Guns — few issues evoke as much passion and raw emotion from almost all corners of society. No matter what your opinion of them is, they are a defining part of what it means to be an American. Whether you view guns as a public-safety issue, a constitutionally protected right or both, their place in our society provokes strong reaction and heated debate.

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for spring 2018 commencement

Shayla Fordyce always knew she wanted to go into the social sciences and work with people. As an undergrad in sociology, she took an “Intro to Criminology” class as an elective one semester, which inspired her to pursue her master’s degree in criminology and criminal justice at Arizona State University.

Preliminary results from a survey of youths in Arizona show worrying trends concerning gun violence and drug use, according to a presentation at Arizona State University on Friday.

Every two years, about 60,000 eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders across the state take the Arizona Youth Survey, answering dozens of questions about substance use, gang involvement, bullying, violence, texting while driving and other risky behaviors.

A Los Angeles man gets into an online gaming dispute over a $1.50 wager and retaliates by sending a SWAT team to his opponent’s home. That address turns out to be fake and police end up at a Kansas residence, fatally shooting the homeowner at his doorstep.

The 350 graduates who participated in Arizona State University's College of Public Service and Community Solutions Convocation received more than recognition for their degrees Tuesday night at Comerica Theatre in downtown Phoenix. They got a reminder from their dean, Jonathan Koppell, of the power they will hold as public servants. 

Citing recent revelations regarding sexual harrassment in multiple industries, Koppell told graduates they can't ignore matters of this importance hoping they will go away. 

The dinner conversation at the Terrill-Pizarro household is often lively and robust, sometimes taking on the dynamic of good cop/bad cop. Sometimes literally.

William Terrill, who grew up in a working-class white suburban town in eastern Pennsylvania and was a member of the Military Police in the Air Force, saw the good side of police. Meanwhile, his wife Jesenia Pizarro, a self-proclaimed ‘Jersey girl’ who grew up in an inner city housing project, can share scenes of police brutality.

Together, they make an interesting couple.

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