Recruiters partner with nonprofit to find young leaders


September 3, 2009

Arizona State University recruiters treated Regina Duran like she was the next NCAA star, but it wasn't her jump shot or batting average that made her stand out.

They were drawn to her passion and talents in nonprofit work with New Global Citizens, a Phoenix-based group that supports young leaders as they help solve challenges faced by communities around the world. Download Full Image

Recruiters gave Duran and her father a personalized tour of Arizona State University's Downtown Phoenix campus. They introduced her to standout undergrads who told her about student life, and took her to presentations by students majoring in Nonprofit Leadership and Management. Her decision to enroll came easy.  

"It felt like a natural progression, to go from being a volunteer with New Global Citizens to studying for a career as a nonprofit leader," says Duran, now an ASU sophomore. 

She's among several students who are attending ASU's College of Public Programs after learning about the nonprofit management program through a unique partnership with New Global Citizens, or NGC.   

"The partnership between ASU and NGC demonstrates a new level of collaborative innovation," says NGC Chief Executive Officer Courtney Klein, an ASU alumnus. "We hope it sets a trend for how the social profit sector competes in attracting and retaining top-notch talent."

New Global Citizens educates, equips and mobilizes young people to help communities by partnering with grassroots organizations that are finding local solutions to local problems across the globe. NGC has chapters in 20 states and volunteer teams in more than 80 high schools around the country. The organization supports these young leaders as they work to create sustainable change.

"It was obvious this was going to be a good partnership for us," says Dana Newell, director of academic services at the College. "The NGC staff and current student leaders let us know if they have a student who is interested, and we connect with them. We approach high-performing students utilizing the same sort of high-touch strategy that is used to recruit student athletes."

This can include assisting with the application and enrollment process, visiting students and their families at home, helping them obtain scholarship funds and more, Newell says. Members of the college's Student Ambassadors for Recruitment program, or StAR, often play a large role in building and strengthening connections with prospective students.

"We're talking about expanding our recruitment partnership with NGC to use videoconferencing in order to reach their high school students in other states," Newell says.

Leah Luben, an NGC student who enrolled at the college, was heavily recruited by Ohio State and other universities. She became interested in ASU when she learned through NGC that the university offered the only nonprofit bachelor's degree in the country, Newell says.

"One of our StAR students and I drove to Tucson, took her out to dinner and helped her finish her application to ASU," Newell says. "She stayed connected with both of us via Facebook while serving with AmeriCorps for a year, and just started classes here this semester."

Luben says this personal approach helped her realize that ASU was the right choice for her. 

"Looking back, it seems only natural that one of the few schools pressing forward to meet the growing demand for professionals in the nonprofit sector should appeal to individuals already empowered and challenged within that arena, like those participating in NGC programs," says Luben.

The partnership offers other benefits as well. For example, faculty from the College of Public Programs plan to help NGC develop curriculum to teach volunteers about fundraising and advocacy. The College and NGC are thinking about plans to jointly host the first national conference of all NGC high school leaders across the nation, with ASU providing meeting space and technology.

For information about ASU's College of Public Programs, visit http://copp.asu.edu">http://copp.asu.edu/">http://copp.asu.edu. To learn more about New Global Citizens, visit http://www.newglobalcitizens.org.">http://www.newglobalcitizens.org/">http://www.newglobalcitizens.org....

LRO camera takes first look at Apollo 12 landing site


September 3, 2009

Just over a month ago, the imaging system on board NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) had its first of many opportunities to photograph five of the six Apollo landing sites. The LROC (short for Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera) team recently had the chance to target the remaining landing site.

The Apollo 12 landing site was well worth the wait. The Surveyor 3 spacecraft, Lunar Module descent stage and Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package (ALSEP), along with astronaut tracks, are all visible. Download Full Image

Mark Robinson, principal investigator of LROC and professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, provides a historical backdrop to the recently returned image:

After the great success of Apollo 11, NASA's next step was honing the Lunar Module's (LM) ability to make a pinpoint landing. Many of the future landing sites corresponded to areas with rough topography; the LM would have to come in steeply and set down within a few hundred meters of a designated point.

Pete Conrad (Commander) and Alan Bean (LM Pilot) piloted the Apollo 12 lunar module Intrepid to a landing within 200 meters (650 feet) of Surveyor 3 on November 14, 1969. This proved the pinpoint landing capability. It also allowed the astronauts to collect parts from the Surveyor for engineering assessment and provided the opportunity to sample ejecta from the Copernicus crater impact and what appeared from crater counts to be relatively young mare basalt.

During their brief stay of 31-and-a-half hours, the two astronauts performed two extra-vehicular activities (EVA), each a little under four hours in length.

On the first EVA, they deployed an Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package (ALSEP), which returned scientific data directly to the Earth for over seven years. Next the explorers headed to the northwest to collect soil and rock samples. In all they collected about 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of lunar samples on this first EVA.

The next day, Conrad and Bean headed out on the first lunar geologic traverse. They traveled west, skirting around Head crater, then south to Bench crater. At both locations the astronauts collected rock and soil samples and photographed the interiors of the two craters. After Bench, their furthest point from the LM was Sharp crater. Their next goal was a rendezvous with the Surveyor 3 spacecraft, some 450 meters (less than half a mile) to the east.

The Surveyor landed on the interior slope of what was later called Surveyor crater. There was some worry that as the astronauts removed parts from it, the spacecraft might slide downhill so they always stayed upslope.

In all, the Apollo 12 crew returned over 32 kilograms (70.5 pounds) of lunar samples. From these precious samples scientists learned that the Copernicus crater impact occurred some 810 million years ago; four different types of local basalts were sampled with ages much younger than those from Apollo 11, and a small sample of highlands rock previewed the complexity of the lunar highlands to be sampled on later Apollo missions. All in all, Apollo 12 was an incredible success and it paved the way for science missions to come.

In July, LRO was — and still is — in the commissioning phase. The highest priority of the LROC team at that point and the present time was testing and calibrating all the instruments to ensure that LROC could meet its mission requirements during the coming nominal mapping mission. Due to operational constraints, it was not possible to collect the Apollo 12 site, the westernmost landing site, at that time.

"There are only so many locations that can be imaged at one time," Robinson says. "Not every target can be imaged every time around. I'm glad we had to wait another month, it was very exciting to see this image a month after the excitement of the first round of Apollo landing sites."

LRO is slated to orbit the moon for at least another 12 months, which means Robinson and his team have many more imaging opportunities ahead of them. In mid-September the spacecraft's orbit will be lowered, allowing LROC to acquire even higher resolution images of the Apollo and Surveyor landing sites.

For additional information about the LROC instrument and to view more lunar images from LROC, visit: http://lroc.sese.asu.edu" title="LROC web site" target="_blank">http://lroc.sese.asu.edu.

Nikki Cassis

marketing and communications director, School of Earth and Space Exploration