ASU Downtown Phoenix campus piloting healthy vending program

May 2, 2018

Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus is launching a pilot program designed to promote healthy living by adding new snack and beverage options to its vending machines.

Starting this week, vending machines at certain locations across the campus will add healthier snack and beverage choices to accompany traditional food and drinks found in the machines. Food and beverages will include nuts, granola bars and high-fiber chips as well as water, juice and tea.  Vending machine ASU has added healthier snack options to its vending machines at certain locations across the Downtown Phoenix campus. Download Full Image

The new vending options will be located at the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, the Mercado, the University Center and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, as well as the Sun Devil Fitness Complex, which will have snack options for the first time since opening in 2013.

The new initiative was spearheaded by Teri Pipe, ASU’s chief well-being officer, and Christopher Callahan, vice provost of the Downtown Phoenix campus. The program was made possible through Auxiliary Business Services, which manages the vending partnerships at ASU.

Callahan called Pipe “a national leader in creating an environment that supports the health of college students.”

As ASU’s chief well-being officer, she is charged with creating an environment that supports mental and physical health for students, faculty and staff.

Pipe, who is completing her tenure as dean of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation so she can focus full-time on her university-wide role as the chief well-being officer, said ASU has “the opportunity to help students shape their own lives and influence positive change.”

“This particular initiative, connecting the different units of the Downtown Phoenix campus with the goal of healthy living, really gets me excited,” she said.

The new food and beverage options are through Coca-Cola and Gilly Vending. The vending machines with healthier snack and drink options will include special signage on the machines. 

Krystal Lewis, manager of strategic partnerships at ASU who played the key role in executing the initiative, said the pilot is aligned with the Live Well @ ASU program, which provides information and resources to empower the Sun Devil community to achieve a healthy lifestyle. 

She said the new initiative will help the university understand consumer behavior when it comes to making decisions about snacks. 

“Many of the new healthier snacks have a similar taste to the more traditional vending options,” Lewis said.  “We’re looking forward to examining the impact this initiative has on our campus.”  

U.S. Marine Corps veteran transitions from diplomatic security to real estate

May 2, 2018

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for spring 2018 commencement

ASU interdisciplinary studies graduate Thomas Quiroz said his decision to enter the military right after graduating from high school in Honolulu was influenced heavily by financial considerations.   ASU grad Thomas Quiroz in the hills of Guilin, China, during study abroad Interdisciplinary studies major Thomas Quiroz hikes in the hills of Guilin, China. Quiroz participated in two ASU Study Abroad partner-sponsored programs in China, in summer and fall 2017. Download Full Image

“College tuition was something my mother — a single parent — could never afford, so I joined the military thinking it might offer a career,” he said.

The first year of his Marine Corps duty he worked as a helicopter mechanic at the air station near Jacksonville, North Carolina, and as soon as he was able to, he began taking classes at a nearby community college.

When the chance to apply for an international diplomatic security post arose before the end of his first year, he pursued it but was pessimistic about his prospects.

“It’s an opportunity that many Marines reach for but don’t qualify for, because there are specific and selective physical and psychological requirements,” explained Quiroz. “I applied and screened for the program with the mindset that I'd rather regret failing than not trying at all. But slowly, through each phase of the training, exams and background checks, I incrementally managed to pass. I found myself graduating with a class of 30 Marines, whittled down from an original 200.

“Perhaps one of the best lessons learned from this was that I would've never known my potential if I had never tested and challenged it.”

Quiroz applied this same spirit to finishing out his military career over the next three years while also pursuing higher education.

He was first sent for 10 months to the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia. That assignment was followed by seven months in Tokyo and then 10 months in Moscow.  

“In order to keep up with a new and unpredictable life schedule, I sought out colleges that could support my education needs,” Quiroz said. “ASU Online, according to a search I did, was one of the best and most supportive options. I was able to continue my education despite the many special assignments and duties I performed while overseas." 

He gained experience in operations training, planning, supervision, financial management and leadership in the Marines while completing a bachelor of arts in interdisciplinary studies, with concentrations in real estate and Chinese.

“I’ve really developed a passion for finance and real estate, and after graduation I’ll be going straight into the Master of Real Estate Development degree program in the W. P. Carey School of Business,” Quiroz said.

The nine-month program is offered in partnership with ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, and Del E. Webb School of Construction.

He reflected: “The field meshes well with my work in the military and years spent earning the U.S. government's highest levels of trust.”

Quiroz answered some additional questions about his ASU experience. 

Question: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you, that changed your perspective?

Answer: I've learned that success is truly relative and that everyone has the right to be proud and empowered by what they've accomplished. The same principle applies with the individual struggles we each have. My proudest accomplishments in life aren't the accolades achieved in my service but in being able to successfully help my mother and father out of their poverty.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: I chose ASU because the online degree programs allowed me to study while living in different countries. I've come to learn that ASU Online is among the best of its kind, and I was glad that it accommodated the life of this Marine. 

Q:  What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: Transitioning from the online program to Tempe campus has shown me unique challenges. The freedom that came to me after military service was hard to get used to. I ended up getting distracted and sometimes too focused on little things to see the bigger picture. In the end I realized — and focused on — the underlying reason why I was here and what I wanted to accomplish. I think being able to take a step back, see the big picture and reassure yourself that you’re heading down the path you designed is important, too.

Q:  What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: My favorite spot on campus is Small Gym E in the Tempe campus Sun Devil Fitness Complex. It’s there that I train in mixed martial arts with the MMA Club that I founded at ASU last year. Since then, I've come to meet a lot more friends who share the same passion as I do. 

Q: Did you do an internship related to your major?

A: Yes, I did. I kept myself busy. During my time at ASU Tempe campus I've done non-paid internships with a commercial real estate brokerage firm and a real estate finance company. And to keep up with the bills, I also worked part-time jobs at night and on weekends. 

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I would invest that money in a computer manufacturing company and parts recycling company. I would then make it a nonprofit organization that will provide computers for low-funded schools around the globe. Computers and even iPhones can be made very cheaply but are sold at high prices. Hopefully this business model can show that the cost of providing everyone a better education isn't as expensive as it’s made out to be.

Maureen Roen

Manager, Creative Services, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts