Film invites question about human spirit

May 31, 2012

Summer is a time for vacations, reading, and lazy evenings. And, this summer gives us a time to think about the human spirit.

ASU’s Project Humanities is sponsoring its first Summer Film Series, with the theme “Are we losing our humanity?” Download Full Image

The next film in the series, “The Human Experience,” will be screened at 6 p.m. June 20 (Wednesday) at South Mountain Community Library, 7050 S. 24th St., Phoenix. Following the film, there will be a discussion with ASU faculty and community scholars. The event is free, and refreshments will be served.

“The Human Experience,” produced by Grassroots Films of Brooklyn, N.Y., is the story of male siblings who travel the world in search of the answers to the burning questions: Who am I? Who is Man? Why do we search for meaning?

Their journey brings them into the middle of the lives of the homeless on the streets of New York City, the orphans and disabled children of Peru, and the abandoned lepers in the forests of Ghana, Africa. What the young men discover changes them forever.

Through one-on-one interviews and real life encounters, the brothers are awakened to the beauty of the human person and the resilience of the human spirit.

The series is presented in partnership with ASU Center for Film, Media, and Popular Culture, ASU Emeritus College Faculty of the Humanities, Phoenix Public Library, and Seek First Entertainment.

The final film in the series, “Baraka,” a non-narrative film directed by Ron Fricke with an environmental theme, will be shown on Tuesday, July 17, time and location TBA.

Project Humanities will kick off its regular fall semester programming with a forum at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. addressing the same thematic question, “Are we losing our humanity?” with a panel of experts from various fields on Friday, Sept. 7, followed by the bi-annual Project Humanities Kickoff Week, Sept. 10-14.

Project Humanities, housed in the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, is a university-wide initiative with the goal of showing the importance and range of interactions among humanities research and programming and other areas of scholarship and human endeavor. Project Humanities is directed by Professor of English and Associate Vice President Neal A. Lester.

For more information on Project Humanities, go to or contact Patrick Reid, or (480) 727-7030.

Former ASU wrestler Robles to be inducted to National Wrestling Hall of Fame

May 31, 2012

Two World champions, a successful coach and wrestler, and the heaviest athlete in Olympic history will be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum on June 1-2, 2012 in Stillwater.

“We are fortunate to have such a rich heritage of wrestling in the United States and the Class of 2012 certainly perpetuates this sport’s extraordinary legacy,” said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. “I am excited that our Hall of Fame gets to honor such a prestigious and diverse group.”   Download Full Image

The Medal of Courage, given to a wrestler who has overcome insurmountable challenges, is being awarded to Anthony Robles. Robles, who was born with one leg, earned three NCAA All-American honors while claiming the 2011 NCAA title at 125 pounds for Arizona State University. He is now pursuing a motivational speaking career with the Washington Speakers Bureau. 

Medal of Courage


If there was ever a reason to believe in the power of courage, look no further than Anthony Robles. Not only will Robles be recognized as a great wrestler, but he will be remembered as one of the most inspirational athletes in all of sport.

Robles, who was born without his right leg, never allowed his perceived disability get in the way of future wrestling success. Content to walk with crutches or to hop on one leg, Robles ripped off his prosthetic leg at the age of three. He continued to prove that life is about what you can do, not what you can’t. 

At the age of 14, while living in Mesa, Ariz., Robles found wrestling. Although Robles called himself the worst wrestler on the team, it was the start of a career that captured the nation’s imagination. Through the support of his family and coaches, Robles turned himself into a champion wrestler.

By the time he graduated high school, Robles had won two Arizona state championships—combining for a 96-0 record during his junior and senior seasons at Mesa High School. He finished his high school career with a 129-15 record.

Few colleges gave him a chance to excel at the next level. Robles, however, proved them wrong. Enrolling at Arizona State in 2006, Robles would string together a memorable wrestling career during his four years of competition. As a freshman 125 pounder in 2008, he just missed becoming an All- American, finishing just short of the medal stand.

For the next three seasons Robles would be a force in the 125 pound class. He placed fourth as a sophomore and seventh as a junior before capping his career with a title and the Outstanding Wrestler Award at the 2011 NCAA tournament as a senior. Robles went 36-0 during his final year, compiling a career collegiate record of 122-23.

Robles was also recognized nationally for his feats of courage, including the prestigious “Jimmy V” Award for Perseverance, and the Best Male Athlete with a Disability at the 2011 ESPY’s.