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Maria Anguiano to helm ASU's Learning Enterprise as executive vice president

December 3, 2020

Learning Enterprise aims to serve learners across their entire lifespan, from kindergarten to postretirement

Editor’s note: This story is being highlighted in ASU Now’s year in review. Read more top stories from 2020.

When Maria Anguiano joined Arizona State University as senior vice president of enterprise strategy and planning in fall 2018, she was excited to get down to work in the university’s fast-paced environment. 

Since then, Anguiano has kept busy working with senior leadership on university budget strategies, enrollment and nonenrollment revenue development opportunities, as well as spearheading a number of strategic projects, including the planning of ASU’s new Los Angeles location (which is set to open next summer) and the launch of the first ASU Local site there. 

As far as keeping her on her toes, Anguiano said, “ASU hasn’t disappointed!” 

And the pace is only picking up. The university announced this week that Anguiano has been named executive vice president of Learning Enterprise, an initiative for which she developed the initial conceptual design and now will have responsibility for implementing and evolving.    

As one of ASU’s three pillars — the other two being Academic Enterprise and Knowledge Enterprise — Learning Enterprise shares the same primary goal of advancing the university’s charter in its entirety. However, Learning Enterprise’s main focus is the last part of the charter: “assuming fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.”

Most universities serve students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees shortly after high school. ASU has emerged as a different kind of university that aims to serve all learners at every stage of life. In addition to undergraduate and graduate degrees, ASU also has learning options from K–12 to midcareer to postretirement. Learning Enterprise aims to grow these education options through scalable, technology-enabled pathways that will serve the greatest number of learners possible. In her new role, Anguiano will take the lead on harnessing and mobilizing all of ASU’s assets to achieve this while continuing to work with senior leadership on overall university priorities. 

“Underlying everything we do in Learning Enterprise is the desire to grow access to social and economic opportunity, no matter the stage in a person’s life,” Anguiano said. “To do this well requires dedicated effort, and so we felt it was important to develop a pillar, the Learning Enterprise, where folks wake up every single day thinking about how to make all of ASU’s assets and learning offerings relevant, available and accessible to everyone in the community.

“Relevance here is an important word as people need to feel that what ASU has to offer was created with them in mind. We are 100% focused on delivering value to the lives of our learners.”

ASU Now recently connected with Anguiano and asked her to expand on what that all means.

Question: What makes Learning Enterprise unique?

Answer: ASU has recognized that to meet the needs of a rapidly changing, technology-driven world, people will need to access education and learning platforms throughout their lives. So the scope of ASU’s Learning Enterprise is quite broad as we are serving learners across their entire lifespan. The initial work of Learning Enterprise requires conceptualizing how a research university might best serve any learner, whether they are just starting their educational journey or are embarking in a postretirement learning journey and everything in between. No major research university has ever attempted to take this on, and it will require working across the entire ASU enterprise, with every school, with every institute, with every partner we have to advance this vision. While I’m sure the work of Learning Enterprise will evolve substantially, our initial focus areas include K–12 learners, learners seeking accessible pathways into college, learners seeking resources that will help them reskill or upskill and lifelong enrichment. 

Q: What are some of your immediate and long-term goals for Learning Enterprise?

A: I believe that in order to truly transform the lives of people through education, we as educators are going to have to rethink and redesign learning to better fit the lives of our learners and meet them where they are, instead of expecting them to fit one mold. We want Learning Enterprise to provide a lifelong learning infrastructure that anyone can plug into and feel like it was created with their needs in mind. Thus, we have a lot of work to do to achieve that vision of ASU as the premier lifelong learning global education brand. It will require us to build best-in-class learner support infrastructure and technology that is both robust and cost-effective.

In the short term, we are focused on publicly launching Learning Enterprise, so we are working on branding, communications, partnerships and making our initial content offerings the best that they can be.

Q: What about this opportunity most excites you?

A: I’m excited that Learning Enterprise will be working on breaking down barriers and reimagining how to curate, structure and distribute learning opportunities to be high quality, accessible and affordable to everyone. 

My mother is a great example of those whom we want to help with Learning Enterprise. She only received a traditional education in Mexico until sixth grade, but at 67 years old, education is more important to her than ever. She is a voracious learner and is constantly asking me where she can find learning resources for everything from contract negotiations for her business, to how to become a better teacher for classes she leads at her church, to improving her English. There are so many people out there like my mother whom Learning Enterprise can help! It’s really exciting to think about the impact we can make in people’s lives outside the traditional university learning environment.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is not a traditional college student but wants to expand their knowledge base and/or education?

A: I would point them to ASU for You! ASU for You will be the portal that helps learners to discover and navigate which Learning Enterprise offerings are right for them. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all advice. This is both the opportunity, and the challenge, for Learning Enterprise to solve. We want to become a trusted source of information that can reliably advise learners on what’s best for them, whether that’s something ASU provides or not.

Q: Anything else folks should know about Learning Enterprise? 

A: For Learning Enterprise to be successful, we will need to harness all that ASU has to offer. I encourage anyone that has ideas on how to advance the Learning Enterprise or how their work could contribute to please reach out to me.

Top photo by Jarrod Opperman/ASU

Emma Greguska

Reporter , ASU Now

(480) 965-9657

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ASU receives $12.5M subcontract to better understand COVID-19 immune response and improve patient outcomes

December 2, 2020

Arizona State University has been awarded a $12.5 million multiyear subcontract from the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNL), operated by Leidos Biomedical Research on behalf of the National Cancer Institute, to join the NCI’s Serological Sciences Network (SeroNet), the nation’s largest coordinated effort to study people’s immune response to COVID-19.

SeroNet was enacted as a result of $306 million in emergency supplemental funding from the U.S. Congress for the NCI to study serological sciences related to COVID-19.

ASU is one of just four Capacity Building Centers (CBCs) selected nationally for SeroNet. The goal is to develop high performance serological tests to determine a person’s previous exposure to SARS-CoV-2. The network aims to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic by improving the ability to test for an antibody response to infection, especially among diverse and underserved populations, and to accelerate the development of treatments and vaccines aimed at preventing COVID-19 and improving patient outcomes.  

“This award will now establish Arizona State University as the most comprehensive COVID testing research center in the Southwest, and is a testament to our commitment and scientific capabilities to be offered the opportunity to join SeroNet and to provide a critical service to our community and nation,” said ASU Biodesign Institute Executive Director Dr. Joshua LaBaer. “It builds upon the great successes of our innovative antibody testing platform, robust biomarker discovery and diagnostic assay development capabilities; our extensive experience at successfully completing large federal contracts, grants and FDA emergency use authorizations; and our response to this pandemic through large-scale PCR-based SARS-CoV-2 testing of saliva samples.”

Joshua LaBaer

According to ASU Biodesign Institute Executive Director Dr. Joshua LaBaer, ASU hopes to develop a simple, FDA-approved COVID-19 antibody test to detect for previous SARS-CoV-2 exposure and to better understand a person’s immune response to COVID-19.

The NCI, FNL and ASU were able to pivot to support COVID-19 research because of their deep experience in virology and immunology research, including research on viruses that cause cancer, such as HPV, and experience in immunotherapy.

In March, LaBaer, a medical oncologist by training who co-discovered breast cancer biomarkers included in a CLIA-approved breast cancer test with colleague Dr. Karen Anderson, shifted his laboratory to become a CLIA-certified clinical laboratory to fully support COVID-19 testing.

In May 2020, LaBaer and Vel Murugan, an ASU associate research professor and co-principal investigator on the SeroNet CBC subcontract, created the first saliva-based COVID-19 test in the Western United States.

To date, ASU has provided more than 300,000 free saliva tests to the general public, first responders, doctors, nurses and medical personnel, and the entire ASU community to help Arizona in the response to keep individuals safe and healthy during the pandemic.

As part of the national SeroNet, ASU’s interdisciplinary team of expert scientists and researchers at the Biodesign Institute, led by LaBaer, will establish the ASU Biodesign Capacity Building Center (ABCBC). Other key individuals involved in this project are Ji Qiu, Jin Park, Femina Rauf, Lusheng Song, Mitch Magee and Michael Fiacco.

“Through this latest project, we hope to develop a simple, FDA-approved COVID-19 antibody test to detect for previous SARS-CoV-2 exposure and to better understand a person’s immune response to COVID-19,” said LaBaer. “We ultimately want to develop a test for any exposures people may have had to all known human coronaviruses and other respiratory pathogens in order to improve patient outcomes.”

The core of the technology builds upon a novel ASU platform (called MISPA) that uses rapid DNA sequencing to monitor many patients’ immune responses to multiple viral proteins simultaneously, via a molecular “barcoding.” ASU has tested the platform on cancer subtypes caused by HPV. Now, they want to adapt the same technology for understanding COVID-19.

“This system exploits the power of DNA next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to quantify COVID virus antigens and their interactions with antibodies produced in the body to fight the infection,” said Murugan. “With this assay, we 'barcode' individual proteins called antigens within the virus with unique DNA sequences that interact in solution with patient serum, followed by quantification of the antibody-bound barcodes by NGS.”

Unlike current commercially available serological tests, the MISPA-based test is designed to be quantitative about the strength of the immune response while providing information about responses to multiple proteins and eventually, multiple viruses simultaneously. In addition, because individual reactions can also be indexed (or barcoded) in parallel, thousands of patient samples can be combined, and all the results determined in a single NGS run (many barcoded patients versus many barcoded proteins).

“MISPA will also be deployed through a similar high-throughput, fully automated test that can process thousands of samples per day as we have successfully demonstrated from our COVID-19 saliva test,” said Murugan.

Initial tests will rely on a testing pool of individuals who have recovered from the infection. Potential sites for serological tests include: ValleyWise, Midwestern/Abrazo hospital networks, Dignity Health hospital network, Columbia University, Colorado River Indian Tribal community through their tribal government, ASU students and population, other universities in Arizona and essential infrastructure partners.

Should the test validation and FDA EUA become approved, testing will expand to essential infrastructure employees, health care professionals and residents in long-term care facilities or other congregate living settings, including prisons and shelters. Community surveillance for asymptomatic population will be conducted at a lower priority when needed.

The lessons learned from ASU’s role in SeroNet research could be applied immediately to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and may prove valuable to public health beyond the pandemic.

Joe Caspermeyer

Manager (natural sciences) , Media Relations & Strategic Communications


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Nancy Gonzales named ASU's next university provost, executive VP

New university provost and ASU alum was 1st in her family to get college degree.
December 1, 2020

Dean of natural sciences' career dedicated to psychology research with culturally diverse populations, expanding access to education

Editor’s note: This story is being highlighted in ASU Now’s year in review. Read more top stories from 2020.

When Nancy Gonzales graduated high school in Miami, Arizona, she was awarded an Arizona Board of Regents scholarship, which at the time was given to the top 1% of students in the state to attend any of the three state universities. There was never really any question that she would choose Arizona State University.

“My father was a huge Sun Devil supporter and football season ticket holder for as long as I can remember. This created a strong connection to the university that influenced my decision to attend ASU and become the first in my family to earn a college degree,” she said.

That decision launched a 25-year award-winning career in psychology with a focus on research and outreach to communities often underrepresented in higher education in the United States. Today, Gonzales is being named ASU’s next executive vice president and university provost.  

“As an undergraduate student at ASU I became engaged with outstanding, forward-thinking faculty members and research teams pursuing big ideas in the psychology department that were early exemplars of ASU’s community-embedded, use-inspired research,” said Gonzales. “Since I returned to ASU, it has been exciting to participate in the bold transformation of ASU as the New American University and to see our mission expand beyond anything we had imagined before.”  

Her appointment is subject to approval by the Arizona Board of Regents. She will serve as provost pro tem and work with current Executive Vice President and University Provost Mark Searle until June 30, 2021, when he steps down and moves into the role of University Professor. Gonzales will start her official term as executive vice president and university provost on July 1.

Gonzales will be responsible for the Academic Enterprise of ASU and will lead a complex organization that provides a multitude of opportunities and challenges to ensure the university continues progress toward its charter and goals. She will engage in all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the university as well as developing and supporting long-term strategic initiatives to drive student and faculty success. Her duties also will include advancing academic excellence through the faculty recruitment, retention and renewal processes, and growing the quality, scope and scale of both campus immersion and online programs.

“Nancy is a highly credentialed, well-respected leader among her peers who is a natural fit to be our next executive vice president and university provost,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “As a first-generation college graduate, she is representative of so many of the students we currently serve and strive to serve more of. Her background and expertise will undoubtedly help the university advance its mission to be of the greatest public service to the citizens of Arizona that we can be.”

Gonzales said she considers herself the product of the right combination of opportunities, stemming from a strong family and a community with a focus on maintaining cultural strengths and being afforded a quality education despite limited financial resources.

“Part of what I hope to do is provide those conditions for success to more students ,” she said. “I don’t think it’s a big mystery as to what individuals need to thrive in life. But we need to find flexible ways to provide those opportunities for more of our students, and at times in life when they can benefit most. I am inspired by ASU’s charter that prioritizes access and inclusion, and our commitment to universal learning as a means to achieving these goals.”

Gonzales received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from ASU, then left Arizona to pursue her master’s degree and PhD in psychology from the University of Washington. She also completed an internship in clinical psychology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. She came back to ASU in 1992 as an assistant professor in psychology and moved up through both the academic and administrative ranks, most recently serving as dean of natural sciences in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She is also a Foundation Professor of psychology and co-director of the REACH Institute at ASU.

While at the University of Washington, she found a mentor in Ana Mari Cauce, then a professor of psychology and now president of the university. Cauce also served as provost and executive vice president.

Cauce’s focus on diverse populations — she is trained in community psychology focused on community change — was what Gonzales wanted to pursue in her career.

“I gravitated to Ana Mari because of her approach to research and her focus on underrepresented populations,” Gonzales said. “Thirty years ago, our knowledge of psychology was derived almost entirely from white middle-class populations.  In fact, too much of our research in psychology has been based on WEIRD populations — Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic — that ultimately limits our understanding of the human condition and ultimately leads to damaging assumptions and social policies.” 

Cauce said she can’t think of anyone better suited for this position at ASU — an excellent public research university that is so dedicated to, and successful at, increasing access to higher education for all.

“Her own journey is proof positive of the transformative power of higher education,” said Cauce. “The depth of her intelligence, curiosity, creativity and compassion, as well as sheer grit and determination, was evident from the moment we met. Serious, but with a wonderful sense of humor, she very quickly became a leader in the lab, dedicated to bringing out the best in others. She has an uncanny ability to read people and situations and adapt her leadership style accordingly. ASU and all of higher education will be better off with her in this position. I have no doubt that her impact will be broad and lasting.”

Gonzales has been active in developmental and clinical research with culturally diverse populations for more than 25 years, with continuous National Institutes of Health funding as a principal investigator on grants since 2001. Gonzales has published her research in top journals in her field.  

Her research on mental health and substance use problems has focused on culturally informed etiological pathways for Latino and other minority adolescents and young adults, including identification of health-compromising and health-promoting influences in the lives of the youths. Her work has particularly focused on the role of family and cultural strengths within immigrant and other minoritized populations that facilitate positive adaptation and educational success. Her research also includes development, implementation and dissemination of culturally informed interventions to prevent mental health and substance abuse problems and to promote college degree attainment in low-income communities.

Gonzales’ research is housed with the REACH Institute at ASU, a center of excellence that is dedicated to the dissemination of evidence-based prevention programs and practices. Funded by several federal agencies and foundations, the center has generated more than $88 million in the past 20 years to support research and implementation of programs nationally and internationally.

As dean of natural sciences, Gonzales oversees six interdisciplinary schools and departments at ASU: the School of Earth and Space Exploration, School of Life Sciences, School of Molecular Sciences, School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, the Department of Psychology, and the Department of Physics. In this role she has been particularly dedicated to the pursuit of inclusive excellence in the sciences.  

In addition to her leadership at ASU, Gonzales has consulted with several organizations on issues of equity and inclusion, including the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Developing Indicators of Educational Equity; the National Institute of Mental Health; the National Association of Latino Elected Officials; and as a member of the board of trustees for the William T. Grant Foundation. She also serves on numerous professional boards, review panels and mentoring programs to advance the careers of students and early career faculty in the sciences. Gonzales has received numerous honors and awards including Fellow status in the American Psychological Association, the Advances in Culture and Diversity in Prevention Science Award from the Society for Prevention Research, the Eugene Garcia Award for Outstanding Latino/a Faculty Research in Higher Education from the Victoria Foundation, and the ASU Alumni Association Founders Day Faculty Research Achievement Award (watch her story below). 

Video by ASU

Top photo: Nancy Gonzales, pictured at the Tempe Center for the Arts. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU

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5 ASU faculty elected AAAS Fellows

November 25, 2020

The American Association for the Advancement of Science recognizes career contributions to science and innovation

Five outstanding Arizona State University faculty spanning the physical sciences, psychological sciences and science policy have been named as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

ASU’s Leah GerberAndrew MaynardSteven NeubergYing-Cheng Lai and John McCutcheon are being honored for their career contributions to science, innovation or socially distinguished efforts to advance science and its applications.

The AAAS, publisher of the journal Science, is the world’s largest general scientific society. Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. Within that general framework, each awardee is honored for contributions to a specific field.

The five new ASU faculty members' election this year brings the total number of AAAS Fellows affiliated with ASU to 86. There are 489 newly elected AAAS Fellows this year.

Read on to learn about the ASU AAAS 2020 Fellows’ individual scientific achievements.

Leah Gerber

Leah Gerber

For leadership in balancing conservation priority setting, ecosystem-based management, adaptive monitoring, marine reserve design, endangered species recovery policy and decision science. 

Gerber is a professor of life sciences and the founding director of ASU’s Center for Biodiversity Outcomes. Her research employs science in decision-making with the goal of achieving sustainable biodiversity through policy. A population ecologist and marine conservation biologist by training, Gerber is a leading conservation scientist. Her approach to research and policymaking is grounded in natural history and data collection, quantitative methods and a keen understanding of the interactions between humans and the environment.

“As humans and as stewards of Earth, we need to acknowledge that our actions have a direct influence on the rest of the of the planet and all of its species,” Gerber said. "Our actions to advance societies or personal growth, for better or worse, directly influence the lives and fate of other animal and plant species. For our own well-being, we must strive to strike a balance between advancing ourselves and fostering a healthy planet for all of its inhabitants.”  

Andrew Maynard

Andrew Maynard

For distinguished contributions to the public’s understanding of science, risk and responsible innovation in the fields of nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.

Maynard is associate dean for student success in the College of Global Futures and a leading expert in responsible and ethical innovation. Originally trained as a physicist, Maynard's work cuts across disciplinary boundaries at the nexus between technology, society and the future. He explores integrated approaches to building a more vibrant, just and sustainable future. In addition to his scholarly work across areas as diverse as nanotechnology, biotechnology and the fourth industrial revolution, Maynard is a widely respected communicator and a staunch advocate for integrating public communication and engagement into academic enterprises. His latest book, "Future Rising," is a unique exploration of our relationship with the future and our responsibility.        

“As a species, we have an amazing ability to imagine and create different futures," Maynard said. "But only by having the creativity and vision to transcend conventional areas of knowledge and expertise, the humility to recognize how the insights of others enable us to overcome our own limitations, and the foresight to build futures for others, not just ourselves, will we be able to channel this ability into building better futures. In a very real sense, our relationship with the future is at a tipping point, and we are going to have to use all of our collective skills to ensure that it doesn’t tip the wrong way.”   

Stephen Neuberg

Steven Neuberg

For distinguished contributions integrating evolutionary and social psychology to understand how fundamental social goals direct social perception, social cognition and social behavior. 

Neuberg is an evolutionary social psychologist who integrates social-cognitive and evolutionary approaches in his research exploring the origins, nature and nuances of prejudices and stereotypes, and the ways that fundamental motivations shape cognition and social behavior.

At ASU, Neuberg is a Foundation Professor and the chair of the Department of Psychology and the director of the Evolution, Ecology, and Social Behavior Lab. He also is a co-director of the Evolutionary Social Cognition Lab with President’s Professor Doug Kenrick and Associate Professor Vaughn Becker. He recently received the 2019 Daniel M. Wegner Theoretical Innovation Prize, recognizing the authors of the most innovative theoretical contribution to social psychology. 

“I’m extremely flattered to be recognized in this way, but we must give much of the credit to my many incredible graduate students and close faculty collaborators,” Neuberg said. “It’s working — playing, really — with others that generates the most interesting, most novel ideas.”

Ying-Cheng Lai

Ying-Cheng Lai

For distinguished contributions to the field of nonlinear dynamics and chaos, particularly in relativistic quantum chaos and transient chaos. 

Chaos theory is considered a main component of modern physics. It is used to describe dynamic systems that are so sensitive that small perturbations have large effects and their behavior appears random, making them hard to predict. Chaos theory is popularly known as the “Butterfly Effect,” wherein a butterfly flapping its wings may cause a seemingly unpredictable, catastrophic weather event half a world away. This far ranging, yet fleeting effect is being looked at in terms of aiding the design of future systems to make them more useful. 

For example, it is possible that combining chaos theory with the other pillars of modern physics, like relativity and quantum mechanics, could have real-world implications for the design of certain electronic devices. The relativistic motion of the electrons in the quantum world is described by the Dirac equation that was derived by British physicist Paul Dirac in 1928. Now scientists like Lai are looking into ways to design and exploit the so-called Dirac materials for applications in nanoscience and nanotechnologies. 

“In a chaotic system, you cannot make a long-term prediction because a small amount of error is going to be magnified exponentially,” said Lai, a professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering. “Yet, this fascinating but rather abstruse piece of theory might one day have more practical uses, such as in the design of nanoscale electronic devices based on Dirac materials like graphene.” 

At ASU, Lai has expanded his research to complex networks, theoretical biology, Dirac materials physics and machine learning, or artificial intelligence.

John McCutcheon

John McCutcheon

For exceptional contributions to our understanding of the genetic underpinnings of symbiosis, in particular, several-partner systems with conflict. 

McCutcheon, associate director of the ASU Biodesign Institute’s Center for Mechanisms of Evolution and professor in the School of Life Sciences, studies how and why cellular symbioses form, how they are maintained and why they sometimes break down. He studies bacteria (and sometimes fungi) that form long-term infections in host cells, mostly within insects, through the use of cell biology, genetics, genomics, microscopy, molecular biology, molecular evolution, biochemistry and field biology. 

“No organism exists alone,” McCutcheon said. “Bacteria, no matter where they live, must cope with the presence of huge numbers of other bacteria competing for the same space. Animals are coated, both inside and out, with complex communities of microorganisms. All of these interactions are interesting, but we focus on a special type of symbiosis, where one cell takes up long-term residence inside another cell. We study cell-in-cell interactions because they are key to the origin of plant and animal cells. Our insect models have taught us fundamental lessons about how cells work in general, and promise to provide important new information about how bacteria become pathogens, or not.” 

A virtual induction ceremony for the 489 newly elected 2020 AAAS Fellows will take place on Feb. 13, 2021, the Saturday following the AAAS annual meeting. The honorees will receive official certificates and rosette pins in gold and blue, colors symbolizing science and engineering.

Eliza Robinson, Rob Ewing, Robin Tricoles and Joe Caspermeyer contributed to this article. Top photo by Deanna Dent/ASU

Director , Media Relations and Strategic Communications


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Sally C. Morton to lead ASU's Knowledge Enterprise

November 23, 2020

Statistician uses data to change lives for the better, was drawn to university's mission of inclusion

Editor’s note: This story is being highlighted in ASU Now’s year in review. Read more top stories from 2020.

When Sally C. Morton was about 4 years old, her father would come home every night and ask her to count his change. It was a task she took seriously.

Now she realizes that he did it because he knew she loved numbers — numbers and math and the beauty of the way they fit together.

That passion led Morton to an acclaimed career as a statistician. She is internationally recognized for her pioneering work on the use of statistics and data science to help patients and their health care providers make better decisions. During her career, she has led complex organizations at both academic and industrial institutions. 

Now Morton will be the first woman to take the reins of Arizona State University’s Knowledge Enterprise, an organization with annual research expenditures of $640 million on subjects ranging from space exploration to food systems. As executive vice president, she will be responsible for enhancing ASU’s research competitiveness, strengthening and diversifying the university’s research portfolio, forging strategic partnerships with public- and private-sector industries, helping launch new companies and developing international ties. 

“I’m tremendously honored and excited to be joining ASU,” Morton said. “There is no more important time than now given the issues facing the world to conduct research of importance to our society. We need to do so using transdisciplinary approaches, integrated into our educational mission, and in partnership with industry and our communities. ASU Knowledge Enterprise is the place to make this difference.”

Morton comes from Virginia Tech, where she served as dean of the College of Science, as well as interim director of the Fralin Life Sciences Institute. Previously, she was chair of biostatistics at the University of Pittsburgh, vice president for statistics and epidemiology at RTI International, and head of the RAND Corporation Statistics Group. 

She holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematical sciences, a master’s degree in operations research and a doctoral degree in statistics, all from Stanford University, as well as a master’s degree in statistics from the London School of Economics. Morton served as president of the American Statistical Association (ASA) and is a fellow of the ASA and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She received the Janet L. Norwood Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in the Statistical Sciences in 2017.

“Sally is an unbelievably accomplished scholar in her field and will bring tremendous focus, discipline and rigor to our mission of attaining the highest public value and impact through our research activities,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow.

Throughout her career Morton has been mission-driven, working on such societal issues as mental illness, homelessness, gun violence and death penalty sentencing. ASU’s mission inspired her to join the university.

“Arizona State University is at the forefront of where public research institutions need to be,” she said. “Once I understood the university’s mission more fully — we are whom we include rather than whom we exclude — that really resonated with me. Coming to Arizona State will give me the opportunity to collaborate with people across the university who are dedicated to this mission and educating the next generation. Knowledge Enterprise is a unique and innovative ecosystem in which to advance research that serves the public and our communities. I became a statistician to change the world, and ASU is the place to do that.”

Morton will begin her new post on Feb. 1, 2021, replacing Sethuraman Panchanathan, who served as executive vice president of Knowledge Enterprise and chief research and innovation officer before moving into his current role as director of the National Science Foundation in June. Neal Woodbury has served as interim executive vice president and chief science and technology officer since then and will move to the role of vice president for research and chief science and technology officer. 

Top photo of Sally C. Morton courtesy of Virginia Tech

Scott Seckel

Reporter , ASU Now


Vote for ASU students' cooler, fog-free mask design in million-dollar XPRIZE contest

Public portion of voting runs through Nov. 25

November 20, 2020

Update: The Luminosity Lab team made the top five finalists after the public-vote period. The winner will be announced Dec. 15. (An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated February.)

A student team within Arizona State University’s Luminosity Lab has emerged as a top-10 semifinalist in the million-dollar XPRIZE Next-Gen Mask Challenge. The goal: to build a better face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by making them more comfortable, functional, affordable — and even stylish. The contest drew nearly 1,000 entries from young innovators in more than 70 countries around the world.  floe mask A student team within ASU's Luminosity Lab designed a "Floe Mask" as part of a competition to create a mask people actually like to wear. It features an elastic chin cover, customizable colors and fabrics, and a bifurcated chamber — the air exhaled from the nose is kept in a separate chamber from the nose and mouth, reducing eyeglass fogging and temperature of the face. Download Full Image

From Nov. 20–25, the Luminosity team will compete in the public-vote portion of the competition, in which people will vote for their favorite mask design, with the top five advancing to the final round of the competition. Anyone, anywhere can vote for the Luminosity Lab team at

XPRIZE is a nonprofit organization that uses global competitions to crowdsource solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. The contest is sponsored by Marc Benioff, CEO and co-founder of Salesforce, and Jim Cramer, the host of "Mad Money" on CNBC.

The contest invited young adults ages 15 to 24 from around the world to shift the cultural perspective around mask-wearing behavior by developing the next generation of surgical-grade consumer masks. 

Led by Nikhil Dave, a student regent on the Arizona Board of Regents and undergraduate student earning a double major in neuroscience and innovation in society, the Luminosity Lab team includes John Patterson, a graduate electrical engineering student; Jerina Gabriel, an undergraduate graphic design student; Katie Pascavis, an undergraduate mechanical engineering student; and Tarun Suresh, a graduate industrial engineering student. 

The team’s design overcomes common complaints about masks through a bifurcated chamber design in which air exhaled from the nose is kept in a separate chamber from the face and mouth. 

“This means that your face stays cooler, the air you breathe in is fresher, and the flow of air stays away from glasses where it would otherwise cause fogging,” Dave said. “The separate chamber design also improves surface area, making it easier to breathe through the mask than other existing mask designs. Finally, with the addition of a custom-colored mesh layer on the outside, our mask can be custom-manufactured to the color and fabric pattern desired by the wearer, making it a more visually appealing article to wear on an everyday basis.”

“Studies show that masks are effective in slowing and preventing the spread of COVID-19, yet even as cases surge, a large number of individuals are still not adopting the preventive measure,” said Peter Diamandis, the founder and executive chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation. “We understand that masks can be ill-fitting, uncomfortable, unfashionable, and that the most effective masks are often unavailable or expensive for everyday people. We need an alternative. That’s why XPRIZE is turning to the world’s young innovators to help reinvent the face mask and create an accessible alternative that will help protect against the spread of COVID-19.”

As part of the current semifinals round, XPRIZE partners 3M and Honeywell are developing physical prototypes of the top 10 mask designs that will be distributed to the contest’s cultural ambassadors to try on and assess for style, comfort and function. 

In the contest’s final round, a panel of judges and industry experts will select a grand-prize winner plus two additional teams, which will split a $1 million prize purse and be connected to rapid manufacturing opportunities in the U.S. to accelerate production of their new mask designs. Winners will be announced in mid-December.

Learn more about the Luminosity team’s mask on Instagram (@theluminositylab) or Twitter (@LuminosityLab). Cast your vote for your favorite mask by Nov. 25 at

Lori Baker

Communications Specialist, Knowledge Enterprise

ASU Graduate College announces 2020–21 fellows

The new fellows will build platforms to enable inclusive practices and transdisciplinary solutions for urgent social challenges

November 18, 2020

Each year, the Graduate College solicits individuals and teams of faculty to help the Graduate College advance key initiatives that improve graduate curricula across the university through the Graduate College Fellows initiative.

Last year’s Graduate College Fellows — Sally Kitch, an ASU Regents Professor, University Professor and President's Professor, and W. P. Carey Clinical Assistant Professor John Wisneski — collaborated to create the first comprehensive model for a new cross-campus experience: Interdisciplinary Solutions for Social Impact (ISSI). 2020-21 Graduate College Fellows 2020–21 Graduate College Fellows Liz Lerman, Beckett Sterner, Delia Saenz and Kristy Holtfreter. Download Full Image

Rooted in team-taught, project-based learning, ISSI will support interdisciplinary laboratories that bring together faculty and graduate students exploring complex social problems. The first ISSI labs are available in spring 2021 and focus on the theme “Impacting Inequality.” A number of ASU faculty members are participating in the 2020–21 lab. 

The 2020–21 Graduate College Fellows

This year’s fellows include professors Liz Lerman, Beckett Sterner, Delia Saenz and Kristy Holtfreter. Over the next year, they will be working in three key areas: interdisciplinary collaboration in graduate education, inclusive practices across the graduate curricula, and academic and research integrity. 

“The depth and variety of proposals we received from ASU graduate faculty for this year’s Graduate College Fellows competition were truly impressive,” said Vice Provost and Graduate College Dean Elizabeth Wentz. “This reflects the breadth of intellectual resources available within the graduate faculty at ASU .” 

Interdisciplinary collaboration 

Lerman, from the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, and Sterner, from the School of Life Sciences, will provide creative and constructive resources for students to explore transdisciplinary solutions to urgent societal problems.

As a transdisciplinary artist in the field of dance performance, Lerman is an exemplar of what innovation looks like at ASU. A recipient of a 2002 MacArthur Genius Grant and the first Institute Professor at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Lerman’s work explores questions such as, “Can I make data personal?;" "Is audience in art the same as audience in science?;" and "How can artists contribute to the world?” Her “Atlas of Creativity Tools” and “Critical Response Process” has been utilized by artists and educators both nationally and internationally to enhance learning and deepen dialogue between artists and their communities. 

A philosopher interested in the life sciences, Sterner focuses on “pluralism in the information age through an emphasis on the social dimension of mathematical formalization.” This focus has brought him unique teaching and research opportunities that bridge history, the philosophy of science and the natural sciences together while integrating ethics and societal context into the curriculum. 

Inclusive practices

Social psychologist Saenz, from the Department of Psychology, has long been a force for nurturing intergroup alliance and understanding in her research, teaching and administrative roles at ASU. Her research has looked at tokenism, faculty women of color in the academy, and ethnic identity development and acculturation for Latino youth. Her teaching has focused on stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination, gender disparities, group dynamics, diversity in contemporary society, and the social dynamics of inclusion. 

Saenz’s inclusive practices fellowship project will be to design an evidence-based, integrated platform, using both face-to-face and online modalities for training graduate students across disciplines to understand the value to their field of engaging inclusive practice; learn capacity-building skills related to inclusive practice that can be applied during their graduate training and well into their future careers; and begin to develop diversity, equity and inclusion resources that they can benefit from directly and that can also benefit their specific disciplinary program and their field. Once in place, the new platform will be flexible to accommodate evolving understandings, technologies and approaches. 

Academic and research integrity

Holtfreter, from the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, will tackle the challenge of academic and research integrity for all graduate students by helping to scale up the resources currently available.  

To deepen the experience, Holtfreter is piloting a three-credit graduate seminar covering topics like best practices in research collaborations, financial responsibility in grants, presentation of research findings and public communication. The seminar will form the basis of a multifaceted academic integrity curriculum for which the Graduate College will seek support in developing.

The Graduate College plans to share contributions made by the fellows with the ASU community each year.

Tracy Viselli

Director of Communications and Marketing, Graduate College


ASU Community of Care advances Sun Devil well-being with the daily health check

Learn how the whole process came together

November 18, 2020

Samantha Sokol, a junior studying electrical engineering, is getting ready to head out the door for a lab on Arizona State University's Tempe campus, face covering on and sanitizer in her pocket. 

ASU Sync offers her a hybrid learning experience, a blend of in-person and live online instruction, with her peers and faculty. Sokol is heading to her lab where her in-person classmates are taking social-distance precautions to converse with their instructor while remote students join via Zoom. Before she leaves, Sokol is reminded, via push notification from her ASU Mobile App, of a crucial step to keep herself and the ASU community healthy in the age of COVID-19: the ASU Daily Health Check. ASU West students and their instructor stay socially distant in their hybrid learning environment. Photo by UTO Download Full Image

“I think everybody has to do their part because we’re in uncharted waters,” Sokol said. The health check, requiring students, faculty and staff to self-report their health status daily before coming to campus, prioritizes and promotes the health and well-being of the ASU community.

The ASU daily health check is a part of the university’s Community of Care, a greater effort to keep its members safe with further testing info, face coverings, social-distance guidelines and more. The health check is a process that caters to users and is enacting a behavioral change across campus by asking questions to help community members monitor their health through a website, the ASU Mobile App or phone calls to the Experience Center.

Creating a new normal together

Improved engineering from UTO enabled effective communication between those in physical and virtual classrooms. Photo by ASU

Partners across the university knew that this process needed to be accessible for everyone. Starting in July 2020, UTO managed four cross-university workstreams — experience and communication, data and privacy, process and systems, and technical integration — consisting of  individuals with varied skills and subject matter expertise, united for work on specific aspects to create the health check process. 

Faculty member Heather Ross, who teaches jointly at the College of Global Futures and the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation, joined the data and privacy workstream to contribute to the ethical viewpoint of the project. Ross worked with faculty members, lawyers, technical experts and others to determine the best approach to handle personal information of the ASU community.

“The group was very productive,” she said. “The right assemblage of voices were at the table.”

Those voices centered their discussions around the question, “What are the ethical implications?” Where those discussions ended up, Ross explained, was that only information deemed absolutely necessary was collected, which simply includes the answers to the self-reported data from the ASU community. “Everything the health check process was doing had to be in service of protecting public health,” she said.

Engineering the Community of Care

Bobby Gray, UTO director of digital transformation and a part of the daily health check leadership team, explained the four workstreams’ foci. As mentioned, the data and privacy group found the ethical gathering of data incredibly important from the start. 

That sentiment was carried into conversations with the process and systems workstream, which was concerned with the day-to-day operation of the health check.

Gray posed the question, “From the medical side, what is the process we need to follow?”

Project planners joined with ASU Health Services teams to ensure that HIPAA guidelines were followed while crafting the questions asked of the ASU community.

Meanwhile, the technical integration workstream, made up of UTO engineers and developers, was reflecting the decisions made in all of these groups in the “final” (and continuously evolving) product. This team demonstrated constant collaboration supported by integrating Jira, the project management software, into real-time collaboration tool Slack for continuous testing and the quick updating of improvements.

Mike Sharkey, UTO director of data and analysis, oversees the health check’s reporting features, making sure that ASU’s Community of Care stays on target with reminder emails and password resets if the daily health check is missed. And those features are demonstrating their effectiveness, with over 4 million health checks completed since it was introduced in August.

“We know that the core purpose of this process was to do our part to keep everyone in the ASU community safe and healthy,” Sharkey said. “What's impressed me the most is the wonderful support and positivity from the vast majority of ASU folks I've interacted with.”

Crafting the best experience possible

The ASU Mobile App provides a quick and easy way to complete the daily health check.

“With something as high-profile as COVID, we knew how we communicated would be important,” Gray said.

That’s where the experience and communication group came into play, working on the messaging, visual experience and follow up information to make the far-reaching process as easy as possible.

It was understood that it is a difficult time in the era of COVID-19, and ASU’s Experience Center was ready to help. Dedicated to customer delight, the Experience Center quickly trained its service agents to be HIPAA-compliant and to be able to guide callers through the health check process. At its peak, the Experience Center was supporting more than 3,000 calls per day to help the community submit their health checks.

“We took a human-centered approach,” said Gigi Speaks, Experience Center director. “Words matter. How we communicate with our community matters. It was a process of providing a safe space for callers, and letting them know we are all in this together.”

After their conversations with Experience Center agents, she added, callers walked away with a better understanding of how to keep themselves and their ASU peers healthy.

The ASU Mobile App was also a crucial tool in bringing the ASU Sync experience to the university, and the hard work of many university staff and faculty members made it possible.

“There was an openness as we were working this out together,” Gray said. “There is no playbook to open a university during a pandemic. Sometimes we were caught in the nuances, but we realized we had to keep executing around the idea of doing good.”

Human-centered results

Accessing the daily health check can also be as easy as visiting Photo by ASU

Many moving parts had to come together very quickly to get the ASU daily health check up and running.

“We are very proud of the partnership across ASU teams to make this happen, and in collaboration, we are appreciative that the daily usage of this tool is doing its part to help remind our students, staff and faculty of the importance of their health as well as giving them tailored information about resources when they do exhibit symptoms,” said Chris Richardson, UTO deputy CIO of product ownership and leadership development.

Students and faculty recognized the results, and while there is of course no simple answer to COVID-19, the health check brought some comfort to its users. 

“There were a lot of questions about it at the beginning,” Ross said. “But people understand that this is not a normal time. This is a time when, in the face of a global pandemic, we have to understand we are not individual islands. We have to understand that as we step through this experience, we have to do so with the greater good in mind.”

And Sokol, now leaving her technology-enabled lab, has a new way to stay mindful for herself and for the entire ASU community.

“It’s important to remember (that COVID-19) is not going away any time soon,” she said. “Sustaining that thought into the next semester and beyond is a very important and necessary thing. It feels good to know that (the daily health check) is holding us accountable.” 

Editorial specialist, University Technology Office

Desert Financial teams up with InStride to provide its employees with an ASU education

November 12, 2020

Desert Financial’s InvestED program follows the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, the first-of-its-kind program offered in partnership between Arizona State University and Starbucks, to provide its employees with an opportunity to learn and grow while working with the company. 

The Arizona credit union recognized how quickly the world and jobs are changing, and it decided to adapt by implementing a world-class program through ASU and InStride.  InvestED student Greg Schaffran works from home with his son. Schaffran is pursuing a dual degree in business administration and physics. Download Full Image

Desert Financial employees pursuing higher education have the support of the company to keep learning and acquiring new skills as adult learners. Desert Financial hopes to build loyalty, engagement and retention with the company as Desert Financial CEO Jeff Meshey believes in “lifelong learning and continuous education.” 

InStride works with companies to provide exclusive learning experiences to its employees and is excited to work with Desert Financial. 

“We are proud to partner with a company like Desert Financial Credit Union that prioritizes its people and encourages them to pursue career advancement through education,” said Vivek Sharma, CEO of InStride. “InvestED is a meaningful program that will contribute to the company’s reputation as an employer of choice and will drive even further employee engagement.” 

The InvestED program allows employees to earn a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, certificates, and more. This fall during its first cohort,100 students enrolled in classes. One of those students, Greg Schaffran, jumped at the opportunity to go back to school at ASU. 

When Schaffran was 19 years old, his plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree at ASU quickly shifted when his son was born. By word of mouth and several recommendations, Schaffran applied to Desert Financial’s call center. He’s moved up quickly and now holds a quality analyst position. At his job he values giving back to his customers. 

“It’s always been a passion of mine to get a degree as a way to move forward in my career and give back,” Schaffran said. He says he can already see the difference in his education, and he's excited he doesn’t have to leave his son or the same desk he works from every day, to pursue his passion.  

Schaffran is pursuing a dual degree in business administration and physics, his first love. So far in his education journey with ASU and InvestED, he’s noticed how in-depth his classes are from the explanations, assistance and application of the content. He appreciates how dedicated each person and organization is through this three-way partnership. A piece of advice he received from an academic adviser was, “It doesn’t matter where you start, as long as you get started.” Schraffan and other Desert Financial employees have the chance to get started and continue learning at ASU.  

Desert Financial Executive Vice President Cathy Graham hopes that more students will join Schraffan and participate in at least one course. “One day we’ll have 100% participation from all of our employees because ASU education is the crown jewel to employees with dependents and families.”

Get more information about InvestED.

Elon Graves

Student worker, Media Relations and Strategic Communications

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ASU completes $50 million in recent facilities upgrades

November 10, 2020

Classrooms, office space and residence halls just a few projects overseen by Facilities Development and Management

While campus life looks different this fall, Arizona State University continued its commitment to a healthy and welcoming environment through recent campus improvements. Spearheaded by Facilities Development and Management — and in collaboration with many departments, partners and essential personnel — ASU completed more than 100 projects totaling more than $50 million over the past six months.

The enhancements included the unique challenge of developing and delivering a comprehensive plan to prep ASU for students and employees to return this fall.

“This pandemic certainly was an unprecedented event,” said Bruce Nevel, vice president of Facilities Development and Management. “Taking advantage of the availability of unoccupied campuses across ASU took hard work, collaboration and ingenuity from FDM and others to mitigate the COVID-19 risk to the greatest degree possible.”  

This effort produced new protective measures, such as physical-distance warnings, facility-cleaning protocols, Plexiglas installations, classroom seating limitations and face-covering requirements to reduce COVID-19 spread.

Personnel also improved and repaired facilities, classrooms, residence halls, laboratories and made critical enhancements to university buildings and common areas on the Downtown Phoenix, Polytechnic, Tempe and West campuses in response to current public health issues. Below are several recently completed projects:

COVID-19 safety upgrades

ASU COVID-19 prevention signage

Student-workers deliver COVID-19 spread prevention signage to the Tempe campus prior to the start of the fall semester. Photo by ASU Now

  • Added various levels of Zoom installations around the university. Upgraded approximately 380 spaces with electrical, data, microphones and cameras to support ASU Sync learning. 
  • Completed a domestic water flush; a heating, ventilation and air conditioning flush; and deep cleaning in all buildings to eliminate lingering bacteria and pathogens. 
  • Created outdoor rooms at four locations on the Tempe campus, each with a large ceiling fan, lighting, Wi-Fi access and outdoor furniture to provide additional options for students to learn remotely or take a break in the shade.
  • Installed several thousand hand-washing stations, a half-mile of Plexiglas and thousands of signs advising people to maintain physical distancing, wash their hands and wear a face cover. 

Visit the Campus facilities webpage for more information on ASU efforts to provide a safe return to campus.

Durham Hall

ASU’s “historic core” on the Tempe campus saw the first completed phase of Durham Hall’s $65-million improvement with several north-wing upgrades. The renovations to the four-story wing with a lower level include 26 new classrooms with state-of-the-art audiovisual technology, 17,200 square feet of School of International Letters and Cultures office space with new furniture and open work areas, and remodeled restrooms with modern amenities. The building’s skin was replaced with brick veneer and windows to allow more natural light indoors. An updated west-side building entry side better welcomes visitors. In addition to internal improvements, new bike parking and landscaping grace the outside. The next renovation phases include the central tower and the south wing, with completion slated for summer 2021.

Lantana Hall 

Lantana Hall

The new residence facility on the Polytechnic campus, Lantana Hall. Photo by Facilities Development and Management

Offering its residents amenities like two dedicated study rooms and full gaming space on each of its four floors, Lantana Hall is ASU’s newest residence hall on the Polytechnic campus. In the naturally landscaped courtyards common to the campus, students may enjoy the outdoors while attending campuswide events, cooking with friends, or finding shade to study. The $35 million, 115,400-square-foot building includes ample office space, study spaces, a relaxed and versatile event space, and two international classrooms with technology to permit live interaction with classrooms worldwide. The hall also is the new home for Barrett, The Honors College administrative suite. All of this is housed in an energy-efficient building that is tracking for the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification.

Sun Devil Stadium | 450 Level 

Sun Devil Stadium office space

Office space at a newly developed part of Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. Photo by Facilities Development and Management

When the east sideline of Sun Devil Stadium was rebuilt last year, an area under the upper-seating section with beautiful views of the Hayden butte was intentionally left unfinished. The 12,500-square-foot renovated space now is home to the Public Service AcademyGlobal Sport Institute and a Pat Tillman Veterans Center branch office. The office area will allow these groups to work hand-in-hand to serve ASU veterans, students and athletes. 

Music Plaza redevelopment

ASU Gammage music plaza

The view of ASU Gammage from the Nelson Fine Arts Center's upgraded amenities. Photo by Facilities Development and Management

The ASU community will benefit from a better outdoor experience at the central Nelson Fine Arts Center Music Plaza. Enhanced pedestrian circulation and accessible routes throughout the site open up to new landscaping and seating for student enjoyment. The creation of two outdoor stages provides an opportunity for student productions. The addition of a large shade structure, which was repurposed from Orange Mall, has special lighting for student use and special presentations. 

Novus Innovation Corridor

Novus Innovation Corridor office space

Brand new office space will serve multiple units in the Novus Innovation Corridor. Photo by Facilities Development and Management

The Novus Innovation Corridor is quickly filling the northwest corner of Rural Road and University Drive with a new hotel, office building and parking structure. 

The office building will be the new home to several Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts programs and ASU departments. Students will be filling the Herberger Institute gallery with The Design School projects and lecture series in the main first-floor lobby. ASU’s University Real Estate Office and Office of University Affairs will occupy first-floor office suites, putting them in the heart of future Novus land development. On the second floor, the Herberger Institute fills the entire floor with The Design School studio programs, including Innovation Space, Masters of Design and the new fall 2020 program, Masters of Innovation and Venture Development.

The first three floors of a new parking structure are set to open with approximately 750 stalls to serve ASU students, employees and Novus Innovation Corridor office and retail space users. It also provides parking for large campus and sporting events. The remaining four floors will be complete in late 2020, bringing seven floors and 1,800 stalls. The structure will be ASU's first Parksmart Gold structure, a top rating for environmental sustainability. 

Additional capital projects

ASU athletic fields

New athletic fields on the north end of the Tempe campus. Photo by Facilities Development and Management

  • The southern portion of the old Karsten Golf Course was transformed with four renovated and new athletic fields and a large intramural field. The fields include new lighting, turf, sound systems, restroom facilities and parking lot.
  • In addition to the new Mirabella at ASU retirement community, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts programs will be included on the building’s first floor. Renovations include critique space, a new classroom and a 2,000-square-foot gallery.
  • Classroom improvements include: 
    • The Tempe campus’s Armstrong Hall basement received four new classrooms with all modern finishes, carpet and audiovisual packages.
    • On the Downtown Phoenix campus, a midsize computer classroom and math lab in University Center was turned into two smaller traditional classrooms with all new lighting and updated ADA accommodations.
  • New ASU Arboretum signage adorns the Tempe campus as nearly 75 community volunteers helped install 300 signs to identify trees and plants along the main four malls of campus: Cady, Forest, Lemon and Orange. 
ASU arboretum

New arboretum signing on the Tempe campus. Photo by Facilities Development and Management

In addition to capital projects, Facilities Management completed numerous infrastructure projects — electrical, paint, maintenance — on classrooms, laboratories and offices across all ASU campuses.

These completed projects are only part of existing ASU capital projects currently in planning, design or construction phases. Ongoing projects include:

Learn more about ASU’s past, present and future construction projects and follow Facilities Development and Management on Twitter at @ASUfacilities.

Top photo: The newly renovated north wing of Durham Hall on the Tempe campus is designed to let more natural light into classroom and office spaces. Photo by Zoltan Racz/Courtesy of Ayers Saint Gross

Communications program coordinator , Facilities Development and Management