ASU hosts fall 2011 Hispanic Convocation


December 6, 2011

The ASU Office of Public Affairs is inviting the media to attend the fall 2011 Hispanic Convocation ceremony. The ceremony takes place at 1:30 p.m., Dec. 16 at Grady Gammage Auditorium, 1200 S. Forest Avenue, Tempe.

The Hispanic Convocation is a tradition established by Arizona State University Hispanic students more than twenty-five years ago, and celebrates the accomplishments of ASU’s Hispanic graduates. This year’s event will include approximately 100 graduates.  Download Full Image

“This convocation is especially significant because it celebrates their academic achievements in a festive, cultural environment shared with family and friends,” said Sandy Ferniza, executive director for Community Development in the Office of Public Affairs. 

Gabriel Serrato has been selected as the fall 2011 Jose Ronstadt Outstanding Undergraduate student award recipient. He is graduating cum laude from ASU’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences with a Bachelor of Science in Human Communication. While at ASU, Gabriel earned support and recognition for his high academic achievements from organizations like the Hispanic Leadership Forum, The Eloisa Diaz Educational Foundation and The Order of Omega Academic Honorary Society.

Gabriel’s exemplary community leadership includes serving as Vice President for the Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity, Director of Standards for the Multicultural Greek Council, a youth mentor for the AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute and the ASU Obama Scholars program and an Academic Success Leader for ASU’s Academic Support Services.  Gabriel has volunteered many hours with groups like Sparky’s Welcome Team, Devils in Disguise, St. Mary’s Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Feed My Starving Children and UMOM New Day Center.

ASU enrolled just over 72,000 students across its four campuses at the beginning of the fall 2011 semester. Of that total, 12,238 were Hispanic undergraduates and graduate students. The 2010-2011 student body also included more than 350 National Hispanic Scholars. Their achievements are supported by more than 1,300 Hispanic faculty and staff.

Reporter , ASU News

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Near-death experience puts grad on activist path


December 6, 2011

A near-fatal illness when she was 16 led Beth Anne Martin to dream big dreams. She decided she wanted to make the world a better place.

Martin has hiked through rainforests to study ecology in Costa Rica and has planted hundreds of trees as a farm intern in New Zealand. She has founded a student organization to fight slavery and trafficking, and has led volunteer efforts for a Tempe homeless program and an environmental action team. Download Full Image

The young activist was one of more than 400 university students from 40 countries selected by Rotary International to study abroad. She studied food security and community-based agriculture in Chile.

She will graduate from ASU's Barrett, the Honors College this December with degrees in sustainability from the School of Sustainability and history from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Martin was sideswiped by an E.coli infection when she was in high school, and her doctor told her she had been days away from death. Always a healthy person, part of an active family with eight children, she says the experience made her reevaluate her life’s direction.

The ASU Study Abroad program has helped set her on an international path to developing her interests in sustainable development. She has traveled to Costa Rica and New Zealand to learn about food production.

“I realized I had no knowledge of farming, so I sent out about 100 emails to farms all over the world," Martin said.  "I heard back from Uma Rapiti, a small family farm of about eight acres on Waiheke Island off the coast of New Zealand.

“I spent last summer living there by myself in a wool shed, with an outdoor shower and toilet. My family was horrified, but it was wonderful. The people who owned the farm lived on the mainland and came out on weekends. I planted 300 to 400 fruit and native trees, and I planted seedlings in greenhouses for the next year.

“I believe life is shaped by the dreams one follows,” she wrote in her Rotary essay. “I want to always dream big dreams; I want those dreams to motivate me to take action.”

Written by Sarah Auffret

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library