On Aug. 18, more than 13,000 first-year students will gather virtually for Sun Devil Welcome, a high-energy experience that officially welcomes new students to ASU. The traditional ceremony celebrates the start of a university journey that will teach them invaluable lessons about themselves, their fields and their communities.
ASU journalism seniors Tina Giuliano and Tyler Manion will host the virtual event, which is just one of hundreds of Welcome Week gatherings that will be presented virtually and as small, in-person experiences across all ASU campuses.
The two are used to broadcasting together in unique times; they co-anchored Cronkite News from home together in spring 2020, Giuliano from Scottsdale and Manion from the Philadelphia area. Giuliano, a journalism senior who is focusing on broadcast, remembers how her own experience at Welcome helped set the tone for her time at ASU.
“I remember watching the Sun Devil Welcome as a freshman and it was just so amazing. It was my first taste of the college pride and overall togetherness that students feel in college, and I always dreamed of being on stage doing the same thing,” she said.
Giuliano encourages all first-year students to tune in at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 18, with their phones handy and geared up to fully engage in the interactive event.
“This year has been a bit odd. But incoming students can expect that they will feel the ASU pride and togetherness right through their computer screens. The event will be lively, just like their favorite show, and it will have interactive elements as well,” she said.
Senior sports journalism major Manion said that the co-hosts will moderate the event that will include interviews and special guest appearances, featuring ASU President Michael Crow, Undergraduate Student Government leaders, student performers and other special guests ready to impart some Devil-to-Devil insight.
“Students can expect a big welcome to the Sun Devil family,” Manion said. “They will hear from the biggest voices on campus and see some of their fellow Devils perform. This is the first real time to be surrounded by and show off their ASU pride! There’s going to be a ton of maroon and gold energy, and that’s why this is a must-do event leading into their first year at Arizona State.”
Both co-anchors said they’d never hosted something on this scale before, but they’re excited for the opportunity.
“I can’t say I’ve hosted an event exactly like this before, but really who can?” Manion said.
Of the in-person, ASU Sync and iCourses options for learning in the fall, the Cronkite students are both opting for online classes but will be doing some in-person reporting for their news assignments. They said they’re looking forward to more great professional experiences in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication as they wrap up their time at ASU. Reflecting back on their time so far, they shared some advice for first-year Sun Devils.
“The first year of college can be a little insane. Make sure that you are keeping an eye on your course calendars and make a schedule; that way nothing gets lost,” Giuliano said. “But the best piece of advice that I have is to push yourself and try new things. If there’s an organization or job that you want, go for it. And along the way, talk with some other students and create some new friendships!”
Manion said that it’ll be important to go out of your way to make connections in your first year.
“My best advice for first-year students is to value relationships as much as possible,” Manion said. “It is so easy to find a second family here at ASU. Don’t limit yourself to the same kind of people you’ve always been drawn to, but expand your horizons and get to (socially distant) know as many people as you can: underclassmen, upperclassmen, faculty and staff. Especially right now it’s best to have as many people around you that care as possible.”
Overall, these experienced Sun Devils said they are looking forward to being there to help introduce the incoming class to how amazing it is to be a student at Arizona State University.
“College is an unforgettable experience ... students are in for a brand-new chapter in their lives. And ASU Welcome is the first taste of that new chapter. College is what you make of it. And even if it’s a little scary, being a part of the big college events helps create a memorable few years,” Giuliano said.