ASU tapped to help Obama administration fight human trafficking

January 6, 2013

“Our fight against human trafficking is one of the great human rights causes of our time, and the United States will continue to lead it…” – President Barack Obama, Sept. 25, 2012

The Obama Administration is asking students to come up with new and innovative ways to end human trafficking, and Arizona State University is answering the challenge. Download Full Image

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has selected ASU to play a central role in the launch of its newest initiative in the war on modern slavery.  On Jan. 9, ASU will host a community-wide event to build momentum and raise awareness nationally and globally for, USAID’s Counter Trafficking in Persons (C-TIP) Campus Challenge.

Campus Challenge: A call to action against human trafficking
4:30 p.m.-6 p.m., Jan. 9
Memorial Union, Ventana Ballrooms B and C, Tempe campus
(This event will be webcast and recorded live at

This free ASU event will provide students with opportunities to hear from and interact with expert speakers, community advocates and student leaders working in the anti-human trafficking space and become involved in the movement by making a difference as community volunteers. ASU’s College of Public Programs, ASU Global and Changemaker Central are co-sponsoring the event.

“This ambitious initiative aims to harness the creativity and expertise of the broader university community to address challenges that were once thought to be intractable,” said Jonathan Koppell, dean of ASU’s College of Public Programs. “USAID has taken to calling it ‘open source development,’ which reflects the Agency’s desire to open development to problem-solvers everywhere – from students on campuses to CEOs of major corporations,” he said.

The Campus Challenge aligns closely with ASU’s leadership in anti-human trafficking research activities, and other initiatives that focus on bringing to bear previously untapped sources of innovation to solve complex problems, including 10,000 Solutions, Changemaker Central and the White House Policy Challenge.
Koppell said the university’s involvement in these initiatives captured the attention of Sarah Mendelson, deputy assistant administrator with USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance.

“After learning of our capabilities and expertise in this space, Sarah expressed her excitement about building out a more robust engagement between USAID and ASU, beginning with our hosting the January event,” Koppell said. “We at the College of Public Programs are proud to partner with ASU Global and Changemaker Central to bring this important event to ASU and the larger community.”  

Responding to President Obama’s Sept. 25 call to action at the Clinton Global Initiative held in New York City, USAID administrator Rajiv Shah announced the Campus Challenge on Oct. 11 at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.

The Campus Challenge includes a contest that invites students to propose the best technological solutions to help end trafficking in persons in the developing world.

“USAID’s Campus Challenge encourages college students across the nation to be agents of change in the fight against human trafficking,” said Jacqueline Smith, executive director of ASU’s Office of University Initiatives.

“At ASU, students are provided with the tools and resources they need to be changemakers. Every day we work to inspire, catalyze and sustain student-driven social change,” Smith said.

The C-TIP Campus Challenge is designed to increase global awareness about trafficking, inspire activism among students and scholars at colleges and universities worldwide and generate new, creative ideas and solutions to stop human trafficking. The effort to help the estimated 20.9 million people around the world who are enslaved in sex or labor exploitation will occur across three phases and through the USAID website

During the first phase of the initiative, which began on Oct. 11, students were encouraged to join the online community to participate in discussion groups on various trafficking subtopics, host online conversations, and crowd-source issues that will frame the problems to be addressed in the next phase.

The contest phase, which concludes Jan. 31, is open for applications from U.S. and international students proposing innovative technological solutions to advance trafficking-in-persons prevention and protection. After the contest closes, the community will be invited to rate the proposals received and provide suggestions on how submissions can be improved.

Early in the month of March, USAID will announce the semifinalists and in the following three weeks, semifinalist proposals will be judged by an expert C-TIP and technologist panel. One first-place prize of $5,000 and one or more $2,500 runner-up prizes will be awarded to the top entries. The winners will be announced at the end of March and will be invited to share their proposals with donors, C-TIP and technology professionals.

USAID said it is partnering with Not for Sale, Slavery Footprint, Free the Slaves, MTV Exit, and Abolition International on this project to maximize efforts and inspire millions of people already working on the issue and invite new activists to the cause, ultimately, strengthening the movement to return freedom to the millions of people robbed of their dignity every day.

Associate Director, Marketing & Communication, Educational Outreach & Student Services


Alumni Association to honor military heroes, university innovators at Founders' Day event

January 7, 2013

The Arizona State University Alumni Association will honor outstanding faculty members and alumni who have contributed to the military or the security of the nation, including the late Pat Tillman, at its annual Founders’ Day Awards Dinner, slated for 6 p.m., Feb. 21, at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, 2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix.

The award ceremony has been a signature event for the university for decades, and honors individuals who exemplify the spirit of the founders of the Territorial Normal School of Arizona, ASU’s predecessor institution, which received its charter from the Thirteenth Territorial Legislature on March 7, 1885. Download Full Image

This year, the event will focus on stories of success and growth from alumni who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. military, as well as ASU faculty, staff and supporters who are leading projects across the university that contribute to the efforts of the military, national defense and veteran services. Pat Tillman, the ASU and Arizona Cardinals football legend killed who served in the U.S. Army in 2004, will be honored posthumously with the James W. Creaseman Award of Excellence. The event will feature some of the highest ranking Sun Devil military officials from each branch of the armed forces, generous contributors to campus military and veteran services, information on cutting-edge defense research being conducted by ASU faculty members, and stories of military service from ASU staff.

With a history that dates back to 1964, Founders’ Day attracts attendees that include university administrators, faculty, and local business community leaders. Past award recipients have included Phil Mickelson, the Honorable Ruth McGregor, Congressman Ed Pastor, former Tempe Mayor Neil Giuliano, Craig Weatherup, Reggie Jackson, Heather Farr, Marty Shultz, the classes of 1956 through 1959 that worked diligently on the campaign to ensure ASU achieved University status, and those who are working each day to solve environmental and societal issues.

Tickets to the Founders’ Day event are $130 for Alumni Association members and $175 for nonmembers. Table and corporate sponsorship opportunities are available. For additional information about Founders’ Day, or to RSVP, visit