The Buzz podcast

Meet your hosts

Gerry West memoji

Gerry West

Associate Director
Recruitment, Outreach and Engagement


Kelley Karnes memoji 

Kelley Karnes

Creative Services, marketing/comm specialist 


Robert Nguyen memoji

Robert Nguyen

CISA Student Ambassador
Class of 2020 Appplied biological sciences graduate


A podcast by and for ASU College of Integrative Sciences and Arts students and prospective students, The Buzz is a good-natured source for real talk and an insiders' look into everyday experiences in CISA! 

Hosted by 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), each session features student participants and a surprising array of other guests from across ASU and beyond. 

What do CISA students and faculty love about their college? What are some of their pet peeves? What tips would they give to newcomers? Regular segments include "My Top Five" and "Hacks I Wish I'd Known."

Where to listen:

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The Buzz: Season 1, Episode 3

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.

The Buzz: Season 1, Episode 2

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.

The Buzz: Season 1, Episode 1 (Part 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..

The Buzz: Season 1, Episode 1 (Part 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: Pilot Episode Four

A conversation with students & ASU's Center for the Study of Race and Democracy

The Buzz talks with three students of color and Professor Lois Brown, director of CISA's Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, about the impact of, and their feelings since, the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis law enforcement. They discuss ways racism is experienced, the need for open conversations, listening and action to promote real change at this time of historic momentum, and talk about college being a place to learn to understand other people's experiences. Dr. Brown also talks about the Center's unique programs—now happening virtually—and how anyone can engage with these programs. She and the students also share tips for ways to get engaged in classes, intermurals, clubs and where to find out about campus events. Simone, Robert and Kyra dish about their favorite restaurants, tips they have for incoming students, and they share why they decided to attend ASU.


The Buzz: Pilot Episode Three

Why did you choose ASU?

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.

Episode Coming Soon!



The Buzz: Pilot Episode Two

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. 


The Buzz: Pilot Episode One

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!

The Buzz: Pilot Episode Five

Episode Coming Soon!



The Buzz: Bonus Content

Student College Hack: Natalie Alexander

Student College Hack: David Franco

Student College Hack: Carter Williamson