Energetic student leads 400-member Sun Devil Marching Band

December 8, 2011

After Sparky and the cheerleaders, the most energetic person preceding the football players on the field at Arizona State University each fall weekend is usually Greg Rudolph, a sophomore from Laguna Niguel, Calif.

Rudolph bursts onto the field in his black uniform as a drum major leading the 400-member Sun Devil Marching Band, a plum position he auditioned for last spring. While showmanship and musical ability are part of his job, Rudolph’s biggest role is that of a leader and a motivator of a huge group of diverse students. It’s a heady responsibility for a 19-year-old. Download Full Image

He plans, organizes and conducts performances and works closely with the band office on the logistics of their frequent events. He says his main job is keeping everyone excited about what they’re doing, a task that fits him to a T.

“When we run out onto the field, with the fireworks going off, it’s thrilling,” he says. “The best part is that wherever we go, we represent Sun Devil pride, and all the members and the audience feel that.”

Rudolph graduated in 2010 from Dana Hills High School, where he was a valedictorian and senior drum major for the marching band.

He received an acceptance letter from UCLA, but he had always wanted both to attend a good business school and be in a top collegiate marching band, a hard combination to find. After visiting several Pac-10 schools to watch their bands and to investigate their business programs, he attended an ASU football game one Thanksgiving weekend.

“I saw the ASU band perform ‘The Who’ show, and it just blew me away,” he says. “I knew it was a band I wanted to be part of. Then I found out ASU has a terrific, highly-regarded business school, and a new Barrett Honors College complex. I visited Barrett, and they made me feel welcome.

“UCLA felt impersonal, like I was just a number and they really didn’t want to accept any more students. They didn’t offer a marketing major. At ASU, the personal, small-school feel of Barrett along with the advantages, amenities and school spirit of a large university were unlike anything offered at the other schools I visited.”

ASU President Michael Crow has attended band rehearsals, Rudolph says, as well as their recent Pass in Review concert at Wells Fargo Arena. The ASU marching band has a long history of excellence, having won the John Philip Sousa Foundation Sudler Trophy as the best collegiate band in the nation.

Rudolph is active in Honors Devils for Barrett, the Honors College, leading tours of the complex for prospective students that are as “fun, informative and memorable” as possible, in addition to presenting at recruiting events. He says the biggest misconception high school students have is that there’s nothing to do in the Phoenix area.

“It’s funny, because there’s such a variety of things to do here. Phoenix is a vibrant city, with all kinds of sporting events and live concerts, and there’s a light rail to take you downtown. At ASU there are so many opportunities to try different activities. For a California student, it’s the perfect distance away, not too close, but close enough to occasionally go home.”

A marketing major, Rudolph plans to specialize in supply chain management. Also an avid skier and scuba diver, he hopes eventually to start his own company, putting his leadership and public speaking skills to work.

Next up for Rudolph and the marching band is a trip to the MAACO Bowl in Las Vegas on Dec. 22, where the Sun Devils will take on the Boise State Broncos.

Written by Sarah Auffret

Social work professor appointed to Governor’s task force

December 8, 2011

Steven Anderson, director of ASU’s School of Social Work, has been appointed by Gov. Jan Brewer to serve as a member of the Arizona Child Safety Task Force. The group is currently reviewing statewide child safety policies and will make recommendations on how to improve the way in which the state oversees children and investigates cases of abuse and neglect.

ASU has had a longstanding commitment to working on child abuse and neglect issues that are central to this Task Force. The Arizona Department of Economic Security and the School of Social Work have a collaborative relationship aimed at educating and training child protective services workers, their supervisors and managers. Download Full Image

“I am very pleased to have the opportunity to serve on this Task Force,” Anderson said. “The protection of children appeals to our best instincts as a society and working to improve our public response for doing so is critical. ASU has played an important role in educating students to work in the child protective services system and in collaborating with the Arizona Department of Economic Security on both training and service evaluation projects. I appreciate that President Michael Crow has recognized the importance of this issue and has encouraged talented people across ASU to work together creatively to contribute to new solutions.”

The Task Force, chaired by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, has held two public meetings to receive testimony related to the current operation of the child protective services system. Experts involved in various aspects of child protective services delivery, legislators, and citizens have testified about current system performance and also have identified areas of concern. Anderson testified on ASU education and training efforts and related issues at the Nov. 29 hearing.

“There can be no higher priority than the safety of children under state supervision,” Brewer said. “I’ve assembled the best child-safety experts in Arizona in order to review state procedures and identify ways to help the agency perform at the highest level. With the expertise of law enforcement, physicians, victim advocates and others who’ve devoted their lives to child safety, we can ensure that our state safeguards are the most effective possible.”

The Task Force must issue their final recommendations to the governor by the end of the year.  

To read Anderson’s testimony, please visit http://ssw.asu.edu/general-program/az-child-safety-task-force.