ASU spirit packet gets teachers ready for school


July 31, 2019

This summer, the ASU Alumni Association is helping Sun Devil educators get ready for back-to-school season with a maroon and gold Back to School Pack. The ASU-themed spirit packet, geared for alumni who work in schools at any level from pre-kindergarten through high school, contains items for the teacher, students and classroom. 

“The ASU Alumni Association and its university partners want to equip teachers and their classrooms with materials that would inspire students to work hard in their endeavors and strive for their future,” said Christine K. Wilkinson, president and CEO of the association. “The Sun Devil spirit pack helps these teachers spread maroon and gold pride in their classrooms.” Ryan Keating (’03 BAE), who teaches math at Perry High School in Gilbert, received his teacher's packet and decorated his classroom. Download Full Image

The ASU Back to School Pack can be requested through an online form and should be ordered by Aug. 31. After receiving the packet, educators are asked to post a selfie on social media using #sundevilteacher.

In partnership with Educational Outreach and Student Services and the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, this year’s packet includes a clear backpack and notepads for the educators, posters for the classroom and Sparky bookmarks and stickers for the students. The spirit packet is ideal for teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, librarians and English language learning teachers. Last year, the initiative engaged more than 2,200 educators from across 30 states and two countries.

Tina Merlina (’97 BAE), who teaches at the Bret R. Tarver School in Phoenix, requested a packet both years for her fourth grade classroom.

“I credit my wonderful education as well as the amazing mentors along the way,” she said. The Rodel Foundation of Arizona named Merlina a 2011 Rodel Exemplary Teacher.

“In a family full of Wildcats, I am the lone Sun Devil," said Mimi McGarey (’81 BAE), who teaches at St. Joseph Catholic School in Tucson. "I am a proud ASU representative teaching in Tucson. My students know who Sparky is, the ‘fear the fork’ symbol, and receive ASU swag as occasional prizes.”

McGarey requested an ASU teachers packet for her classroom both years.

“I absolutely loved spreading Sun Devil spirit in my classroom last year, and it has created a friendly rivalry among my colleagues and students. We also use the Pat Tillman story when we talk about Veterans Day and what it means to be a hero. I truly hope that some of my second graders will go on to become Sun Devils and if not, they will always have fond memories of Sparky and great sportsmanship.”

ASU assistant professor recognized as public health leader by prominent community foundation


July 31, 2019

A leading nonprofit public health organization has named College of Health Solutions Assistant Professor Mac McCullough a 40 Under 40 Public Health Leader for 2019.

The de Beaumont Foundation annually recognizes public health professionals under the age of 40 who both improve the health of their communities and advance the field of public health. Founded in 1998 by inventor and philanthropist Pierre de Beaumont, the organization invests in innovative programs that create healthier communities nationwide.  Mac McCullough Mac McCullough, assistant professor in the College of Health Solutions. Download Full Image

McCullough researches public health and social services spending, analyzing and quantifying its effect on population health. In a recent study for AcademyHealth and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), for example, he found that $10 in public health spending can reduce infectious disease by 7% and premature death by 1.5% in the general population. 

In addition to research and teaching, McCullough serves as deputy director of the National Safety Net Advancement Center, an RWJF-funded initiative located within the College of Health Solutions. The center works with public health safety net organizations such as Medicaid to research and implement more effective payment and delivery methods for a wide range of public health services, including oral health care and addiction intervention

McCullough is also a health economist for the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

“This prestigious award reflects the tremendous contributions Dr. McCullough has made toward improving population health through translational research,” said William Riley, a College of Health Solutions professor and director of the National Safety Net Advancement Center. “We are very fortunate to have a person of his stature and accomplishment in the science of health care delivery program.” 

Kelly Krause

Communications Specialist, College of Health Solutions