Polytechnic students kick off new campus tradition with Extreme Innovation Games


November 30, 2011

Fifteen student groups are vying for votes to help make their invention of a campus-wide game a reality. The Extreme Innovation Games (XI Games) is a new tradition in the College of Technology & Innovation that challenges freshmen to create a game that is innovative, engaging, hands-on and designed for college and campus-wide participation. Inventing and pitching a game is part of the freshman ASU 101 course in the College of Technology & Innovation

The interdisciplinary teams have been working for the past two weeks to develop video pitches that are posted on the XI Games website. Text voting starts Nov. 30 and ends Dec. 8, and will determine which game will be played on campus in the spring of 2012.  Winners will be announced at the Late Night Break-feast on the Polytechnic campus on Dec. 9.  Each group is assigned a keyword and votes are cast by texting that keyword to 37607. Voting is open to the public. Download Full Image

“The XI Games embody Polytechnic’s values of inspiring imagination and invention – and having fun while we’re at it,” said Mitzi Montoya, vice provost and dean of ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation. “The students have really taken this project and made it their own. They were given the flexibility of creating games for learning, games for service, games for fun, or any combination of these things. It’s an opportunity for our students to be creative and be the architects of the experience on the Polytechnic campus.” 

After the winners are determined, students will lead the planning of the XI Games in the spring. 

“The faculty and students are excited about establishing this new tradition,” said Montoya. “Many students are already talking about how they hope to influence next year’s freshman class challenge.” 

Humanities symposium to examine social implications of disease


December 1, 2011

The modern image of the medieval leper — disfigured, deeply feared and socially outcast — has not only become the popular metaphor for social exclusion but also influenced our larger understanding of the disease.  Yet recent research has revealed temporal and regional variation in the social response to leprosy. 

“The Social Stigma of Disease: The Archaeology and Bioarchaeology of Leprosy,” a research symposium presented by the Institute for Humanities Research, will take place held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Dec. 2, at University Club on ASU’s Tempe campus. This event is free and open to the public. For more information on the symposium schedule, visit http://ihr.asu.edu/news-events/events/social-stigma-disease-leprosy-symposium. Download Full Image

This symposium explores the social stigmatization of disease by considering the long-term history of leprosy: from the origins of the pathogen Mycobacterium leprae to the foundation of leprosaria in late medieval Europe to the creation of leper colonies in the 19th and 20th centuries. 

“One of my larger research questions is the social construction of disease and disability, which I investigate through a case study of leprosy and leper hospitals in late medieval Ireland,” says Rachel Scott, assistant professor in ASU’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change and IHR Fellow.

Along with Scott, the panel of speakers includes Gillian Crane-Kramer from SUNY Plattsburgh, James Flexner from Washington and Lee University, Diana French from University of British Columbia, Luz-Andrea Pfister from Arizona State University, and Charlotte Roberts from Durham University.

“I’m very excited to bring these particular scholars to ASU because they are interested in similar research questions but focus on different aspects of medieval leprosy or on other time periods or regions,” says Scott. “Thus, as a group, the scholars participating in this symposium offer a broader perspective both on leprosy and on the social stigma of disease.”

Archaeological and bioarchaeological research on leprosy are important in part because the disease and its associated social stigma, though less prevalent, do still exist today.

“Examining the long-term history of leprosy provides a better understanding of how and why certain diseases acquire negative social meaning,” says Scott. “Many scholars have made the comparison between medieval leprosy and modern HIV/AIDS, with the hope that research on leprosy in earlier time periods will help us recognize and address the stigmatization of disease in our own society.”

The IHR Fellows Programs bring together ASU faculty and visiting scholars to pursue research and writing in an environment designed to be stimulating and supportive. Fellows contribute to the general enrichment of humanities scholarship by attending seminars and holding public events related to their research topics.

The Institute for Humanities Research in ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences was established in 2005. It has taken the lead in promoting excellence and innovation in humanities scholarship by contributing to scholarly research that addresses socially significant issues and engaging the community. More information is available at http://ihr.asu.edu or 480-965-3000.