Ten outstanding professors receive 2010 Faculty Achievement Awards

May 12, 2010

Ten outstanding ASU faculty members have been recognized for cutting-edge research and creative activities, as well as excellence in classroom performance. Nominations for the 2010 Faculty Achievement Awards are made by deans and reviewed by panels of Regents’ and President’s Professors.

The awards are for activities that significantly change their professions in research, creative activities and undergraduate instruction, placing the achievements among the highest at the university. This is the fourth year for the annual awards. Download Full Image

The 10 individuals, representing a wide range of disciplines, were honored at a reception May 11 in the Carson Ballroom of Old Main. The awards were presented by President Michael Crow, with an introduction by Elizabeth D. Capaldi, executive vice president and provost, and the deans.

This year’s awardees are the following:

Best Professional Application of Research: Jay Blanchard, Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation

Defining Edge Research in Natural Sciences and Math: Willem Vermaas, School of Life Sciences; John Kouvetakis, chemistry and biochemistry; and Jose Menendez, physics

Defining Edge Research in Social Science: Gary Schwartz, School of Human Evolution and Social Change

Young Investigator: Gerardo Chowell-Puente, School of Human Evolution and Social Change

Best Performance or Art Work: T.M. McNally, English

Excellence in Undergraduate Instruction: Karen Gerdes, School of Social Work; and Valerie Stout, School of Life Sciences

Excellence in Undergraduate Student Mentoring: Ronald Rutowski, School of Life Sciences

Blanchard has established himself as a leading researcher in emergent language skills for young children. His work also incorporates the role of computers and other digital media in early childhood learning. In addition to his prolific writing, Blanchard provides services to improve the language and literacy skills of preschool children, spending many hours in remote schools on the Navajo Nation and in southern Arizona border towns.

Vermaas is an international leader in the field of molecular physiology and genomics of cyanobacteria. He has made fundamental contributions to the understanding of photosynthesis and its regulation at a genomic level, and his research has placed ASU at the leading edge of bioenergy. He also looks beyond life sciences to consider the full context of a problem, such as cost effective approaches to production.

Kouvetakis and Menendez were nominated jointly for their collaborative pioneering research into new approaches to grow epitaxial layers on silicon. Their research lays the foundation for the development of “silicon photonics,” anticipated to become an entirely new field of materials science and engineering.

Schwartz’s research accomplishments place him at the leading edge of the social sciences in the field of biological anthropology. Focusing on dental development, Schwartz focuses his research on the evolution of modern human growth, the cross-species patterns of growth and development in primates and the life-history of Madagascar’s lemurs. He has made key contributions in each of these areas.

Chowell-Puente, only five years into his career, is a prolific writer and researcher who already is at the forefront of epidemiological research. Using data-driven mathematical models, he has done important work on the spread of diseases like SARS, Ebola, Dengue and foot-and-mouth disease. His work has implications for homeland security, and he is a sought-after theoretician whose input is valued on these issues.

McNally is an award-winning fiction writer, author of three novels and three short story collections that have received wide acclaim. Nearly all of his books have been translated into other languages, showing that his writing speaks to many different audiences. His first novel, “Until Your Heart Stops,” was a New York Times Notable Book; his second, “Almost Home,” a St. Louis Post-Dispatch Best Book of the Year, and his third, “The Goat Bridge,” a Booklist Editors’ Choice.

Gerdes is a gifted and inspiring teacher whose teaching evaluations over 15 years have been consistently excellent and among the highest in the college. Through her passion and enthusiasm for teaching, she draws praise even in the most demanding courses such as statistics. Students say she inspires them to reach their highest potential, connecting the material to real world experiences.

Stout inspires students and faculty alike with her energy and her passion. Her ability is reflected in the range of courses she has taught, from introductory microbiology to upper-division molecular biology, and in the fact that her student evaluations are consistently among the best. A consummate educator who shares her interests with students, she encourages them to embrace science and the opportunity to learn.

Rutowski is an internationally recognized scholar who has had an enormous impact on undergraduate students at ASU, as director of the director of the School of Life Sciences Undergraduate Research Program (SOLUR) for 22 years. He has created opportunities, expanded access, provided training and established an atmosphere of growth and empowerment for young scientists, with more than 1,000 having participated in the program. He also has been a driving force behind the creation of mentoring workshops for faculty, a seminar series and an annual undergraduate research symposium.

Vermaas, Kouvetakis, Menendez, Schwartz, Chowell-Puente, McNally, Stout and Rutowski are in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Blanchard is in the College of Teacher Education and Leadership, and Gerdes is in the College of Public Programs.

Udall Foundation selects student for intern program

May 11, 2010

The Udall Foundation has selected Nicholet Deschine, a graduate student from ASU’s College of Public Programs, as a 2010 Native American Congressional Intern.

Deschine is one of a dozen students selected for the highly regarded internship program in Washington D.C., which places Native students in competitive positions in Senate and House offices, committees, Cabinet departments and the White House, where they are able to observe government decision-making processes first-hand. She was selected by an independent review committee of nationally recognized Native American educators and tribal policy leaders on the basis of demonstrated commitment to careers in tribal public policy and academic achievement. Download Full Image

“Being a Native American and a minority, there is a need for representation in the political field,” Deschine said. “I think this internship will offer me an opportunity to get a foot in the door for advancement.”

The Foundation awards approximately 12 internships every summer on the basis of merit to Native Americans and Alaska Natives who are college juniors or seniors, recent graduates from tribal or four-year colleges, or graduate or law students who have demonstrated an interest in fields related to tribal public policy, such as tribal governance, tribal law, Native American education, Native American health, Native American justice, natural resource protection, cultural preservation and revitalization, and Native American economic development.

Deschine will complete an intensive, 10-week internship starting May 26. Special enrichment activities will provide opportunities to meet with key decision-makers. Since its inception in 1996, 162 Native American/Alaska Native students from 86 tribes have participated in the program.

Deschine is a citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North and South Dakota, and will graduate in May 2010 with a master’s degree in Social Work, concentrating in Planning, Administration and Community Practice. Deschine’s career interests include tribal policy analysis, public programs administration, tribal economic development and sustainable energy and continued education. She will work in the office of New Mexico Senator Tom Udall.

About the Udall Foundation

The Udall Foundation is an independent federal agency that was established by Congress in 1992 to provide federally funded scholarships for college students intended to pursue careers related to the environment, as well as to Native American students pursuing tribal policy or health care careers.

Reporter , ASU Now


Nonprofit Leadership Academy graduates to be recognized

May 11, 2010

Class II of the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation’s Generation Next Nonprofit Leadership Academy (Gen Next) will graduate from its 9-month training on May 14 at the A.E. England Building in Phoenix. Funded by a generous contribution from American Express, Gen Next is a cohort of the Valley’s top emerging nonprofit leaders, chosen to participate in training that provides them with the knowledge and tools needed to take on leadership roles within the nonprofit community. The program is comprised of best practice approaches to leading and managing nonprofits that include renowned professors and practitioner instructors at ASU as well as established nonprofit leaders from organizations that engage with the ASU Lodestar Center.

Those graduating from Gen Next:
•    Rosa Maria Acevedo, Arizona Quest for Kids
•    Celeste Atkins, Boys & Girls Club of Sierra Vista
•    Barbara Blalock, Treasures 4 Teachers
•    Brigitte Dayton, Catholic Community Foundation
•    Christina Diss, ASU Foundation
•    Leah Iverson, Southwest Network
•    Jacque Jackson, Victory High School
•    Jessica Johnson, Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence
•    Sarah Levin, Muscular Dystrophy Association
•    Claudia Maldonado, Keogh Health Foundation
•    Michael Mayhew, Florence Crittenton of Arizona
•    Megan McKeever, Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce
•    Kim Phillips, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
•    Jessica Shea, National Bank of Arizona
•    Angela Taylor, Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona
•    Gina Trotter, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona
•    Nicola Winkel, Arizona Coalition for Military Families
•    Pete Ziebron Download Full Image

“The Generation Next program opened so many doors for me and my organization,” said Barbara Blalock, Executive Director of Treasures 4 Teachers. “I gained a new pool of colleagues through networking, I learned of new funding sources and received new funding, I was introduced to the media and received media coverage, and I learned best practices in nonprofit leadership, not to mention the skills and education I gained for my future growth in this amazing field.”

Laura Capello, Manager of Community Relations and Special Projects at the ASU Lodestar Center, is beyond pleased with this second class of Gen Next graduates. 

“I have seen so much growth with this group of nonprofit leaders,” said Capello. “They have taken advantage of every opportunity put in front of them and run with it.”

Applications for Gen Next Class III are now available at http://nonprofit.asu.edu. The early application deadline is May 14 and regular deadline is June 14, so potential applicants are encouraged to act quickly.

The ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation is recognized as a national leader in undergraduate and graduate nonprofit education, research and technical assistance. The ASU Lodestar Center exists to enhance the quality of life in communities through the advancement of nonprofit leadership practices and provides knowledge and tools to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations, professionals, board members, donors and volunteers by offering a selection of capacity building workshops, conferences, classes, and programs. For more information, visit: http://nonprofit.asu.edu.">http://nonprofit.asu.edu">http://nonprofit.asu.edu.

What do we know about nano?

May 7, 2010

Nanotechnology involves manipulating the unimaginably small. A nanometer is about 5 carbon atoms in a row, or the distance your fingernail grows in one second. Matter behaves fundamentally differently at that scale, opening up new possibilities for products and processes. Nanotech is a vast emerging field of research, full of possibilities, and the media and the public are starting to take notice.

“One promise of nanotech is the idea of building molecule-sized machines to haul atoms. You could ‘grow’ anything you wanted. You could grow a house. Or a t-bone steak,” said ASU law professor Joel Garreau at a science café, “Facts or Hype: What is the Media Telling Us about Nano & Other New Technologies?” at the Arizona Science Center on March 19. Download Full Image

Today, nanotechnology brings us self-cleaning windows and stain-resistant pants. These products are useful, but not exactly revolutionary. It’s the promise of nanotechnology that’s intriguing.

“The world could be transformed so abruptly as to be unrecognizable,” Garreau said.

ASU is becoming a leader in nanotechnology research, both in science and engineering as well as matters of policy. In 2009, ASU biophysicist Stuart Lindsay published the first comprehensive textbook for the field, "Introduction to Nanoscience." Although new, it is starting to be used widely.

A nano case study

Lindsay uses nanotechnology in his lab to help improve DNA sequencing techniques. One of the current challenges in DNA sequencing is to take the process from something that costs tens of thousands of dollars and takes weeks or months to develop to something that could be done on a computer chip in minutes or hours for just a few dollars.

“We want to make human health better, that’s why we’re doing it,” says Lindsay.

The primary goal of Lindsay’s research is to find a new way to read the DNA base proteins: A, T, C and G. His team is exploring a method called electron tunneling, which Lindsay calls an “exotic piece of quantum mechanics.” Electron tunneling involves passing DNA between two electrodes that can detect the chemical makeup of each individual base.

Another important piece of technology is the nanopore, which directs the DNA between the electrodes. Lindsay says the nanopore threads DNA “like a piece of cotton through a needle.” Nanopores were once made by assembling natural proteins, which form holes in cell walls, or by taking an electron microscope beam and drilling a tiny hole in a piece of silicone. Both of these processes are difficult to do, and there is a problem of reliably printing electrode pairs very close to DNA.

Lindsay’s team showed that a single carbon nanotube, two nanometers in diameter and centimeters long, can grow easily on a silicon wafer using conventional science methods. “You don’t need exotic techniques,” he says.
The DNA will then slither through the inside of the carbon nanotube. This phenomenon was highly unexpected. “The referees at Science didn’t believe it the first time we submitted the paper, so we had to do a lot more to convince them,” Lindsay says, laughing. The paper appeared in Science in January 2010.

The team still has work to do before they’ve got a working device and a company producing it, but Lindsay says, “We’ve shown the feasibility of this approach to DNA sequencing. A few years ago most people would have said this was science fiction.”

He adds, “It’s a shame because the truth about science is that most funding supports incremental advances, because the community will accept that they can do them. This means that the big breakthroughs are very difficult to support. It’s really worth risky funding for some important goals because people will achieve them. If you get teams of bright people collaborating on a focused goal, you really can work miracles.”

On the horizon

Part of the problem may be that the public can’t tease out which projects are “possible but distant” and which are “next year’s hot product.” The mass media isn’t always clear about how feasible, and imminent, promising new technologies are. Developing technologies and then testing them for effectiveness, safety and cost can take a long time. But the public can become wary of supporting research when overly hyped “breakthroughs” don’t show up in the marketplace quickly.

At the science café, Garreau spoke about “The Seven Horizons: Timelines and Roadmaps for Emerging Technologies for the Next Twenty Years,” a web site developed to assess emerging technologies. He said the timeline is helpful for addressing questions like, “How seriously should we take this? How much time have we got? Is this possibility something that could happen tomorrow with certainty, or something that might be possible many decades in the future?”

Technologies within the First Horizon are “available, but not ubiquitous,” such as anti-microbial socks that eliminate odor with the help of nanomaterials. The other horizons include “commercial,” “engineering,” “scientific,” “informed speculation,” “blue sky” and finally the Seventh Horizon, “questionable,” which includes science that doesn’t seem possible within even the next 20 years.

Lindsay’s research might currently fall under the Fourth Horizon, “scientific,” meaning there is evidence that the technology is possible, but not much research has been done on how to make the process safe and economical in the marketplace. Technologies in this category, according to the Seven Horizons Web site, are “typically four to 10 years to reaching the public if everything goes right.”

The Seven Horizons was developed by the Consortium for Emerging Technologies, Military Operations and National Security (CETMONS) in association with ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics, and the Prevail Project: Wise Governance for Challenging Futures.

“Nanotech today barely exists,” Garreau said at the science café. “Almost anything you can say today about nanotechnology is speculation.”

Speculation or on the horizon, who is aware of these advances? Who will benefit from them? As the novelist William Gibson said, “The future is already here; it’s just not evenly distributed.”

Nanotechnology and society
One important issue facing nanotech today is the development of regulation in the face of scientific uncertainty about the technology. Elizabeth Corley, a professor in ASU’s School of Public Affairs, studies the policy implications of nanotechnology.

“When we think about a field like nanotechnology, the science moves forward so quickly that the discussion of the social, ethical, and policy impacts often falls behind,” says Corley, who is a co-principal investigator at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at ASU (CNS-ASU).

“One of the goals of the CNS-ASU is to make sure that as a scientific community we engage in a discussion about the social and policy implications of nanotechnology research at the same time that the science is moving forward.”

Corley received three engineering degrees before pursuing her doctoral studies in public policy. Her current research explores public perceptions about the risks and benefits of nanotechnology, as well as how the leading U.S. nanoscientists think about the role of risks and benefits in the development of nanotechnology regulation.

“Our recent research shows that nanotech is one of the first emerging technologies where we’ve seen the scientists more concerned than the public about certain risks,” she says. The biggest difference in level of concern was related to human health and the environment.

Nanotech right now has a fragmented and almost nonexistent policy framework. For example, the FDA regulates some nanotechnology based on a product-by-product model, while the EPA regulates nanotechnology largely through the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). These are very different models and some nanotechnology products are not covered under any existing regulations.

“The public often thinks differently about nanotechnology that is used to produce a life-saving device in the medical field than when using it for new surveillance practices and techniques,” Corley says. “This means it is increasingly important to study the public’s perceptions about particular application areas for nanotechnology, like the environment, the medical field, and national defense.”

Another issue to explore, Corley says, is how we make policy about an emerging technology when we don’t yet know all the risks.

Corley and her team have also tracked the public’s knowledge about nanotechnology over time, particularly comparing survey data from 2004 and 2007. Surprisingly, when looked at as a whole, public knowledge levels about nanotechnology haven’t changed much between 2004 and 2007 despite numerous outreach efforts. However, in a study published in The Scientist in January 2010, Corley and her team decided to take a closer look at different segments of the public. They found that there is a widening nanotech knowledge gap among members of the public with the least and most formal education levels.

From this research, Corley asks the question, “What sort of outreach efforts would more effectively reach those segments of the public with lower formal education levels?” Her results provide one possible answer to this question because the study showed that the Internet could serve as a “leveler” of these knowledge gaps.

“Does it really matter if the public understands science and technology?” asked Joe Kullman, media relations officer for ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at the science café. His answer was an unequivocal, “Yes!”

“A lot of what happens, happens – or doesn’t happen – because of politics,” Kullman added. “People’s perceptions inform policy. Politicians listen to what people think, regardless of whether what they think is accurate or not. If we make policy decisions based on misinformed perceptions, we will make some big mistakes.”

Lindsay’s research is funded by the DNA Sequencing Technology Program of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health. Corley’s research is funded through the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at ASU, which is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Joel Garreau is the Lincoln Professor of Law, Culture and Values in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Elizabeth Corley is the Lincoln Professor of Public Policy, Ethics and Emerging Technologies in the School of Public Programs. Stuart Lindsay is a Regents’ Professor in the Department of Physics and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Written by Kirsten Keane

Director, Knowledge Enterprise Development


Participate in the 2010 Nonprofit Compensation and Benefits Study

May 6, 2010

Human resource managers and board of directors need data when they set the compensation and benefits for their managers and other workers.  The ASU Lodestar Center collects position-level compensation information and reports it back to the field in the form of the Compensation and Benefits Report.  We invite nonprofit organizations in Maricopa and Pima counties to participate in our 2010 study. 

To participate in this survey, your organization Download Full Image

  1. Must be a public benefit nonprofit organization, like those described by section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.
  2. Must have at least one full-time, paid employee.
  3. Must be headquartered in Maricopa or Pima County.
  4. Must NOT be a hospital, private grantmaking foundation, or institution of higher education.

All nonprofits that complete they survey will receive a complimentary copy of the report.

The individual most familiar with the salary and benefits in your organization should complete this survey. All information will remain confidential and will be reported only in aggregate form. Participation in this study is voluntary. You may choose to not participate or to withdraw from the study at any time. The results of the research study will be published, but your personal name and organization will not be used. It will provide information on salaries and benefits for dozens of position titles, separated by organization size and type. 

The cost of the report to organizations that do not complete the survey will be $115.  To access the online survey, go to http://www.asulodestarcentersurvey.com">http://www.linkedin.com/redirect?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Easulodestarcente.... To view selected pages from the 2007 report, visit http://asulodestarcentersurvey.com/sample.pdf.">http://www.linkedin.com/redirect?url=http%3A%2F%2Fasulodestarcentersurve...

School of Public Affairs ranked in top tier

April 21, 2010

The U.S. News and World Report recently highlighted the best graduate programs in the nation and the ASU School of Public Affairs once again ranked in the top tier.  Several programs within the school, which is committed to advancing urban governance in a global context, also earned high ratings.

In the newest issue of “America’s Best Graduate Schools,” the ASU School of Public Affairs graduate program ranked 25th nationally among nearly 300 schools considered in the report, and among the top 15 publics. This year the school is among the top five universities in the western United States. Download Full Image

“We don’t do what we do for rankings, but we are honored and excited that two of our programs ranked in the top ten nationally,” said Robert B. Denhardt, director of the School of Public Affairs. “As the 21st century ushers in dramatic changes in the process of governance, we hope to continue our long tradition of developing outstanding public leaders, people who are well prepared to meet the rigorous demands and substantial challenges of the future.”

In addition to the overall ranking, the school did well on the report’s “specialties” list. The city management and urban policy program ranked No. 6; The Public Management and Administration program came in at No. 8 while the Public Finance and Budgeting program drew a No. 18 ranking.

The U.S. News and World Report annually ranks professional school programs in business, education, engineering, law and medicine as well as graduate programs. The rankings are based on two types of data: expert opinion about program quality and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research, and students.

The ASU School of Public Affairs is in the College of Public Programs. For more information visit http://spa.asu.edu/">http://spa.asu.edu/">http://spa.asu.edu/

Reporter , ASU Now


Undergrads make an impact through research projects

April 16, 2010

Social work experts recently asked Bianca Altamirano about her research in teen dating violence, but the frequency of one particular question at a national conference particularly surprised her.

“Almost every researcher and student whom I met said, ‘You’re an undergrad? I thought you were a Ph.D. student,’ because they didn’t understand how an undergrad could get an opportunity to do such important research,” says Altamirano, who will earn a Bachelor of Social Work in May. Download Full Image

She’s working closely with Lela Williams, assistant professor, on a research project focusing on violence in dating relationships among Mexican American youth. The results will serve as the basis for prevention and treatment interventions for Hispanic teens.

Altamirano is among 33 undergrad researchers at ASU’s College of Public Programs who play important roles in faculty research in areas such as criminal justice, public affairs, health disparities, and tourism.

The college is among numerous ASU schools and colleges that offer undergrads the chance to work with faculty members on a faculty research project each semester.

Other academic units that currently offer formal undergrad research programs include the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, W.P. Carey School of Business, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Teacher Education and Leadership, and the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering.

At the College of Public Programs, upon recommendation of a faculty member, students can work up to 10 hours a week with a professor during their undergraduate education. For the first semester, they get a $500 scholarship from the dean’s office. They receive a $1,000 scholarship for the second semester and a $1,500 scholarship for the following semesters.

More than 65 students have been involved in undergrad research projects with faculty at the college since the program began in Fall 2006.

Students from various disciplines often work together on projects, providing different perspectives and adding layers of depth to the work, says Williams. For example, Altamirano has been working with students from the fields of social work, criminology and criminal justice, and parks and recreation.

When Altamirano first came to the School of Social Work, she planned to study direct practice in order to “change people’s lives one at a time,” she says. “But when I started doing research, learning the different types of interventions  and programs that are developed using research results, I realized I want to work in that area.”

Williams says the undergrad researchers have greatly sped along her progress on the project, while offering the students a chance to put their knowledge into practice.

“When most students think of research, they think it’s boring and you’re stuck in your office all day,” Williams says. “This breaks down the stereotypes they have about research by allowing them to experience the excitement of making discoveries and breaking new ground.”

For information about undergrad research projects at the college, contact Dana Newell at (602) 496-0416.

Poster session is road map to solutions for real-world challenges

April 12, 2010

What are the influences of family violence on behaviors of children and are there effective interventions? What interventions are effective on special education and school children with emotional and behavioral problems? What are the effects of religion and spirituality on depression, suicidal ideation and substance abuse?

These are the types of real-world questions that students in ASU’s Master of Social Work program are attempting to answer. Their work will be featured in the annual Master of Social Work Applied Project Poster Session, April 20, at ASU’s West campus. Download Full Image

Under the guidance of project professors Bonnie Carlson, Barbara Klimek and Fei Sun, 64 students will showcase their capstone project work, research that has been conducted in conjunction with their field placements and often tackles a challenge faced by an agency or community organization.

“This poster session mirrors the type that university faculty present at conferences across the country,” said Carlson, associate director of the Master of Social Work program that is part of ASU’s College of Public Programs. “The projects are extremely wide ranging. The students will be presenting their posters that summarize the results of their research projects. They will be on hand to answer questions and discuss their findings.”

The session is the last chance to see such work, as the social work program moves to ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus at the end of the current semester. In addition to the graduate student posters, a presentation featuring group projects by undergraduates in the program will be on display, and the Phi Alpha Honor Society will conduct an induction ceremony for new members.

Event sponsors are the Phi Alpha Theta Tau Chapter at the West campus, the College of Public Program’s Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center, and the Phoenix VA Health Care System – Social Work Department.

The poster session takes place in the La Sala ballroom in the University Center Building (UCB) from 4-7 p.m. 

Refreshments will be served and admission is free. Parking at the West campus is $2 per hour. The West campus is located at 4701 West Thunderbird Road in northwest Phoenix.

Steve Des Georges

Conference examines health disparities in minorities

April 7, 2010

ASU’s Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center will host its 8th annual research conference, “Health Disparities: A Global Challenge, a Local Response,” from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., April 23, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 122 North 2nd St.

Eighteen national and local researchers will present their work and studies pertaining to health issues affecting minority and disadvantaged populations. Download Full Image

Challenges like the earthquake in Haiti and its related humanitarian cataclysm create the need for extending research studies from a community to a global level, according to Flavio Marsiglia, director of the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center, or SIRC. 

“Haiti is the least developed country in the hemisphere and one of the poorest countries in the world," Marsiglia said. "Haiti’s case makes us think very hard about global health and about health disparities as a global phenomenon.”

Nabila El-Bassel, professor at Columbia University’s School of Social Work, will discuss these complex issues from her perspective as a leading researcher in Africa and Asia, and with marginalized communities in the U.S. She also is director of Columbia University’s Social Intervention Group, and Global Health Research Center of Central Asia.

Conference participants can register to attend a morning and afternoon concurrent session from a selection of outstanding researchers addressing a wide selection of health and health disparity topics. The afternoon poster session will display 20 SIRC research projects by the center’s graduate assistants and associates. 

In lieu of conference costs, the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund will collect a suggested donation of $20 per person in support of the Haiti relief fund. This tax-deductible contribution includes eligibility for a drawing to win an original oil painting by Haiti artist L. Antoin.

Registration and a continental breakfast will start at 8 a.m. A reception will take place at 4:30 p.m.

For information or to register, visit http://sirc.asu.edu/annual-conferences">http://sirc.asu.edu/annual-conferences">http://sirc.asu.edu/annual-confe... or contact Linda Madrid at Linda.Madrid">mailto:Linda.Madrid@asu.edu">Linda.Madrid@asu.edu.

Urban Gallery highlights community strengths

April 1, 2010

ASU’s College of Public Programs will celebrate the positive impacts of community partnership at the 5th Annual Urban Gallery Exhibition from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., April 2, at University Center, 411 N. Central Ave.

This free exhibit is part of Artlink’s First Friday and will feature four new art collections, with more than 600 multimedia pieces on display from ASU Emeritus faculty, nonprofit community organizations and artists, students of Barrett, the Honors College, and South Mountain High School students in Phoenix. Live music will be featured on two stages, along with dancers and interactive art demonstrations. Many artists and nonprofit groups will be on hand to discuss their work. Download Full Image

“The Urban Gallery Exhibition provides a unique opportunity to meet and engage with people working toward the improvement of social, economic and educational needs of Phoenix,” said Debra Friedman, university vice president and dean of the College of Public Programs at the Downtown Phoenix campus. “These talented artists and community nonprofits are working together to use art to tell their stories of social change.”

Among the new collections this year is “Community Cohesions: Barriers, Bridges and Bonds,” designed to emphasize the ways positive and negative influences can change communities. Featured Phoenix artists include Junjie Verzosa, Derrick Kempf, Joseph “Sentrock” Perez, Carolina Parra and Lisa Jacobs.

Other new art collections include works from students of Barrett and an exhibit by Carol Francine Swagel called “Metamorphosis” in the Information Commons.

Artwork in the “For Our Eyes” collection shares viewpoints from nonprofits in the Phoenix community and the people they serve. Another collection showcases the talent of ASU Emeritus professors, including Mark Reader, John Aguilar and influential artist and educator Eugene Grigsby, Jr.   

Diverse music, poetry, dance performances and interactive art demonstrations will be provided by ASU, community organizations and sponsors.

The 5th Annual Urban Gallery Exhibition is an Artlink shuttle stop, and has been planned in coordination with the Roosevelt Row block party.

More than 30 community partners of ASU’s College of Public Programs will use the arts to showcase their mission and strengthen shared community ties. This includes Young Life College, Tanner Community Development Corp., Arizona Lost Boys Center, Cultural Arts Coalition, the Rag Collection, Conspire Phoenix and Spraygraphic.

The exhibition is among the highlights of a daylong community event, “Action, Advocacy and Arts,” focusing on the power of community at the Downtown Phoenix campus. 

For information about the exhibit, visit http://copp.asu.edu/aaa">http://copp.asu.edu/aaa">http://copp.asu.edu/aaa or contact ASU community liaison Malissa Geer at malissa.geer">mailto:malissa.geer@asu.edu">malissa.geer@asu.edu.

High-resolution photos of examples of the exhibit are available at: http://copp.asu.edu/aaa ">http://copp.asu.edu/aaa">http://copp.asu.edu/aaa