Father-son duo compete for grades but help each other reach a goal

<p>It was exciting when Anthony Vito Badalamenti and his father Anthony (Tony) first started going to ASU together, both taking classes in the College of Technology and Innovation. Then it became somewhat nerve wracking, as the grade competition began.</p><separator></separator><p>Both are thrilled to be graduating together, however, having survived job losses and cutbacks – as well as a heavy travel schedule, for Tony – to achieve their degrees at the same time.</p><separator></separator><p>Anthony Vito, 22, is graduating with a bachelor of science in engineering, and his father will receive a bachelor of applied science in operations management. The elder Badalamenti, 48, is graduating cum laude, barely edging out his son.</p><separator></separator><p>“At first it was exciting, but later down the road it became kind of stressful,” says Anthony Vito. “For instance, now I needed to graduate on time (in four years) to graduate with my dad. But luckily, we both made it.”</p><separator></separator><p>Sophomore year was particularly challenging, since he was taking 19 credit hours at a time and searching for work after his employer had closed down. His father also faced extra hurdles, job losses and a work schedule that took him out of town three to four days a week.</p><separator></separator><p>“It’s been a difficult four years for all of us,” says Tony. “I work as a regional sales manager in the building industry, and my territory is the west coast. I lost my job twice due to the economic conditions and cutbacks. But despite it all, I have continued to work in my field while attending school.”</p><separator></separator><p>Having always tried to teach his son the value of an education, he enrolled at ASU because he felt he had to practice what he preached. The first two semesters were the most difficult, because he had been out of school for more than 25 years.</p><separator></separator><p>“Doing everything from a hotel room at 9 p.m., away from the classroom setting, I couldn’t ask anyone for help or advice,” he says. “I actually did more work than I should have, and then ended up with C’s. Once I was in the groove and understood the syllabus, it was A’s from there.”</p><separator></separator><p>The two never had any classes together, but Anthony Vito helped his father by tutoring him in physics, algebra and calculus.</p><separator></separator><p>“It was a weird position for me, being the teacher and my dad learning from me, instead of the other way around,” says the son.</p><separator></separator><p>Anthony Vito, who used to build his own computers in high school, has been working for the University Technology Office for two years. He hopes to work in the solar industry or in computers. His stepmother, Liz Badalamenti, a nurse with the ASU Employee Wellness Program, is especially proud of both of them.</p><separator></separator><p>Both men plan to enter a master’s program after a short break.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Sarah Auffret</strong><br />480-965-6991<br />Media Relations</p>