American Indian Studies director honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

October 23, 2012

The National Indian Education Association recently honored John Tippeconnic, ASU American Indian Studies director and professor, with its Lifetime Achievement Award at their annual convention in Oklahoma City.

Tippeconnic, who has been involved in American Indian education for more than 40 years, said he is honored to receive the award and appreciative of those individuals who work with him to make a difference in students’ lives. John Tippeconnic Download Full Image

“I really think the award is not about me alone. It’s about the individuals I work with who are improving the quality of American Indian education,” Tippeconnic said.

ASU has one of the highest American Indian student populations in the nation with approximately 2,000 Native American students currently enrolled at the university. A new American Indian Studies master’s program that Tippeconnic was instrumental in creating began this academic year, offering a comprehensive view of American Indian nations and peoples with the opportunity to work as researchers and leaders with tribes, colleges and universities and others in Indian country

A few highlights of Tippeconnic’s career in education include serving as the former director of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Indian Education and past director of the Office of Indian Education Programs for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of Interior. He was a professor of educational leadership at Penn State University, director of the American Indian Leadership Program and was the co-director of the Center for the Study of Leadership in Indian education prior to coming to American Indian Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at ASU in 2010. He was the former board president of the National Indian Education Association from 1983-1984.

“John Tippeconnic was chosen for his longstanding work in education and especially advancing excellence in education for all Native students,” said RiShawn Biddle, National Indian Education Association director of communications. “The award recognizes lifetime achievement in Native education and leadership.”

Teaching students is an essential endeavor for Tippeconnic, who realizes he is broadening the knowledge of American Indian students who will become the leaders of tomorrow.

“We see students as the leaders in the future. It’s a joy to work with them and see them develop and assume leadership positions while working on issues related to tribal sovereignty, Indian self determination and the cultures and languages of tribes,” he said. “Anybody can be a leader if they are a strong advocate and know and respect Native knowledge and life experiences.”

Tippeconnic, who is a member of the Comanche tribe and part Cherokee, was instrumental in bringing higher education to American Indian students in Oklahoma when he helped start a tribal college there. Emphasizing the tribe’s native language and culture, the Comanche Nation College was founded in 2002 and will become an accredited institution in November of this year.

Education has been part of Tippeconnic’s life since he can remember. With a father who was a school principal and teacher and a mother who was a school cook, education has always been valued in his family.

“I enjoy seeing students grow and develop while they make use of the knowledge that they have gained through education, especially when they use their knowledge to improve life for people,” he said.

The National Indian Education Association advocates for educational excellence, opportunity, and equity for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian students through its mission of supporting traditional Native cultures and values, enabling Native learners to become contributing members of their communities, promoting Native control of educational institutions and improving educational opportunities and resources for American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians throughout the United States.

ASU, Arizona Science Center partnership aims to promote STEM education

October 23, 2012

Arizona Science Center and Arizona State University announce the formation of a new partnership to share dynamic science happenings with the Arizona community, and to motivate and inspire K-12 students to pursue post-secondary education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines.

“ASU has been at the forefront in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math,” said Chevy Humphrey, president and CEO of Arizona Science Center. “Through this partnership, we hope to expand our meaningful learning opportunities by sharing ASU's cutting-edge research and scientific developments.”  Arizona Science Center and Arizona State University announce partnership Download Full Image

ASU is advancing a new model for 21st century higher education – one that measures itself not by those it excludes, but by those it includes – and pursues leading edge research that contributes to the public good, assuming major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities it serves. Through this partnership with Arizona Science Center, ASU will more fully realize its vision as a New American University dedicated to excellence, access and impact. The Science Center serves more than 400,000 visitors annually, including 140,000 school children. Through the Center's audiences, ASU will be able to further its commitment to enhancing discovery within the Arizona community.

Arizona Science Center aims to inspire, educate and entertain people of all ages about science. Interactive and informational exhibits at the Science Center make science and technology relevant and give children and adults alike the opportunity to put fun and hands-on exploration at the center of learning. Working with ASU will allow the Center to expand the depth and breadth of its offerings, while highlighting research and innovations happening in its own backyard.

"Educational partnerships that inspire innovation, enhance broad accessibility to knowledge, and generate new learning and discovery opportunities are integral to the future success of our state, region and nation,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “We are proud to establish such an alliance with the Arizona Science Center to benefit the communities we serve."

Through this partnership, ASU and the center will set the standard for a university and science center collaboration, both nationally and internationally. Together, they will plan joint exhibits, educational activities, lecture series, planetarium shows, demonstrations, and more. We envision a long-term partnership that provides a continuous flow of innovative research and educational activities, projects and exhibits for K-12 teachers, students and the general public.

"We are very excited to have this unique opportunity to collaborate with the Arizona Science Center and embed ASU within the community,” said Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, senior vice president with ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development. “This is an important partnership that enables ASU to integrate the innovative and impactful ideas from our labs into an environment that will inspire and motivate future generations of talent."

Supporting this partnership, ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development is dedicated to advancing research, innovation, entrepreneurial activities and economic development efforts at ASU, in Arizona, and beyond.

A kickoff event to launch this strategic partnership is set for 5 p.m., Oct. 26, at Arizona Science Center in downtown Phoenix. Attendees will witness firsthand the potential of this collaboration and interact with ASU researchers and scientists and explore Arizona Science Center’s exhibits. Information about this partnership is available online at