ASU, Battelle announce technology development collaboration

October 18, 2012

Arizona State University and Battelle, the world’s largest independent research and development organization, have announced the formation of a strategic collaboration designed to accelerate the exploration and development of new technologies to support the future of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and learning.

These organizations join forces to design, build and implement innovative learning tools such as video libraries and mobile applications that allow students and teachers to share knowledge using state-of-the-art interactive devices. The conception of these technologies will be managed by researchers and developers who evaluate the exponential value of STEM education for educators and students with these tools from a social perspective. Download Full Image

ASU’s award winning Technology Based Learning and Research (TBLR) specializes in areas of research, emerging technologies, instructional design, courseware, and media development. TBLR is a department of ASU's Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College who offers challenging education programs that prepare highly qualified and successful teachers, leaders and researchers.

TBLR will oversee the development of software to assist both teachers and students in and out of the classroom in collaboration with Battelle's world-renowned STEMx research.

“This collaboration will expand ASU’s efforts in new ways where the engagement of interdisciplinary activities and technology-transfer pursuits are leveraged to create education innovations,” said Sethuraman "Panch" Panchanathan, senior vice president with the ASU Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development. “We are delighted to work as a team with Battelle which shares our vision for excellence and impact for STEM education and technology-based research development projects.”

The collaboration will draw upon numerous resources, chiefly STEMx, Battelle’s established network of 13 states whose goal is to accelerate the growth and application of new technologies to increase student achievement and provide additional resources that are suited for the young audience and teachers.

“We are proud to be joining forces with Arizona State University to explore innovative educational technology,” said Eric Fingerhut, vice president of education and STEM learning at Battelle. “Through this agreement we are able to link our most creative leaders and teachers from around the country, through the STEMx network, to proven talent in the development and creation of new technologies.”

The new relationship will focus on developing solutions that can be utilized throughout the world to increase STEM learning outcomes. TBLR and Battelle will explore ideas and distribute the apps throughout its STEM networks and schools.

Arizona State University and Battelle will also look to find new ways of utilizing technology in the classroom and to effectively scale best practices in STEM education.

ASU school named in recognition of philanthropist T. Denny Sanford

October 18, 2012

T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics seeks better future for children, youth, families

Entrepreneur T. Denny Sanford is being honored by Arizona State University with the naming of the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics in recognition of his long-time support.   Download Full Image

Sanford has helped advance the university over many years of philanthropic program commitment by bringing a unique partnership with Teach for America to the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and creating the Sanford Harmony Program, which is intended to help children as young as three years old better understand the opposite gender and to create respect, trust and understanding between boys and girls before adolescence.

 “When you match Denny Sanford’s energy, drive and resources with what ASU is committed to do to find the solutions to the great challenges we as a society face, you have the perfect combination to create real change,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow in announcing the new name of the school. “Denny has helped put ASU at the forefront of social innovation – building what is needed to improve the health and welfare of families. 

“I believe T. Denny Sanford will be the name associated with discovery in the areas of harmonious and healthy human development and relationships to ultimately reduce divorce and abuse rates.”

Through the Sanford School, an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, ASU is developing and promoting collaborative efforts that involve faculty, practitioners, staff, students and community members, and that focus on core Sanford themes: relationships, families, children, education, health and well-being. The Sanford Harmony Program is a centerpiece of the school.

“I am a pioneer of new ideas, new thoughts and new programs,” said Sanford. “Arizona State University gave me the opportunity to bring forth the Sanford Harmony Program and now the Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics. These programs benefit the country by teaching children respect, trust and understanding.

“It is my dream to reduce the divorce rate in the U.S. by 50 percent within the next 50 years,” Sanford added. “Dr. Crow shares that dream. ASU is a world-class university, and we expect many significant endorsements for this world-changing program that will be made available to all preschool and elementary schools nationwide.”

The Sanford School boasts:

• a faculty of more than 60 world-class scholars that generate almost $7 million annually in research expenditures

• a large and diverse student body of more than 1,600 undergraduate and 120 graduate majors who are dedicated to understanding and improving the lives of children, youth and families

• award-winning initiatives that break traditional academic boundaries and seek innovative solutions to our most pressing social problems

• entrepreneurial leadership that is cutting-edge in creating opportunities for self-investment and transformational change

• increasing recognition as an aspirational peer for many universities across the United States and the world

ASU and the Sanford School are not traditional academic institutions,” said Richard Fabes, Sanford School director. “As a New American University, we’re aligned closer to a teaching and research hospital model – taking ideas and delivering solutions with real-world implications. Our research is used to improve well-being and provide the prevention and intervention tools to help build better relationships and live better lives. 

“Denny Sanford’s significant investments have been transformative as we further our important work and find solutions that will create a better future for children, youth and families.”

Sanford, a native of St. Paul, Minn., graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in psychology in 1958. A successful entrepreneur who serves as chairman and CEO of United National Corporation in Sioux Falls, S.D, his philanthropic endeavors have left a legacy across ASU. He has placed a focus on children through his support of ASU’s Sanford Harmony Program, created in 2008 to bridge the gender divide by providing girls and boys with opportunities and support for positive peer classroom interactions and friendships, and laying the foundation for healthy and successful relationships throughout the early childhood years and beyond. The program is based on the notion that facilitating harmonious relationships between boys and girls will improve the learning environment and set the stage for positive relationships throughout a lifetime. 

In total, Sanford has invested more than $25 million in the School of Social and Family Dynamics and Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. His support of Teachers College has helped transform the way teachers are prepared. The resulting Sanford Inspire Program has earned national recognition, redefining teacher preparation by integrating best practices of Teachers College and Teach For America. 

R.F. “Rick” Shangraw Jr., CEO of the ASU Foundation for A New American University, said Sanford’s support represents the best kind of private-university partnership. “Denny’s contributions are groundbreaking in the sense that he is an innovative partner who has laid the foundation in developing a model for how we understand and enhance relationships among young children. He has changed the way the university recruits, selects and prepares future K–12 teachers, and he has built programs through his advocacy and resources that hold significant promise for the improvement of well-being for children, families and the world. The breadth and reach of his philanthropy are profound.

“It is an Arizona State University point of pride to have the Sanford name so prominently associated with this great university for the inspiration of children.”

Steve Des Georges

director strategic marketing and communication, Enterprise Marketing Hub