Charitable giving times four

Four siblings, who are also ASU Barrett grads, establish scholarship for honors students

March 16, 2020

Four siblings who graduated Arizona State University with distinction from Barrett, The Honors College have created a scholarship to give back to the community that gave so much to them.

Brett, Chase, Scott and Jenna Fitzgerald recently established the Fitzgerald Scholarship with an initial $25,000 endowment. Scott Jenna Brett Chase Fitzgerald Scott, Jenna, Chase and Brett Fitzgerald have established the Fitzgerald Scholarship to benefit students in Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University. Download Full Image

“Barrett gave my siblings and me a platform to succeed. We thought it was only right to give back to the school that gave us so much,” Scott said.

Chase echoed his brother’s thoughts: “Barrett has enabled my entire family to find fast and frequent success in our careers and we thought it fitting to, in turn, start paying back early and often.” 

The common threads that bind the Fitzgerald siblings are high academic achievement, leadership in community service, competitive professional endeavors and an interest in study abroad.

Brett graduated in 2013 with concurrent bachelor’s degrees in finance and legal studies and an international business certificate. He was a Fulbright English teaching assistant in South Korea and a Tillman Scholar. While at Barrett, he studied abroad each summer, visiting Costa Rica, Peru and Ecuador. Additionally, he was a Barrett Honors Devils member and Barrett Mentor. He currently works as an account executive for Mulesoft, a Salesforce company, in Chicago.

Chase graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in biological and biomedical sciences. He was a Fulbright English teaching assistant in South Korea and a Tillman Scholar. During his junior year, he created Page Turners, a Barrett student organization that helps elementary school children develop reading skills. He also was a Barrett Ambassador, Barrett Honors Devils member and a Barrett Mentor. He participated in a China study abroad program and a clean water project in Honduras. This spring, he will graduate from the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix.

Scott graduated ASU in 2018 with bachelor’s degrees in finance and business data analytics. He was a Tillman Scholar, a Page Turners reader and a W. P. Carey School of Business office intern. He now works in information technology consulting with KPMG, a global professional services and accounting firm.

Jenna graduated in 2019 with concurrent bachelor’s degrees in marketing and psychology. She was a Tillman Scholar, an ASU Track and Field pole vaulter, a Barrett Ambassador, a W. P. Carey facilitator, ASU first year success coach and W. P. Carey office intern. She currently works in recruiting for Deloitte, a global accounting and professional services organization.

The Fitzgerald Scholarship is to support top honor students with financial need and an interest in national scholarships.

The Fitzgeralds prefer that scholarship recipients plan to apply through the Lorraine W. Frank Office of National Scholarship Advisement for a nationally-competed scholarship including Fulbright, Boren, Marshall, Rhodes and Truman.

In addition to scholarship funds, the Fitzgeralds will offer professional mentoring to recipients.

“We hope to support Barrett students and help them achieve their amazing potential, just like our mentors have done for us,” Jenna said.

We caught up with the Fitzgeralds to get their thoughts about Barrett, their fondest memories of the honors college and how their honors experience helped them get to where they are now. Here’s what they had to say:

Question: What drew you all to ASU and Barrett?

Scott: Deciding on Barrett and ASU was a no-brainer. Given that I wanted to stay in-state for my college education there was really only ever one option. Barrett provided a liberal arts college feel with the shared resources of a large public university. Having two brothers already build their own legacies at ASU, there was never a doubt in my mind on where I wanted to attend school.

Jenna: Witnessing how happy and successful my three older brothers were at ASU opened my eyes to all the amazing opportunities that come with such an inclusive, well-supported university. In addition, pairing that large university feeling with the intimate community Barrett fosters, I knew it was the right place for me too.

Q: What are your favorite memories from Barrett?

Chase: Living and developing a community as an on-campus Barrett student set me up for much of my academic and extracurricular successes, which were all proud experiences. However, my most fond memories come from the pride and support my Barrett friends and I were able to contribute to our sports teams, including one time where we found ourselves camping for tickets outside Wells Fargo Arena while studying and taking our first semester’s final exams.

Brett: My favorite memories from Barrett were developing my thesis with Pat Tillman Scholarship Program classmates, as well as study abroad trips with Professor (Ted) Humphrey and Associate Dean (Janet) Burke to Costa Rica, Peru and Ecuador!

Q: What was the most resourceful tool you utilized at Barrett?

Jenna: The community, hands down. Barrett selects such awesome community assistants (CAs) that live alongside freshman students and mentor them throughout their time at ASU. By integrating myself among them — some of the smartest, most compassionate individuals — I was able to discover a sense of self-worth and a worldly perspective that serves me to this day.

Scott: The Barrett dining hall will always hold a special place in my heart, but I think the most beneficial tool is the academic advisers. Cindy Patino was someone who I could go to for anything, whether it was concerns over my schedule or struggles in my personal life. Cindy provided me with continuous support throughout my college career.

Q: How did Barrett prepare you for life after college?

Brett: Barrett taught me how to think critically, balance a heavy workload and interact with students from all majors and backgrounds. The experience I had at Barrett and ASU has served as a microcosm of life and therefore, I’ve been able to take my learnings and be a successful Fulbright ETA and tech salesman postgraduation.

Chase: Barrett challenged me to embrace academic rigor as a tool for self-empowerment. My time living within the academic community also reinforced my beliefs of the importance of collaboration and intentional action and seeking out highly motivated people with disparate interests in order to bring fresh ideas to the table.

To learn more about how to apply for national scholarships, visit the Office of National Scholarship Advising website.

Nicole Greason

Director of Marketing and Public Relations , Barrett, The Honors College


Book offers new ways to understand peace

March 16, 2020

Throughout Western history, the concept of peace has been associated with the absence or ending of war. 

In the book “People’s Peace: Prospects for a Human Future,” editors Yasmin Saikia, the Hardt-Nickachos Chair in Peace Studies at the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, and Chad Haines, associate professor of religious studies at Arizona State University, assert that violence and war cannot bring peace. Rather, they contend that relationship building between people of different communities is the essential ingredient for peace. “People’s Peace: Prospects for a Human Future" books stacked on wicker surface, with dark red background. Book cover is white with title and image of primitive artwork of people in motion. "People's Peace" spans a range of humanities disciplines and offers a unique perspective on people’s daily lives across the world as they struggle to create peace despite escalating political violence. Download Full Image

“For many people in our world today, the promise of peace made by those in power appears romantic and abstract,” Saikia says. “It has acquired the unreality of a dream. Yet we cannot walk away and abandon that dream, even though we understand its dim prospects. Living peacefully is a primary concern of the majority of people.”

Saikia and Haines rest their hopes for peace in ordinary people. In the book, they present 12 essays highlighting local, cultural and social practices of everyday people as they strive to maintain harmony with others and create an environment of peace. Examples range from how ancient Jews established communal justice to exploring how Black and white citizens in Ferguson, Missouri, are working to achieve racial harmony.

The book is divided into two parts. The first seven essays present religious and philosophical interpretations of people’s peace. The final five essays present case studies from diverse times and places. In all, the book covers ancient Israel, 16th century Spain and 19th century United States to contemporary Egypt, Bosnia, India, Pakistan, Philippines, El Salvador, Indonesia, United States and Israel/Palestine.

“The fact is that the majority of people do not participate in the theater of war,” Haines says. “They resist the confrontational approach and continue to respect and dignify those who are different from themselves. The 12 essays in this volume show that people have a common understanding of peace as a right.”

“People’s Peace” attempts to shift the study of peace from official organizations and institutions to people’s lives and lived culture. Each chapter examines an instance — some historical, others contemporary — where individuals defy authority or overcome cultural stigmas to assert the value of peaceful relations with others.

In the book’s conclusion, Saikia and Haines relate the story of Amir, a soldier in the Bosnian army who was badly injured by Serbian snipers. After the war, he suffered financially, emotionally and psychologically; his wife left him and he had to raise three children on a tiny pension. Yet Amir harbored no ill will toward his former enemies, insisting he would welcome a Serbian to his family if one of his children wanted to marry one.

“We learned from Amir the possibility of having a humane response to hatred and transcending one’s own traumas to see in the other a friend, neighbor, and even a family member,” Saikia says. “The acceptance expressed by Amir perfectly encapsulates our understanding of 'people' when it comes to expressions and actions of peace.”

The book “People’s Peace,” published in 2019, grew out of a conference the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict hosted in 2015. Scholars from Duke, George Mason, Saint Louis and Yale universities, Boston College, the universities of Pittsburgh and Notre Dame, as well as ASU, participated in the conference and contributed to the book.

“The view of people’s peace that we offer in this book in meant as an invitation to find new ways for thinking about peace,” Haines says. “It also is a celebration of everyday people who claim peace to transform their own communities.” 

Written by Barby Grant