Majority of state's brightest Flinn Scholars choose ASU

April 24, 2015

Maggie Tucker had her pick of schools. The senior from Mountain View High School in Mesa had been accepted at Boston College, the College of William & Mary and the University of Chicago, but it was Arizona State University that won her over.

The two key factors? Winning a Flinn Scholarship – she is one of 21 honorees for 2015 – and ASU’s Barrett, the Honors College. Flinn Scholar Maggie Tucker Download Full Image

“Prestigious universities offer a name. The Flinn offered me a community, a legacy and a responsibility to improve my home state,” said Tucker, who plans to major in business.

The Flinn Scholarship ­– valued at more than $115,000 – aims to encourage Arizona’s best students to attend one of the state’s three public universities. It provides eight semesters of undergraduate tuition and fees, room and board, funding for international study-related travel and professional development, support for an off-campus internship, faculty mentoring and other benefits. The Flinn Foundation offers it through a partnership with the universities.

Fifteen of the latest class of recipients will be freshman at ASU in August; 14 of those, including Tucker, are enrolled in Barrett.

“The Flinn Scholarship is instrumental in helping ASU fulfill its mission of providing access and opportunity to our state’s best and brightest students,” said Barrett dean Mark Jacobs. “Investing in these students now means an investment in the future of our state, as their intellect and energy contributes to the greater good of Arizona.”

The generous scholarship affords the recipients the freedom and opportunity to expand their education.

“Although I have a clear idea of the woman I want to become, my interests are endless,” said Tucker, whose fascinations range from geopolitics and history to cosmology, and whose high school activities ranged from leading Model United Nations to volunteering at Hospice of the Valley.

“With the resources of ASU and the activating nature of the Flinn, I have the ability to explore all facets for my education. I can be a Renaissance woman.”

This year’s awardees, chosen from a field of 760 applicants, mark the 30th class of Flinn Scholars. Recipients typically have a minimum 3.5 grade-point average, rank in the top 5 percent of their high school graduating class, have a minimum score of 1300 on the SAT or 29 on the ACT, and have demonstrated community involvement and leadership abilities.

“The incoming class of Flinn Scholars carries on the tradition of our state’s brightest students choosing to receive a world-class education at an Arizona university,” said Jack B. Jewett, Flinn Foundation president and CEO.

In addition to Tucker, the Flinn Scholars headed to ASU are:

• Eric Arellano, Catalina Foothills High School, Tucson

• Mia Armstrong, BASIS charter school, Flagstaff

• Jonathon Barkl, Sandra Day O’Connor High School, Phoenix

• Lexi Darby, Westwood High School, Mesa

• Scott Fitsimones, Arizona School for the Arts, Phoenix

• Emily Giel, Desert Vista High School, Phoenix

• Craig Johnson, Tucson Magnet High School, Tucson

• Ruby Kerwin, University High School, Tucson

• Grant Laufer, Mountain View High School, Mesa

• Rafael Lopez, South Mountain High School, Phoenix

• John Patterson, Corona Del Sol High School, Tempe

• Mary Saxon, Westwood High School, Mesa

• Bharath Tata, Hamilton High School, Chandler

• Ben Trumpinski, Cienega High School, Vail

Nicole Greason

Public relations and publicity manager , Barrett, The Honors College


ASU speech team repeat national champs

April 24, 2015

The Arizona State University Forensics (speech) team continued a remarkable awards season, repeating their National Championship in Division II of the President’s Sweepstakes at the National Forensics Association National Tournament.

The tournament was hosted April 16-20 at Ohio University. The National Forensics Association is one of the largest organizations for college speech in the country. ASU Forensics team Download Full Image

The tournament hosted over 75 schools for competition by more than 800 students in 11 public speaking events.

These events are divided into three categories:

• limited preparation events (Impromptu and Extemporaneous Speaking)
• public platform addresses (Persuasive, Informative, Rhetorical Criticism and After Dinner Speaking)
• interpretive events (Poetry, Prose, Dramatic and Duo)

The Arizona State team competing at the NFA tournament consisted of juniors Paxton Attridge, Frankie Marchi and James Qian, and freshman Abigail Toye.

The performances by the team were so strong that they more than doubled the score of the second place team in the division – tallying 160 points, compared to the University of Northern Iowa’s 76.

“Without contributions from every member of our team, this would not have been possible," said John Grimm, Forensics team coach. "The focus they’ve placed is on not only solid, rigorous argumentation, but also engaging the audience with the heart they put into each performance.”

“We’ve been told many times about the legacy of ASU Speech and have been frequently recognized by fellow competitors for ASU Speech’s alumni, but it feels like the competition will be recognizing the current team of ASU Speech from now on,” Marchi said.

In order to amass so many points with so few students, the team needed a number of standout performances. Each of the events the team entered had more than 115 entries, with some reaching nearly 200 competitors.

Leading the way, Qian finished in the top 5 places of two separate events, while carrying a third to semifinals – a top 12 finish – with a fourth event in quarterfinals (top 24). His 3rd place award in Extemporaneous Speaking and 5th place in Impromptu Speaking sent Qian to the 11th place overall individual speaker at the tournament.

“On the heels of winning a National Title in Impromptu Speaking just two weekends ago, Jimmy actually upped his game by carrying even more events into elimination rounds this weekend,” said Adam Symonds, director of Forensics. “To be recognized as the 11th overall speaker is, in many ways, even more difficult than winning a national championship in a single event. The dedication to a single event must be duplicated across several events to even be competitive.”

Attridge contributed a semifinals appearance in Impromptu Speaking and quarterfinals results in both Extemporaneous Speaking and Rhetorical Criticism.

“From a coach's perspective, Paxton is really the team leader. He’s in the squad room practically every time I am there,” said Symonds. “He’s always pushing the other students to practice more events and offers feedback. When someone as selfless as Paxton has a performance like this, it makes you really, really proud to be a coach.”

Marchi was a first-time elimination round participant – earning distinction with his Poetry performance – and carried the event all the way to the semifinals, unseating previous national champions along the way to a top 12 finish.

“There was a lot of buzz about Frankie’s poetry this weekend. He’s primed for a huge senior year,” Symonds said.

Lisa Robbins

Editor/publisher, Media Relations and Strategic Communications