GlobalResolve director, projects expand reach

March 2, 2011

People inside and outside of Arizona State University are so impressed with the work being done as part of the GlobalResolve initiative that its director is being asked to serve on international engineering initiatives, and musicians are holding a benefit concert to raise funds for water purification devices.

GlobalResolve">">GlobalResolve, administered through the College">">College of Technology and Innovation at the Polytechnic campus, works with a range of partners to develop sustainable technologies and programs in the areas of energy, clean water and local economic development for rural communities in the developing world. Download Full Image

The American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME), a professional organization for mechanical engineers, asked Mark Henderson, engineering professor and GlobalResolve’s director, to be on a steering committee that will formulate activities to benefit developing countries through ASME’s Engineering for Global Development program, which is part of its Engineering for Change initiative. 

Henderson is in good company, with fellow committee members coming from Penn State and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is honored that GlobalResolve and ASU are considered to be leaders in this field.

“We are excited to be a part of this process and look forward to working with ASME on the planning as well as on the execution of activities it decides to pursue.”

Two projects under way in Ghana through GlobalResolve, include a clean burning ethanol gel fuel, which is being produced currently in the village of Domeabra to replace traditional, high pollutant cooking fuels. The other project is Twig Light, a clean lighting system that makes use of waste energy to produce clean electric light inside homes that traditionally have not had access to electricity.

Students from ASU Polytechnic, Kwame N’Krumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and Kumasi Polytechnic have been working on retrofitting existing Ghanaian stoves to burn gel fuel. Newly designed prototypes are currently being tested at Mt. Olivet Academy, a K-8 school in Kumasi, Ghana.

And, the success of the Twig Light project led to the creation of a company called Daylight Solutions. The company recently completed a fully packaged product prototype that GlobalResolve will test this year.

“The prototypes will be tested in rural areas of Ghana and Cameroon, followed by broader introduction into the sub-Saharan African market,” says Brad Rogers, GlobalResolve’s director of research and development and associate professor in engineering technology.  “The goal is to have this product manufactured in Africa and on the market by 2012.”

GlobalResolve has worked mainly in Ghana, and more recently in Cameroon, but plans to expand into new territory, specifically Uganda and Kenya. And, a new relationship is being formed with the Monterrey Technological University’s Toluca campus in Mexico for future endeavors.

GlobalResolve is making a difference in the developing world, and it is also changing the lives of the students involved as well as others, according to Henderson. 

“I had an ASU music student contact me out of the blue who is holding a benefit concert to raise funds for water filters for the fishing village of Gomoa-Dago, Ghana, where we visited in 2009,” says Henderson. “He heard about GlobalResolve through word of mouth.”

The benefit concert is called Clean Water for Africa and will be held at 7 p.m., March 25, at Desert Cross Lutheran Church, 8600 S. McClintock Drive, Tempe. For details, visit


For information about GlobalResolve, visit


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(480) 727-1173, (602)316-5616

Conference addresses need to improve Latino student achievement

March 2, 2011

‘“Winning the future,’ as President Barack Obama outlined in his recent State of the Union address, will mean out-educating, out-innovating, and out-building the rest of the world,” noted Juan Sepúlveda in his Feb. 28 keynote speech at the 2011 Leadership for Equity and Excellence Forum in Phoenix, “and this success will be inextricably linked to improving educational success in the Latino community.”

Sepúlveda, who is executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, shared some sobering statistics with the nearly 200 educational leaders, equity specialists, and university students who attended this annual conference organized by ASU’s Equity Alliance, a center in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ School of Social Transformation co-directed by Professors Alfredo Artiles and Elizabeth Kozleski. Juan Sepúlveda speaking from the podium at Phoenix's Hyatt Regency Hotel at the Download Full Image

“Today, 52 million Americans – 16.5 percent of the population­­ – are Latino. Twenty-five percent of our pre-K children in this country are Latino. But 50 percent of Latino students are not graduating from high school,” he said. “Of those who do make it to college, half need remedial help. Only 13 percent of adults in the Latino community have an undergraduate degree.”

The stage is set early for low educational attainment levels, with under half of Latino children participating in early-childhood education programs.   

The urgency of Sepúlveda’s mission to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for Hispanics is great, especially given the administration’s goal of moving the United States from 9th in the world back to number one, by 2020, in percentage of citizens who earn an academic credential beyond a high school diploma.

Over the last 18 months, he and his team have crisscrossed the country, making people aware that this White House Initiative exists, reaching across communities and geographic boundaries and into businesses and faith-based organizations to help create public-private partnerships that will connect the people and the resources needed to tackle this national challenge.

“I’m a big believer in crowd-sourcing,” Sepúlveda said, “using a lot of brains to fugure things out, like how do we share budget and process? How do we give community people a voice in how policy is crafted along the way? Of the 100-plus communities we’ve visited, 30 have already signed on as partners.”

The White House Initiative also encourages states to compete for “Race to the Top” funds, a $4.35 billion fund established by the Obama administration in 2009 to reward education innovation, reform, and assessment.

“Districts can also apply on their own;” he emphasized, “if they’re ready to step it up but are in states that have decided not to play, they can apply directly.”   

When asked by a member of the audience about what his office was doing to help undocumented students, Sepúlveda talked about their ongoing efforts to gain support for the Dream Act, which at different points in time has had the support of as many as 11 Republican senators, and expressed sadness at the wasted potential in the 55,000-85,000 kids that fall into this category. 

But he also expressed a strong sense of disappointment in Americans’ inability to find the same depth of passion for the needs of the 12 million Hispanic children of school-age that are U.S. citizens as they have for the Dream Act.

“We need to break out of the cycle of acceptance of under-achievement for Hispanic students,” Sepúlveda cautioned. “People need to become passionate about the fact that the biggest bulk of kids who are facing equity and achievement issues are documented citizens.”

Maureen Roen

Editorial and communication coordinator, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts