Alumni Association welcomes new students with Sun Devil Send-Offs series

June 25, 2012

The ASU Alumni Association will partner with Sun Devil alumni and families to welcome Arizona State University’s incoming freshmen and transfer students at a series of Sun Devil Send-Offs, to be held at locations across the United States this summer.

Send-Offs offer a casual, relaxed setting for new and returning members of the ASU community to meet each other. They provide a personal welcome to ASU for students and their families, as well as opportunities to connect with ASU alumni and continuing students. New students are encouraged to ask questions about life at ASU, share their concerns and excitement, and socialize with other students from their home area. San Diego Sun Devil Send-Off 2011 Download Full Image

ASU students who have attended previous Send-Offs give them high marks for helping them prepare for their time at the university.

"I really liked getting to meet other new students who live in the same state and area that I do,” said Cami Samuels, a broadcast journalism major who attended a Send-Off in Portland, Ore. “I think it is really helpful to know them going into the school year, and we all exchanged phone numbers and info so we can stay in contact.”

Jaime Watson, a political science major from Tucson, said, “I loved meeting the alumni and hearing about their experiences at ASU and gaining advice from them."

More than 30 Sun Devil Send-Offs are planned for 2012.

2012 Sun Devil Send-Offs Dates and Locations:
• June 23 – Denver
• June 24 – Atlanta
• June 24 – Indianapolis
• July 7 – Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
• July 12 – Yuma, Ariz.
• July 14 – Las Vegas
• July 14 – Orange County/Newport Beach, Calif.
• July 14 – New York
• July 14 – Pinetop/Lakeside, Ariz.
• July 15 – Washington, D.C.
• July 21 – Boise, Idaho
• July 21 – Chicago
• July 21 – Idaho Falls, Idaho
• July 21 – Orange County/Ladera Ranch, Calif.
• July 21 – San Diego
• July 22 – Houston
• July 22 – Madison, Wisc.
• July 24 – Los Angeles/Westlake Village
• July 24 – Philadelphia
• July 26 – Los Angeles/El Segundo
• July 28 – Albuquerque, N.M.
• July 28 – Austin, Texas
• July 28 – Charlotte, N.C.
• July 28 – Columbus, Ohio
• July 28 – Portland, Ore.
• July 29 – Los Angeles/Arcadia
• July 29 – Pittsburgh
• July 29 – St. Louis
• July 29 – Tucson, Ariz.
• Aug. 4 – Salt Lake City, Utah
• Aug. 4 – Bend, Ore.
• Aug. 5 – New England/Cambridge, Mass.

To learn more, or to register a student for a Sun Devil Send-Off, visit

Sun Devil's car wrapped in ASU pride thanks to Alumni Association

June 20, 2012

ASU Alumni Association life member Kegan Remington recently received a complimentary car wrap featuring Sun Devil and ASU-themed images. He was the winner of the ASU Alumni Association’s vehicle-wrap contest essay contest this spring, and his vehicle was wrapped by Cortez Vehicle Wrap and Design. Remington is an instructional technology analyst for ASU’s School of Life Sciences.

In his essay, Remington mentioned that he and his wife met in college on the field of Sun Devil Stadium during half time at a football game while both participated in the ASU Marching Band. At Remington’s wedding Sparky made an appearance as ring bearer. Both Remington and wife Meghan work for ASU and share Sun Devil spirit wherever they go. Congratulations Kegan! ASU car wrap Download Full Image

White House honors ASU alum as Champion of Change

June 19, 2012

Arizona State University alumnus Angelica Vilaverde was honored as a Champion of Change at the White House, June 18. She is one of 11 individuals from Head Start programs across the country who earned the honor.

Honorees were commended for their commitment to delivering on the promise of Head Start, a comprehensive early childhood development program designed to provide education, health and social services to low income children and their families.   Angelica Vilaverde Download Full Image

“Today’s Head Start Champions of Change have collectively shaped the lives of thousands of children and their families,” said Roberto Rodriguez, special assistant to the President for Education Policy. “Each day, these Champions work to innovate and forge new paths to deliver the support that our most vulnerable children and families need to reach their full potential and break the intergenerational cycle of poverty. This work is essential in helping our country win the future.”

While participating in a panel discussion with other Champion of Change honorees at the White House, Vilaverde cited the parent-child relationship and early education as significant indicators of children’s success. Parents that she works with represent many nationalities from Somali and Burmese refugee families to children whose first language is Spanish.

“You can’t build a house without a foundation. I feel as a teacher that we are providing that foundation for them to go on their educational journey,” she said.

Vilaverde, who earned her master’s degree in infant-family practice and her bachelor’s degree in family and human development from Arizona State University, is an Early Head Start child development specialist who works at Southwest Human Development Early Head Start and Head Start located at the Educare Arizona facility in Phoenix.

“Angelica’s accomplishments reflect what is best about our students – they are highly motivated to better the lives of children and families. It is wonderful to see her receive the recognition she is due. Her work, and the work of people in our School of Social and Family Dynamics, make a real difference and improve the quality of life for people in our community,” said Richard Fabes, director and professor, School of Social and Family Dynamics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at ASU.

Vilaverde teaches children ranging in ages from 1 to 3. Involving parents in their children’s education is an important aspect of her work as is reaching goals for each child that may range from increasing vocabulary to answering specific questions.

“Angelica is truly a gifted and sensitive teacher of very young children. She is a wonderful example of the knowledge and skills that we hope the graduates of our Master of Advanced Study in Infant-Family Practice undergraduate Early Intervention Certificate acquire during their time with us,” said Robert Weigand, Angelica’s mentor, Child Development Laboratory director and Cowden Distinguished Senior Lecturer in the School of Social and Family Dynamics at ASU.

Vilaverde is hoping for an expansion of Head Start in the future and for more leaders to recognize the importance and value of early childhood education.  

“I think Head Start is a wonderful program because it really invests in these children to make them successful and school ready,” she said.

During the panel discussion at the White House, she also mentioned that her proudest moment was encouraging the mother of one of her students from Mexico with a degree in psychology to pursue her dreams even though the mom wasn’t confident of her English skills.

“Now she is a child development associate at one of our other sites,” Vilaverde said.

Learning that she had been named a Champion of Change was a “complete shock,” but she was excited and honored to have the opportunity to go to the White House.

“I’m glad that the Obama administration is recognizing teachers for the work that they do,” she said.

The Champions of Change program was created as part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities.

U Paint event creates the picture of success

June 8, 2012

The Arizona State University Alumni Association nurtured the talents of 60 budding artists at its June 5 U Devils U Paint event, where ASU faculty and staff enjoyed food, drinks and great music while learning to paint alongside their Sun Devil colleagues.

Old Main’s Carson Ballroom was transformed into an artists’ studio for the event. U Devils were supplied with canvases and painting materials by The Brush Bar in Scottsdale. Brush Bar’s painting experts guided the U Devils as they created their masterpieces. U Devils at U Paint event June 2012 Download Full Image

Raffle drawings were held every 30 minutes and prizes included a two-night stay at the Arizona Grand Resort, Arizona Diamondbacks tickets, all-new ASU pitchfork watches, a Sparky prize pack, and plenty of ASU-themed merchandise. U Devil members were able to attend the event at no cost, thanks to a generous sponsorship from affinity partner Liberty Mutual.

The U Devils group, which is the official ASU faculty and staff group of the Alumni Association, has grown tremendously since it was launched in 2007, thanks primarily to robust employee-to-employee recruitment. U Devils receive invitations to exclusive events and have frequent opportunities to participate in enjoyable contests and promotions.

To become a U Devil, faculty and staff can join the Alumni Association at a special rate ($25 annual/$300 life). It is possible to pay for the life membership over the course of a year via payroll deduction by downloading a membership form.

For more information on the U Devils group, visit Pictures of the recent U Paint event are posted to the U Devils Facebook group page.

ASU Magazine showcases brain research, international alumni in May issue

May 31, 2012

The May 2012 edition of ASU Magazine features a cover story on cutting-edge brain research being conducted at Arizona State University and a showcase of the work of Sun Devil alumni living outside the United States who are making their mark on the world.

The cover story, “Thinking with the mind’s eye,” reports on the types of brain-related research that currently are being conducted at ASU. Some of the neurological questions that faculty members are probing include: cover image ASU Magazine Download Full Image

•    how memories are formed in the brain
•    how neurons behave in the brain during epileptic seizures
•    how deep-brain stimulation can enhance human performance
•    how to make artificial hands that can be wired directly into the human nervous system
The second feature section, entitled “Learn locally, work globally,” profiles 10 alumni who work outside of the United States. The Sun Devils featured live in locations as diverse as Great Britain, Israel, Japan, China and Italy and have job titles that include journalist, English-language instructor, engineer, recreation studies professor and power company CEO.

In addition to these two articles, the May edition includes a sports story on Jerry Romo and Rolando Nichols, two alums who announce Major League Baseball games for Spanish-language radio listeners; an arts story on the university’s music therapy program and its contributions to community wellness; updates related to ASU’s sports teams; news and photos from alumni chapters across the country; and a full complement of alumni-focused news reports in the Class Notes section.

ASU Magazine is distributed to readers who are graduates or supporters of Arizona State University, and may be accessed online at

Alumni Association brings home 5 awards for marketing, design

May 16, 2012

The ASU Alumni Association recently received five 2012 American Inhouse Design Awards from Graphic Design USA.

The awards recognize organizations and individuals who have demonstrated outstanding work in the field of graphic design across all types of media, including print, collateral, advertising, sales, promotions, logos, Internet and packaging. Download Full Image

The association received four design awards for issues of ASU Magazine that were produced during 2011, including an award recognizing design excellence throughout the entire May 2011 issue; an award for the the Young Alumni Showcase cover of the May issue; and awards for a layout from the Right Sized Life feature and for the feature package design of the Doing Well By Doing Good article, both in the December issue.

The Alumni Association also received an award for the design of materials that were part of the organization’s Decades Membership campaign.

The Alumni Association materials were designed by a graphic design team that includes Robert Cao-Ba, art director; Karen Windsor-Worrel, senior graphic designer; Kelly Christiansen, graphic design specialist; and Mindy DuPonte, graphic design assistant.

The 2012 American Inhouse Design Awards boasted more than 4,000 entries. This is the sixth year in a row that the ASU Alumni Association received an award from the organization.

Design School alum wins architecture's coveted Silver Medal

May 7, 2012

Phoenix-based architect and ASU alum Lawrence Enyart received the prestigious Silver Medal, the highest accolade given by the American Institute of Architects Western Mountain Region.

Enyart is the first ASU architect in the award’s 33-year history to receive the Silver Medal, a distinction given only to individual architects who make “significant contributions to the institute, the profession, the citizens of the Western Mountain Region, and their communities and who have transcended local boundaries in making those contributions.’’ Download Full Image

Enyart was acknowledged for his sustainable-design contributions to public architecture during his nearly four-decade career. A principal of LEA-Architects, LLC, Enyart’s impressive career includes significant work in public and sustainable architecture including the first LEED platinum fire station in the United States. He has designed many public safety training centers, libraries, airport structures and university educational facilities locally and throughout the country and for eight years was an adjunct professor in the ASU architecture program in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. Enyart was honored and invested as a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects in Boston, 1992.

"It is no surprise that Larry has been awarded the highest accolade given by the Western Mountain Region AIA. He graduated at the top of the first Masters of Architecture class at ASU in 1977, and for 35 years has continued to demonstrate remarkable dedication, leadership, and contributions to the discipline and profession of architecture,’’ said Darren Petrucci, director of The Design School at ASU.

Enyart and his firm have won numerous design awards and acclaim for their projects that have included the LEED Gold-certified Grand Canyon National Park Airport Operations Building, the new LEED Gold Terminal for the Grand Canyon National Park Airport, and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Operations Facility, Paradise Valley Fire Stations 1 and 2, the ASU College of Nursing and Health Innovation's downtown campus instructional labs, and the Glendale Regional Public Safety Training Center 77-acre campus – for which the firm won the Valley Forward Design Award for Environmental Excellence. LEA’s latest project for the City of Phoenix is scheduled to receive LEED Platinum.

Enyart works with his son Lance, in the firm. His daughter, Lindsey, is a lead fashion designer for Laundry by Shelli Segal. Bev, his wife of 40 years who he met in Okinawa, Japan, has a Master of Arts in Education from ASU.

A retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier General, Enyart was selected as chairman of the U.S. Air Force Design Advisory Council and for 15 years provided leadership and design guidance for all new facilities at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado and The Air University in Alabama. General Enyart also provided disaster assistance leadership working directly with Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott and the Congress during and after Hurricane Georges and he provided disaster assistance following severe earthquakes in the Azores and Japan.

Enyart graduated summa cum laude in 1977 from ASU’s first class of graduates in its new master's of architecture program. He was the school’s first solar architecture graduate. He received the AIA Henry Adams Scholastic Award while earning his bachelor of architecture and urban planning degree from ASU in 1972. Enyart previously earned a bachelor of arts in industrial design from the University of Iowa, where he is a distinguished alumnus.

He presently serves as chairman of Arizona’s College of Fellows for the American Institute of Architects and says that he has found architecture to be “a deeply rewarding and wonderful profession.”

“This award recognizes architects who transcend boundaries,’’ Enyart said, expressing how humbled he was to be among the select few architects who have been chosen to receive this significant American Institute of Architects award.

Alum applies what he learned in the classroom to the real world

May 2, 2012

Alumnus Tarek Saleh applies what he learned as a master's student at ASU’s Department of Biomedical Informatics to the real world.

Saleh was a part of BMI’s first graduating class in 2009, with a clinical research focus. He received his undergraduate degree in computer science and software engineering at ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Tarek Saleh Download Full Image

Now working as a business analyst for Eldorado Computing, Inc., Saleh designs software for implementation and use.

The Phoenix-based computing company develops automated software with open layer platforms for the health care payer industry to process and pay health claims, replacing costly and proprietary legacy information systems.

Before enrolling at BMI, Saleh worked as a software developer for the company.

Saleh admits that his interest in the field grew even after he graduated, upon observing technology-related problems in the health care industry when he first started working. He was able to directly apply what he learned into the real world.

Saleh sites Eldorado’s recent upgrade in the International Statistical Classification and Related Health Problems (ICD), from ICD-9 to ICD-10 is a perfect example of a potential problem in the work environment that can be solved based on what he studied at BMI.

The ICD is a continually revised medical classification system that organizes diseases, signs and symptoms by code. Under this system, every health condition can be assigned to a unique category.

ICD-10 is a diagnostic coding system implemented by the World Health Organization in 1993. The more detailed codes of the new ICD-10 will allow better analysis of disease patterns and treatment outcomes in the advancement of medical care.

Saleh created a tool that transforms an ontology into Unified Modeling Language (UML). A UML is a standardized general-purpose modeling language in software engineering used to design and develop code. He thinks his graduate thesis can help explain and transform ICD-9 code set to the new ICD-10 code set and solve the industry’s problem with the new upgrade.

For the future, Saleh hopes to ultimately work at a hospital or clinical environment dealing with information technology. He has also considered returning to school for his doctorate in the field to tackle some of the industry problems that exist today.

He advises current students to find a job where they can apply what they learned in school after graduation to make a difference.

More than 10,000 students set to graduate this spring

April 25, 2012

This May more than 10,000 students will become Sun Devil alumni at the university's spring commencement ceremonies. (Learn more about this year's graduates.)

The undergraduate ceremony is set to take place at 7:30 p.m., May 3, in Sun Devil Stadium, and will feature an address from Tom Brokaw, respected news anchor and former managing editor NBC’s “Nightly News.” Brokaw will also be presented with an honorary degree for his contributions to the field of journalism. Download Full Image

The graduate commencement is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m., May 2, in Wells Fargo Arena. More than 1,000 students are set to have their degrees conferred. Both ceremonies will be broadcasted live on ASUtv at For a complete list of convocations, visit

The School of Sustainability will graduate 115 bachelors, five masters and one doctoral student. The School of Theater and Film in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts will proudly graduate 77 undergraduate students, four master's students and one doctoral student. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will award degrees to 3,350 graduates in total, while Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication will bid farewell to 183 students.

ASU also is proud to announce that 289 veterans will have their degree conferred. This year graduating vets were bestowed red, white and blue cords to wear at graduation, signifying their service in the military.

Adding to the excitement, the Golden Class of 1962 will return to ASU for a special 50-year reunion. The ASU Alumni Association will host a two-day event in which the class will reconnect and reflect on their time at ASU. Notable alums from the class of 1962 include Congressman Harry Mitchell, journalist Sel Yackley and medical researcher Nancy Pressendo.

ASU also will award honorary degrees to the following:

• Temple Grandin, researcher and professor of animal science at Colorado State University. Grandin is widely influential for her innovative work in animal science and her dedication as an author, speaker and advocate in the area of autism.

• Eric Kandel, Austrian-born American neuroscientist. Kandel is famous for his fundamental research central to understanding normal memory, dementia and mental disorders related to memory.

• Lim Chuan Poh, chairman of A*STAR – a lead government agency dedicated to fostering world-class scientific research and talent for a vibrant knowledge-based economy.

ASU will bestow the prestigious University Medal of Excellence to Nelson Broms, former chairman, president and CEO of The Equitable Life Holding Corporation.

Free parking will be available throughout the Tempe campus, except for metered spaces and residence hall lots. Parking information for commencement and convocation ceremonies can be found here.

Britt Lewis

Interim Communications Director, ASU Library

Cronkite Global Initiatives suite named in honor of Seversons

April 25, 2012

The international program headquarters at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University was named today in honor of alumna Adelaida Severson and her husband, Barry.      

The Adelaida and Barry Severson Family Cronkite Global Initiatives Suite was dedicated in recognition of a generous gift from the 1995 master’s graduate and her husband, the founders and owners of Bushtex Inc., which specializes in providing remote satellite transmissions both domestically and internationally to broadcast, corporate and government clients. Download Full Image

Adelaida said the couple’s experiences have taught them that a strong awareness of international media is essential for today’s journalists to be competitive. They hope the investment will help prepare Cronkite students for careers in the current global media environment.

“We’re really honored to have (the Cronkite Global Initiatives Suite) named after our family,” said Adelaida, a founding member of the Cronkite National Board of Advisors. “Hopefully we can provide a legacy for students.”

The contribution will provide funds to assist students with international travel and related reporting projects designed to enhance their awareness and understanding of media policies in foreign cultures and countries.  

“This generous gift comes at a time when the global media world is more important than ever,” said Christopher Callahan, dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. “Adelaida and Barry’s passion for ensuring that our students receive a broad global view of the news media and invaluable international reporting experiences will be an enormous benefit today and in the future.”

The Severson suite is home to Cronkite Global Initiatives, the umbrella organization for the school’s international programs, including the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program for international journalists. Other Cronkite Global programs include the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists, Cronkite study abroad programs, overseas faculty research projects, and invited scholars and professionals-in-residence.

"Doors will open around the world for our students, faculty and staff through the generosity of the Severson family,” said B. William Silcock, associate professor and director of Cronkite Global Initiatives. “The Seversons share the Cronkite School’s vision that our students must ‘see the world, know the world and report the world’ in order to be successful in today’s global media landscape."

Reporter , ASU Now