December 28 2010
IWF in the News: Arizona State Dean Calls Rumors of Bristol Palin's Enrollment 'Pure Fiction'
Carrie L. Lukas
Sarah Palin may have Alaska, but daughter Bristol Palin has dibs on Arizona.
With her recent purchase of a $172,000 foreclosed house in Maricopa, Ariz., many are saying that Bristol Palin is likely to become an Arizona State University Sun Devil next fall. TMZ reported this weekend that Palin has been telling friends she's looking to enroll in broadcasting courses at Arizona State's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Despite the buzz surrounding Palin's scholarly endeavors, Chris Callahan, the dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism says that Palin has no plans to matriculate at the university.
"She is not a student. She hasn't applied. It is pure fiction," Callahan said Tuesday, as reported by the Arizona Republic.
Carrie Lukas, the executive director of the Independent Woman's Forum, told The Daily Caller that Palin sets a good example for young unwed mothers.
"It's always positive to see someone who is trying to improve their education and job prospects, and Bristol has become a minor celebrity in her own right," Lukas said of Palin, who was also recently employed as a "Dancing With the Stars" contestant. "Other women will see her out there, trying so yeah, it's a nice thing."
Lukas added that Palin does not face the same difficulties as most unwed mothers, but she still maintains a positive image of someone trying to make the best of her challenges.
"Obviously, lots of young women look at her and say she has lots of advantages, not all unwed mothers have the support system she has, but it's absolutely a good thing for people to see that you can have a baby out of wedlock and still have high goals," Lukas said.
Lukas noted that Palin has been open about her challenges as a single parent.
"She shows it's not easy being a single mom, but she has a realistic balance. You can still have goals and achieve," Lukas said.
Though she may not have plans to study at Arizona State after all, Palin isn't new to the collegiate atmosphere. Earlier this year, People.com reported that Palin took business courses at a community college.
Salon columnist Mary Beth Williams, who has recently taken shots at the Palin women, also defended Bristol's Arizona move and college ponderings in an article published this week.
"There is something pretty sad about the knee-jerk pot shots directed at a young woman embarking on her first real taste of independence ... Can't we at least wait for her to do something horrible before hating on her for ... what? Buying a house? Considering college? Sorry, I thought that was the American dream - one to which everyone surely has a right to aspire," Williams wrote.
In 2009, President Barack Obama spoke at Arizona State University's graduation ceremony, but was refused an honorary degree.
This article has been updated.