New minor broadens scope of sustainability offerings

September 13, 2010

Arizona State University has launched a new minor in sustainability that can complement a student’s major in another academic discipline. This unique 18-credit program enables undergraduate students to explore the challenges of sustainability and learn what determines the sustainability of human institutions, organizations, cultures and technologies in different environments at the local, national and international levels.

The minor offered this fall marks a milestone for ASU’s initiative to make sustainability education and practices universitywide across all four campuses. Download Full Image

The minor is available for undergraduate students in all major programs that do not already offer a sustainability minor or concentration. The series of courses will introduce sustainability principles and explain how sustainability relates to various academic disciplines and professional fields. In addition to two new courses on sustainability principles, students will be required to take courses that touch on two of four themes: Earth Systems; Human Transformation of the Earth; Coupled Human-Environment Systems; and Social, Political, and Economic Treatment of Natural Resources and Environment.

“The demand already exists for sustainability education," said Chris Boone, associate dean of education for the School of Sustainability. "The minor allows students unable to commit to a sustainability major to apply sustainability principles and practices to their own field of study. An increasing number of companies and agencies ask for students with a sustainability background, and the minor in sustainability is designed to offer a path for students to create their own jobs in the area of sustainability.”

Sustainability is a core educational principle at ASU and courses offered under this minor will continue to develop and grow. One currently under way is Advanced Concepts and Integrated Approaches in Sustainability. This course will connect students with outside professionals, providing students with multiple perspectives and real world learning experiences.

“The sustainability minor is a university-wide minor, meaning that it is owned by the university and not by one particular department. Students can receive advising from the department of their current major,” said Lisa Murphy, program development specialist for the School of Sustainability. “Advisers across the university will be equipped to answer questions and add the sustainability minor to their student’s plan of study.”

“The multidisciplinary nature of ASU’s minor in sustainability is very appealing to students, and enrollment is predicted to eventually reach the thousands,” Boone added.

ASU has been ranked 81st in the top 100 universities in the world by the Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Further, ASU has been named one of the country’s best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review in its 2011 annual college guide, “The Best 373 Colleges.” ASU also made the “Green Honor Roll,” rating as one of the nation's 18 "greenest" universities, and is named among the top 120 Best Western Colleges.

For more information about the sustainability minor visit:">">http://sc...

Disturbed teen, estranged parents and a road trip: distances explored in ASU MainStage Season’s opening production, 26 Miles

September 13, 2010

The ASU School of Theatre and Film in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

The ASU School of Theatre and Film in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts unveils its 2010–11 MainStage Season Oct. 8 with the coming-of-age drama-meets-road-trip, 26 Miles. Written by Tony®-Award winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes and directed by guest artist Jerry Ruiz, 26 Miles offers fast-paced dialogue and witty repartee to depict a conflicted young woman contending with the usual adolescent angst and estranged parents, but also torn between multi-ethnic identities. The daughter of a Cuban immigrant and a third-generation Ashkenazi Jew, Olivia struggles to find herself. Can a road trip save this dysfunctional family? Find out in MainStage Season's production of 26 Miiles, opening Oct 8. Photo by Tim Trumble Download Full Image

26 Miles is a play that explores distances -- between an estranged mother and daughter (Beatriz and Olivia), between Olivia and her cultural heritage, between the present and the past. The relationships in the family shift profoundly over the course of the road trip as the distance between them closes.

“Audiences will experience a production that matches the imagination and poetry of Quiara Hudes' writing, Ruiz says. "She takes us on a journey into America, into the great wide open. Our production design will take the audience on that journey by creating a fully engaging experience for the audience."

The 2010–11 MainStage Season comprises seven plays, including a dramatic re-visioning of works by Aeschylus and Franz Kafka, and a continuation of the popular New Works Series, as well as the annual Student Film Festival. The plays carefully were selected from a pool of works by international playwrights and represent a season that explores the ties that bind one person to another. Audience members who embark on the MainStage journey experience the pain of a mother-to-be grappling with a horrible decision; visit a young boy as he ambles through his ancestral village; glimpse inside the mind of Charles Darwin as imagined by School of Theatre and Film students; watch as 50 Greek sisters flee from marrying as many brothers; and endure a traveler’s pain as he recounts his experience witnessing torture.

"The season is filled with contemporary and original works, which together offer a unique perspective on our relationships with one another, our families, and even our nemeses,” says Guillermo Reyes, interim director of ASU School of Theatre and Film.

Lyceum Theatre, 901. S. Forest Mall, ASU Tempe campus

Oct. 8–9, 14–16, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 9, 16, 2 p.m.

$8–$23; Half-price tickets are available on the First Friday of any MainStage Season production. Student tickets are $8. ASU faculty and staff receive $12 tickets on Friday– Saturday performances, $10 Sunday–Thursday.

Public Contact
Herberger Institute box office, 480.965.6447
School of Theatre and Film, 480.965.5337

The School of Theatre and Film in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University provides a comprehensive range of courses in performance and directing; design and production; new work development; theatre and performance studies; film; and theatre for youth. Its Theatre for Youth program is nationally ranked in the top three and the dramatic writing/playwriting program is ranked 15th among public institutions by U.S.News & World Report. To learn more about the School of Theatre and Film, visit

Media Contact:
Laurie A. Trotta Valenti 
ASU School of Theatre and Film