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TEMPE, Ariz. — Imagine having dinner with reporters from The Washington Post, bumping into Arianna Huffington on the way to the same party, or touring the country in a C-SPAN bus. Those activities are just part of normal daily life for Jeremy Art, who will soon be honored as this year’s Outstanding Alumnus from the Morrison School of Agribusiness and Resource Management at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.
Art, a digital and social media specialist for the politically-focused cable network C-SPAN, will be recognized at a March 24 event and was stunned to find out that he was receiving this honor at such a young age -- under 30. He has dedicated himself to helping with ASU organizations, starting when he first attended the Morrison School and continuing ever since. He has also used his unusual college degree to help vault him forward in a city obsessed with politics.
“In Washington, political science majors are a dime a dozen,” explains Art, “but when I tell people I majored in agribusiness, that’s a real conversation starter, and farming is a popular industry.”
After completing his degree at ASU, Art worked for the College Republican National Committee and for a consulting group, before winding up at C-SPAN. He then crisscrossed the country on the C-SPAN bus, making speeches and marketing the TV network to audiences in about 40 states. In 2009, a new position in social media opened up, and he took it, with the goal of raising C-SPAN’s visibility with other media outlets and the public.
“A lot of people don’t watch C-SPAN or miss key moments, and I provide those clips to reporters,” explains Art. “I also generate content for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Foursquare. Sometimes I just tell people I tweet for C-SPAN for a living. Every time I get a paycheck, I wonder if these guys realize I would do this for much less.”
Art says he has to be careful not to brag too much about his job. He has great relationships with members of Congress, and people all across the country have heard of his employer.
“Many people go to Washington maybe once in their lives, and they will never forget it,” says Art. “Every time I walk into the C-SPAN building by the Capitol, I look up at the dome and say, ‘How cool is this?’”
Art has always had a passion for politics and tells future graduates to follow their dreams, too. He advises them to always keep an open mind.
“I never like getting the question about where you see yourself in five years,” he says. “It’s good to have an answer, but don’t be stuck on it. If a new opportunity arises, don’t discount it because you didn’t see it coming. I started out as a golf major, then switched to agribusiness, and now, I’m a great part of the political process.”
Art will travel back to ASU’s Polytechnic campus in Mesa later this month to accept his award at the 2011 Morrison Awards Luncheon. He says he can still remember seeing the first new building constructed at the campus, where the Morrison School is located. He posed with a shovel at the groundbreaking ceremony and gave some early tours of the campus.
He says he’s looking at this month’s event there as a milestone, but not a confirmation he’s achieved enough in his career.
“Tom Hanks was the youngest recipient ever of the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and he said something about how it was nice to receive it before the second half of his career. I feel the same. I’ve got a long way to go.”
W. P. CAREY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is one of the top-ranked and largest business schools in the United States. The school is internationally regarded for its research productivity and its distinguished faculty members, including a Nobel Prize winner. Students come from 99 countries and include 60 National Merit Scholars. For more information, please visit wpcarey.asu.edu and http://knowledge.wpcarey.asu.edu.