Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Delia Saenz, a professor in ASU’s department of psychology, explains that before a person can recognize and accept diversity, one must first understand one’s self. By then recognizing characteristics of one’s self, a person can see the different similarities they have with people from various different groups. There are many ways to “categorize individuals. Some classifications can be “race/ethnicity, age, gender, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, ableness, class, etc” (Saenz).

Classifying people into different groups can be very helpful in trying to understand their lifestyle, values, beliefs, traditions, etc. However, this can also lead to stereotyping. Stereotyping is very dangerous in that it places barriers on one’s understanding of individuals different from themselves. By meeting someone and already have a predetermined idea of who they are, based on the aforementioned classifications, a person’s understanding of the individual becomes greatly skewed. Putting aside stereotypes can often be a difficult task. What a person is taught in their early years of life, greatly affects their understanding for the rest of their lives. It is important for parents and teachers to teach acceptance of diversity starting already at a young age. Diversity is already more widely accepted, in the United States, than it was even 20 years ago.

ASU offers many different opportunities for students to understand other groups of people. There are over 3000 international students at ASU and many organizations exist which allow for these people, and anyone else, to connect and meet others with similar, or diverse, interests. It is important to get involved in the global community and not limit one’s self with stereotypes and classifications.

Global Engagement

No matter which job a person has, they will most likely come in contact with people from different nations and cultures. It is, therefore, absolutely necessary to accept the reality of global engagement. Global engagement is connecting with the world. Many people often become so involved in their own lives, and the lives of those people around them, that they forget there are other people in the world.

Renowned sociologist, Peter Berger, describes the sudden awareness people obtain about other cultures around them as “culture shock” (6). This realization can often be very frightening and has the potential to harm the individual. All of these problems can be avoided, however, with proper prior knowledge. ASU offers many different resources for students to get involved in learning about new cultures. ASU has study abroad programs on all six of the seven inhabited continent, and, in the year 2006, 1,582 students from ASU studied abroad, some more than once (Rock). Bud Rock is the vice president for Global Engagement at ASU and has extensive experience with studying, learning about, and participating in many different cultures and societies.

One of the reasons Rock gives for becoming globally engaged, is that while many view the world as separate nations, everyone is part of one larger group, humans. The decisions made in one nation affect others, for good or for bad. It is important to take other nations into consideration before deciding to make a change that could ultimately affect others. If more political leaders considered this, the world might not have as much conflict.

One of the main examples given in the presentation on why global engagement is so important was the distribution, or lack thereof, of clean water. Millions, perhaps billions of people live without clean, sanitary water. America manages to have vast supplies and overuse water while people die every day due to contamination from their water. World leaders need to create a comprehensive plan for how to properly distribute clean, healthy water to all people.

Macionis, John J., Nijole V. Benokraitis. Seeing Ourselves: Classic, Contemporary, and Cross-Cultural Readings in Sociology. New Jersey, 2007. Prentice Hall. Pgs. 6-9.


Often times the term entrepreneur has a business-like connotation. However, entrepreneurship can be applied to many different areas. It is not all about business and profits. Dan O’Neill, a member of the ASU Office of Research and Economic Affairs, defines entrepreneurship as, “creating new ventures that generate and capture value by realizing opportunities through creativity, innovation, knowledge, skill and passion while managing resources and risks.” Entrepreneurs also need to take into account the same three things as sustainability: the environment, the economy, and society. Being a successful entrepreneur is not an easy task.

Creativity, innovation, knowledge, skill, and passion can be applied to almost any area of interest. Most people associate the term entrepreneur with such businessmen as Bill Gates or Microsoft or Steve Jobs of Apple. However, entrepreneurship extends much further than the business world. Different innovative artists are entrepreneurs, politicians, athletes, celebrities, and so forth. Nevertheless, being an entrepreneur does not equal wealth. Even the person running and initiated the local neighborhood charity drive is an entrepreneur. No matter what interests a person may have, they can become an entrepreneur in that area. Advocating for a local charity or homeless shelter can become an entrepreneurial venture. Find a focus and go for it.

O’Neill further lists the important main characteristics of entrepreneurs as, “perseverance, self-confidence, passionate, risk-takers, tolerable of ambiguity, open to new experiences, competitive, hard working, high in energy, disciplined, realistic and optimistic.” These qualities may not be easy or necessarily quick to develop, but they are well worth the time and effort. These qualities make for success in almost any situation.


Often times, people connect the term sustainability with green living. This, however, is only one small facet to the global issue of sustainability. Many Americans wonder why they should worry about such problems when there are more than enough resources to go around. However, how much longer will these resources support such wasteful lifestyles? At what point will it be too late?

Chuck Redman, in his presentation, points out that the concept of sustainability is nothing new, even if the word itself is. He quotes President Theodore Roosevelt as saying, “The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired in value.” This is the environmental aspect of sustainability in a nutshell. If the people in today’s world do not prepare for future generations to use the earth, then there will not be anything of worth left to use.

Sustainability does not only refer to preparing for the future. Many people around the globe do not live with the same luxuries felt by most Americans. It is the responsibility of those with the power and ability to help provide survival resources for those people who cannot get it for themselves.

When businesses strive for sustainability, they need to take into consideration three things: “economic prosperity, environmental quality, and social equity” (Redman). Consumers can also make a difference by considering the amount of energy used to make their products, under what conditions it was produced, if it reusable and/or recyclable, etc. By joining advocacy groups for sustainability and becoming involved in moving the community in this direction, everyone can help make a difference today.

Student Success

When entering college, especially a university, right out of high school, many students find themselves overwhelmed. Afsaneh Nahavandi, the associate dean for University College, created some tips for freshman students to apply in order to help them adjust to the college learning environment.

She says the key to success at ASU is good grades and staying on track to receive the desired degree. This may seem like a given, but under the less structured college atmosphere, many students lose sight of their underlying purpose in going to school. However, she stresses the importance of keeping a well-rounded life. She suggests working, not more than 20 hours, joining different clubs and organizations, exercising regularly, and meeting new people. While these things can help students maintain a healthy lifestyle while going to school, she provides other tips on how to do well in the classes themselves.

The number one lesson to learn is TIME MANAGEMENT. In high school the classes are very structured with not much homework or time spent on studying. College is very different. Most professors expect their students to spend two or three hours on homework per hour spent in class. This can seem rather overwhelming if time is not spent wisely. Also, many classes can have the same due dates for assignments and professors do not always remind students when things are due. It is very important then to take responsibility and keep track of everything. Having a planner or some kind of calendar to organize events can be very useful. If students utilize these helpful techniques, the transition from high school to college can be much less stressful. Also the time and money spent on college can be decreased dramatically.

Academic Integrity

ASU does not consider honesty a matter of choice, but rather it is considered a mandate. ASU has a very strict policy on cheating of any kind. The punishments range from simply having to redo an assignment to receiving an XE grade on the student’s official transcript. The XE grade signifies “failure due to academic dishonesty.”

Integrity is a very important life lesson to be learned. In today’s society often times cutting corners and doing whatever it takes to get ahead is not frowned upon unless the individual gets caught. It is very important to have integrity in every endeavor which a person undertakes. Leslie Shell refers to integrity as an “academic culture,” reaching much further than simply the classroom setting. It is what an individual does in all walks of life. In 2004 the Office of Research Integrity made a report on cases of scientific research misconduct in the years 1993-1997. During that time period the numbers steadily increased (“Scientific Conduct Investigations 1993-97”). The ways in which individuals can cheat are becoming more diverse, making it easier for people to do it.

It is important to develop the “habit” of academic integrity early on life. Shell cites the Psychology of Academic cheating as reporting that 67 percent of students with no history of cheating in high school continued to practice academic integrity in college.

Many students have gotten caught in situation in which they did not knowingly cheat. This is still considered cheating. Shell advises that if a student is in doubt of a policy, ask the professor before acting. Remember, honesty is always the best policy.

“Scientific Misconduct Investigations 1993-97.” Office of Research Integrity. 2004. LexisNexis Statistical. LexisNexis. ASU West Fletcher Lib. .

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Hey guys,

I'm Anika. Born and raised in AZ. I still live over in the east valley. It's a long drive out here to the West campus. I like traveling to new places and meeting new people. I hope to get to know you all better :)