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Editor's Note: George Diaz Jr. is 2011-12 chair of the ASU Alumni Association Board of Directors.
What personal qualities do you think were most strongly developed in you during your years as a Sun Devil?
ASU really raised my level of academic and professional expectations. I also developed an appreciation for other opinions, but what I really developed was an understanding that there is always more to an issue than what is visible from the surface. Knowing that problems are usually a result of more than one condition, and that solutions are usually crafted around what is politically popular or affordable, is a disappointing reality of life, but is a vital consideration to a professional advocate.
Which groups or activities were you most involved with at ASU? What did you gain from that involvement?
Unfortunately, I was working while I was attending ASU – both times – so my campus involvement was limited to study groups, lectures, performances, and athletic events. No regrets, however, because those opportunities brought me an assortment of diverse perspectives, intellect, culture, entertainment and pride to which I otherwise would have never been exposed. The legislative internship I took my senior year also introduced me to the career I've had for the last 15 years. It’s hard to quantify all that I took away from ASU, but it is certainly responsible for molding me into who I am now.
Tell us about your involvement in the Los Diablos alumni chapter and the Alumni Association board of directors.
I got involved with Los Diablos because I saw an opportunity to assist students at ASU with whom I have a lot in common. I take tremendous pride in having played a small role in the support structure of several outstanding graduates.
The Alumni Association board of directors has been a great experience. Getting to know other hard core Sun Devils from across the country is like being in a motivational seminar. I always leave our meetings pumped up!
The experience has also taught me what a special and valuable place ASU is. The tradition of ASU standouts like Frank Kush, Pat Tillman, Jake Plummer, Danny White, Byron Scott, Phil Mickelson, Anthony Robles, and most recently Dallas Escobedo (to name a few) makes me proud to say I'm a Sun Devil! The tradition and pride also drives me to raise my children to be Sun Devils; as a matter of fact, it makes me want to make EVERYONE a Sun Devil!
What are the benefits of giving back to ASU through your volunteer efforts?
There are several but the most significant benefit I receive is the satisfaction of supporting an institution critical to our community. Without a doubt ASU is a critical economic, research, cultural, athletic and academic resource to our community.
I'm amazed that people expect ASU to manage its way out of problems without any impact to themselves or our community. The awareness of what ASU delivers to our community and being able to share that information with other Sun Devils is more than being responsible, it’s a duty. If you want to improve our community, support ASU.
Why have you chosen to be a member of the Alumni Association? What value does involvement with ASU add to your membership?
I became a member of the Alumni Association primarily to stay informed about what is happening and to better understand what challenges impact ASU. The way I figure it, if I really want to improve the community's potential, it starts and stops at ASU.
What advice would you give to today's ASU students?
Take advantage of every opportunity available while you're there. I kick myself every time I think about the fact that I did not study abroad, take an additional internship, or take a class in which I was interested because it didn't fit my program of study.