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@ASU is all over the list of #BestGradSchools in 2017 @USNewsEducation rankings
@ASUeducation is ranked 14 on list of #BestGradSchools by @USNewsEducation @ASU
@ASUHIDA among the #BestGradSchools on @USNewsEducation list @ASU
@ASUCollegeOfLaw among the #BestGradSchools on @USNewsEducation list @ASU
@spa_at_asu among the #BestGradSchools on @USNewsEducation list @ASU
@WPCareySchool among the #BestGradSchools on @USNewsEducation list @ASU
@asunursing among the #BestGradSchools on @USNewsEducation list @ASU
@Thunderbird among the #BestGradSchools on @USNewsEducation list @ASU
March 15, 2016

Law school, School of Art also rise in national review of graduate programs

Arizona State University’s education and public affairs graduate programs broke into the top 15 and joined the university’s law school and fine arts program in jumping to higher spots in the latest rankings by U.S. News & World Report, which were released Tuesday.

All four of those graduate schools ranked within the top 25 in the nation and were the top-ranked schools in Arizona.

“The model we have been working on for a New American University has always been focused on raising the quality of the programs we deliver,” said Mark S. Searle, executive vice president and university provost. “The results from the U.S. News & World Report rankings reflect one indicator that we are being recognized for our efforts.”

ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s College marked a non-stop rise in the rankings, from 35th to 14th, over the past six years, underscoring the variety of ways in which ASU is strengthening education in Arizona and the nation and outperforming schools such as UC Berkeley, Michigan State and NYU.

Dean Mari Koerner emphasized that some colleges of education focus on teacher preparation but don’t have faculty who conduct world-class research. Others produce PhDs who join the academy but don’t prepare educators to serve in K-12 schools.

“We are an extraordinary college because we are committed to both,” Koerner said. ”The most enduring testament to the knowledge we create, the programs we implement and the partnerships we foster are our extraordinary graduates who are embedded in communities and have a great impact on schools.”

The graduate programs within the School of Public Affairs, at the College of Public Service and Community Solutions, also elbowed into the top 15, rising three places to 13th in the nation, ahead of Columbia and Georgetown. Even better? Its city management programs are ranked fourth, higher than Harvard’s.

The school helps lead the Alliance for Innovation, a unique partnership with 400 city managers across the nation that allows the school to have a direct impact on how many U.S. cities are run. Students and faculty connect with city leadership from member communities for internships and other valuable learning experiences, as well as research.

“We have an impact on practice that goes far beyond the classroom and journals,” said Karen Mossberger, director of the School of Public Affairs, “through research that addresses challenges these communities are facing and through students who gain invaluable experience alongside some of the leading managers around the country.”

The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law is now a top-25 law school, moving up a notch from 26 last year, especially noteworthy given the emphasis that the legal community places on rankings, and outranking UC Davis, Colorado and Ohio State University. Its legal writing program ranked No. 7 in the nation, topping schools such as Marquette and Temple.

“For a law school that has been operating for fewer than 50 years to be so highly ranked is truly amazing,” said Dean Douglas J. Sylvester. “It is a testament to the quality of our students, devotion of our alumni, and deep community support.” 

ASU Law continues to adapt legal education in response to a changing world and economy, including global engagement through a legal “Peace Corps” in its Rule of Law & Governance Program, and a community legal center incorporated into the Arizona Center for Law and Society in downtown Phoenix — the new home of ASU Law — that opens in August. The center will provide valuable experience and embody ASU’s commitment to the downtown community.

The ASU School of Art, in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, rose into the top 20, up two spots from last year’s No. 22 and from No. 30 in 2012, and its printmaking programs rank fifth in the country. The Herberger Institute’s overall ranking topped schools such as the University of Chicago and Cornell.

The Herberger Institute maintains that artists must be embedded in their communities and dedicate their creative energy and talent to building, reimagining and sustaining our world, Dean Steven J. Tepper explained. He said design and the arts must be socially relevant and never viewed as extras or grace notes. The perspective is shared by renowned choreographer and MacArthur Fellow Liz Lerman, who recently joined the Institute’s faculty and described her work across campuses and the community as “equal commitment to concert and community.” “That is,” Lerman said, “spending time in different disciplines, which is just a thrill.”

The U.S. News rankings showed that ASU remains the best for business in the state, with the full-time MBA at the W. P. Carey School of business ranking 35th in the nation, with highly ranked specialty programs. Students looking for international business find a No. 3 program with the Thunderbird School of Global Management. The Supply Chain and Logistics program is heralded as fourth in the country. Both of these specialty programs beat out Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton).

The College of Nursing and Health Innovation remains in the top 30 in the country.

Individual programs within the College of Health Solutions are ranked as top-notch, each rising in the rankings: ASU is ninth for its doctorate in audiology, up from 17th, and 17th for its master’s in speech-language pathology, up from 21st.

For more information about applying to ASU’s graduate programs, visit the graduate admissions website.

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“Taharrush” (“sexual harassment”) is an Arabic word, not an Arabic phenomenon.
ASU doctoral student combats gender violence with grassroots fieldwork.
March 16, 2016

ASU doctoral student in Cairo finds her work on sexual harassment in Middle East misrepresented in media; gender violence is not an Arab issue but a human one

On Jan. 11, Arizona State University doctoral candidate Angie AbdelmonemAngie Abdelmonem is a doctoral student in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, as well as a faculty associate in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. was headed to a flight to Cairo to participate in a collaborative research project when she received a request for an interview from a journalist in Italy.

The journalist was writing a piece on the wave of sexual assaults that took place in Germany over the New Year and was hoping Abdelmonem would be willing to comment on the concept of “taharrush” — literally “sexual harassment” in Arabic — which was the subject of her doctoral dissertation research and which she had recently written about for Kohl: Journal for Gender and Body Research.

In the days following her arrival in Cairo, Abdelmonem received more media requests from journalists in Russia, Sweden and other European countries. Much to her dismay, she discovered the Daily Mail had published an article days before that grossly misrepresented her article, fueling the media frenzy for more information.

“While the phrases they use[d] are directly quoted, the way they have positioned my quotes and the discussion hugely misrepresents the issue,” said Abdelmonem.

In an age when news can be repeated as easily as clicking a “share” button and when worries about refugees and immigrants dominate headlines, it’s a stark reminder of how swiftly information — whether right or wrong — can spread.

Rather than recognizing that “taharrush” was simply a translation for “sexual harassment,” media outlets were presenting it as an Arab concept, a cultural phenomenon, not just an Arab word for a situation that exists in many places around the world.

And that had not been the purpose or the spirit of Abdelmonem’s research.

ASU doctoral candidate Angie Abdelmonem Originally interested in archaeology, Abdelmonem’s focus shifted to socio-cultural anthropology as she become increasingly concerned with contemporary social problems in the Middle East. After receiving her master’s in 2004, Abdelmonem (pictured at left) spent time exploring civil society, activism and women’s rights issues in Egypt.

Her interest in gender-based violence evolved out of her experiences working for the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights (ECWR), where she dealt with issues ranging from women's political participation to female genital mutilation.

During her time at ECWR, Abdelmonem witnessed the implementation of a new program on sexual harassment offered by an NGO.

“It was through this work, observing the way in which NGO workers engaged with the population and sought to change perceptions about sexual violence and, honestly, the resistance that many people had to the information being conveyed by the NGO, that I became interested in how it is that social change around sexual violence occurs,” she said.

That experience eventually led Abdelmonem to choose sexual harassment in the Middle East as her dissertation topic, something most academics hadn’t been looking into. And in writing about it, as she did in the Kohl journal piece, she often used the word “taharrush” in place of “sexual harassment” because of its contested use as a word meaning the sexual harassment of women in public space.

When some journalists — who were already comparing incidents in Germany to the violence that had occurred in Tahrir Square and promoting it as a cultural phenomenon — came across the Kohl piece, they picked up on the term and began to use it to describe the Germany events. For Abdelmonem, this was deeply disconcerting considering the use of the term “taharrush” by European journalists was meant to imply that those who committed the acts were Middle EasternRecent reports have stated that the men were not all Middle Eastern and were not all, unlike some heated claims, refugees. and that sexual harassment did not also exist in Europe. Add to that Europe’s current refugee situation and you’ve got a tinderbox.

“In this case, misrepresenting my work helped the media to portray sexual harassment as a particularly cultural phenomenon prevalent in the Middle East and North Africa that was being imported into Europe by its migrant and refugee populations, which made it possible to call for a closing of borders. This has serious implications for refugees fleeing for their lives,” Abdelmonem lamented.

Correcting the direction of media reports can be especially challenging, said Tim McGuire, the Frank Russell Chair for the business of journalism at ASU’s Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“In the age of the Internet, it’s impossible to put something back in the box once it’s been opened,” he said. “Once the media starts picking up on something, it gets wings of its own and it becomes very difficult to correct or change it. That’s one of the real difficulties of the digital age. You can’t stuff the genie back in the bottle.”

“Misrepresenting my work helped the media to portray sexual harassment as a particularly cultural phenomenon prevalent in the Middle East and North Africa that was being imported into Europe by its migrant and refugee populations. ... This has serious implications for refugees fleeing for their lives.”
— ASU doctoral candidate Angie Abdelmonem

The misrepresentation also has implications for how people the world over view the issue of sexual harassment and gender-based violence altogether, Abdelmonem said. Locating it in just one culture obscures that gender-based violence exists everywhere.

“Gender-based violence is generally an issue that cuts across nations, culture, class, race, etc. …” she said. “To locate gender-violence in culture is to deny that women as a group globally experience sexual violence and makes it possible then to focus on culture itself as the problem. Gender-based violence is an expression of patriarchy, which is a problem that exists in all human societies.”

As for her part in addressing that problem, Abdelmonem’s research has centered heavily on community-based, grassroots approaches to mobilization. She has interviewed activists working on sexual harassment and gender violence across numerous organizations, and also conducted surveys of the population at-large in three neighborhoods across Cairo. What she hopes is that her work will provide useful insights to groups about what may or may not help them in their own activism.

“I can't say that I believe my work will end the problem of gender-based violence,” said Abdelmonem, “but my approach to fieldwork and writing has been to include my activist colleagues in the process of knowledge building, which I hope not only gives them a voice in the way scholars understand their activism but also gives them a chance to receive critical feedback or ideas that are to assist in the work they are undertaking.”

To read an article Abdelmonem co-authored on the Germany situation for the magazine Jadaliyya, click here.


Top photo by O H 237 (own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Emma Greguska

Reporter , ASU Now

(480) 965-9657