Student group raises awareness, funds for women

March 21, 2012

Arizona State University student group Woman As Hero is taking an active stance to promote awareness and education surrounding crisis situations women face. Formed in 2009, the club works to break the cycle of poverty, oppression, hunger and violence by investing in the success of girls and women on both a local and global level.

“Our goal is to promote and empower women in the areas of education and social justice,” said Nesima Aberra, president of Woman As Hero. “We want to be active but educated at the same time. We understand that many communities face different issues and have varying ideas about what their society should be.” Woman as Hero logo Download Full Image

Twice a month the group facilitates roundtable discussions on a variety of current affairs topics surrounding the treatment of women. During each session, the group discusses the current measures being taken to solve the problem at hand, how they can lend aid and how to empower others in similar situations to share their stories. Members also can participate in community outreach opportunities at service organization around the Valley that align with the club’s vision. 

Woman As Hero frequently engages in fundraising events to support women on a global scale as well. In January the group raised scholarship funds for young girls in Kenya who were identified as outstanding leaders and academically high-achieving students, but cannot afford the cost of secondary school. The organization also joined The Girl Effect movement, created by Nike with funding from the NoVo Foundation, which promotes economic empowerment for adolescent girls in the developing world.

“These are things that we can do in our own community to help out, since not everyone can just go over to Africa and donate their time,” said Aberra.

On April 6, Woman As Hero is holding an informational summit on global women's issues titled “Womanity – exploring global gender challenges and seeking solution” at the Tempe campus. Journalist Habiba Nosheen from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting  will serve as the keynote speaker, presenting her work on the honor killings taking place in Pakistan. Other sessions will cover issues such as domestic violence, women in conflict, education and the portrayal of women in the media. The event is free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged at

“We are hoping the summit will give us a chance to talk about the complicated issues women face, and become an outlet for those who may have studied these concepts but don’t know what to do about them, or are unaware that other people share these interests,” said Aberra.

Woman As Hero is open to all members of the ASU community. For more information, please visit, or send an email to

Top 10 cities and states for job growth

March 21, 2012

With the U.S. economy on the mend, it’s interesting to note which cities and states are growing the fastest.

Lee McPheters, a research professor in ASU's W. P. Carey School of Business, provides rankings and analysis based on the latest jobs figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Below is a list of the top 10 cities followed by top 10 states. Professor Lee McPheters Download Full Image

Top 10 cities
including surrounding metro areas (1 million or more workers) for non-agricultural job growth, comparing January 2011 to January 2012

1. Houston – up 3.7 percent

2. Atlanta – up 3.1 percent

3. Denver – up 2.5 percent

4. Dallas – up 2.4 percent

5. Seattle – up 2.2 percent

6. Cincinnati – up 2.1 percent

7. Phoenix – up 1.9 percent

8. Riverside, Calif. – up 1.7 percent

    Tampa, Fla. – up 1.7 percent

10. Pittsburgh – up 1.6 percent

Top 10 states
for non-agricultural job growth, comparing January 2011 to January 2012

1. North Dakota – up 6.3 percent

2. West Virginia – up 2.6 percent

    Utah – up 2.6 percent

4. Texas – up 2.5 percent

5. Louisiana – up 2.4 percent

6. Oklahoma – up 2.2 percent
    Georgia – up 2.2 percent

8. Colorado – up 2.1 percent

9. Tennessee – up 2 percent

10. Kentucky – up 1.9 percent


The overall growth rate for the United States, comparing January 2011 to January 2012, was 1.5 percent. The actual number of jobs went up by 1.986 million nationwide.

“As far as the cities, Houston and Dallas have fared especially well since they’re located in Texas, a state that has stayed ahead of most, throughout the recession and recovery,” explains McPheters, who is director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business.

Looking at the states, McPheters notes, “One common theme among those doing well on the list is the use of natural resources at a time of high energy prices. North Dakota, Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma are all oil-producing states, and West Virginia and Utah mine coal. North Dakota has ranked first for 33 consecutive months.”

McPheters explains many of the states at the top of the list also have a relatively small labor force, so even a modest boost can register as a big jobs percentage gain. For example, first-place North Dakota added 23,900 jobs year-over-year, while Texas only ranked fourth, even though it added 262,100 jobs.

Four states continued to lose jobs year-over-year: Alaska, Missouri, Rhode Island and Wisconsin. Wisconsin has ranked last for the past three months, and employment there was down by 19,400 workers in January compared to the prior year.

“Here in Arizona, the state ranked No. 12 in job creation,” says McPheters. “That’s a vast improvement from last year at this time, when it ranked No. 40.”

McPheters expects to see states in the Southwest and Southeast begin to push up in the rankings by the middle of the year. These are the states that typically do well during big-growth periods, benefitting from desirable climates and industries like construction and health care.

More analysis from McPheters, including population numbers, can be found at KnowWPCarey, the school’s online resource at McPheters also compiles current and historical job-growth data at his “Job Growth USA” website: