students discussing

Golden Conversations

Honest dialogue about the things that matter

Join us for these heart-to-heart conversations about struggles, success, inclusion and friendships. “Golden Conversations" is a video series that explores the authentic experiences college students are having, such as mental health, finding mentors and the challenges of being a first-generation college student. Watch the topics highlighted below that interest you and subscribe to see future videos.

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Uplifting and celebrating your cultural community

In this Golden Conversation, Associate Athletic Director of Inclusion and Championship Life Alonzo “AJ” Jones sits down with his son, Ahlias Jones, the president of the Black African Coalition and the National Pan-Hellenic Council. The two discuss the impact of making education accessible to all, celebrating Black culture, and the skill and discipline it takes to be a leader.

What can we achieve by overcoming fears?

"Courageous people build the future.” In this Golden Conversation, student Victor Oleynik sits down with his mentor Mark Naufel, to talk about turning fears into motivators. As both a Ukrainian and Russian, Victor has seen both sides of his countries’ histories and has made it his goal to unite them. Listen as they examine their individual struggles with fear and how facing fears head-on was the first step toward achieving their greatest successes.

Making international friendships in a global community

The world isn’t so big and scary once you get to know the people in it. Connecting with people from different cultures and backgrounds can help you see things from a different perspective. In this Golden Conversation, ASU international students sit down with their friends to discuss the differences and similarities they share. Students say it takes effort to go out and meet new people, but their expanded worldview and lasting friendships make it all worth it.

The personal growth that comes from living on campus

Living on campus challenges you to become more responsible and expand your understanding of others. In this Golden Conversation, ASU student Ethan sits down with his mom, Mona, to discuss their growth as individuals and together throughout Ethan’s college journey. Though their personal growth was different, they agree on one thing — living on campus gives you the opportunity to develop the skills required to become a responsible, empathetic and social adult (plus, it’s fun!).

How self-confidence contributes to a successful career

Building self-confidence through work experiences, relationships and making choices can give you the confidence you need to be successful. Rik hired Joe as a student designer in his first year of college and the two talk about challenges and what has helped their self-confidence increase especially regarding major and career choices.

Why seek out mentorship opportunities?

Strong mentoring relationships can lead to published success, and can benefit both the mentee and the mentor. ASU student Nikhil Dave sits down with his mentor, Professor Ramon Velazquez, to talk about how they both benefited from their mentorship relationship. The two were just published in a prestigious scientific journal, Acta Neuropathologica, for their research on Alzheimer’s disease.

How friendships support strong mental health

It's not weak to go get help. In fact, it shows strength to admit you need it. Something as simple as talking to someone can help you feel better and manage stress. In this Golden Conversation, ASU student Michael sits down with his long-time friend, Sohum, to talk about battling depression and managing his bipolar disorder. Michael credits Sohum with providing critical support as he navigates his mental health journey.

What student veterans bring to the university community

Military veterans bring a breadth of experience to the community. When worlds collide, we learn from each other. In this Golden Conversation, Erik V., a student veteran, and Michelle L., director of student success and partnerships for the Pat Tillman Veterans Center, discuss all aspects of being a student veteran on campus, including why it is important that student veterans and traditional students learn from each other.

The challenges to overcome as a first-generation college student

Communications student Kaley Z. and Professor Dr. Diane Gruber discuss how being the first in their family to achieve higher education impacted their lives and families. The duo also talks about the challenges of being first-generation, such as enduring a steep learning curve to understanding how to operate in a college environment, or convincing their parents that this was their chosen path — and the trials and triumphs that follow.

What’s it like being a transfer student?

Hear from Maria and Shanae, two students who transferred to Arizona State University and took advantage of leadership positions, each finding success during their time at the university. Through their conversation, discover insider knowledge about what it’s like to be a transfer student — as well as tips on how to make your transfer as smooth as possible.

What we learn from other generations

In this Golden Conversation, ASU student Deven joins Mirabella at ASU resident Pencie to discuss their budding friendship and the mutually beneficial relationships Sun Devils can share at different stages of life. In addition to being a resident of ASU’s on-campus retirement community, Pencie is an alumna committed to the success of fellow students.