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January 24, 2020

Annual event invites community on campus during February to explore and discover

One university, multiple locations and a plethora of research projects, but what exactly is happening in the classrooms and labs at Arizona State University? Block your calendar and invite your friends to take a sneak peek at what Sun Devils are really up to and why ASU is the most innovative university in the nation five years in a row.

Each year during ASU Open Door, ASU welcomes the community to visit the spaces accessible only to students, faculty and staff. Open Door is a signature event of the Arizona SciTech Festival and features all things science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) nearly every Saturday during the month of February.

West campus
1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1

Downtown Phoenix campus
1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8

Tempe campus
1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22

Polytechnic campus
1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29

It’s a time where young learners outnumber the college students. There is no age limit on learning, and whether you’re new to school or a lifelong learner, you’re sure to find something you enjoy and learn something new.

“What makes ASU Open Door so unique is that visitors not only see the spaces and labs where students learn, our students and faculty are able to talk to the community about the exciting things they do here,” said Darci Nagy, ASU special events manager. “They share their research and knowledge in a fun and interactive way.”

Visitors can explore the spaces that house innovative research, discoveries and art: Pet a snake or two and find out what’s really in whale poop. Open Door highlights the purposeful research being done at ASU, the solutions being developed and the impact it’s making in communities — all while having a little fun.

ASU hosts hundreds of interactive, hands-on activities across the four campus locations. Each campus has a different personality, look and feel, making each feel like an individual, unique adventure.

West campus

Head to the green lawns of West campus. It kicks off the monthlong event with forensics, crime scene investigation, glow-in-the-dark rocks and sharks. Sharks? Yep — sharks in the desert is a real thing at West.

James Sulikowski is a marine biologist, professor and associate director at the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences. He studies aquatic life, including sharks, and visitors can see his collection of shark jaws at Open Door.

He’ll share interesting facts, dispel myths and how people can help shark conservation efforts.

“Sharks are incredible animals that both fascinate and terrify people,” Sulikowski said. “Unfortunately, misinformation and misconceptions have left many sharks unjustly vilified. I hope everyone walks away from our Open Door event knowing how import sharks are to the marine ecosystem.”

Humans are not on the shark menu, he added.

Downtown Phoenix campus 

In the heart of downtown Phoenix, plenty of activities abound: Coral reefs, meditation and mindfulness tips, the World Press Photo Exhibition and even PBS Kids can be found. There are no elephants at the Downtown Phoenix campus, but there will be elephant toothpaste — a chemistry experiment that generates a colorful volcano of foam. 

Cayle Lisenbee is a general biology and microbiology lecturer at the College of Integrative Arts and Sciences, and events like Open Door allow him to share science in a way that visitors might not otherwise experience.

“The elephant-toothpaste reaction is a super fun demonstration that is intended to generate excitement and stimulate the natural curiosity that kids and parents have about science,” he said. “I hope that they develop a renewed interest in asking questions and finding answers that add value to their day-to-day lives.”

Events like Open Door allow students, faculty and staff to give back to the community in a positive way and show people ASU’s commitment to education and research, he added.

Tempe campus 

Join Open Door at the campus where it all started, Tempe. Glassblowing, reptiles, art, dancing, poetry and NASA. Visitors should bring their walking shoes to explore activities spanning the entire campus and get ready for a deep dive with the students who are part of Underwater Robotics at Arizona State, a competitive underwater robotics team on campus.

Kira Tijerino, a senior studying mechanical engineering, has been involved with the student organization since she was a first-year student.

Tijerino says that part of their passion is inspiring the next generation of engineers and STEM professionals through events such as these, demonstrating their swimming robot and allowing visitors to guide it underwater.

“I think it’s important to share our work with kids and parents who visit this event because I can look back to my childhood and remember how activities like these became my inspiration to choose engineering as a career path,” she said.

Polytechnic campus 

Race into the last week of Open Door with Baja Sun Devil Racing at the Polytechnic campus. Visitors can talk to the all-female, award-winning Desert Wave robotics team; check out algae; and attempt a smooth landing at the air traffic control simulation lab.

Marc O'Brien, chair of ASU's aviation program at the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, slowed down enough to say that Open Door at Polytechnic allows the community to experience the kinesthetic and collaborative events that the aviation program provides its students.

“I hope it inspires someone to consider a career in aviation,” he said.

“I hope kids leave with a renewed curiosity for all things science, technology, engineering, arts and math,” Nagy said. “And parents leave with a better understanding of the learning and teaching that takes place at ASU and why it’s considered one of the most innovative universities in the nation.”

Follow the excitement on Twitter and Facebook, and share your best Open Door photos with #ASUopendoor.

For more information on dates, locations, free tickets and parking, visit

Top photo: Five-year-old Elizabeth Unrein, of Buckeye, Arizona, looks at cancer-fighting superbugs at the ASU Open Door on the Tempe campus on Feb. 23, 2019. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

ASU Library offers tools, support for faculty researchers

January 24, 2020

Looking to give your research a boost?

All ASU faculty are invited to an interactive open house on the third floor of the newly renovated Hayden Library to learn more about and get connected with the ASU Library’s Researcher Support resources. microscope ASU researchers are invited to get connected with ASU Library's Researcher Support, a suite of services aimed at supporting researchers across all phases of the research life cycle. Download Full Image

Researcher Support is part of the library's full suite of services aimed at supporting researchers across all phases of the research life cycle — everything from grant funding to data management and data storage. 

The open house slated for 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, is an opportunity to: 

• Join other researchers in learning about new and expanding resources to support research projects.

• Meet with a diverse group of experts who can help you identify research and funding opportunities.

• Experience hands-on demonstrations and information sessions. 

• Learn more about the ASU Library and Knowledge Enterprise Development partnership.

• Take a tour of the renovated Hayden Library, including its new units: Makerspace, the Map and Geospatial Hub and the Unit for Data Science and Analytics.

Refreshments will be provided, and registration is required.

Following a $90 million renovation, Hayden Library has been reinvented for 21st-century learning and research environments. Learn more about Hayden’s reinvention.

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library

ASU to present 2020 Rhodes Lecture with Gen. James N. Mattis

Barrett, The Honors College event to be held Feb. 12 at Tempe Center for the Arts

January 24, 2020

Gen. James N. Mattis has been named the 2020 John J. Rhodes Chair in Public Policy and American Institutions at Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University. As chair, he will deliver the Rhodes Lecture next month. 

The lecture, titled “Thwarting Threats and Nurturing Allies in Today’s Global Affairs,” is set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, at the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway. Tickets, which are available at, are free but a small service charge will apply. James Mattis Gen. James N. Mattis, former U.S. secretary of defense. Photo courtesy of Washington Speakers Bureau Download Full Image

2020 marks the 22th anniversary of the Rhodes Lecture, named for the Honorable John J. Rhodes, who represented Arizona in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1952 to 1982. He served as the minority leader of the House from 1973 to 1981.

Congressman Rhodes exemplified the values of personal integrity, fiscal responsibility, respect for persons of all political beliefs and international foresight.

Upon his retirement, Rhodes’ family and many friends wanted to establish an enduring tribute to his leadership. John and his wife, Betty, had long been supporters of higher education, so the family established an endowment for the John J. Rhodes Chair in Public Policy and American Institutions and selected Barrett, The Honors College to be the chair’s “home.” An archive of John Rhodes’ congressional papers is in the Special Collections at the Hayden Library on the ASU Tempe campus.

The Rhodes Chair reflects Rhodes’ commitment to public service and higher education. People chosen to hold the Rhodes Chair must be dedicated to discussion and dialogue about the most challenging issues facing society, now and in the future. Holders of the Rhodes Chair embody Rhodes’ commitment to the betterment of our nation through inspired and fair-minded leadership and devotion to service.

About Gen. James N. Mattis

Mattis has spent nearly 50 years in service to his country. He served as the 26th U.S. secretary of defense for nearly two years in the Trump administration. As secretary of defense, he focused on making combat readiness one of his main priorities and served as primary author of a new American defense strategy whose central goal was to take on “revisionist” powers that “seek to create a world consistent with their authoritarian models.”

Viewed as the steady hand in tumultuous times, Mattis championed building a network of alliances and strategic partnerships around the world.

“Our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system or alliances and partnerships,” then-Secretary Mattis wrote in a letter to President Donald Trump. Without maintaining those alliances, he said, we cannot protect our interests or serve the role of an indispensable nation in the free world.

Mattis’ resolve to amass and maintain positive relations with key countries served as a premier example of professionalism and stability in a political landscape wrought with unpredictability.

During his 44 years in the U.S. Marines, Mattis rose from an 18-year-old reservist to the highest rank of four-star general. He capped off his military career as head of the U.S. Central Command, where he was in charge of all American forces serving in the Middle East and oversaw operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as parts of Syria, Iran and Yemen. He retired from the post in 2013. In 2017, he would answer the call to service again, as the first member of Trump’s cabinet cleared to take office.

A veteran of three wars, Mattis spent much of his career involved in overseas conflict. Described by colleagues and his staff as brave, honest and humble, Mattis proved to be an exceptional motivator of Marines and developed a leadership style that endeared him to his troops.

Mattis established the Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning, an academy for Marine officers and senior enlisted personnel that provides cultural awareness and language skills training to ensure units can operate effectively in complex expeditionary environments.

Mattis is the author of the New York Times bestseller “Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead,” an account of Mattis's career, from wide-ranging leadership roles in three wars to ultimately commanding a quarter of a million troops across the Middle East. Along the way, Mattis recounts his foundational experiences as a leader, extracting the lessons he has learned about the nature of warfighting and peacemaking, the importance of allies, and the strategic dilemmas — and short-sighted thinking — now facing our nation. 

Nicole Greason

Public relations and publicity manager , Barrett, The Honors College


News Co/Lab lands Facebook grant to boost media literacy ahead of elections

January 23, 2020

Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication today announced it has received a grant from Facebook to help improve digital media literacy among adults ahead of the 2020 elections.

The award is part of Facebook’s $2 million initiative aimed at supporting projects that empower people to identify and seek out credible information to read and share.  News Co/Lab, Cronkite School, media literacy News Co/Lab managing director Kristy Roschke works with Cronkite student Caroline Veltman. Download Full Image

“We can all agree that we need to foster and support better information sources in this age of overwhelming supply, too much of which is misinformation,” said Dan Gillmor, co-founder of the News Co/Lab at the Cronkite School. “We also need to get better ourselves at sorting out what we can trust, and understanding our roles as part of a digital ecosystem in which we’re sharers and creators as well as consumers. Facebook's support for the project helps us do this at scale.”

The funding will support work already being conducted by the News Co/Lab, founded in 2017 and supported, in part, with seed funding from the Facebook Journalism Project to help the public better understand and engage with the news. 

“These are lifelong skills people need, but it is especially important as we head toward the divisive November 2020 election,” said Kristy Roschke, managing director of the News Co/Lab. “The civic health of our country depends on an informed public, which will be making important decisions about our future in the coming months and years. These types of initiatives can make a real impact.”

For this project, the News Co/Lab will create a series of educational videos in collaboration with Arizona PBS, which is owned and operated by the Cronkite School. The videos will help inform viewers about the evolving media landscape in an effort to boost media literacy, especially for young adults and seniors. The initiative also will include:

• A series of media literacy outreach events across the U.S. in partnership with local community organizations. The events will be designed to teach techniques for spotting misinformation and finding credible sources.

• Creation of a massive online open course, or MOOC, on digital media literacy through the Cronkite School, which will include tips for spotting misinformation, finding trustworthy sources and best practices for sharing and commenting on news and information, among other topics.

• Digital and social media content.

“As an institution that thrives on innovative practices, we are in perpetual pursuit of solutions that better our industry and, in turn, society,” Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan said. “The evolving landscape of digital journalism demands a new vigilance and a greater level of scrutiny. Our News Co/Lab is positioned at the leading edge of literacy and responsible media consumption.”

Facebook executive Katie Harbath said the platform embraces a similar sentiment with regard to misinformation.

"Helping to stop the spread of misinformation is an important part of our work to help protect elections but we know we can’t do it alone. That’s why we’re partnering with organizations and experts in media literacy like the News Co/Lab out of Arizona State University to launch media literacy resources that will help empower people from senior citizens to first-time voters, on how to trust the information they see,” said Harbath, Facebook’s public policy director for global elections.

The new media literacy project launches just months after the News Co/Lab received a gift from Craig Newmark Philanthropies to support a project that will combat misinformation by improving the reach and effectiveness of media-issued corrections. 

Through that initiative, the News Co/Lab is partnering with researchers, technologists and journalists across three newsrooms owned by the McClatchy media company. The goal is to design and deploy a web-based tool that efficiently reaches consumers on social media platforms with corrected versions of stories they may have already shared. 

Assistant vice president, Media Relations and Strategic Communications

State Department renews Humphrey Fellowship Program at ASU Cronkite School

January 22, 2020

The U.S. Department of State has awarded Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication the opportunity to host the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship in journalism for another five years. 

The program, in its 10th year at the Cronkite School, is a Fulbright exchange program that selects participants from emerging democracies to engage in academic, leadership and professional development experiences in the U.S.  Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship, journalism, Cronkite School ASU's 2019-2020 Humphrey Fellows, photographed while visiting the U.S. State Department as part of the Global Leadership Forum. Download Full Image

The Cronkite School is the only institution in the nation to host Humphrey Fellows in journalism and mass communication. Over the past decade, the Cronkite School has welcomed 102 fellows from 58 countries. 

The Humphrey Fellowship Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs with taxpayer funding allocated by Congress. Marie Royce, assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, looks forward to the renewed partnership with ASU’s Cronkite School.

“Since 1979, the State Department’s Humphrey Fellowship Program has developed a network of 6,000 leaders around the world in partnership with outstanding U.S. university hosts,” Royce said. “Arizona State University’s renowned faculty, resources and networks have empowered Humphrey journalists and communication professionals to promote a strong and independent press.”

Assistant Dean Bill Silcock, who has curated the program at ASU for a decade, said the Humphrey program goes beyond a traditional exchange program.

“This program takes mid-career journalists and communication professionals and inspires them to master innovative strategies, hone their leadership skills and bring the knowledge of 10 months in America back to their home countries,” Silcock said. “Fellows interact with and impact our students, faculty and staff, and when they do, they bring the world to Arizona. We continue to learn there are so many global voices, and none of them are without significance.” 

Humphrey Fellows at ASU live in downtown Phoenix, participate in academic study, develop professional affiliations and friendships, receive mentoring from Cronkite faculty and experience a rich cultural immersion into American life. During the program, the fellows attend conferences, participate in roundtable discussions, engage in research projects and make valuable connections with industry peers.

Peter Moran, director of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship for the Institute of International Education (IIE), said the organization is pleased to continue working with the Cronkite School.

“ASU has advanced some creative innovations, such as supporting collaborative programming with other Humphrey campuses, that have enhanced the Humphrey Program structure and our fellows’ experiences,” Moran said. “ASU’s leadership in communications and journalism is well known, and its commitment to the Humphrey Fellowship Program is also very strong. We are glad to have Arizona State University as program partners — advancing leadership and professional development for our outstanding Humphrey Fellows.”

Recent fellows at Cronkite have reported on U.S. immigration, South American police brutality and Burmese beauty regimens. They’ve volunteered in the community, filmed documentaries and collaborated with students from other campuses. And, perhaps most valuable, they experienced a level of press freedom that their home countries may not afford them.

“We learn as much from our Humphrey Fellows as they do from us,” Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan said. “Our students gain immeasurably by getting to know and interact with journalists and professional communicators from around the world. Thanks to the leadership of IIE and the State Department, the world is brought to our students through the Humphrey program while we bring the values of American democracy and free press to the fellows. We are tremendously proud to host the program for another five years.”

The Cronkite School’s goals for the program include personal and professional growth for each of the fellows, preparing them for positions of leadership in their home countries, and providing them with opportunities to exchange information among peers, faculty, students, professionals and the local community. 

Fellows also have an opportunity to attend the Washington Global Leadership Forum, a four-day seminar in Washington, D.C., where attendees learn about federal agencies, international organizations and U.S. institutions.

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, named in honor of the late vice president, began in 1978 to provide professional enrichment and nondegree studies at selected American universities for experienced professionals from around the world. Each year, the program brings accomplished mid-career professionals from designated countries to the U.S. for an intensive 10-month academic study and professional experience.

Assistant vice president, Media Relations and Strategic Communications

National Academy of Sciences honors ASU professor for major contributions to science

January 22, 2020

The National Academy of Sciences has announced that Arizona State University School of Earth and Space Exploration Professor Lindy Elkins-Tanton has been awarded the 2020 Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship.

The Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship was awarded to Elkins-Tanton for her lasting contributions to the study of the physics of Earth and for illuminating the early evolution of rocky planets and planetesimals. She will be awarded a $50,000 prize and funds to present a series of Day Lectures, which are provided by the Arthur L. Day Bequest. 2020 National Academy of Sciences Arthur L. Day Prize recipient, Lindy Elkins-Tanton. Photo by Jon Simpson Download Full Image

“Professor Elkins-Tanton is richly deserving of this prestigious recognition. Her groundbreaking research advances our understanding of space, while her mentorship inspires the next generation of scientists. I can think of no one better suited to receive this award,” said Sethuraman Panchanathan, the executive vice president of ASU’s Knowledge Enterprise and ASU’s chief research and innovation officer.

Elkins-Tanton is the world’s leading figure in the early evolution of rocky planets and planetesimals. She has produced high-impact publications on magma oceans, studied the formation of the Siberian flood basalts and how they triggered catastrophic climate change and the extinction event at the end of the Permian, and explored models of thermal processing on the early moon that may help us understand the complex history recorded in ancient lunar crustal rocks.

“Honestly I never thought I would be the kind of person who would win a prize like this because my career path has been unusual and because I’ve studied our Earth and planets across disciplines,” Elkins-Tanton said. “Because of this award, I’m encouraged to continue to pursue the questions that I think are the most important in science and I would encourage my colleagues to do the same.”

In addition to her faculty appointment with ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, Elkins-Tanton is also the managing director and co-chair of the ASU Interplanetary Initiative, and she is the principal investigator for the ASU-led NASA Psyche Mission.

The National Academy of Sciences is honoring a total of 15 individuals with awards in recognition of their extraordinary scientific achievements in a wide range of fields spanning the physical, biological and medical sciences. In addition to Elkins-Tanton, award recipients include representatives from Yale University; Harvard University; Australian National University; Johns Hopkins University; Stanford University; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Santa Barbara; and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. 

Elkins-Tanton’s award will be presented on Sunday, April 26 at 2 p.m. in Washington, D.C., at the National Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting and will be available via live webcast.

Karin Valentine

Media Relations & Marketing manager, School of Earth and Space Exploration


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ASU’s Committee for Campus Inclusion honored with city of Tempe’s diversity award

January 15, 2020

On Jan. 17, Arizona State University’s Committee for Campus Inclusion will be honored for its commitment to diversity in the city of Tempe.

The Tempe Human Relations Commission will award the committee the 2020 MLK Diversity Award in the category of educational organization. The annual recognition is given to individuals, businesses or community groups that help achieve the goal of making the city a better place. It’s the first time the committee will be receiving this award, after being nominated by a university employee.

“It’s wonderful to be in an institution that knows that inclusion is important,” said Cassandra Aska, associate vice president and dean of students and university chair of the Committee for Campus Inclusion. “To see that there’s a role that we can play to support the university and the people in the university,  and then to have that work that we do be recognized for an award in it of itself — is very humbling.”

The committee is made up of faculty, staff and students who are actively involved in outreach work across all ASU locations. In order to ensure that the university’s spaces are welcoming to all people, regardless of status, the committee is committed to engaging in dialogue and offering programs that encourage inclusion.

A point of pride for the committee is its Catalyst Awards, which are given out to individuals, groups, teams, programs, organizations or units that have made a significant difference in fostering and promoting diversity and inclusion at ASU and beyond. Aska believes this is one of the committee’s greatest accomplishments, especially in 2019, when 54 individuals were nominated for the award.

“We wholeheartedly believe that this is not any one individual’s, any one department's, any one unit’s responsibility. This is throughout. And to recognize multiple people in a lot of different spaces: in the classroom, in the library, in student success, student services spaces — that are doing this — is absolutely phenomenal.”

Aska considers the committee's work transformative and in alignment with the university’s bold charter. She’s confident people apply what they’ve learned through Committee for Campus Inclusion in their communities, even if they leave the university or Arizona.

“I think the support that we have within the university is awesome. It’s again a reflection of the commitment that exists to all of us continuing to evolve and grow in this area,” Aska said. “We believe we’re making a positive impact.”

It’s because of these accomplishments, and many more, that the city of Tempe is honoring Committee for Campus Inclusion. On Friday, Jan. 17, ASU students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to be recognized at the 2020 MLK Diversity Awards breakfast, which will be held at the Tempe Marriott Buttes Hotel.

Top photo: The Committee for Campus Inclusion's executive board and past co-chairs, include (from left) Karen Engler, Rod Roscoe, Venita Hawthorne-James, Zachary Reeves-Blurton, Benjamin Mills, Amy Pate, Cassandra Aska and Margot Monroe. CCI co-chairs not present in photo: Drew Ross, Jennifer Stults, Linda Torres and Courtney Smith. 

Jimena Garrison

Copywriter , Media Relations and Strategic Communications

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Elizabeth Wentz appointed vice provost and dean of the Graduate College

January 15, 2020

Elizabeth "Libby" Wentz, a professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and dean of social sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been appointed to a new leadership role at Arizona State University.

Effective July 1, Wentz will assume the role of vice provost and dean of the Graduate College. The position will be vacated by Dean Alfredo Artiles, who accepted a faculty position at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education.

Wentz is recognized for her global leadership in the social sciences and was recently named the 2020 Fellow of the Association of American Geographers. Wentz received her doctorate from Pennsylvania State University and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Ohio State University.

Since her arrival at ASU in 1997, Wentz has devoted her research to geographic information science technologies, such as remote sensing and spatial analysis, to understand urban environments. Under her leadership, the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning launched a first-of-its-kind bachelor’s degree in geographic information science.

“ASU’s nationally recognized graduate programs serve scholars with a global mindset who are focused on solving problems of social significance,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “Libby Wentz’s expertise as a social scientist, her leading work in community resilience and her exemplary graduate student mentorship will provide valuable guidance in the college’s design and evolution as a resource for lifelong learners.”

Wentz has been instrumental for the university’s graduate students, not only elevating their experiences with graduate-level research, but teaching them how to design, write and present a successful dissertation proposal. For her exceptional service to graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, Wentz received the Graduate College’s Outstanding Faculty Mentoring award in 2016.

“Libby’s commitment to the professional development and career advancement of graduate students makes her a natural fit for this leadership role,” said Mark Searle, executive vice president and university provost. “The university needs to build on the initiatives started under Dean Artiles and expand our capacity to serve graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.”

One of those initiatives is creating a broader societal impact by increasing more opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities in generally male-dominated fields.

“I plan to look more at what those programs look like by recruiting students from a lot of different spaces, including American Indian students and Latino students, Hispanic students, African American students,” Wentz said.

Wentz also plans to focus on pregraduate programs, especially for students who don’t plan to stay within the same discipline, and postgraduate programs for students seeking high-level government positions rather than traditional academic pathways.

“We’re seeing increasingly more and more of our PhD students that are taking their skills, and their research skills, and going into industry,” Wentz said.

Wentz would like to prepare students for those pathways through innovation and many of the other institutional goals at ASU.

In her current role, Dean Wentz has been deeply involved in the professional development of faculty within the social sciences while expanding her knowledge in fields outside her expertise. She believes this breadth of experience will help strengthen her goal of creating career paths and options for students in the Graduate College.

“Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars are central to the success of the New American University because of their unique contributions to educating students and advancing knowledge,” Wentz said. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to shape the programs in ASU’s Graduate College.”

Jimena Garrison

Copywriter , Media Relations and Strategic Communications

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Inside the Biomimicry Center’s new NatureMaker space

January 14, 2020

Arizona State University’s Biomimicry Center The Biomimicry Center is located in the Design South building on the Tempe campus and is a joint effort between ASU and Biomimicry 3.8, a world-leading bio-inspired consultancy. opened in spring 2015, but it keeps evolving, inspiring students to take a page right out of nature.

On Jan. 22, the Biomimicry Center will debut its newly remodeled space: NatureMaker. The hands-on library includes about 2,000 individual artifacts from around the world that students can analyze and use as inspiration for biomimetic designs.

Biomimicry is an emerging discipline that allows humans to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges by mimicking nature. Adelheid (Heidi) Fischer, assistant director of the Biomimicry Center, hopes the space can provide the link to nature she believes is currently missing.

“It’s a joyful place to walk into, and there’s so much to look at and there’s so much to learn.”

At first glance, NatureMaker looks like a library; there are books along the wall and reading space throughout the room. But tucked away, nearly in plain sight, are drawers full of natural artifact collections like dragonflies, beetles and various seeds. Along the outer wall, there’s a storefront-like display with larger artifacts, including a whale vertebrae — the largest piece in the collection.

The artifacts come from a variety of places, either donated or purchased online or locally, but all have a story to tell.

“Part of what’s guided that is keeping an eye towards things that have really good natural history stories, and that could have some potential application, potential inspiration for someone who may be an engineer, architect or designer — to find a sustainable solution by mimicking that strategy or that adaptation in nature,” Fischer said.

The concept for NatureMaker was inspired by the Rhode Island School of Design’s Nature Lab, which boasts nearly 80,000 individual, natural specimens. Fischer shared her vision for ASU with Debra Riley-Huff, director of the Design and the Arts Library and division head of humanities, and in about a year’s time, the proposed concept became a reality.

“I thought it might be possible for us to start a collaboration, especially because libraries have a lot of experience in putting a collection together, cataloguing the collection, making things accessible and creating a hands-on kind of library.”

NatureMaker would not be possible without the support of ASU Library, which provided seed funding for the project. With the renovation of Hayden Library complete, both ASU Library and NatureMaker will continue partnering together, especially through Hayden Library’s renovated Makerspace, where additional artifacts will be housed. The ASU community will also be able to get 3D printouts of artifacts scanned at the NatureMaker space at Hayden’s Makerspace.

In addition to viewing artifacts at NatureMaker, the ASU community will be able to utilize various microscopes and dissection kits and check out field kits and binoculars. Some of the specimens will also be labeled with QR codes that will provide additional information to the person viewing the artifact via their smartphone.

“We’re hoping that this space is a space that inspires,” Riley-Huff said. “We just want students to leave here and feel really good and have something that they didn’t have before when they came in.”

To celebrate the debut of the newly remodeled space, Naturemaker will host an open house on Jan. 22. On Jan. 23, NatureMaker will launch its Nature@Noon series, and in the evening, host a lecture by guests of the Rhode Island School of Design’s Nature Lab, the inspiration behind the new space.

Top photo: Debra Riley-Huff (left), director of the Design and the Arts Library, and Heidi Fischer, the Biomimicry Center assistant director, look over a tortoise shell at the bio-inspired NatureMaker space in the Biomimicry Center in the Design South Building on the Tempe campus. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Jimena Garrison

Copywriter , Media Relations and Strategic Communications

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New doors open to Hayden Library

January 10, 2020

$90 million reinvention sparks new era of access, engagement for ASU’s busiest and most ambitious library

On Arizona State University’s most populous campus, a welcome gift has arrived for Sun Devils on the first day of the spring semester — a sleek, new, state-of-the-art library.

Capping off a $90 million renovation, ASU’s Hayden Library, originally built in 1966, has been reinvented and reopened for the 21st century, with an eye toward maximum accessibility, engagement and support for the university’s growing student population.

Hayden Library’s revamped five-story tower, which sits at the center of ASU’s Tempe campus, now features nearly double the student space, enhanced study areas, community-driven book collections, two reading rooms, a variety of research services and interdisciplinary learning labs, and an entire floor devoted to innovation.

Spectacular campus views and abundant natural light, courtesy of floor-to-ceiling windows and the Arizona sun, come as a bonus, says University Librarian Jim O’Donnell.

“Hayden Library has been the engine of intellectual discovery for generations of Sun Devils,” said O’Donnell, who is a professor in ASU’s School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies. “We just turbocharged it for a new generation.”

While many of Hayden’s iconic midcentury design elements remain, there are some wonderful additions too, including a gold staircase — a nod to Sun Devil spirit — and a welcome mural honoring indigenous cultures, directed by Wanda Dalla Costa, an architect and professor in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

There are hallways that literally sparkle.

“Everything about Hayden is meant to make students feel at home and comfortable and supported — so it can be the place where they can reach higher, go farther and surprise themselves with the success they’re capable of,” said O’Donnell.

Following the 22-month construction and closure of Hayden tower, perhaps the most obvious indication of the library’s reinvention can be seen in its wide and welcoming plaza and above-ground entryways — a striking departure from the underground entrance that has been used solely since 1989.

Upon entering, visitors are greeted by two large and stately reading rooms, designed to draw attention and provide greater access to the ASU Library’s Distinctive Collections, encompassing millions of primary source materials, rare and unique objects spanning centuries.

Community-selected materials focused on the peoples and places of the Southwest will be more visible than before, showcased in library spaces such as the Luhrs Arizona Reading Room, the Labriola National American Indian Data Center and the Community-Driven Archives.

Although the dust may still be settling in Hayden Library, one thing is clear: The books are back.

It took approximately 20 days, 30 truckloads and 9,000 new shelves to bring the books back to Hayden — along with four years of careful planning for how those books would be displayed, curated and delivered, and how they would best serve the university community.

Now, over 30 different collections are on the shelves and ready for exploration.

"Our team employed a community-centered and data-informed approach to designing the collections for Hayden Library," said Lorrie McAllister, associate university librarian for collections services and strategy, who leads the ASU Library’s Future of Print initiative.

With support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this three-year initiative to reinvent the future of print for ASU explores the interests, needs and expectations of 21st-century academic library users.

"We are grateful for the chance to experiment and activate our open stacks as opportunities for engagement and inquiry," McAllister said.

In 2017, McAllister co-authored a widely shared white paper on emerging design practices that is now shaping the curation and delivery of academic library print collections at ASU at a time when campus space and digital resources are in high demand.

As a result of this work, ASU students, faculty and staff will encounter a series of newly featured collections on nearly every floor of Hayden Library — collections such as "Untold Histories" and "The Southwest Before the U.S."

These collections and others like them have been selected and curated in collaboration with ASU students and faculty. Each collection is university-inspired and strategic in design, driven by data and reader interest.

"A great example of how the 'Future of Print' project has influenced the Hayden collections design is our new Sun Devil Reads collection, designed with students and in-person browsing in mind, organized by themes and with lots of eye-catching cover art," McAllister added.

While many books have returned to Hayden Library and are being showcased in new and inviting ways, those books that have not returned to Hayden will be housed at Noble Library or in the ASU Library’s high-density collection at the Polytechnic campus, where they will be available for fast-turnaround delivery.

Last semester, the ASU Library began offering book delivery and self-service lockers for the quick and convenient pickup and return of library materials.

‘A bold step forward’

More than 75 miles of data cabling and close to 50,000 square feet of space have been added to Hayden Library to more effectively support the needs of its nearly 2 million visitors each year, easily making it the busiest library on any ASU campus.

Tomalee Doan, associate university librarian for engagement and learning services, says that Hayden Library is not only equipped to meet the demands of its bustling campus, it is better positioned to advance the vision of an academic library well into the 21st century.

“This renovation represents a bold step forward in executing a transformative vision of the academic library, both in maintaining the integrity of what a library historically has provided and building a bridge to meet future demands our students and scholars expect today,” Doan said.

That future vision can be glimpsed on Hayden Library’s third floor — a place where people, ideas and technologies all come together for hands-on learning and collaboration.

Here, the No. 1 goal is innovation.

Home to the Unit for Data Science and Analytics, the Makerspace, the Map and Geospatial Hub, and the Center for Digital Antiquity’s Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR), this neighborhood of Hayden takes the ASU community beyond book collections, journals and archival materials into other regions of today's scholarly landscape, in which new platforms for research and data enable knowledge creation in altogether new ways.

“This is the place to learn new interdisciplinary skills, meet people and get involved through experiential learning,” Doan said. “Students and scholars might want to incubate a research idea, think through a problem, or get connected with an expert.”

ASU students are invited to participate in weekly open lab sessions and have free access to 3D printing and a robust technology lending program that is forthcoming, courtesy of the Makerspace.

Additionally, Sun Devils now have access to several high-quality audio/visual production studios, a total of 11 university classrooms, five instruction rooms and 27 conference rooms, where they can conduct group work, study sessions and presentations.

Throughout the library are a variety of amenities, including 10 gender-inclusive restrooms (two on every floor), two wellness and lactation rooms, an interfaith reflection room, an ablution room, three banks of lockers for students to secure their belongings, and a new cafe and market.

Smart design

While the LEED certification is still under review, the sustainability practices that informed the Hayden2020 reinvention design are surely to be celebrated.

Some of those sustainability achievements include the use of recycled materials — approximately 80% of materials used in the renovation were diverted from a landfill.

Approximately 13% of the building’s annual energy expenses are met by Hayden Library’s highly reflective rooftop photovoltaic solar power system, helping to lower the impact of the urban heat island effect.

Overall, the renovation has reduced the library’s annual energy costs by 47%.

Low-flow fixtures, installed throughout Hayden, serve to reduce demand for potable water by 37%, and appropriate plant selection, coupled with high-efficiency irrigation systems, reduce irrigation’s demand for potable water by 80%.

“We’ve greatly benefited from smart, sustainable design practices that have come a long way since the 1960s, when Hayden Library was built,” O’Donnell said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how the library will continue to evolve.”

A grand opening celebration with ASU partners, the architecture firm Ayers Saint Gross and Holder Construction, is slated for March 25.

Top photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist , ASU Library