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7 reasons ASU is the 'Entrepreneurial University'

ASU's university-wide support of entrepreneurship honored by symposium.
At ASU, innovative thinking stretching across all disciplines and departments.
June 14, 2016

Deshpande Symposium award honors university's innovation-fostering culture

Arizona State University’s entrepreneurial spirit was honored Tuesday night at the annual Deshpande Symposium for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education.

At the symposium in Lowell, Massachusetts, ASU representative Ji Mi Choi, associate vice president of strategic partnerships and programs, was presented with the Entrepreneurial University Award, a recognition of ASU’s support of entrepreneurial programs and curriculum across the institution, from student startups to maker spaces to projects aimed at having an immediate impact on the world.

“It was the opinion of the Awards Committee that Arizona State University best exemplified a strong overall commitment to foster entrepreneurship across an institution by building both innovative educational courses and programs as well as student engagement at many levels,” wrote Raj Melville, executive director of the Deshpande Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to advancing entrepreneurship and innovation as catalysts for social change.

Here’s a look at seven activities that contributed to ASU’s newest honor:

A culture of startup support

This newest accolade builds ASU’s credibility as a forward-thinking institution that values new ideas: In 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked ASU as the “Most Innovative School,” ahead of Stanford, MIT, Duke, Harvard and Cornell.

In fiscal year 2015, ASU faculty were issued 62 U.S. patents, launched 12 new companies and submitted 270 invention disclosures to Arizona Technology Enterprises, which attracted more than $40 million in new external funding. ASU’s venture development activities have led to the formation and assistance of more than 80 companies; in Arizona, four of these companies alone represent more than 350 jobs created.

Recently launched ASU student-led startups have won numerous external and intercollegiate competitions. They include Let's Chat, a language-learning app; Neolight, a medical-device solution for babies with jaundice; and Epifinder, a tool that enables faster diagnosis and treatment for epileptic patients.

For Elizabeth Oviedo, a 2016 graduate of ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business’ MBA program, the recognitions reflect reality. She said that ASU is unparalleled in its support for student entrepreneurs because of the accessibility of its faculty and staff and their willingness to help student startups regardless of what department they were based in.

“As a New American University, ASU’s design aspirations guide its growth and transformation. Among these principles is a deep commitment to entrepreneurship in all forms,” said ASU Knowledge Enterprise Development Executive Vice President Sethuraman Panchanathan. “That means more than a class or a program: it is a mind-set woven into the university’s culture. Entrepreneurship radiates from the heart of ASU’s mission to produce innovations of the future and the master learners who will lead us there.”

The presenting of the Deshpande Symposium award.

Ji Mi Choi, associate vice president of strategic partnerships and programs, accepts ASU’s Outstanding Achievement as an Entrepreneurial University Award from Jack Wilson (left), president emeritus of the UMass system and UMass Lowell distinguished professor of higher education, emerging technologies and innovation, and entrepreneur Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande on Tuesday at the Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education in Lowell, Massachusetts. Photo by Tory Germann for UMass Lowell


Top photo: A journalism student poses for a portrait using the telepresence robot during Innovation Day at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication on Jan. 20. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now

Beth Giudicessi

Director, Media Relations and Strategic Communications


ASU Herberger Institute wins 3 highly competitive grants from National Endowment for the Arts

June 13, 2016

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has recognized ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts with grants for three separate projects totaling $50,000.

In May, the NEA announced its second round of recipients to receive grants this fiscal year, and that list included associate professor Mary Hood in the School of Art and postdoctoral scholar Alexandre Frenette. During its first round of grants, the NEA selected the Herberger Institute’s ASU Art Museum as one of 56 museums nationwide to receive a grant.  2015 Map(ing) Kate Horvat, Mac Bydalek and Craig Kelly work on a print for Map(ing) 2015. Associate professor Mary Hood recently received a grant from the NEA to help support the biennial printmaking residency program. Photo by Craig Smith. Download Full Image

“Securing a grant from the NEA is the gold standard of recognition that your ideas have national merit,” said Steven J. Tepper, dean of the Herberger Institute. “To get three awards in a single year is testimony to the fact that ASU and the Herberger Institute are advancing research and creative projects that are models for the rest of the country.”

Associate professor Mary Hood received a $15,000 Art Works grant to help support her Map(ing) project, a biennial printmaking residency program that explores contemporary Native American and Indigenous artistic practices. Art Works grants, the NEA’s main grant category, are awarded to projects that result in creation of art, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts or the strengthening of communities through the arts, according to the NEA. 

For Map(ing), Native American and Indigenous artists with very limited or no printmaking experience collaborate with graduate students from the printmaking program at the ASU School of Art to create a limited edition of 25 prints. The teams use printmaking and visual storytelling to explore concepts of culture, place, language and identity. The event concludes with an exhibition and a moderated public forum.

“In the past years I’ve really scraped together the money that’s needed to put together a project like this, with help from the Herberger Institute and the School of Art, who have both funded it over years, and from a lot of community donations,” Hood said. “So the financial support is really important. But the validation of the project is also important. For a granting institution of that size to see the impact of this project is extremely rewarding.”

The Art Works grant program also funds research that investigates the impact of the arts on individuals and groups.  In this category, the NEA awarded $15,000 to help fund a study on the careers of arts graduates. Postdoctoral scholar Alexandre Frenette will partner with Timothy J. Dowd from Emory University as co-principal investigators for the project. Using data from the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP), a national survey that documents the experiences of arts alumni, they will look at the factors that shape which graduates remain active in arts-related careers and which ones exit. Dean Tepper, who is the research director for SNAAP, will also serve as principal investigator on the project.

“There are many misleading articles and narratives out there about the careers and lives of people who study the arts,” Frenette said. “There are problems within our educational system and there is inequality, but we’ll really only understand and address these if we pay attention to real facts and data. We will use SNAAP data to better understand the careers of arts graduates and, in the process, show what’s working and what we really do need to improve.”

Frenette’s project is one of only 18 projects nationwide to receive a Research: Art Works grant from the NEA this year.

“I was surprised and very pleased,” Frenette said of receiving the grant. “We were going to pursue this work anyway, but now we can do it much more in-depth. Ultimately, then, the work will have more of an impact.”

In December, the NEA awarded $20,000 to the ASU Art Museum to support an upcoming project called Space in Between. Artist Margarita Cabrera will collaborate with the museum, the Desert Botanical Garden and the Phoenix Latino community to develop a series of soft sculptures in the form of desert plants. The project aims to address themes of art and community, craft, immigration, empowerment, cultural identity and labor practices relevant to the Arizona region and its local immigrant history. 

“Margarita Cabrera’s work expands the notion of what community-based art can accomplish by addressing social justice issues in relation to immigration, labor and identity,” said ASU Art Museum curator Julio Cesar Morales.

The sculptures will be on display at the Desert Botanical Garden in the fall of 2016. 

For more information on NEA grants and a complete list of recipients, visit

Sarah A. McCarty

Communications and marketing coordinator, School and Film, Dance and Theatre in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts


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June 9, 2016

Dance artist Marcus White to cultivate connections, diversity in the classroom as new ASU dance professor

Dance artist, creative producer and teacher Marcus White, who will join the faculty of ASU’s School of Film, Dance and Theatre in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts this fall, says he cultivates community and diversity in his classroom, and he plans to bring those values to ASU.

“I’m super excited to join ASU this fall,” said White. “Arizona State certainly has positioned itself as a leader in the nation. In particular, as someone who works in an interdisciplinary way, I was drawn to the School of Film, Dance and Theatre and the Herberger Institute.”

White is the founder and creative director of Marcus White/White Werx, a performance production company that spans various genres and dance styles. As director, he has created work for both stage and screen. His teaching practice draws on postmodern contemporary dance and urban styles, specifically waackingWaacking consists of moving the arms — typically over and behind the shoulder — to the music beat. It also involves posing and footwork., vogue and house. Additionally, White is a dance film creator and curator. In these roles, he has worked closely with presenters such as the Dance on Camera Festival at Lincoln Center, American Dance Festival’s Movies by Movers and the newly developed “Dance: American Art 1865–1960” exhibition, which celebrates dance in visual art developed at the Detroit Institute of Arts and is expected to tour throughout the United States.

“He brings deep connections into professional practice, is a master of both urban and modern forms and has a deep interest in working in communities,” said Stephani Etheridge Woodson, interim director of the School of Film, Dance and Theatre. “He has a vibrant professional practice and copious curiosity. We are lucky to have lured him to Arizona.”

White says he considers his classrooms “communities of thinkers and movers” and the studio as a laboratory for ideas and practices, both for the students and himself. He also has a history of expanding that community to reach lower socio-economic communities. In North Carolina, he founded Paradigm Dance, where he developed relationships with Greensboro City Arts to implement an afterschool dance program in the city’s cultural centers within those communities. Later, he developed a program called Moving Voices in Michigan. The Moving Voices project uses dance as a tool to encourage youth to engage in social impact and as a way to empower participants to use movement to tell their own stories.

“Working specifically at the intersection of cultural theory, movement practice and digital media, I come with a unique lens to craft stories and narrative using dance and film,” White said.

White has an MFA from the University of Michigan. He has taught at Wayne State University and the University of Michigan and has also served as a guest artist at various prestigious pre-professional dance programs such as the Dance Theatre of Harlem School, Penn State University, University of Montana, Oakland University and the American College Dance Association.

Sarah A. McCarty

Communications and marketing coordinator , School and Film, Dance and Theatre in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts


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ASU's Norman Dubie reads his poems and shares why poetry is so important today.
The why's and where's of writing: Award-winning poet Dubie on his inspirations.
June 9, 2016

ASU professor Norman Dubie, winner of the international Griffin Prize, in his own words

For Norman Dubie, poetry has been a lifelong pursuit.

The Regents’ Professor of English, who came to Arizona State University in 1975 to establish its creative writing program, has written poems since age 15, though his interest in them was sparked at an even younger age.

At ASU, Dubie has taught hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students, formed a community of poets and been published widely. His work has been bestowed numerous accolades, including the PEN USA prize for Best Book of Poetry. In early June, he was awarded the Griffin Poetry Prize, an international recognition of the best book of poetry published in English, for his collection "The Quotations of Bone."

Here, he talks about the importance of poetry and reads some of his work.

Question: What has it been like since winning the Griffin Poetry Prize?

Answer: Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go to Toronto [for the award ceremony] for health reasons. My editor, Michael Wiegers, represented me and he read poems there on the night of the ceremony in front of 2,000 people, which is very brave of him. …

This competition involves 43 countries — it's an international prize — it’s 43 countries, and publishers in each country nominating books. There were seven or eight hundred titles and three jurors. So all of that is, you know, it's very harrowing and everything. I figured I'd eliminated myself by not being able to travel to Toronto. So I was having Thai food Thursday night with some friends when the phone rang and Michael said, “You’re not going to believe this, but you won anyway.” And I said, “Uh-oh!” [laughs]

Q: Why poetry? Why is it critically important in our lives today?

A: A former student called me this morning explaining that he is suffering from stage II lymphoma and he was reading several poems of mine and that he was greatly consoled by them on a very difficult night when he couldn't sleep. That helps.

One of the first poems I ever published in The New Yorker is called “Elizabeth’s War with the Christmas Bear.” It’s a poem about a strong woman who survives a privy council of evil men, and an attack by a bear that had been baited out in the gardens in the summer when everyone had fled London because of the plague. I got this letter from a woman in North Dakota who said she had carried two duffel bags full of frozen diapers to this laundromat and sat there while they were in the wash and cried and then looked at the magazines that were discarded on the table in front of her. And there was The New Yorker with this poem for Elizabeth. She read it, she took heart from it and she said “I didn't off myself and my children.” That always helps. That always makes poems seem relevant, when you get reports like that. …

It’s not a question of the art’s relevance, it's just how do you find enough time to really deal with the audience that's out there? … There are people out there who are completely taken up with language. It's our first resource almost after whatever is going on in terms of smart proteins inside our bodies. So, the writing of poetry is redemptive, and the reading of poetry is redemptive. [laughs] Propaganda, right?

Q: Where do you write? Does your writing change when you change places?

A: I write at a kitchen table. I'm from Vermont; the kitchen table was where the family gathered just to talk, to read magazines, newspapers, books. … I like to eat and so I write at a kitchen table, and I have my whole life, pretty much, but I can write in my head walking.

I’ll give you extreme examples about place and writing for me. When I was first writing when I was a teenager, I started writing with the first snow there in northern New England. And I stopped when the lady’s slippers came up through the snow in April — so I was a seasonal writer. I was somewhat like that for a very long time. When I came here, I decided the summer was the winter. … Here in the desert I've written at night and very heavily between June and October.

Q: What are you reading?

A: I'm reading a really sort of disturbing book that I promised myself I would go back to. It’s called “Hope Against Hope,” by Nadezhda Mandelstam. Osip — the Silver Age Russian poet, Osip Mandelstam, who Stalin in fact sent to labor camps several times, finally had a fatal coronary on the train going back for the third time. His widow was a brilliant woman, and she wrote this book, “Hope Against Hope,” and then she wrote a follow-up, “Hope Abandoned.” …

I'm also reading a biography on the poet Wallace Stevens, and I'm reading an old student of mine who has many books. I have several of her books open. Her name is Sarah Vap. She’s just brilliant, a wonderful poet.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

A: Once there was an expedition to West Africa — British 19th-century expedition — and they were approaching the forest and this pygmy elder came out of the forest and walked up to them and said, “There is a dream dreaming us.” He turned around and went back into the woods. And that's how I feel about life on this planet. I think in this creation we are immersed in an infinite mind.


'Amen,' from 'The Mercy Seat'


'Ars Poetica,' from 'The Mercy Seat'


'The Night Before Thanksgiving,' from 'The Mercy Seat'


'Letters for Little Mila,' from Griffin Prize-winning 'The Quotations of Bone'


'Sparrow,' from Griffin Prize-winning 'The Quotations of Bone'



Hear more from Dubie on his inspirations and takes on writing:

 Interview edited for clarity and length.

Top photo: Norman Dubie, a Regents' Professor in the Department of English in ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, answers questions on the ASU Tempe campus on June 6. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now

Beth Giudicessi

Director , Media Relations and Strategic Communications


Making an immeasurable impression: Jean Makin retires from the ASU Art Museum

June 6, 2016

When Jean Makin began working at the ASU Art Museum in 1989, the print collection consisted of just under 1,500 works on paper. Today that number is approaching 7,000.

“From the beginning, it was really hands on with the collection,” said Makin, who is retiring from the art museum after 27 years as curator of prints. ASU Art Museum Curator of Prints Jean Makin poses in a gallery ASU Art Museum curator of prints Jean Makin. Photos by Diane Wallace Download Full Image

Makin began her arts career as an assistant registrar at the University of Iowa Museum of Art before moving to Arizona, where she worked as the registrar at the Phoenix Art Museum for more than three years.

The ASU Art Museum’s collection of works on paper, which includes artists from Dürer to Warhol, was a huge draw for Makin, who has an MFA in printmaking from the University of Iowa. She was hired as the museum’s first assistant curator of prints.

In the early years at the museum, she helped establish the facility at the Nelson Fine Arts Center, physically moving artwork from Matthews Center, where the museum was originally housed. Then came the task of cataloguing the work, which suited Makin well given her previous experience as a registrar.

Curator of Prints Jean Makin interacts with students at the ASU Art Museum

But ultimately, she said, the most gratifying part of the job came in her interactions with students, whether it was a larger class or an individual intern, in the Jules Heller Print Study Room.

“There have been numerous classes that have worked on specific aspects of the collection, researching and writing text that later is used in an exhibition,” Makin explained. “The students are engaged directly with the curatorial process, which is quite different from standard research for a hand-in paper. And they saw their work in the gallery — how many students can claim they created an exhibition?”

Melissa Button, an instructor in the ASU School of Art, regularly brought her classes to the print room to work with Makin.

“I cannot properly express how much I have appreciated and benefited from [Makin’s] endless knowledge and continuous desire to educate the students,” said Button. “[Makin] will not be soon forgotten, as [her] words and enthusiasm for prints will carry through my teaching for many years to come.”

Several of Makin’s former interns said their experience with Makin and the ASU Art Museum’s print collection was formative for them.

“Jean Makin is a gem and a real asset to the arts community,” says Laura Wilde, a former intern who graduated in 2014 with a bachelor in art history from the School of Art and who now works as the outreach and volunteer coordinator at the Phoenix Center for the Arts. “Her vast knowledge, experience and kindness helped me so much while I served as an intern at the ASU Art Museum print department, as I'm sure it helped many others. Her guidance helped me start my arts career.”

While interning at the museum, Emma Ringness’ research with the collection developed into a full-blown exhibition titled “Plate, Silk, Stone: Women in Print” (2013).

“Jean has an incredible wealth of knowledge both in art history and art making,” said Ringness, who graduated in 2013 with a degree in printmaking. “So much of what I learned during my time as an intern in the print study room was not from the research I conducted, but from my conversations with Jean.”

Throughout the years, Makin wore many hats (often simultaneously), from personnel manager to graphic designer, leaving an immeasurable impression on the museum itself. But her legacy extends even farther, to the larger ASU community and beyond.

“Jean has been central to the museum’s mission for over 27 years, and her commitment and expertise is shown through her amazing history of exhibitions and the building of the phenomenal print collection,” say ASU Art Museum Director Gordon Knox. “Thousands of students, academics and members of the public have come to know and love the print collection thanks to Jean’s hard work.”

Makin’s final exhibition at the museum, “The Brandywine Workshop Collection,” includes work from a satellite collection of prints that the ASU Art Museum received from the Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia in 2015 and features artists such as Betye Saar, Tomie Arai and Willie Birch. The show will be on view July 5 through Dec. 17.

Communications Program Coordinator, ASU Art Museum


Historic painting to be featured in exhibit

'The Stragglers' on loan by ASU Libraries

May 20, 2016

Arizona artist Marjorie Thomas’ 1934 painting titled "The Stragglers" has been loaned by the ASU Libraries for presentation in a forthcoming exhibit at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg, Arizona.

The art was commissioned by the federal Public Works of Art Project, a predecessor to the Works Progress Administration. For many years the historic oil on canvas painting could be seen in Arizona Senator Carl T. Hayden US Senate office in Washington, D.C. It became part of the ASU Libraries Arizona Collection in 1969 along with the Senator Carl T. Hayden Papers and a number of other paintings, photographs and awards. Betsy Fahlman,  art history professor in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, will serve as guest curator for the show titled "Marjorie Thomas: Arizona Art Pioneer," on display at the Wickenburg museum from May 28 through Nov. 27.   "The Stragglers" painting Arizona artist Marjorie Thomas’ 1934 painting, "The Stragglers." Download Full Image

Born July 28, 1885, in Newton Center, Massachusetts, Marjorie Thomas grew up in the Boston area and graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston where she was a student of Edmund Tarbell, Philip Hale, and Frank Benson. She also studied with Louis Kronberg and John Palmer Wicker. She exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1924 and 1928. She later exhibited works in the 1929-1933 exhibitions of the Arizona Artists Arts and Crafts at the Museum of Northern Arizona.

Thomas moved to Arizona in 1909 with her mother for her brother's health, and settled in what is now Paradise Valley, adjacent to Scottsdale. She, her mother and her brother lived and worked at a 320 acre ranch at Cheney Drive and Scottsdale Road.  Thomas opened the first art studio in downtown Scottsdale and many of her works featured Arizona landscapes and wildlife. She accompanied author Zane Grey on his last trip to Rainbow Bridge in 1929, traveling by horse with him and drawing as they went. Thomas died April 1, 1978 at the age of 92 and is buried beside her brother Richard Thomas in Tempe’s Double Butte Cemetery. 

“The life and career of Marjorie Thomas links the chronicle of Arizona’s art and history. Arriving before statehood, she witnessed at first hand many changes in Scottsdale and the state that became her home. It took grit and determination for an artist to leave the East and move West, and Thomas was a real pioneer,” said Fahlman.

An authority on the art history of Arizona, Fahlman's books include "New Deal Art in Arizona" (2009) and "The Cowboy’s Dream: The Mythic Life and Art of Lon Megargee" (2002). She is also the author of two essays in catalogues published in 2012 by the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff: “New Women, Southwest Culture: Arizona’s Early Art Community” (in "Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton: Artist and Advocate in Early Arizona") and “Making the Cultural Desert Bloom: Arizona’s Early Women Artists” (in "Arizona’s Pioneering Women Artists: Impressions of the Grand Canyon State").

Tiffany López joins Herberger Institute to lead School of Film, Dance and Theatre

May 20, 2016

The ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts has appointed Tiffany López as the director of its School of Film, Dance and Theatre. López, a professor at the University of California Riverside in the Department of Theatre, Film and Digital Production and an Endowed Chair in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, officially begins her tenure July 1.

“Dr. López has unbounded energy and vision and will be a great asset to our faculty and students,” said Steven J. Tepper, dean of the Herberger Institute. “Her life, scholarship and creative work exemplify the values and aspirations of the New American University. She is the perfect person to lead us into the future as a place that deeply engages its community, prepares artists for many different social and professional roles, and values and advances the diverse cultural expression of our city, region and world.” Head shot of Tiffany López, new director of ASU's School of Film, Dance and Theatre, in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts Tiffany López begins as director of ASU's School of Film, Dance and Theatre, in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, on July 1. Download Full Image

López brings more than 30 years of engagement within the arts community and 21 years as an academic to the role.

“This is an extraordinary time to join the School of Film, Dance and Theatre and the Herberger Institute as a visionary place for training global artists and leaders,” López said.

Her current scholarship on how theatre artists use their work to create shared vocabulary for processing violence and trauma connects with the institute’s ongoing work at the intersections of art, health, and youth and community development. López deeply understands how a university can be a force for cultural change and growth in the community. At UC-Riverside, she founded the Latina/o Play Project at the Culver Center for the Arts in Riverside to engage the community in telling its own story.  

“As an educator and artist, I’ve dedicated the length of my career to thinking about issues of diversity as intrinsic to cultivating excellence in the work that we do — that’s a very strong vision and a point of commitment I’ll bring to the position,” López said. “I’m excited to be a part of the initiatives and the transformative conversations underway within the Herberger Institute and the opportunity to actively engage both the mission and the impact of diversifying the arts.”

López, the first in her family to graduate high school and attend college, says she is a poster child for public education and is excited to work with the ASU student population. She attended community college with plans to manage a fast-food restaurant, but education set her on another path. With support from student programs and fellowships, she transferred to California State University, Sacramento, where she received a bachelor’s degree in English. She earned a master’s degree and a doctorate at the University of California, Santa Barbara. López’s honors include a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation. She is also a Fulbright Scholar.

“I understand how the path of obtaining and receiving an education is not only personally transformative but also transforms your entire family history by showing what’s possible,” she said. “And it transforms our communities by enabling us to give back and make a difference. The goal is to not just walk through new doors, but open them wider for others.”

Artist-entrepreneur Daniel Bernard Roumain joins ASU as Institute Professor

Composer/violinist to teach and build cross-disciplinary artists’ lab with choreographer Liz Lerman and theater director Michael Rohd

May 16, 2016

In 2005, violinist/composer Daniel Bernard Roumain joined Philip Glass in concert at Arizona State University’s performing arts venue ASU Gammage.

“Philip Glass and I will begin a conversation that I hope you might join,” he wrote in the program for that performance, introducing their orchestral and cinematic collaboration that was produced in part during Roumain’s artist-in-residency at ASU that spring. “I wanted this concert to be about many things; film, the orchestra, etudes, hip-hop and dialogue. A town hall meeting for curiously strong minds and fresh, brave souls.” Daniel Bernard Roumain Violinist/composer Daniel Bernard Roumain will join the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and ASU Gammage as Institute Professor. Download Full Image

That conversation will continue at ASU in fall 2016, when Roumain will join the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and ASU Gammage as Institute Professor, where he will act as a professor of practice.

He is the third Institute Professor to be named, along with dance legend and MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship recipient Liz Lerman and founding director of the Sojourn Theatre and the Center for Performance and Civic Practice Michael Rohd.

Together, the multidisciplinary artists will grow ASU’s Ensemble Lab, a think tank for artistic experimentation and community interventions where Institute professors are encouraged to work together to advance national initiatives and collectively redesign arts and design education so it is at the center of public life. The lab was started in the spring of 2016 by Lerman with the support of Herberger Institute Dean Steven Tepper.

“Daniel is a national leader in the arts who is known for collaborating across art forms, connecting to new audiences and demonstrating how an enterprising musician works in the 21st century,” said Tepper. “He will be an incredible mentor to students, an ambassador in the community and a thought leader for the Herberger Institute, ASU Gammage and the university.”

Like Lerman and Rohd, Roumain’s work frequently extends beyond the limits of genre. Known for his signature violin sounds infused with myriad electronic and urban music influences, DBR (as he is often called) takes his genre-bending music beyond the edge of the stage. He has been nominated for an Emmy Award for outstanding musical composition for his work with ESPN, featured as keynote performer at technology conferences and has composed music for an array of solo performers, chamber ensembles, orchestras, dance works, television and film.

Roumain made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2000 with the American Composers Orchestra performing his “Harlem Essay for Orchestra.” He went on to compose works for the Boston Pops Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, the Stuttgart Symphony and myriad others. He holds a doctorate degree in music composition from the University of Michigan.

An avid arts industry leader, Roumain serves on the board of directors of the League of American Orchestras, Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), Creative Capital, the advisory committee of the Sphinx Organization and was co-chair of 2015 and 2016 APAP conferences.

Roumain is working on a new solo violin work for acclaimed violinist Rachel Barton Pine and continues work on “We Shall Not Be Moved,” a chamber opera commissioned by Opera Philadelphia and co-produced by the Apollo Theater.

At ASU, Roumain will teach courses that focus on translating personal accounts into creative expression and on the complex artistic, social and cultural impact of artist/activists. His classes will be open to musicians, artists, designers and other interested students. In his joint appointment with ASU Gammage, he will develop artistic projects that extend and expand his creative work and its connections with the community.

He will also serve as an adviser to the dean of the Herberger Institute, including developing the Projecting All Voices initiative on how to align the nation’s largest comprehensive arts and design college with the experiences, aspirations and values of a new generation of Latino, indigenous and African-American artists.

“I have been performing, creating and collaborating with the ASU and surrounding communities for over 15 years,” said Roumain. “The relationships here have always been collaborative, deeply profound, and speak to the need and vitality of our performing arts within our daily lives. I look forward to becoming part of the ASU family of thinkers, teachers, makers and creators." 

Listen to audio from DBR's 2005 performance with Philip Glass here.

Beth Giudicessi

Director, Media Relations and Strategic Communications


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ASU design students see possibilities in Sun Devil Stadium as a community space.
May 13, 2016

ASU Design School students reconsider how to use 1.32 acres of turf, 60,000 seats and a concourse full of possibility

The fundamental concept of a stadium has remained unchanged since ancient Greece: an enclosed space, tiered seating and amenities to accommodate large crowds gathered to watch competitions.

Now, design students at Arizona State University are drawing on faculty research and their peers’ creativity to rethink the idea of what a stadium can — and should — be. Their ideas are being incorporated into plansPlans range from architectural and transportation strategies to phone apps, branding and foldable furniture. for the re-envisioned Sun Devil Stadium, which is expected to complete in September 2017.

“In the last 40 to 50 years, we have acknowledged that stadiums are an asset in the city or campus infrastructure, adding to its original programming of its specific use for a particular sport,” said assistant professor of design Milagros Zingoni. “You see concerts, exhibits, shows, conference, but these variances are only from the programming point of view.

“We are looking at the overall stadium as a place that is used every single day. And that’s how ASU is becoming unique in rethinking the Sun Devil Stadium as an emergent taxonomy.”

Zingoni’s research focuses on emerging typologies as a result of changes associated with technology evolution — that is, the physical characteristics commonly found in buildings and urban places, such as the “type” of dwelling typically inhabited by a single family in a suburban landscape.

She explained that activities used to be bound to a place: people lived in a home, worked at an office, learned at a school or gathered with friends in a park. Because of changes in technology and culture, many of those activities can now be completed at any of those places.

“Looking at how these typologies are emerging is part of the design thinking process we want students to be exposed to — to basically think in a different way and challenge everything thus far to do it differently to address the needs of today,” she said.

The Sun Devil Central student design team.

The Design School’s 2016 Interdisciplinary Cluster Competition winners presented “Sun Devil Central” — ASU’s own urban park in the middle of bustling campus and commercial communities. Team Lotus members are (from left): Patrick Griffin (visual communication), Liz Madsen (architecture), Olivia Morley (industrial design), Matt Phan (visual communication) and Callie Raish (interior design).


For the past nine years, Zingoni and clinical professor Will Heywood have led a competition for all junior students enrolled in ASU’s The Design School, part of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. The competition, the Interdisciplinary Cluster Competition, brings together students studying to be architects, landscape architects, industrial designers, interior designers and visual communicators to propose solutions to a design question. This year saw 35 teams composed of 162 students.

The competition originally focused on so-called “wicked problems” — that is, broad issues that are often too complex or in flux to be solved: climate change, social injustice, pandemic influenza.

In a particularly successful year, a winning team created a rolling water-purification device to transport, clean and store drinking water. The invention is patented and is being used in developing regions throughout Africa.

More recently, teams have applied their ideas to improving spaces closer to home by addressing needs of users at local non-profits, including the I.D.E.A. (“imagination, design, experience, art”) Museum and Maricopa Workforce Connections.

In 2016, the competition turned personal.

Few individuals better understand the lives and cultural and socioeconomic conditions of college students than, well, college students. When asked to reinvent Sun Devil Stadium, the students displayed a special sense of ownership.

“They were very committed and felt that they had a voice,” Zingoni said.

Over the course of 10 days, the teams — composed of students with different design specialties — considered and presented their ideas for what Kendon Jung calls a “disruption of the idea of what a stadium means.” Jung, a master’s candidate in postsecondary education who graduated in May, spent his required practicum working with the student groups and synthesizing how to increase the life of the stadium.

Student submissions included a running track around the main concourse; concessions open for daily use and food vendors inspired by Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport’s commitment to local restaurants; new methods of entering, exiting and traversing the field so that the Tempe campus is connected to Tempe Town Lake and adjacent commercial developments; pop-up tents that cover stadium seats and double as lecture spaces; showers for bike commuters; child-care facilities; and new ways — including movie nights and a beer garden — to activate the stadium as a “third space,” which is sociologist Ray Oldenburg’s term for somewhere outside home and work that serves as a place to find comfort, retreat and community.

Faculty judges from each discipline within The Design School — as well as Herberger Institute Dean Steven Tepper; Craig Barton, director of The Design School and professor of architecture; Isaac Manning, Sun Devil Stadium project representative; Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, executive director for ASU Gammage and associate vice president of cultural affairs, who is overseeing news projects involving the stadium; and Jack Furst, founder of Oak Stream Investors, who has been instrumental in providing private support for the new stadium — said picking a winner was formidable, and at least one aspect from each of the six semifinalist teams’ submissions is being considered for implementation into the new stadium.

A student team's idea of creative use of Sun Devil Stadium.

The competition’s winning team envisioned Sun Devil Stadium as the Central Park of the Tempe campus, with a goal of "making sure every student uses the stadium in ways that speak to them." Pictured at the top of this story is another image from the team, that of the stadium’s concourse as a gathering place for the community.


“Our overall concept was ‘Sun Devil Central,’” said junior Patrick Griffin, who is studying visual communications. “The name refers to New York City’s Central Park because our main idea was to open the field during the off-season and turn it into a park students and the public can enjoy.”

“It was the first experience I had working with other disciplines, which was very interesting because we got a glimpse into how the other disciplines worked,” said junior Matthew Phan, who is also a visual communication major.

As part of the winning team, Griffin and Phan were given the opportunity to spend a day shadowing professionals in their field. Zingoni says the local community has been very supportive of the competition, and in many cases offers students summer internships to continue their work.

Such was the case for Griffin, who will spend his summer at Gould Evans/Canary Studio, the downtown Phoenix architecture firm and in-house graphic design studio that is overseeing renovations for the stadium project — or what is now being referred to as “Sun Devil Central.”

As its envisioning continues, Zingoni and her colleagues plan to repeat the competition at other schools at ASU to incorporate the ideas of students with expertise in business, engineering and other areas.

“Wow, this is the kind of thought that’s happening? It’s no wonder we’re able to achieve such great stuff and that ASU has been prominent in the public eye for its innovation,” Jung said. “It’s been humbling to be a part of the process.”

More stadium ideas

See what a team of MBA students proposed to turn the stadium into a year-round cultural hub here.

Beth Giudicessi

Director , Media Relations and Strategic Communications


Young writers can ‘YAWP’ through summer at ASU

Young Adult Writing Program allows grades 3-12 to explore the power of writing

May 13, 2016

“I too am not a bit tamed — I too am untranslatable;
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.”
— Walt Whitman, from “Leaves of Grass”

Need an enriching, arts-based summer activity for your children? Look no further than ASU’s YAWP. Students in ASU English's youth writing program engage in a "writing marathon" during a 2015 session. Sisters Ziqing Kuang, 10, and Christina Kuang, 7, share a chair in Old Main as they write short pieces about the building as part last year's youth writing program at ASU. The Department of English at ASU offers a two-week summer youth writing camp for students in grades 3-12 on the West, Tempe and Polytechnic campuses. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now Download Full Image

The Arizona State University Young Adult Writing Program (YAWP — formerly “rl txt”) is designed to offer young writers a non-evaluative environment in which to explore the power of writing. The program is accepting applications from kids in grades 3-12 for its two-week sessions beginning in June.

A component of the Central Arizona Writing Project, which is a local site of the National Writing Project, YAWP sessions engage young writers in crafting a variety of writing forms, such as poems, autobiographical sketches, heart maps, short stories, arguments, nature/science observations, craft secrets and daily writing workshops. Each camper chooses a piece of writing for publication in the camp anthology.

YAWP is staffed by veteran K-12 English teachers who have completed the Central Arizona Writing Project's Invitational Summer Institute in teaching composition and critical literacy to become teacher-consultants.

Offering time and inspiration, YAWP sessions support writers in a collaborative atmosphere as they interact with other youth authors and share works in progress.

“This year’s Young Adult Writing Program will take full advantage of our dynamic and innovative university and local writing community,” said Jessica Early, an associate professor in the Department of English and director of YAWP.

“Our young writers will visit and take inspiration from ASU’s Marston Exploration Theater 3-D Astronomy Show, Hayden Library, the ASU Art Museum and many more campus venues. They will also take part in writing workshops taught by our incredible instructional team as well as ASU professors and Arizona novelists, poets and songwriters.”

YAWP 2016 is offered Mondays-Fridays, from 9 a.m. to noon daily, in four sessions on three ASU campuses. Parents choose just one in which their children will participate:

  • Tempe campus: for grades 3-12
    • Session A: June 6-17
    • Session B: June 20-July 1
  • Polytechnic campus: June 6-17 for grades 3-12
  • West campus: June 6-17 for grades 3-8 only

Registration closes May 20. Tuition is $300 and is due at YAWP orientation on May 25 on the Tempe campus. Visit the program’s website for more information or to download an application.

Kristen LaRue

coordinator senior, Department of English