Theta Xi Herald
ASU Volume 2, Issue 2 December 2008
Alumni Spotlight: Nick Ashjian
Inside this issue:
By Jeff Burns Nearly three years ago, a group of freshmen on the ASU cam‐ pus were introduced to the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. These men formed together as Founding Fathers to establish what is now the Theta Xi chap‐ ter of Pi Kappa Phi. However, many of these original found‐ ing fathers who have grown into substantial lights on our campus, are now getting ready to pass the torch to our younger classes when they graduate. A strong majority of these founding fathers are now sen‐ iors, and within the next year they will have moved on to their next step in either con‐ tinuing their education or en‐ tering the workforce. Nick Ashjian, a Theta Xi Found‐ ing Father and Fall 2008 ASU graduate, is a leading example as to how pursuing his dream job and applying lessons
Alumni Spotlight: Nick Ashjian
Kohara elected IFC President
Pi Kapp to serve as IFC President By Jeff Burns Fellow Pi Kappa Phi brother Brice Kohara has been elected as the 2009 President of the Interfraternity Council—the governing body of all mem‐ ber, traditional fraternities at ASU. As president of IFC, Kohara will serve as the front of all the fraternities and be the voice of these fraternities to the media and Arizona State University at large.
Letter From the Archon 2
learned from Pi Kappa Phi have proved to be beneficial in his transition to sports business industry. Ashjian, one of the newest alumni from the chapter, kept a reasonably busy semester in Fall 2008 through an internship with the Phoenix Suns. He works in the Marketing Part‐ nerships department to coordi‐ nate with corporate sponsors
of the Suns to plan, promote, and activate advertising con‐ tracts and implement in‐game promotions. However, he would not have gone to this part of his journey if it wasn't for keeping a steady eye on his goals form the beginning. "Find something you love and push it to the limit," Ashjian said. "I have loved sports all
“I am very passionate about Greek Life and wanted to make a change in how we are viewed and for what each fraternity stands for,” Kohara said. “We all have a motto, a creed, and values that our fraternities were founded upon, and I wanted to make sere that they were not lost.” Wanting to change the public perception of Greek Life, Ko‐ hara originally got involved with the IFC as a delegate for the Pi Kappa Phi Chapter. In late 2007, Kohara won the election to serve as the IFC
Vice President of Member‐ ship, where he served as a liaison for recruitment. Now that he will serve as IFC President, Kohara said the main objective of his execu‐ tive board is sustainability. “We need to sustain the posi‐ tive relationships that we have built with our admini‐ stration and other student organizations,” Kohara said. “We also need to continue to sustainability of what Greek Life is at ASU, a positive or‐ ganization that builds better leaders of tomorrow.”
Alumni Updates War of the Roses Volleyball Parent’s Weekend
Family Obscure Sports Cup
—See “Ashjian” page 4
Theta Xi Herald
Letter from the 2008 Archon: As the semester has come to a close, I am happy to congratulate the 2009 executive coun‐ cil. The chapter has spo‐ ken and chosen its lead‐ ers for the next two se‐ mesters. The men that will be representing us are second to none, a diverse group composed of three different classes. With a 72 man chapter, currently the men of Theta Xi have been busy gearing up for another successful spring semester. Recruit‐ ment, Rose Ball, and the 3rd Annual bike‐a‐thon will keep us busy as we strive to expand our brotherhood and reputa‐ tion at Arizona State. The addition of 23 new men have taken Theta Xi to a new level bringing in tons of new energy, ideas, and leadership. I wish all alumni and fam‐ ily a very happy holiday season and know that the men of theta xi al‐ ways appreciate your help and input. By the Star and Lamp, Jason Dolence Archon Theta Xi – 6
2009 Executive Council
Michael Shawn Tucker (602) 299-8232
Robert Corwin (480) 570-8566
Bill Harden (480) 329-0628
Matt Stanton (480) 353-1199
Kenny Mendezona (817) 521-5884
James Seidman (262) 607-1010
Treasurer George Stahle (520) 203-1519
Ted Pearse (480) 577-3858 Push America Moe Abdalla (602) 430-2267
Regional News from Matt Hunt NAU – Associate Chapter: The chapter is very busy preparing for their charter‐ ing target date of 1/28‐1/31 2009, finishing their written programs, drafting the char‐ tering brochure, and study‐ ing for the national exam. Recently the chapter hosted their first Ladder of Risk training and within the same week sent nine members to their first Give a Push Week‐ end in Payson, Arizona. Beta Theta (UofA): Beta Theta chapter recently hosted parents and family members during University of Arizona’s Parent’s week‐ end. The chapter hosted a light reception on Friday night for all parents and their sons, continuing on to a tailgate before the football game, and ended with their first ever parent’s meeting on Sunday hosted by the Beta Theta Alumni Associa‐ tion. They also hosted broth‐ ers from Theta Xi who visited during the annual football rivalry game. Eta Omega (NMSU): Eta Omega is off to a great start, recruiting one of the largest new member classes at NMSU. Recently the chapter has hosted its 2nd annual Enchilada dinner,
Brent “Fogel” Alex at the Beta Theta house during the ASU v. UA football game in December.
where the chapter prepared and sold enchiladas as a means to raise funds to cover their insurance dues. The chapter raised thou‐ sands of dollars and had a
great time as the event was a major success leaving top‐ ping the previous year’s sales by thousands of dol‐ lars.
Volume 2, Issue 2 Alumni Updates: I just finished my first semester of grad school at the University of Missouri‐Kansas City, where I am getting my Master's in Eco‐ nomics. I am also starting a new job at UMB Bank, one of the largest banks in the region. When not working or studying, I was also highly involved in this election cycle and local politics. A few months ago I won elec‐ tion as precinct chairman for my neighborhood in the Kansas Democratic Party. Currently I am the chair of the host com‐ mittee for the 2009 Young De‐ mocrats of America Convention Committee; I am planning a national convention next year in Kansas City for over a thou‐ sand people. Hope to hear from you guys soon, John Moreau
Gentlemen! Well, it's been an interesting transition. I thought I could ride out the summer in some menial job and then get back into caddying again. I had it all planned out ‐ be a mule, save up, take the LSAT, live the dream. Well it turns out not many people play golf during the summer here, and that job at the gym quickly ended. With the shape of the econ‐ omy as it is, I found it difficult to find a job, and Bank of America took over a month to get into. But now I'm corporate Rollin! Yes, you read that correctly. I started at Bank of America in August as a teller, and will soon move into a Personal Banking posi‐ tion. I never thought I would see the day. Life is funny that way though, and it should
Theta Xi raises more than $1,200 in first ever
On Saturday, the ladies of Alpha Chi Omega were able to dominate the volleyball tournament and a sudden death one-hole golf competition as a tie breaker. After all three ladies fed the judges with a cook-off, and after each sorority raised money for a water balloon competition, it was clear that Pi Beta Phi would be named the champions.
open up many new opportuni‐ ties for furthering my educa‐ tion. And with that, take care and study hard brethren! Rollin Wood Brothers, Many of you know I took the month of August off summer employment and headed over to Europe with my brother who many of you met in Feb‐ ruary. I have accepted a job back in Calgary working for an executive search firm called Hamilton Hall Soles LLP. Basi‐ cally what we do is headhunt/ recruit for top executive posi‐ tions all over the country. The oil industry is booming in Al‐ berta and many of our top clients are oil companies. I will be working more specifically as a Research Associate, build‐
ing databases for the firm and eventually getting into my own recruiting. I was thinking of applying for a work visa in the United States but decided to take this position in Canada. The starting salary is very good and I couldn't pass it up! I miss Arizona terribly already as I feel like it was my actual "home." You all know that recruitment is the lifeline of the fraternity and we will be losing a lot of our founding fathers at the end. I love you and miss you all! I still have the same cell number so call me up anytime you want (yes, you will still have to pay extra to call Canada). By the Star and Lamp, Mark Perkins
Parents visit Tempe to find warm welcome
The Theta Xi chapter successfully completed its first ever War of the Roses while raising more than $1,200 to Push America. With the diligent help from brother Parker Young, the chapter was able to hold a competitive weekend among the ladies of Pi Beta Phi, Alpha Chi Omega and Kappa Kappa Gamma. On the first day of competition, all three sororities were held to a tie after a 9-hole golf competition. A driving range competition and country club fashionthemed walk-off fueled the competition.
The men of Pi Kappa Phi were able to welcome their families with a classy weekend con‐ sisting of a Mexican buffet at Macayo’s Depot Cantina and a catered tailgate (below) with the ladies of Alpha Phi. We would like to thank all of the parents who showed up for showing your support to your young gentlemen.
Volleyball teams finish season, show promise in the sand Congratulations to the men on both Volleyball squads for the Fall 2008 intramural season. While the men of Pi Kappa Phi made the decision to dominate the competition with two separate teams, it did not quite go as planned. The Gamma Class team finished the season with a record of 1-3, while the actives finished with a record of 1-3—but 2-2 in the sand volleyball tournament.
Theta Xi Herald
Ashjian Cont. my life. I had dreams of being a professional athlete when I was younger, but when those dreams failed to come to frui‐ tion, I fell in love with the next best thing through working in the front office for professional sports organizations such as the Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Suns." His work began in 2007 when he interned in the Game Op‐ erations department for the Arizona Diamondbacks. His
Looking at the Chapter as a Graduate Nick Ashjian shares his thoughts as a graduate on how he feels on handing the reigns of the chapter to the younger classes. Some college seniors describe this feeling as being a deer in the headlights and not know‐ ing what to do next, others have been waiting for this day for a long time as they have spent the better part of a decade in an institution of higher learning, but I however am confident in the education and experience I have gained from ASU and I am ready to start the next chapter of my life. I feel like I have had the ultimate college experience at
roles there included coordinat‐ ing the Rallyback squad and implementing in‐game promo‐ tions and on‐field activities. Shortly thereafter he earned another internship, this time from Aramark, as a safety man‐ agement intern for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's 2008 Spring Training season at Tempe Diablo Stadium. As part of his internship, Ashjian implemented risk management skills he learned from Pi Kappa Phi to work on alcohol compli‐ ance and safety hazards during ASU and Pi Kappa Phi has been a huge part of that, with being a Founding Father and watch‐ ing this fraternity grow, I am excited to become an alumni and watch it grow even stronger, one, five, or ten years down the road. I think that the Alpha and Beta classes have done a fantastic job of stepping up to the plate in our chapter and the Gamma class is definitely following right in their footsteps. By the time the newly initiated Gamma class are all seniors, ASU and the Theta Xi chapter of Pi Kappa Phi will have hope‐ fully molded them into strong, confident, and successful men who are ready to take on the world, much as both ASU and Pi Kappa Phi have done for me.
Spring Training games. His experience with the Ari‐ zona Diamondbacks and Aramark aided him in earning his position with the Suns. Now Ashjian has graduated with a resume that includes the names of professional sports organizations such as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and the Phoenix Suns and —a resume that he hopes will help him acquire a full‐time career position in the sports industry. "The passion for my job, my
drive to excel in the sports business industry, and my great supervisors and fantastic co‐workers have given me the motivation to wake up every morning and stay late every night as I want to excel in this industry more than anything I have ever wanted before," Ashjian said. His advice for brothers who wish to pursue their dream career is simple—it is the same advice he used for himself: "Find something you love and push it to the limit."
David Jude hangs out with the coaches and judges from the Gamma Phi Beta philanthropy during the softball game and home run derby
Monkeys defeat Bears in first ever Pi Kappa Phi Family Obscure Sports Cup Congratulations to the Mon‐ keys as they defeated the Bears in a American Gladiator‐ style joust to be crowned as the first ever Family Obscure Sports Cup Champions. These two families endured a gauntlet of other families and stood tallest among the Pi Rho’s, Dukes and the Dog Pound to prove that their jousting skills should not be taken lightly.
The jousting competition was put together with help from two floating platforms, football helmets and jousting weapons. Pictured left: Kenny Mendezona (left) of the Bears shoots low to push George Stahle (right) of the Monkeys off the platform. Stahle kept his balance to deliver his family the crown.
Volume 2, Issue 2
Introducing: The Gamma Class Chris Sconzo George Stahle Bill Harden Michael S. Tucker John Vacala Sam Michalove Trevor Mernitz Dustin Hayes
The Pi Kappa Phi chapter would like to congratulate the Gamma class for their hard work and continued enthusiasm in becoming men of Pi Kappa Phi. The Gamma class awarded
Π Κ Θ
Kenny Mendezona Matt Brinkmoeller Jesse Weiss Taylor J. Ford Jack Benjamin Brian Snedden Jayson Jacobson Matt Glynn
the actives a new house gift—a spot for Pi Kappa Phi among the other fraterni‐ ties on the Alpha Drive Road. We wish you the best of luck in the future Gamma. Be lights on our campus.
Luis Aguilera Luis Alcala Dereck Johnson Brendan Corrigan Cory L. Mourer Brendan O'Kelly Jared Wicklund Ω
Theta Xi Herald
Pi Kapps Travel to Northern Arizona for Give-A-Push Weekend By Michael Cavaleri Seven Theta Xi brothers from Arizona State University were able to participate in a Give‐A‐ Push Weekend just outside Payson from Oct. 3‐5. The weekend was to benefit the Whispering Hope Ranch
Foundation, a ranch‐style camp and retreat experience for special needs children. The members from Theta Xi were joined by brothers from Zeta Mu (Cal. State‐ Northridge), Eta Upsilon (Miami‐OH) and members from the associate chapter at Northern Arizona University to help with the camp. The participants made a play‐ ground safe by enclosing it and laying a down a new surface, aided in the repair of a roof and cleared several drainage systems at the camp among other activities. Grand Canyon Regional Gover‐ nor Matthew Hunt (Alpha Phi – Illinois Institute of Technology) coordinated the event and presented the camp with a $5,000 grant from Push Amer‐ ica.
Quinn: Superheroes in blue shirts
Several Pi Alphas were in at‐ tendance as well, including Eta Upsilon alumnus and founding father Greg Grilliot (Journey of Hope, North Route, 1998) and our own founding father and chaplain, Tyler Quinn (Build America, 2007, 2008).
GAP Weekends has been a part of Push America and Pi Kappa Phi’s service experience since 1989 and brings together Pi Kapps from across the nation to work together to build a better tomorrow and strengthen the bonds of broth‐ erhood. Participants from Theta Xi included Quinn, Timothy Ramos, Joey Duran, Kyle Buscho, Brent “Fogel” Alex, Michael Cavaleri and George Stahle.
Last year after the trip I sat down and tried to convey what a unique and amazing program Build America is; and with some success I did. It is easy to de‐ scribe what the program is; “Build America is a traveling construction team that travels to different summer camps across the nation and builds accessible amenities for people with dis‐ abilities. Not only do we con‐ struct for the camps, but we also become an integral part of camp life participating in camp pro‐ gramming with the campers.” As the public relations coordina‐ tor I am all too familiar with this coined and generic description of what Build America is. But what really IS Build America? Maybe the best way to describe this program is not through sim‐ ple prose, but rather showing through stories about what hap‐ pened this summer. What bet‐ ter place to start than the build‐ ing projects, right? False, it is more than the building projects but let’s still not discount the important role they play in the program. This summer we took decrepit decks and brought life to them once again to improve the camp‐ ers’ environments. We painted pavilions, fixed washed out trails affected by the floods, built new pavilions, and maintained cabins. We built a loft at a camp in Iowa where the team built a huge pull barn last year. We laid wood chips to make a playground more aesthetic and safe. At that same park we laid yards and yards of concrete in the smolder‐ ing Nebraska heat to make a park more accessible by wheel‐ chairs. We folded sheets, yes, sheets and shower curtains and other curtains; we moved rocks to make a high ropes course safe, and we even began build‐ ing an accessible low ropes course. Not glorious work, but work none‐the‐less that bene‐ fited the camp and its mission. Finally we laid shingles, lots and lots of shingles at a camp in
Colorado. If that wasn’t enough, we finished the roofing project and the summer came full circle with a final decking project. Sure I will remember the build‐ ing projects because after all, trusting your fingers to your fellow brother after only know‐ ing him for a short while is a tremendous feat. But it is not building projects that will stick out in my mind, rather it is the interactions that I had with the campers that will last in my mind forever. I can still vividly remember one camper at a camp in Indiana; he was fifteen years old and had difficulty with verbal communi‐ cation and was physically limited by dwarfism. The very first time we met, he ran up to me with open arms and I lifted him onto my hip. That first smile captured my heart and for the rest of the week we were best buds. Every time I saw him he would smile as he ran towards me. He would wait at meals for my arri‐ val so I could help feed him. The priceless smiles and hugs throughout the week were enough for me, but the sad stare in his eyes as I left made it hard to say goodbye. Everything we, as a team, did for the camps and the campers was to help better their lives and to ensure that they could experience the same amenities that you and I do on an everyday basis. So what exactly is Build America, is it a construction team of young college aged men, is it a journey of a lifetime and sum‐ mer to remember, or is it the essence of Push America. The answer is a resounding yes to all of the above, but I know to one man in Grand Island, Nebraska, we were simply superheroes in blue shirts. Tyler Quinn Build America 2008
Volume 2, Issue 2
Keeping an eye on improving the lives of others: Moe’s journey continues Note: This story originally ap‐ peared in the Dec. 4 issue of The State Press. By Channing Turner/The State Press Photo: Matt Pavelek/The State Press Mohamed Abdalla never appreciated Band‐Aids — a quick fix to cover up problems. Through his program Business for Doctors, Abdalla is trying to heal an enduring wound in rural African healthcare, bringing doctors to orphanages and providing the means to support and sustain their own medical care. “We were able to enhance the lives of those children,” he said. “That’s how I think humanitarianism should work; it should be able to run itself and not depend on handouts from different countries … it’s all about sustainability.” Abdalla, a molecular biology and linguistics senior, was originally struck by a televised interview of ASU biodesign professor and virologist Bertram Jacobs, particularly his research about Nairobi women who have a special resistance to AIDS and HIV. Abdalla wanted to help. “For the longest time, I would go everyday to the Biodesign Institute and try to talk to him, but he was very busy, always out in Africa or doing research,” Abdalla said. After six months the receptionists at the institute finally arranged a meeting. Abdalla appealed to Jacob for a job, stressing his familiarity with six languages — his knowledge of East African Swahili would at least land him a translating job,
Abdalla thought. Jacobs — unable to fit Abdalla into his next program — referred him with Heal International, a nonprofit organization that works to provide health care for resource‐limited communities. They sent Abdalla to Africa a month later. He worked in the small village of Kisongo, located in Tanzania, with an orphanage that shelters HIV positive children and children whose parents died from AIDS.
“I told him that’s exactly what I’m trying to avoid,” Abdalla said. “I want to be the ladder you use to get out of the well, or even throw you a rope you can tie and get yourself out of the well.” Contemplating the promise later that night, Abdalla formulated a plan to help the community through empowering local businesses. He approached business owners and offered a deal: He would supply materials to expand their business effectiveness —
“We went solely to make a difference,” Abdalla said. “We didn’t have any other money besides our own savings accounts.” During his stay, the village chief spoke with Abdalla about his efforts, explaining that foreign aid, while helpful to the village, only presented a fleeting solution. The chief compared his village to a man drowning in a well and yelling for help. It is not enough to pull a man out only to drop him back into the water again, he said. Impassioned by the moment, Abdalla promised the chief his village would not fall into the water again.
binders, papers, printers and typewriters — in exchange for their pledge of 25 percent of future profits to fund medical care in four local orphanages. Every local business agreed and signed the contract. Abdalla haggled with equipment suppliers and returned with the materials the next day. He decided to name the program Business for Doctors. The program hires doctors who will come to remote locations and work long hours. The area’s shortage of doctors and medicine — one doctor per 50,000 people — makes it difficult and expensive to hire professionals without support,
Abdalla said. Giving the community a way to help itself provides a more permanent and prideful solution, Abdalla said. He receives a report every three months on the orphanages’ progress but said the community’s welfare is now in its own hands. After returning to ASU in the fall of 2007, Abdalla applied for the “Coffee Competition” through the Entrepreneur Advantage Program at ASU, a program aimed at giving students a chance to run a business during their education. The winners of the competition received $10,000 to start a coffee shop at SkySong, ASU’s business and innovation center in Scottsdale. Abdalla’s team beat 10 others for a grant to open SkyCafé, an organic and eco‐friendly café at North Scottsdale and East McDowell roads. To help keep Business for Doctors strong, Abdalla adopted the same pledge African businesses made, sending 25 percent of his profits back to Africa. Scott Perkofski, program manager for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at ASU, said Abdalla has some autonomy over his business and thinks the donations speak to what entrepreneurship should represent. “We don’t really see entrepreneurship as being in any type of field,” he said. “[Students] create ventures in the areas they feel passionate about, and we try to encourage that.”
Visit our new Web Site at www.asupikapp.org
The Bridge Builder An old man, going a lone highway, Came at the evening cold and gray, To a chasm, vast and deep and wide, Through which was flowing a sullen tide. The old man crossed in the twilight dim‐ That sullen stream had no fears for him; But he turned, when he reached the other side, And built a bridge to span the tide. "Old man," said a fellow pilgrim near, "You are wasting strength in building here. Your journey will end with the ending day; You never again must pass this way. You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide, Why build you the bridge at the eventide?" The builder lifted his old gray head. "Good friend, in the path I have come," he said, "There followeth after me today A youth whose feet must pass this way. This chasm that has been naught to me To that fair‐haired youth may a pitfall be. He, too, must cross in the twilight dim; Good friend, I am building the bridge for him." ‐WILL ALLEN DROMGOOLE
Remembering When: The chapter continues to grow. On the left, we see the chapter during Founder’s Day 2007. To the right, the growing chapter meets in front of P.F. Chang’s during Founder’s Day 2008.