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ASU recognized for efforts to support Latino student success

June 20, 2019

University is one of nine institutions to earn Seal of Excelencia from DC organization

Young Latinos are one of the nation’s fastest-growing populations according to the Pew Research Center, and many Latino youth will be the first in their family to go to college.

ASU has committed to serving its communities and those individuals who wish to pursue a college degree regardless of their background or socioeconomic status and to provide the support resources required for all students to succeed.

For those efforts, ASU was one of nine institutions to earn the 2019 Seal of Excelencia, a prestigious, voluntary, and comprehensive certification granted by the Washington, D.C.-based organization, Excelencia in Education.

“ASU is committed to increasing educational access and degree attainment among LatinxsLatinx is a gender-neutral term sometimes used in lieu of Latino or Latina when referring to Latin American cultural or racial identity., our future new majority population, and our institutional mission will only be complete if the students we serve reflect our surrounding diversity,” ASU President Michael M. Crow said. “Through ASU’s commitment to quality, inclusion and student success, one quarter of our first-year class are Latinx students and thousands of degrees are being earned by Latinx graduates, all of whom meaningfully enrich our ASU community through their personal drives, valuable perspectives, experiential insights and their dedication to giving back to the community, both now and in the future.”

Video by ASU Now

The seal recognizes an institution’s very high level of commitment and effort to serve Latino students successfully.

“Having a higher education is vital to succeed in today’s global economy,” said Deborah Santiago, CEO of Excelencia in Education. “If institutions aren’t effectively serving our Latino students, we lose a vital source of talent for our workforce and civic leadership. Institutions that strive for and most particularly those that earn the seal have demonstrated their capacity to grow our country’s highly skilled workforce and develop leaders — in other words, these institutions are ensuring America’s future.”

At an event in Washington, D.C., Santiago emphasized that the seal is not a ranking; it’s the credentialing of an institution that has strategically placed support programs to help Latino students succeed and where Latino students can thrive.

During the event, Stanlie James, ASU vice provost for inclusion and community engagement, accepted the recognition on behalf of ASU. Reminiscing on the spring 2019 Hispanic Convocation, she shared a moving moment she experienced at the event when first-generation students were asked to stand.

“Ninety percent of those students stood up, and I thought, 'This is what we’re here for,'” James said.

Video by ASU Now

ASU, recognizing the importance of a diverse student community and the impact it has on shaping ideas, advancing research and preparing students to engage with people unlike themselves, has become a majority-minority-serving institution.

In the last 12 years, Latino student enrollment at ASU has doubled, serving approximately 15,700 Latino students in fall 2018.

“The Seal of Exelencia that we’ve received is a great honor,” ASU Provost Mark Searle said. “It provides external validation for Arizona State University for the efforts we’ve made to build a truly inclusive institution. Our goals have been extensive to make sure that ASU is seen as a university for all students irrespective of their background, irrespective of where they came from, their socioeconomic status.”

Understanding the specific needs of the Latino community, how to best serve them and set them up to succeed is where ASU has thrived.

Access ASU is transforming Arizona's college-going culture through strategic programs and initiatives — supporting students, families and schools from underserved communities to have access to the tools, knowledge and experience needed to pursue and attain a university degree.

“At ASU we have found great success in working with families as early as kindergarten and continuing through 12th grade to start the conversation about preparing for college early,” said Sylvia Symonds, associate vice president of ASU’s Educational Outreach and Student Services. “We have created a number of culturally relevant programs and initiatives that seek to provide guidance and support for students and families to realize their goal of higher education.”

The Hispanic Mother Daughter Program at ASU was founded in 1984 to address the shortage of women and women of color in higher education. The early-outreach middle and high school program aims to connect students with ASU mentors and resources. Originally designed to serve Hispanic mothers and their daughters, today the program seeks to accept all students who identify as being a future first-generation college student with an aspiration to attend ASU.

In addition, the American Dream Academy places the focus on the family as a whole. In the eight-week program, families learn how to best support their children and are given the tools and resources necessary to provide that support and ensure a college-going mentality. To date, American Dream Academy has served 40,000 families and students.

Once on campus, the First-Year Success Center provides peer coaching services to first-year students, sophomores and new transfer students. Under Latinx leadership, First-Year Success coaches mentor students, help students adjust to college life and connect them to resources.

“We have a large and growing Latino population here in the state of Arizona as does the United States, and we also have a wonderful charter that says we will be known by whom we include not by whom we exclude,” James said. “We are delighted to be able to serve our Latino population so that they are in turn prepared to go and be of service to their community.”

Top photo: Sonia Beltran holds up a pitchfork to her friends and family during the 2019 Hispanic Convocation at Wells Fargo Arena. Photo by ASU

ASU, edX and MIT announce innovative stackable online Master of Science in Supply Chain Management

Collaboration creates world’s first stacked master’s degree on from two top-ranked universities in the field

June 19, 2019

Arizona State University, edX and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced the launch of an online master’s degree program in supply chain management. This unique credit pathway between MIT and ASU takes a MicroMasters program from one university, MIT, and stacks it up to a full master’s degree on edX from ASU.

Learners who complete and pass the Supply Chain Management MicroMasters program and then apply and gain admission to ASU are eligible to earn a top-ranked graduate degree from ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business and ASU Online. MIT and ASU are both currently ranked in the top 3 for graduate supply chain and logistics by U.S. News and World Report. Download Full Image

This new master’s degree is the latest program to launch following edX’s October 2018 announcement of 10 disruptively priced and top-ranked online master’s degree programs available on Master’s degrees on edX are unique because they are stacked, degree programs with a MicroMasters program component. A MicroMasters program is a series of graduate-level courses that provides learners with valuable standalone skills that translate into career-focused advancement, as well as the option to use the completed coursework as a stepping stone toward credit in a full master’s degree program.

“We are excited to strengthen our relationship with ASU to offer this innovative, top-ranked online master’s degree program in supply chain management,” said Anant Agarwal, edX CEO and MIT professor. “This announcement comes at a time when the workplace is changing more rapidly than ever before, and employers are in need of highly skilled talent, especially in the fields most impacted by advances in technology. This new offering truly transforms traditional graduate education by bringing together two top-ranked schools in supply chain management to create the world’s first stackable, hybrid graduate degree program. This approach to a stackable, flexible, top-quality online master’s degree is the latest milestone in addressing today’s global skills gap.”

ASU’s online master’s degree program will help prepare a highly technical and competent global workforce for advancement in supply chain management careers across a broad diversity of industries and functions. Students enrolled in the program will also gain an in-depth understanding of the role the supply chain manager can play in an enterprise supply chain and in determining overall strategy.

“We’re very excited to collaborate with MIT and edX to increase accessibility to a top-ranked degree in supply chain management,” said Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. “We believe there will be many students who are eager to dive deeper after their MicroMasters program to earn a master's degree from ASU, and that more learners will be drawn to the MIT Supply Chain Management MicroMasters program as this new pathway to a graduate degree within the edX platform becomes available.”

With this new pathway, the MIT Supply Chain Management MicroMasters program now offers learners pathways to completing a master’s degree at 21 institutions. This new program with ASU for the supply chain management online master’s degree offers a seamless learner experience through an easy transition of credit and a timely completion of degree requirements without leaving the edX platform.

“Learners who complete the MITx MicroMasters program credential from the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics will now have the opportunity to transition seamlessly online to a full master’s degree from ASU,” said Krishna Rajagopal, dean for digital learning at MIT Open Learning. “We are delighted to add this program to MIT’s growing number of pathways that provide learners with increased access to higher education and career advancement opportunities in a flexible, affordable manner.”

The online Master of Science in Supply Chain Management from ASU will launch in January 2020. Students currently enrolled in, or who have already completed, the MITx Supply Chain Management MicroMasters program can apply now for the degree program, with an application deadline of Dec. 16, 2019.

Carrie Peterson

Media Relations Manager, EdPlus at Arizona State University


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ASU vice provost honored for leadership and service, closing 40 years in education

June 18, 2019

For more than four decades, Maria Hesse has been a prominent figure in the field of education. So much so that Arizona Women in Higher Education, an organization where she served on the board for 10 years, named her the 2019 Woman of the Year.

The AWHE mission is to support women and improve the climate and professional environment for women in higher education in the state of Arizona.

“I have really enjoyed serving on the board for Arizona Women in Higher Education, an organization whose very purpose is to promote personal and professional growth,” Hesse said.

The honor is bestowed on women who exemplify leadership, innovation and service and those who help women advance into senior-level leadership roles through nominations and developing their leadership abilities.

With Hesse retiring this month, the award also marks the end of a decade of accolades, accomplishments and contributions to the ASU community and the entire state of Arizona. As ASU’s vice provost for academic partnerships, she has created a student-centered “culture of transfer” by nurturing relationships with other institutions and developing strategies designed to increase the number of students who complete associate and bachelor's degrees.

“I have spent the last 10 years at ASU working hard on issues of transfer student success. It has been a labor of love for both community colleges and for my alma mater, Arizona State University,” she said.

A group of women pose for a photo

(From left) Teresa Leyba-Ruiz, Glendale Community College president; Maria Harper-Marinick, Maricopa Community College District chancellor; Christina Haines, interim president of Scottsdale Community College; and Maria Hesse, ASU vice provost at the 2019 Arizona Women in Higher Education Woman of the Year event.

Hesse spent 25 years serving in multiple capacities within the Maricopa Community Colleges. She served as the president and chief executive officer at Chandler-Gilbert Community College for seven years before joining ASU, a natural transition into her current position focused on increasing the opportunities for community college students to pursue four-year degrees. Prior to her years in the Maricopa Community Colleges, she served as a local high school teacher and principal.

“I’ve been in education for nearly 45 years now and I think back fondly on all of these experiences,” Hesse said. “There were many wonderful people with whom I worked and from whom I learned — people that were in my institutions, colleagues from other institutions, community leaders, students — you just never know when you are going to run into someone who significantly changes your life for the better.”

Among her many contributions to higher education, her biggest priority was closing the education gap by building pathways that help community college students to have a seamless transition to ASU, tailored to each student’s academic goals.

“I have been fortunate to have fantastic staff and I thank them for their contributions,” she said. “We have nearly tripled transfer enrollment, such that last year ASU welcomed 18,864 new transfer students into the university. And we have greatly improved transfer student success, while reducing time and costs towards baccalaureate degree completion.”

Her other contributions are not so obvious, but nonetheless impactful. Her extensive knowledge about community colleges — founding one herself for the Maricopa Community Colleges — makes her a great resource to surrounding communities.

A recent project was with the San Carlos Apache Tribe, collaboratively working with tribal leadership and leveraging her expertise to open Arizona’s third tribal college – San Carlos Apache College. 

The successful collaboration between Hesse; Terry Rambler, the chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe; and Jacob Moore, the university’s assistant vice president for tribal relations brought forth not only the college, but educational resources — academic counseling, college-readiness programming and transfer opportunities — that academically supports students to be successful.

Hesse is not completely walking away from the community she built on ASU’s campus. After retirement, she will continue to teach in the higher education program at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College where future teachers and administrators can take note from her successful playbook.

Empower 2019 brings together ASU IT professionals to innovate for the future

May 31, 2019

On Thursday, May 23, Arizona State University's University Technology Office hosted Empower 2019, an ASU IT professional community retreat designed to discover new innovations and improve existing ones through peer-to-peer discussion.

Over 800 ASU IT professionals spent the day engaging with ASU Chief Information Officer Lev Gonick, one another and a wide array of speakers. ASU President Michael Crow capped the event as Empower’s keynote speaker, contextualizing the IT community’s contributions to the greater mission of the New American University. man speaking to audience CIO Lev Gonick opened the day by outlining technology’s place in the ASU community. Download Full Image

Empower was created on the basis of ASU’s eight design aspirations. Experts from inside and outside ASU delved beyond IT, speaking on subject matters such as inclusion in the workplace, honoring place and space in indigenous areas and key performance indicators.

Groups also gathered for Appreciative Inquiry Interviews, a collaborative process that uses positive questions to build a more cohesive vision of the future and progress. Christine Whitney Sanchez, UTO’s chief culture officer, opened the space for participants to create their own parallel breakout sessions focused on the convening question: “Using the eight design aspirations as guidance, what are ASU’s IT issues and opportunities for enabling and catalyzing strategic innovation, community delight and operational excellence?”

After the breakout sessions, participants reconvened to surface the top ideas from the day. Graphic recorder Karina Branson captured many of the “aha moments” of these sessions and the whole event. (Her illustrations can be seen in the gallery below.)

At last year’s event, the top idea was a unified service catalog that holds requests IT professionals may receive from the ASU community. The service catalog was launched at Empower 2019. 

This year’s top ideas identified by ASU IT community members include:

Big ideas from Empower 2019:

• Chatbots — These artificial intelligence-enabled "bots" have the potential to supplement instruction and advising as well as tailor content and information to meet individual student needs.

• Blockchain — Advancements in this emerging technology can be harnessed to advance a reinvented transcript so that all aspects of student learning are recorded, tracked, portable and owned by each individual learner.

• Shared culture of innovation — A large part of making collaboration easier for the entire ASU community is breaking down silos, making it much easier for groups that don’t always work in the same orbit to come together for exciting new projects.

• Next-generation communication — To that end, tools like Slack, a real-time messaging tool with open workspaces and extensive sharing capabilities, are crucial. Slack in the classroom (enhanced by Slackbots that can automatically respond to queries) and centralized Slack communication guidance are two of the specific facets of next-gen communication.

• Nontraditional classrooms — Attendees discussed the concept of an ASU college based on nontraditional classrooms. Untethering learning goes beyond educating online; it adds value with inclusivity and micro-credentials that rewards the learning of specific skills. This is a greater challenge than a purely technical one, but it is also indicative of the IT community’s place as “the stewards of the university’s investment in the students,” Gonick said.

• Smart infrastructure — The investment in a smart campus dovetails into a smart city and smart region, but as it applies to our ASU community, creating an ultimately interactive space and infrastructure is very important. VR campus tours, augmented reality signage, greater mobile app interactivity and more will increase student engagement and enhance their learning.

President Crow brought these focused conversations full circle when he closed out the day. He stressed that technology is a tool to fulfill the concept of a universal learner, bringing one university to many places in the process.

Select design aspirations — connected to place, social embeddedness and intellectual fusion — are important facets of the iterative process that maintains equality, research for the public good and taking responsibility, he added.

For more information, visit and follow UTO on Twitter @ASU_UTO.

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President’s Recognition Ceremony honors ASU employees

May 29, 2019

President's Awards, SUN Awards honor contributions of ASU faculty and staff

Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow honored ASU employees for their contributions to the university and community on Tuesday, May 28, at the 2019 President’s Recognition Ceremony, held at the Student Pavilion on the Tempe campus.

The reception, hosted annually by the President’s Office, honors recipients of the President's Award for Innovation, President’s Award for Sustainability, President's Medal for Social Embeddedness and Top Multiple SUN Awards.

Here are this year’s honorees.

2019 President’s Award for Innovation

iTeachELLs Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Project

woman writing on large piece of paper in front of students

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College student feedback in 2014 determined that graduates do not feel prepared to work with learners whose primary language is not English (students identified as English Language Learners). As a result, a team of experts proposed a project to answer the call of preparing educators to teach culturally and linguistically diverse learners.

The project is funded by the United States Department of Education through their Teacher Quality Partnership Grants: “Integrating STEM, Literacy, and Language to Prepare all Teachers to Work with English Language Learners: iTeachELLs.”

The research team explored the best practices for the work and created a new instructional technique, titled Problem-Based Enhanced Language Learning (PBELL). This collaborative endeavor between the Teachers College and the local education agencies has increased access to rigorous content for all students. The approach emphasizes intentional planning for language and solving for a meaningful problem in classroom instruction.

Over 1,500 Arizona teachers have completed iTeachELL’s professional development and delivered over 170 PBELL lessons. PBELL is harnessing the problem-solving power of over 30,000 K-12 students, increasing their learning engagement, confidence and autonomy.

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College

Leads: Wendy Farr and Melanie Baca
Silvia Aparicio, Brad Bostick, Erin Bryan, Malissa Chavez-Thibault, Stephanie Lund and Anne Smith

2019 President’s Award for Sustainability

Banner Bag Program

bags made of old banners on display at bookstore

The Banner Bag Program turns discarded vinyl banners into stylish, upcycled tote bags. These bags are handmade by women from The Centers for Habilitation, which provides job skills training to individuals with disabilities.

ASU provides the no-longer-needed banner material and pays for the labor and additional materials to produce the bags. The bags are locally made in Tempe, at FABRIC — a fully equipped, no-minimum fashion manufacturing facility, created in partnership with the city of Tempe to help newcomers break into the fashion industry. 

The Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, together with Arizona Apparel Foundation and in support of ASU Zero Waste goals, piloted this innovative program. Today, the bags are sold in the Sun Devil Campus Store at the Orange Mall location. Through continued partnership with ASU Print and Imaging Lab at the origination of banner orders and ASU Zero Waste at the end of a banner’s useful life, the goal is that ASU will divert 100% of its banners from the landfill through this program by 2020.


Arizona State University

Auxiliary Business Services, Bookstore, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, Print and Imaging Lab, University Sustainability Practices and Zero Waste
Lead: Travis Buckner 

Mick Dalrymple, Jim Dwyer, Joshua Ellner, Alana Levine, Val Ross, Courtney Russell, Katie Schumacher, Michelle Schwartz, Meredith Simpson, Cathy Skoglund and 
Paul Strauss

Fashion And Business Resource Innovation Center (FABRIC)

Sherri Barry and Angela Johnson

The Centers for Habilitation

Jeff Bernick, Nabora Blea, Kimberly Calvert, Hannah Dexter, Sandra Harris, Jim Hodges, Katie Holm, Ryan Mcalister, David Prather and Madison Ryan

2019 President’s Medal for Social Embeddedness

¡Viva Maryvale!

Children laughing and jumping

Obesity and Type 2 diabetes disproportionately affect Latino children, families and communities. ¡Viva Maryvale! is a solution-oriented, multilevel, multisector collaborative approach that leverages individual, social, cultural and community-level resources to support health promotion and diabetes prevention among high-risk Latino families living in Maryvale, Arizona.

¡Viva Maryvale! brings together a network of collaborating partners that include the ASU Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, the St. Vincent de Paul Family Wellness Program, the Watts Family Maryvale YMCA, the Maryvale branch of Mountain Park Health Center, and the Diabetes Prevention and Control Program at the Arizona Department of Health Services. 

By developing a shared mission and vision, ¡Viva Maryvale! enhanced the collective capacity of the partners to address diabetes-related disparities among vulnerable and underserved families in Maryvale. The impact of the enhanced capacity is substantiated by significant reductions in diabetes risk factors and increases in quality of life among participating families. A paper describing the development, implementation, and results of ¡Viva Maryvale! was published in the January 2019 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.


Arizona State University
Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation,
Lead: Gabriel Shaibi

Erica Basco, Jessica Camacho, Chris Gonzalez, Neeku Navabi, Armando Pena, Arlene Ramos, Erica Soltero and Allison Williams

Arizona Department of Health Services

Omar Contreras, Teresa Manygoats, Addey Rascon and Wayne Tormala

Community Member 

Maria Isabella Munoz 

Dignity Health

Anna Alonzo

Mountain Park Health Center

Uriel Castaneda, Alexa Diaz, Valentina Hernandez, Jenny Mendez, Marta Ormeno, Crystal Ramos, Saray Vera and Ugonna Woods

Saguaro Evaluation Group 

Monica Parsai

St. Vincent de Paul 

Maria Gonzalez, Monica Gutierrez, Elva Hooker, Yolanda Konopken, Elvia Lish and Maria Silva 

Watts Family Maryvale YMCA

Libby Corral, Karen Davis, Nayeli Quiroz and Heidi Wildy 

Top SUN Award Recipients

SUN Awards are a way for ASU co-workers to give specific, immediate recognition to each other and to honor employees for supporting university goals.

Here are this year’s top recipients.

Katie Senzig
Student Recruitment Coordinator Senior

College of Health Solutions 

Cassie Barbieri

Success Coach


Lindsey Morris

Academic Success Specialist

Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, The Polytechnic School

Diana Herrera

Business Operations Manager

New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

To learn more about ASU’s employee recognition program, visit:

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Two ASU professors elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

May 22, 2019

Two Arizona State University professors have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Jane Buikstra, a Regents' Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, and Asunción Lavrin, an emeritus professor in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, were chosen for their foundational work in their respective fields. 

They are among more than 200 members in the 2019 class recognized for their outstanding achievements in academia, the arts, business, government and public affairs.  

“With the election of these members, the academy upholds the ideals of research and scholarship, creativity and imagination, intellectual exchange and civil discourse, and the relentless pursuit of knowledge in all its forms,” AAAS President David Oxtoby said.  

Buikstra is a renowned bioarcheologist and is known for forming the discipline of bioarcheology, which combines archeology with forensics, pathology, genetics and other fields to understand the lives of past peoples.

Buikstra is currently working on a number of efforts that explore the experiences of ancient humans from around the world. These include projects on the everyday lives of those who lived in Athens, Greece, during the eighth through fourth centuries B.C.; the spread of M. tuberculosis from South to North America and how it evolved as it moved between humans and other hosts; the connections between environmental change and social complexity for ancient indigenous peoples who lived along North American river systems; and how the Chiribaya culture of South America made radical social changes between 1,000 to 1,500 years ago. 

“I’m especially honored to be part of a body that recognizes the significance of humanistic endeavors along with the sciences,” Buikstra said. “The AAAS election is a most welcome recognition that significant research is often broadly based and seeks to push boundaries, as is encouraged at ASU.”

Asunción Lavrin is an award-winning author and historian with more than 100 publications to her credit. She has covered the topics of gender and women’s studies in colonial and contemporary Latin America, and religion and spirituality in colonial Mexico. 

Considered a pioneer in Latin American women’s history, Lavrin has studied and published extensively on women in Latin America, especially women in Mexico. Her work has significantly contributed to the historical record of Roman Catholicism in Mexico, beginning with a number of her early articles on nuns and nunneries, culminating in her 2008 monograph "Brides of Christ: Conventional Life in Colonial Mexico."

The academy was founded in 1780 by John Adams, John Hancock and others who believed the new republic should honor exceptionally accomplished individuals and engage them in advancing the public good. The Academy’s dual mission remains essentially the same 239 years later with honorees from increasingly diverse fields and with the work focused on the arts, democracy, education, global affairs and science.

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony in October in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and they will join the company of academy members elected before them, including Benjamin Franklin (elected 1781), Ralph Waldo Emerson (1864), Charles Darwin (1874), Albert Einstein (1924), Margaret Mead (1948), Martin Luther King Jr. (1966) and more recently, Michael Bloomberg (2007) and Judy Woodruff (2012).

Mikala Kass contributed to this article.

Director , Media Relations and Strategic Communications


Music professor to host international brass conference at ASU

May 17, 2019

Deanna Swoboda, associate professor in the ASU School of Music, has enjoyed a vibrant career as a performer, educator and entrepreneur, but she said one of her most challenging roles yet is serving as the official conference host for 500-plus brass players at the International Women’s Brass Conference at ASU on May 21–25. 

Swoboda, an Eastman tuba artist, carved a path for herself as a tuba player performing and teaching around the world when there were only a handful of women with careers playing tuba and serving as role models for female musicians. She has played the tuba in hundreds of concerts, solo recitals and presentations throughout the U.S. and Europe; taught tuba and euphonium; developed music and entrepreneurship programs; coached chamber music; and presented at prestigious conferences and meetings as an advocate for music education. Swoboda, an ASU alumnus (DMA '10), co-hosted the 2012 conference at Western Michigan University and was invited by IWBC to host the international conference held at the ASU School of Music this year. Deanna Swoboda ASU School of Music Associate Professor Deanna Swoboda carved a path for herself as a tuba player performing and teaching around the world when there were only a handful of women with careers playing tuba and serving as role models for female musicians. Download Full Image

“I was excited to accept the IWBC invitation to host the conference as it features women brass players, is a great recruiting opportunity for potential students and provides great visibility for ASU,” Swoboda said.

She said IWBC is the largest conference she has ever been involved with and this year’s conference has record numbers of registrations and competitors. Conference attendees will be a combination of mostly professors and college students from different universities, some professional performers and some high school students. The conference is open to all genders but features mostly women and new works, and conference featured artists include seven women who have held or still hold major prominent brass positions.

“One of my best hopes for this conference is to make women in music — specifically women brass players and women composers — more visible to the global community,” said Swoboda.

The conference schedule includes recitals, presentations, master classes, mock auditions, competitions, exhibits and evening concerts open to the public. There are solo and small ensemble competitions throughout three days, with 150 to 200 competitors and mock auditions for orchestras and military bands. Two of the evening concerts will open with student ensembles. All participants have the opportunity to play in an ensemble led by a professional. The various ensembles, including euphonium, horn, trumpet and trombone, will perform in concert on Saturday. The U.S. Army Bands for Horn and Tuba, a conference exhibitor, will also be holding auditions on Saturday for available positions in their horn and tuba bands.

Evening concerts will be held at the Evelyn Smith Music Theatre in the Music Building on ASU’s Tempe campus and are open to the public:

May 22, 7:30 p.m.: Tempe Winds with Phoenix Brass Collective

May 23, 7 p.m.: Athena Brass Band

May 24, 7 p.m.: Women in Jazz

May 25, 7:30 p.m.: Monarch Brass Ensemble

Lynne MacDonald

communications specialist, School of Music


Richard Amesbury joins ASU as new School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies director

May 13, 2019

Arizona State University's School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies has announced its new director: Richard Amesbury.

Amesbury is a philosopher and scholar of religion and has served in many leadership roles prior to coming to ASU. While at the University of Zurich in Switzerland he was director for the Institute for Social Ethics and the Ethics Center. He has also served on many committees, journal and boards. Most recently, he was the chair of the department of philosophy and religion at Clemson University. Richard Amesbury Richard Amesbury Download Full Image

He received his doctorate in religion from Claremont Graduate University, a diploma in theology from Oxford University and his artium baccalaureus with a concentration in government from Harvard University.

“I am thrilled to have Dr. Richard Amesbury join us as the new director,” said Jeffrey Cohen, ASU's dean of humanities. “He is a scholar with interdisciplinary strengths who understands the unique mission and strengths of ASU. Under his leadership I am certain that the vibrant intellectual community that is SHPRSSchool of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies will continue to flourish for many years to come.”

His research focuses on the intersection of ethics, philosophy of religion and political theory. He has published many academic, online and encyclopedia articles, books and reviews on these topics and has more forthcoming.

“The world is rapidly being reshaped by a series of interrelated megatrends, including economic reorganization and increasing inequality, climate change, global migration, political disruption, technological acceleration and the digital revolution,” Amesbury said. “The humanities — disciplines like history, philosophy and religious studies — are well equipped to help us understand these changes and also to respond to them."

Philosophy Professor Joan McGregor was a member of the hiring committee for the new director. She says Amesbury is thoughtful, considerate and an active listener.

“A particular strength of Richard Amesbury is that he has demonstrated an ability to increase the connection between the disciplines of history, philosophy and religious studies and he has a compelling vision of the humanities,” she said.

“As a scholar with interests in multiple fields, I am delighted to be joining an interdisciplinary school of humanities," Amesbury said. "SHPRS is renowned for pathbreaking scholarship, innovative teaching and vibrant community engagement. I am honored to have been invited to build on that tradition and to help position the school to address new challenges."

Beginning in July, Amesbury will succeed religious studies Professor Tracy Fessenden, who has been the interim director of the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies for the past year.

“It is an honor to serve as interim director of SHPRS,” Fessenden said. “I look forward to continuing our fruitful collaboration as we await Professor Amesbury’s arrival and to extending to him our warmest welcome.”

Amesbury will be the school’s fourth director, after Mark Von Hagen, Matthew Garcia and Matthew Delmont.

Rachel Bunning

Communications program coordinator, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

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The College welcomes new leaders to three distinctive social science units

May 1, 2019

Whether used to explore the nuances of human evolution or to examine the political, ecological and cultural facets shaping the human experience today, the social sciences give us the tools to decipher our world.

To Elizabeth Wentz, dean of social sciences in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University, creating academic units capable of capturing that breadth is both a challenge and an opportunity.

“We have social science faculty whose research and classes are closer to physical sciences, and others that are very much in line with the humanities,” she said. “Leading these units requires a 30,000-foot view to bring people together who conduct their work in very different ways.”

That big-picture outlook is only continuing to grow as the School of Social Transformation, the School of Transborder Studies and the American Indian Studies program gain new leadership this July.

Each unit possesses qualities that are unique to ASU. The School of Transborder Studies is the only unit of its kind in the country. The American Indian Studies program is distinguished by its autonomy from other schools and broad range of research, faculty and degree tracks. The School of Social Transformation serves as a platform where a multitude of disciplines spanning anthropology, sociology, cultural studies and social justice come together under one roof.

“These are three very interdisciplinary schools where faculty from many backgrounds come together around particular themes like inequality and the social, political, historical and cultural drivers behind it,” Wentz said. “We wanted to find leaders who fit into that field and also aligned with the access and impact-minded mission of the ASU charter.”

With 13 total units, the social sciences account for the largest division in The College — which is itself the largest academic body at ASU — and incorporate components of anthropology, sociology, justice studies, urban planning, communication and more.

Wentz said identifying how all those components fit into the larger ASU ecosystem keeps them in a constant state of evolution.

“Social sciences are all over the university, and while we can define ourselves by discipline, we can also define ourselves based on the problems we solve,” she said. “These new leaders present a chance to launch their schools into a new era.”

Stephanie Fitzgerald, American Indian Studies

Stephanie Fitzgerald will take over the helm as director of The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' American Indian Studies program.

Stephanie Fitzgerald is a Cree tribal member who comes to the American Indian Studies program after overseeing a similar unit at the University of Kansas. Her research explores the relationships between indigenous groups, land tenure, climate change and tribal, state and federal law.

She is the author of “Native Women and Land: Narratives of Dispossession and Resurgence” and the co-editor of “Keepers of the Morning Star: An Anthology of Native Women's Theater,” among other publications.

While other universities have indigenous and Native American studies programs, they are often integrated into umbrella departments like English, anthropology and history. By contrast, Wentz said dedicating an autonomous unit to the American Indian Studies program allows interdisciplinary academics and research to thrive.  

“Our physical position in the United States with the number of tribal nations here really demands that we have an independent program at ASU,” Wentz said. “Stephanie Fitzgerald brings an incredible level of scholarship, but also an appreciation for the expansive goals of the program.”

Fitzgerald also highlighted the unit’s size and focused platform as being key aspects that brought her to ASU.

“This is a vibrant program with strong support from the public and the ASU administration, in a state with 22 tribal nations,” she said. “I see coming to ASU as a chance to continue building that up.”

Pardis Mahdavi, School of Social Transformation

Pardris Mahdavi will take the helm as director of the School of Social Transformation at The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Pardis Mahdavi is a medical anthropologist whose research has focused on sexual and gender politics and their interaction with labor migration and social movements across the Middle East and Asia.

She is the author of several publications on the subjects, including her first, “Passionate Uprising, Iran’s Sexual Revolution,” in 2008, and her most recent, “Crossing the Gulf: Love and Family in Migrant Lives,” in 2016.

She comes to ASU from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. As part of The College, she hopes to help drive global platforms forward through international research collaborations and dual-degree programs.

“One of the things that drew me to this program is that it has transcended the idea of interdisciplinarity,” she said. “People inside The College are doing something that I consider to be a next-level intersectionality among the studies.”

Mahdavi will succeed Bryan Brayboy, a professor in the School of Transformation who has served as its interim director over the last year.

“The aspiration of social transformation and the global perspective it hopes to reach is huge,” Wentz said. “Bryan BrayboyBryan Brayboy also serves as the director of ASU's Center for Indian Education and the special adviser to the president on American Indian Affairs, a position created by ASU President Michael Crow to oversee university initiatives related to Native American and indigenous issues and programs. has really been a steady hand in opening up the pathway to get this unit to a collaborative place I believe Pardis Mahdavi wants to continue to shape.” 

Irasema Coronado, School of Transborder Studies

Incoming School of Transborder Studies Director Irasema Coronado.

Irasema Coronado comes to ASU from an endowed professorship in the Department of Political Science at the University of Texas in El Paso.

Raised in the border-hugging city of Nogales, Arizona, she has spent over 25 years studying cross-border resource management, water rights and environmental policies, in addition to immigration, asylum and deportation in the Arizona-Sonora region.

Coming to ASU was a chance to continue that work and help increase the impact of the School of Transborder Studies.

“This is the only doctoral program in the country for border studies, which is my specialty,” she said. “I also believe research should be measured by the difference it makes in people’s lives, and I think The College and this school exemplify that.”

Developed in 2011, the School of Transborder Studies looks at the borderland as a concept in itself. Whether it’s the international line between the U.S. and Mexico, or the boundary separating North and South Korea, faculty and students within the school explore the ecological, historical and social components that make these areas unique.

“There are people doing fabulous research on Mexican American issues, and the School of Transborder Studies itself emerged from a form of Chicana/o studies, but that’s not necessarily doing research on the border itself,” Wentz said. “Irasema Coronado is truly a border scholar, and that is really what she brings to the table.”

Top photo: Armstrong Hall on the Tempe campus is the new headquarters for The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. With 13 programs and schools that transcend traditional studies, the social sciences are the largest division within The College. This summer, three of its units will welcome new leaders. 

Writer , College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


RefWorks subscription to end June 30

April 24, 2019

Over the last year, the ASU Library has helped the ASU community prepare for the end of its subscription to RefWorks, effective June 30.

Since August 2018, the ASU Library has sent out multiple communications, held drop-in sessions and offered one-on-one help to RefWorks users to move their citations into another citation manager. student sitting at a computer Due to low usage and new technology platforms, the ASU Library will be ending its subscription to RefWorks, effective June 30. Download Full Image

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