Former President Jimmy Carter named 2017 O'Connor Justice Prize recipient

September 19, 2016

Jimmy Carter, whose three and a half decades of international humanitarian work earned him a Nobel Peace Prize, has been selected to receive the 2017 O’Connor Justice Prize.

The award is named for retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and is administered by the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. It recognizes exemplary leadership in rule-of-law initiatives. Jimmy Carter Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter Download Full Image

Since leaving office as the nation’s 39th commander-in-chief, Carter’s work, through his nonpartisan, nonprofit Carter Center, has come to define a successful post-presidency. 

The Carter Center’s work includes conflict mediation, election observation, democracy promotion and disease prevention. The organization’s efforts span the globe, including Africa, South American, the Caribbean and the Korean Peninsula.

According to his 2002 Nobel citation, his award was “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”

The Carter Center has also been integral in the near-elimination of the parasitic guinea worm, which causes a painful infection. In the 30 years since eradication efforts began, guinea worm infections have decreased 99.99 percent from 3.5 million in 1986 to 22 in 2015, according to the center.

Carter, 91, announced in August of 2015 that he had metastatic melanoma which had spread to his liver and brain. He joked at the time, “I would like the last Guinea worm to die before I do.”

In March of this year, Carter announced to Sunday school class he regularly leads that his body was free of cancer and that he no longer was receiving cancer treatments.

One of his most significant successes as president was the 1978 Camp David Accords, a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.  

The O’Connor Justice Prize was founded in 2014. Past honorees include Ana Palacio, former foreign affairs minister for Spain, whose influence was pivotal to the incorporation of human rights into the fabric of the European Union, and Navanethem “Navi” Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights who fought to uphold the freedoms of anti-apartheid activists in South Africa. 

Melissa Harris Thirsk

Executive director, Marketing & Communications, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law


Cronkite School appoints new Endowment Board president

September 19, 2016

Kristin Bloomquist, a top advertising and marketing executive, is the new president of the Cronkite Endowment Board of Trustees at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Bloomquist, executive vice president and general manager at Cramer-Krasselt, is succeeding media attorney David J. Bodney, a partner at Ballard Spahr LLP who has served as board president since 2013. Bloomquist previously was a member of the board’s executive committee. Kristin Bloomquist Kristin Bloomquist, executive vice president and general manager at Cramer-Krasselt, is the new president of the Cronkite Endowment Board of Trustees. Download Full Image

The Cronkite Endowment Board is made up of top local media and business executives who advise and assist Cronkite School leadership. They also help plan the annual Cronkite Award Luncheon, the largest gathering of media professionals in the Valley, at which the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism is presented to a nationally renowned journalist.

“Under the leadership of Dean Christopher Callahan and his team, the Cronkite School is fostering the next generation of journalists and doing so with the legacy of Walter Cronkite always in mind,” Bloomquist said. “I am honored and humbled to serve as president of the Cronkite Endowment Board of Trustees and to support the school however I can.”

Bloomquist has led advertising and marketing for global clients such as Burger King, DIRECTV, and TGI Fridays. She started her career at DDB in New York and then worked at other leading agencies, including JWT and Jordan, McGrath Case & Taylor.

At Cramer-Krasselt, Bloomquist leads the agency’s Phoenix office, where she is responsible for helping to develop and build the digital production team.

Prior to joining Cramer-Krasselt in 2009, Bloomquist was charged with opening the Los Angeles division of Deutsch, a national advertising agency. In her nine years at the firm, she held numerous roles, including director of client services, SVP director of human resources and development, and EVP director of operations. She was ultimately named one of seven partners at the agency and director of account management.

“Kristin’s passion and commitment to the Cronkite School over the years as a board member have been phenomenal,” Callahan said. “We are thrilled to welcome Kristin to the helm of the Cronkite Endowment Board of Trustees.”

The Cronkite Endowment Board was established in 1983 to provide the dean with important counsel and advice on a variety of university-related issues. Board members also mentor students and provide internship opportunities.

The board is made up of more than 50 members with a diverse collection of professional backgrounds, including leading newspaper editors and publishers, radio station general managers, magazine editors and publishers, public relations executives and other communications industry leaders from across Arizona.

Communications manager, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication