ASU Grad Completion Fellows advance knowledge, understanding in their fields

April 14, 2014

A desire to contribute new knowledge to combat injustice and misunderstandings unite the Spring 2014 Graduate Completion Fellows.

Graduate Completion Fellowships are awarded in the spring and fall semesters by Arizona State University Graduate Education. The fellowships support degree completion for doctoral and master of fine arts candidates in the arts, humanities, social sciences and education. Financial awards are made on the basis of demonstrated ability to complete research and projects of high quality. 2014 Spring Graduate Completion Fellows Download Full Image

Just a few examples of the research accomplishments of these graduate students:

• Melinda Alexander is a cultural geographer who has studied the Lost Boys of Sudan in participation with a local refugee community center. She hopes that attention to stories of people who have suffered in war can help to avert future conflicts.

• Oscar Huerta aims to fuse environmental knowledge with responsible and sustainable business product design.

• Anthony (Sam) Martone writes prose that experiments with form, genre and language. He hopes to tell stories that encourage empathy and inspire generosity in people, as well as give voice to issues that may not otherwise receive attention.

• Benjamin Warner works primarily in Central America with farmers, resource managers and policymakers to develop projects that can help the rural poor overcome the challenges of global changes.

“These Completion Fellows are advancing knowledge that can contribute to greater understanding and improved education in societies throughout the world,” says Andrew Webber, vice provost for Graduate Education. “They can be proud of what they have accomplished in their research.”

The 15 Graduate Completion Fellows for spring 2014 are:

Melinda Alexander, PhD in Geography
School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Ingrid Donaldson, MFA in Art-Metals
School of Art, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

Kandyce Fernandez, PhD in Public Administration and Policy
School of Public Affairs, College of Public Programs

Jennifer Geiger, PhD in Social Work
School of Social Work, College of Public Programs

Melinda Hollis, PhD in Curriculum and Instruction
Division of Teacher Preparation, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College

Oscar Huerta, PhD in Design, Environment and the Arts
The Design School, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

Seong-Hoon Kim, PhD in English Literature
Department of English, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Anthony (Sam) Martone, MFA in Creative Writing
Department of English, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Sara Mertel, PhD in Community Resources and Development
School of Community Resources and Development, College of Public Programs

Daniel Pout, PhD in Political Science
School of Politics and Global Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Terrence Ritzman, PhD in Anthropology
School of Human Evolution and Social Change, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Jessica Solyom, PhD in Justice and Social Inquiry
School of Social Transformation, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Soloymar Torres-Garcia, PhD in Latin American Literature
School of International Letters and Cultures, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Benjamin Warner, PhD in Sustainability
School of Sustainability, Global Institute of Sustainability

Megan Weaver, MFA in Directing
School of Film, Dance and Theatre, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

More information on the fellowship is available at

Editor Associate, University Provost

US-China competition encourages ideas to prevent electronic waste

April 14, 2014

With rapid advances in technology, electronic products tend to become unusable after just a few short years. Computers, DVD players, refrigerators, cell phones, copiers and televisions are just a few examples of electronic products that typically wind up as electronic waste (e-waste), filling landfills both domestically and internationally.

Approximately 50 million tons of e-waste is produced each year, and only about 15 to 20 percent of it is recycled. If not handled properly, e-waste can have a significant adverse effect on human and environmental health. Download Full Image

The U.S.-China Green Electronics Competition launched this week is tackling this challenge head-on. The United States and China, two of the world’s biggest e-waste producers, have joined forces to raise awareness of the effects of e-waste and promote sustainable solutions. The challenge is an unprecedented worldwide online DIY competition focused on preventing the creation of e-waste.

Spearheaded by the Future Tense initiative, a partnership of Arizona State University, New America Foundation, and Slate magazine, and China's Tsinghua University in collaboration with other partners, the competition invites U.S. and Chinese makers to find creative ways to turn yesterday's electronics into tomorrow's technology.

“This exciting initiative engages creative young people not only in Arizona and around the U.S., but innovators in China as well,” said Patricia Reiter, director of ASU's Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives. “Supporting the sustainable efforts of preventing e-waste on the international level represents a tremendous opportunity for inspiring innovation and cultural exchange.”

Challenge participants are invited to upcycle or hack an electronic product to create a new electronic product; repair an electronic product; create a sustainable electronic product; or create artwork from used electronic products. The competition emphasizes the growing trend of the maker movement, a technology-based extension of the do-it-yourself (DIY) culture.

“At the core, we are all tinkers and makers,” said Micah Lande, assistant professor of engineering at ASU’s Fulton Schools of Engineering. “We build our worlds around interacting through technology. Today’s DIY movement has characteristics that allow us to showcase our creations online. So now we can expand the movement from DIY to ‘do-it-together,’ and broaden our community as we create and make with others around the world.”

Innovative ideas for how to prevent e-waste can be submitted through, from April 7 to May 31. Following a round of public voting, a panel of judges will choose the best selections from each country. Winners will receive prizes, as well as the opportunity to showcase their creations on Slate.

Judges include Victor Koo, founder and CEO of YouKu Tudou Inc. in China; Mitzi Montoya, ASU’s vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation; Chris Anderson, former Wired editor; Joi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab; and Sun Hong Bin, dean of Educational Affairs at Tsinghua University. Partners include Instructables, TechShop,, XinCheJian, Autodesk and Inventables.

Phoenix-area competitors can take advantage of ASU’s innovative atmosphere and the university’s first-of-its-kind partnership with TechShop, the DIY workshop and fabrication studio. The TechShop at the ASU Chandler Innovation Center will be hosting a kickoff event for the competition on April 14.

For more information about the competition and how you can get involved, please visit: