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With the rapid growth of its graduate studies and increasing demands for internships, the Department of English is happy to have on boardKira Assad (BA 2014), an alum and past English Club president. Assad graces the department with her infectious smile, sparkling personality, and amazing willingness to help improve the smooth operation of a very busy English department.
“I absolutely love the people I work with. I am having a blast getting to know everyone and learning everything there is to know about the graduate programs and internships,” says Assad. “It’s been fun seeing the inner workings of the department and being a part of helping students with their academic goals.”
Not only does Assad have her hands full with helping to keep the department afloat, her hands are also busy making music. During her undergraduate years at ASU, Assad played the clarinet in the Sun Devil Marching Band and was Rank Leader of the clarinet section.
“I’m so excited to join the Alumni Band this year in the 100 year anniversary of ASU’s Marching Band!” says Assad, who also plays the piano and sings. “It’s going to be cool to march alongside my mom since she is an ASU SDMB alum.”
Assad now wails on the saxophone in a band called Maestros of Swing. The swing band—which also includes her mother and brother—performs at events such as Super Bowl parties, New Year’s Eve gatherings, festivals, and parades, and plays great old swing standards, such as “Jump Jive and Wail,” “In the Mood,” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing.” This is music that makes people happy.
Besides being blessed with musical talent, Assad loves language, words, and stories, and admits to having an “overactive imagination.” She enjoys fantasy fiction where she is transported to a world with “magical beings and daring adventures” and is currently working on a novel of the same genre.
“I have always wanted to give readers the feeling I have when I read—pure happiness and escape, all within the comfort of home,” says Assad, who was named after the girl gelfling from the Jim Henson movie The Dark Crystal.
An Arizona native, Assad loves the desert and will always call Arizona home. But, she is anxious to see the world and travel to Europe and Asia, especially Ireland and South Korea. She knows some German and Spanish, and—being Syrian on her father’s side—she grew up speaking a little Arabic. “Nothing fluent, she says, “mainly Arabic food.”
“I am so excited to be able to learn more about TESOL, and see where that can lead me in my life,” says Assad, who not only helps with administration of the new 4 + 1 TESOL program but also plans to apply for the Master’s Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.
While most people have a pet or two, Assad is kept busy with a menagerie—two horses, nine chickens, a pygmy goat, two dogs, two cats, a guinea pig, fish and two hamsters. She adores all animals, but her favorite is the owl and, among her many aspirations and goals, she plans to volunteer for an owl rescue program in the near future.
Welcome home to English the multi-talented Ms. Kira Assad. Karaoke anyone?
Photo of Kira Assad with her clarinet and saxophone by Jessica Houlihan.
Header background image from 1915: staff of the Tempe Normal Student campus newspaper. UP UPC ASUD S886.T4 #5