ASU West Assistant Vice President Carolyn Starr

ASU West Assistant Vice President Carolyn Starr speaks to the need for mentors and more community engagement. (Photo by Carolyn Dryer)

Carolyn Starr was in familiar territory when she spoke at the January 17 Glendale Rotary Club meeting. She became involved with Rotary at an early age — her junior year in high school.

As a teen, she prepared for a Rotarian speech contest and followed the four-way test in every conversation.

The Rotary four-way test:

• Is it the truth?

• Is it fair to all concerned?

• Will it build goodwill and better friendships?

• Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Although it was difficult to live each day by the four-way test, Starr said she won the Rotary speech contest that year. She shared this and other stories during her talk. As a 27-year teacher, she used the Rotary test as her class motto. It followed her when she headed several nonprofits.

“I believe in the passion of Rotary,” she said.

After her teaching career, Starr moved to Arizona. She arrived June 3, 15 years agom, when escrow closed on her home purchase in Gilbert.

She taught in the Valley and in Globe. Then, she taught at the ASU Poly campus and eventually at the Tempe campus.

“A year ago, I had a wonderful opportunity to move to ASU West,” Starr said.

“Camps, youth, community involvement, a liberal arts campus; it was a really big transition.”

She is now ASU West’s assistant vice president.

“The ASU West campus is awesome,” Starr said. “All of the buildings force you to come to the middle. My challenge is to bring the community to the campus.”

Starr said she has traveled through neighboring communities. Her challenge is to bring 20,000 people to ASU West.

“It’s not just about college students,” she said. “It’s about mentors coming to teach. You have things our students need. (They should) be aware of what’s happening on campus. Come, be a part of it. Engage and come with a heart to learn. I want people in our community to engage. It’s a place for learning, a place to grow.”

Individuals or businesses interested in bringing their expertise to the student population at ASU West can contact Starr at 623-543-6002, by cell phone at 480-278-9874, or by email at

Along with her presentation at the weekly Glendale Rotary luncheon, Starr brought a West Events Guide, which lists the campus’ activities and special programs through April 23.

For instance, from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 13, Charles Starr and Elizabeth Wright present Common Grounds: Pacific Crest Trail. Starr and Wright completed the trail in October and will offer tips and tricks along with photos of their journey. They plan to bring their packs to show what they carried and will be available for a question-and-answer session. The presentation is for beginners and experts and will be held in the La Sala ballroom on campus at 4701 W. Thunderbird Road. Parking is $3 per hour.

For those interested in shopping for locally grown vegetables, stop by from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, February 16, in the campus’ north parking lot for Borderlands Produce Rescue. A $12 contribution allows a person to shop for up to 70 pounds of produce with no qualifications. Everyone is welcome. Varieties of fruits and vegetables vary every month. Check the ASU West website,, for times and locations.

Presented by The Center for Critical Inquiry and Cultural Studies, a message from the workforce takes place from 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesday, February 19, when attorney Christine M. Faith presents Practicing Compassion as an Attorney at the University Center Building’s room 240. RSVP for free parking at