Camp Solera welcomes West campus freshmen

August 26, 2013

Any sign of the summer doldrums disappeared on Aug. 19, as ASU’s West campus welcomed more than 200 enthusiastic freshman students to Camp Solera.

Unique to the West campus, Camp Solera is a three-day experience designed to build class unity through group challenges, introduce freshmen to university and campus resources, and give the newest members of the Sun Devil family a sneak peek into ASU traditions. Camp Solera participants Download Full Image

“I feel I’m better prepared to get started with my ASU experience, thanks to Camp Solera,” said Chloe Morrow from Anthem, Ariz. “It’s a great way to meet people and learn about the campus.”

Morrow, who will major in psychology through ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, is planning to supplement her academic experience by getting involved with student clubs and organizations. She also has been hired as a staff member at the Sun Devil Fitness Complex on the West campus.

Forensics major Sandra Vazquez, a native of Mexico who graduated from Independence High School in Glendale, Ariz., echoed Morrow’s sentiments about the value of Camp Solera. “I’m meeting a lot of people, and I just found out about all of the fitness classes that will be offered in the gym this semester,” Vazquez said as she left the Sun Devil Fitness Complex to head to the next event on the Camp Solera agenda. Vazquez hopes that her forensics degree through New College will lead her to a career as a lab scientist with the FBI.

Camp Solera was launched in 2009 and graduated its first cohort in May. Student participants are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs on the West campus through New College, the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, the W. P. Carey School of Business and the School of Letters and Sciences. Some also are admitted to Barrett, the Honors College, which maintains an active presence at West.

While most of the students at the 2013 Camp Solera were from Arizona, a number of states were represented, including Michigan, California and Minnesota. Some participants were from foreign countries as well.

In addition to building teamwork among students, Camp Solera requires teamwork among faculty and staff, according to Sharon Smith, interim dean of students at the West campus. ASU entities involved with staging the event included Educational Outreach and Student Services, University Housing, New College, Teachers College, the Carey School and Barrett.

Students at Camp Solera participated in sessions in which they discussed their goals, and issues such as diversity. They also took part in several team-building activities, like constructing boats for a cardboard boat regatta and conquering a low ropes course. Evenings provided the chance to relax and enjoy live entertainment.

“Students participating in Camp tend to be more engaged with their colleges and assume many leadership roles in student clubs and organizations, as well as colleges and campus departments,” Smith said.

“Camp Solera is a great way to get acclimated to the campus environment,” said psychology major Mason Long, an Arizona native and graduate of Moon Valley High School in Phoenix, who aspires to become a police officer after graduation.

When fellow psychology major Morrow was asked if she considered attending other universities besides ASU, “I didn’t even think about it,” was her response. “ASU was the obvious choice.”

Downtown lecture series starts off with good vibrations

August 26, 2013

English professor Mark Lussier believes that certain romantic poetry has the ability to send off rhythmic vibrations, fire up neurons in the brain and result in a physiological effect that can impact the way we see, think and feel.

Lussier, a specialist in Romantic literature and critical theory, will commence the fall 2013 Humanities Lecture Series with his presentation of “Mind, Matter, Meter: A Meditation on Rhythmic Cohesion in Romantic Poetry and Poetics.” Hosted by ASU’s School of Letters and Sciences, the lecture starts at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 5, at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, 555 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, room 128. Download Full Image

The lecture series, now in its sixth year, is open to the general public and is free.

The theme for this year’s series is titled, "The Human Condition." In addition to Romantic poetry, the series will focus on humor, queer literature and Latin American film.

“The Humanities Lecture Series provides us with opportunities to analyze, discuss and interpret current events. We look forward to public discussions that help us understand and appreciate various points of view on political, social and cultural issues,” says Frederick C. Corey, director of ASU’s School of Letters and Sciences and dean of University College. “We are deeply honored that professor Lussier is presenting the first lecture of the 2013-2014 season.”

The School of Letters and Sciences provides students across ASU with the knowledge and skills to comprehend and effectively engage the changing world of the 21st century at local, national and global levels. Theory, creativity and applied learning are integrated as students build entrepreneurial opportunities both inside the university and their communities.

Lussier, recently named the new chair of the Department of English at ASU in June, will compare the philosophy of Emmanuel Kant, the physiological work of David Hartley and the analytical work of physicist Thomas Young, and analyze how the philosophical and physiological emerge in Romantic poetry.

“Romantic poetry is just mere words if we allow it to sit on the page and do nothing,” Lussier said. “However, when we read it, examine it and let it soak in, it begins to unfold in our brain and can align the vibrations in our body with its insistent rhythms. A whole communication circuit is capable of transferring textual effect into receptive affect, and a rhythmic coincidence of mind, matter and meter takes place.”

The lecture series will continue on Sept. 16 with Manuel de Jesus Hernandez’s presentation of  “The Humorist Gustavo Arellano’s Work: Humor and the Human Condition.”

For more information on the fall 2013 Humanities Lecture Series, call Mirna Lattouf, series lecture organizer, at 602-496-0638 or email at

Reporter , ASU News