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ASU Lake Havasu celebrates first graduating students

Shawn Gall (left) and Brittney Weber
May 09, 2014

ASU Colleges at Lake Havasu CIty marks a major milestone this year when seven students will graduate with their bachelor’s degrees.

ASU in Lake Havasu is the university’s newest location that features an innovative educational experience and provides students with a more affordable alternative to earn a college degree. All members of the first group of graduates are transfer students who enrolled when ASU Lake Havasu opened in 2012. Five are psychology majors and two students majored in communication.

“This is an extraordinary group of students. Five of them will graduate with Summa Cum Laude honors. They all have worked very hard to complete their degrees in two years,” said David Young, director of ASU Lake Havasu.  

Students who attend ASU in Lake Havasu City enjoy the academic excellence of a major research university as they attain their educational goals in a close-knit academic community that offers hands-on learning experiences, small classes and leadership opportunities. Degree opportunities include life sciences, business communication, criminal justice and criminology, organizational leadership, communication, political science, psychology and sociology.

Brittney Weber transferred to ASU Lake Havasu from Mohave Community College to pursue a psychology degree. She was planning on attending the University of Arizona, but chose ASU after hearing that the university was coming to her city.

“The convenience factor and low cost were of paramount importance at the time I made my decision,” she said.

Memorable moments for Weber at ASU Lake Havasu include meeting ASU President Michael Crow, assisting in research, attending a psychology conference in Portland, Oregon and enjoying the process of pioneering ASU Lake Havasu.

Weber reached a major milestone for an undergraduate when she co-authored a paper with Lake Havasu City faculty member Sharon Harvey that was presented at the Wesleyan Theological Society conference. The paper, "Inside/Outside: Erikson's Pseudospeciation Meets Wesleyan Ecclesiology," explores the ritualization theory of the developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst Erik Erikson and its application to the church as an institution.

“I am incredibly grateful for the multitude of positive experiences I have had over the course of the past two years. I feel that, given that ASU Lake Havasu is in its beginning stages, director David Young, as well as the faculty and staff, are particularly accommodating to students' needs. There is a strong ambience of success at this campus, and many opportunities exist for those who have a desire to seize them,” she said. Weber plans to pursue a master’s degree after taking a year off to work on another research project with Lake Havasu City Programs Lecturer Eylin Palamaro Munsell.

Shawn Gall returned to school to major in psychology after owning his own business for years. As an older student who transferred from Mohave Community College, he initially thought he might feel out of place at the university, but found instead that students often turned to him.

“The students never have really treated me like the old guy. It really makes me feel good when they come up and solicit my advice for something,” Gall said.

As a member of the first group of graduates, he remembers his elation when he found out that ASU was coming to Lake Havasu City.

“I was ecstatic. Everything fell into place. The convenience was really a huge sale for me, not having to pick up and leave. ASU was definitely my school of choice,” Gall said. “I was the very first person who was admitted.” 

Another milestone will be reached in his undergraduate work when a research study that he conducted, “Body Posture has Little Effect on Memory” with faculty member Scott McIntyre, is presented at the Association for Psychological Science in San Francisco. Gall plans on continuing his education after graduation and earning his master’s degree.

The first graduates will celebrate their accomplishments during commencement from 6-8 p.m., May 16, at Daytona Gym in Lake Havasu City. Graduating students, their majors, hometowns and where they previously attended college are:

Kristy Rocco (summa cum laude), communication, Phoenix, Glendale Community College, Rio Salado Community College, Paradise Valley Community College; Travis Foley, psychology, Mohave Valley, Arizona., Univ. of South Carolina, Mohave Community College, Los Angeles Mission College; Michelle Kent (summa cum laude), psychology, Owatonna, Minnesota, Mohave Community College; Jade Taylor (summa cum laude), psychology, Columbus, Ohio, Mohave Community College; Victor Rasor-Thompson, communication, San Diego, San Mateo Community College, San Diego City College, University of San Diego, California State University- Monterey Bay; Brittney Weber (summa cum laude), psychology, Bozeman, Montana, Mohave Community College; Shawn Gall (summa cum laude), psychology, Burlington, Iowa, Mohave Community College.