The future of renewable energy science: Ariz. university students

April 7, 2014

University students from across Arizona set aside in-state rivalries April 1-2 to plan for a better global future at the Arizona Student Energy Conference (AzSEC) at Arizona State University.

At the conference, 95 students from ASU, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University presented their work on new photovoltaic technologies, the power grid system and new programs dealing with energy policy and its implementation. Participants also interacted with guest speakers, including Mahesh Morjaria, vice president of global grid integration at First Solar, as well as staff and faculty. Students discuss energy at Arizona Student Energy Conference Download Full Image

“The research that our students and faculty conduct at Arizona State University and NAU and UA aims to impact energy, from the technology we use, to the way in which we generate the energy, to the policies which regulate that energy use and creation,” said Stephen Goodnick, deputy director of ASU LightWorks and professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, one of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

“At the Arizona Student Energy Conference, students not only have the opportunity to learn from each other, but they are also able to test their ideas out on industry leaders and top level researchers and faculty. This is a real world experience that could help students take their projects to the next level and make a real global impact.”

This year marked the first time NAU participated since the conference’s conception in 2011. Ana Dyreson, a mechanical engineering master’s candidate at the NAU Institute for Sustainable Energy Solutions, said the conference gave her the opportunity to network with peers from other backgrounds and institutions.

“I gave a presentation about the research I've been focusing on for the last two years, and heard about the things that my counterparts at ASU and UA have been working on,” Dyreson said. “Many of us are working on solar photovoltaics, but with very different research focuses. It was really cool to take off the 'blinders' and hear about the other graduate projects, and it was a great chance to make some connections around the state.”

Participating students were able to vie for cash awards during the poster presentation portion of the conference. Poster presentation winners this year included: Marely Tejeda, Yongjie Zou and Ian Pahk from ASU; David Racke, Mike Liao and Juan Russo from UA; and Devon Martindale and Kelsey Morales from NAU.

This annual conference is made possible by ASU LightWorks, an ASU initiative that unites resources and researchers across ASU to confront global energy challenges. The conference is also supported by UA Renewable Energy Network and the Institute for Sustainable Energy Solutions at NAU. Tucson Electric Power Company and Research Corporation for Science Advancement were also sponsors of the event.

Rethinking race, class with civil rights attorney Lani Guinier

April 8, 2014

Civil rights attorney and Bennett Boskey Professor of Law Lani Guinier, the first African-American woman appointed to a tenured professorship at Harvard Law School, will deliver the A. Wade Smith Memorial Lecture on Race Relations at Arizona State University.

Guinier will speak about “Rethinking Race and Class” at 7 p.m., April 16, in Old Main’s Carson Ballroom on the ASU Tempe campus. Harvard professor and civil rights attorney Lani Guinier to speak at ASU Download Full Image

In addition, prior to her evening talk, there will be a special student-only conversation with Guinier from 3 to 4 p.m., in Armstrong Hall, in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Student IDs are required to attend.

Guinier’s writings and teachings have focused on voting rights, race, gender and democratic theory, law and social change, and access to education. Prior to her appointment at Harvard, she was a tenured professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Guinier also headed the Voting Rights Project for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in the 1980s and worked in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department in the late 1970s. Guinier is a graduate of Radcliffe College of Harvard University and Yale Law School.

In addition to numerous scholarly articles, Guinier has authored several books, most recently “The Tyranny of the Meritocracy: Democratizing Higher Education in America” (2014). Her other titles include: “The Miner’s Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy" (coauthored with Gerald Torres), “Who’s Qualified: A New Democracy Forum on the Future of Affirmative Action” (with Susan Sturm), “Becoming Gentlemen: Women, Law School, and Institutional Change” (with Michelle Fine and Jane Balin), “Lift Every Voice: Turning a Civil Rights Setback into a New Vision of Social Justice,” and “The Tyranny of the Majority: Fundamental Fairness in Representative Democracy.”

Guinier also co-founded the Racetalks Initiative in 1990, a research and public education project that seeks to develop new interdisciplinary paradigms for linking racial and gender justice to the project of building more inclusive institutions.

The recipient of 11 honorary degrees and numerous awards, Guinier holds the 1995 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession; the Champion of Democracy Award from the National Women's Political Caucus; the Rosa Parks Award from the American Association for Affirmative Action; the Harvey Levin Teaching Award; and the 2002 Sacks-Freund Teaching Award from Harvard Law School.

The A. Wade Smith Memorial Lecture on Race Relations was created in 1995 to perpetuate the work of a man who had devoted his life to the idea of racial parity. As professor and chair of sociology at Arizona State University, A. Wade Smith worked tirelessly to improve race relations on the ASU campus and within the greater community. When he died from cancer at the age of 43, his wife, ASU professor Elsie Moore, family members and friends made memorial gifts to establish and fund this lecture series.

This 19th lecture is supported by ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Social Transformation, Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, Sun Devil Athletics, Educational Outreach and Student Services, ASU Alumni Association, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, the Committee for Campus Inclusion and culture@asu.

Margaret Coulombe

Director, Executive Communications, Office of the University Provost