ASU announces series of events celebrating indigenous culture in April 2019

October 9, 2018

In April 2019, ASU will celebrate indigenous culture with the ASU Pow Wow and the premiere of a new theatrical experience, "Native Nation," both of which will honor spiritual legacy and be an opportunity to share traditions and honor the past as well as celebrate the future. American Indian culture continues to play an important role in the development of the Americas and a significant role in Arizona. 

“ASU’s commitment to indigenous communities, nations, and our students, staff and faculty is clear," said Bryan McKinley Jones Brayboy (Lumbee), President’s Professor, senior adviser to ASU President Michael Crow and director of the Center for Indian Education. "We are here to create futures of their own making and do so with a connection to place. Both the ASU Pow Wow and 'Native Nation' allow us to assert our commitment to the future and to place. We continue to strive to be an institution where Indigenous peoples see themselves as mattering.”   Kinsale Hueston performs in "Urban Rez." Photo by Kevin Michael Campbell Download Full Image

ASU Pow Wow to be first cultural festival at the new Sun Devil Stadium

April 12–14, 2019

American Indian dancers and singing groups from across the United States and Canada will be featured at this social gathering that reinforces the common bond and spirituality existing between individuals from many North American nations through singing and dancing. The cultural diffusion that takes place at the ASU Pow Wow helps bridge existing gaps in any misunderstanding of tradition and respect. The Pow Wow at Arizona State University is a culmination of American Indian beliefs and traditions that inspire, communicate and support American Indian culture. American Indians represent an increasing percentage of the student population at ASU and with pride seek academic and cultural enrichment by maintaining and sharing heritage and traditions with the community. 

Five age groups — consisting of senior men and women, adult men and women, teen boys and girls, junior boys and girls, and tiny tot boys and girls — will all be dancing and competing in different dance categories. The ASU Pow Wow will feature various American Indian arts and crafts vendors from throughout the United States and Canada. This series of annual pow wows presented by the ASU Pow Wow Committee is specifically designed to preserve the inter-tribal cultural heritage of the American Indian students at ASU and to enrich and demonstrate the cultural diversity of the ASU community and surrounding population. 

girl dancing in powwow

A young girl dances at the 32nd annual Pow Wow at ASU.

New play 'Native Nation' to be presented at Steele Indian School Park

April 27–28, 2019

ASU Gammage, in partnership with Cornerstone Theater Company, will present "Native Nation," written by Larissa FastHorse and directed by Michael John Garcés, at Steele Indian School Park at 2 and 7 p.m. April 27–28. This is an indigenous theatrical experience for the whole family with the original people of this land to see the world through their eyes. Part marketplace, cultural performance, community gathering and theater, "Native Nation" is a new experience that will forever change the way you see this land.

“We are so excited to welcome the entire community in April to celebrate and honor indigenous culture with these two incredible events at ASU," said Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, ASU vice president for cultural affairs. "With the mission of connecting communitiesASU Cultural Affairs believes cultural events facilitate building significant bonds of respect between communities, and no connection is more important than with the American Indian community.” 

Tickets for all events will be for sale on Ticketmaster. 

ASU Library writing the next chapter in the 'Future of Print'

How print books are displayed, curated and delivered is the focus of a new initiative

October 5, 2018

When Hayden Library, Arizona State University’s largest library, re-opens in 2020, its open-stack print collections will have a whole new look. 

The future display, curation and delivery of books at ASU, and how those books interact with the heavily digital-dwelling community in which they are present, is the focus of the Future of Print initiative, an exploration into the behaviors, needs and expectations of 21st-century academic library users. Health Humanities Horizon display A new collection on the Downtown Phoenix campus looks at the intersection of health and humanities. Download Full Image

Led by ASU Library, the initiative addresses specific needs of today’s public universities, and has resulted in a widely shared white paper and a three-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Lorrie McAllister, Associate University Librarian for Collections Services and Analysis, and Shari Laster, head of Open Stack Collections, are now leading the Future of Print into its next phase: experimentation.

Here, Laster discusses these experiments and how they aim to inspire new thinking around the design of inclusive, high-quality and user-focused print collections for research and learning. 

Question: This fall, the library is experimenting with a series of collection experiments. Can you tell us more about them?

Answer: ASU Library has a lot of ideas about how people and books get connected together. We came up with a list we are calling “10 Compelling Ideas” and we’re trying out some of these ideas in different library locations and in other spots on campus. This fall, we have several mini-projects, or experiments, in motion.

Surprise Me! is a collection of poetry and drama at Fletcher Library on the West campus. The books in this collection are being shelved spine-backward in order to invite students to explore an unexpected collection. Another project, Vamos Argentina! Books, Tango and Meteors, is an exciting series of talks and events that will draw attention to the collection of Argentine literature currently housed at Noble Library on the Tempe campus. At the Downtown Phoenix campus, we are featuring Health Humanities Horizons, a collection curated in collaboration with faculty whose research and teaching intersects with the CLASCollege of Liberal Arts and Sciences certificate program in interdisciplinary health humanities.

We’re also cooperating with Barrett, The Honors College to assemble a mini-library in a student-friendly environment, in addition to planning a mini-collection for Hayden Library that’s all about the act of collecting, what we collect and why we collect. 

Q: With digital interfacing consuming more of our time and attention, what are some unique strengths of the print medium?

A: Books mean different things to different people. While digital content certainly has many advantages, accessing and using a book in print format is a specific experience that can bring about a different form of interaction with the content. We all have different ways of learning and absorbing information. We hope that allowing for the possibility of a book to “catch the eye” of a passerby will enrich the experience of our spaces.

Books also have a physical presence in library spaces. Print books are often considered an essential component to creating a thriving learning environment. For example, they can make a room more conducive to study and focus. This project takes into consideration which books we are presenting in and around spaces where students study and learn. By making parts of our collections more visible, we add another layer of learning where users can physically be immersed in the collections.

Q: University libraries have always been a source of academic support for students. How does this initiative, focusing on print materials, connect to the success of ASU students?

A: When Hayden Library reopens in 2020, it will be a destination on the Tempe campus for studying, research and classroom learning. It will also be a place for the campus community to relax, take a break and explore new ideas. We want to create collections that make library spaces more welcoming and inviting. We also want to use print books to present new perspectives on academic disciplines and research, and to inspire innovation and discovery. By helping everyone who enters the library to see our collections in a new light, we also give them a new way to explore ideas that matter to their success at ASU.

Q: How can people participate in these experiments/mini-projects?

A: Visit the collections and leave us feedback! Visitors can expect to see emoji stickers for a quick shortcut to speaking your mind. Anyone can borrow the books on display, so pick up and check out what looks interesting to you. 

We also want to hear from the ASU community about the library collections that make you feel welcome in our spaces. Anyone is welcome to send me a note at

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library

ASU professor heading up free Alzheimer’s event to bring together patients, caregivers, family members

October 3, 2018

Connecting patients, caregivers and family members with resources and research is the goal behind an annual public conference hosted by the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium.  

This year, David Coon, associate dean and professor at Arizona State University’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation is organizing and emceeing the event. He’s also a member of the consortium and respected researcher and expert in this field.  Stock Image of hands folded over knee Download Full Image

Coon says Alzheimer’s is now the fourth leading cause of death in the state of Arizona, and the disease does not discriminate. 

According to 2018 data released by the Alzheimer’s Association, every 65 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s; by 2050, someone will develop the disease every 33 seconds.

There is no cure but researchers and top scientists, many of whom are part of the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium, are working on advances in prevention and treatment and toward finding a cure.

It’s that ongoing work and recent findings that will be shared at the upcoming conference on Wednesday, Oct. 31 in Phoenix. We spoke with Coon to find out what else attendees can expect.

Question: How is this conference different from other conferences on the topic?

Answer: What makes this unique is the fact that there are a number of scientists from this one-of-a-kind statewide consortium that are slated to speak and answer questions.These are people that are leading the fight in many ways throughout the nation in terms of treatment, care and cure as well as addressing assistance for family caregivers. Each year the speakers who share their research change, so attendees are really exposed to a wide range of topics and the newest research.

Q: Who will be speaking at this year’s conference and what will they be talking about?

A: We have a really well-rounded group this year. Dr. Bryan Woodruff from Mayo Clinic will be speaking and he’ll be focusing on the latest advances in prevention, treatment and care. Leslie Baxter from the Barrow Neurological Institute will also join the panel. Matt Huentelman from TGen will talk about MindCrowd, a first-of-its-kind brain study. Finally, I’ll be updating some of my research around proven interventions to help with stress and mood in both people impacted with the diseases as well as their family caregivers. The presentations will be capped at about 25 minutes but we’ll have plenty of time for questions afterward.

Q: Who should look into attending?

A: This conference is for people in the early stages of Alzheimer's or related dementias, their family caregivers and the providers who serve them. So that includes health care and social service providers that assist the families impacted. But really, anyone who has an interest is welcome too, there are very few people who haven’t been affected in some way by this disease.

Q: What do you hope attendees will come away with from this event?

A: What I hope they walk away with is an understanding of advances and what’s going on in their community in terms of research. Arizona really is leading the nation on that front. Additionally, I hope they recognize all the opportunities available here to have their voices heard in research. It is critically important that we have people engaged so that we can continue to advance treatment, prevention and ultimately find a cure. Finally, I want them to leave knowing that there is a lot of support and programming available for family caregivers — to help deal with all the challenges that come up in that role.

The 2018 Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium Public Conference will take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, at the Black Canyon Conference Center in Phoenix.

Find more information and register to attend this free event. Seating is limited.

Amanda Goodman

Media relations officer, College of Nursing and Health Innovation


ASU Gammage to rededicate pipe organ at free concert

October 2, 2018

It’s been over half a century since ASU Gammage’s trademark pipe organ was first dedicated to the theater, and now the historic instrument will be celebrated once again  

ASU Gammage will rededicate its famous Aeolian-Skinner Pipe Organ with a free concert on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. by Richard Elliott, principal organist for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City.   The organ has been fully renovated and is ready to make music once more, thanks to the hard work and dedication of Kimberly Marshall, DMA student Alexander Messier, Jeff Rollins, Reuter Organ Company CEO Albert Neutel Jr., Albert Leffler, Terri Cranmer, Grady Gammage Jr., Heather Peel, Karen Taylor, and DMA student Brandon Burns. Download Full Image

The rededication concert celebrates the modernization of the 53-year-old instrument specifically designed and voiced for the world-renowned concert hall acoustics of ASU Gammage. 

The original ASU Gammage organ-dedication concert in 1965 was given by Alexander Schreiner, principal organist of the Salt Lake Tabernacle and one of the most popular and often-heard organists through recordings, broadcasts and live performances given around the world. 

Elliott follows closely in the footsteps of Schreiner; he participates in the daily recital series on the 206-rank Aeolian-Skinner organ and accompanies the Tabernacle Choir in the choir’s weekly radio and TV broadcast, “Music and the Spoken Word.”  

“It is an honor to help commemorate such a unique and entrancing instrument, and what better way to do so than with a concert open to the public,” said Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, ASU Gammage executive director and vice president for ASU Cultural Affairs. “The concert selections are specifically chosen to demonstrate the ASU Gammage’s extraordinary sound and captivate the audience.”

gammage asu

The updated organ back in its home at ASU Gammage.

As accompanist for the choir, Elliott has performed in many of the world’s great halls and has appeared in numerous television and radio programs. For the rededication concert, he has prepared a mix of compositions to demonstrate the tonal range of this unique instrument and its specific design for the acoustics of ASU Gammage. 

The ASU Gammage pipe organ was the gift of Hugh W. Long and his wife Barbara V. Long and is known as the Hugh W. and Barbara V. Long Family Aeolian-Skinner Organ. The costs of the console modernization and addition of several ranks of digital pedal pipes were made possible through the gift of Hugh W. Long Jr. who attended the original dedication concert when he was 8 years old. 

This is a rare opportunity to hear one of the world’s great organists perform on a significant pipe organ in one of the great concert halls. 

Both the concert and parking in the ASU Gammage lot are free.

Nominate a co-worker for ASU's 'Writer of the Year' award

September 27, 2018

For the seventh year, the ASU English Department is recognizing a hard-working staff writer at Arizona State University who deserves public recognition with its 2018 ASU "Behind-the-Scenes Writer of the Year” Award. Nominations are being accepted until Wednesday, Oct. 17.

Criteria for the award include: woman being presented with award Maureen Roen (right), editorial and communications coordinator for ASU’s College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, was the winner of the 2017 "Behind-the-Scenes Writer of the Year” Award. Here she is presented with the honor by the director of ASU writing programs, Professor Shirley Rose. Photo by Bruce Matsunaga Download Full Image

• An ASU staff writer who usually remains "behind-the-scenes." These are staff writers who rarely receive bylines or much public recognition for their work.

• A staff writer whose writing makes significant contributions to ASU's mission of serving students and the community.

• Someone who shows commitment and dedication to the craft of writing.

• A writer whose work most often shows sensitivity to audience and to changing rhetorical situations as needed for effective communication.

In addition, the candidate must be able to appear at noon Oct. 22, on ASU's Tempe campus to receive the award from the Writing Programs director and/or English department chair. 

The winner's co-workers and nominating supervisor are encouraged to attend the event and cheer on the winner. This award is one of the major highlights of the "National Day on Writing," a day on which universities across the nation celebrate the central importance of writing in our lives.  

To nominate a candidate, email a short paragraph or two, along with links to two or three typical examples of the candidate’s work to Please explain how your candidate fits most or all of the above criteria and would be worthy of this public recognition and state the approximate number of years the candidate has served ASU as a staff writer.

image title

ASU completes $38 million in facilities upgrades during summer 2018

September 27, 2018

Editor's note: This story is being highlighted in ASU Now's year in review. Read more top stories from 2018 here.

Arizona State University Facilities Development and Management was busy during summer 2018 opening several new buildings and completing multiple facilities upgrades. Facilities Development and Management completed more than 100 projects — a total of $38 million in investments across all campuses — in time for the start of the fall semester. 

“During summer break, a small army of ASU facility management personnel and construction contractors take advantage of the opportunity to accomplish much-needed building and infrastructure repairs and renovations during the least disruptive time,” said Bruce Nevel, Facilities Development and Management associate vice president and chief facilities officer. “This summer was no exception as we were able to accomplish an incredible number of repairs, upgrades and new construction across every campus.”

With the help of public and private support, the Tempe campus continues its growth with the conclusion of major long-term projects including Sun Devil Stadium Phase IIIBiodesign C and the Greek Leadership Village. At the Polytechnic campus, a state-of-the-art educational facility opened for the ASU Preparatory Academy’s science, technology, engineering and math programs. Facilities Development and Management also made improvements to classrooms and offices across all ASU campuses.  

Sun Devil Stadium Reinvention – Phase III

Phase III marks the completion of all general public areas of the Sun Devil Stadium Reinvention, which helped provide additional improvements to the stadium’s east side. Phase III construction highlights include:

• All-new lower bowl, concourse, upper concourse and club level.

• Addition of three concession areas and nine restrooms on the main east-side concourse.

• Completion of the main concourse that creates the first 360-degree stadium walkway.

• New southeast plaza and northeast grand staircase.

The reinvented Sun Devil Stadium is designed to be a year-round destination for conventions, meetings, offices and public events. The “450 level,” new space behind the upper east bowl, creates approximately 17,000 square feet of air-conditioned space for academic programs, academic support services and conferences.

sun devil stadium

Phase III of the Sun Devil Stadium reinvention was completed in summer 2018. Photo by ASU

Biodesign C

The $120-million Biodesign C building provides laboratory space for the ASU Biodesign Institute, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. The building features high-quality wet lab space for biological sciences, chemistry and engineering. Biodesign C building highlights include:

• 60,000 square feet of flexible laboratory space and office space.

• A copper skin shields the building from sun exposure.

• The world’s first compact X-ray free-electron laser.

Funded by green bonds that allow investors to invest directly in projects identified as promoting environmental sustainability, Biodesign C is tracking toward LEED Platinum certification

Greek Leadership Village

Greek organizations now have a dedicated, Tempe campus location with the Greek Leadership Village opening. The residential community, comprised of 27 town houses, surrounds open green spaces and serves as the new center for ASU fraternity and sorority life.   

With funding from American Campus Communities’ American Campus Equity Program, the $89-million project provides fraternities and sororities with an on-campus residential living and learning experience and a Greek Leadership Village Community Center, which includes these features:  

• Chapter meeting rooms.

• Council suites.

• Executive conference room.

• Fraternity and sorority life administrative offices.

• Large interior and exterior programming spaces.

• Open terrace.

• Street-level retail space.

greek leadership village

The Greek Leadership Village is on the east side of the Tempe campus. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Armstrong and Ross-Blakley Halls

ASU’s largest and most diverse college now has a consolidated home on the Tempe campus. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has relocated to Armstrong Hall, its first stand-alone building that focuses on student success. Ross-Blakley Hall, located immediately to the south, provides a new home for the Department of English and centers focusing on the humanities. Highlights of Armstrong and Ross-Blakley Halls include:

• Administrative center. 

• Advising.

• Classrooms.

• Humanities research.

• Lecture hall.

• Writing centers.

Additional capital projects

• The Thunderbird School of Global Management moved from Glendale, Arizona, to One Arizona Center near ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus. The new location provides Thunderbird students and executive education clients with access to the most robust educational, professional and social amenities available. Renovations to three floors of the building allow for classrooms, conference rooms, student spaces, and faculty and administrative offices. Thunderbird will occupy the tower suites until the planned new Thunderbird School building, next to the Beus Center for Law and Society, opens in 2021.

• The ASU Preparatory Academy STEM High School program has a new 29,000 square-foot, two-story home on the Polytechnic campus. The building includes state-of-the-art classrooms and teaching labs, a music room, “maker space,” and a multi-purpose event room. Site amenities include a shade-sail-covered courtyard, a shaded congregation patio, a lawn and site landscaping.

• Papago Golf Course, now the new home for ASU men’s and women’s golf teams, received a new clubhouse with a golf shop and restaurant. The facility has men’s and women’s locker rooms, retail, offices, a full-service kitchen, full bar and indoor and outdoor seating. The completion of indoor and outdoor practice facilities for ASU golf wraps up this fall.

• The historic University Club on the Tempe campus underwent significant renovations that included painting and replacement of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, fire alarm and chilled-water lines.

• Southwest Gas replaced a central gas line along Tyler Mall from Palm Walk to McAllister Avenue. Once the underground line was finished, new landscaping and hardscaping were added.  

polytechnic computing commons

New computers await students at the Academic Center on the Polytechnic campus. Photo by ASU

Classroom, laboratory and office renovations

• Murdock Hall 201, one of the larger auditoriums on the Tempe campus at 7,000 square feet, received much-needed updates. New occupancy supports 452 people, including two instructor stations and six Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant stations. The space was renovated to meet university classroom standards with modern finishes, furniture, lighting and controls, and upgraded audiovisual amenities. New, enlarged ADA-compliant restrooms have more stalls and all new finishes, partitions, fixtures, dispensers and lighting.

• The combination of two small traditional classrooms creates one active learning classroom in the Sands Classroom and Lecture Hall on ASU’s West campus. The expanded space includes new computers, furniture and upgraded audio and visual system.

• A math laboratory was expanded into adjacent spaces for one learning classroom in the Academic Center on the Polytechnic campus. Features include new computers, furniture updates and installation of an upgraded audiovisual system. 

• An expansion of the Computing Commons on the Polytechnic campus includes updated lobby space and all new finishes and furniture. 

In total, Facilities Development and Management completed more than 60 infrastructure projects — electrical, paint, and maintenance — on classrooms, laboratories and offices throughout all ASU campuses.

These completed summer projects are only a few examples of the ASU capital projects now in some phase of planning, design or construction. Ongoing projects include the Hayden Library Reinvention, ISTB 7 construction, Health Solutions Innovation Center construction and the new Thunderbird School building in downtown Phoenix. 

Visit the ASU construction webpages to learn more about past, present and future construction projects, check out the 2018 summer construction projects PDF and follow Facilities Development and Management on Twitter.

Top photo: Hundreds of guests attended the grand opening of the new Biodesign C building on the Tempe campus in September. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now.

ASU’s Wind Bands season represents tradition, innovation

September 24, 2018

ASU’s Wind Bands are presenting timeless masterworks, cutting-edge world premieres and everything in between in this year's upcoming season. Tradition and innovation will meet, and occasionally collide, in what will be an artistically rewarding year for everyone.

Season highlights include Joe Alessi, principal trombone of the New York Philharmonic; Joshua Gardner, associate professor in the ASU School of Music and renowned clarinetist; and the U.S. premiere of Kenley Kristofferson's "Transcendent Light." ASU Wind Bands Download Full Image

This year’s major concert is on Feb. 22 as part of the College Band Directors National Association national conference that is hosted by the ASU School of Music. The ASU Wind Orchestra and its conductor, Gary Wayne Hill, will feature world premieres by John Mackey and Steven Bryant, music by Roshanne Etezady and the amazing artistry of singer Lindsay Kesselman.

The ASU bands in the Herberger Institute School of Music regularly venture beyond the campus and embark on activities that embed music making in the community — from visiting schools and teaching children, to informal concerts for hospitals, shelters, retirement communities and community events.  The history of the bands dates back to 1915 when founding director Lillian Williams organized a band for the purpose of training prospective teachers in instrumental music.

The ASU bands program consists of the Wind Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Philharmonia and the ASU Marching Band. The program’s current leadership is Gary W. Hill, director of bands; Jason Caslor, associate director of bands and orchestras; and James G. Hudson, director of athletic bands.

All concerts are free admission unless otherwise noted. Tickets are available through the Tempe Center for the Arts and Scottsdale Center for the Arts box offices for ticketed performances. Take a peek and save the dates!

Wind Orchestra and Wind Ensemble
Gary Hill and Jason Caslor, conductors
7:30 p.m. Sept. 25
ASU Gammage

Opening the season with an evening of music by Husa, Holst, Wagner, Sousa and more.

Wind Ensemble and Mountain Ridge Wind Ensemble
Gary Hill and Jason Caslor, conductors
7:30 p.m. Sept. 26
Mountain Ridge High School

The ASU Wind Ensemble heads off campus to share the stage with the Mountain Ridge High School Wind Ensemble.

Wind Orchestra and ASU Choirs
“Sacred and Profane”
7:30 p.m. Oct. 16
Tempe Center for the Arts

Featuring works by Dello Joio, Gjeilo and Stravinsky.

Philharmonia and Concert Band
7:30 p.m. Oct. 17
ASU Gammage

Our first concert of the year, featuring Banilingyu Ban, winner of the 2018 ASU School of Music Concerto Competition.

Wind Orchestra and Wind Ensemble
"Brass on the Lake"
Gary Hill and Jason Caslor, conductors
7:30 p.m. Nov. 7
Tempe Center for the Arts

Featuring the world-renowned Joe Alessi, principal trombone of the New York Philharmonic, performing works by Bryant, Grantham, King, Marshall and more.

Philharmonia and Concert Band
7:30 p.m. Nov. 20
ASU Gammage

The ASU Concert Band and Philharmonia come together to present an eclectic mix of music.

Wind Orchestra
“Beyond the Norm”

7:30 p.m. Nov. 28
Katzin Concert Hall

Guest conductor Fredrick M. Brown leads an evening of chamber music for winds with a variety of rarely heard and new chamber music.

Wind Ensemble and Concert Band
7:30 p.m. Feb. 5
Tempe Center for the Arts

Band music abounds this night, including the consortium premiere of Robert Spittal's “Diversions,” featuring guest soloist and ASU professor of clarinet Joshua Gardner.

Wind Orchestra
2019 CBDNA National Conference
7:30 p.m. Feb. 22
ASU Gammage

Guest composers Steven Bryant and John Mackey and soprano Lindsay Kesselman join the ASU Wind Orchestra for an evening of tributes, watershed works and world premieres.

Wind Orchestra and Wind Ensemble
"Gone with the Winds"
Gary Hill and Jason Caslor, conductors
7:30 p.m. April 3
Tempe Center for the Arts

ASU School of Music faculty and students are featured throughout this concert.

Philharmonia and Concert Band
7:30 p.m. April 16
Tempe Center for the Arts

Join us for our final concert of the season.

Wind Ensembles and ASU Choirs
"An American Festival"
7:30 p.m. April 22
Scottsdale Center for the Arts

The ASU Choral Union, Barrett Choir and Wind Ensemble present a program featuring the U.S. premiere of "Transcendent Light" by Kenley Kristofferson and works by Aaron Copland, Eric Whitacre and others.

Lynne MacDonald

communications specialist, School of Music


ASU emeritus professor wins Aminoff Prize in crystallography

A passion for the visual beauty of reticular chemistry bears fruit with prestigious award

September 19, 2018

Twenty years ago, an ebullient, young assistant professor named Omar Yaghi sat down in Professor Michael O’Keeffe’s office in what was then the Arizona State University Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. O'Keeffe asked him if he could synthesize a particularly beautiful, complex crystal in his lab. Yaghi brashly replied, “Of course!” And so began the field now known as reticular chemistry.

“It was a relationship born in heaven,” said Austen Angell, Regents’ Professor in the School of Molecular Sciences. Professor Michael O'Keeffe Emeritus Regents' Professor Michael O’Keeffe from ASU’s School of Molecular Sciences will be awarded, along with University of California, Berkeley Professor Omar Yaghi, the prestigious Gregori Aminoff Prize in Crystallography in 2019. Download Full Image

Now, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has announced that ASU Emeritus Regents' Professor O’Keeffe and Yaghi, of the University of California, Berkeley, have won the prestigious Gregori Aminoff Prize in Crystallography for 2019, “for their fundamental contributions to the development of reticular chemistry."

“This is a well-deserved achievement by one of our most famous scholars,” said Professor Neal Woodbury, director of the School of Molecular Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at ASU. “Professor O’Keeffe has performed decades of groundbreaking work on the fundamental structure and properties of molecules and materials. He has been a pioneer in the creation of materials made from linking molecular building blocks into porous frameworks, a field that has been used to develop everything from catalysts to materials for specific chemical separation processes.”

Metal-organic frameworks, universally called MOFs, are a relatively new class of crystalline materials with unprecedented porosities and capacities to absorb gases, with many practical applications.

MOFs and their properties were discovered in the late ‘90s at ASU by Yaghi and his group. Yaghi was joined by O’Keeffe in developing the theory and practice of synthesis of MOFs with designed structure and properties — reticular chemistry.

Yaghi and O’Keeffe were both ranked in the top three on the world list of most frequently cited chemists in the decade ending in 2011.

“What has been most remarkable to me in MOF chemistry over the years was the constant Greek chorus saying that ‘It can’t be done,'" O'Keeffe said. "But subsequent history has been an illustration of the truism 'never say never.' Naysayers can only be proved wrong.”

An early example of a MOF with a two-periodic net formed of strong bonds was what is now known as MOF-2 from the Yaghi group. In this compound, square "paddle wheels" containing two zinc atoms are linked in a periodic square array. Microporosity and high surface area was evidenced by the ability to adsorb gases at low pressures.

O’Keeffe explained: “Those who went to conferences where such materials were discussed two decades ago heard the chorus: 'They won’t be stable.' They were. 'The frameworks will collapse when solvent is removed." They didn’t. 'They won’t be porous.' They were — they adsorbed gases at low pressures and had "permanent" porosity." 

O’Keeffe recalls his initial response when he and Yaghi were colleagues at ASU and the young professor showed him the structures of MOF-2 and MOF-3: "There are simply too many atomsThis was a play on the words, "My dear young man ... your work is ingenious ... there are simply too many notes,’’ uttered by the emperor to Mozart in Peter Shaffer’s play "Amadeus."."

O’Keeffe came from the austere world of metal-oxide chemistry and found structures with benzene rings and carbon-hydrogen bonds far too baroque for his taste. No doubt with tongue in cheek, Yaghi thanked him in the MOF-2 paper for his "interest."

But the now-iconic MOF-5, which came shortly thereafter and earned O’Keeffe, Yaghi and coworkers a publication in Nature, changed everything. This had truly unprecedented surface area, porosity, and stability. The zinc carboxylate cluster with the six carboxylate carbons forming a regular octahedron but with tetrahedral symmetry was elegantly beautiful especially when linked in such regular arrays — by, yes, those benzene rings — like terra-cotta warriors, and O’Keeffe jumped aboard the bandwagon.

MOFs also have exceptional promise as materials to remove carbon dioxide from the emissions of power stations burning fossil fuels. They are therefore important components of the switch to cleaner energy production.

MOFs have many other applications in chemical industry, such as separations of chemicals and catalysis to speed up specific chemical processes. The subject is one of the fastest-growing areas of materials chemistry: Thousands of new compounds are reported every year.

The prize ceremony will be held at the annual meeting of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on March 31, 2019. A symposium on the theme of the prize will be organized in association with its awarding.

Jenny Green

Clinical associate professor, School of Molecular Sciences


ASU is top performer in 2018 campus sustainability ratings

September 13, 2018

Arizona State University continues to make progress in sustainability ratings. ASU was recognized as No. 5 overall by the Sierra Magazine Cool Schools report and a top performer in the 2018 Sustainable Campus Index, achieving a No. 7 overall rating.

Each year, Sierra Magazine highlights environmental practices of colleges and universities in its Top 20 Cool Schools report. The Sustainable Campus Index is a publication of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. The index highlights top-performing sustainable colleges and universities overall and in 17 impact areas, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System. solar shade structure on ASU Tempe campus ASU's PowerParasol solar shade structure in front of the Tempe campus Memorial Union covers pedestrian mall areas while providing renewable energy for the university. Download Full Image

“As a leader in higher education that is shaping the next leaders of business, government and society, it is critical that ASU provide a campus environment and education rooted in sustainability,” said Mick Dalrymple, ASU Sustainability Practices director. “It is nice for Sierra Magazine’s Cool Schools and AASHE to recognize the broad efforts across the university to do just that.”

ASU achieved top-performer AASHE status by earning a high score overall in the STARS campus engagement subcategory. STARS recognize ASU’s efforts to empower and engage the campus community in sustainability via University Sustainability Practices’ efforts including student educators and integrating sustainability throughout orientation.

ASU ranked as a top performer in the following STARS categories:

  • No. 2 in campus engagement.
  • No. 4 in investment and finance.
  • No. 7 in public engagement.
  • No. 7 overall among all institutions.

ASU’s STARS report is available on the STARS website

ASU also is featured in the PDF report for the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication/Arizona PBS collaborative project, "Elemental: Covering Sustainability." Launched in 2018, the partnership networks public television and radio stations in key Western cities, and is producing multimedia reports on four sustainability issues: water, renewable energy, climate change and urbanization.

"Our students and our employees want ASU to be sustainable," said Nichol Luoma, University Business Services associate vice president and sustainability operations officer. "Some of our best sustainability initiatives come from this culture in which innovation in sustainability is diffused throughout the ASU community."

Join ASU Sustainability Practices and Campus Student Sustainability Initiatives on Sept. 24 for the fourth annual State of Sustainability at ASU.

Disaster preparedness at ASU extends far beyond local response

September 12, 2018

Whether caused by nature or instigated by people, disaster can strike anywhere, anytime, and communities must be ready to respond.

September is National Preparedness Month — a time for families, communities and organizations to plan for the unexpected — and Arizona State University occupies a unique place in this realm. Representatives from ASU, local, state, county and federal agencies work out of the university's Emergency Operations Center on Tempe Campus during Pat's Run, April 21. EOCs provide command and coordination structure during a crisis and support first responders at the scene of the incident. ASU stands up the EOC as a precaution during some high visibility events. Photo by Jerry Gonzalez/ASU Download Full Image

“From the emergency preparedness standpoint, we have people involved at different levels — local, county, state, federal,” said Allen Clark, executive director of ASU Preparedness and Security Initiatives. “We are doing some amazing things.”

ASU’s role in preparedness begins with readying the campus to respond during crises and extends to degree and certificate programs, with many initiatives in between that support government at all levels.

“For example, ASU has the state climatologist, Dr. Nancy Selover,” Clark said. “She helps the state of Arizona and the federal government predict weather trends and much more, which then helps us prepare as an institution as well.”

It all begins with campus readiness. ASU fields a dedicated expert and office that focus on planning emergency drills throughout the year, training campus emergency response teams and working with university leaders and units to spread the word about ASU’s response plans.

“Sheri Gibbons is the director of ASU Emergency Preparedness,” Clark said. “The emergency preparedness office is charged with making sure that the university and all the campuses are postured and ready for a wide range of emergencies.”

Extending just beyond campus, ASU faculty and students are engaged helping the city of Phoenix Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management prepare for crises. 

“We are leveraging visualization and online mapping tools such as operations dashboards to provide mapping capabilities and situational awareness,” said Melanie Gall, co-director of ASU’s Center for Emergency Management and Homeland Security. ”As part of her capstone project, a grad student in the ASU Online Emergency Management and Homeland Security program, Nichole Fuller, is designing a technical operations dashboard for the city.”

A full-scale, multiday exercise in May held throughout Arizona tested and evaluated the state’s ability to support mass migration from Southern California in the event of a catastrophic earthquake there. Different parties from ASU participated in the drill, including Gall, who worked in the Phoenix Emergency Operations Center with the city’s geographic information system coordinator, Jim Jarvis, to help visualize the earthquake scenario.

“I created on demand web-based maps and kept the EOC informed with regard to traffic flows, shelter capacities, and more,” said Gall, who holds a PhD in geography.

Gall and other ASU colleagues also jumped into action when Hurricane Irma struck Florida in September 2017. Gall provided similar mapping support to the Florida Voluntary Agencies in Disasters organization after Irma. Her work helped map out welcome and distribution sites, as well as areas of “high social vulnerability” and high demands for assistance. The work has led to discussions with state of Florida emergency management leaders on how best to integrate voluntary agencies into governmental processes and procedures for resource requests.

“It is important to note that we are not reinventing the wheel or creating these tools from scratch,” Gall said. “There is a wonderful online community that shares their visualization tools which allows us to quickly stand up and tailor online maps to the city’s need. We follow the trail blazed by Eric Shreve who is developing phenomenal tools for the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs and allows us to utlize his tools, adapt them and spread the utilities and benefits of online mapping for greater situational awareness during blue sky and grey sky times.”

One of the largest disaster response collaborations currently involves ASU’s Help Center. Day-to-day the 24/7 Help Center serves as the one-stop shop for the ASU community to connect to school resources and customer service support. But since the 2013 reinvention of the Help Center, which was previously outsourced to local vendors, it has taken an active role in disaster response.

During a major on-campus crisis the Help Center becomes a pivotal source of information for the ASU community and the general public. The center has the technical capabilities and staffing to not only provide updates during crises but to guide people to resources and reunite them with their loved ones through a “reunification” process.  

With the exceptions of states prone to natural disasters, such as Florida and Texas, the type of capability the ASU Help Center provides is lacking in Arizona and across the country, said Clark. This makes the Help Center a key resource and a great example of a local, county and state partnership. 

State entities have taken notice of the Help Center’s capabilities and ASU is working with partners to leverage university resources.

“We are pleased to partner with Arizona State University as they have incredible capabilities and resources,” said Wendy Smith-Reeve, deputy director of the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs. “Their centralized call center staffed by knowledgeable, well-trained operators is an extraordinary benefit and will help ensure we are ready to assist the community when an emergency does occur.”

Leveraging the Help Center’s 24/7 capabilities and “robust technology solutions” to support state entities makes sense and was born out of ASU’s charter and design principles, which among other mandates calls for the university to socially embed and serve the community, said Eric Dover, executive director with ASU’s University Technology Office who oversees the Help Center.

“It is a great honor to be able to use our services at the Help Center for the greater good of our Arizona family,” Dover said. “We are thrilled to be partnered with the city of Phoenix, Maricopa County and the state of Arizona.”

Beyond ASU’s preparedness for on-campus emergencies, support for local government agencies and faculty’s involvement in state drills and past real emergencies out-of-state, the university is also molding the next generation of emergency managers, Clark said. The College of Public Service and Community Solutions offers undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs in emergency management. 

“We are unique at ASU in that we’re engaged in emergency management at all levels,” Clark said. “It all ties together.”

Read more about ASU preparedness and planning.

Learn more about National Preparedness Month and the ASU LiveSafe app.

Jerry Gonzalez

Media Relations Officer, Media Relations and Strategic Communications