ASU alumna unifies students across borders through robotics


June 19, 2017

In a world transformed by globalization, many individuals find themselves working with others across national borders and cultural barriers. This international cooperation in the world of business has become even more important as the social dynamics between the leaders of the United States and the rest of the world shift in the modern era.

ASU alumna Anisha Hindocha, director of logistics at FIRST Global, deals with international governments and corporations on a daily basis, ensuring that students from over 140 countries have the opportunity to take part in a global robotics competition. ASU alumna Anisha Hindocha Download Full Image

Since she deals with countries with differing social norms, Hindocha has had to adapt — and her years at Arizona State University's School of Politics and Global Studies (SPGS) has enabled her to take it in stride. One of the challenges, according to Hindocha, was getting used to the work schedule of other cultures.

“Before this job I knew that the Muslim world doesn't work on Fridays but I had never been affected by it," Hindocha said. "Now, though, I know I can't make calls there on Fridays, which means changing my schedule a lot.”

Hindocha has also had to manage the trickiness of international politics while working at FIRST Global, dealing with the State Department and other international groups. This means coping with policies, such as President Trump’s proposed travel ban on Muslim-majority nations, as well as ensuring students in nations that are economically sanctioned have access to the robotics kits vital to the competition.

“My learning experiences at SPGS have taught me to be detailed and meticulous which are key to my job," Hindocha said. "Additionally, I have learned to communicate best with people from around the world, who are of my faiths, creeds and cultures.”

During her time at ASU, Hindocha completed a junior fellowship with political science lecturer Gina Woodall.

“I think that opportunity helped me a lot. It taught me to be dedicated to students, which has translated into what I do now,” Hindocha said.

Reflecting upon her time at FIRST Global, Hindocha remarked that helping the students, whether with visa applications or ensuring their robot was received, was the most rewarding part of the job.

“[It’s] about the kids and giving them the opportunity to build a robot, and when one of those things becomes a reality, nothing is more rewarding.”

office assistant, School of Politics and Global Studies

Kay Norton


June 19, 2017

Kay Norton, associate professor in the School of Music, presented the paper “Using Aesthetics to Help Students Recognize the Long Reach of Romanticism in Music” at the North American Conference on 19th-century Music at Vanderbilt University on June 7.

This juried presentation was part of a panel called Bringing 19th-Century Music Alive in the 21st-Century Classroom, which also featured faculty members from the College of William and Mary and the University of Denver. Norton discussed the fact that music philosophy and aesthetics provide fresh alternatives to more standard, chronological presentations of 19th-century masterworks, cultures and geniuses of music. Such classes foreground conversations about musical meaning and the nature of its influence over humans. ASU School of Music faculty Kay Norton Kay Norton Download Full Image

Norton also presented her research poster "The Blues and Group Bonding: An Interdisciplinary Perspective" at the international Neurosciences and Music VI conference at Harvard Medical School on June 16. The poster synthesizes information on ethos theory and downhome blues with behavioral and biomedical research on ways singing together impacts social relationships (Cross and Woodruff 2009); biomarkers of stress and immune function (Kuhn 2002, Kreutz et al. 2004); entrainment of heartrate variability (Thaut 2005, Müller and Lindenberger 2011) and respiration (Vickhoff et al. 2013); and group cohesion relating to the perception of a common song form (Large and Snyder 2009). When Damon’s paradigm is thus contextualized, the power of shared song to bind people, even those so far removed from ancient Greece by culture, chronology and experience as 1900s African Americans, is better understood. This research continues work published in Norton's monograph, “Singing and Wellbeing: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Proof” (Routledge, 2-15).