image title

’Forks up for future Sun Devils

April 29, 2019

As May 1 marks College Signing Day across the country, ASU professors share their advice for incoming students

Each spring, high school students across the U.S. declare their college decisions, a first major step in carving their future path, and it deserves celebration.

On May 1, Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative — an initiative that encourages students to pursue a college education — is celebrating its fifth anniversary by hosting College Signing Day across the nation. ASU will be shining a gold spotlight on future Sun Devils who declare their decision to call ASU home and joining the former first lady in support of students who decided to reach higher.

“College Signing Day is an opportunity to celebrate a college-going culture in schools across the nation, and we are excited to have a digital platform that allows everyone from school partners to parents join in sharing their students’ accomplishments,” said Brad Baertsch, ASU director of freshmen recruitment and admission. “Each student has had a unique path on this journey each with different challenges, and through these activities, schools can continue to share stories to future classes in letting them know college is possible.”

This is also an opportunity for the ASU community to welcome our newest Sun Devils. Here to share wise and encouraging words are professors from across ASU’s four campuses:

“This is probably one of the most exciting new moments in your life. … Contribute to conversations; contribute something that’s meaningful and substantive.”
— Foundation Professor Neal Lester
Department of English in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

“Take a class you’ve never heard of, something you have no idea about because it’s an adventure.”
— Associate Professor Hilairy Hartnett
School of Earth and Space Exploration and the School of Molecular Sciences, both in The College

“Find what you love. Find the major that just engages you and that you just know this is what you need to be doing.”
— Student Success Center Director Alexia Shonteff
W. P. Carey School of Business

“There’ll be internships, there’ll be actions in the community you can get involved in — but just get involved with what’s going on with your major.”
— Professor Michael E. Smith
School of Human Evolution and Social Change in The College

“Build community with students and study together, do projects together, explore and learn together.”
— Associate Professor Marlon M. Bailey
School of Social Transformation in The College

“Go to club events because at the end of the day, meeting people, getting out on campus is going to make your experience a lot better.”
— CEO Rick Shangraw
ASU Enterprise Partners

“Really embrace the expertise that you have all around you here at ASU. You have the best scholars, the most amazing professionals who are here to teach you.”
— Assistant Dean Jessica Pucci
Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

“Talk to your instructors. They’re human just like you are. They’ve been there too.”
— Clinical Associate Professor Kimberly Kobojek
School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

“Be open to the possibility that there is something worth experiencing, or hearing, or knowing even if it feels different from your life or your beliefs.”
— Institute Professor Michael Rohd
School of Film, Dance and Theatre in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

“If you’re really keen and interested in the subject, you should approach your professors and ask about opportunities to participate in undergraduate research.”
— Professor Thomas Sharp
School of Earth and Space Exploration in The College

“Explore all the great things ASU has to offer.”
— Associate Professor Sangram Redkar
Polytechnic School in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

Join these professors, alumni and the entire Sun Devil community in celebrating and supporting college-going students on May 1 by sharing inspiring college advice and post on social media using #CollegeSigningDay and #FutureSunDevil, and don’t forget to wear gold!

You can follow the celebration on Twitter: @FutureSunDevils and @ASU.

Future Sun Devil to-do list

If you are an incoming student, here are some ways to declare your decision to attend ASU.

  • Download and sign your #FutureSunDevil certificate for #CollegeSigningDay. And don't forget to thank someone for helping you #ReachHigher.
  • Show off your #FutureSunDevil family pride on social media. Mention @FutureSunDevils in your Instagram story and use a GIF sticker using the keywords “Arizona State University.” Your post may be added to our official Future Sun Devil story!
  • Submit your #CollegeSigningDay photo. Three submissions will be selected to receive a special Sun Devil gift from ASU.
  • Check out these digital downloads to “Sparkify” your room, college center or graduation party.
  • Want more Sun Devil swag? Visit the Future Sun Devil page to find links to phone and computer backgrounds, graduation-cap templates, poster downloads and more.
  • Make it official. If you are an incoming first-year student, submit your enrollment deposit to begin your next steps toward enrollment. Incoming transfer and graduate students can complete enrollment steps through priority tasks on My ASU.

Meenah Rincon

Public Relations Manager , ASU Online

image title

Sun Devil is in the details for entrepreneurs

April 29, 2019

ASU celebrates alumni business owners at annual Sun Devil 100 luncheon

“In everything you do, put others first,” said Benjamin J. Jones at the Sun Devil 100 luncheon on Monday.

That was Jones’ advice on how to become a game-changing entrepreneur.

"It’s your clients. It’s your team. Our core value is be a servant leader," said Jones, who earned a BS in dietetics in 2005 from Arizona State University and now owns a successful fitness chain. “We’ve really built our company based around that. First and foremost I think if you do that, it’s the secret of why we’ve been able to grow the way we have.”

Almost 100 ASU alumni from 83 companies were honored at the fifth anniversary of the program, which celebrates 130 years of Sun Devil executives. The event is sponsored by the ASU Alumni Association.

This year’s class was the largest yet, featuring business leaders from tech, nonprofits, corporate, international and startups. To be eligible, a company must have $250,000 in annual revenue and must be founded or led by a Sun Devil.

Sun Devil 100 awards fifth annual luncheon

Plaques presented at the fifth annual Sun Devil 100 awards luncheon, honoring the top Sun Devil-owned or -led businesses based on compound growth rate. The luncheon presented plaques to more than 80 of the top 100 businesses. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Started from his garage in 2014, Jones’ Fit Body Boot Camp now has several retail locations across the Valley. Affordable, convenient, 30-minute fat loss boot camps set them apart in the business. “Change lives everyday” is his motto. Their key metric? They’ve helped clients lose 30,000 pounds and have donated $100,000 to charity.

The class of 2019 includes 83 companies represented by 96 alums from 17 ASU colleges and schools, including the Thunderbird School of Global Management. This powerful lineup of Sun Devil-owned and -led organizations has $5.7 billion in total annual revenue, employs more than 14,000 people and has a presence in 11 states and Canada.

The top spot went to two alums, R. Vincent Switzer, a graduate in 2004 with a BS in supply chain management and a 2007 MBA, and J. Armando Martinez, an alum with a BS in construction management in 2005.

The pair started SeaBay Building Group LLC three years ago, growing from two employees to about 25 and operating in eight states. In addition to commercial construction, tenant improvements and property maintenance, the company provides dispute litigation.

“This is a complete surprise because I figured they would tell you,” Switzer said. “I’m glad to be here. Thank you for the recognition. I’m glad I applied.”

He told the audience about the day Martinez, a classmate and fraternity brother, contacted him and asked if he’d be interested in starting the company.

He agreed, they set up shop and were on their way.

“We decided to expand and expand,” Switzer said.

Top photo: Vince Switzer, CEO of SeaBay Building Group, talks about being the top alumni business at the fifth annual Sun Devil 100 awards luncheon on April 29. SeaBay has offices in Washington, California and Tempe. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Scott Seckel

Reporter , ASU News