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ASU's presence in nation's capital reflects global reach

January 14, 2015

It’s a four-hour flight – or a four-day drive.

Two thousand two hundred ninety-two miles separate Arizona State University’s Tempe campus from Washington, D.C.

But in recent years it has felt a whole lot closer.

That's because there are now 39 full-time ASU faculty and staff who work in D.C., with 15 classes taught there and more than 100 students enrolled in those classes at any time. ASU programs and departments held more than 50 events inside the beltway in 2014, and plan to hold even more this year.

ASU has become a major player in the nation’s capital.

The university’s work is featured on a new website detailing ASU’s reach in D.C. and highlighting the university’s expansive Washington portfolio.

"ASU’s involvement in Washington reflects our ability to connect the ideas, knowledge and creativity of our faculty and students to domestic and global conversations,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “It amplifies the work we do to transform society in Arizona, across the country and around the world.”

That increasing level of university engagement in Washington will be on display Jan. 15 when ASU and its partners will host four high-level symposia addressing some of the most pressing policy problems facing the country and the world.

Crow will headline an event with former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels discussing the future of higher education and how to expand access to students who are underserved by elite institutions.

ASU will host two events Jan. 15 focusing on the war in Syria. One, in partnership with the New America Foundation, is a conference titled “Examining the Crisis in Syria.” Later, the McCain Institute for International Leadership will focus on Syria as part of its debate series, asking the question “Should the United States Do More?

Arizona State will join its partners in Future Tense to discuss global climate change with a conversation asking “How Will Human Ingenuity Handle a Warming Planet?

And ASU professor of women and gender studies Kimberly Scott will be at the White House to announce the creation of the National Center for Gender Equity in Science & Technology, which will help educators across the nation increase the ranks of minority girls who enroll in science, technology, engineering and math programs.

ASU’s presence in Washington connects the knowledge generated at the university with decision-makers in Washington, and allows ASU’s students and faculty to connect with national leaders.

“Any time I sit down at the table in D.C., it becomes apparent to me that ASU really is a player,” said Bryan Brayboy, ASU President's Professor of indigenous education and justice.

Brayboy travels to Washington several times a year and says that ASU has the ability to cut through the clutter when talking to law and policymakers.

“What ASU does is really bring a particular kind of expertise to them to both help them frame what the challenges are, to frame what the bigger questions are, and to bring solutions.”