same elements of a typical Sun Devil Welcome, usually held at Desert Financial Arena, such as high-energy music, greetings from campus celebrities including football Coach Herm Edwards, and spirit-pumping videos of students learning, working and having fun across all ASU locations. Freshmen were exhorted to show their support for their own colleges — but instead of screaming and waving college swag, they posted on social media with the #ASUWelcome hashtag. 

ASU's incoming first-year campus immersion class is the second-largest ever at nearly 13,000, behind only last year's in size. They are part of a community of 127,000 new and returning students, the largest in ASU history.

Jacqueline Palmer, student body president of the Tempe campus, told the freshmen that ASU is a place of firsts.

“This can be your first time living away from home, your first research project or your first time meeting lifelong friends,” she said.

“Don’t be afraid to mess up. You’ll continue to grow in the process.”

The event acknowledged the unusual circumstances driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has suspended all athletic events until 2021. Frank Darby, a member of the Sun Devil football team, told the incoming students: “We can’t wait to run out of the tunnel to you all.”

Students also learned about giving back. The welcome event featured Julia Jackman, a senior majoring in biochemistry and global health, with a minor in civic and economic thought and leadership. 

Jackman said that three years ago, she attended Sun Devil Welcome as a freshman and heard ASU President Michael Crow talk about how ASU lives by its charter to serve the community. Last year, when she saw the dire circumstances of African refugees during her internship in Israel, she knew that she could find an answer to the crisis at ASU. 

“I came back and thought for a few weeks about how I could improve this, and I kept coming back to one idea: ASU already has a robust online education program,” she said.

“For lack of a better idea, I went straight to the top. I emailed President Crow.”

Crow responded and put her in touch with Education for Humanity, ASU’s initiative to offer postsecondary courses to people affected by displacement around the world. After a year of hard work with Education for Humanity, Jackman saw the results on July 12.

“It was a day in which 50 refugees finally had access to higher education through ASU Online,” Jackman said. 

She urged the first-year students to think about how they can have an impact on their communities.

“Know that you’ll have an army around you to support you on your way,” she said.

Crow participated in a question-and-answer session, saying that ASU is ready for the new academic year. 

“I’m feeling cautious in the sense that we’re not certain of everything around us. But we built the testing, we built the health check app, we put Zoom technology into a thousand classrooms, so I feel good that we’re ready to take what comes,” he said.

“I’m also feeling good that students really want to be here. They want to be with their friends, they want to be working and we’re trying to create that opportunity.”

He encouraged students to visualize where they want to be in 10 years.

“Pick this day, 10 years out, in 2030. Where do you want to be living, and what do you want to be doing?” he said.

“Keep thinking about what you want your life to mean. If you concentrate on what you want your life to mean, even if you don’t know yet, you’ll be able to focus your energy,” he said. 

He also asked students to develop empathy.

“Since there are so many new students from so many family backgrounds, and we’ve been under COVID pressure for so many months, be empathetic,” he said.

“Know that everyone’s experience is not the same as yours. Life is so much easier when you actually try to understand another person’s position.”

Crow finished his talk the same way he has at the previous Sun Devil Welcome events:

“If you need something, raise your hand,” he said. “And if you can’t get an answer, email me directly at michael.crow@asu.edu.”

Top photo: Sparky reminds students to wear gold on Fridays at the virtual Sun Devil Welcome on Aug. 18. The annual pep rally introduces all incoming first-year students to the university's 15 schools and colleges, its four campuses and what it means to be a Sun Devil. Screen grab by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Mary Beth Faller

Reporter , ASU Now


ASU's newly named accessibility center is primed to serve students

August 17, 2020

Arizona State University’s Disability Resource Center recently announced that it has changed its name to Student Accessibility and Inclusive Learning Services. 

In alignment with ASU’s Charter to be “measured not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes and how they succeed,” the new title represents the office’s mission of ensuring that every program, service, event and experience at the university is fully accessible and inclusive to all students, not just those who identify as having a disability. Student Emily Bowe utilizes services at ASU Student Accessibility and Inclusive Learning Services Student Emily Bowe utilizes services at ASU Student Accessibility and Inclusive Learning Services. Photo by Spencer Brown. Download Full Image

“The name reflects the importance of creating a culture of accessibility and inclusion; a culture that is fundamental to the educational experience,” said Lance Harrop, dean of students for ASU’s Polytechnic campus and executive director of Student Accessibility and Inclusive Learning Services. 

“It is also important in that it includes those who may qualify as having a disability, as defined by law, but perhaps do not identify in that way,” Harrop said. “A student’s experience in how they identify with and view disability is very personal and important. The new name is an acknowledgment of that experience.”

The name reflects SAILS’ vision for its future as it continue to serve a growing and ever-changing Sun Devil community, where the number of students with disabilities continues to increase and the impact of those disabilities present in varied ways, according to Harrop.

“Given our commitment to providing all students with a world-class education, SAILS will ensure that the entire ASU community will have access to the resources, expertise, training, consultation and facilitation of accessibility needed to ensure that the ASU experience will be fully accessible from design to implementation,” Harrop said.

SAILS will also continue to be a resource and support for faculty and staff, who are critical partners in ensuring their courses are designed and implemented in a way that allows for full participation without barriers.

ASU’s legacy of serving students in this way began in the mid-1970s when the office was originally established as Special Services for Disabled Students. The focus at the time was providing physical access to the university for the increasing number of returning veterans. 

Over the years, its name and focus have shifted to become more forward-thinking about the design of space and how best to meet students’ needs in and out of the classroom. 

Today, SAILS has offices on all four ASU campuses and offers a range of accommodations that provide students with equal access to academic and university services. These include test-taking, alternate formats, communication access, notetaking services and more. 

Students who register with SAILS work with disability access consultants who assess their needs and assist them with arrangements for their classes, housing and other university services and activities.

Chellis Hall and his partner, Kiley

SAILS also offers community trainings to increase institutional awareness and support. Lunch and Learns are offered for faculty and staff to learn how best to serve students with disabilities. AccessZone is an in-depth, interactive training offered to the Sun Devil community that covers the history of disability and laws that impact those in higher education. It also introduces the concept of universal design, which calls for designed environments to be accessible by all people regardless of age, size or ability.

Chellis Hall, a Master of Social Work student, utilizes Student Accessibility and Inclusive Learning Services for things like taking exams and communicating with professors about accessibility services for his classes. He also works there as a testing proctor. Hall says that SAILS has provided him with “many opportunities and created educational experiences that (he) would not have had without it.”

He likes that the office’s new name promotes the inclusive culture that ASU strives for and feels it’s more effective in informing the community about SAILS’ purpose and offerings. 

“I am differently abled and just because I learn and do things differently does not mean I am 'disabled,'" Hall said. “I appreciate the university taking into consideration how the name of something can and does affect students.”

Chloe Breger, who graduated from ASU in 2020 with a degree in biological sciences (neurobiology, physiology and behavior) and is now pursuing a Master of Education at ASU, utilized SAILS services during her time as an undergraduate. She said without them, her trajectory would have been very different.

ASU Grad

Chloe Breger

“The name impacts the Sun Devil community because it shows how we include people within our community no matter how they learn or no matter what support they might need,” Breger said.

As SAILS moves forward with this new chapter in its history, Harrop says it will continue to serve students, educate and inform the campus community, raise awareness regarding accessibility opportunities, and increase connections with campus and community partners in providing support and resources to students. It will also continue its critical role in supporting ASU faculty and staff, and serve as a resource for all within the ASU community.

“ASU students are positively changing and influencing the world in amazing and important ways,” Harrop said. “We look forward to continuing to play a part in that experience by ensuring all students, including and especially students with disabilities, have the opportunity to be successful.”

Visit the SAILS website to learn more or visit its ASU Foundation page to support the important work it does for the Sun Devil community.

Copy writer and editor, Educational Outreach and Student Services


ASU's business school reputation attracts student from the Philippines

Jerome Raphael Cabacungan’s path to ASU was guided by community college transfer program

August 14, 2020

Not every path to ASU is a straight shot. Jerome Raphael Cabacungan’s path began in the Philippines, where he was born and raised. When his parents moved to the U.S. two years ago, he was left with a big decision: stay in his native country and finish college there, or take his chances and follow them to Phoenix.

Ultimately, it was the stellar reputation of ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business that swayed the computer information systems major to choose the latter. ASU student Jerome Raphael Cabacungan playing guitar Jerome Raphael Cabacungan Download Full Image

But before Cabacungan could jump into life on the Tempe campus, he enrolled at Estrella Mountain Community College to earn the credits he needed to be accepted to ASU. There, he utilized the MyPath2ASU program to help navigate his way to ASU.

“My ASU transfer specialist and community college academic adviser were able to help me finish the program and earn two associate degrees within a year of my admission at Estrella Mountain Community College,” he said, adding that the experience was “seamless.”

Now, he’s ready to hit the books as an official Sun Devil — and he’s bringing his guitar, basketball and camera with him.

Question: Why did you choose to transfer to ASU?

Answer: W. P. Carey is one of the best business schools in the country, and that sealed the deal for me. I have friends who have graduated from ASU and they mentioned that professors are really accommodating to their students’ needs.

Q: What drew you to your major?

A: I decided to study computer information systems because it is challenging and it covers some of my interests, such as cybersecurity, programming, business and mathematics. CIScomputer information systems is versatile, which means I can have a plethora of choices in terms of career path. I can be an expert in various areas in both the business and computer field. The world of business and technology keeps on evolving, and this is going to sound cheesy, but I would love to be part of that growth.

Q: What are you most excited to experience your first semester?

A: Food, making new friends and attending the events that the university has in store for the ASU community.

Q: What do you like to brag about to friends about ASU?

A: The great hot dog sandwiches at Dave’s Doghouse, the pool tables in the Memorial Union and the awesome fitness centers.

Q: What talents and skills are you bringing to the ASU community?

A: I believe I can influence the community at ASU with my principles and mindset. I can also use my leadership skills inside and outside of the classroom. In terms of talents, I play basketball, I am musically inclined and lastly, I’m into photography. If the ASU community needs extra muscle in those areas, I’ll be happy to help!

Raphael Cabacungan

Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your college years?

A: I want to be on the Dean’s List and finish strong in college. I would also love to build a network with my fellow students and professors. A strong network can set me up for a good future.

Q: What’s one interesting fact about yourself that only your friends know?

A: I started college when I was 16, which was seven years ago. I have attended three years of university in the Philippines and one year of community college here in Arizona.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem in our world, what would you choose?

A: I would choose to solve poverty. Solving poverty also helps cover issues like hunger and homelessness. With $40 million, I could invest in some charitable organizations that fight poverty. I could also help build support centers in countries with extreme poverty as safe havens that provide poor people temporary shelter and food. Being able to assist the poor during their struggle can help them get a better chance in life.

Emma Greguska

Reporter, ASU Now

(480) 965-9657

Meet the Cronkite School anchors hosting Sun Devil Welcome

August 12, 2020

On Aug. 18, more than 13,000 first-year students will gather virtually for Sun Devil Welcome, a high-energy experience that officially welcomes new students to ASU. The traditional ceremony celebrates the start of a university journey that will teach them invaluable lessons about themselves, their fields and their communities. 

ASU journalism seniors Tina Giuliano and Tyler Manion will host the virtual event, which is just one of hundreds of Welcome Week gatherings that will be presented virtually and as small, in-person experiences across all ASU campuses.  Portrait of ASU student Tyler Manion Sun Devil Welcome co-host Tyler Manion. Download Full Image

The two are used to broadcasting together in unique times; they co-anchored Cronkite News from home together in spring 2020, Giuliano from Scottsdale and Manion from the Philadelphia area. Giuliano, a journalism senior who is focusing on broadcast, remembers how her own experience at Welcome helped set the tone for her time at ASU.

“I remember watching the Sun Devil Welcome as a freshman and it was just so amazing. It was my first taste of the college pride and overall togetherness that students feel in college, and I always dreamed of being on stage doing the same thing,” she said.

Giuliano encourages all first-year students to tune in at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 18, with their phones handy and geared up to fully engage in the interactive event. 

“This year has been a bit odd. But incoming students can expect that they will feel the ASU pride and togetherness right through their computer screens. The event will be lively, just like their favorite show, and it will have interactive elements as well,” she said.

Senior sports journalism major Manion said that the co-hosts will moderate the event that will include interviews and special guest appearances, featuring ASU President Michael Crow, Undergraduate Student Government leaders, student performers and other special guests ready to impart some Devil-to-Devil insight. 

“Students can expect a big welcome to the Sun Devil family,” Manion said. “They will hear from the biggest voices on campus and see some of their fellow Devils perform. This is the first real time to be surrounded by and show off their ASU pride! There’s going to be a ton of maroon and gold energy, and that’s why this is a must-do event leading into their first year at Arizona State.” 

ASU Cronkite student sitting at news desk

Sun Devil Welcome co-anchor Tina Giuliano

Both co-anchors said they’d never hosted something on this scale before, but they’re excited for the opportunity.  

“I can’t say I’ve hosted an event exactly like this before, but really who can?” Manion said.

Of the in-person, ASU Sync and iCourses options for learning in the fall, the Cronkite students are both opting for online classes but will be doing some in-person reporting for their news assignments. They said they’re looking forward to more great professional experiences in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication as they wrap up their time at ASU. Reflecting back on their time so far, they shared some advice for first-year Sun Devils.

“The first year of college can be a little insane. Make sure that you are keeping an eye on your course calendars and make a schedule; that way nothing gets lost,” Giuliano said. “But the best piece of advice that I have is to push yourself and try new things. If there’s an organization or job that you want, go for it. And along the way, talk with some other students and create some new friendships!” 

Manion said that it’ll be important to go out of your way to make connections in your first year.

“My best advice for first-year students is to value relationships as much as possible,” Manion said. “It is so easy to find a second family here at ASU. Don’t limit yourself to the same kind of people you’ve always been drawn to, but expand your horizons and get to (socially distant) know as many people as you can: underclassmen, upperclassmen, faculty and staff. Especially right now it’s best to have as many people around you that care as possible.”

Overall, these experienced Sun Devils said they are looking forward to being there to help introduce the incoming class to how amazing it is to be a student at Arizona State University. 

“College is an unforgettable experience ... students are in for a brand-new chapter in their lives. And ASU Welcome is the first taste of that new chapter. College is what you make of it. And even if it’s a little scary, being a part of the big college events helps create a memorable few years,” Giuliano said.

Hannah Moulton Belec

Marketing content specialist, Educational Outreach and Student Services


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‘Sideline Sammy’ makes a run toward Cronkite School at ASU

August 11, 2020

Journalism freshman Samantha Miller strives for excellence on and off the court

Not many Arizona State University freshmen come to campus with a catchy nickname, but Samantha Miller said it’s essential to her success.

Miller, also known as “Sideline Sammy,” is the daughter of former ASU assistant basketball coach and ESPN analyst Dave Miller. Her brother David coaches at the University of Arizona and another sibling played college football at San Diego State University. She said the nickname is her way of standing out in a crowded family of sports personalities and building her brand.

“I thought it was important to create a nickname at a young age so that it almost stands as a trademark,” said Miller, who graduated in June from Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, California, with a 3.9 GPA. “My No. 1 dream is to become a sideline reporter for the NFL and the NBA. I thought ‘Sideline Sammy’ was pretty catchy.”

The college freshman has picked an excellent place to study her craft. She knows the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is one of the top journalism programs in the country. She knows they have world-class instructors. And she knows she’ll have access to a thriving sports town.

ASU Now spoke to Miller to discuss her passion for sports broadcasting, journalism and what she hopes to accomplish at ASU.

Question: Why did you choose ASU?

Answer: First off, my dad, David Miller, coached basketball at ASU, so I definitely already had some Sun Devil in my blood, but when I toured the campus I just fell in love. I had a fantastic tour led by Kaylee Conners, and I was able to meet with former Cronkite Associate Dean Mark Lodato and Brett Kurland, director of sports programs, who showed me all of the amazing things that Cronkite has to offer. I was impressed by the facilities and all of the opportunities that would be available for me as a sports journalist. Everyone was also so nice, and it just felt like a family atmosphere so in the end, I knew that ASU was the place for me!

Q: What drew you to your major?

A: Basically, from the moment that I could walk, I was dribbling a basketball. I have two older brothers who played every sport imaginable and a dad who coached college basketball and in the NBA and now is an ESPN analyst, so needless to say, sports has been my life. While my dad was a Lakers analyst, he brought me on set for a segment when I was 10, and when I first saw that red light go on, I knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

There isn’t a day that goes by where I don't think about my goals and how I am going to achieve them. Sports have this special, indescribable power that brings people together, and I want to be that voice that people hear while they feel that special power. I want people to feel like they are right along the sideline with me. I have had some injuries throughout my volleyball career that forced me to sit out for months on end, so while I wasn't able to be on the court, I found my love for watching these sports broadcasters even more. They made me feel like I was a part of the game even if I was thousands of miles away. I really hope that one day I can have the same effect on someone like these broadcasters did for me.

Q: What are you most excited to experience your first semester?

A: Over the past few months, I have been talking to so many fellow incoming freshmen, so I am so excited to finally be able to meet them all in person! I am also excited to jump right into my major and be able to learn as much as I can about the ins and outs of sports broadcasting.

Q: What do you like to brag about to friends about ASU?

A: One of the things that I can definitely brag about to my friends is that we have one of the top journalism programs in the country that produces amazing journalists that get jobs right after graduation. I also brag about the rooftop pool because I can't say that too many schools have that and we also don't have to bring any huge snow jackets because of the awesome weather!

Q: What talents and skills are you bringing to the ASU community?

A: I have so much passion running through me for not only sports broadcasting but life in general. I don't want to be just good at something, I work to be great at everything that I do, and this mentality stems from my work ethic that is unparalleled. I also definitely consider myself an extrovert and cannot wait to have so much fun and bring lots of smiles and laughter to the ASU community.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your college years?

A: I hope to not only better myself as a sports broadcaster but also grow as a person. Super Bowl LVII and the Final Four are both coming to Arizona, so I am very eager to hopefully be able to cover these games and gain exposure. Arizona is also home to the Suns, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Coyotes and the Phoenix Mercury, so I'm excited about internship opportunities and to be able to of course cover the Conference of Champions.

Q: What’s one interesting fact about yourself that only your friends know?

A: An interesting fact about me is that I can rap the entire “Lose Yourself” song by Eminem. I used to rap it before every volleyball game to get the team hyped up!

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem in our world, what would you choose?

A: I would put the money towards research for a vaccine for COVID-19. I would want nothing more than to get back to normalcy and to be able to live our lives to the fullest again. COVID-19 has been economically and emotionally devastating for us all and has taken away so much, so I would love to see a vaccine so that we can take our lives back.

Top photo: “Sideline Sammy" Miller shadowing an ESPN reporter at a pregame warmup at the University of California, Irvine. Courtesy of Dave Miller

Reporter , ASU Now


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Educational trips abroad have shaped freshman's career goals

Travel abroad and time in foster care have shaped ASU freshman's life goals.
August 11, 2020

Business major Hunter McCormick is interested in international diplomacy

Studying abroad is a valuable and enriching experience that many students pursue while at Arizona State University.

But incoming first-year student Hunter McCormick has already had two educational trips abroad, and those experiences have shaped her career goals as she prepares to major in business at ASU.

McCormick, who lives in Ahwatukee, answered some questions from ASU Now.

Question: Where did you go on your study abroad experiences?

Answer: I have completed two different study abroad experiences. The first one was following my junior year. I was a youth ambassador through the city of Phoenix Sister Cities program, where I spent three weeks in Himeji, Japan, with a host family learning about the culture and way of life in a small rural community. After that my Japanese host sister came to Phoenix for three weeks and lived with my family and had the opportunity to learn about Phoenix, including a trip to ASU!

This past year I was selected for an NSLI-Y (National Security Language Initiative for Youth) scholarship through the U.S. State Department. Only five youths were chosen from across the United States. We spent a year living in Delhi, India, attending school six days a week specifically to learn the Hindi language and learn more about Indian culture. The purpose of this program is to inspire a new generation to learn and study the lesser-known languages, like Hindi, so in the future we can put these language skills to use through government work fostering goodwill and expanding intercultural relationships.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: I chose ASU because it is an amazing school with a diverse student body and unlimited options for programs of study. Going to ASU I will also have the opportunity to study abroad and continue to fulfill my passion of travel and learning. Of course, the stellar reputation of the W. P. Carey School of Business means that upon graduating I will have a strong foundation to continue my education or begin my career in international business.

Q: What is your major and why did you choose it?

A: My major is in business with a concentration in public service and public policy. I chose this major because I want to be able to put my experiences abroad to use in a way that will have a global impact. I am hoping my education from ASU will help prepare me for a career within a government agency that can influence and possibly even create policies that will foster better intercultural relations and diplomacy worldwide.

Q: What are you most excited to experience your first semester?

A: I am honestly really excited about starting classes that will challenge me in my areas of interest. I can’t wait to meet other students who have similar values and passion about what is happening in the world and how together we can be changemakers for a better future.

Q: What do you like to brag about to friends about ASU?

A: Well I really love ASU’s Charter, “We will be measured not by whom we exclude, but rather whom we include and how they succeed.” I have encouraged many of my international friends to come to ASU — in fact, my incoming roommate will be coming from India. We are inclusive and welcoming of students from every corner of the world. There is always a place for everyone to succeed at ASU.

Q: What talents and skills are you bringing to the ASU community?

A: From my experiences both in the States and abroad I believe I bring a more global perspective and a desire to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for other students whether they’re international students, students from diverse backgrounds, or even students who have come from foster care like myself. I will be looking for ways to put my care and compassion for a diverse and just community to work on campus. I also really love being challenged and have a strong worth ethic so I’m not afraid to push back on the status quo.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your college years?

A: I hope to be prepared for continuing my education for an advanced degree and take advantage of every single opportunity that comes my way; internships, job, research opportunities during my time undergraduate time at ASU. I hope to make lifetime friends and really network to make connections that will be critical for my future career.

Q: What’s one interesting fact about yourself that only your friends know?

A: An interesting fact about me is that in my senior year of high school, I was No. 1 in the state for congressional debate. I competed in debate for four years and was able to travel to Boston, Chicago and Dallas to compete in the National Speech and Debate Competition. It was quite an amazing experience and really prepared me to have a much greater awareness and understanding of world events.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem in our world, what would you choose?

A: With $40 million I would love to help children who have experienced foster care overcome the financial barriers to college. Having experienced foster care as a young child, I never dreamed I would be able to attend a great university like ASU. I would really like to be able to help youth that may not be as fortunate as I was, adopted by parents who valued higher education — and are both alumni of ASU! — who helped me to get where I am. The sad statistics are that about 20% of foster youth attend college and only about 3% end up graduating because they aren’t given the proper support and resources desperately needed. So it’s not just about tuition, but providing support with learning life skills, community and social engagement and emotional support to hang in there.

Mary Beth Faller

Reporter , ASU Now


ASU’s music therapy program welcomes new professor with diverse clinical background

August 10, 2020

Music therapist Sarah Hameline joins the ASU School of Music, Dance and Theatre in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts as a clinical assistant professor in music therapy this August. Hameline will be coordinating and supervising the music therapy program’s student practicum and preclinical experiences.

“I was attracted to ASU's music therapy program due to the strong reputation it has held in the music therapy community for so long — there is no other program like it in the country,” Hameline said. “When I lived on the East Coast, I spent many hours reading texts written by ASU faculty, and I am excited to be part of a program that I had previously read about.” Sarah Hameline Download Full Image

Hameline’s career as a music therapist spans 16 years working with a variety of populations including children with autism, families receiving in-home therapy, veterans, hospice patients, children with special needs in a school setting and people receiving inpatient psychiatric care.

Currently a music therapist and the clinical supervisor at St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center, Hameline works within a team of music therapists, recreational therapists, physicians, psychiatrists, registered nurses and social workers.

“We are thrilled to have attracted a music therapist with such a wealth of experience to our faculty,” said Heather Landes, director of the School of Music, Dance and Theatre. “Hameline’s diverse practice and eclectic background of clinical populations serves to broaden ASU music therapy students’ education on practical applications of music therapy and brings a new level of professionalism to our program.”

As a board certified music therapist and neurologic music therapist, Hameline has pursued advanced training in neurological music therapy, grief and loss music therapy, guided imagery and music, and music therapy-assisted childbirth. During her past eight years working in the Phoenix area, she has connected with local music therapists fostering interest in becoming involved in the ASU program.

Hameline, along with a fellow colleague, developed the first practicum experience at St. Luke's Behavioral Health to mentor students from ASU. The successful program has recently evolved to accept interns. 

Hameline said she became interested in teaching music therapy after she joined the School of Music in spring 2020 as an instructor and clinical supervisor for the ASU Practicum Program. Because of that experience, Hameline said she realized she wanted to guide and mentor students at the professional level and share her experience in a live learning environment.  

“Music therapy is a talent and skill-based profession — both facets of a student’s education that can be sharpened through strategic work in their education,” said Hameline. “I hope to guide them to a successful outcome.”

Hameline holds a Master of Science in music therapy from Radford University and a Bachelor of Science in music therapy from the State University of New York at Fredonia.

Lynne MacDonald

communications specialist, School of Music


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Daily health check a part of ASU's Community of Care

August 9, 2020

Checking in via app, phone or website required starting Aug. 24

Editor's note: A previous version of this story had the date of requirement as Aug. 17.

Advancing the well-being of the ASU community is a full team effort. As part of that, the university is developing a Community of Care, where we recognize that our actions impact the lives and health of others. 

As a part of ASU's proactive measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and promote well-being across the community, all students and employees will be asked to “check in” on their health on a daily basis. All students and employees, with the exception of ASU Online students, will be required to complete a daily health check via the app by answering a series of questions and recording a self-obtained temperature. Being mindful of our health during the pandemic will help promote a healthy working and learning environment.

Video by Media Relations and Strategic Communications

Some frequently asked questions are answered below; find more at healthcheck.asu.edu

Question: What exactly does a daily health check entail?

Answer: The daily health check involves taking one's temperature and answering questions about any COVID-19 symptoms before beginning your day.

Q: Do I have to? 

A: Yes, it is required. The daily health check is a critical strategy for keeping our community healthy and is a requirement for all students and employees, with the exception of ASU Online students. Students should fill it out every day and can note on the app if they are not coming to campus.

The health check update to the ASU mobile app is available now, and daily health checks will be required starting Aug. 24. Noncompliance may result in loss of access to ASU systems until the health check is completed, and willful noncompletion may result in disciplinary action.

Screenshot of the ASU health check app

The ASU Mobile App has been updated with the daily health check.

Q: How do I check in?

A: There are three easy options:

  • ASU Mobile App: Sun Devils will be able to complete the health check, leverage additional health resources and get reminders via the app. (If you have previously downloaded the app on your smartphone, make sure to update the app or reinstall it to get the health check update.)

  • healthcheck.asu.edu: ASU community members can also check in through our web portal.

  • ASU Experience Center: If you do not have access to the internet, call 844-448-0031 to complete your health check before you begin each day. Students and employees are asked to utilize the app or website first and only use the phone number if they have no other option.

Q: What if I don't have a thermometer?

A: A digital oral thermometer is included in the Community of Care kit, provided free of charge to every ASU employee and student. The kit also includes two face coverings, several packs of wipes and a bottle of hand sanitizer. Some people think the bag containing it all is pretty snazzy, too.

Students living in student housing will receive their kits upon move-in. Students living off campus can pick up their kits beginning Aug. 10 at Sun Devil Campus Stores located on each of ASU’s metropolitan Phoenix campuses; students must present their Sun Card to claim a kit.

Employee kits began to be distributed the week of July 27 via interoffice mail. One kit per person will be sent to their assigned mail code and addressed to the business operations managers (BOMs) in each area. BOMs and/or other administrative staff in each area can make them available for pickup or individual distribution as they deem appropriate. For mail codes that are still on hold, Mail Services will deliver when the mail code is reopened.

Q: What about when I'm on vacation?

A: You will not need to check in daily if you are on planned time off, but you will need to set your work schedule in advance through the app, website or phone system to reflect that you will not be on campus for a period of time. 

Within settings, you can set a custom schedule for days you will be working. 

Q: Will my health information be kept private?

A: Your answers to the health screening will be kept confidential — the university's primary concern is whether it is safe for you to come on campus and interact with others, and to provide support and resources should you become ill.

Q: What else is involved with the Community of Care?

A: In addition to the Community of Care video training required of all employees and students, members of the ASU community are encouraged to:

  • Share COVID-19 test results with ASU. If you test positive for COVID-19, you can share those results with ASU so we can follow up to provide support and send an alert to those you may have been in contact with.
  • Share your on-campus location for exposure management. This can help ASU determine if you have crossed paths while on campus with someone who ASU has been informed was diagnosed with COVID-19. This can be done through the ASU Mobile App.

Q: What about COVID-19 testing? Where can I get that done?

A: ASU offers a saliva-based COVID-19 test at no cost for students, employees and the public. Results are usually available within 24–48 hours. Please see the corresponding category below for how to schedule a test.

STUDENTS: Schedule a test through My Health Portal on the ASU Health Services website at https://eoss.asu.edu/health. Those who are experiencing symptoms and/or want to talk with a medical provider about their health may schedule a telemedicine appointment through the same portal or by calling 480-965-3349. Note: COVID-19 tests do not require a telehealth pre-appointment, but telehealth is available if students want to speak with a medical provider.

EMPLOYEES: Schedule a test at https://cfo.asu.edu/employee-testing. This is for employees only, not spouses or dependents.

MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC: Schedule a test at the Arizona Department of Health Services’ testing site at azhealth.gov/testing; look for ASU Biodesign Institute entries on the list of dates and locations. The saliva tests are prohibited for individuals younger than 8.

Top photo by Jarod Opperman/ASU

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Hawaiian cousins say aloha to their first year as Sun Devils

August 7, 2020

Taylor Acosta and KJ Soong will be studying sustainability and bringing some of their island flair to the ASU community

Aloha. It’s the Hawaiian word for love, affection, peace, compassion and mercy. It’s usually used as a greeting, but to native Hawaiians it has a deeper cultural and spiritual significance. In that context it’s used to describe a force that holds together existence.

This fall, Taylor Acosta and Kenneth “KJ” Soong are bringing some aloha to the desert.

Cousins from the island state, they chose Arizona State University because they don’t have family in the desert. “We will be able to support each other,” Acosta said.

Their plans are to draw on the university’s strengths in entrepenuership and sustainability. Hawaii has issues with sustainability, as Soong pointed out.

“Being from Hawaii, an island in the middle of the ocean, sustainability is key to survival now and for future generations if one day the ships stop coming,” he said. “I chose ASU because I wanted to study sustainability and I knew that ASU was one of the leading universities in the nation. When I visited the Polytechnic campus last fall, I just knew that it was the right fit for me coming from Hawaii.”

KJ Soong

KJ Soong 

Both cousins are looking forward to sharing some island culture with the community: a little loco moco, some ukulele and Tahitian dance.

ASU Now talked to the cousins about their hopes and plans.

Question: What drew you to your major?

Acosta: My career goal is to be an entrepreneur. ASU is the leader in innovation and sustainability, and I want to gain more creative knowledge about what it takes to successfully operate my own company incorporating sustainable practices in all that I do.

Q: What are you most excited to experience your first semester?

Soong: I am most excited to meet new people (and) experience dorm life in addition to the freedoms and responsibilities of going to college and functioning on my own.

Acosta: I am looking forward to meeting new people and I am most excited for a little change in my life.

Moving from Hawaii to Arizona and learning to live on my own is a huge change for me. So I need to be able to make that adjustment and get comfortable with a new setting.

Taylor Acosta

Taylor Acosta 

Q: What do you like to brag about to friends about ASU?

Acosta: I like to tell my friends all about all the different activities and events that ASU has to offer incoming freshmen. ASU is so welcoming and they have so many fun activities planned for the year even amid the COVID virus.

Soong: I like to brag about how amazing people are because everyone has been so welcoming and willing to help especially since I am coming from out of state.

Q: What talents and skills are you bringing to the ASU community?

Acosta: I love to dance. I've been dancing hula and Tahitian for 13 years. I hope to share my passion for dancing with the ASU community.

Soong: Hawaiian cooking (musubi and loco moco), entertainment (ukulele) are a few of the talents that I have to offer the ASU community. Hawaii is a unique and diverse place and I hope to share some of our culture with the ASU community.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your college years?

Acosta: Earn my bachelor’s degree in sustainability. I am a first-generation student and I honestly hope to make the most during my college years. I want to have fun along with getting to know what I am truly passionate about. I hope to make unforgettable memories in and out of the classroom.

Soong: Accomplishments … successful completion of a concurrent degree. Bachelor of Arts in sustainability and a Bachelor of Science in supply chain management. I also have the opportunity to earn a certificate in cross-sector leadership. Networking is going to be key and making time to have some fun!

Q: What's one interesting fact about yourself that only your friends know?

Acosta: An interesting fact about me is I like to sew. My grandma taught me how to sew when I was younger. I've recently learned to sew face masks during this pandemic for my family and friends.

Soong: An interesting fact about me is that I can play the ukulele, guitar, and bass guitar.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem in the world, what would you choose?

Acosta: The homelessness problem in Hawaii is becoming more urgent every year. Living on an island, there really aren’t too many places for people to go and it has already become an issue in my neighborhood. This issue desperately needs attention.

Soong: If I had $40 million I would want to be a part of the solution to solve ocean pollution. I really enjoy surfing and ocean sea life and it’s really sad when I’m out there and I see is so much opala (trash).

Top photo: Courtesy of Bettina Nørgaard from Pixabay.

Scott Seckel

Reporter , ASU Now


ASU political science student develops research skills through summer program

August 7, 2020

Jesus Emiliano Galvan chose Arizona State University because of its goal to be inclusive.

“ASU gave me an opportunity, so I ensure that I work hard in return,” he said. Jesus Emiliano Galvan. Download Full Image

Galvan is a first-generation political science student in the School of Politics and Global Studies at The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who often thinks about various research “puzzles.” Originally viewing political science as a major to get him to law school, Galvan’s passion for the discipline came after he found political theory.

“As soon as I got to work in the Early Start Program and the POS courses my freshman year, I just fell in love with the work.”

The Early Start Program is a two-week immersion program that helps prepare incoming first-year students for their transition to ASU. Galvan attributes much of what he’s achieved thus far in college to this experience since it better helped him understand his major, connect with faculty and form relationships with like-minded students.

After his freshman year, Galvan would continue to assist the Early Start Program and participate in Junior Fellows, which gives undergraduate students the opportunity to work with professors as teaching or research partners.

His latest achievement was being selected as a member of the inaugural class for The Society for Political Methodology Undergraduate Initiative to Diversify Political Methodology. This initiative is designed to “increase the number of underrepresented students who intend to pursue an academic career in political methodology.” Through the initiative, eight students get invited to attend the first summer session of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research.

“I have been very fortunate to develop relationships with faculty at the School of Politics and Global Studies,” Galvan said. “Dr. Woodall actually encouraged me to apply, as the program offered a huge opportunity to further develop my research skills.”

The ICPSR summer program, which was virtual this year, provides instruction on statistical techniques, research methodologies, and data analysis. During the program, Galvan took courses like Race Ethnicity and Quantitative Methodology, which “touched on group love and the different theories regarding how it leads to group hate."

“When I saw this program advertised, I immediately thought of Jesus since he is a curious student who works hard and is interested in conducting his own political science research in graduate school and beyond,” said Gina Woodall, senior lecturer in the School of Politics and Global Studies.

Beyond the classroom, the ICPSR program connected Galvan with a network of PhD students from around the globe. He says these connections can help him gain perspective from someone who is further along in their career path.

As Galvan approaches his junior year at ASU he tries to be mindful of his time in college rather than attempt to sprint through it. He shared his appreciation for his family, friends and everyone who has been a part of his journey so far, including Woodall.

“(Dr. Woodall) sets an example of what a political scientist and professor should be,” Galvan said. “If I was ever to be a professor, I would want to be just like her.”

Matt Oxford

Manager of marketing and communications, School of Politics and Global Studies