Regents' Professors 2011: ASU awards highest faculty honors


November 10, 2011

Arizona State University has awarded its highest faculty honors at the university, naming seven outstanding faculty members as Regents’ Professors.

Regents’ Professors are faculty members who have made pioneering contributions in their areas of expertise, who have achieved a sustained level of distinction and who enjoy national and international recognition for these accomplishments. Download Full Image

The 2011 Regents’ Professors are:

Luc AnselinLuc Anselin
Anselin is founding director, professor and Walter Isard Chair in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, and an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences. As the father of modern spatial econometric methods, he developed the methods and software that integrate the natural and social sciences in the analysis of important policy problems within a consistent spatial framework.  His book, "Spatial Econometrics: Methods and Models," is among the most important seminal works in the field and has been cited more than 5,000 times since its publication in 1988. In addition, GeoDa software he developed serves a global audience of more than 52,000 users. Anselin has applied his methodologies to research topics including understanding the spatial evidence of disease, analysis of the spatial distribution of crime and the valuation of environmental amenities such as clean air.  

Paul DaviesPaul Davies
Davies is director of the BEYOND Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science, co-director of the Cosmology Initiative and a member of the faculty of the Department of Physics. Davies has won the prestigious Michael Faraday Award, the Templeton Prize and the Kelvin Medal for his research in physics. Not only is Davies a trail-blazing scientist who has led the development and research agenda in many areas of physics, he has figured largely as a public communicator of science, bringing some of the deepest and most challenging questions in diverse fields to a worldwide audience. He excels in the critical work of making these questions understandable and engaging a wide public audience in the discussion of science and the philosophy of science. Recently, he has been a key figure in collaborative efforts bringing together physics and cancer research. His contributions are described as transformative, disrupting the status quo. 

Colleen KellerColleen Keller
As a Foundation Professor in Women’s Health and director of both the Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence and the ASU Center for Healthy Outcomes in Aging, Keller is at the forefront of her field in the reduction of geriatric and racial disparities linked to cardiovascular health, providing research from evidence-based clinical practices. She is an expert clinician and esteemed scholar who is one of few researchers whose work is being translated into the clinical setting to improve health outcomes. Keller broke new ground as one of the first scholars in the nation to research health promotion among minority women, identifying the need to develop culturally appropriate interventions that are contextually based, and devising a social support model that has been used in community interventions across the United States. She has received numerous awards from a variety of health associations, such as the Rosemary Kerr McKevitt Memorial Research Award.

Jerry Y.S. LinJerry Y.S. Lin
Lin, professor in the School of Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, is an internationally recognized authority in the fields of adsorption and inorganic membrane science, a field that, in essence, he created. He has been particularly active in advancing vapor deposition methods of fabrication for ultra-thin membranes and expanding the understanding and applicability of high temperature adsorption.  His work impacts important problems in energy, sustainability and the development of advanced materials, with implications from the design of membranes to improve material properties to developing new techniques for the sequestration of carbon dioxide. Lin’s 20 years of fundamental research have advanced inorganic membrane science from its infancy to a major subdivision of membrane science, and yielded more than 200 articles in refereed journals, as well as 59 conference proceedings papers, four book chapters and four patents. Lin has been an international leader in chemical engineering, organizing a Gordon Research Conference among other impressive examples of professional engagement.

Gary MarchantGary Marchant
Marchant is the executive director of the Center of Law, Science & Innovation, the Lincoln Professor of Emerging Technologies, Law and Ethics in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, and a world leader on one of the most important topics of our time: how to realize the benefits of the future while avoiding its dangers. As a scholar of law and policy, as well as scientific and technological innovation, he was the first and remains the leading scholar on issues of law, science and emerging technologies. Marchant is perhaps the most prolific scholar in the world on these topics and has two National Academy books among his publications. In addition to his sustained research productivity and leadership in the university and community, he supervises at least 50 thesis papers per year, devoting hundreds of hours to mentoring students and working with them on scholarly projects. 

Simon OrtizSimon Ortiz
Ortiz is a renowned poet, teacher, scriptwriter, storyteller, author and essayist in the Department of English. Ortiz was among the first to be published as a contemporary Indigenous American writer and emerged as a leading voice from the Native American literary renaissance of the 1960s.  He now has 24 critically acclaimed books to his name including "Going for the Rain" and "From Sand Creek," and hosted a long-running radio show called “Writing the Southwest” funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, while the book "Simon J. Ortiz: A Poetic Legacy of Indigenous Continuance," edited by Susan Berry Brill de Ramirez and Evelina Zuni Lucero, speaks to the substance and acclaim of his work. His work with public school curriculum design, organizing the Simon Ortiz-Labriola Center Indigenous Speaker Series, mentoring students and participation in speaker series and community and academic organizations has had a significant positive impact on native and non-native communities. 

Carlos Vélez-IbáñezCarlos Vélez-Ibáñez
Vélez-Ibáñez is a professor and the founding director of the School of Transborder Studies, the first such school in the nation. He is an internationally recognized social anthropologist who has been awarded several prizes of distinction in Anthropology, such as the Robert B. Textor and Family Prize, and the Bronislaw Malinowski Medal.  His research is intensely interdisciplinary, drawing on a range of fields including urban, political and applied anthropology, political ecology, and cultural and education studies to address the living experience of diverse populations. Vélez-Ibáñez is a dedicated scholar-teacher and devoted leader who excels in applied research designed to make a difference in the populations he studies. He has pioneered new territory in the social sciences through his dedication to the investigation of human rights violations and civil concerns, oppression of minorities and underserved populations, and historical social systems, policies and practices. He is credited with more than 50 scholarly articles and 11 books, including the widely acknowledged "Border Visions: The Cultures of Mexicans of the Southwest."

US needs to cultivate imagination of students in science, technology fields


November 10, 2011

U.S. higher education needs to engage incoming students on their level and rework some of its long-standing practices so it can help the nation regain its competitive advantage in science and technology, said Mitzi Montoya, dean and vice provost at ASU's Polytechnic campus.

“We need to create a culture of learning in new environments that cultivates the imagination and embraces change,” Montoya said. “Students today have access to incredible resources and the cost of access is nearly zero. We need to reinvent the learning experience so that it is personally meaningful and inspiring in this world of motion.”   Download Full Image

Montoya was speaking at a Nov. 10 forum on American competitiveness and education. The forum featured a panel of industry, government and educational leaders discussing the options available to the United States to improve its worldwide competitive position.

The panel included Patrick Gallagher, director, National Institute of Standards and Technology; Thomas Kalil, deputy director for policy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; William Kiczuk, vice president, Raytheon; and Freeman Hrabowski, president, University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

One of the key points of discussion was the role education plays in providing a prepared work force for emerging science and technology fields. To that end, the panel talked about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.

Montoya said today’s model for STEM education has been practiced for generations and focuses on absorbing material at a set pace. This ends up discouraging students rather than encouraging them to engage their field of study.

“Learning is an active process of creation and engagement,” Montoya said. “We need to create a culture of learning in new environments that cultivates the imagination, as well as embraces change.”

Montoya also spoke about the stigma placed on failure in STEM education and on some required courses designed to “weed out” students.

“Rather than weed out these students, who have shown an interest in the field, we should encourage their failure,” she said. “Isn’t that the basis of the scientific method, to try something and if it fails to try again in a different way.”

She added that “we also should have them build things from their first semester of freshman year,” rather than focusing on required courses, “and if they survive that, they can go on and build things.”

Source:
Mitzi Montoya

Media contact:
Skip Derra
(480) 965-4823
skip.derra@asu.edu

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library