image alt

The Buzz podcast

The Buzz podcast

The CISA Buzz is a podcast "for students and by students" brought to you by the ASU College of Integrative Sciences and Arts. The Buzz is a good-natured source for real-talk and an insiders' look into everyday experiences in CISA! 

Pilot episodes were launched in spring 2020 with hosts Gerry West (the brilliantly insightful yet always chill Recruiting, Outreach and Engagement associate director), Kelley Karnes (the saavy and brutally witty Creative Services professional who's earned two degrees at ASU), and Robert Nguyen (the all-around awesome recent outstanding grad and CISA Student Ambassador). Early in fall 2020, students Jessica Contreras, Natalie Alexander, and Paul Gosh took over the hosting duties while Joshua Zito and Nate Boyle took over production and on-air team in spring 2021. Each session features student participants and a surprising array of other guests from CISA, across ASU and beyond. 

What do CISA students and faculty love about their college? What tips would they give to newcomers? Reoccuring segments include "Sips of the Day," "Hacks I Wish I'd Known," and "Listen with Us."

Where to listen:
image altimage altimage altimage altimage altimage altimage alt


Season 2

S2E1: Get to Know CISA Dean Joanna Grabski (August 13, 2021)

Six weeks into her new role, Joanna Grabski chats with co-hosts Jess and Nate. What attracted her to the deanship? What makes CISA an exciting place to be? What are her thoughts about future emphases? They also discuss favorite dining spots, sips, and the joy of furbabies Leo, Bear and Sierra.


S2E1: Get to Know CISA Dean Joanna Grabski (August 13, 2021)

Six weeks into her new role, Joanna Grabski chats with co-hosts Jess and Nate. What attracted her to the deanship? What makes CISA an exciting place to be? What are her thoughts about future emphases? They also discuss favorite dining spots, sips, and the joy of furbabies Leo, Bear and Sierra.

Season 1

S1E12: A Farewell Chat with Dean Duane Roen (June 4, 2021)

Co-hosts Natalie and Nate are joined by soon-to-be former dean of the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, Duane Roen. Join him as he reflects on his time as dean and what's in the works for him after July 1. He may also have a couple jokes for you! In the second half, Natalie, Nate and Josh talk about applying for (and acceptance into) graduate programs.


S1E11: The Easy Way to Get your Master’s Degree (Apil 14, 2021)

Co-hosts Jessica, Nate and Natalie come together to discuss ASU’s 4+1 program, which allows students to complete their master’s degree in one year instead of two by sharing 12 credits across the bachelor's and master's. Natalie, who’s enrolled in this program, explains why it’s a more convenient and less expensive alternative to taking a break and then coming back for a graduate degree. In the second half, expect even more music talk as our hosts evaluate the new Taylor Swift album, bringing Harry Styles into the conversation once again. Do you have the same music tastes as our esteemed hosts? Let us know what you're listening to these days!


S1E10: From Academia to the Office (March 31, 2021)

Co-hosts Jessica and Nate talk with Dave Thomas, a lecturer in CISA's Leadership and Integrative Studies faculty group, about LIS's amazing study abroad options and their most popular degree programs: interdisciplinary studies and organizational leadership (project management). He also discusses the college-to-workforce transition and what hiring managers look for in new graduate hires. Joshua Zito joins the second-half chat, in which views abound on everything from Star Wars and the difference between a geek and a nerd, to Harry Potter and Harry Styles (of course)!


S1E9: PTSD, Psychotropics and Road Trip Playlists (March 19, 2021)

Listen in as co-hosts Natalie and Paul chat with CISA professor Manuel “Manu” Aviles-Santiago, director of ASU’s Office for Veteran and Military Academic Engagement, about OVMAE’s groundbreaking work in the new field of veteran studies, its certificate program, and some upcoming events, including a few related to research and observations on alternative therapeutics for PTSD. What did Jessica and Natalie think of their sampling of Tom Petty and Jenny Lewis? They tell us In the “Listen with Us” segment and chat with Nate and Paul about road trip playlist must-haves.


S1E8: Getting Ready for Graduate School (March 15, 2021)

Co-hosts Jessica and Nate take a deep dive into the when, why, and how of graduate school with CISA physiology professor JP Hyatt, who offers advice from his own graduate school journey. They’re also joined by Emily Barr, an undergraduate pre-med student, who shares how she's been handling prepping for the daunting MCAT. Finally, Paul and Nate report back on their take-home assignment from Jessica last episode. Their reviews of Harry Styles’ "Fine Line" album may surprise you!


S1E7: How to Manage Midterms and Other Exams (March 5, 2021)

March Madness means midterms season! Hosts Natalie and Jessica chat with Professor Steve Saul, from CISA's Faculty of Science and Mathematics, who has tips for approaching course exams and tells us what assessment looks like from the faculty side of the equation. Steve also talks about the weekly Science and Math Colloquium series. These Wednesday afternoon seminars cover all sorts of interesting topics — featuring scholars and practitioners from ASU and beyond. Finally, things heat up as Natalie and Jessica, joined by Paul and Nate, vigorously debate the undebatable: taste in music! (Harry Styles: yes or no?) in a brand-new segment they want your opinions on!


S1E6: The Importance of Student-Faculty Networking (Jan. 13, 2021)

On this episode of The Buzz, hosts Jessica and Paul chat with Julie Lim, the student engagement coordinator in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, and applied bio student Natalie, whose experiences with research projects were life-changing. Listen in as we discuss the value of research projects and the benefits of maintaining relationships with faculty members. Julie tells us all about the upcoming CISA Student-Faculty Networking Event, happening Wednesday, February 17 at 4 p.m. Scope out the faculty participants and register at:


S1E5: Looking Back on the Fall Semester (Dec. 3, 2020)

What was it like to start at ASU in fall 2020? Or to finish the first half of your senior year? Hosts Jessica and Josh circle back to connect again with Lila and David [featured in Season 1, Episode 1 (Part 1)] as they reflect on their experiences and discuss their hopes for spring 2021. Hear some unique perspectives as the group opens up about challenges and growth, and makes a plug for the mental health counseling available for students, faculty, staff and community members through the ASU Counselor Training Center in CISA.


S1E4: Prepping for Finals in this Challenging Time (Nov. 25, 2020)

Jessica, Paul and Natalie are back this week to talk about finals, everybody's favorite topic! They discuss some challenges presented by COVID-19, and what they think about the current situation. In lighter conversation, our hosts chat about their favorite beverages in the "sips of the day" segment.


S1E3: MyPath2ASU - Making your transfer to ASU seamless (Nov. 16, 2020)

This week’s hosts (Natalie, Paul and Jessica) chat with Leah, Ryan and Eden—who transferred to ASU from metro Phoenix, out-of-state, and out-of-country. Hear about their journeys, timelines and some great tips for making the experience a smooth one. Guest Amber Covington, senior director of collaboration and partnership integration for ASU Academic Alliances, explains the awesome, personalized tool MyPath2ASU, where you can simultaneously track your progress toward an associate degree at any U.S. community college as well as any and all majors you’re considering at ASU. As it’s PSL season, the merits and demerits of undoctored coffee fly about during the “sips of the day” segment.


S1E2: Demystifying the First-Gen Experience: Talk as Real as It Gets (Oct. 21, 2020)

This week’s guests are all the first in their families to go to college—Mahnoor’s majoring in interdisciplinary studies with concentrations in biochemistry and history; Alyssa’s in the pre-vet concentration in applied biological sciences; and Jessica, a health science major, is working through CISA’s certificate in Spanish for the Professions—and they’re here because they want to make sure you know you’re not alone. Listen in as they share tips and honest talk about their journey so far: from frustrations with the FASFA, to pressures to meet their own high expectations, to the joy and empowerment that comes with nearing their dreams and sharing their college experiences with family.

S1E1.2: A year in the life of a CISA student: How's the mix of virtual and in-person going? (Oct. 2, 2020)

In part two of this first episode of The Buzz for the 2020-21 academic year, Jessica and Natalie talk about what it's like being on campus, virtual vs. in-person learning, ASU COVID-19 random testing, and how they're doing finding community.


S1E1.1: A year in the life of a CISA student: The freshman vs. senior perspective (Oct. 2, 2020)

Welcome to the first episode of the 2020-21 academic year! Hear from CISA frosh Lila and senior David about how this fall semester feels at Arizona State University. What opportunities are there to get engaged in our current climate? What are some of their fears, hopes, and experiences as students living the college life during a pandemic? Find out in this fresh new episode of The Buzz podcast, which includes some truths and tips from CISA Student Engagement Coordinator Jullie Lim!.

The Buzz Team

image alt

Jessica Contreras: Host

Health Sciences major pursuing CISA's Spanish for the Professions certificate; and CISA front desk aide.

image alt

Natalie Alexander: Host

Applied Biological Sciences 4+1 BS/MS program; and CISA Student Ambassador.

image alt

Nate Boyle: Host and Production Assistant

Journalism major and CISA student video/audio communication specialist.

image alt

Paul Gosh: Host

Technical Communication (User Experience) major and transfer student; and CISA Student Ambassador.

image alt

Joshua Zito: Host and Producer

CISA graphic design specialist and Graphic Information Technology MS.

Pilot Episodes

Pilot 1: What have you been missing most? Coping with COVID-19

Welcome to the very first episode of The Buzz! In our first show, participants discuss COVID-19 and the effect it's had on life. Three CISA students and faculty guest Asao Inoue—Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Equity and Inclusion—talk about what they've been missing and doing differently during this time of distant socializing and the transition from in-person classes to synchronous Zoom mode. They also talk about how it was they decided to come to ASU! Be sure to stick around for the lively give and take Asao, Carter, Natalie and David have about online professor-rating sites!

Pilot 2: Pre-med/pre-health HELP!!!!!

Are you currently, or do you think you might be, a pre-health or pre-med student? Then this episode is for you! There are many paths to medical-related careers and CISA's applied biological sciences major at Polytechnic (our largest major at Poly!) provides a strong launchpad for those looking to pursue graduate professional programs in medicine, dentistry, veterinary science.The students who've just graduated with Applied Biological Sciences degrees share advice on setting yourself up for graduate school, study tips and tricks, and the importance of being involved at ASU. You'll also hear from Jackie Ries, assistant manager of recruitment for the College of Health Solutions, about programs and opportunities CHS offers, including the medical studies program coming to Polytechnic campus this fall.

Pilot 3: Why did you choose ASU?

Episode Coming Soon!

Choosing where you go to college is a big deal and there are many factors to consider. We talk to students and dive into why they chose ASU and how they came to the majors they picked. You'll also get to hear from the very smart, multilingual, possibly an international spy, Mirna Lattouf, principal lecturer in CISA's Faculty of Languages and Cultures. Learn how she came to be an academic and why she chose ASU. Honestly, you'll agree that she probably worked for the CIA or something.

Bonus Content

Bonus 1: Student College Hack - Carter Williamson

Bonus 2: Student College Hack -  David Franco

Bonus 3: Student College Hack - Natalie Alexander