ASU student's transfer journey from community college to ASU

Shanae Germick discovered an interest in politics while studying at a community college — but always knew she wanted to complete her bachelor’s degree at a university

June 7, 2021

Upon graduating high school, Shanae Germick thought it most beneficial to begin her studies at a community college to further explore her interests and career goals. Participating in extracurricular activities while at Paradise Valley Community College further helped her gain hands-on learning experiences in the political arena — and a clearer picture of her future.

Germick successfully completed her associate degree prior to transferring to Arizona State University, where she is now studying political science in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. She is also working for Academic Alliances as a transfer student ambassador, educating prospective transfer students all about the benefits of ASU’s pathway program, MyPath2ASU MAPP MyPath2ASU™ student stories Download Full Image

Here we talk to Germick about her journey from community college to ASU, and the advice she shares with other students who are interested in transferring as well.

Question: Why and when did you choose your major?

Answer: While I was attending community college I was involved with student government and took a class that gave me the opportunity to go to Washington, D.C., and talk to legislators about specific issues going on in my community. I realized through my involvement at Paradise Valley Community College that I liked working with people, and politics has been an interest of mine for a long time. Halfway through my second semester at ASU I decided to major in political science. I chose political science because of the social science aspect to it, and because after getting the opportunity to work and volunteer for political campaigns, I realized this is what I wanted to do.

Q: Why did you decide to attend Paradise Valley Community College?

A: After I graduated from high school I didn’t know what I wanted to study or have any well-defined career goals. I knew that I eventually wanted to attend a four-year university, but since I didn’t know what I wanted to major in I decided to start my higher education journey at a community college.  

Q: Were you involved in any clubs or organizations at your community college? How did your participation impact your community college experience?

A: I was involved in student government, Phi Theta Kappa, and I helped out in the Office of Student Life and Leadership regularly. I was most involved with student government where I got to work with a lot of people, address problems on campus, increase engagement at school and plan events for students. My involvement with student government helped me figure out my interests and ultimately it contributed to me figuring out what I wanted to study. 

Q: Why did you choose to attend ASU?

A: I chose to attend ASU because I knew that I wanted to be in a place that provided me with a lot of options when it came to programs of study, and I wanted to be surrounded by people of diverse backgrounds. I also knew ASU would provide me with a lot of opportunities during my undergraduate journey, such as internships, research and study abroad, while also providing job opportunities after graduation. Having a variety of options and opportunities was very important to me, and ASU offered that and more.

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to a new transfer student?

A: My biggest piece of advice for new transfer students would be to do things early. Look into getting involved in clubs before classes start, and if you want to live on campus, make sure you look into that well in advance. The same goes for classes, the earlier you make an appointment with your adviser the better, that way you can register early for classes before they fill up. Plan in advance, think ahead and think about what kind of semester you want to have, and do the things that will make that semester you want happen.

Renee Beauchamp

Director, transfer operations, Office of the University Provost, Academic Alliances

Internationally recognized dancer joins ASU's School of Music, Dance and Theatre

June 7, 2021

Internationally recognized and award-winning dancer, choreographer, educator and performer LaTasha Barnes joins the dance faculty in Arizona State University's School of Music, Dance and Theatre this fall. 

“Barnes is engaged in critical, innovative work that has the potential to transform American dance, and we look forward to how that manifests in our curriculum at ASU,” said Heather Landes, director of the School of Music, Dance and Theatre in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.  LaTasha Barnes LaTasha Barnes. Download Full Image

Barnes' career in dance spans genres, including house, hip-hop, waacking, vernacular jazz and Lindy Hop styles, and she serves as a cultural ambassador and tradition-bearer of Black American Social Dance. She is celebrated globally for her musicality, athleticism and joyful presence. 

The New York Times lauded Barnes as “a bridge between worlds that seldom intersect, a connector, or a rather a reconnector, since the styles and subcultures that she joins – encompassing much of the world-conquering dance that gestated in African American communities in the past century or so – are all branches of a family whose members often don’t recognize one another.” 

Her show “The Jazz Continuum” recently premiered at the Guggenheim Museum before heading to the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.

Her leadership and business skills have placed her in positions of service as chair of the board of trustees for the Ladies of Hip-Hop Festival, vice president of marketing and outreach for the International Lindy Hop Championship, co-director of HellaBlackLindyHop, board member of the Black Lindy Hoppers Fund, the Frankie Manning Foundation and a contributing member to the NEFER Global Movement Collective. 

She is currently a part of a brain trust of collaborators helping to develop the groundbreaking stage production “Swing Out,” is a developing partner of several intergenerational and intercommunal cultural arts exchanges, and is contributing to the upcoming text “21st Century Jazz Dance: Africanist Aesthetics and Equity in Teaching and Choreography” (University of Florida Press, 2021). 

“In each of my career fields and areas of study my desire to facilitate the sharing of ideas, skills and knowledge could never be deniednot just in dance,” Barnes said. 

Barnes self-designed a master’s degree in ethnochoreology, Black studies and performance studies through New York University Gallatin School. Her thesis and continuing research are working to bridge the gap between communities of practice and academic cultural dance research, performance, preservation and pedagogy.  

I was grateful to be a part of some truly generous mentor-mentee relationships,” she said. “Realizing how integral this relationship is to the development of artists and their forms, I wanted to be an effective piece of that collective work and responsibility model.”

Barnes said she is excited to join ASU and continue to inspire fellow artists and arts enthusiasts to champion artivism through cultivating an authentic sense of self and intention in their creative expressions and daily lives. 

“The most impactful way for me to fulfill that desire is through teaching and mentoring young dancers and collaborators,” she said. “This growth of course is not one-sided but again reciprocal. I get to learn as much as, if not more than, I share.”

This fall, she will be teaching Hip-Hop I, Dance in U.S. Popular Culture, a freshman dance seminar, Dance Matters, and co-facilitating the ASU community event “Sol Power Festival.” 

“To see and hear the sincere interest (in my work), and appreciation from those who were to be my faculty colleagues really showed me that ASU is deeply committed to developing well-rounded, dynamic and conscientious artists  not just fulfilling a status quo,” Barnes said. “I am really elated to have the opportunity to contribute to and galvanize that effort through cultural dance education, research and performance.”

Danielle Munoz

Media and Communications Coordinator, School of Film, Dance and Theatre