Office of Diversity gets new name, new director

September 23, 2010

The 2010 ASU Fall semester brings a new name for the university’s Office of Diversity and a new senior administrator to lead the university’s diversity initiatives.

Kevin Salcido, Associate VP/Chief Human Resources Officer, has announced the Office of Diversity will now be known as the Office of Equity and Inclusion. The new name better reflects what Salcido believes the office should be: both a welcoming place where faculty and staff can go if they feel they have been treated unfairly and an objective office that promotes inclusiveness in all aspects of campus employment. Download Full Image

Kamala Green joined ASU Sept. 20 as the Senior Director of the Office of Equity & Inclusion. Green, who has approximately 15 years of management experience, spent the last 11 years at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in California, where she was an active member of the Lab’s Human Resources Leadership team and most recently served as Senior Manager, Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action. LBNL, a public organization with approximately 3800 employees, students, faculty and guests, is funded by the U.S. Dept. of Energy and managed by the University of California.

“Kamala brings great experience working in a challenging, dynamic research enterprise and has a strong passion for diversity,” Salcido said. “Although the Office of Equity & Inclusion reports to OHR, Kamala will operate independently and collaboratively with all university units to resolve issues and promote a positive work environment.”

Under Green’s leadership, the Office of Equity & Inclusion will facilitate the university’s hiring, promotion, development and pay practices to ensure they are as free of bias as possible. The office also will create and deliver training on how to build inclusive, discrimination-free work environments. Green will be active in diversity outreach internal and external to the university’s community and also will serve as ASU’s ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and Title IX officer.

“Although I will truly miss LBNL,” Green says, “I am extremely excited about joining the Arizona State University team. I look forward to acclimating myself to ASU’s culture and helping the university and the Office of Equity and Inclusion fulfill their overall goals and objectives.

To schedule a consultation on diversity strategy with Ms. Green, contact her at 480.965.9695 or visit the Office of Equity & Inclusion online at">">

ASU presents Romanian avant-garde puppetry, drama

September 23, 2010

The Book of Apolodor Puppet Show

September 25, 2010

7 p.m.

Paris Bucharest Express

September 26, 2010

7 p.m.
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For many families living in Romania under communist rule after World War II, a disguised, underground cultural life was their primary escape. This weekend, Phoenix area Americans can experience the liberating message when theater becomes political tribune in two productions at ASU Tempe campus: “Book of Apolodor” is a puppet show based on the stories of Romanian Surrealist poet, Gellu Naum; “Paris Bucharest Express” is a dramatic play adapted from poetry and writings of the Romanian avant-garde.

"Apolodor" will be performed by Romanian actors in English. "Bucharest Express" will be performed by members of the French troupe, La Compagnie Cie de L’Echo, in French with English subtitles.

The productions are the product of collaboration between ASU Romanian Studies professor Ileana Orlich and Mona Marian, the director of the Puck Puppet Theatre in Cluj-Napoca, Romania and the Theatre Denis in Hyeres, France. They met ten years ago in Bucharest while Orlich was conducting ASU’s summer Study Abroad program in Romania and Central Europe.

Since then they have collaborated on several theatrical productions based on writings of the Romanian avant-garde. Marian said, “The subject of these performances is not unfamiliar to American culture. The plays show that Romania, France and the United States are connected, through the avant-garde, across continents.”

Romania’s avant-garde was a group of artists and writers who were very influential to the broader European avant-garde movement at the beginning of the 20th century. Prominent Romanians included playwright Eugene Ionescu, composer George Enescu, writer Urmuz, Gellu Naum and author-performer Tristan Tzara.

The intellectual vigor of this group created a flourishing cultural climate in Romania prior to WWII. Its members were instrumental in creating the Dadaism and Surrealism movements in visual art and literature.

However, at that time Paris was regarded as the intellectual nexus of Europe, so most members of the Romanian avant-garde relocated to France. Then with the advent of WWII and Romania’s subsequent alliance with Nazi Germany, they were rendered permanently exiled.

At the end of the war when the totalitarian regimes in Romania switched from fascist to communist, the country’s cultural climate deteriorated. During the most oppressive phases of communist rule, all intellectual ties to the West were severed and Romania’s avant-garde heritage was erased from national awareness. Yet even under conditions of censorship and heavy political propaganda, underground artistic expression survived through cultural subterfuge.

For example, Gellu Naum turned from writing Surrealist poetry to writing children’s books. Two of them featured the central character, Apolodor, a small singing penguin who performed with a Bucharest circus. Seemingly innocent tales about Apolodor’s imaginary travels, the books were widely published in Romania and the stories even read over national radio.

Orlich remembers her family gathering around the radio to listen to the stories of Apolodor. It was obvious that Apolodor’s adventures were masked narratives through which Naum conveyed themes of exile, journey and initiation using a hero who was exotic and unknown, and therefore not viewed as a political threat.  

When Marian discovered Romania’s avant-garde heritage through her personal studies, she said "Their poetry connected with my feelings and imagination in a way that was both beautiful and chilling." She resolved to one day perform their writings. When she met Orlich, their mutual passion for the Romanian avant-garde led to an easy partnership, with Orlich translating and adapting avant-garde literature to the stage, and Marian directing their productions.

Marian hopes American audiences will come away from her productions with a better appreciation of the pivotal role that the Romanian avant-garde played in bridging the more well-known avant-garde movements in Russia and the rest of Europe. “People don’t know that many of the names they hear, that they think are French, are actually Romanian,” she said.

The two events are sponsored by the Romanian Studies Program in the School of International Letters and Cultures, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Additional support has been provided by the ASU Institute for Humanities Research, the Center for Jewish Studies, the Central European Collaborative, the Romanian Consulate in Los Angeles, and the Honorary Consulate General of Romania in Arizona.

"The Book of Apolodor" puppet show will be presented at 7 p.m., Sept. 25; for more information, visit ">">

"Paris Bucharest Express" will be presented at 7 p.m., Sept. 26; for more information, visit">">

Both productions will be held at the ASU Tempe Campus Recital Hall, which is on the fifth floor of the Music Building. The Music Building is located at 50 E. Gammage Parkway in Tempe. Both events are free.