ASU Alumni Association announces new board of directors and National Alumni Council members

September 1, 2021

The Arizona State University Alumni Association, which has been named the No. 1 largest Phoenix-area networking association for the eighth consecutive year by the Phoenix Business Journal, recently announced its 2021–22 Board of Directors and National Alumni Council. Terms for all members of both groups began July 1.

“Members of the board and council bring their diverse professional expertise and passion for their alma mater as they provide guidance and serve as ambassadors for the Alumni Association and the university,” said Christine Wilkinson, president and CEO of the organization. “I look forward to working with this talented group of business and community leaders as we focus on advancing the university, enhancing the alumni experience, honoring traditions and strengthening alumni leadership.” group photo of members of the ASU Alumni Association Board of Directors and National Alumni Council for the 2021-2022 academic year ASU Alumni Association Board of Directors and National Alumni Council members for the 2021-2022 academic year. Download Full Image

Board/Council Officers

The following persons were named to serve as officers of the board of directors and the National Alumni Council.

Chair: Kristine Kassel, ’91 BS

A successful business owner, Kassel joined the ASU Alumni Association National Alumni Council in 2013 and the board of directors in 2016. Kassel’s business, Benefits by Design, an Arizona-based insurance agency, has focused on group employee benefits for over two decades. For her business and community service she has received several awards, including Tempe Business Woman of the Year, NAWBO Business Owner of the Year and recognition as an honoree of the Sun Devil 100 two years in a row. She has served as board chair of the Tempe Chamber of Commerce, Gabriel’s Angels, the Phoenix chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Arizona Association of Health Underwriter’s and the Arizona Small Business Association.

“ASU continues to be innovative in academics, research, philanthropy and more,” Kassel said. “The Alumni Association works hard to create programs and opportunities to engage alumni and connect them back to their alma mater and with fellow alums. My goal is to bring further awareness to the amazing programs, projects and accomplishments of the university and the association to our Sun Devil alumni around the globe.”

Chair-elect: Gregg Brewster, ’83 BA

Brewster brings a long and successful history in logistics and supply chain management and is currently regional vice president of sales and commercial services for Owens & Minor, a global health care company providing expertise in health care, supply chain management, logistics and transportation. Brewster joined the association’s board of directors in August 2016 and has actively supported the mission while focusing on the board’s state government engagements as the chair of the legislative committee. He and his wife, Tracy, have two daughters who are also Sun Devil alums, following a Brewster family tradition of ASU graduations dating back to 1956.

Treasurer: Joya Kizer, ’04 BS

Kizer has served for 20 years as president and chief executive officer of CASA Unlimited Enterprises, a family owned ACDBE-certified airport concessionaire business that owns, operates and/or serves as joint venture partnerships in four metropolitan airports. She is involved in all aspects of the airport operations, management, business development and decision-making, and she continues to build growth opportunities for the business. Her recognitions include being a Sun Devil 100 honoree for the past three years, a recipient of the Univision Radio Phoenix, and Valle del Sol “40 Hispanic Leaders Under 40” for her excellence in business leadership, and she is a member of the National Association of Professional Women.

Past-chair: Chris Hill, ’86 BS

Hill has served in numerous roles since joining the board in 2015, including being a part of the ASU Alumni Veterans Chapter and participating in the selection of scholarship award recipients and ASU Leadership Institute participants. He is a distinguished military graduate from ASU’s nationally ranked ROTC program and served in the Army as a medical service corps officer for 20 years. Hill subsequently served as CEO for several large health care organizations and is currently the senior managing director of Treadstone Management.

ASU Alumni Association Board of Directors

The following alums were elected to their first three-year term on the association’s board of directors, effective July 1:

Michael Angulo, ’06 BS

Angulo, a supply chain management professional at Salt River Project with more than 15 years of experience, joined the National Alumni Council in July 2019. In addition to his valued service to the council, Angulo’s support of the university and alumni association includes past leadership roles with the ASU Hispanic Business Alumni chapter as scholarship chair and events committee participant, as well as a sponsorship and major events adviser to the group. Angulo serves on the board of the East Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Associated Minority Contractors of Arizona, plus committee and operations support for St. Mary’s Food Bank and the Pacific Southwest Minority Supplier Development Council.

Paul Kent, ’88 BS

Kent is the proprietor of Flagstaff Extreme and is dedicated to the ongoing growth, well-being and advancement of Arizona’s communities. He serves on the University Park Neighborhood Association, the Northern Arizona University Curriculum Advisory Board for Parks and Recreation, the city of Tempe Mayor’s Commission on Disability Concerns, All Saints Catholic Newman Center’s Finance Council and the Arc of Tempe Board of Directors. In past years, Kent has volunteered as a Tillman Scholar mentor at ASU and at Maggie’s Place, a non-profit organization providing homes for homeless pregnant women.

Clarence McAllister, ’91 BS, ’97 MS

McAllister is a multicultural, multilingual business leader with more than 30 years of experience in technology and construction. Having started several companies, he is the CEO and founder of Fortis Engineers, a world-class electrical and mechanical engineering firm based in Phoenix. He was appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey to the Arizona Board of Technical Registration and serves on the Arizona Supreme Court Alternative Business Structure Board. McAllister is an active member of Greater Phoenix Leadership, the Young President Organization, and the honorary board of advisors for addiction and PTSD treatment center Warriors Heart. Additionally, he chairs the board of both the small business microlender DreamSpring and Western Rare Earth. His son is a May 2020 graduate of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

Jen Scrivner, ’04 MBA

As the COO of Goodmans Interior Structures, one of the first certified B Corporations in Arizona, Scrivner is passionate about education and believes it’s the key to changing an individual’s circumstances for the better. Scrivner is grateful for the experience of her MBA program and sought out opportunities to further the university’s charter and was accepted into the ASU Leadership Institute in 2019. Her roles in the community include dedicating time and energy to the Northwest Maricopa Regional Council of First Things First, Valley of the Sun United Way, Conscious Capitalism Senior Leader Network, T-Gen ambassadorship, Joyride Society and KNOW Women Phoenix. 

The four new board members join the following board members: Ray Artigue, ’76 BA; Latasha Causey, ’02 BIS; Rick Dircks, ’82 BS; Lisa Fernandez, ’09 BS; Tim Gertz, ’01 BS, ’02 MAIS; Luis Heredia, ’98 BS; Mark Kerrigan, ’74 BS; Jim Lodge, ’87 MBA; Kirk McClure, ’01 BSD, ’10 MBA; Mike McGuirk, ’82 BS; Stephanie Mitrovic, ’09 MArch; and Michael Tully, ’87 BS, ’91 MBA.

ASUAA National Alumni Council

Five ASU alums were named to their first three-year terms on the Alumni Association’s National Alumni Council:

  • Rick Bowers, ’92 BS, president, TTI Success Insights.
  • Barbara Dickerson, ’75 MA, administrator, Canyon City Foundation.
  • Giovanna Grijalva, ’00 MEd, ’09 EdD, client relations director, ADM Group.
  • Rayme Lofgren, ’06 BIS, senior director of marketing, Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • Bob Mulhern, ’81 BA, ’83 MBA, senior managing director, Greater Phoenix, Colliers International.

These new members join the following on the National Alumni Council: Suzanne Durkin-Bighorn, ’04 BS, ’18 MNLM; Andi Fourlis, ’92 BAE, ’11 EdD; Samantha Hagan, ’93 BS; Eden Higgins, ’87 BA; Tim Huish, ’98 BS; Valerie Jedlicki, ’09 BS; Chad Kolodisner, ’91 BS; Rick Nakazawa, ’85 BS; Ira Rotenberg, ’95 BS, ’00 MBA; Shaney Salomon, ’14 BIS; Ty Triplett, ’76 BS; Andrew Vandertoorn, ’02 BS; and Jennifer Ward, ’03 BS, ’03 BS.

Morgan Harrison

Director of strategic communications , ASU Alumni Association


Hundreds of AZ students are college ready, thanks to ASU summer camps

September 1, 2021

College readiness, career inspiration and Sun Devil pride were on full display at the nine Access ASU summer camps that reached 726 middle and high schoolers in June and July. 

Every summer, GEAR UP, Clubes de Ciencia, Poly Summer Leadership Academy, Summer Experience at West, Inspire, Barrett Summer Scholars, First Star, the César E. Chávez Leadership Institute and the RISE Leadership Institute share resources and information that students need to be prepared for college financially, socially and academically.  Young woman in a mask in front of a laptop with a Zoom screen visible on the wall behind her. Access ASU summer camps reached 726 middle and high schoolers in June and July. Download Full Image

For the past two years, the format was adapted to a virtual environment, but in previous years, the events ranged from day camps to residential college experiences, which allow students to live on campus for a week. All participants get a taste of campus life while also receiving hands-on instruction in both academics and college readiness. Faculty, community and ASU student support helps make the camps enriching experiences that students don’t soon forget. 

Current ASU student Emilia Bañuelos, a speech and hearing sciences and family and human development major, was a 2016 César E. Chávez Leadership Institute participant. After her experience at the camp, she said she was inspired to serve as a facilitator.

“When I saw that Access ASU was hiring summer mentors for various programs, including (César E. Chávez Leadership Institute), I applied within the hour because these programs not only create leaders but a supportive community,” Bañuelos said. 

She remembers her time at the César E. Chávez Leadership Institute fondly. What particularly stuck out was learning to avoid making assumptions, how first impressions matter and the power of a firm handshake. Bañuelos said that the camp helped her realize all the opportunities that ASU students have to make a difference in the community. 

“Attending these programs sets you in motion to be a high-achieving student, a leader in your community,” she said. 

Post-event surveys confirm that participants leave with tremendous knowledge and inspiration about what it takes to get to college and what fields they want to consider.  Surveys reveal it’s nearly unanimous that respondents feel prepared and confident in the steps they need to take to prepare for college, to pay for college and to prepare for the admissions process. 

Applications open in December for the 2022 programs. Camps are available at all four ASU campuses and involve a variety of hands-on coursework and training in leadership, engineering, critical thinking, electives, financial aid presentations and much more. Tours of the four unique campuses and tips about ASU resources, such as me3, an online tool that helps students connect their interests to future careers and fields of study, are also included.

One Barrett Summer Scholars participant said that they were excited for the work and also the information about becoming a Sun Devil. 

“Barrett Summer Scholars was an amazing experience because I learned so much in my classes, and I also learned about ASU as a school. I would like to go to ASU someday, (and I enjoyed) seeing the campus through the virtual tours. I am so glad that I got to attend Barrett Summer Scholars, and I hope I get to next year,” they wrote. 

Access ASU’s summer camps serve many Arizona students, and recruitment includes special outreach to first-generation and underrepresented students. Scholarships are available for all camps and summer programs.The camps all offer scholarships.

Summer Experience at West is a program at ASU’s West campus that was launched by Jose E. Náñez Sr., ASU President’s Professor of psychology, to help prepare students for college life, inspired by his own experience of having no role models as a Mexican American student. 

Video courtesy of Educational Outreach and Student Services

Chaparral High School junior Renee Hsu was a Summer Experience at West participant in 2021 who appreciated being surrounded by people who had similar interests and motivation.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my professors, who have incredible experience and an amazing amount of knowledge that I am so grateful that they were willing to share with us,” she said. 

Some of the academic topics covered at Summer Experience at West included neuroscience, law, forensics and STEM.

The Poly Summer Leadership Academy is usually held on ASU’s Polytechnic campus in Mesa, and the virtual event in 2021 included panel discussions led by ASU students and faculty, in addition to college-level academic content on attachment, psychotherapy, education and sustainability.  

One survey respondent said that they especially appreciated the tips to get motivated and establish good habits. 

“I received so much information, resources and instruction about getting to college, picking my major, finding my niche in life, earning scholarships and helping me build a career path with a solid set of goals,” they said. “Poly Summer Leadership Academy truly was a major stepping stone to creating future leaders of all different types of backgrounds wherever they may go.”

Marcelino Quiñonez, Access ASU director of community outreach and partnerships, said that this year’s camps showed the resilience and motivation of the next generation of college students.

“The resources to get to college are out there, and the talent of Arizona students is something that always inspires us,” Quiñonez said. “ASU has so much to offer students to inspire and assist them in being college ready, and seeing these students’ persistence after the learning disruptions we’ve seen is simply amazing.”

Something that is emphasized at each camp, aside from getting into college and exploring majors, is the idea of creating leaders and people who can improve their communities. As an alum of the César E. Chávez Leadership Institute, Bañuelos saw that idea come full circle in the students who led at the camp this year. 

“My biggest takeaway from being a summer program leader was seeing the programs transform students into student leaders. I thought it was amazing how in only a week, students who were shy were leading the conversation,” Bañuelos said. “These programs are an amazing opportunity to learn more about ASU and prepare you for greatness. When you do attend the wonderful Access ASU programs, do not be afraid to put yourself out there.”

Registration for 2022 camps begins in December. Follow Access ASU on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates when applications open.

Hannah Moulton Belec

Digital marketing manager, Educational Outreach and Student Services