ASU Alumni Association Launches New Personal Development Series

March 1, 2021

The ASU Alumni Association is dedicated to creating programs and opportunities for alumni to learn and grow while supporting and showcasing fellow Sun Devils. That’s why the association recently launched a series of personal development programs and workshops focusing on finances, diet and fitness to help the sun devils.

ASU Alumni Association Vice President Alissa Serignese said in a recent survey, alumni ranked their interests based on what’s most important to them and those three areas topped the list.

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“The Sun Devils want to be healthy,” she said. “We want to thrive physically, mentally and financially.”

Through these virtual workshops, alumni can learn about financial success, health, and fitness while engaging with the university and other alumni. ASU has a strong network of alums who are experts and business owners in these three areas and can help educate and support their fellow Sun Devils.

“We hope to see alumni connect to their alma mater and stay engaged,” Serignese said. “Nothing is better than Sun Devils connecting with other Sun Devils.”

One alumnus who is a financial guru is Emily Schwartz, who has a master’s and doctorate in music education, and is assistant vice president and head of financial education at MidFirst Bank. MidFirst is ASU’s exclusive strategic banking partner and provides many services, resources, and support to the university. In 2012, MidFirst launched MoneyMoments at ASU – a program that started with a few workshops for select groups of students and grew into a widespread financial education program. Their new series for ASU is called Making Smart Money Moves.

“I see this new series (Making Smart Money Moves) as another expansion of MoneyMoments resources, and I’m beyond excited to meet Sun Devil alumni from across the country,” Schwartz said.

For MidFirst, the series was the perfect opportunity to continue their commitment to helping the Sun Devils achieve their financial goals. During the Making Smart Money Moves sessions, Schwartz shares his tips for alumni to achieve their financial goals.

“MidFirst’s commitment to ASU students doesn’t end with graduation; we want them to thrive in all aspects of their lives, including their finances,” she said.

Some topics covered in the series include debt avoidance and management, budgeting, and saving. Schwartz and MidFirst Bank recognize that each Sun Devil may define financial success differently.

“No matter what your financial goals are, MidFirst Bank, the MoneyMoments program (and the Making Smart Money Moves series) want to help you achieve them.”

Attendees of Schwartz’s sessions are sure to come away with plenty of advice, but they’ll also feel a sense of community.

“Money can seem like a very lonely thing,” she said, “especially if we’re struggling and feel like we’re the only ones with this particular problem.”

Through Making Smart Money Moves, Sun Devils who share the goal of making financial improvements in their lives can attend virtually and learn together.

There are plenty of sessions for the Sun Devils to learn more about fitness and food. In January, ASU graduate and GROOV3 dance teacher Saza Kent, who holds a bachelor’s degree in dance education and a master’s degree in dance, led a fitness class. Participants joined the class virtually and learned how to have fun while staying fit.

The Alumni Association also hosts a series called #FoodieFriday where every two months a restaurant owned or operated by Sun Devil is highlighted. Attendees can meet the elder behind the business and learn how to make a recipe from the restaurant menu. the first #FoodieFriday was hosted by Sasha Bayat, a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition, owner of Bodhi. the next session will feature Tim Vasquez, a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in communications, owner of some burros.

Register for the next Making Smart Money Moves session on March 9, and to rejoin March 19 #FoodieFriday.


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