Influential founding dean Frank Sackton passes away

February 16, 2010

Former Army Lt. Gen. Frank Sackton, founding dean of ASU’s College of Public Programs, played a vital role in the success of thousands of leaders ranging from Gen. Douglas MacArthur to many of today’s best public servants in the nation.

He died Sunday, Feb. 14, at age 97. Download Full Image

Sackton, who lived in Scottsdale, started his career at ASU in 1976. He was, most recently, a professor emeritus in ASU’s School of Public Affairs where he taught through the fall 2009 semester. During his time at ASU, he also served as special assistant to the university president and as athletic director.

“Frank’s life was emblematic of the spirit of service, from the military to the academy and even to the retirement community in which he spent his final years,” said Debra Friedman, university vice president and dean of the College of Public Programs. “He was a quiet, humble and effective organizer for the good of others, always asking, ‘How can I help?’ ”  

During his 40-year military career, Sackton led a battalion of 550 men in the Pacific during World War II. He was secretary to Gen. Douglas MacArthur during the reconstruction of Japan after the war. 

In the 1970s, he served as special assistant to Arizona Gov. Jack Williams.

“Frank lived many lives – an officer, a scholar, and a gentleman, as the plaque in the School of Public Affairs’ Sackton Room says – but for those of us in the School, he will be remembered as a friend, a mentor and a teacher,” said Robert Denhardt, director of the ASU School of Public Affairs, Regents’ Professor and Lincoln Professor of Leadership and Ethics at ASU.  

“Frank’s hours in the classroom were among his happiest and he always placed the highest value on his teaching," Denhardt said. "But Frank was also a model of a life well-lived. If he were among us right now, I know he would look up and say, as he did every morning, ‘It’s a beautiful day today!’ ”

Apply now for ASU Spirit of Service Scholars program

February 4, 2010

ASU's College of Public Programs is accepting applications from ASU undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in any field of study dedicated to careers in the public and nonprofit sectors who want to join the Spirit of Service Scholars program. 

The program addresses the present and future workforce needs in the public and nonprofit sectors by awarding prestigious $5,000 scholarships to 15 outstanding students, and providing them with extraordinary intellectual and practice experiences, a lifelong interdisciplinary network, and committed, effective mentors. Download Full Image

More information is available at;">">http://spiritofservicescholars.... contact">">

The deadline for applications is April 2 for the Fall 2010 semester. Applicants need not demonstrate financial need, but must show seriousness of purpose.

ASU In the News

Professor's research on ghostwriting highlighted

<p><em><em>Scientific American</em> </em>magazine featured an in-depth look at recent research work by ASU School of Social Work assistant professor Jeffrey Lacasse on its web site on Feb. 4.</p><p>Lacasse's research examined ghostwriting policies at 50 top U.S. medical schools and found many had no policy in place to prevent "ghostwriting" practices in which pharmaceutical companies secretly author journal articles which are published under the byline of academic researchers.</p>

Article Source: Scientific American
Lisa Robbins

editor/publisher, Media Relations and Strategic Communications


Report: Nanotechnology information gap widening

January 12, 2010

As the global nanotechnology industry continues to produce cutting-edge consumer products, the scientific community is leaving a key part of the U.S. public behind when sharing knowledge of this new field of science, according to a new study by Arizona State University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Nanotechnology involves controlling matter of an atomic and molecular size to develop devices of an incredibly small scale, usually 100 nanometers or smaller (tiny enough to fit through a surgical mask). The technology has expanded to offer more than a thousand consumer products from over 24 countries, including the United States, China, Canada and Germany. Nanoscale materials are now in common electronics such as iPods, as well as cosmetics and automotive and medical products. Download Full Image

As reported today in the January issue of The Scientist, researchers found widening gaps in nanotech knowledge since 2004 between the least educated and most educated citizens. Americans with at least a college degree have shown an increased understanding of the new technology, while knowledge about nanotechnology has declined over time for those with education levels of less than a high school diploma, according to the study.

"Unfortunately, people with little or no formal education – those who need outreach the most – aren't getting as much information about this issue, which will likely become even harder to understand over time," says Elizabeth Corley, Lincoln Professor of Public Policy, Ethics and Emerging Technologies in Arizona State University's School of Public Affairs, and co-author of the study. 

Well-educated people who already are "information-rich" are learning about nanotechnology from traditional outreach efforts such as museums, Corley says.  

Closing these informational gaps among public audiences "is a necessity, especially in light of a projected 2009 U.S. budget that has reduced spending for ‘educational and social dimensions' of nanotechnology to $33.5 million from $39.2 million in 2007," the article states.

"There is a real urgency to find ways of communicating effectively with all groups in society," says Dietram Scheufele, John E. Ross Professor in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and co-author of the study. "Unless we find ways to close these learning gaps, we will create two classes of citizens – those who are able to make informed consumer and policy choices about these new technologies, and those who simply can't."

But there is a silver lining. The study also found that the Internet is one of the most effective methods in closing gaps and informing the less educated about nanotechnology.

"Online and social media are some of the most promising tools for making sure we reach all members of the public with information about science and technology," says Scheufele. "Tools like Digg, Twitter, or Facebook will only become more important down the road."

Corley and Scheufele analyzed data from national surveys conducted over the last five years. The study was funded by the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at ASU.

The School of Public Affairs is part of the ASU College of Public Programs at the Downtown Phoenix campus. The College embraces students and faculty dedicated to rigorous education and research in the service of social and economic change. Academic units within the College include the Schools of Community Resources and Development; Criminology and Criminal Justice; Public Affairs; and Social Work. Areas of expertise include: improving the quality of life for individuals and families from all backgrounds; innovative approaches to public management; and nonprofit leadership and organizational effectiveness. View the complete report at">">

Seminar: applied research methods in social, behavioral sciences

December 28, 2009

ASU's Center for Violence Prevention & Community Safety will offer a seminar on applied research methods in social and behavioral sciences from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Feb. 19 at the Downtown Phoenix campus, 500 N. 3td St., Suite 300.

In an ideal research world, we would be able to easily implement randomized experiments that lead us to causal results.  Unfortunately, this is not always possible, and propensity score matching (PSM) methods have become a popular alternative used by researchers and policy analysts for selecting a matched comparison group that mimics a treatment group. Matching methods are helpful to test the impact of certain public policies resulting in evidence-based policy making and to isolate the effects of government or nonprofit programs.  Download Full Image

Instructor Melissa S. Kovacs, Ph.D. will provide an overview of matching methods. The seminar will discuss the principals underlying PSM, its benefits and limitations, when it should be used, and how it is currently implemented. Kovacs also will focus on applying matching methods to a series of problems and data questions.

The seminar is open to the public. Cost to register before Jan. 20 is $145 for faculty and postdoctoral fellows, and $95 for graduate students; cost after that is $175 and $125, respectively. Cost includes a course packet and lunch. Register online at">"> 

A working knowledge of OLS regression is required.   

ASU's Center for Violence Prevention & Community Safety is part of the College of Public Programs at the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus. For information, visit">"> 

Emerging nonprofit leaders earn NextGen scholarships

December 22, 2009

Six ASU American Humanics (AH) students have been awarded Next Generation Nonprofit Leaders Program (NextGen) scholarships. These students will each receive $4,500 from NextGen as part of a multi-year Kellogg Foundation Grant to American Humanics, Inc. to support students across the American Humanics campus affiliate network. The NextGen scholarships support costs associated with the students’ senior internships in nonprofits.

ASU American Humanics NextGen scholarship recipients: Download Full Image

• Jackie Erickson of Phoenix
• Andrew Norwood of Panora, Iowa
• Miquette Reardon of Denver
• Stephanie Robertson of Phoenix
• Nicholas Shreffler of Highland, Ind.
• Courtney Sutherland of Prescott, Ariz.

This group of scholarship recipients was awarded a total of $27,000. Since the establishment of the NextGen program, ASU AH students have received $148,500 in NextGen scholarships. In the past, nonprofits at which NextGen awardees have interned contributed $24,600 in match monies. That means, to date, ASU AH students have received a total of $173,100 in support of the costs associated with their senior internships.

“Our students lead the nation in earning NextGen scholarships,” said Dr. Robert F. Ashcraft, Executive Director of the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation and professor of nonprofit studies. “These young leaders are an inspiration to us all as they benefit from these scholarships to engage in their senior internships and graduate as change agents into the nonprofit career field.”

In addition to the opportunity to apply for the NextGen scholarship, American Humanics students attend the American Humanics Management/Leadership Institute (AHMI), an annual professional development conference. The next AHMI, “Rising to New Heights: Igniting the sector through innovative leadership and collaboration,” takes place January 3-6, 2010 in Phoenix.

“Serving as the host school for AHMI provides our students with the unique opportunity to serve as stewards not only for the nonprofit sector, but also for the Phoenix community,” said Stephanie La Loggia, Faculty Associate for ASU AH. “We are so pleased to welcome thousands of AH students and nonprofit professionals from across the country.”

Registration information for AHMI is available at:">

Founded in 1980, ASU American Humanics is a program of the School of Community Resources and Development, in association with the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation (formerly the Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Management). ASU is one of the leading programs in the nation, preparing future nonprofit professionals. Students pursuing American Humanics certification complete various experiential requirements including active participation in the student association, 18 credit hours of in-class coursework, and a 12 credit hour internship. For more information, visit:">">

The ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation (formerly the ASU Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Management), 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:" title="">">

Report: Arizonans make good neighbors, but not good citizens

December 16, 2009

Polls consistently show that Arizonans take pride in their state, enjoy their quality of life, and like and trust their neighbors. Yet despite such positive outlooks, the percentage of Arizona citizens who vote, volunteer or donate to charities falls below national averages.

In other words, Arizonans make good neighbors, but they don't make good citizens. Download Full Image

A new report released today looks at the implications of this high attachment-low involvement paradox. “Do Good Neighbors Make Good Citizens?” by the Morrison Institute for Public Policy, gathers evidence from recent Arizona studies including the Gallup Arizona Poll, the Arizona Health Survey, and several multiyear surveys conducted by the institute.

The report’s findings pose crucial questions for a state entering its second century facing a massive economic crisis. That’s because active civic involvement can reap concrete rewards. Evidence from past studies shows that high civic engagement in a community correlates with a high gross domestic product, an improved quality of life, better school achievement and lower crime rates, among other benefits.

As a state that prides itself in local control of government and a “citizen legislature,” Arizonans must ask themselves: Why aren’t we more involved? What will happen to Arizona’s democracy if its citizens remain unengaged?

These questions and others are presented in this new report. It also notes some options for generating greater citizen involvement in government to narrow the gap between Arizonans’ pride in their state and the apparent reluctance to get involved.

ASU hosts Dec. 11 community job forum

December 9, 2009

ASU’s College of Public Programs will host a community forum to discuss job creation in the metropolitan Phoenix area from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Dec. 11, at the A.E. England Building at Civic Space Park, 424 N. Central Ave.

The forum is a response to President Barack Obama’s recent call for public debate concerning job creation in communities across the nation. Information discussed at the forum will be compiled into a report and sent to the White House for review.  Download Full Image

The forum will begin with brief presentations about existing community building efforts in the service and design sectors and the relationship between entrepreneurship and job creation.

Panelists include:

• Dennis Hoffman, ASU Professor of Economics; Director, L. William Seidman Research Institute; and Director, Office of the University Economist

• Debra Friedman, University Vice President and Dean, ASU College of Public Programs: How the College of Public Program’s Spirit of Service Scholars initiative will strengthen the service sector

• Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona House of Representatives, District 15

• Russ Perry, Owner, Keane Creative: How the collaboration within our local design community supports the retention of highly qualified graduates and has the potential to attract new industry-based investment

• Audrey Iffert, University Innovation Fellow, Office of University Initiatives: The connection between entrepreneurship, social capital/networking, and job creation

• Sean Coleman, Orange Slyce, ASU student entrepreneur: How internships enhance human capital and support job creation

Following the panel, participants will break into small groups to discuss:

• What can the university do to better support and prepare our future workforce?

• What are Arizona’s strengths?  How can we leverage these strengths to create new jobs in our region?  How do we build strong communities to support job creation?

• How can we foster industry-specific collaboration to attract investment to our region?

• What are the current obstacles we face to spark job creation? How do we overcome these obstacles?

Discussion leaders include:

• Sherry Ahrentzen, Ph.D., Associate Director of Research, Policy & Strategic Initiatives, Stardust Center for Affordable Homes & the Family

• Mary E. Dawes, Ph.D., Director of Academic & Career Exploration, ASU University College

• Russ Maloney, Partner, Keane Creative

• Kitty McGrath, Executive Director, Career Services, ASU

• Bruce Mosby, C-Level Management Consulting, Mosby and Company, Inc.

• Roselyn O'Connell, Owner, My Campaign Advisor

Anticipated forum participants include leaders from the business and design communities, elected leaders, current and aspiring entrepreneurs, and ASU faculty and staff. 

Also, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council will host an Arizona forum on jobs and economic growth from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, at the Biodesign Institute at ASU in Tempe.  In addition to the Council, participants include members of the AZ Technology Council, Science Foundation Arizona, labor leaders and nonprofit leaders.  The focus is to listen to these leaders about what they believe the White House and Congress should do to help create jobs and restart Arizona's economy.

ASU’s College of Public Programs offers educational and research programs spanning the fields of social work, public affairs, criminology and criminal justice, and community resources and development. The College has over 3,000 students in more than 35 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree and certificate programs. Its graduates are leaders in government, nonprofit organizations, and criminal justice and human service agencies. For information, visit">">

For more information, contact Jacqueline Smith at (480) 458-7034 or  

Video contest supports Spirit of Service Scholars

November 23, 2009

ASU's College of Public Programs is partnering with Zooppa for a video contest to support the Spirit of Service Scholars initiative.

The Spirit of Service Scholars program aims to address the present and future workforce needs in the public and nonprofit sectors by awarding prestigious scholarships to outstanding students and providing them with an extraordinary academic and real-world education; a life-long interdisciplinary network; and committed, effective mentors. Download Full Image

Participants can win a share of $5,000 in awards. The competition is open to anyone and the deadline is 11:59 p.m. Jan. 22, 2010. 

For information, visit">">http://spiritofservicesc...

ASU program wins national award for community impact

November 18, 2009

An Arizona State University program that has helped nearly 8,700 parents across the Valley improve the education of their struggling children earned one of the nation's most prestigious community engagement awards.

The American Dream Academy received the 2009 C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award from A۰P۰L۰U, the oldest higher education association in America. Download Full Image" target="_blank" title="The">">The American Dream Academy has had a profound impact on Phoenix's K-12 educational community. Parents of struggling K-12 students enter the nine-week program to gain knowledge and skills necessary to improve the educational development of their children, including methods to improve parent/child relationships, reduce dropout rates and ensure high school graduation.

Since October 2006, the program has "graduated" parents of students attending 41 different schools, and indirectly impacted more than 24,000 low-income, minority youth throughout the greater Phoenix region. 

"The American Dream project is a model for engagement and outreach for public institutions. Its impact on the Phoenix area will be felt for years to come," said Lee Todd, chairman of the A۰P۰L۰U board of directors and president of the University of Kentucky. "Public universities, like Arizona State and the other four regional winners, exemplify the spirit and vision of university engagement championed by Peter Magrath, and we salute their fine work."

The Magrath Award recognizes the outreach and engagement partnerships of four-year public universities. It includes $20,000 and a trophy. Arizona State was chosen from a pool of regional winners that included Michigan State University, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Georgia. Pennsylvania State University was ineligible for the national award this year since it won in 2008.

"The American Dream Academy is creating opportunities for children to achieve the education they deserve," says Raul Yzaguirre, executive director of ASU's Center">">Center for Community Development and Civil Rights, which oversees the program. "The program is a mutually beneficial partnership that aids in the transformation of the community and changes the way people think about the university." 

The American Dream project, which is underwritten by ASU, the Helios Education Foundation, SRP, participating schools and districts, and other funding partners, creates a community where parents and teachers collaborate to transform each child's educational environment at home and at school. The American Dream Academy is the signature program of ASU's Center for Community Development and Civil Rights at the Downtown Phoenix campus.

SRP provided audio, video and editing services for a video about the program which was used as part of the award nomination. View the video at">">

Made possible by a grant from the" target="_blank" title="W.K">">W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the award was presented during the A۰P۰L۰U Annual Meeting on Sunday in Washington, D.C. The award was established in 2006 and is named for C. Peter Magrath, who served as president of the association from 1992-2005.

The ASU Center for Community Development and Civil Rights works to build bridges between ASU and the community to address problems, share knowledge and act as a catalyst for transformation. Its programs are designed to strengthen low-income, marginalized populations and help them become knowledgeable in education, finance, healthcare, and the basics of housing, transportation and local ordinances. For information about the center, visit">">

Founded in 1887, the target="_blank" title="Association"> of Public and Land-grant Universities (A۰P۰L۰U) is an association of public research universities, land-grant institutions, and many state public university systems. Its 219 members enroll more than 4.7 million students, award nearly one million degrees annually and conduct nearly two-thirds of all academic research, totaling more than $34 billion annually. As the nation's oldest higher education association, A۰P۰L۰U is dedicated to excellence in learning, discovery and engagement. For more information, visit" target="_blank" title="">">