Spring 2013 Dean's Medalists honored in liberal arts and sciences

April 19, 2013

Dean’s Medals will adorn 20 of the nearly 3,000 ASU seniors graduating with degrees in natural sciences, humanities and social sciences this spring – an honor bestowed by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for academic achievement.

The medal recognizes the top graduating student in each of the degree-granting schools and departments in the college. Spring 2013 Dean’s Medalists to be honored for in liberal arts and sciences Download Full Image

Those to be honored are ASU seniors Brenna Fanning, Danielle Barrs, Jed Chou, Abraham Anup, Gabrielle Chen-Dickens, Zachary Kovach, Emily Thurston, Ashley Kinkel, Madison Fulton, Eric Van Buren, Scott Van Buren, Levi Wolf, Blake Thomson, Yijee Jeong, Cami Samuels, Brittany Ebbing, Holly Vins, Jane Ly, Christopher Webb, and Anna Rose Salazar. 

“Some of the foremost leaders in the United States have pursued a broad undergraduate education in liberal arts and sciences,” said Robert E. Page, ASU vice provost and the dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, who created the medal. “I congratulate each of these students for their accomplishments and vision in creating a personalized approach to their studies that will empower them to change the world.”

The medalists come from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences, with dreams fueled as ASU Obama Scholars, President’s Scholars, Flinn Scholars, Provost Scholars or Pell Grant recipients. Many created opportunities through Barrett, The Honor College, through work as researchers or teaching assistants, residential associates, or started or served on student organizations, such as the Buffalo Council, Changemaker Central, Quanta or ASU Hope. A multitalented group of teachers, mentors and strivers, the Dean’s Medal recognizes the spirit and commitment with which all have pursued their passion to achieve and make a difference.

Three medal winners, Chen-Dickens, Thurston and Thomson, will also receive the ASU Alumni Association Outstanding Graduate Award in humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences, respectively.

Chen-Dickens receives her degree in English literature, with minors in history and religious studies, and a certificate in medieval/Renaissance studies. An ASU Obama Scholar, ASU President’s Scholarship recipient and Pell grant awardee, she has also received The Arizona Republic’s Scholastic Journalist Award, Excellence in First-Year Latin Award and The President’s Volunteer Service Award from the Office of the U.S. President. She will complete her Barrett, The Honors College thesis on the topic of the relationship between selfhood and possession, revelation and witchcraft in Early Modern English literature.  
Thurston is a psychology major whose focus is in developmental psychopathology and physiology. She pursued undergraduate research with four different scientists: Foster Olive in the Department of Psychology, Kathryn Lemery-Chalfant in the Child Emotion Center,  Director Keith Crnic in the Parent Child Relations Laboratory,  and Leah Doane Sampey in the Adolescent Emotion and Stress Laboratory, where Thurston will complete her Barrett, The Honors College thesis. “Emily operates at the level of a graduate student and has excelled doing so,” said Doane Sampey. “She has been an outstanding student, budding research scholar and leader within the ASU community.”

Thomson, who will receive his degrees in global health and English literature this spring through Barrett, The Honors College, intends to pursue a medical degree with Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Thomson was admitted to the Mount Sinai Humanities and Medicine Program as an ASU sophomore, which allowed him to focus on developing his humanities-based skills and interests before moving to study medicine.

Thomson’s research activities at ASU have spanned environmental justice studies in Central Phoenix, examination of factors that impact infant mortality rates in high poverty areas in Washington, D.C., and analysis of child protection systems in emergencies overseas. He has interned with the World Health Organization and volunteered at a health clinic in Peru. His experiences there inspired him to found the Students for Health and Education in Peru, an ASU club that promotes awareness of health disparities in Peru. He also serves on the Board of Directors with Vive Peru, a non-profit that coordinates volunteer opportunities for college students to serve in the areas of clinical medicine, English, music, engineering, and social work in underserved areas of Peru.

“Blake is very deserving of these awards from ASU Alumni Association and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He is one of the most positive, sincere and humble students that I have ever worked with,” said Rebecca Lish, an undergraduate academic success specialist in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change. “I cannot wait to hear about the contributions he will continue to make to the world.”

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is ASU’s core academic unit, offering degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. It is ASU’s largest and most diverse college with more than 100,000 alumni worldwide.

Margaret Coulombe

Director, Executive Communications, Office of the University Provost


2013 winners of President's Award for Sustainability

April 19, 2013

For their demonstrated excellence in fostering the successful development, implementation and promotion of sustainability, three programs at ASU were awarded the President's Award for Sustainability.

Sustainability is a balance of environmental, social and economic concerns. ASU staff and faculty are advancing sustainability by demonstrating exemplary practices, leading by example, and sharing solutions to catalyze change. Download Full Image

Facilities Management Grounds Services – Grounds for Grounds

In February 2012, Facilities Management Grounds Services in conjunction with Aramark, the Facilities Management Recycling Program, and the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University introduced the “Grounds for Grounds” program to ASU. The program diverts Tempe campus’ used espresso and coffee grounds from the landfill and puts them to use as a natural fertilizer and soil amendment. It also helps the university economically and socially by efficiently using a waste product as a valuable resource while actively engaging participants in a sustainable future.  

Presently the collection averages 500 pounds weekly, varying based on the time of year. This equates to a yearly savings of approximately $900 in tipping fees and up to $10,000 in fertilizer costs. The program is the first in food waste recycling on campus and another step forward in the University’s Zero Waste goal.

Team members:
Vicente Solis, Facilities Management Ground Services
Rigoberto Polanco, Facilities Management Ground Services
Jarin Castro, Facilities Management Ground Services
Joshua Ellner, Facilities Management Ground Services
Rob Kasprzak, Facilities Management Ground Services
Alana Levine, Facilities Management Ground Services
Lucas Mariacher, Facilities Management Ground Services
Mike Schantel, Facilities Management Ground Services
Deborah Thirkhill, Facilities Management, Ground Services
Harl Alley, The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University
Kathleen Stinchfield, The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University

Community partners:
Janet Castorena, Mesa Community College
Anna Krithis, Aramark
Katrina Shum, Aramark

Materials Management Recycling

Over the last few years, Materials Management (formerly ASU Stores and University Mail Services) has created a collection channel that is designed to promote and enhance the recycling efforts on campus. What started as a process designed to assist ASU Recycling turned into a business practice that created active engagement on the part of our team and the rest of the ASU community.

Materials Management picks up and recycles numerous items on a daily basis thus freeing up the ASU Recycling staff for other efforts. This program has grown over the years from toner cartridges and CDs to pens, pencils, VHS tapes, markers, and even rubber bands and it provides all of the ASU staff with the chance to easily recycle and actively engage in the ASU Sustainability Initiatives.

Team members:
Diana Gallese, Materials Management
Maureen King, Materials Management
Luis Barrandey, Materials Management
Michael Epting, Materials Management
Andrew Fassett, Materials Management
Alex Feierstein, Materials Management
Michael Joyce, Materials Management
Debra Kreuter, Materials Management
Lorne Lehr, Materials Management
Saraya Lyons, Materials Management
Steve Metzger, Materials Management
Adam Renner, Materials Management
Chuck Saffell, Materials Management
Andrew Sanchez, Materials Management
Jennifer Shiffer, Materials Management
Vince Shreckengast, Materials Management
Tyler Sumner, Materials Management
Corey Twilligear, Materials Management
Jeremy Twilligear, Materials Management
Todd Twilligear, Materials Management
Greg Williams, Materials Management

Sustainability Science for Sustainable Schools

The concept of sustainability is a “reframing” of the past debate of “either development or environment” into a challenge to scientists and citizens alike to reconcile just societal and economic aspirations with the environmental capacities of a delicate planet. Sustainable solutions are those that provide the best outcomes for people and natural environments, both now and into the future.

The Sustainability Science for Sustainable Schools (S4) program addresses the challenge of providing sustainable solutions through the teaming of ASU graduate students, researchers, and staff, high school teachers and students, and district administrators in a project designed to address the challenge of becoming a sustainable school within the Phoenix metropolitan region. 

The program’s graduate fellows collaborate with teams of teachers and school leadership to address their sustainable school challenges across the scales of curriculum, campus and community. Broad S4 outreach meets growing community requests for learning about sustainability concepts from schools, private businesses, nonprofits, and community partners. S4 embodies the University’s vision of engaging internal and external communities towards solving sustainability problems and orienting teaching and learning towards sustainable solutions.

Team members:
Monica Elser, Global Institute of Sustainability
Omaya Ahmad, School of Sustainability
Lenay Dunn, University Office of Evaluation and Educational Effectiveness
Jen Fuller, School of Human Evolution and Social Change
Gina Hupton, Global Institute of Sustainability
Auriane Koster, School of Sustainability
Stefanie Leite, University Office of Evaluation and Educational Effectiveness
Lynette Pollari, Global Institute of Sustainability
Erin Redman, School of Sustainability
Charles Redman, School of Sustainability
Sandra Rodegher, School of Sustainability
Sherry Yazzie, Global Institute of Sustainability
Susan Ledlow, Valencia College

Britt Lewis

Interim Communications Director, ASU Library