ASU, Utah train future military officers in critical languages, culture

October 5, 2011

Editor's Note: Arizona State will take on the University of Utah, Oct. 8, in its first ever Pac-12 road game.

Improving critical language skills, regional expertise and cultural awareness of future military officers is the aim of a U.S. Department of Defense initiative under way at Arizona State University and the University of Utah. Download Full Image

As part of “Project GO,” the global officer effort, ASU has been training ROTC cadets in Persian, Russian, Tatar and Uzbek, and sending them to Central Asia and Russia every summer since 2008. Utah trains cadets in Arabic, Chinese, Hindi/Urdu, Korean, Pashto and Russian, and has recently opened programs for them in Jordan, Morocco, Russia and China.

Arizona State and Utah are the only Pac-12 schools among 18 U.S. universities selected for participation in Project GO, sponsored by the National Security Education Program as a joint effort with the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine ROTC programs. Project GO programs focus exclusively on the languages and countries of the Middle East, Asia, Central Asia and Africa.

Most students at ASU participate in a hybrid program, receiving two months of intensive summer training in Persian, Russian, Tatar or Uzbek at the ASU Critical Languages Institute before traveling to Russia, Tajikistan or Uzbekistan for a month of first-hand experience in the culture.

ASU cadets who already are studying advanced levels of Russian language instead travel directly to the city of Kazan, a one-hour flight east of Moscow, on the Volga River, where they live for eight weeks with host families or in apartments with Russian roommates. They receive accelerated language and culture training at ASU’s training center in Kazan and participate in a rich program of excursions and cultural activities.

More than 100 ROTC cadets and midshipmen at ASU have participated in the program since 2008. In Utah, 112 ROTC students have participated since 2008.

"This program is about changing the way the U.S. engages with the world," said Kathleen Evans-Romaine, director of ASU’s Critical Languages Institute.

"Four years ago, you could count on one hand the number of future officers with in-depth experience in the languages and cultures of Eurasia or Sub-Saharan Africa. Today, close to 1,000 cadets and midshipmen from across the U.S. have studied those languages, have visited those countries, and, most importantly, have learned to cross cultural boundaries. They have gained skills that will serve them well in their careers, no matter where they go,” she said.

Additional information about Project GO at ASU:

Written by Sarah Auffret

Students, donors help W. P. Carey School break ground on new building

October 5, 2011

Official groundbreaking to take place Oct. 29 at 10 a.m., in conjunction with Homecoming festivities

As one of the largest and highest-ranked business schools in the country, the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is home to 10,000-plus students – more than some entire universities. In order to keep up with its growing student population and to play an even bigger role in educating business leaders of tomorrow, the school is about to break ground on a new 129,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art building that will complement its two existing structures. Download Full Image

McCord Hall will be named for philanthropist Sharon Dupont McCord and her late husband Bob McCord. More than $17 million in gifts and pledges from individuals and corporations will help to fund the new facility. Student leaders have shown tremendous support for the new building, which will help attract the best and brightest in a highly competitive business school environment.

The new building will provide more classrooms for graduate programs and undergraduate honors students, technologically advanced team study rooms, a new career center and outdoor assembly areas. World-class conference facilities will be used for executive education and small research and business conferences.

“The W. P. Carey School of Business is one of the only Top 30 business schools in the nation that hasn’t built a new building in the past 20 years,” said Robert Mittelstaedt, the school's dean. “McCord Hall and renovation of existing facilities will enhance our ability to accommodate all of our students, faculty and community constituents, and will put us in line with our peers. We need to meet the expectations of a top-ranked business school providing facilities and technologies that support team-based, collaborative learning.”

U.S. News & World Report currently ranks the school’s undergraduate business, full-time MBA and evening MBA programs all Top 30 in the nation. The Wall Street Journal ranks the school’s Tempe-based executive MBA program No. 13 in the world.

The W. P. Carey School of Business now enrolls 60 percent more freshmen than it did just 10 years ago, and at the same time, the freshman retention rate impressively has gone up about 10 percent. One of the main criteria for businesses relocating headquarters and regional offices to an area is the quality of local universities for recruiting. Arizona State University already ranks No. 5 in corporate-recruiter preference, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal.

The new building project is expected to create 480 local construction and engineering/design jobs. It’s projected to create a total of about 1,150 jobs through direct and indirect economic activity stemming from the project, with impacts measured at annual rates and accruing over the life of the project.

“While these jobs will be welcomed by a beleaguered Arizona construction sector and its supplier base, we’ll also see long-run economic benefits,” said Dennis Hoffman, professor and director of the L. William Seidman Research Institute at the W. P. Carey School of Business, who conducted the analysis. “This university capital investment will be manifested in the new space provided for future faculty positions and classroom space, as well as the accompanying human and knowledge capital created there. The economic footprint of the school is large and will broaden with access to the new facilities.”

The new building also will be environmentally friendly, designed to use 30 percent less water and 35 percent less energy than similar buildings. The roof will have a solar array that returns power to the campus grid.

The official groundbreaking event is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 29, in conjunction with Homecoming weekend at ASU. The public is invited to attend the 10 a.m. ceremony. The new building will be located just east of the existing W. P. Carey School of Business facilities on the south end of ASU’s Tempe campus.

For more information about the new building project, visit To make a donation, visit or call (480) 965-6568.