ASU News

Information sessions give details about ASU doctorate in education

September 23, 2009

Individuals interested in pursuing the doctoral degree in leadership and innovation offered by Arizona State University’s College of Teacher Education and Leadership (CTEL) can meet with faculty and current students at one of four upcoming information sessions.

Sessions will be held on: Download Full Image

• Thursday, Oct. 15

• Thursday, Nov. 12

• Thursday, Dec. 3

• Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010

All sessions will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the faculty/staff lounge, room 240 of the University Center Building on ASU’s West campus, 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix. Light refreshments will be served. (Sessions are identical; there is no need to attend more than one.)

RSVPs are requested at (602) 543-6358, via e-mail at ctelquestions">"> or online at">">

CTEL’s Ed.D. in leadership and innovation is designed for working professional educators. The next group of students admitted to the three-year program, which holds its classes on ASU’s West campus, will begin their studies in the summer of 2010. The application deadline is Jan. 31.

“Our Ed.D. program has proven extremely popular with educators who want to become more thoughtful, intentional and informed leaders, whether they work in a K-12 setting or with adult learners,” says Suzanne Painter, Ed.D. program director and CTEL’s chair of graduate studies and professional development. “Putting research into action is a key focus of the program. Students conduct multiple studies to learn by doing and to bring about change based upon scholarship.”

In May 2009, the program’s inaugural cohort of students celebrated their graduation. Of the 20 Arizona educators who started work on the program in 2006, all 20 successfully completed their Ed.D. degrees.

More information about this and other CTEL graduate programs is available at">">

ASU News

Gary Dirks to lead LightWorks solar research initiative

September 24, 2009

Arizona State University has selected Gary Dirks as director of LightWorks, a new initiative to position ASU as a leader in solar-based energy and other light-inspired research. Dirks is the former president of BP Asia-Pacific and BP China.

In addition to directing LightWorks, Dirks has been  appointed the Julie Wrigley Chair of Sustainable Practices and a professor of practice in the School of Sustainability. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees for Sustainability at ASU. Download Full Image

LightWorks will capitalize on ASU’s unique strengths in renewable energy fields including artificial photosynthesis, biofuels and next-generation photovoltaics. LightWorks will eventually broaden to include other light-based projects, such as lasers for biomedical applications and energy-efficient lighting.

“Gary Dirks will help position Arizona nationally and globally as a leader in renewable energy and light-based research,” says ASU President Michael Crow. “Gary’s broad range of experience will help us meet President Obama’s challenge to lead a green revolution and develop clean sources of energy.”

Dirks received his doctorate in chemistry from ASU in 1980. He was the first doctoral student to work with Devens Gust, Thomas Moore and Ana Moore in ASU’s Center for the Study of Early Events in Photosynthesis (now the Center for Bioenergy and Photosynthesis).

Dirks went on to work in the energy industry as a researcher, strategic planner and then ultimately, president of BP China and BP Asia-Pacific. In China, Dirks grew BP from an operation with fewer than 30 employees and no revenue to more than 1,300 employees and revenues of about $4 billion in 2008.

“What does that mean for ASU?” says R. F. “Rick” Shangraw, the vice president for research and economic affairs.

“It means we have somebody who respects and understands the academic enterprise, but also somebody who is very practically grounded in what works in the energy world. We have somebody who knows the energy environment not just nationally, but globally.”

“I feel privileged to have been selected,” Dirks says. “As I explored the opportunity to direct LightWorks, I was struck by the depth and breadth of capability at ASU to apply light to big social challenges. When you combine the capability that ASU has, the social need and the very strong support from President Crow and his team, it makes a very attractive opportunity for my next career.”

Dirks will provide the enhanced strategic focus needed to pursue major funding opportunities, including those in the competitive arena of federal stimulus grants. He also will facilitate collaborations with other universities, industry and government agencies. He says his initial focus is to communicate ASU’s strengths and capabilities through the vehicle of LightWorks and to connect ASU with major sponsors and partners.

Dirks already is fully engaged.

“I am working on two large energy projects now,” he says. “The first is a Department of Energy proposal to identify pathways to commercial production of liquid fuels from algae. We have more than 20 partners from across the country, and ASU is leading. The second project is in anticipation of congressional support for the Department of Energy Hubs program,” he says.

“It is incredibly important to bring resources into Arizona that will fund jobs and create an environment for growing new companies,” Shangraw says.

However, Shangraw adds that Dirks will not neglect the importance of basic research. 

“We do not have all the answers, particularly in terms of renewable energy,” he says. “We can’t simply take our existing science and convert it magically into commercial products. We still have to do a lot of basic research in this area to be successful in the long run.”  

Diane Boudreau, diane.boudreau">">
(480) 965-7260
Office of Research and Economic Affairs

Lisa Robbins

editor/publisher, Media Relations and Strategic Communications