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Psychology major is a 2nd-generation college grad

April 25, 2022

Native American scholarship program allowed mother, daughter to graduate from ASU

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2022 graduates.

Arizona State University student Danica Marshall has options.

After ASU’s May 9 commencement, the psychology undergraduate is considering a law degree, a real estate career or opening a business with her mother.

That was inconceivable to her four years ago.

“Before I entered college, I was very undecided which education path I would take or how it would be paid for,” said Marshall, a Native American from the Havasupai tribe. “Thanks to ASU, they helped me resolve both issues.”

Marshall, who is a second-generation college graduate, was able to attend ASU through the Havasupai Promise Scholarship. The program covers admitted undergraduate recipients for full-time enrollment for five consecutive academic years and admitted graduate recipients for full-time enrollment for three consecutive academic years.

Her mother, Lorena Yaiva, previously graduated from ASU with a bachelor's and master’s degree through the same scholarship program. Today she is a prosecutor for the Hualapai Tribe in northwestern Arizona.  

Two woman and a young boy

Psychology graduate Danica Marshall (left) with her three-month-old son, Leonel Vasquez, plans to apply to law schools with her mother, Lorena Yaiva-Jones (right). Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Newss

Marshall spoke with ASU News before commencement to talk about her academic career and what her future looks like.

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study psychology?

Answer: I was undecided at first but I was always interested in learning more. Once I took my first psychology class at Scottsdale Community College, I was intrigued to learn more. There’s so many different avenues in the discipline such as clinical psychology, social psychology and child development. I also wanted to learn more about myself, so it was useful to me.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU?

A: I’ve learned so many things here but one of the biggest lessons was just to go for it, with anything you want to, even if you think you can’t do it or won’t be good at it. In the beginning, I didn’t know if I could handle ASU coming from a community college. But I gave it a try and now I’m here and almost finished.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: I choose ASU because it was close to home and I was already a bit familiar with the campus since my mom also attended. 

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: Give it a try even if you don’t know exactly what you want to study. You might end up somewhere you never expected. I would also tell students not to procrastinate in regards to their studies. Just stay on top of things and you’ll get good results.

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus?

A: My favorite spot was the Memorial Union because it was close to all the food spots. I enjoy being outside, so that’s where I often ate. It gave me a sense that I was on a break and relaxed.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: After I graduate, I’d like to take a break from school while I prepare to apply for law school and spend as much quality time with my baby, Leonel, before he gets too big. My mom and I recently took a weeklong workshop called ASU Pathway to Law Initiative. We also talked about opening our own business or getting into real estate. There’s a couple of things we want to do together.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?  

A: If someone gave me $40 million, I would want to tackle our waste issue. I feel like we need to figure out some ways to be less wasteful as a whole and also figure out a way to recycle waste efficiently. Not only are we contaminating our lands with waste but we are also contaminating our water/ocean. 

Top photo: Psychology graduate Danica Marshall. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News.

Reporter , ASU News


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April 25, 2022

ASU storytellers connect to serve, shape the public conversation

In matters of mathematics, cross-multiplication is used to find common denominators, transform fractions and accelerate problem solving.

In manners of mass communication, ASU Media Enterprise is fast becoming a common denominator, a cross multiplier of audience fractions and an accelerator for transmedia storytelling.

Reimagining the models of journalism and mass communication is the nexus that brings together the parts that compose ASU Media Enterprise. A growing collection of media properties committed to driving conversations that matter, ASU Media Enterprise is convening to scale ASU’s covenant to advance research and discovery of public value and assume fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.

Under the leadership of Mi-Ai Parrish, managing director of the Media Enterprise and former publisher for The Arizona Republic, representatives from several ASU-affiliated media properties recently gathered at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in downtown Phoenix to combine resources and establish a foundational framework to move forward as a collective. 

 ASU Media Enterprise

Mi-Ai Parrish

“One of the things we are trying to do is make the most of all this talent, give connections that amplify the content and the message of all the wonderful things we do while still making sure each entity remains special,” Parrish said at the March 31 gathering, which included representatives from Arizona PBS, Future Tense, Global Futures Productions, Global Sport Matters, Indian Country TodayIssues in Science and Technology, Leonardo, Transformations and Zócalo Public Square.

Tracking the growing inventory of ASU media assets and channels, ASU President Michael Crow sees power in numbers and potential in the crossover opportunities ASU Media Enterprise aims to provide.

“We have an opportunity here to innovate, to problem-solve on a national scale,” Crow said. “We can build on successful models, add opportunities, explore partnerships and collaborate on innovative experiments through the Media Enterprise.”

A media state of mind

The like media minds are already in a problem-solving “State of Mind” — a collaborative project led by Future Tense, the online magazine partnership of Slate, New America and ASU that focuses on emerging technologies, public policy and society.

“State of Mind” is bringing contributors together to share wide-ranging perspectives on the subject of mental health, the yields of which will include science policy viewpoints on mental health systems from Issues, the award-winning policy journal co-published by ASU and the National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine; conversations around the impact of mental health on high-performing athletes from Global Sport Matters, the multimedia platform of the Global Sport Institute at ASU; and personal narratives around mental illness through Transformations, the online magazine portal to ASU’s narrative storytelling initiative — all illustrative of how the engines of ASU Media Enterprise can and are mobilizing media to widely articulate and address big issues in society.

Unique collaborations are also emerging from the diverse and burgeoning Media Enterprise landscape. A new partnership between ASU-owned Arizona PBS in Phoenix and Zócalo Public Square, a nonprofit creative unit of ASU based in Los Angeles, is one such collaboration that shows the enterprise’s function as a cross-multiplier at work.

With ASU as a common denominator, Arizona PBS and Zócalo found a collaborative solution for their content and distribution needs in late 2021. The broadcast partnership now channels content curated from Zócalo’s almost 20-year archive of recorded events to viewers of the Arizona PBS World channel and is reaching new audiences outside of Los Angeles for Zócalo as a result. 

Moving its headquarters from Washington, D.C., to ASU’s Cronkite School in 2019 has also resulted in production expansion and new audience reach for Indigenous-focused Indian Country Today. The digital news publication is enjoying gains in content reach beyond the print medium with the production of a weekday news show that began airing on Arizona PBS in 2020.

Patty Talahongva, host and executive producer of Indian Country Today, says the partnership is also helping public TV stations increase their coverage of Native American communities, adding that viewer response has been overwhelmingly positive.

“People have contacted me from across the country, and they always start out by saying, 'I’m not Native but I like your newscast,' and sometimes they say, ‘Is it OK if I watch?’” Talahongva said. She said that her response is always “yes” and “please tell all of your other non-Native friends to watch.”

Cross functional channels

Some ASU media collaborators are also forging partnerships with external media outlets, like the partnership that has evolved between Zócalo and the Los Angeles Times. Zócalo, working with Times opinion editors, is now producing op-ed content for the Times to distribute as exclusive first publications in print, online and additional formats.

Transformations also holds independent publisher status with the Los Angeles Review of Books and recently signed a partnership with Temple University Press to publish books along the themes of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, according to Steven Beschloss, Transformations’ executive editor.

Beschloss says Transformations literally has been transformative for ASU scholars and others looking to share their research and perspective through the personal narrative format that drives the channel.

“The successful ones are always embedded in a larger social, political, economic, cultural context,” Beschloss said. “A lot of people from ASU, but also faculty and academics from elsewhere, oftentimes have no experience writing narrative and no experience thinking about what you need to write a narrative, which is about observations. But that door opens, and suddenly you find really interesting people who have something really interesting to say when they let themselves go there.”

Highlighting her enterprise’s growing suite of media platforms that also includes engagement with MIT Press, Diana Ayton-Shenker — CEO of ASU-affiliated Leonardo/International Society of Art, Science, Technology — said she was open to engaging with and supporting the efforts of ASU Media Enterprise to grow the interests of the growing collective.

“We are focused on the arts, science, technology,” Ayton-Shenker said. “So interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, creative, forward-looking, outside-the-box, blow your mind — imagine what that could be.”

Global rise and reach

What ASU Media Enterprise could be is a lot of things, in addition to growing individual media channels into the best versions of themselves with the support of the larger enterprise, according to Parrish.

She says collaborating as a collective is an important starting point in the Media Enterprise’s aim to elevate storytelling and create a content pipeline across the ASU network to provide information to the public and scale channels for narrative research in the ongoing global effort to solve for “x.”

“We want to develop programs that really support the economic, social, cultural and overall health of people and communities,” she said. “We want to create connections, whether that’s using existing media properties, using ASU spaces or through live and virtual events. The Media Enterprise, with all of these connected media properties, can literally help us expand knowledge across the country and around the world.” 

Top photo courtesy of Pixabay

Suzanne Wilson

Sr. Media Relations Officer , ASU Media Enterprise