ASU global health alum named Gates Cambridge Scholar

February 20, 2015

Arizona State University alum Blake Thomson has been named one of 40 Gates Cambridge Scholars from the U.S. The scholarship will support Thomson’s master’s-level study of epidemiology at the University of Cambridge beginning in the fall.

Thomson graduated from ASU in 2013 with an undergraduate degree in global health before moving on to a post-bachelor fellowship at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. He plans to eventually attend medical school – and was accepted while still a junior – but is putting that on hold to gain a wide knowledgebase regarding the many components of global health. Download Full Image

His ultimate career goal is to hold a position with a nonprofit or an academic institution wherein he can help affect healthcare policy and programming.

During his time at Cambridge, he will focus on diabetes and hypertension.

“In much of the developing world, we don’t have a strong sense of where the pathway to care breaks down for these diseases – whether it’s a lack of access, financial barriers to medication adherence, or clinical mismanagement of disease,” Thomson said. “My hope is that, by improving our understanding of these diseases in their local contexts, we can improve and extend the lives of those in need.”

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship Program originated from a $210 million donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest single bequest to a university in the United Kingdom. Scholars are chosen for their social commitment along with their academic excellence.

While a student in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Thomson was an Alumni Association Outstanding Social Science Graduate and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Medalist. He has a long history of community service, including volunteering at Phoenix’s St. Joseph’s Hospital and acting as a driving force of Vive Peru, a nonprofit designed to match Peruvian communities with self-sustaining aid programs.

Rebecca Howe

Communications Specialist, School of Human Evolution and Social Change


ASU Insight: Future of War Conference panel - How Should We Adjust the Laws of War to Address the Changing Nature of Conflict

February 24, 2015

The Future of War Project explores the social, political, economic, and cultural implications of the changing nature of war and conflict. This interdisciplinary partnership links New America, a D.C.-based think tank and civil engagement enterprise, and Arizona State University, one of the nation’s largest and most innovative public research universities. The project is led by Peter Bergen — Vice President, Director of Studies at New America, and a Professor of Practice at Arizona State University — and Daniel Rothenberg — Professor of Practice at Arizona State University and a Fellow at New America — and involves journalists, technologists, historians, social scientists, former military and counterterrorism officials, international law scholars, and experts in defense policy and global politics. seated panel discussion Future of War Conference panel discussion. Download Full Image

The goals of the project include describing the future of warfare as it evolves over the next decade and beyond, predicting its likely impact on the state and other forms of social organization, and developing new paradigms for understanding and addressing armed conflict and systematic violence. The initiative engages multiple topics, including the evolution of autonomous weapons systems, the emergence of increasingly sophisticated and widespread surveillance technologies, the militarization of cyberspace and outer space, and the democratization of terror and mechanisms of mass destruction. The project also considers ethnic and sectarian tensions, demographic shifts, competition over resources, climate change, and other global changes as key drivers of war and conflict.

Rosa Brooks (moderator) – Professor, Georgetown University Law Center; Senior Fellow, International Security Program; ASU Future of War Fellow, New America

William C. Banks – Distinguished Professor of Law; Director, Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, Syracuse University

Laura A. Dickinson – Oswald Symister Colclough Research Professor of Law, The George Washington University Law School; ASU Future of War Fellow, New America

Major General Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., USAF (Ret.) – Professor of the Practice of Law; Executive Director, Center on Law, Ethics, and National Security, The Duke University School of Law

Naz K. Modirzadeh – Founding Director, Program on International Law and Armed Conflict,
Harvard Law School

Ken Fagan

Videographer, ASU Now