ASU's solar projects earn national climate impact recognition

April 10, 2012

Arizona State University has been recognized for its cutting-edge work in promoting environmental sustainability by the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), an agreement between nearly 700 colleges and universities to promote sustainability through teaching and action.

ASU earned the distinction in large part because of its commitment to rely on solar power to fuel its energy needs. ASU has 57 solar photovoltaic projects with the capacity to generate more than 15 megawatts across four campuses. Combined, they enable the university to reduce carbon emissions by 16,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, which is roughly the same as the annual emissions of 1,500 homes or 3,000 passenger vehicles, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. An aerial view of top of Wells Fargo Arena Download Full Image

The projects, which comprise the largest, single university solar installation in the country, now account for approximately 30 percent of the university's peak daytime power needs. ASU’s reliance on renewable energy reduces the university's costs and helps it build community ties with solar business partners.

The ACUPCC acknowledged ASU’s efforts as part of its Celebrating Sustainability series, which identifies signatories that exemplify the initiative’s mission to re-stabilize Earth's climate through education, research and community engagement. Celebrating Sustainability is formally recognizing a different institution every business day in April leading up to Earth Day on April 22. Among the other institutions of higher education being recognized are the University of California, Irvine, and SUNY Upstate Medical University.

"Arizona State University is located in one of the sunniest parts of the country, so its focus on solar power is practical and proving effective," said Anthony D. Cortese, president of Second Nature, the lead supporting organization of the ACUPCC.

"ASU is putting its vocal advocacy of sustainability on display for students and community members to see. It is extremely important for today's students to not only learn about sustainability in the classroom, but to also see it put into practice on their campuses. We applaud ASU for being responsible to its students and its community,” Cortese said.

"We are generating a sizeable portion of our power needs from renewable sources because in the long term, it helps keep energy costs down,” explained Ray Jensen, associate vice president of university business services and university sustainability operations officer at ASU. "We monitor our solar projects in real time to ensure they are functioning efficiently. As an environmentally conscious university, it is important that we lead by example."

More information about ACUPCC is at

Media Contacts:

Andrew Graham,
The Salak Group

Wendy Craft,
ASU Business and Finance

Wendy Craft

Marketing and communications manager, Business and Finance Communications Group


ASU selects MidFirst Bank as banking services strategic partner

April 2, 2012

Arizona State University and MidFirst Bank announce an 11-year comprehensive strategic alliance that consolidates personalized banking services. The new agreement integrates a MasterCard® check card and student and employee ID program; initiates a comprehensive sports-marketing package with ASU Athletics; offers ASU alumni and fans MasterCard check cards, credit cards and gift cards; and provides financial-literacy resources to the ASU community.

The alliance will advance the objectives of both institutions, and provide a comprehensive banking-service solution for all Sun Devils. Download Full Image

“We embark on this relationship with great enthusiasm,” said Jeff Records, MidFirst Bank chairman and chief executive officer. “ASU is a proven leader in higher education, and this affiliation shows our continued commitment to serving the Valley’s financial needs.”

The new association aligns MidFirst Bank, Arizona’s largest privately held bank, with ASU and advances ASU’s objectives to consolidate university business services. MidFirst Bank was selected by ASU as a strategic-banking partner from seven banking and financial services firms.

“We welcome MidFirst Bank as a strategic banking-services partner and value its forward-thinking approach to customized banking services,” said Michael Crow, ASU president. “Their presence at ASU and newfound accessibility to our alumni and fans, coupled with their financial literacy education options, is a tremendous opportunity for ASU community members. We are fortunate to have teamed up with a banking partner of this measure.”

To enhance access to banking services on campus, MidFirst Bank will open two full-service banking centers. One center will be located in the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus, and the other will be in the University Center on the Downtown Phoenix campus.

The new Pitchfork ID MasterCard Check Card will offer ASU students, faculty and staff an all-in-one ID, MasterCard check card and building access card. In addition, all Sun Devil supporters can sign up for the new exclusive credit, check, and gift cards at any MidFirst location throughout the Valley.

MidFirst Bank also has entered into a comprehensive sponsorship program supporting ASU Athletics, including the naming rights for the Sun Devil Stadium press box.

“We’re pleased to significantly increase our connection with Sun Devil Athletics as part of the new relationship with the university, and we look forward to expanding our services to meet the personal financial needs of the ASU community,” said Jeff Lowe, MidFirst Arizona market president.

“MidFirst has stepped up in a meaningful way in support of Sun Devil Athletics,” said Stephen Patterson, managing director and chief operating officer of Sun Devil Athletics. “We are looking forward to a mutually beneficial relationship for many years.”

Headquartered in Oklahoma City, MidFirst Bank has 22 banking centers across the Valley and serves more than 600,000 customers nationwide.

Media Contacts:

Michael Piazza,
MidFirst Bank

Julie Newberg,
ASU Public Affairs

Wendy Craft

Marketing and communications manager, Business and Finance Communications Group


Win Apple's newest iPad in ASU Advisory contest

March 27, 2012

An important part of keeping individuals safe across all four ASU campuses is being informed about emergencies.

In an effort to encourage campus-safety awareness, ASU is holding an ASU Alert/Advisory contest during the spring 2012 semester. You have the opportunity to win one of two free iPads and other prizes if you sign up to receive ASU Advisory system notifications from Feb. 1 through midnight, MST, April 15. Download Full Image

All ASU students, faculty, and staff are eligible to enter. ASU community members who previously have signed up for ASU Advisory automatically are entered into the contest. There is no need to sign up again.

To be eligible to sign up for ASU Advisory, you must be signed up for the ASU Alert system.

  • The ASU Alert System notifies individuals via text messages and emails about potentially life-threatening situations like gunmen on or around campus and major fires. ASU Alert may also be used to notify the community of a major emergency that greatly impacts university operations.
  • The ASU Advisory System delivers messages through text messages and emails and relays information about mid-level, non-life threatening situations that occur on and around campus such as small fires, flooding or other incidents that may interfere with campus operations.

In addition to the contest, it’s important to check to make sure your ASU Alert/Advisory account is up to date. Click on the ASU Alert icon from or, sign in and review account details such as your cell phone number, provider and account expiration date.

Read more about both the ASU Alert and Advisory systems and how to sign up to receive both emergency notifications at:

Don’t delay to sign up for the ASU Alert/Advisory contest. Winners will be notified via email by April 18.

Lisa Robbins

editor/publisher, Media Relations and Strategic Communications


ASU challenges UA, collects food for those in need

March 26, 2012

Come out and support ASU4Food on March 29 as Arizona State University takes on the University of Arizona in the annual Territorial Food Fight "Fill the FLASH" event. The Territorial Food Fight, which is sponsored by State Farm, aims to feed the homeless and those struggling to provide food for their families.  

From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., non-perishable food items will be collected on a FLASH shuttle service bus, provided by ASU's Parking and Transit Services (PTS) and the City of Tempe. The FLASH bus will be located on the Orange Mall on ASU's Tempe campus. Zipcars will also be available in Lot 59 and Lot 45, on the Tempe campus, to provide additional food donation drop-off sites. In addition, the West and Polytechnic campus PTS offices will be collecting food on that day for the event.   Download Full Image

“Hunger is a severe problem throughout the world as well as right here in our backyard,” says Megan Barlow, ASU4Food president. “We participate each year to combat Arizona’s hunger and, with the combined efforts of everyone, we believe the fight against hunger can be won.”

For additional information visit the ASU4Food website and Facebook page, as well as the event page.

ASU4Food is an ASU student-run organization whose main goal is to raise both awareness and donations for the growing hunger problem in the state of Arizona. All members of the ASU community and its surrounding neighbors are invited to stop by any of the ASU campuses and support ASU4Food. One dollar can provide seven meals for those in need. ASU4Food is half-way to its goal of raising 60,000 meals this year. Donations of nonperishable food items are welcome as well as cash or check donations. 

Media contact:

Chelsea Chamberlain,

Parking and Transit Services

Arizona State University


Lisa Robbins

editor/publisher, Media Relations and Strategic Communications


West campus students to celebrate recreation center construction

March 22, 2012

The public is invited to join the students of Arizona State University’s West campus as they celebrate the impending addition of a student recreation center. A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for 1:00 p.m., April 24, at the construction site west of Fletcher Library at 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix.

Construction is well under way on the facility, scheduled to open in January 2013. It is one of three major construction projects in progress at the West campus. A new residence hall and dining facility will open in time for the start of the fall 2012 semester in August. construction site Download Full Image

“The new student recreation center at the West campus is moving forward on schedule and on budget. Construction has become a vertical landmark on campus with the recreation center leading the way,” said Bill Johns, ASU project manager. “The sports fields associated with the project also have become an anxiously awaited new feature that will be available for daytime use starting in August 2012.”

The project will add two competition play fields with softball and rugby field overlays.

The building itself will feature amenities such as weight and fitness equipment, fitness studios, an outdoor pool and fields, gymnasium, racquetball courts, and wellness service space including a demonstration kitchen for healthy food preparation.

Student Justine Harper participates in a committee to promote wellness in the recreation centers on all four ASU campuses; she also represents the West campus on the Well Devil Council. “I am very excited about the wellness area in the new rec center.  We will have a substantial space on the first level dedicated to wellness in all its many aspects,” she said.

Two multipurpose studios in the center will be used for group fitness classes and student club activities. A two-court gymnasium will accommodate basketball, volleyball and badminton, and two racquetball courts also are included. Sand volleyball and outdoor basketball courts will be available on the south side of the new facility, and the existing field north of the project site will be renovated for use as a student quad and recreational play field.

The current West campus recreation facility occupies a relatively small space in the basement of the University Center Building. “The more prominent location on campus of the new recreation center will give us more influence in students’ lives and hopefully help more people maintain healthy lifestyles,” Harper said.

“I am particularly excited about the new student recreation center because it represents all that I had hoped for, for our department,” said ASU student Drake Qualls, who is a student employee at the current recreation facility. “We have a tremendous team here at Campus Recreation and we have so much potential. I feel that with this new facility, the sky is the limit for programming and for establishing the best recreation facility in the country.”

Student Taylor Samora-Dietz, who also works at the recreation center, is looking forward to the ability to conduct more efficient workouts in the expanded, modern space of the new facility. “The new gym will allow students to diversify their workouts and add more to their fitness arsenal,” he said. “There will be a much more diverse selection of equipment and services offered at the new recreation center.”

“Students have been involved from the very beginning of the planning process for the facility, from the arrangement of physical space to the conception of programming priorities,” said Mistalene Calleroz White, dean of students. “This process, from creation to completion, is being driven by students. The recreation center, along with the two other new buildings, will truly transform the experience at the West campus. Students, current and prospective, are extremely excited about what the future holds.”

Added Qualls, “The campus won’t be expanding so much as exploding! We will have more students, staff and things to do. I imagine that this campus will become a more active place to hang out at night and that programming will be more engaging.”

The 365-bed residence hall now under construction will feature 109 one- and two-bedroom suite-style units for two or four residents. Amenities include a social lounge, gaming lounge, study rooms, a community kitchen, laundry facilities, a business center and an interior landscaped courtyard.

Among the amenities in the new dining facility will be open and private dining areas, late-night dining options, market-style food court areas and retail space. The Jamba Juice restaurant and Devils’ Den student space currently located in the University Center Building will become part of the new dining facility. Current dining options like Starbucks and Café West will continue to offer service to the campus community.

No state dollars or tuition revenues are being used to fund the projects. The student recreation center is funded by a student government-endorsed facility fee. The housing and dining projects are being built by American Campus Communities, with ARAMARK, the dining service provider, contributing to the dining project.

Students on the West campus can pursue degrees offered by ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, and W. P. Carey School of Business. Barrett, the Honors College also maintains an active presence on the campus, with students in all majors eligible to participate in Barrett programming.

For more information about the new West campus buildings or the April 24 groundbreaking event for the student recreation center, call the Dean of Students Office at (602) 543-8147.

College administrators busy moving 'planet forward'

March 20, 2012

ASU is finalist in Climate Leadership Awards

Arizona State University is a finalist in this year's Climate Leadership Awards, sponsored by Planet Forward and Second Nature – in an effort to recognize the best work being done in higher education to address energy, climate and sustainability challenges. Download Full Image

"While college students may be in an ivory tower, college administrators are busy making colleges sustainable," write the staff of Planet Forward, an online site that aims to engage experts and citizens in finding and sharing sustainability solutions.

View and cast a vote for ASU's video highlighting its innovative efforts to combat climate change.

Voting ends at midnight on April 14.

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library

SIRF shores up financing for sustainability initiatives

March 15, 2012

Funding is available to invest in projects that support campus energy reduction at Arizona State University and deliver an economic return on investment. Funds are accessible through the Arizona State University Sustainability Initiatives Revolving Fund (SIRF). The money saved through the implementation of small- and large-scale energy-efficient projects is reinvested into SIRF, enabling more funding for future endeavors.

Individuals or departments across all four ASU campuses can submit SIRF proposals for projects such as community gardens that utilize sustainable features, motion-detecting lighting systems, energy metering projects, and thermal insulations for cooling and heating pipes. A small group of people stand in a campus commuity garden. Download Full Image

“Since we started SIRF in fiscal year 2012, we’ve funded projects like the thermal insulation for pipes at the Tempe central plant which has an estimated payback of five years and the potential to save ASU more than $81 thousand a year in energy costs,” says Lisa Frace, associate vice president of Planning and Budget and the SIRF committee chairperson. Insulating the pipes lessens energy losses, alleviates the risk of plant employees being burned and lowers the temperatures in smaller confined spaces.

Larger energy projects funded by SIRF include the ASU Energy Metering Project that provides meters to Las Casas and 18 other buildings on the ASU West Campus, Taylor Place and 11 other buildings on the ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus, and the central plant and other 27 buildings at the ASU Polytechnic Campus. These buildings will be connected to ASU Campus Metabolism, an interactive web tool that measures energy output from ASU buildings.

“To conserve energy effectively across all four ASU campuses, it’s essential to have a metering system that can detect steam leaks, give our facilities team a chance to act quickly to mitigate problems and enable us save money on campus energy costs,” says Ray Jensen, associate vice president of University Business Services and SIRF committee member.  

Jensen also is the university’s sustainability operations officer. He believes in the direct correlation between awarding more funds to SIRF project proposals and moving ASU closer to achieving its 2035 carbon neutrality goal.

“It’s not only large-scale infrastructure-type strategies that can help us move closer to carbon neutrality across our four campuses,” Jensen says. “A project like the Hayden Library motion-detecting lighting system is an example of an easy energy-savings solution that a department can propose for SIRF funding.”

In most cases, funding decisions can occur within a few weeks after submissions are made. Depending upon a project’s size and economic and sustainability justifications, SIRF funds are granted based on a three-tired award system:

• Tier 1: University Community Sustainability Micro Grants: Smaller projects that are designed to build a campus sustainability culture and promote student engagement. A small funding pool is set aside each year to award grants of up to $5,000, and is overseen by Nick Brown, director of Sustainability Practices at ASU and SIRF committee member.

• Tier 2: Fund Matching and Efficiency Loans: Medium-scale, capital-improvement initiatives that return a project’s costs within 6 years or less. These loans are ideal for projects to upgrade or renovate space and equipment to improve efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, and require that the department match-fund the proposed investment as well as share in the return generated.

• Tier 3: Capital Expansion Loans: All large-scale initiatives that make a significant and measurable sustainability impact and return a project’s costs within 10 years or less. These loans are targeted at strategic internal and external partnerships that reduce carbon emissions.

The SIRF committee enacted minimum financial goals that Tier 2 and Tier 3 projects must achieve to receive funds. Each project’s yearly savings are incorporated into ASU’s annual and multi-year fiscal plans.

“Nearly all of the proposals received that meet the economic return on investment criteria are approved,” Frace says. “As the word spreads about SIRF funding availability, the review process will become more competitive; ensuring that the committee will see more creative proposals that can lower the university’s energy costs and carbon output.”

To learn more about SIRF and how to submit a SIRF proposal, visit: or email:

Wendy Craft

Marketing and communications manager, Business and Finance Communications Group


Tempe campus receives 6 electric vehicle charging stations

March 14, 2012

Arizona State University’s Parking & Transit Services (PTS) is partnering with ECOtality, a leader in clean electric transportation solutions, to provide six, Level 2 Blink electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on the ASU Tempe campus.

“Integrating electric charging stations for use on the ASU Tempe campus is a component of the university’s commitment to achieving its carbon neutrality goal by 2025, and conveys to our surrounding communities that we are implementing the sustainability practices that we advocate,” says Ray Jensen, associate vice president of University Business Services and the University Sustainability Operations officer. An EV charging station is mounted to a pillar at the Fulton Center garage. Download Full Image

The stations are scheduled to be available for use on March 14, and will be located on the Tempe campus at Packard Drive South, the Fulton Center and the Tyler Street Parking Structure. Each Blink charging station can charge one EV at a time.

Once the stations are operational, ASU will be the largest public university in the state of Arizona to house such charging facilities.

“With the federal government increasing the new vehicle average mile per gallon to more than 50 MPG, a nationwide network of electric charging stations will increasingly become important,” says Raymond Humbert, associate director, Parking and Transit Services. 

Students, faculty and staff will have free access to charging stations with Blink access cards, which PTS will issue at their Tempe campus University Towers office. Visiting electric vehicle owners who are member of the Blink system also will be able to access the charging stations on the ASU Tempe campus. Thanks to a federal grant, electric vehicle owners will be able to charge their vehicles without paying for the cost of electricity.

ECOtality manages The EV Project and will oversee the installation of approximately 14,000 commercial and residential charging stations in 18 major cities and metropolitan areas in six states and the District of Columbia. The project will provide EV infrastructure to support the deployment of 8,300 EVs. The project is a public-private partnership, funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy through a federal stimulus grant and made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. For more information about The EV Project, please visit:

To learn more about the electric charging stations on the Tempe campus, contact Ray Humbert, associate director of Parking & Transit Services at ASU at 480-965-9297 or

Sarah Mason,
ASU Parking & Transit Services  

Wendy Craft

Marketing and communications manager, Business and Finance Communications Group


Tempe, Downtown Phoenix campuses ready for recreation complexes

March 9, 2012

Construction begins during spring 2012 on the ASU Tempe and Downtown Phoenix Campus Student Recreation Complexes.

The new Student Recreation Complex (SRC) on the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus will be housed at 350 N. 1st Ave., between Fillmore and Van Buren Streets, directly south of the Lincoln Family YMCA. The 73,800 gross square foot building will accommodate space for strength, fitness, and cardio equipment, a student lounge, a bike co-op, lockers, multipurpose rooms, basketball courts, a jogging track, and a rooftop swimming pool. When the SRC construction is complete, a ground level, air-conditioned hallway will connect the two buildings. There currently is a parking lot where the new Downtown Phoenix campus SRC will be built. An architect's rendering of plans for the ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus rec comple Download Full Image

Farther east, the Tempe campus SRC is being expanded and will be located at the northwest corner of Apache Boulevard and McAlister Avenue, where the SRC tennis courts are located. Two replacement tennis courts will be built directly east of Sonora Center in the landscaped area visible from Rural Road. The SRC will remain open for use during construction of the 84,500 gross square foot expansion. When complete, students, faculty and staff will benefit from a new wellness area, gymnasiums, locker rooms, strength, fitness, and cardio space, a multipurpose athletic court, space for social gatherings, and a fitness assessment area. Renovations to the existing SRC will occur in phases to allow for continuous building use.

Construction is slated to be complete on both SRC facilities by August 2013. For more information, see the Downtown Phoenix and Tempe SRC Facebook pages.

Bruce Jensen,
Facilities Development and Management

Wendy Craft

Marketing and communications manager, Business and Finance Communications Group


Soltero to lead ASU Office of the University Architect

March 8, 2012

Ed Soltero is the new assistant vice president for the Office of the University Architect, a unit of Facilities Development and Management at Arizona State University, effective March 5, 2012. He replaces Jann Blesener, interim assistant vice president, Office of the University Architect, who is retiring from ASU in April.

Soltero is a registered architect in several states, is an NCARB-certified architect with reciprocity, and possesses 25 years of combined experience in design and facilities management. He is a LEED-accredited professional with the Green Buildings Council.  Download Full Image

“We are looking forward to Ed Soltero’s aesthetic and technical design leadership as we continue to develop the physical infrastructure that will provide a supportive environment for the New American University,” said Morgan R. Olsen, executive vice president, treasurer, and chief financial officer at ASU. “We are excited to have Ed join our ASU team.”

Soltero comes to ASU from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), where he was the director/university architect, Office of Design, Planning and Construction since 2005. Previously, Soltero was a principal at Dimensions Architects from 2001-2005 and a principal at Synthesis Architecture from 1994-2001, both in El Paso, Texas. Soltero played a key leadership role in UTEP’s ongoing transformation into a national research university, including overseeing design and construction of new buildings for chemistry and computer science, nursing, bioscience and transit.

“Ed’s vast professional and community-based experience makes me confident that he will be an excellent leader both for the University Architect’s office and to move our collaborative goals and strategic initiatives forward,” said David Brixen, associate vice president of Facilities and Development Management at ASU.

In addition to his extensive professional experience, Soltero has had abundant community involvement with the El Paso Historical Commission. He is a member of the Texas Society of Architects Design Awards Committee, the El Paso Independent School District Bond Preparation committee, the Union Plaza Cultural and Entertainment District committee, and the El Paso Independent School District Bond Issue Committee. Soltero was president of the American Institute of Architects El Paso chapter and director of the Texas Society of Architects El Paso chapter in 1999 and 2000 respectively.

Soltero holds three Honor Awards for Architecture from the El Paso chapter of the American Institute of Architects and is contributing editor for Texas Architect Magazine and for the "Shape of Texas" program on KEDT Radio. He has authored numerous publications in Texas Architect Magazine and was a guest critic for the Third Year Architecture Design Studio at the University of Houston. Soltero also has been nominated for fellowship within the American Institute of Architects, Texas chapter.

Soltero holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Houston, an M.B.A. from University of Texas at El Paso, and a master’s in architecture from NewSchool of Architecture and Design in San Diego, Calif.

Carrie McNamara-Segal,
Facilities Development Management

Wendy Craft

Marketing and communications manager, Business and Finance Communications Group