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state press magazine VOLUME 17 // ISSUE 5

CAR DOGS ASU students and professors work to create feature film

// MARCH 1, 2017


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from the editor

the staff

There are some movies that stay with you forever. For me, that is an incredibly long list starting with every Disney movie ever created and ending with “Without a Paddle” because I have weird taste. There’s about 20 movies in between. Movies can bring out an emotion in people, and often those that illicit emotion are the ones that stick with us. I love “Annie Hall” — it’s one of my favorite movies of all time because it is just so neurotic and I completely connect with that, because I am rather neurotic myself. In this issue SPM reporter Owen Baldner explores the process behind the making of a major feature film set to come out in March, “Car Dogs.” For this movie, ASU students and professors worked to bring a story about a car dealership in Phoenix to life. It’s incredible that students had this opportunity to work on something that is so big, with a cast including Octavia Spencer and George Lopez. Make sure you give our cover story about the film’s director Adam Collis a read, along with all the other wonderful stories in this issue! We’ll see you back for the next issue where we list the best of ASU!

EXECUTIVE E DITOR SYDN EY MAKI E DITOR-I N-CH I E F ALEXA D’ANG E LO MANAG I NG E DITOR SAVANAH YAG HSE Z IAN PHOTO E DITORS STE LLA ATZ E NWE I LE R J ESSE STAWNYCZY DE S IG N E R ALEX CZAJA DIG ITAL E DITOR AN DR EW N ICLA LEAD R E PORTE R N ICOLE G I M PL R E PORTE R LAU R E N I NTR I E R I ATTI E M U R PHY N I NA NORTH MADISON STATE N SU NAI NA TAN DON OWE N BALDN E R LU R ISSA CAR BAJAL HAI LEY M E NSI K RANJANI VENKATAKRISHNAN PHOTOG RAPH E RS E LE NA PE LKEY-LAN DES CE LISSE JON ES MAZ HAR BADAN I

FROM LE FT TO R IG HT: ALEX CZAJA, SYDN EY MAKI, ALEXA D’ANG E LO, SAVAN NAH YAG HSE Z IAN, AN DR EW N ICLA PHOTO BY R E I LLY KN E E DLE R

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contents

VOLUME 17 // ISSUE 5

campus culture

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06 COLOR I NG OUTSI DE TH E LI N ES 08 I NTE R N ET FR I E N DS 12 TH E I NVISI B LE DISAB I LITI ES: ADD & ADH D 14 GYM NASTICS COACH ES FLI P PR IOR ITI ES

from the cover

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16 ASU’S “CAR DOGS” RACES I NTO TH EATE RS TH IS MARCH

business 08

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22 KE E PI NG H E R EYES ON TH E BALL 24 MAKI NG H E R WAY DOWNTOWN

student life 26 TH E FUTU R E OF FR I E N DSH I PS

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COLORING OUTSIDE THE LINES BY ATTIE MURPHY | PHOTOS BY ELENA PELKEY-LANDES

Creativity is a journey that requires not only interest, but also determination; especially for Arizona State University art senior Marieke Davis. Marieke was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 10, which led to surgery, and five months of chemotherapy when she was in sixth grade. Two more brain surgeries followed. After her last surgery, when she was in 11th grade, it became an impossible challenge for her to read across a page. She lost half of her field of vision in both of her eyes is known as hemianopsia. When talking about how she started creating comics, Marieke says, “I kind of grew into it, although I grew up reading Calvin and Hobbes.” Her interest in narrative art, combined with the small frames that helped with her vision, drew her attention to comics. Marieke’s father died from a heart attack when she was 5 years old, and her mother, Karen Davis, became a single parent who was an outstanding support. “When she was younger, she would come to my office and draw,” Karen Davis says. “She would draw art that told a story.” Being at ASU hasn’t always been easy for Marieke. “She deserved to have an even playing field, like all people with disabilities do,” Karen Davis who was an academic advisor at ASU for 25 years, says. “I knew it would not be easy. I wanted to give her my best knowledge.” Despite her inevitable struggles, she has continued to be dedicated to her art and writing, as well as being a student. She finished her comic book “Ember Black” in summer of 2016 and also created an audio version of the book. Her mother 6

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was greatly involved in the project and voiced the narrator in the audio version. “Everything she did with Ember Black, she taught herself,” Karen says. On her other inspirations, Marieke says, “A comic that really inspired me was Neil Gaiman’s ‘Sandman Chronicles’. I won’t stop citing it because he will always be one of my favorite comic book authors.” Beside drawing and writing comics, Marieke has written short stories and scripts, including her short story, “Onlookers.” “It’s important not to discredit other people’s experiences in life,” Davis says. “I think comics are a good way to to express how you’re feeling without talking down or being mean to someone.” Deborah Deacon, art historian and professor at ASU, says Marieke, caught her attention in her online classes because she “very straight forward and enthusiastic.” “From the beginning, her mother instilled in her a sense of independence. She has an inner strength that causes her to be successful.” Deacon says of Davis’s success. “Her writing is really far beyond what I would have expected.” When asked what she thought other students could learn from Marieke, Deacon says, “I think they can take from her the idea that they are responsible for their own success, and if they try hard enough, they can be successful.” Most of those who interact with the

ASU student find her to be an inspiration. “Marieke is a remarkable person. She is a perfectionist and did outstanding work for my course on memory and memoir.” says Sarah Stage, a professor at the School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural studies at ASU. Marieke says she is somewhat nervous to be graduating in May, but is also excited to find a job and thinks “it would be important to have real life experience.” Marieke also hopes to get a panel at Comic Con this summer. She will be graduating with a degree in drawing, as well as minors in literature and women’s studies, and a certificate in creative writing, according to her mother. “I think college itself is a great place to find who you are and what you do best,” Marieke says. “I think everyone should have the right to try.” Her advice for understanding disabilities, and people in general, is to realize that there is more behind a person than what you can see. “If you want real progress, you really have to listen,” Marieke says.


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BY NICOLE GIMPL PHOTOS BY MAZHAR BADANI

Making friends with people online is more common than ever. In 2015, the Pew Research Center reported that 57 percent of teens made friends online. The odds of finding someone — anyone — in the world with the same interests seems to be higher than ever thanks to the never-ending list of popular social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr, to name a few. “Social media helps teens feel more connected to their friends’ feelings and daily lives, and also offers teens a place to receive support from others during challenging times,” the Pew Research Center says according to its 2015 study. Nikole Tower, an Arizona State University sophomore majoring in journalism and mass communication met her friend Kaitz Haynes four years ago on Twitter because of a common interest. Haynes lives in Durban, South Africa. Despite the distance between them – 10,275 miles – Tower and Haynes be8

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came good friends. They bonded over Twitter through a Five Second of Summer fan account with two other girls – one from Kansas and one from Italy. “I already had the account for a little over a year, and since the fandom was literally all over the world I wanted to create a worldwide group message with other fans,” Tower says. “That’s what I did. We talked through Whatsapp for a few months, just fangirling about bands and talking about our different cultures.” Eventually Tower’s fangirl group talked less and less, but she stayed in near constant contact with Haynes. “Kaitz and I talked constantly,” Tower says. “We messaged each other every day despite the nine hour time difference. I had just turned 17 and she was 18. It was just like having a pen pal, but an online one. We would compare each other’s school work, talk about our personal drama and dream about meeting each other in person one day.” Of the teens who met friends online,

20 percent met that friend in person, according to the Pew Research study. Tower and Haynes fit in that category. Two years ago, Haynes visited Tower in Arizona and just last December, Tower flew to Durban, South Africa to visit Haynes. “I wasn’t really expecting to find an actual friend through the internet. I tweeted people here and there but it never went beyond that,” Haynes says. “But then I found Nikole and it was so crazy how we can live on opposite sides of the world yet still have so much in common.” Websites like interpals.net and penpalworld.com are places people can go to find new friends online. As the names suggest, it’s an effort to bring back old-fashioned pen pals, but the days of handwriting letters and spending money on postage are over. What social media sites offer is the chance to get to know people who share your interests. “More and more of us are developing online friendship groups and if someone


ever stops to wonder about their own involvement and interest in the lives of their virtual buddies, it’s not too hard to understand how these relationships grow,” says Suzanne Degges-White Ph.D. in an article published by Psychology Today. “You have found people who share your interests or engage in similar activities and the propinquity factor is off the charts!” As stated earlier in this article, fewer than 20 percent of people actually meet their online friends in person. Personal safety is a determining factor in that. TV shows like MTV’s Catfish show that despite how well you know someone online, they could end up being someone completely different from who they say they are. “Of course there were people that would give a weird look when I said I was visiting my friend I met through the internet,” Tower said. “I know it’s not the safest thing but our parents Skyped each other, I met her sister over Skype and she met my sister. There were those unavoidable

thoughts of what could go wrong when I visit her but overall I was more excited than anything else. The moment I got there it felt almost like going to a place I already knew.” There’s always the chance that the person you set out to meet in person after talking to them online isn’t as great as you thought they would be. In some cases, it can be dangerous. For others, like junior and theatre major Tara Weworski, your Tinder date might just stick you with a large bill. “Basically what happened was the guy asked me to dinner and when it was time to pay he said he couldn’t afford any of our $50 check,” Weworski says. The key to meeting an online friend offline, is to do a little research on them before meeting up. Google their name and see if there’s more than just a Facebook page. If you’re still unsure, make a date to meet in a public place around a group of people.

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Invisible Disabilities: ADD & ADHD BY NINA NORTH PHOTOS BY MAZHAR BADANI

SYMPTOMS OF ADHD

Your heart begins to race, your hands are clammy and shaky, your head is spinning and your breathing is slow and inconsistent. You look over and see all the stacks of books and mounds of homework you need to complete, but you can’t bring yourself to do it. Instead, you go for a run, play some video games, you even clean your room. You do anything to avoid buckling down and starting your assignments. Many of us find ourselves scattered in moments of stress, we try to take on too much at once because we think we can,

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I mean, we are college students after all. But for some, multi-tasking is a struggle. They get distracted easily, can’t focus and sit still — they have Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. ADD is the second most common mental disability among college students and other young adults, according to the American Psychiatric Association. According to the Child Mind Institute, these students may have difficulty managing their classes, studying for exams and maintaining a social life due to

ADHD PREDOMINANTLY INATTENTIVE PRESENTATION

Loses things Is easily distracted Is forgetful in daily activities

Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes Has difficulty sustaining attention Does not appear to listen Struggles to follow through with instructions Has difficulty with organization Avoids or dislikes tasks requiring sustained mental effort

ADHD PREDOMINANTLY HYPERACTIVEIMPULSIVE PRESENTATION

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Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in chair Has difficulty remaining seated Runs about or climbs excessively in children; extreme restlessness in adults Difficulty engaging in

not having that day-to-day structure they once had in high school. Aaron Krasnow, Ph.D, associate vice president of ASU Counseling and Health Services, says less structure can be challenging for most people, including those without ADD or ADHD. ADD is a biologically based condition that includes any range of behavioral disorders, according to ADD.org website on ADD. ADHD is a biological condition characterized by symptoms centered around a person’s inability to focus on a

activities quietly Acts as if driven by a motor; adults will often feel inside as if they are driven by a motor Talks excessively Blurts out answers before questions have been completed Difficulty waiting or taking turns Interrupts or intrudes upon others *Information by CHADD, The National Resource on ADHD


task, avoiding such tasks and becoming easily distracted, according to Psych Central’s website. A person may either be diagnosed with ADD or ADHD depending on whether they are hyperactive or not. The difference between the two is quite simple: ADHD includes the symptom of physical hyperactivity or excessive restlessness— that’s the “H” in ADHD. People with ADD can actually be calm, the symptom of hyperactivity is absent, according to Dr. Hallowell, author and world-renowned ADHD expert. Oftentimes, the diagnosis of ADD is missed because of the absence of hyperactivity. People may just assume you’re shy or even slow. “Approximately two to eight percent of the college population has ADHD,” according to Stephanie Sarkis, Ph.D, author of “Making the Grade with ADD: A Student’s Guide to Succeeding in College with Attention Deficit Disorder.” Krasnow says ADD or ADHD can present some challenges to students, often in terms of attention, concentration or information retention. Victor Wright, ASU sophomore hotel management and tourism major, says he was diagnosed with ADHD in fourth

grade. He says having ADHD has not greatly affected his academic career but that he is doing much better his sophomore year than he did his freshman year. Although he said he didn’t put much effort to succeed his freshman year, he doesn’t think it was his ADHD — rather a lack of trying. “Adjusting to college wasn’t too difficult for me. At first it was a little but I learned to manage and get the hang of things,” Wright says. ASU Health Services and Counseling Services can provide direct service to students with ADD or ADHD in the form of counseling, workshops and medication management when appropriate, Krasnow says. According to Modern Medicine Network, those with ADHD might have a harder time adapting when they enter into college life. This can lead to higher dropout rates among students with ADHD than among those without this disorder. “When students are having difficulty we recommend they work closely with the Disability Resources Office so they can get accommodations to ensure that there is no negative impact of their symptoms on their academic success,” Krasnow

says. Max Bartolomea, ASU sophomore medical studies major, was diagnosed with ADD when he was 7 years old. He says his second grade teacher recommended he get tested after she noticed he had trouble paying attention in class. Bartolomea is on medication for his ADD. “I can honestly say that without medication, I would not be able to be a high-functioning college student,” Bartolomea says. Bartolomea says when he is unmedicated, going to class is pretty much useless. “During these rare times, I find myself zoning out every 30-seconds and even when I am focused, I am focusing on the wrong thing,” Bartolomea says. Bartolomea was given accommodations for his ADD in high school, like getting extra time on tests and leniency for forgetting assignments, but he says he didn’t apply for those accommodations at ASU because he didn’t want others to think he needed it. “I believe I was able to succeed through adjusting to the college lifestyle because of my work ethic rather than my physical work ability,” Bartolomea says.


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GYMNASTICS COACHES FLIP PRIORITIES BY SUNAINA TANDON PHOTOS BY DELIA JOHNSON

Point your toes. Extend your legs. Knees together. Remember, “pretty feet win the meet.” Arms straight. Reach for that perfect 10.0. A gymnastics coach says these things so often, they are forever ingrained in the minds of gymnasts. Gymnastics is a sport of perfection. Every toe must be pointed. Knees must always be glued together and straightened. As a gymnast, you train hard to reach that perfect 10.0. That perfection cannot be reached without the help and support of your coach. Jay Santos was hired earlier this past

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year as the head gymnastics coach of the ASU Women’s Gymnastics team. His wife, Jessica Santos, is coaching beside him as the new assistant coach. The coaching duo coached Eastern Michigan University gymnastics and led them to the Mid-American Conference championship. They also broke eight school records during their time at Eastern Michigan gymnastics. This is the first gymnastics season Jay and Jessica are leading the ASU women’s gymnastics team. “I think there is a lot of change with a new coaching staff,” Jessica says. Their approach to coaching involves

an open pathway of communication between the coach the and the gymnast. “Culture is so important to the success of the program,” Jay says. Communication helps sustain a quality program, according to Jay. Gymnastics is typically an individual sport. As young athletes, gymnasts always competed against their teammates. However, in college gymnastics the team score is highly emphasized. “We really try to bring that team aspect into it,” Jessica says. “How can we make it cohesive and a team, but yet make sure that we are coaching the


individual gymnast to make them the best gymnast that they can be.” Jay and Jessica hope to help the girls become more confident on each event. Currently bars and beams are the team’s strongest events, says Jay and Jessica. “One of our biggest things is trying to find balance between trying to work as hard as we possibly can without overdoing it,” Jay says. Last year several girls were unable to participate during competition season due to injuries. The goal is to have strong, healthy athletes on the team. This year, every single athlete is training in an event, the coaching duo says. “That means we are healthier, but a lot of those athletes are limited on what they can train,” Jessica says. The health and depth of the team were two of the greatest obstacles the coaches had to overcome, Jessica says. Many of the gymnasts can only train one or two events. This makes it more difficult to have consistent scores because if

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a gymnast is missing, there is no one to replace her. This greatly impacts the total score of the team. “We are making improvements and we need to keep working on that,” Jay says. “Every time we go to a meet and make a mistake, we put emphasis on that event.” Gymnastics has taught Jay and Jessica several lessons. However, patience is one of the greatest virtues the two have learned as coaches. “There are going to be bumps in the road,” Jay says. A gymnast may have a bad routine, but learning to move forward is the difficult part. “This career is one of the most rewarding careers,” Jessica says.“Work ethic, confidence and mental toughness are skills they will use for the rest of their lives.” Nichelle Christopherson is a junior on the Arizona State University gymnastics team. She is also co-captain and one of the only two upperclassmen on the

team. “I think our coaches saw me as a potential leader on the team and I really wanted to fulfill that role,” Christopherson says. “I see this team as an awesome opportunity.”


ASU’S “CAR DOGS” RACES INTO THEATERS THIS MARCH

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FROM TH E COVE R

FILM PROGRAM TO RELEASE FIRST FEATURE-LENGTH FILM BY OWEN BALDNER| PHOTOS BY STELLA ATZENWEILER & CELISSE JONES

Y

ou probably haven’t seen the words “car dogs” together since your first grade spelling test. You certainly wouldn’t expect a film to have such a simplistic title. However, for Arizona State University Film Spark and the students who worked on the production of “Car Dogs,” the image that comes to mind isn’t of the perfect car pooch, but of a more tenacious, hard working and sophisticated breed altogether. “Car Dogs” is a feature film directed and produced by Adam Collis, a film professor and executive director of ASU Film Spark. The film set to premiere in Phoenix-based Harkins Theaters this March. ASU Film Spark is a Santa Monica-based program whose mission is to help students and alumni in their entertainment careers. The story follows Mark Chamberlain, a manager at his father’s car dealership who needs to sell a record number of 35 cars by the end of the day. If he does so, he will be free of his overbearing father’s shadow and finally have a dealership of his own. In the end, Chamberlain must decide if he is willing to risk his family, friends and valued customers to get everything he’s worked so hard for — or if there’s more to life than the dog-eat-dog work of car selling. Collis pitched the idea to create a movie to Jake Pinholster, director of The School of Film, Dance and Theatre, when he came to Collis asking if he had any internship opportunities for students. “We had so many students who 18

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needed a production credit in order to graduate,” Collis says. “And I jokingly said, ‘If you want to make a feature film, we’ll just give everybody internships and take care of it in one fell swoop.’ And I was half joking — mostly joking — but he took me seriously, looked me dead in the eye and said, ‘Do you have a script you could do inexpensively?’” Collis had happened to have a script in mind, which came from his former student, ASU alumnus and Scottsdale native, Mark King. The script had bounced around Hollywood for a while with some big names attached to it, Collis says. So when the opportunity presented itself for Collis to direct a movie and give ASU students and alumni the chance to work on a Hollywood set, he made the move to secure King’s script for the project. “He had written this awesome script kind of drawn on his experiences working at a car dealership,” Collis says. “So I went to Mark and asked him if he had done anything with the movie and he hadn’t.” After securing the rights to the script, Collis says they then went on to the various other stages of putting the movie together. This brought in several other ASU alumni to help with the movie including casting director John Jackson, sound editor/designer Hamilton Sterling and co-producer David Breschel. In total, the production included an Oscar-winning cast and crew, 85 undergraduate students and 15 alumni. Jackson, whose job it was to find the cast for the film including Patrick J.

Adams as Mark Chamberlain, George Lopez as Christian, Nia Vardalos as Sharon and Octavia Spencer as Mrs. Barrett, says that it was very rewarding to come back and work with the students. “It was so wonderful to come back there and to be able to teach,” Jackson says. “Adam was able to work out a deal with the college so that I was able to actually teach a course for about six ,maybe 10, weeks — I don’t remember now — to teach not only the students who were my interns, but also to work a classroom situation. It was really wonderful. I had a great time with the students.” Since his graduation from ASU, Jackson has been nominated for his casting work in “The Descendants,” and won for casting in “Sideways” and “About Schmidt.” He was able to take his experience from working on films such as these and help students learn exactly what a casting director does and how to do it. “Some of the students were actors, some of them were directors, some of them were writers, some of them were in the producers program,” Jackson says. “It was all different facets of film production ... and that was pretty tremendous.” Sterling, who was sound editor/ designer for the film, did most of his work for the film in Los Angeles but has been back to ASU several times to teach seminars in sound design. He says that Collis had asked him about working on the film after reaching out to see if he would be willing to teach some seminars. Having some free


FROM TH E COVE R

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stuff just in class. There’s things that worked hard and provided excellent are going to happen good and bad that service acting as real professionals on they don’t teach you in class. You just set. have to be put in an environment.” “I’ve worked on sets — I’ve been an She says that along with networkactress for a while — seen crews, and I ing and real-world experience, being a could not tell you which were students student on set taught her the value of and which were actual crew brought hard work and that is what future stufrom L.A.,” Crawford says. “It was that dents can look forward to in the Film seamless.” Spark program. She says the students on set were “You are not going to get anywhere helpful and provided “first-class serwithout hard work, vice” to the persistence and dedicast and rest cation,” Peatross says of the crew I could not tell during the phone inworking on you which were terview as she travels the film. between destinations “I was so students and for work. “I know I impressed which were sound cliche but it is with the edthe truth. I made so ucation they actual crew many sacrifices. You were getting have to take these on set, and brought in from chances and opporI was so imL.A. tunities because you pressed with are going to come the opporout a different person tunities they Wendy Crawford and you can learn in had to work everything you do. with other No matter what sucprofessionals cess you may have, you can just learn.” from film,” Crawford says. “The stuWendy Crawford, who makes dents were amazing. I mean, absoluteher appearance in “Car Dogs” as the ly amazing. They were on point all the self-titled, sassy receptionist, says the time. All the actors were impressed students who worked on the film all I never once heard one of the actors

time, Sterling agreed. “It was interesting in that creating a structure in which students could work on a professional film was a pretty great thing for the students,” Sterling says. “You know, most students anywhere would really appreciate that kind of interaction with the professionals.” For Ashley Peatross, an ASU and “Car Dogs” alumna, former Film Spark Fellow and current executive assistant to producer Sherryl Clark, the experience of working on a real film set gave her opportunities learning from a classroom could not. “That was my first time actually working with real [Screen Actors Guild] actors and real crew that was coming from Hollywood,” Peatross says. “I had never experienced that and that was really cool that they brought that there.” Peatross says that while she had worked on student sets before, there was something different that occurred when working on a real film set that class couldn’t prepare her for. “Being on a professional set is so different compared to a student set,” she says. “Everything is on a bigger scale. I really believe that you have to have that pressure. That sink or swim moment. That’s what the set gives you and like I said, you can’t learn all that


complain.” Since her time working on “Car Dogs,” Crawford has continued to work with the ASU film program and Film Spark and is becoming the “Stan Lee” of ASU productions as she will be making appearances in two other productions titled “Postmarked” and “Justice Served.” “I’ve had the opportunity to work on two of the other Spark programs,” she says. “ASU kind of turned me into the Hitchcock. They stick me in all the pictures now because it’s like our inside joke. So they go, ‘Where’s Waldo?’ and now it’s, ‘Where’s Wendy?’” Becoming ASU’s Waldo has allowed her to witness more from Film Spark and how it is pairing students with writers and directors. “The Spark program will hopefully continue on,” Crawford says. “It’s an amazing program. It just needs to build from here.” To Collis — who created ASU Film Spark after gaining support from ASU President, Michael Crow, who recognized his efforts to create “Car Dogs” and establish relationships with students and working Hollywood professionals — the film and the program represent a culmination of ASU’s ideals and motivations. “Without any question the creation of Film Spark came from the culture of innovation that is ASU, created by Michael Crow,” Collis says. “When I first arrived at ASU, truth be told the only thing I really knew about ASU was that Rolling Stone said that it was the No. 1 party school in the country. But I quickly came to discover that this was a really special place and partying wasn’t the only thing that ASU had to brag about.” Steven Tepper, dean at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, arrived at the school as dean after the film had been shot and the idea of a film internship program had been tossed around. He says his goal after

that was to figure out how to use this momentum from “Car Dogs” to create a new film program. “I initially got involved by trying to figure out how do we sustain this model, how do we build around it and how can we use this to launch Film Spark?” Tepper says. “So one of my first efforts was to sit down with President Crow and really talk through what I thought was possible with the film program and how we could launch a Santa Monica office and build on our connections with Hollywood.” He says the support of his ideas from President Crow are what really helped to propel the program forward. “The president was supportive,” Tepper says. “That conversation, and his support was really the birth of the Film Spark program.” According to a statement from Crow, the Film Spark program and “Car Dogs” are all a part of its goal to create as many opportunities for success for its students. “I am excited by the success and potential of ASU’s Film Spark, which is exemplified by the upcoming film, ‘Car Dogs,’ ” Crow says. “This program has provided dozens of students with real-world experience working with some of the top names in the film industry, an opportunity that will undoubtedly prove invaluable to their career preparedness and advancement in areas ranging from writing and acting to cinematography and editing. These are the types of innovative experiences we work to encourage at all levels at ASU. We want to create an environment that provides students with a diverse set of opportunities and learning pathways that will be of most benefit to them in the future.” To see the efforts that Collis, ASU alumni, students and all of the cast and crew of “Car Dogs” have to brag about, be on the look out for its premiere and opening-day release, March 24.

FROM THE MOVIE


B US I N E SS

keeping her eyes on the ball

BY MADISON STATEN | PHOTOS BY ELENA PELKEY-LANDES

Astrid DeGruchy used to watch baseball games from the cheap seats — now she is paving the way for diversity in the male-dominated sport. A former scout for the San Diego Padres, DeGruchy is working toward a masters in sports law and business at Arizona State University with an eye on a future executive position. “The ultimate goal was always to 22

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break through to the front office,” DeGruchy says. “Baseball is a male dominated sport, and it is obviously male dominated in the front office as well. It’s a matter of carrying yourself well, and really proving that you can do it.” A Peruvian immigrant, DeGruchy spent her early childhood learning both the English language and the

game of baseball. She came to this country with only her family and an ambition to prosper. “I came to this country knowing nobody, not knowing any English,” DeGruchy says. “We struggled financially. When we used to go to games as kids we would sit in the nosebleeds. This past year I sat behind home. Going from the nosebleeds to the Legend Suites at Yankee Stadium right behind home plate, it makes you feel that you are pushing through.” DeGruchy has spent her entire life investing in baseball. Whether she was practicing with her brothers at the local field or doing in-depth analysis of their recorded lessons, DeGruchy’s early dedication to the sport helped her to build a strong foundation in the game. “I used to go with my brothers to their lessons,” DeGruchy says. “I used to take notes and video them all the time, so we could watch it when we got home. Mind you, these lessons were not cheap at all, so to get the best out of them, we broke the videos down frame by frame. I really just started to build my knowledge.” Today, she continues her in-depth analysis of the game at ASU. No ASU professor has inspired her more than former Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan “Bud” Selig. “There’s nobody that is going to teach me more or give me more perspective than him,” DeGruchy says. “Every single class he says that baseball is a social institution. It is so true. Everything that revolves around the world is applied to baseball. From Jackie Robinson to the Arizona Diamondbacks here, baseball is a big part of the community.” Nowhere is the community aspect of baseball more apparent than in DeGruchy’s friendship with Isabella


of email a day. It’s about doing it the smarts and baseball wiles. Yet, she is right way,” DeGruchy says. “People are a charming and sincere person who more likely to hire you if they think enriches all who meet her. There is no they can teach you doubt Astrid something. It’s will succeed in about finding that whatever she puts Going from the right connection her mind to.” and building from Wallace has nosebleeds it.” set a powerful to the Legend DeGruchy has precedent for found that connecmentorship Suites at Yankee tion with Robin among womStadium right Wallace, scout for en in baseball. the Major League She has left a behind home Baseball Scoutmajor impact plate, it makes ing Bureau and on DeGruchy, former executive instilling in her you feel that director of the a greater level you are pushing North American of professional Women’s Baseball confidence. through. League. Wallace “She said -Astrid has acted as an I was going to advisor toward Demake it,” DeDeGruchy Gruchy, encouragGruchy says. “It ing her professional makes me so career. happy that with her background she “It is a rare encounter to meet a could look at me and say that I’m going person with the unique qualities of to make it.” Astrid DeGruchy,” Wallace says. “She Now, DeGruchy preaches a is a driven competitor with intriguing message of encouragement not just for women in baseball, but in all professions. “Always encourage other females. I think that’s such a problem,” DeGruchy says. “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. DeGruchy tries to live the advice she preaches. She has overcome both economic and gender related adversity, and she has not let her circumstances keep her from success. “You have to have the mindset that nobody is going to tell you that you can’t do something,” DeGruchy says. “I am going to do it no matter what. I’m all in on this.”

Picard, a former softball player at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. “She has given me a much deeper level of understanding how important I believe it is for people to realize that we always have a choice in life no matter what the situation or circumstances may be.” Picard says. “We can always choose to make a struggle or a challenge of any kind into something greater than what it may seem like and that’s what Astrid did when she fell in love with baseball.” Picard says she is inspired by DeGruchy’s drive to fight for her career goals. “That’s what I find so inspiring about her, the fact that she didn’t just settle for what her situation could have been as a female wanting to pursue a challenging male dominant career path that society portrays as not normal or unattainable,” Picard says. “Instead she chose to make something far greater out of what could have easily been a dead end street.” DeGruchy credits much of her professional success to networking. “It is not easy to build that initial impression, they are getting hundreds


B US I N E SS

MAKING HER WAY DOWNTOWN BY HAILEY MESNIK PHOTOS BY CELISSE JONES

In the middle of downtown Phoenix the Interstate 10 slices through several historic neighborhoods – one of them being the Roosevelt historic district. Colorful murals, walnut trees and antique-looking homes reject the familiar, dull and monotonous look of suburban Arizona that Catrina Kahler had come to know so well. When she discovered the neighborhood she says she thought to herself, “How could I have lived here all my life and never known of this place?” “If I didn’t know about it, thousands of people probably didn’t know about it,” Kahler says. “I was in events, I did media and I worked with cities. I was fairly knowledgeable about city development, economic development, and I had no idea this was here.” With experience in event planning, Kahler felt inspired to pursue an array of creative endeavors to promote 24

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the area such as founding the Downtown Phoenix Journal and serving as president of Artlink, a nonprofit that helps coordinate First Fridays. She also owns her own marketing company, Urban Affair, which publishes the Downtown Phoenix Journal and is appropriately named after her love for the city. “I respect people’s talents greatly,” Kahler says. “So I feel like this community with all these creatives and writers and photographers and architects and artists and planners and historic preservationists, I mean they have such a wealth of knowledge and such an enormous amount of talent. … People should know about that.” At Arizona State University in the 90s, Kahler felt apathetic toward her classes, rotating from history to teaching to liberal arts unaware of how she would apply what she learned to a future career.

“I just was not getting the level of engagement I wanted, I wanted to be more hands on,” Kahler says. “I think that’s a trait I have. I do learn by doing.” She left ASU to answer phones at a sports and event marketing firm, which soon ascended into coordinating events and eventually becoming a PR representative for the firm — accustoming her to downtown and ultimately preparing her to pursue her own goals. “I was the utility player,” Kahler says. “I did whatever I could to help.” Above all, she learned how vital the arts were to the growth of the city. “It just became part of that natural thought process that you couldn’t separate the arts and culture from the success of downtown,” Kahler says. In 2010, she reached out to Artlink to help produce their map for First Friday, a monthly nighttime art walk


attracting visitors from around the Valley. She has worked for them since and now serves as president. Albeit not an artist herself, Kahler’s appreciation for the arts is evident. “I’m surrounded by people where I’m in awe at what they can do,” Kahler says. “An artist can take a blank canvas and with a few strokes, can create something that can make someone cry, or laugh or remember something.” Artlink is currently planning Art Detour 29 – the 29th anniversary of the event that helped launch First Fridays on March 16-19. The event differs from First Friday in that it takes place annually in the spring and gives visitors an opportunity to tour several artists’ studio spaces. “To see the space where the artist is inspired, and creative and create works that we sometimes just see on a wall or a pedestal­, to see where these

things are born, is special,” Kahler says. Kahler works out of the Coe House, a 121-year-old home in the heart of downtown Phoenix that is on the National Register of Historic Places. Art receptions are held in the downstairs living room and an array of tenants, ranging from a chiropractor to graphic designer, enhance the collaborative environment of the building. Courtney McCune, managing editor of the Downtown Phoenix Journal, says her favorite project she worked on with Kahler was recent. Inspired by Netflix’s “Gilmore Girls” revival and their resemblance to the characters, the two wrote a piece likening downtown Phoenix to Stars Hollow – the town from the series. To dwindle Kahler’s sizeable workload, Leslie Criger helps by coordinating with “articipants” for upcoming

events and keeping local businesses updated with Phoenix Urban Guide, an intuitive online database Kahler developed. Kahler and Criger have known each other for 15 years and have worked together for the past three. Criger admires Kahler’s ability to conceptualize projects with precision from start to finish. “She’s very thoughtful in the things that she does and why she does the things that she does,” Criger says. “I like to consider myself a very simple-minded human being, so when I pay attention to what she’s doing, and she’s thinking so far beyond what I think, it’s pretty awesome to see the end result and go, ‘Oh, that’s why you did it this way.’”


STU DE NT LI FE

the future of friendships BY OWEN BALDNER | PHOTOS BY MAZHAR BADANI

Opening Instagram right as I roll over to my bedside table, eyelids barely able to lift their own weight, has become an integral part of my every day. There isn’t a single day since I published my first photo on the hit application on May 19, 2013 where I didn’t look at the application at least twice. Ever since my first selfie of me and friends, who I hardly talk to anymore, made its way onto my profile, the dynamics of my relationships with my friends have changed dramatically. The odd sepia filter image raises a lot of questions to me now. It isn’t a particularly special image. The blue tank top that takes up most of the image hangs over scrawny shoulders, blonde wisps of hair fight eagerly to get in front of brown eyes and why was my hand positioned like that on my hip? The photo was probably one of 25 attempts. And each one of those attempts I wondered which photo would be the one my friends would “like.” In the end it got 18 likes, ranging from friends to strangers. It even has a few comments, but it’s the number 18 that stands out. 18 or so friends would be a lot for anyone and more than enough for some, but I would always ask myself who made up that number. Who liked it? Who didn’t? Why didn’t they? Do they like me? All of these are questions I would ask myself again and again as I posted a photo. I soon began to base the quality of my friendships on the content of 26

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the number of likes, favorites, comments and more recently reactions my posts got. This was also how my friendships became judged. Often I find myself caught in the paradox of social media. My thumb races across my six-and-a-half inch screen like its on a treadmill, scrolling through quickly, stopping at photos or videos of interest. Very rarely does it tap the heart for the photo of the girl in her “trendy” Friday night outfit, or the video of the friend’s dog playing fetch. Yet, I realized, every post on there is intended, optimized and pleading for my like and comment. Especially ones from friends. It wasn’t until my freshman year walking on collegiate ground that I began to hear the whispers of this judgment. They were quiet, calculating whispers, always perking up when I left the room or the state, talking about how I abandoned them or don’t like them because there wasn’t any proof. How could they know my friendship meant anything if I didn’t respond within 20 minutes to a text? How could they know I liked them, if I didn’t "like" their every photo or their every status? How were they supposed to know I wasn’t mad at them, if I opened their Snapchat, but didn’t respond? How could they know? There is a comment that vividly replays over and over in my head whenever I think of my friends who take social media so importantly, as if there are laws chiseled into stone as Holy Writ regarding its rules and

guidelines. “She will like every single tweet of mine,” she says, eyes twinkling like an angel spoke to her directly and blessed her, her thumb sprinting across the screen like it’s winning the race. “Friends like that are so important.” Friends like that are so important. My every fiber came to attention at that comment. I’ve hung onto every word as though it were a delicate butterfly that needed to be examined carefully, intently and memorized to perfection. Fast forward to the present and I can say that now I am not as close with this person. I was not like that "important" friend whose every like and comment gave further confirmation of her commitment and her devotion. I can say that I have friends who I don’t text every day, skip a photo on Instagram and dare I say, even forget to respond within 20 minutes of receiving their message. To answer the burning question: yes, these friends, they are some of my closest friends. We love each other because of the time we invest in one another and not because we invest in our profiles. We are friends with one another because of the quality of the conversation and time and because we understood that when we made time for one another, it was purely because we craved the other’s company. That was our proof. Those are the friends that are so important.


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