ASU Greek life paved the way for Sun Devils' careers in entertainment


March 11, 2021

Greek life means a lot to the thousands of Arizona State University students who participate in it every year. But to ASU alumni Steve LeVine and Jamie Morris LeVine, their fraternity and sorority experience was instrumental not only in their connection but in their careers.

Steve, who is from Los Angeles, graduated from ASU in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in mass communication. After moving into Sonora, he decided to join Theta Chi after seeing how much the chapter took care of each other.  Steve LeVine and Jamie Morris LeVine in front of an SLE sign From left: Steve LeVine and Jamie Morris LeVine. Download Full Image

“Outside the Theta Chi house (during recruitment), there were a bunch of cars being towed,” Steve said. “The chapter paid for all the cars to not get towed. My roommate was like, 'How am I going to pay $85?' and the fraternity paid for all the cars to be returned, which I thought was probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.” 

Theta Chi gave Steve opportunities that would end up preparing him for a career in entertainment. Steve shared his interest in DJing, and Theta Chi gave him a platform to start DJing at fraternity and sorority socials and events through the rest of his college career and beyond. 

Steve brought other Greek life participants into the fold of his entrepreneurial endeavors as well. He and his brothers began to reshape the bond between other fraternities and sororities to encourage more all-Greek socializing. He started popular Greek Nights at local venues. 

“Next thing you know we were doing 10-way socials,” Steve said. “My Greek experience was incredible.” 

Steve and Jamie met in 1998 and also bonded over Greek life; Jamie was in Alpha Chi Omega and studied communication, graduating in 2001. Being a second-generation Sun Devil, Jamie knew that her experience at ASU would be one to look back on. Steve and Jamie have three kids, ages 12, 8 and 5. The family keeps Sun Devil spirit alive in the next generation as well: They never miss a Territorial Cup

“My dad went to ASU and was like, ‘That is the only college you are going to,’” Jamie said. “I always tell my kids if I could do any part of life again it would be going back to ASU.”

After growing up in Tempe, Jamie was looking forward to new relationships and experiences in college. This led her toward the Greek life system and Alpha Chi Omega. 

“Being from here I felt like I wanted to do something different,” Jamie said. “I had all my high school friends, but I wanted to create these new relationships and create new friends. That is really why I went through rush.” 

Luckily Jamie’s intuition was right: She says Alpha Chi Omega was and is one of the best experiences of her life. 

“It was awesome,” Jamie said. “I just met the most amazing women. Because of the sorority, I have my best friends in the whole world. It was such a positive experience for me.” 

After graduation, Steve began his professional career with the help of his network at ASU and Theta Chi. From DJing to party planning and marketing, Steve realized where his skills could take him. 

“I had so many jobs and so many different internships (in college),” Steve said. “I felt like having that knowledge always helped me get another job but eventually made me become the entrepreneur that I am.”

He started his company, Steve LeVine Entertainment, by applying the skills that he had honed in Greek life for entertainment in the entire Phoenix metro area. Jamie began her public relations career with the Phoenix Suns and now is the head of public relations and marketing at Steve LeVine Entertainment. 

The staff leads events such as Scottsdale Fashion Week, the Ostrich Festival and the Soundwave Music Festival. As their business grew, they always kept in mind how valuable their student work experiences were, so they made sure to create a lot of internships and jobs for Sun Devils who wanted experience in entertainment and marketing.

“I always want to give an opportunity to other students, first ASU but always one extra bonus if they were in the Greek system,” Steve said. “We always love giving back and creating these opportunities for people and even if we didn’t need all the extra employees, it was just nice to have them and give them cool experiences.” 

Steve LeVine Entertainment made its mark in in-person events. However, in March 2020, their operations were forced to evolve into a new form of entertainment due to COVID-19. 

“COVID has affected all of us. We got hit really hard,” LeVine said. “We produced the Ostrich Festival, 100,000 people, and we were set to break records last year. Then we got to the day the national emergency was declared by the president. We had to shut everything down. We had everything on the line.” 

COVID-19 caused nearly every business to reshape operations, and Steve LeVine Entertainment was no exception. The guidelines continued to tighten, and in-person events were put on pause. Nearly their entire calendar for the following year was erased. But the business adapted. Steve and his team created virtual events and drive-in movies to support their community during this unprecedented time. 

“We don’t want to add to problems. We want to be the solution, but we do know that going out, listening to music, entertainment and sports is all about mental health. Whether people want to say so or not, we need it. Our kids need it,” Steve said.

Thankfully, Steve and Jamie are confident that Steve LeVine Entertainment will return in full swing in the coming year. Events that follow CDC guidelines have been placed on the calendar, and the business is ready to bring in-person entertainment back to Arizona as safely and quickly as possible. 

“We are a very happy family, and we are excited to see what is next. We are just antsy to see us get there,” Steve said. “It is just nice that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Written by Annika Tourlas, ASU Student LifeReporting by Hannah Moulton Belec.

Hannah Moulton Belec

Marketing content specialist, Educational Outreach and Student Services

480-965-4255

Female ASU faculty share challenges, triumphs and what gives them hope about the future of women in academia


March 11, 2021

Bold. Inspirational. Fearless.

These are just a few of the words that female faculty in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences use to describe women in higher education careers. In celebration of Women’s History Month, nine female faculty from The College shared challenges they have faced, triumphs they have experienced and what gives them hope about the future of women in academia. (Top, left to right): Victoria Jackson, Esther Florsheim, Nina Berman, Sara Brownell and Hue-Tam Jamme. (Bottom, left to right): Sujey Vega, Pardis Mahdavi, Mako Fitts Ward and Michelle McGibbney Vlahoulis. Download Full Image

At Arizona State University, female faculty make up almost half of the overall faculty population: As of fall 2018, 48% of faculty were women. In The College, 46% of faculty were women as of 2018–19. Year over year, these percentages have continued to increase, with similar trends seen at universities nationwide.

“As more women enter more spaces in academia, especially positions of leadership, I'm hopeful that there are more voices and more perspectives to create meaningful structural change that uplifts women to excel in whatever we choose to study and research,” said Mako Fitts Ward, assistant professor in the School of Social Transformation.

Although representation of women in higher education careers is generally on the rise, challenges toward achieving equity and inclusion remain.

“Overt sexism is less prevalent now but there are countless instances of gender bias and discrimination that affect women in academia,” said Sara Brownell, associate professor in the School of Life Sciences. “Whether it's being asked to take notes at a meeting, not having your ideas attributed to you or not even being invited to a meeting — women experience gender bias. These seemingly insignificant challenges all add up over time.”

For The College, addressing these challenges and others that women in higher education positions face begins with supporting existing projects and creating new initiatives that drive change.  

“Creating equitable environments starts with investing in existing programs and people that have already been doing the work for a long time,” Fitts Ward said. “It also requires leaders to build transformational relationships by deepening their awareness of how power operates and leaning into the power that they have to make institutional change swiftly in ways that start with the most vulnerable within a community.”

Faculty across ASU and The College are leading myriad efforts to find solutions to issues of gender bias.

The Research for Inclusive STEM Education Center is one initiative that was launched last year with the goal of making higher education more inclusive through innovative research, ongoing events and campuswide interventions. In addition, last year The College launched a committee focused on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion that works to empower the community to engage in change around systemic racism and inequity in higher education.

“When we talk about the work of equity, justice, diversity and inclusion, women, of course, are at the forefront of that conversation,” said Pardis Mahdavi, dean of social sciences in The College. “This committee is striving to change the culture, the climate, the curriculum and the structures of the institution to pave the way for more equity for people of all genders, including women.”

In celebration of Women’s History Month, female faculty from The College shared challenges they have faced, triumphs they have experienced and what gives them hope about the future of women in academia.

Emily Balli

Communications Specialist and Lead Writer, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences