Matching scholarship funds benefit New College students

October 18, 2012

Thanks to the generosity of three sets of donors, and an innovative new endowment program established by ASU in partnership with the ASU Foundation for A New American University, students in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences can look forward to additional scholarship support in the near future.

The Foundation recently unveiled the New American University Scholarship Matching Program. ASU has agreed to match 4 percent per year on an endowed scholarship commitment of $50,000 or more for the first 10 years. For example, a fully funded $50,000 scholarship fund would receive an extra $2,000 a year in payouts for a decade, on top of the payout earned through the investment performance of the endowment. The bottom line is more scholarship dollars for students. Matthew Tweedie Download Full Image

This initiative has already helped to prompt the establishment of three new endowments to support New College students: the Matthew Tweedie Memorial New American University Scholarship; the John and Pit Lucking New American University Scholarship; and the Anne Lindeman New American University Scholarship, funded by the Helios Education Foundation.

“We are very proud of this living legacy to our son’s memory,” said Carolyn Tweedie. She and her husband Ken have set up a scholarship fund to honor their late son Matthew, who graduated cum laude from New College in 2001.

“Following the death of our son Matt in February, the idea of establishing a scholarship in his name slowly evolved,” Carolyn Tweedie said. “Through our grief and sorrow, we as a family felt a strong need to honor his memory in a permanent and positive way. The idea of an endowed scholarship at ASU seemed to us so fitting, given Matt’s love of learning and his success and enthusiasm for his studies while a student at ASU’s West campus.”

Tweedie said the campus was a perfect fit for her son, a non-traditional age student who felt comfortable yet challenged at West. “Matt’s professors recognized his potential and encouraged him along the way, in some cases asking him to tutor other students who were struggling. ASU West fostered his interest in the sciences and mathematics, sparked his creativity and aptitude for written expression, and provided him with a foundation and a springboard for his next step following ASU graduation – law school,” she said.

John and Pit Lucking have a long track record of supporting students, like Matthew Tweedie, who take non-traditional routes to a college degree. “John and I both dropped out of college for a time,” Pit Lucking said. “When we returned, we came back with a purpose and took our studies much more seriously. We said when we got married that if someday we had the ability to do so, we would establish a scholarship to help returning students.”

The J. Charles and Katharine Wetzler Scholarship, named in honor of Pit Lucking’s parents, has impacted the lives of numerous returning students at the West campus since 1998. Now, the Luckings have established another scholarship endowment under the New American University Scholarship Matching Program.

“We both love Arizona and feel the best way we can ensure its bright future is by investing in its educational programs,” said Pit Lucking. “With a scholarship we can literally watch our investment grow as we follow the wonderful development of the recipient. And we feel like we are getting more ‘bang for the buck’ thanks to the university’s commitment to adding to the size of our scholarship payout.”

Pit Lucking has a long history of service to ASU. In 1998 she launched a Volunteer Information and Referral Services office on the West campus. She did so as a volunteer herself. She also has served as a member of the ASU Foundation Board.

The third newly established New American University Scholarship benefiting New College students honors another individual who has made a lasting impact on the West campus. The late Anne Lindeman served in the Arizona legislature from 1973 to 1986, and was one of the strongest supporters of the campus’s establishment.

In the late 1970s Lindeman pushed for the legislature to order a feasibility study, which concluded that a Westside campus of ASU was urgently needed. She supported the legislation signed in 1984 by Gov. Bruce Babbitt that directed the Board of Regents to establish the West campus. Now Lindeman’s name will be permanently associated with a scholarship benefiting a student on the campus’s core college, thanks to the support of the Helios Education Foundation.

“We are immensely grateful for the generosity of these and other donors who are helping our students reach their career and life goals,” said Elizabeth Langland, dean of New College and vice provost of the West campus. “It’s an exciting time on campus, with new buildings and new scholarships combining to give students the support they need.”

The ASU Foundation works closely with donors to make sure their gifts have their intended impact. “For our family, working with ASU to establish this scholarship has been a great experience,” said Carolyn Tweedie.

“All those with whom we have come in contact – whether at the ASU Foundation or at the West campus – have been accommodating, informative, professional and receptive to our wishes and needs,” she said. “This has been more of a process than an event for us, a thoughtful and collaborative process, as we have explored options and gained knowledge and understanding of the possibilities that the endowment can offer. Through it all, we have made connections and established relationships with ASU personnel that will be ongoing.”

Like all endowments, each of these new scholarship funds will create a permanent legacy, which the Tweedie family sees as a fitting memorial for their son. “Those who knew Matt recognized his specialness, his big heart, and his desire to help others in all walks of life,” his mother said. “By establishing the Matthew Tweedie Memorial New American University Scholarship, we know that other students with similar gifts and capabilities will have the opportunity to further their education and reach their goals in life.”

Design, health care students fuse disciplines to improve Rwandan clinic

October 18, 2012

Students from four of Arizona State University’s graduate programs traveled to a country known as the Land of 1,000 Hills to study health care and building design in one of Africa’s most impoverished areas.

For two weeks in September, 17 students from architecture, landscape architecture, and the health care and healing environments programs in The Design School in the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and the Master of Healthcare Innovation program from the College of Nursing and Health Innovation traveled across the Rwandan urban and rural landscape to a community health clinic on one of those hillsides. Download Full Image

For the students, navigating the cultures of an unfamiliar country proved as challenging as understanding and absorbing each other’s professional disciplines.

“It was life changing. We were given the opportunity to make a significant difference in other people’s lives,’’ said C. J. Rogers, an architecture student in The Design School and part of the international traveling design studio invited by RwandaWorks, a Rwanda-based non-governmental organization, to study health care facilities in three villages.

The students’ task was to recommend ways to improve the clinic's current design to improve quality of health care delivery and lower costs. RwandaWorks builds clinics in partnership with the Rwanda government and, with Access Health NGO, trains community members to run them.

The students divided into teams and met with an assortment of community members, observing and interviewing patients and professionals at RwandaWorks clinics and learning from experts about Rwanda’s economic development and health care systems. James Shraiky, director of the Herberger Institute’s Healthcare Design Initiative, led the trip with Gerri Lamb, associate professor at the ASU College of Nursing and Health Innovation, and Linda Voyles, a recent graduate of the college’s masters of health innovation program.

“This kind of inter-professional research experience is unique and very effective,’’ said Shraiky. The Healthcare Design Initiative taps the inter-professional disciplines of design and healthcare to provide students an unprecedented approach not only to designing buildings, interiors and landscapes that enhance healing but that are also functional for and sensitive to health care providers.

“The students – 11 graduate design and seven health care master’s students – arrived in Rwanda worlds apart in terms of perspective and focus,’’ Shraiky said. It was this difference that proved challenging and exhilarating and is the strength of the overall program, according to Shraiky and Lamb.

“Students learn how each profession thinks and solves problems. They generate ideas using different models and tools,” Lamb said. “Hopefully, they discover that their ideas and solutions are much stronger because they are working together.’’

“In my profession, we have to collaborate and my roles as respiratory therapist and innovator in health care are different than a landscape architect’s,’’ said Donna Pachek, a respiratory therapist in the ASU School of Nursing and Healthcare Innovation master’s program. “We have to look at the context and we all have key perspectives that can contribute to the whole. We all respect each other’s perspective.’’

The students were overcome with the Rwandans’ gratitude for their presence. When they asked women in the community what improvements they wanted in the clinic for themselves and their children, they were hard-pressed to come up with examples because they were so grateful for what had been provided, said architect student Scott Nye.

Although Rwanda has made tremendous strides in health care, the country is committed to improving its outcomes in key areas including maternal and child health and lowering infection rates. Malaria and respiratory infections are among the top causes of death. During their visit, the students gained first hand knowledge not only of the culture and its people but also of practical, every day things such as local building materials, cooking practices, traveling distances and patterns of socializing. The architecture and landscape architecture students jumped at an opportunity to work side by side with community members to lay clay bricks in a new home, Lamb said. They gained first-hand knowledge of local building materials and techniques. The students followed patients and their family members through typical clinic visits and attended community meetings including one at the edge of a volcano in rural Musanze, careful to observe and not to impose their own cultural values and priorities.

By December, the students will have taken their field research of the community needs, its culture and history combined with the country’s health care system, economic development and service needs and create a schematic and operational design for a community-based clinic that will serve more than 18,000 people from 31 villages.

The initial navigation of learning each discipline’s approach to everything from organizing data to prioritizing needs and solving problems will be expanded and deepened during this phase. “I think of it as collecting more tools in my tool belt,” said Megan Mohaupt, who is pursuing her master’s in health care and healing environments.

“We were invited by RwandaWorks to assess their current center design and propose refinements,” Lamb said. “RwandaWorks will continue to work with the class on evaluating the refinements and plans for building the new center."

The students want to honor the Rwandan villagers’ culture. They are careful to avoid superimposing their experiences and biases on any design plan they create. “This is a critical design change,” said Ashley Brenden, a landscape architecture student. “The way Rwandans perceive and interact with their landscape is dramatically different than in the U.S. We have to create an environment that is productive and functional in ways we may never have thought of before. Learning to work with community members is really powerful.”

For architecture student Alyssa Matter, one of the studio’s biggest impacts is in her own realization of what her design skills can contribute. “It makes you realize how much you can completely change someone’s life,’’ she said.