Gabriel Escontrias Jr. '03 B.A., '06 M.Ed., '12 Ed.D.

Which groups or activities were you most involved in at ASU? What did you gain from that involvement?
During my undergraduate years at ASU, I was very much involved in Greek Life, the Community Service Program, El Concilio, and the Intergroup Relations Center. The combination of all these experiences provided me a broad perspective of ways in which I could serve our community. In addition, I developed leadership skills through my service in various capacities such as president of Tau Psi Omega Fraternity, Inc., and founding president of the Multicultural Greek Council (which recently celebrated their 10 year anniversary on campus).
  
How did your education at ASU prepare you for your current job or business?
ASU not only provided me with an education, but with work experience as a student worker and with a large network of higher education faculty and professionals who mentored me to become a professional in higher education. As a student worker at the Hispanic Research Center, I was exposed to the intricacies of academia. As a student leader, I met many of my current mentors who encouraged me to purse my master’s and doctorate. As a student in the classroom, I was challenged with new thoughts and perspectives, which caused me to think at a higher level. Combined, these impactful factors prepared me to be passionate about any work I do, and to be flexible as higher education evolves, such as with our New American University.
 
How did ASU help you achieve your dream?
ASU not only helped me achieve my dream, it helped me shape my dream. As a first generation college student, I had a vague idea of what I could do professionally. However, ASU helped me redefine that dream and give it purpose. During my tenure at ASU, I have had the opportunity to professionally work in capacities that advance diversity, foster community, and serve the greater good.
 
Tell us about your involvement with the Alumni Association’s LGBT Devils’ Pride chapter.
I am currently serving in my third year as president of the LGBT Devils’ Pride chapter. Truth be told, I could not imagine a better opportunity than this to promote our alma mater, support our students, and advance alumni relations. Each month I get the chance brainstorm, create, and execute programs with an amazing executive board. 

This month we celebrate all our hard work by hosting our annual LGBT Devils’ Pride Chapter Scholarship Benefit Dinner. This one event is the accumulation of all our work and by far the most rewarding because it allows us to bring our community together and build financial support for our student community leaders.
 
What are three “can’t-miss” ASU experiences every Sun Devil should participate in?
Fostering and participating in every possible ASU culture event is a “can’t-miss,” but I will do my best to only highlight three.
 

  1. LGBTQIA Fall Welcome event during Welcome Week – hearing and learning about our students is very moving, as you get to know their dreams and what inspires them. Especially because we know that we are getting to know our leaders of tomorrow. 
  2. The Hispanic Convocation – this event holds a special place in my memories because I participated three times as a graduating student and countless times as a staff member. There is no better way to celebrate the hard work and sacrifices that so many students have to make. 
  3. Homecoming Parade – talk about showing your pride. So many people in one place and all for one purpose: to celebrate our alma mater! 

My three are only suggestions, so make sure that you have your three. If you don’t, you can always come back to ASU and add to your “can’t-miss” list.