ASU among top 100 universities in Washington Monthly rankings

September 5, 2012

ASU ranks 45th for 'contribution to public good'

Arizona State University is among the top 100 schools in Washington Monthly magazine’s 2012 national universities rankings. ASU placed 45th in the rankings, up from last year’s ranking of 132. Download Full Image

Universities throughout the country were rated based on their contribution to the public good in three categories: social mobility through recruiting and graduating low-income students; research that produces cutting-edge scholarship and doctoral graduates; and service that encourages students to give back to their country.

Institutions were rated on social mobility through criteria such as the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants, predicted rate of graduation and the rate of graduation. ASU’s Pell grant recipients have grown from 10,344 during the 2002-03 academic year to 23,465 in 2010-11. The university has also experienced significant growth in the graduation rate with the six-year graduation rate for the freshman cohort entering in 2005 increasing to 57.5, up 16.9 percent compared to the 49.2 percent rate for the cohort that entered 10 years earlier in fall 1995.

Research rankings examine data such as total research expenditures, the number of bachelor’s recipients who go on to receive doctoral degrees, the number of science and engineering doctoral degrees awarded and faculty who are members of the National Academies.

ASU research has experienced dramatic growth in recent years with more than $355 million dollars awarded in 2011. The university focuses on research breakthroughs and discovery in a broad range of strategic research areas designed to address everything from next generation health diagnostic exams and cancer vaccines to reliable and efficient alternative fuels.

Since 2003, ASU has increased the number of high-level faculty members and experts on campus with the addition of 156 new award recipients, fellows or academy members, which include two Nobel laureates, 11 National Academy of Sciences members, 11 American Academy of Arts and Sciences members, nine National Academy of Engineering members, 114 Fulbright American Scholar awards, 25 Guggenheim Fellows and three members of the Royal Society.

Service rankings consider factors such as the number of alumni who go on to serve in the Peace Corps, students who serve in ROTC and community service performed. ASU has 507 community outreach programs in 187 locations, offered by 131 different units, totaling 718 outreach opportunities.

The top five institutions in the rankings are: University of California-San Diego; Texas A&M University; Stanford University; University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill; and University of California – Berkeley. For a complete list, go to

West campus events series features former child soldier

September 5, 2012

A visit to Arizona State University’s West campus by author and former child soldier Ishmael Beah is among the highlights of the fall semester’s ThinK (Tuesdays here in the Kiva) series. The public is invited to participate in this wide variety of presentations, sponsored by ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.

There is no admission charge for ThinK events. Visitor parking on campus costs $2 per hour. Ishmael Beah Download Full Image

Beah’s Sept. 18 visit is in conjunction with New College’s freshman book project, in which all incoming freshmen read “A Long Way Gone” over the summer. The book describes Beah’s experience of being forced to serve as a child soldier in Sierra Leone.

The New York Times described “A Long Way Gone” as “remarkable,” with the reviewer stating that the book “…makes you wonder how anyone comes through such unrelenting ghastliness and horror with his humanity and sanity intact. Unusually, the smiling, open face of the author on the book jacket provides welcome and timely reassurance. Ishmael Beah seems to prove it can happen.”

The annual freshman book project is now in its fourth year. According to Elizabeth Langland, dean of New College and vice provost of the West campus, the book project has proven successful in building a sense of community on the West campus and encouraging New College students, from the start of their college careers, to make connections and develop leadership skills.

“Participating in the book project and our ThinK series exposes students to a variety of intellectual perspectives and disciplines that enrich, integrate and advance the ideas they are encountering in their courses,” Langland said.

The list of ThinK activities during the fall semester includes:

• Sept. 11 – Let’s Talk “Greening” Maroon & Gold, 4 p.m., Kiva Lecture Hall

• Sept. 18 – Ishmael Beah discusses “A Long Way Gone,” 7 p.m., La Sala Ballroom (book signing to follow)

• Sept. 25 – “Meet the Tutors” from the Student Success Center, 4 p.m., Kiva Lecture Hall

• Oct. 2 – Town hall debate on “Inequality and the Role of Government,” 6 p.m., La Sala Ballroom

• Oct. 9 – Pre-health Conference, keynote speaker presentation, 4 p.m., Kiva Lecture Hall

• Oct. 16 – New College Professor Marlene Tromp discusses “Untold Titanic: The Living, The Rich, and The Dead,” 4 p.m., Kiva Lecture Hall\

• Oct. 23 – Free Speech and Citizenship Contest, commemorating Free Speech Week, 4 p.m., Kiva Lecture Hall

• Oct. 30 – New College Professor Mary Burleson discusses “Reach Out and Touch Someone: Influence of Affectionate Touch on Stress and Relationships,” 4 p.m., Kiva Lecture Hall

• Nov. 6 – Election Coverage Watch Party with the Graduate and Professional Student Association, 4 p.m., Kiva Lecture Hall

• Nov. 13 – New College Professor Matt Newman discusses “The Lasting Impact of Being Bullied,” 4 p.m., Kiva Lecture Hall

• Nov. 20 – “Scholarships, Grants, Federal Work Study, Loans: Oh My! Where Do I Qualify,” the annual presentation on options for financing a college education, 4 p.m., Kiva Lecture Hall

• Nov. 27 – New College Professor Lindsay Mean discusses “Love It or Hate It, It’s Simply the Greatest: The Power of Sport, Media and Culture,” 4 p.m., Kiva Lecture Hall

• Dec. 4 – Professor Joseph Carter from ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business will discuss “Off-Shoring, On-Shoring, Near-Shoring: The Supply Chain Logic,” 4 p.m., Kiva Lecture Hall

For more information about ThinK events, contact Heidi Maxwell at 602-543-4521 or