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Top Arizona high school graduates head to ASU ready to make a difference

Top high school graduates commit to giving back and choose ASU to do it.
April 26, 2017

10 Flinn Scholars commit to being Sun Devils

Some of the most elite high school graduates in the state want to devote their careers to giving back, and they’ve decided the best place to begin that journey is at Arizona State University.

Daniel Nguyen, whose father came to the United States as a refugee, wants to be a military doctor, and Camryn Lizik, whose family has been affected by mental illness, will research the roots of the disease. These future Sun Devils are among this year’s Flinn Scholars, winning one of the most prestigious scholarships in Arizona.

Daniel Nguyen

“I’m definitely looking forward to the research. There’s a lot of great research being done at ASU, and I’ve already gotten to speak with many professors and researchers there. I would love to be involved with the new partnership with the Mayo Clinic,” said Nguyen, who is in the 32nd class of Flinn Scholars and one of 10 who will attend ASU.

The scholarship, which started in 1985 and is supported by the Flinn Foundation and the universities, is offered to outstanding Arizona high school students who attend either ASU, Northern Arizona University or the University of Arizona, which also has 10 future students in this Flinn class of 20.

Flinn Scholars are chosen based on merit. The scholarship covers the cost of tuition, room and board, and study abroad expenses and is valued at more than $115,000. The summer after their freshman year, the scholars travel together for a three-week seminar in China. The students also get support for off-campus internships and are paired with faculty mentors.

The Flinn Scholars coming to ASU will attend Barrett, The Honors College.

“It is always wonderful each year to hear that many Flinn Scholars will attend ASU and Barrett, The Honors College. We support, advise, guide and mentor them, and they add their extraordinary intellects and interests to our community,” said Mark Jacobs, vice provost and dean of Barrett. “It is a pleasure to see these top scholars from our state spread their academic wings and take flight at ASU and Barrett!”

Nguyen, who is graduating from Liberty High School in the Peoria Unified School District, will major in biological sciences and would like to be a military surgeon. His desire to give back was ingrained by his father, who came to the United States as a refugee from Vietnam after the war and eventually became a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army.

“He always tried to instill in me the attitude of service and giving back to the country that gave so much to us,” he said.

Like most Flinn Scholars, Nguyen is already quite accomplished, having earned certification as an emergency medical technician at Glendale Community College.

“I got to spend some time doing what EMTs do, which influenced my outlook on my career as well. The ability to work with patients on the provider level is amazing,” he said.

Camryn Lizik

Lizik’s decision to attend ASU was helped by the fact that she has already spent a lot of time on campus, with the HOBY youth-service program and the Cesar Chavez Leadership Institute.

“It’s always felt homey and familiar, and I feel it’s a place where I could make an impact as a student,” said Lizik, who attends Arcadia High School in Phoenix and wants to major in biological sciences.

“My family has a history of mental issues, and I struggle with OCD and it’s something that has a stigma that I would like to see erased,” she said.

“I have a very strong interest in the connection between social science and biological sciences. I’m interested in studying mental illness and how it affects people on a chemical level and how to correct that permanently.”

Ashley Dussault

Another Flinn Scholar and future Sun Devil, Ashley Dussault, also wants to use her major — sustainability — to help people.

“The program is about change, which is what I want to do. I want to plan cities to be better and to help with poverty,” said Dussault, who will graduate from Hamilton High School in the Chandler Unified School District.

She’s especially interested in the social-justice component of sustainability.

“I want to show the people of the world that just because sustainability is happening, they don’t have to be pushed out of their homes and that there’s a place for them in the world.”

Besides Nguyen, Lizik and Dussault, the other Flinn Scholars headed to ASU, along with their high schools and intended majors, are:

  • Daniel Bonner, Brophy Prep, Phoenix, electrical engineering
  • Jake Dean, Sunnyslope High School, Phoenix, earth and space exploration
  • Brittany Duran, Santa Cruz Valley Union High School, Eloy, biological sciences
  • Mark Macluskie, Cave Creek, home-schooled, mechanical engineering
  • Keaton McDonald, Arcadia High School, Phoenix, computer science
  • Shivam Sadachar, Basis Chandler, computer science
  • Cameron Whyte, Saguaro High School, Scottsdale, mathematics

Mary Beth Faller

reporter , ASU Now


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April 27, 2017

Kenneth Shropshire to create international sports center that 'will use the unifying power of sport to make positive impact in the world'

Kenneth L. Shropshire, an international expert in the intersection of sports, business, law and society and director of the Wharton Sports Business Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania, is joining Arizona State University to design and lead a new international sports center.

Shropshire, an author, attorney, consultant and professor at the Wharton School of Business and Department of Africana Studies for the past 30 years, is the founder and faculty director of the school’s sports business initiative and holder of the David W. Hauck Endowed Professorship. He will join ASU on July 1 and become a professor emeritus at Wharton.

The author of 12 books and co-host of a national sports business show on SiriusXM radio, Shropshire will become the first Adidas Distinguished Professor of Global Sport at ASU, a newly endowed faculty position created with a generous contribution from the global manufacturer of sports apparel and athletic equipment. Adidas, based in Germany, has more than 55,000 employees worldwide and $18 billion in annual sales.

At ASU, Shropshire will hold a joint faculty appointment at the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, with affiliate faculty appointments at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and the School of Social Transformation’s African and African American Studies program.

He will be charged with designing, building and leading a new global sport institute, which is expected to be launched later this year. Shropshire will be the center’s CEO.

“The role and impact of sports on the world is growing rapidly in both scale and complexity,” ASU President Michael M. Crow said. “Professor Shropshire and our exciting new sports center will be able to explore the many dimensions of sports and illuminate athletics’ impact and influences on all of us.”

The new center will create, support and encourage collaborative, multidisciplinary inquiry and translate complex sports-related research to wide audiences through multiple media platforms, forums and global convenings, reaching audiences “where they live, work and play,” Shropshire said.

“This innovative approach will use the unifying power of sport to make a positive impact in the world,” he said.

Mark Searle, the university’s provost and executive vice president, said the new sports center exemplifies ASU’s commitment to multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to create impactful research, teaching and service.

Shropshire was recruited to ASU by Ray Anderson, the former NFL executive who is ASU’s athletic director. Anderson and Shropshire are longtime friends who played on the Stanford University football team in the mid-1970s.

"I have known Ken since becoming teammates on the Stanford football team in 1973,” Anderson said. “His intelligence and tenacity for the tasks at hand have always been extraordinarily impressive. I have no doubt he will bring dynamic energy to this exciting initiative."

After earning an economics degree from Stanford, Shropshire enrolled in Columbia Law School, graduating in 1980.

He practiced law in Los Angeles and served for three years as an executive with the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee before joining the Wharton faculty in 1986.

In 2000, then-Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street appointed Shropshire to chair Philadelphia’s stadium site selection committee. His consulting clients have included the NFL, the Miami Dolphins and the U.S. Olympic Committee. He also served on MLB’s On Field Diversity Task Force.

Shropshire is a member of the board of directors of Moelis & Company and the nonprofit boards of USA Volleyball and the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality. He also is a former president of the Sports Lawyers Association.

His books include the foundational works “In Black and White: Race and Sports in America,” “The Business of Sports” and “The Business of Sports Agents.” His current book project, “The Mis-Education of the Student-Athlete,” focuses on athlete degree completion.

“From podcasts and documentaries to hosting events globally, this presented an extraordinary opportunity to make the work going on in the academy more impactful by broadly disseminating it in journalistic form,” Shropshire said. “At this point in my career my focus is to make a difference with sport. I cannot wait to get underway.”

Sports play a central role in the Shropshire family. His wife, Dr. Diane Shropshire, a Philadelphia anesthesiologist, is a former collegiate and professional doubles tennis champion at Stanford; their daughter, Theresa, played varsity squash at Stanford University; and their son, Sam, is a three-time First Team All-Big Ten selection on the Northwestern University tennis team with plans to play professionally.