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Which groups or activities were you most involved in at ASU? What did you gain from that involvement?
I was a member of the ASU Cheer Squad for most of my years at ASU. After recognizing that I wouldn't play Division I NCAA sports, I wanted to stay close to athletics and close to the action. I'm naturally a very passionate and spirited person, so after meeting a classmate who was on the squad, I decided to try out. Four years later, I had made my best friends in college and relationships I still keep close over 15 years later.
Athletically it was a good challenge, back in the days when partner stunting was allowed. Wowing the crowd with some of the tricks and pyramids was good fun. There were many great memories, including the 1995 NCAA Tournament where the ASU men’s basketball team went to the Sweet 16, but the ultimate was of course the 1997 Rose Bowl, where I was on the sideline rooting on the throngs of ASU fans and watching Jake Plummer dive into the end zone for what should have been ASU's first national title in football.
How did your education at ASU prepare you for your current job or business?
Interestingly, it was not the degree I achieved at ASU that set me up for a successful career in public relations, but rather a spontaneous internship in the sports information department that really opened my eyes to my professional future.
I received my bachelor’s degree in exercise science, now kinesiology, but wasn't completely committed to the career path at the time. Then I met Director of Sports Information Doug Tammaro at a basketball game and asked him what he did for the athletic department. After he explained his role, which sounded very in line with my personal interests and skills, he mentioned their internship program. I participated in the program for two years and provided enough training to earn me a post-graduate position at the Pac-10 Conference, which began a 15-year career in PR.
Tell us about your involvement in the Alumni Association's NorCal chapter.
I've been a member of the chapter for around 10 years now. Having spent time as an active attendee of events along with board positions, I assumed the role of president in 2007. I'm a San Francisco native and still live there today. I'd always been envious of the significant other alumni groups that would congregate in local bars to support their teams on Saturdays. With as big as ASU's alumni base is in the area, I wanted to see that same type of togetherness. I'm proud to say that we've developed that in many ways, and in many areas around the greater Bay Area and Northern California.
What are the benefits of giving back to ASU through your volunteer efforts?
I feel that being an alumni chapter leader not only gives me the opportunity to promote the university locally in the Bay Area, but helps enhance the visibility and reputation for a university that isn't long on tradition. I champion ASU because not only was it an unbelievable time of education, growth and experience for me, it is an integral part of my entire family. My four younger siblings (and two sister-in-laws) all graduated from ASU as well, so it means quite a bit to the Pate family and I find it very rewarding to supporting the mission of the university and bringing together as many alums living in the City by the Bay and beyond.