image title

Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz to speak at ASU commencement

March 13, 2017

Arizona State University has selected Howard Schultz, Starbucks current chairman and CEO, as the official speaker at the May 8 undergraduate commencement, set to address an expected crowd of nearly 20,000 graduating students and their guests at Sun Devil Stadium. As part of his first commencement speech, Schultz will also be presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the ceremony.

Recognized for his passion, leadership and efforts to strengthen communities, Schultz has been a transformative leader for Starbucks. From the beginning, Schultz set out to build a different kind of company, one that brings a sense of humanity and demonstrates respect and dignity for the partners (employees), customers and communities Starbucks serves. Through his vision, Starbucks has been on Fortune’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” list for the past 14 years, coming in at No. 3 this year.

“We take great pride in having Howard Schultz speak at this year’s commencement,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “Howard has been an energetic advocate for expanding opportunity. And I am personally grateful that our personal partnership — and the partnership between Starbucks and ASU — has made it possible for many thousands to complete their college degrees and pursue a path toward lifelong learning and success.”

Schultz first joined Starbucks in 1982 when the coffee company had only four stores. Today, Starbucks has more than 25,000 stores in 75 countries, with more than 300,000 partners (employees) wearing the green apron globally. He demonstrated early on that you can balance profitability with shared success through foundational initiatives including comprehensive health coverage for eligible full- and part-time workers, and offering partners equity in the company in the form of stock.

A graduate of Northern Michigan University, Schultz is a strong proponent of access to and excellence in education, helping create pathways for Starbucks partners to achieve economic and social mobility through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan (SCAP), introduced in 2014. Developed in alliance with Crow, SCAP enables partners to pursue and complete their college education tuition-free through ASU Online. To date, more than 6,500 Starbucks partners have gained admission, and nearly 1,000 are expected to graduate from ASU by the end of this year. The goal is 25,000 graduates by 2025.    

Efforts like SCAP have positioned Starbucks as a leading employer of choice, building on a strong history of putting partners first and focusing on the biggest challenges facing the communities the company serves. Starbucks has also committed to supporting and hiring veterans and military spouses and engaging and hiring Opportunity Youth, which focuses on 16- to 24-year-olds who are unemployed and not in school. Additionally, the company has recently pledged to hire 10,000 refugees globally over the next five years.

On April 3, Howard will transition from CEO to executive chairman and shift his focus to innovation, design and development of Starbucks Reserve Roasteries around the world, expansion of the Starbucks Reserve retail store format and the company’s social impact initiatives.

Along with his wife Sheri, Schultz is co-founder of the Schultz Family Foundation. He is also the best-selling author of "For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism, and Sacrifice" (2014), "Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul" (2011) and "Pour Your Heart Into It" (1997).

Top photo: Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz. Photo courtesy of Starbucks

ASU Gammage restroom, elevator construction complete

March 10, 2017

The lines to the women’s restrooms at ASU Gammage will be much shorter starting next week for the opening night of "Finding Neverland." ASU Gammage, its donors and the community raised more than $9 million during the Elevate and Alleviate Campaign, constructing 88 new restroom stalls and two elevators which provide access to all levels of the venue.

The ASU Gammage team spearheaded the Elevate and Alleviate Campaign as part of the 50th Anniversary Golden Gammage Initiative. The improvements were meant to sustain the performing arts center for future generations and enhance patrons’ show experience. ASU Gammage restrooms ASU Gammage Elevate and Alleviate contributions helped fund the renovation and expansion of the venue's restrooms, which will open March 14. Download Full Image

More than 1,500 donors contributed to the project, including significant investments from ASU Gammage as a result of the success of its last two seasons.

"Finding Neverland" opens at ASU Gammage March 14 and runs through March 18.

Marketing and Communications Assistant, ASU Gammage


image title

ASU launches initiative to support next generation of leaders

Initiative's 1st cohort getting chance to step back, see how parts work together
March 1, 2017

Advanced Leadership Initiative immerses 9 fellows in innovative thinking

Arizona State University is a massive engine that runs at warp speed, and a new initiative is inviting a group of campus leaders to look under the hood so they can keep it going decades into the future.

The Advanced Leadership Initiative is a six-month immersive experience to cultivate a new pool of leaders to keep ASU on a trajectory of innovation and achievement.

“What we’re trying to do is really embed them in the ASU context,” said Minu IpeIpe leads the ASU Design Accelerator and also is a clinical professor with the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship in the W. P. Carey School of Business. She also has helped run the Leadership Academy, which has trained mid-level faculty and staff members since 2012., Senior Knowledge Enterprise Architect and senior fellow for leadership and institutional design, and one of the heads of the new program.

“We want them to understand what the whole of ASU is about and really think about the question of what does it mean to lead ASU into the future and how can we engage the whole institution?”

The team will focus on five leadership competencies:

  • “Think big,” which is thinking about what is being worked on today in its future iterations.
  • “Lead innovation,” which is the ability to understand what innovation looks like at ASU and the ability to challenge the status quo in an empowering way.
  • “Execute with influence,” which emphasizes a proactive approach.
  • “Develop talent,” which is the ability to build and nurture a strong team.
  • “Deploy Yourself,” which is the ability to take chances and be resilient.

Bryan Brayboy is in the pilot cohort. BrayboyBrayboy also is associate director of the School of Social Transformation and serves as affiliate faculty with the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, American Indian Studies and the Department of English., Borderlands Professor of Indigenous Education and Justice in the School of Social Transformation, said it’s nice to be able to take a step back from the sometimes overwhelming day-to-day responsibilities.

“In some ways, we’re all hanging on for dear life with the rate at which this place moves,” he said. “We’re all part of engineering that, but we don’t always get a chance to see how the engine works. This gives us a chance to see how the moving parts work together.”

The nine faculty and staff members in the first cohort of ALI Fellows come from across the university and have already attended the first of three intensive retreats. At the workshops, they met with ASU leaders who have already succeeded at large-scale projects, including Wellington “Duke” Reiter, who developed the Downtown Phoenix campus, and Phil Regier, who launched ASU Online at EdPlus.

“As it turns out, it’s not an accident that ASU continues to do so many things well,” said Brayboy, who is special adviser to the president on American Indian Affairs and director of the Center for Indian Education.

“There’s a brilliance to how this is working, and I had a chance to see some of that.”

Besides the retreats, the fellows will have several hours with an executive coach, who will help them assess a 360-degree review, in which supervisors, peers and subordinates give feedback.

Program manager Chelsea Chamberlain said that after this session, the cohort will provide feedback and then work with the next group.

“As much as they are participants, they are collaborators as well,” she said.

Cynthia Lietz, senior associate dean of the College of Public Service and Community Solutions, said that the camaraderie among the group is meaningful as they share fears and dreams.

“There’s so much work to be done to make the world a better place, and at ASU there’s so much going on that you could feel like how could I, as one person, make a difference?

“But this program has done a great job of highlighting people who have done big things and made a difference and shown that it’s not ever just one person. It’s the ability to coalesce a group of people around an idea and execute it,” said Lietz, a professor in the School of Social Work. “The sense that you’re in it alone is debunked through this process.”

The Advanced Fellowship Initiative Fellows are (front row from left) Matt Delmont, Jen Haughn and Nadya Bliss; (middle row, from left) Ji Mi Choi, Bryan Brayboy and Nina Berman; and (back row, from left) Tiffany Lopez, Cynthia Lietz and Jake Pinholster. Contributed photo

Besides Brayboy and Lietz, the other fellows in the Advanced Leadership Initiative are:

  • Nina Berman, director and professor at the School of International Letters and Culture, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Nadya Bliss, director of the Global Security Initiative, Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development
  • Ji Mi Choi, associate vice president for strategic partnerships and programs, Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development
  • Matt Delmont, professor and director of the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Jen Haughn, director of client services, Office of Human Resources
  • Tiffany Lopez, director and professor at the School of Film, Dance and Theatre, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
  • Jake Pinholster, associate professor and associate dean for policy initiatives, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

ASU President Michael Crow recognized the need to sustainably cultivate a pool of leaders who can advance innovation at ASU, and at his request, the Advanced Leadership Initiative was created, designed and executed by Ipe and May Busch, executive in residence in the Office of the President and senior adviser to the president, along with Chamberlain and Maggie Dellow, program coordinator, both in the Office of University Affairs.

For more information, visit

Celebrate Women’s HERstory Month at ASU

March 1, 2017

Join in the celebration of women at Arizona State University and beyond this March for HERstory Month. Events includes film screenings, panels, networking mixers and discussion forums for all Sun Devils to learn about the history of women, current issues impacting women at ASU and around the globe, practices for creating equity and equality, and methods for empowering self and others.  

Use the hashtag #YourStoryforHERstory to share your story of empowerment and tell the ASU community about the issues that concern you, the causes you support and stories that will motive and inspire fellow Sun Devils. The Womyn’s Coalition will re-share select stories via social media and at HERstory events throughout the month of March. HERstory poster Download Full Image

Learn more at

ASU women’s basketball hosts final home series this weekend

February 20, 2017

Make it a family affair Friday night with a purchase of the Family Four Pack as the ASU women's basketball team hosts its final home series this weekend at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe.

For only $60, enjoy four reserved-seating tickets and $10 food vouchers to the game Feb. 24 against USC at 8 p.m. Young fans are encouraged to wear their favorite royal attire for Prince & Princess Day! Princess Belle, Cinderella, Elsa and Anna will be in attendance for pictures, storytime and a halftime performance. ASU womens basketball Download Full Image

The team will then finish up regular-season play when the Sun Devils host No. 18 UCLA on Sunday, Feb. 26, at noon. Senior Sun Devils Sophie Brunner, Quinn Dornstauder, Sara Hattis and Kelsey Moos will be honored in a ceremony following the game. Senior citizens attending the game have the opportunity to purchase $5 discounted tickets at the box office for Senior Day. It’s also the last “Sunday Funday” of the season with all kids 12 and younger receiving free admission to the game. Purchase your tickets online today. See you there at the arena!

Territorial Cup Series returns to Tempe with women's basketball

February 14, 2017

The Territorial Cup Series returns to Tempe. Sun Devil Women’s Basketball will battle Arizona at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19.

It’s the "Gold Out" game and the first 1,000 fans will receive a rally towel giveaway. We are also celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the 2006-2007 Sun Devil Women’s Basketball NCCA Elite 8 team. Former players will be in the building to help us celebrate their accomplishments. Download Full Image

Tickets are still available, so purchase your $5 discounted tickets with promo code GOLD at and come wearing gold!

Sun Devil Wrestling home finale

February 7, 2017

Don’t miss your last chance to see No. 21 Sun Devil Wrestling at home, and watch as No. 1 ranked Zahid Valencia looks to stay undefeated on the season. The Sun Devils take on Pac-12 opponent Cal State Bakersfield in the home finale at 7 p.m. Feb. 9 inside Wells Fargo Arena. It will be another opportunity for the Sun Devils to add to this historic season that includes the following accomplishments:

  • a top 10 finish at the Cliff Keen Invitational; best finish since 2006
  • third place at Midlands Championships, including two individual championships; best finish since 1989
  • defeated Iowa State in Ames, Iowa for first the time since 1989
  • third place at the Virginia Duals; best finish since 1997

Be the advantage the Sun Devils need to make it 2-0 at home against Pac-12 competition this season. Get your tickets online or by calling 480-965-5812. Download Full Image

ASU Police Department expands self-defense classes to include more men, women

February 6, 2017

This spring, Arizona State University Police Department hosts self-defense classes designed to make everyone feel safer no matter what their gender. View all upcoming classes on ASU Events.

Men in the ASU community now are eligible for R.A.D. for Men, which is designed to empower participants to make safer choices when confronted with aggressive behavior. Certified R.A.D. instructors teach each 12-hour class. Certified R.A.D. instructors teach the 12-hour classes. Participants should wear exercise-style clothing and closed-toe shoes. Download Full Image

“The ASU Police Department is excited to offer this self-defense class to the men in our community,” ASU Police Chief Michael Thompson said. “It raises awareness about potentially violent encounters and gives men the tools to recognize, avoid or, as a last resort, defend themselves.” 

The 12-hour R.A.D. for Men course includes self-defense, situational and conversational scenarios. Men may register for the first class on Feb. 24 and 25.


R.A.D. for Men is available because of the sustained interest in women’s self-defense courses. 

Since September 2015, R.A.D. Basic certified 225 women in 17 classes. Women who complete R.A.D. Basic certification may take R.A.D. Advanced, which began in November 2016.

The six-hour R.A.D. Advanced takes R.A.D. Basic to the next level and is scheduled monthly through April. The program covers multiple encounter types and low- or diffused-light simulation exercises.

Officer Laura Gill leads the women’s advanced courses, which includes six different defense themes. Participants may take the courses individually to learn specific advanced strategies, and each class begins with a R.A.D. Basic refresher.

“I love watching the light in a participant’s eyes when she realizes she has more power and strength inside of her than she ever imagined,” Gill said. “It is amazing to lead a program offering that moment of growth to other women.”

ASU offers services and education:


Peter Northfelt

Editor assistant, Business and Finance Support – Communications


image title

ASU business students provide free tax-preparation help

ASU business students volunteer to do free tax prep for qualified taxpayers.
February 2, 2017

IRS-sponsored program offered at West campus for low- to moderate-income taxpayers

Students in the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University will provide free tax-preparation services to qualified people at the West campus through April 15.

The students are part of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service and local organizations to provide free tax preparation to people who generally make $54,000 or less, people with disabilities and those with limited English proficiency.

In addition to supporting the community, the VITA program gives W. P. Carey students the opportunity to gain real-life experience as tax preparers, according to Donald Frost, a lecturer in accountancy at W. P. Carey, who is the liaison for the VITA program.

“Students not only develop their technical skills, but also enhance ‘soft skills,’ such as communication, empathy, patience, compassion and problem-solving by working with diverse client populations," he said.

For the 2015 tax filing season, students processed nearly 1,800 income tax returns, generating approximately $1.47 million in refunds.

The student volunteers will be working in Room 238 of the Classroom/Lab/Computer building at the West campus, 4701 W. Thunderbird Road, Glendale. Sessions will run from 4 to 8 p.m. every Thursday through April 13, except for March 9, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday through April 15, except for March 11.

No appointment is needed, and returns will be prepared on a first-come, first-served basis for qualifying taxpayers. Click here to see what to bring to the session.

Free parking is available at Lot 20 on the West campus.

For information, contact Frost at

image title

ASU honors newest Regents' Professors

February 2, 2017

Ceremony recognizes outstanding achievements by Robert Nemanich, Anne Stone and Paul Westerhoff

Three Arizona State University faculty were honored by ASU President Michael Crow in a ceremony Wednesday as the university's 2016-2017 Regents' Professors. This highest faculty honor was conferred on professors Robert Nemanich, Anne Stone and Paul Westerhoff. It is bestowed on full professors who have made outstanding achievements that have brought them national and international distinction.

See photos from Wednesday's ceremony and scroll down for individual videos on these remarkable faculty:

Robert Nemanich, Department of Physics, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Anne Stone, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Paul Westerhoff, School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering