ASU News

More than 1,500 prospective students, guests expected to attend More to Explore

The choose-your-own-experience program to take place Presidents Day weekend

February 8, 2016

Alexis Egeland thought she would study at a small college near the beach in her home state of California. The aspiring journalist’s mother suggested she attend More to Explore to check out Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“I thought it sounded amazing, but wasn't totally sold on going out of state and leaving my friends, family and the beach,” said Egeland, 18. Download Full Image

Her Presidents Day visit to the Downtown Phoenix campus last year convinced the Rancho Cucamonga native that Cronkite was the right college for her.

“The things that I got to experience at More to Explore are the things that I get to do every day as a student here at ASU,” she said “I was expecting to get to see a couple of facilities and maybe get to sit in on a class. But I was taught how to operate a news camera and sit behind the anchor desk, reading the news. It was really what set Cronkite apart and made me fall in love with the school.”

Alayna Mallory, 19, from Queen Creek, Arizona, felt the same way.

“I learned a lot about how I would pay for tuition and what scholarships to apply for,” the Perry High School alumna said. “I got to sit in on a design class, tour the library and talk to tons of current ASU students. Everyone I came in contact with was so kind and helpful.”  

More to Explore is a choose-your-own-experience visit program for high school and transfer students. This event allows students to build their own schedules for the day. They can choose from academic, admission and financial aid sessions; campus, housing and facility tours, including lab spaces, libraries and the Sun Devil Fitness Centers; Barrett, The Honors College information sessions and tours; and student engagement opportunities. The event boasts more than 300 activities and sessions, and it takes place across all four campuses located in the Phoenix metropolitan area and, for the first time, at ASU Colleges at Lake Havasu City.

High school students who are admitted to Downtown Phoenix, Polytechnic, Tempe or West campus also have the opportunity to spend the night in a residence hall on Sunday, Feb. 14.

“More to Explore secured my decision to attend ASU because of how welcome I felt,” Mallory said.

Her overnight visit at the Tempe campus was a highlight of the experience. “I stayed in McClintock Hall with an extremely nice young woman who answered all of my questions and introduced me to tons of new people.”

More to Explore is ASU’s single largest recruitment event throughout the year, hosting more than 1,500 students and their families over two days. The Downtown Phoenix campus will host events on Sunday, Feb. 14, while the other ASU locations will have their More to Explore activities on Presidents Day, Feb. 15.

Matt Ellis, executive director of Admission Services, hopes each student leaves the event confident in their decisions to become Sun Devils.

“Simply put, we intend to have students fall in love with ASU. It is Valentine’s Day weekend after all,” he said.

Egeland says her experience at More to Explore was an honest glimpse at her life as a freshman at the Cronkite School.

“My first semester, I took three major-specific classes and worked behind the scenes on Cronkite News, which is broadcast weeknights to thousands of homes across Arizona. Now, in my second semester, I am taking two major-specific classes, I work two jobs on the State Press [the ASU student-run newspaper], and I work twice a week on the news show.

“If you want a school that will help you do what you love from the day you move in, ASU is the place for you.”

Mallory, now a communications and English literature double major, encourages students to tour every residence hall available to their major and “don’t be afraid to ask any questions.”

“Even if you aren’t totally sure what you want to do, go to a couple sessions for anything that interests you,” she added.

To learn more or register for More to Explore, visit


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Food, fun and fitness as West campus kicks off Night of the Open Door

From fitness to food, fun for the family at West campus' Night of the Open Door.
February 7, 2016

The West campus kicked off a month of open-house events at Arizona State University's campuses during Night of the Open Door on Feb. 6. From fitness to food, there was fun for the whole family. The event featured events and interactive activities in mathematics and natural sciences, humanities, arts, social sciences, education and business. 

If you missed the fun, don't worry: There are four more free Night of the Open Door events this month:

  • Downtown Phoenix campus: 4-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12 
  • Polytechnic campus: 5-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19
  • Thunderbird campus: 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20
  • Tempe campus: 4-9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27

Read more about what's in store at each campus here and here.

Check ASU Now after each event for photo galleries, and follow along as our crew shows all the fun on Snapchat (search for username: ASUNow).


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ASU's Night of the Open Door has a little something for everyone.
This is your chance to see inside ASU's many wonders and discoveries.
February 4, 2016

Minecraft, spiders, Rubik's Cubes and more provide an engaging way to plug into the research and learning at ASU

Dragons and crime scenes and spiders, oh my!

Those are just a few of the sights attendees of Arizona State University's Night of the Open Door will be treated to Saturday, Feb. 6, when ASU's West campus welcomes the community into its folds for four fun-filled hours.

From 4 to 8 p.m., visitors will have a front-row ticket to the latest research and developments taking place on West campus in the form of interactive activities in the fields of mathematical and natural sciences, humanities, arts and cultural studies, and social and behavioral sciences.

The evening is the first of five Night of the Open Door events throughout February, as each campus rolls out the welcome mat with free activities and performances for all ages that showcase what ASU has to offer.

At this Saturday’s event, Michelle Gohr, shift supervisor at ASU West campus Fletcher Library, will be overseeing a host of activities, including “Minecraft Photo Booth,” in which participants can pose with Minecraft blocks, wearable costume pieces, diamond swords and life-sized Ender Dragons complete with glowing eyes.

Gohr loves getting the opportunity to interact with members of the community, especially young, impressionable ones who may not know what to expect from a university.

“Not only is it important to reach out to youth in the community, but it’s also critically important to break down stereotypes of university and college that may be cemented at an early age, which is why the library takes a lighter approach to providing fun and engaging activities,” she said. “Through providing fun activities that appeal to youth, together we can show them that education is fun and engaging.”

Forensics professor Kimberly Kobojek echoed Gohr’s sentiment, saying, “Universities are not ‘scary’ places filled with stuffy people. We’re doing a lot of interesting and impactful research, and we’d like to share what we’re doing since it will have some type of positive impact on our community. ASU West has much to offer the youth in our community in the form of summer camps and outreach events like Open Door; I think the community should take advantage of what ASU West is offering!”

Kobojek will be overseeing “Forensic Science Free-for-all!” in the second floor breezeway of the CLCC building, where participants will have the chance to solve the mystery of Sparky’s missing pitchfork, complete with a mock crime scene and evidence.

Up on CLCC’s third-floor breezeway, associate professor Chad Johnson will be safely introducing guests to live specimens of male and female black widow spiders.

“Members of our team will tell them about the spiders’ general life history — what they eat, where they live, how they make their living,” said Johnson.

The team will also be sharing their research with the community, which looks at why black widows are so successful at colonizing human habitats, as well as how we might go about reducing the problem black widows present in urban areas.

“I think this is an exciting opportunity for the public, and young burgeoning scientists in particular, to get a taste of the life of a scientist,” he said.

Other exciting activities include “Make Your Own Comic Book,” a larger-than-life version of the popular digital game “Angry Birds” and the ever-popular “Arizona Rubik’s Cube Competition.”

“We will have over 500 kids all solving Rubik’s Cubes; how could I not look forward to this event?” said Kimberly Landsdowne, executive director of the Herberger Young Scholars Academy who is overseeing the competition.

“It’s fun and kind of nerdy. Which makes it even more fun!”

More apt words could not be found for ASU Night of the Open Door.


Here’s a glimpse of the lineups at ASU’s other campuses throughout the month.

Downtown Phoenix campus, 4-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12

Night of the Open Door at Downtown Phoenix offers fun and interactive activities, exhibits, inspiring innovations and tours of the urban campus that changed downtown Phoenix’s landscape and vibrancy. ASU’s newest campus will offer a first-time peek at the $129 million Arizona Center for Law, home to ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Take a ground-floor tour and view vibrant renderings of the six-story building, which will open in the summer of 2016.

Inspired by the popular TED Talks, the Public Service Impact Talks highlight faculty who are champions of change. The College of Nursing and Health Innovation will showcase its Community Health Center and Theranos lab as well as offer up health, nutrition and wellness experts. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Cronkite School and Arizona PBS during an interactive walking tour of Cronkite’s professional programs, labs, bureaus and broadcast studios. CSI Phoenix offers attendees to investigate real cadavers, plastinates and organs.

Polytechnic campus, 5-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19

If Night of the Open Door at ASU’s Polytechnic campus has themes, they are “Become” and “Build.” With more than 30 activities and experiences for all ages, get to experience the fun behind science and technology. Get your high-speed portrait taken and see thermal imaging in “See Your World in a New Way.” At the Career Photo Booth, take a picture of the future you with props from your future career. Undecided on a career? “My Next Move” will walk you through activities to introduce you to possible future careers.

Witness students practicing on the air-traffic control and flight simulators and tour the garage space where student engineers are converting a Chevy Camaro into a high-performance hybrid. At “STEAM Machine” you’ll learn how to make a machine out of PVC pipe, duct tape, mousetraps and other stuff. Get to visit Egypt or play in the Super Bowl in “The Magic of Green Screen Technology.” Whether it’s pickle ball, noodle soccer, beep ball or giant Jenga, there are games everywhere. There’s cotton candy and ice cream at residence hall tours, barbecue sandwiches at the Sun Devil Dining Tent, or a root beer taste test at the Agribusiness Center.

Thunderbird campus, 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20

The Thunderbird School of Global Management started its life as an Army base during World War II and signs of that past are still on the Glendale campus. One of the original hangars has been repurposed into an administrative building and the old control tower is part of the student center. During Night of the Open Door the school’s archivist will have a booth showcasing the past, and the movie “Thunder Birds: Soldiers of the Air,” released in 1942 and shot at Thunderbird Field, will be screened.

Other activities will reflect the international nature of the school, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this spring: lessons in Chinese calligraphy, cooking demonstrations and a rugby clinic. Kid-friendly activities include flag making, puppetry, henna tattoos and rock climbing.

In 2005, the school launched Thunderbird for Good, a program that provides business training to non-traditional students to improve their communities. Its signature program is Project Artemis, which brings women business owners from Afghanistan to campus for a two-week boot camp. The Night of the Open Door will feature a marketplace of their craft items. Start at the “passport” booth before beginning your tour of activities.

Tempe campus, 4-9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27

The final evening of the Night of the Open Door events offers a smorgasbord of activities.

Love steampunk books (or just the costumes)? Head to the Steampunk Mini Con in the basement of the Durham Language and Literature Building for a little cosplay, a costume contest and book signing by Suzanne Lazear, author of the Aether Chronicles.

If Indiana Jones is more your style, the Institute of Human Origins opens its doors for visitors to see and touch skulls and bones (casts) from different phases of human evolution and learn about how humans developed over "deep time" — including the "founding fossil" Lucy, the 3.2 million-year-old Australopithecus afarenesis discovered in Ethiopia by Don Johanson in 1974.

There are so many fun activities, you might not have time for them all. Bring your guitar to two hands-on workshops teaching traditional Spanish styles, Rumba and Bolero. Test your mettle at the Army ROTC’s 100-foot long blowup obstacle course on the Hayden Lawn. Learn about the math behind blackjack and roulette in the Game of Chances room (ages 16 and up).

Help paint a mural at the School of Social Transformation. Get in the groove watching the first official K-Pop (Korean Pop) dance club at ASU perform, including a wide variety of exciting audiovisual elements. Discuss the creation and demise of Scrappy-Doo with ASU’s Scooby-Doo expert. Learn a bit of belly dancing, or how to write your name in the calligraphies of the world including Chinese, Hebrew and Russian.

Learn how to identify animal tracks and view nocturnal animals. View stars through telescopes, tour high-tech labs, compete in an audio scavenger hunt, build a scribble-bot, check out engineering’s “Leaning Tower of Legos,” extract the DNA from a banana, get a henna tattoo and more.


To help plan your adventure in advance, download the Night of the Open Door App or follow on Twitter using the hashtag #ASUopendoor. And if you pre-register, you could also win a free prize (one per campus). Check out the full list of events for each campus and be sure visit the Night of the Open Door welcome tents for your free glow stick, available in limited quantities.

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February 3, 2016

7 professors join rank of Regents' Professors

There are many bright stars in Arizona State University's universe, and a handful of the brightest will be honored Thursday, Feb. 4, at the 2016 Regents' Professors Induction Ceremony in Tempe.

Regents’ Professor is the highest faculty honor and goes to full professors from one of the three Arizona public universities whose exceptional achievements have brought them national or international distinction. With the latest additions, ASU has a total of 83 Regents’ Professors.

The seven newest will be recognized at a ceremony at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Evelyn Smith Music Theater on the Tempe campus. Here is a glimpse into their fields, passions and expertise.


Stephen Bokenkamp 

Stephen R. Bokenkamp, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Stephen Bokenkamp was a pacifist during the height of the Vietnam War, so he lobbied with recruiters to serve in a capacity that didn't involve combat. The result made him a spy and set him on a path to become an expert of Chinese culture.

Bokenkamp said he has enjoyed his eight years at ASU, which have challenged him intellectually and professionally. He recently won a Guggenheim award for translation work on his new book, “Zhen’gao” or “Declarations of the Perfected,” a sixth-century Chinese book of celestially revealed material.

“When I came to this university, President Crow said I’d be doing things I’d never done before, and he was right,” Bokenkamp said. “This has been a stimulating place to be.”


portrait of ASU professor Janet Franklin

Janet Franklin, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Janet Franklin, a professor in the ASU School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, fuses disciplines of geography and biology by studying the climate and topographical changes.

She said the honor of being named Regents' Professor has left her “flattered, honored, surprised and humbled.”

“This has been a big year,” Franklin said. “I’m the kind of scientist who has been quietly doing my work for three decades. I never expected this kind of recognition. It feels pretty nice.”


A woman with long hair poses for a portrait.

Petra Fromme, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Petra Fromme, a world expert on proteins, has been a pioneer in using new technology to research their molecular structure. As director of the new Center for Applied Structural Discovery at the Biodesign Institute, she leads 12 faculty and their students from different disciplines studying the structure and dynamics of proteins, potentially leading to improved manmade technologies. 

She feels her appointment as Regents’ Professor will boost the center’s profile.

“I think it will increase the visibility of the center and attract students who would otherwise do their PhD at Harvard or Yale,” she said.


Geotechnical engineer Edward Kavazanjian

Edward Kavazanjian Jr., Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

Engineering professor Edward Kavazanjian has excelled as a teacher, researcher and leader among professional colleagues — and he’s still striving to make major contributions to his field.

In nominating Kavazanjian for the designation, fellow ASU engineering Regents’ Professor Bruce Rittmann noted Kavanzanjian’s ability to “engage, challenge and excite graduate and undergraduate students, while providing national and international leadership at the forefront of geotechnical engineering.”

“Bringing new insights to students and seeing how that opens up their perspective on the important work they could do as engineers is why I love teaching,” Kavazanjian said. “Nothing has been as personally rewarding as seeing some of my former students succeed professionally and become my professional colleagues and closest friends.”


portrait of Flavio Marsiglia

Flavio F. Marsiglia, College of Public Service and Community Solutions

Flavio Marsiglia's work on diversity, substance use and youth development is regarded to be among the best and most influential in the field, and it's why he was named as a Regents' Professor.

“Flavio is doing research that is exceptional in every sense,” said Jonathan Koppell, dean of the College of Public Service and Community Solutions. “He is an internationally recognized expert on health disparities and minority health research who has not only brought innovative ideas to the forefront, he has brought communities together to enact solutions.”

“Most kids do not use alcohol or other drugs, and we as a society tend to focus on the ones who do,” Marsiglia said. “We do, however, need to educate and equip all youth with tools for prevention. Above all else, I want to be an advocate for prevention.”


Robert Page

Robert Page, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Robert Page, an expert in honeybee genetics, was the founding director of the School of Life Sciences and is the former provost. Page calls the Regents' Professor honor “icing on the cake” and is proud of the recognition of his research.

Through the decades of administration, Page has maintained his work with the honeybees. In 2013, he released the book “The Spirit of the Hive: The Mechanisms of Social Evolution,” summarizing his lifetime of research.

“I teach the students fundamental biology and behavior of bees and how we take that knowledge and change their behavior to benefit us, so we can profit from their honey and the pollination services they provide," Page said.

“I’ve turned a lot of kids on to bees.”


BL Turner II

B.L. Turner II, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

It doesn’t take long to figure out why B.L. Turner II is a pioneer in the field of sustainability science or why ASU has recently named him a Regents’ Professor. His work has changed the way communities and countries are thinking about the environment and climate change.

Turner was instrumental in founding ASU’s interdisciplinary School of Sustainability, was one of the first researchers to use data to better understand how humans affect the landscape and the implications for the environment.

"I’m very satisfied with what I do and I love what I do. So if you can do what you love doing, people will recognize that what you did is very valuable to you," Turner said. "I enjoy and deeply appreciate the recognition comes along with being a Regents’ Professor."

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Putting the squeeze on sustainability

ASU harvest helps produce orange juice for campus dining locations.
Another volunteer opportunity: Fall harvest of campus-grown dates.
ASU boasts the largest date palm collection of any public garden in the U.S.
February 1, 2016

Sour orange harvest offers volunteer opportunity; oranges processed at local facility for use in campus dining locations

Ashley Hutchinson knows the orange juice served in Arizona State University dining halls came from fruit hand-picked off Tempe campus trees. The only thing she does not know is whether the juice she drinks came from the same oranges she helped pick.

For the past three years, Hutchinson — a family and human development senior — has participated in the Seville sour orange campus harvest. The harvest is a partnership between ASU Grounds Services, Aramark and Sun Orchard, a Tempe-based processing facility operated by ASU alumna Lindsay Fujita.

More than 100 volunteers, including ASU students, faculty, staff and alumni, converge each February to collect oranges from 140 trees on the Tempe campus. This year’s harvest is Feb. 5–7.

“Giving back to ASU and the local community has been a huge part of my Sun Devil story because I recognize that giving back and sustainability go hand in hand,” said Hutchinson, a recipient of the Medallion Scholarship that emphasizes community service and academic achievement. “Both require putting more back into the world around us than we take.”

The campus harvest for Seville sour oranges started in 2008. Before then, ASU sent the oranges to Canada, where they were processed into marmalade. When the U.S. marmalade industry waned, the oranges remained on campus and Aramark began juicing them in-house.

Sun Orchard teamed up with the university in 2014 to help wash, sort and squeeze the oranges into a usable product. The 100 percent pure juice is shipped back to campus in gallon containers for Aramark to use in its kitchens. Sun Orchard produces an estimated 380 gallons of sour orange juice from more than five tons of oranges.

“We often forget that sour oranges are a cooking fruit and can be used in a variety of foods,” said Deborah Thirkill, ASU Grounds Services program coordinator and overseer of the sour orange harvest. “Having the campus harvest program allows us to offer a real farm-to-table experience while inviting the ASU community to be a part of that process.”

In addition to dressings and marinades, the sour orange juice can be used in sweet and savory dishes such as orange-glazed pork loin, orange candied yams, orange chocolate bark and whoopie pies.

The Seville sour orange campus harvest also earned the 2015 President’s Award for Sustainability, which recognizes outstanding university organizations that develop sustainable principles, services and programs to support ASU’s core missions.

The ASU community may more commonly encounter the sour orange juice as DevilAde. ASU’s unique orange juice blend is available in all ASU residential dining halls. DevilAde also is sold at the e2 Cafe on the Tempe campus, the ASU Farmers Market and through Decidedly Green, ASU Catering’s sustainable menu. 

“We have had excellent attendance from our alumni and their families at the sour orange harvest for years,” said Tonya Gray, ASU Alumni program coordinator. “This event is an excellent opportunity for our alumni to come together to help support their alma mater, interact with current students and further ASU's sustainability initiatives.”

Volunteers interested in joining this year’s sour orange campus harvest may sign up before Feb. 4 for two-hour shifts.

If the spring harvest is not an option, campus dates are harvested each fall. ASU boasts the largest date palm collection of any public garden in the country with more than 40 date palm varieties including Medjool, Black Sphinx and Zahid. Volunteers handpick and package the dates during September and October. The dates are sold during the holiday season in campus bookstores.

For more information, or to volunteer for the date or orange harvests, contact Deborah Thirkill at 480-268-4165. Follow the ASU Arboretum on Facebook and Twitter


Top photo: Volunteers participate in the Seville sour orange campus harvest as part of Devils in Disguise.

Editor assistant , Business and Finance


ASU News

ASU to join consortium aimed at increasing number, diversity of STEM students

Selection paves way for unique research, development opportunities

January 26, 2016

Arizona State University has been chosen as a Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) site joining a multi-university consortium dedicated to increasing the number and diversity of college graduates in STEM fields while also improving graduation rates.

Made possible by a grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, the VIP program takes a unique approach to involving students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) studies by teaming undergraduates with seasoned faculty researchers engaged in long-term projects.  This involvement, which extends over multiple semesters and provides academic credit, is intended to motivate the students to pursue STEM-based career fields. ASU’s participation in this program adds a new approach to the university’s portfolio of expanding research opportunities for undergraduate students, part of ASU’s continual innovation in delivering higher education and providing high-quality programs. Download Full Image

“This VIP award provides the kick-start for an initiative that we hope will be self-sustaining and integrated into many STEM majors at ASU,” says professor Carole Greenes, director of ASU’s PRIME Center.  “Such academic-research integration provides opportunities for undergraduate students to engage in ongoing research and development in the working labs and centers of scientists and engineers to solve real-world problems. We hope this engagement excites students about graduate study and career opportunities in their chosen fields.”

Originally established at Georgia Tech more than a decade ago, the VIP Consortium has since grown to 20 universities that now include ASU.  The ASU VIP program will be directed by Carole Greenes, ASU professor of mathematics and director of the Practice, Research, and Innovation in Mathematics Education (PRIME) Center, and co-directed by Robert Greenes, ASU professor of biomedical informatics and Carole's husband, and it will be based at ASU’s PRIME Center in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The center seeks to expand the talents and interests of K-20 students in STEM and has formed alliances with colleges, schools and research centers throughout ASU. 

“The Helmsley Charitable Trust is thrilled to support the VIP Consortium’s transformative approach to active learning,” said Ryan Kelsey, program officer at the trust. “It is very compelling to see such a range of engineering schools across the country that are ready to adopt large-scale, effective practices that we expect will retain more students, particular more women and students of color.” 

Key benefits of the VIP Consortium include:

• Collaborative team-based research as an expanded education experience: As educational material is increasingly available online, the hands-on research experience of VIP provides a dimension to undergraduate education that is an ever-growing important part of the in-person learning environment that a university such as ASU can offer.

• Long-term research and development experiences: VIP selection extends the academic design, development and research experience for undergraduate students beyond a single semester, with opportunities to participate for up to three years.  VIP provides the time and context to learn and practice professional skills, to make substantial contributions, and to experience different roles in large multidisciplinary design/discovery/research teams.

• Academic credits: Undergraduate VIP students earn academic credit every year, beginning as sophomores, while faculty and graduate students benefit from the contributions of their team members.

• Leadership and mentoring: The long-term nature of VIP creates a village environment with faculty and graduate students leading teams, experienced undergraduates mentoring new members, and students moving into leadership roles as others graduate.

• Enhanced faculty research programs: VIP attracts students from many disciplines and enables their participation in large-scale design/discovery/research projects, strengthening and expanding faculty research portfolios.

The Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Education Program aims to advance American economic competitiveness as well as individual social mobility. At the post-secondary level, it focuses on increasing the number and diversity of college graduates in STEM fields by improving persistence to graduation.

Written by Judy Keane

ASU News

ASU Night of the Open Door: Experience innovation at your fingertips

Five campuses roll out the welcome mat for the public with free activities and performances for all ages

January 19, 2016

Ever wonder what is happening in the labs and classrooms of the No. 1 innovative university in the country?  ASU’s Night of the Open Door festival is your chance to discover the fascinating research springing up in your own backyard.

Night of the Open Door kicks off on the West campus on Feb. 6 and continues throughout the month with five events on ASU campuses providing free activities and performances with more to explore for all ages. Young scholars examine research artifact at the Biodesign Institute at ASU at Night of the Open Door Imagination takes flight with more than 300 activities and performances at ASU Night of the Open Door event. On West, Downtown Phoenix, Polytechnic, Thunderbird and Tempe campuses in February, Night of the Open Door offers a hands-on, interactive exploration of innovation and discovery in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and math). Download Full Image

West campus activities include a forensics free-for-all and mock crime scene and a Minecraft photo booth with clothes and tools to get a picture-perfect look. You can make your own comic book or board game at the Fletcher Library or get in the Sun Devil spirit with face painting. Or you can face off with black widow spiders and compete with the U.S. Army ROTC Sun Devil Battalion. Do you have what it takes?

One of the most popular signature events of the AZSciTech Festival, Night of the Open Door enables visitors to explore five ASU campuses in February, with more than 300 multicultural performances and hands-on activities celebrating the sciences, culture, engineering, humanities, math, language and the arts. 


Night of the Open Door events:

• West campus: 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6 
• Downtown Phoenix campus: 4-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12 
• Polytechnic campus: 5-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19
• Thunderbird campus: 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20
• Tempe campus: 4-9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27

To help plan your adventure in advance, download our Night of the Open Door App or follow us on Twitter using the hashtag #ASUopendoor. And if you pre-register, you could also win a free prize.*

The Thunderbird campus is the newest addition to ASU’s Night of the Open Door. Cultural offerings include an authentic Afghan Marketplace (cash or credit only) and celebration of the Chinese Spring Festival. There is also a rugby clinic, Chartwells cooking lessons and free online business training by Thunderbird for Good. You can also sing along, learn a dance and walk in the shoes and local costumes of peoples of the Middle East and North Africa or see if you are faster than Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt.

“You can engineer solar cells, take a rumba Spanish guitar workshop or join in the Biodesign Institute Fun Zone in Tempe,” said Darci Nagy, special events manager for ASU. “Or you could celebrate ASU’s #Sustival, attend health talks, tour PBS or record your own broadcast downtown. K-12 fun also takes off with activities in aviation, a Camaro showcase and car construction, games and student films on the ASU Polytechnic campus.”

STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) is the basis for so many things around us that we take for granted — as reflected in the largest event on the Tempe campus. Activities on Feb. 27 are hosted by more than 1,000 students, staff and faculty members. There are 20-plus mini language and dance lessons, medieval knights, science and engineering activities. Video and math games join music, theater and art, Phoenix Zoo animals, space microbes, slam poetry, extreme weather, glassblowers, robots and drones, volcanoes and meteorites.

Picnic on the lawn and create your own poem with #CreativeWrite. Or take a blues workshop and then tour the Biodesign Institute, the ASU Supercomputer and take in a 3-D astronomy show at the Marston Exploration Theater. There is something for all ages.

“There is nothing like seeing a child, student or lifelong learner’s imagination ignited, whether it’s by exoplanets, the tiniest virus, health efforts in Africa, forensics, dance or a faculty superstar,” said Mark Searle, ASU executive vice president and university provost. “ASU’s Night of the Open Door allows people of all ages to discover how our public universities can translate their dreams to reality.”

One prime benefit to visitors is the ability to explore cutting-edge labs and classrooms on all five campuses. Attendees can meet artists, filmmakers, scientists, engineers, linguists, health professionals, explorers and student teachers or take tours of groundbreaking research facilities.

Visitors can also connect with students leading some of ASU’s clubs and learning groups, such as the AstroDevils, Origins Project Club, Sun Devil Robotics Club, Air Devils quadcopter squad, ASU GeoClub, ASU Speech and Debate Team, Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies (QESST) Scholars, Society of Physics Students, Amateur Radio Society@ASU, Concrete Canoe Club and more.

The key sponsor this year for events is ASU’s Summer Sessions. Check out the full list of events for each campus and be sure visit the Night of the Open Door welcome tents for your free glow stick.**

*One free prize per campus.
**Glow sticks are available in limited quantities and are distributed on first-come, first-served basis.

Margaret Coulombe

Director, Executive Communications, Office of the University Provost


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From mud fun to music, spring's key dates at ASU

These are the dates you're going want to know at ASU this spring.
From a Hunter Hayes concert to Broadway's "Annie," a list of key dates at ASU.
January 15, 2016

There are a little more than 100 days in the spring semester. Each of these days are important. But some of the dates between the start of classes on Jan. 11 and the commencement ceremonies on May 9 are more interesting or unique than the others. Here's a collection of some of these glamour dates. Enjoy.



Kids marching.

MLK day performance at West Campus — Jan. 20

A collection of Valley sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders will gather to emulate the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom — you know, the march that included Martin Luther King Jr.'s famed "I Have a Dream" speech. ASU faculty member Charles St. Clair will handle the speech. The event is free and begins at 11 a.m.



Women playing basketball.

Women's basketball team hosts University of Arizona — Jan. 22

A scheduling fluke meant our men's basketball team hosted the Wildcats over holiday break. Boo. So get your rivalry action here with the women's hoops squad, which is currently the 10th-ranked team in nation. That has to bode well for this matchup, which starts at 7 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena.



People in a classroom.

ASU Startup Summitt — Jan. 30

Entrepreneurs, here's an opportunity to turn your idea into reality. The summit provides workshops and networking opportunities for startups or other ventures built on creative dreams.

The journey begins at 11 a.m. in the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus. Register here.



People in graduation attire.

Deadline to apply for graduation — Feb. 15

It's not reserving your gown, but you need to fill out the appropriate paperwork to wear your gown. Then you can transition to the world and show everyone how well ASU prepared you to succeed.



A fun poster.

Night of the Open Door

Here's your chance to get a glimpse of some of those cool things happening at ASU that you hear about every time we tout our greatness. Basically a series of open-house events at each of ASU's campuses, the Night of the Open Door invites students and the public into corners of ASU creating art, exploring science or striving for innovation. You can participate in a 12-bar blues workshop or learn to program arduinos or create your own Rubik's Cube. These nights are more than just showing off ASU's achievements — they're opportunities to have some enlightenment mixed into your fun Friday or Saturday nights. Here's a list of the dates for each campus.

West: 4-8 p.m. Feb. 6
Downtown: 4-8 p.m. Feb. 12
Polytechnic: 5-9 Feb. 19
Thunderbird: 4-8 p.m. Feb. 20
Tempe: 4-9 p.m. Feb. 27

Visit the Night of the Open Door website for more information.



Hunter Hayes

Devilpalooza featuring Hunter Hayes — Feb. 26

Hunter Hayes has been Nashville's Wunderkind for what feels like 10 years. That he's only 24 says everything you need to know about his ability to dazzle on the guitar or write country-pop songs that compel people to turn up the volume. He'll be bringing his charismatic stage presence to ASU for this 9 p.m. concert event that's free for students, faculty and staff. Register here.



People in a crime scene lab.

Forensics Day at West Campus — March 3

We've all watched enough TV cop procedurals to know that forensics are fascinating. Take that interest to the West Campus' forensics program and discover how ASU students are trained to do what mesmerizes us on TV.



Men playing basketball.

ASU men's basketball team hosts California and ESPN2 — March 5

It's always a little more interesting when ESPN comes to campus. The sports network returns to broadcast this 6 p.m. game at Wells Fargo Arena that we hope will have postseason implications for these Pac-12 teams.



People on a college campus.

Spring break — March 6-13

Last one out turn the lights off, right?



ASU baseball.

ASU baseball plays Meiji University — March 15

For all the talk about baseball being "America's pastime," this game against the Tokyo university feels like a fine example of global synergy. The first pitch flies at 6:30 p.m. at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.



Muddy volleyball.

Oozeball — April 2

Not familiar with oozeball? It's essentially volleyball in a mud pit. More importantly, the annual event is popular at ASU. You'll want to see it happen, or get in on the action.



Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith at ASU — April 12

Literature enthusiasts have to be excited about this. Smith is one of contemporary literature's bright lights, a voice that can be poignant and humorous with topics like immigration — which was at the heart of her award-winning first novel "White Teeth." Her talk starts at 7 p.m. in the Tempe Center for the Arts. RSVP here.



An ASU class in progress.

Final exams — May 2-7

Is it too early to start studying?



"Annie" on Broadway.

"Annie" at ASU Gammage — May 4-8

There might not be a limit to how many times you can hear a pack of orphans sing "Hard Knock Life." With that in mind, listen to the song again during this touring Broadway production of that little, red-haired orphan. Get tickets here.



People graduating.

Commencement — May 9

As master learners, the educational journey doesn't end for ASU students once they toss their caps into the air. But the rite of passage does mark a new beginning, and the close of another school year.


Photos courtesy press materials and ASU Now.

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Reflecting on MLK's 1964 speech at ASU.
ASU celebrates MLK through speech remembrance, reenactment.
January 14, 2016

Civil-rights leader made speech at ASU in 1964, month before historic Civil Rights Act; listen to it here

Monday marks Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a time to reflect on the struggles for equality and freedom in America. It's also a day to recall our various connections to the holiday's namesake.

For Arizona State University, the major tie to King is a speech he delivered on campus June 3, 1964 — less than one month before the landmark Civil Rights Act was signed. 

Titled “Religious Witness for Human Dignity” (listen to the speech here), King delivered the address to an audience of 8,000 people at ASU’s Goodwin Stadium. In it King stumps for civil-rights legislation and reminds people that racism doesn't just exist in the South; it spreads everywhere.

That engagement is one of King's lesser-documented public appearances. And until a recording of the event was discovered in 2013 most people had no idea it ever happened. In 2014, ASU Archivist Rob Spindler told ASU Now, "This discovery is highly significant for Arizona and the nation. The major online Martin Luther King archives at the King Center and Stanford University don't mention this address, nor do they mention that King ever gave orations in Arizona.

The recording was among a box of reel-to-reel tapes donated to charity by late Phoenix businessman and civil-rights leader Lincoln Ragsdale, an ASU alum, and discovered by Phoenix resident Mary Scanlon while shopping at a Valley Goodwill store.

After the discovery, a committee of ASU archivists, historians and scholars worked to verify the recording’s authenticity. It's legit. And it's worth listening to for a perspective of history, and as a touchstone to one of America's most revered civil-rights leaders.

Man at a podium

Lincoln Ragsdale at the podium in Goodwin Stadium on the ASU campus in 1964. Martin Luther King Jr. sits behind him, to the right. Photos courtesy of ASU Libraries Arizona Collection


What we know now is that King (pictured at the top of this story with Ralph Abernathy to the left and ASU President G. Homer Durham to the right), was invited to Arizona by the Maricopa County chapter of the NAACP to deliver his speech at ASU’s Goodwin Stadium. Durham introduced King and praised him for putting the Sermon on the Mount into practice.

Durham, who came to ASU from Utah, was a well-known member of the LDS Church.

It's a worthy note because King's invitation to ASU was endorsed by a spectrum of faiths. A newspaper advertisement in the Arizona Republic in June 1964 invites “All Faiths” to “Join Together in a Religious Witness for Human Dignity in True American Tradition.” In addition to the NAACP, sponsors of the event included St. Agnes Parish, Central Methodist Church, Temple Beth Israel, Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, First Institutional Baptist Church and the Phoenix Council of Churches.

In an ASU Now story from January 2014, Keith MillerMiller is the author of two books about King, "Voice of Deliverance: The Language of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Its Sources" and "Martin Luther King’s Biblical Epic: His Great Final Speech.", an ASU professor of English and national authority on King’s speeches, explained why King's ASU speech was so notable.

“King gave it less than a month before the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law by President Johnson after its backers had defeated a long Senate filibuster,” Miller said. “Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, a powerful politician, was opposed to and subsequently voted against the legislation. ASU President Durham showed courage by welcoming King to ASU, despite the popularity of Goldwater, who received the GOP presidential nomination later that summer.”

Miller said Durham’s welcoming of King was also bold for another reason. The LDS Church did not fully recognize racial equality until 1978.

“Durham was a racial liberal who went out on a limb. He also hired African-American professors at ASU,” Miller said.

Others have said this speech, and Durham's willingness to bring King to ASU, is proof and a reminder that Arizona does have a history of supporting King and his mission of ensuring equality for all races. 

ASU's other notable tie to the holiday is its annual tribute to the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. That was the event that featured King's historic "I have a Dream" speech. Each year the West campus involves local sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students to reenact the march while ASU faculty member Charles St. Clair reenacts the speech. The event is free and begins at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20.

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Crow: Arizona should set goal for college degrees

ASU President Crow underscores value of a college degree.
Arizona legislators urged to issue a degree goal for the state.
January 12, 2016

ASU president emphasizes the growing importance of college degree at annual legislative breakfast

Arizona should move to a simpler funding model for higher education and set a goal for increasing the number of college graduates to help drive the state’s economy, according to Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow. 

“It is our role, our job, our function to figure out how to take that one variable, education attainment, and drive it forward,” Crow told a crowd of legislators and ASU advocates at the KAET studio on the Downtown Phoenix campus on Tuesday.

Crow (pictured above) says that ASU is geared up to continue producing some of those graduates, having already raised the quality of programs and number of degrees over the past decade through innovation, a topic he is scheduled to address at a town hall tonight.

The audience at the Sun Devil Advocate Legislative Network Breakfast included many members of the state Legislature, who began their session this week, and Crow told them that there have always been arguments that education is too expensive or unnecessary. It is college education, though, that has driven the social and economic transformations of the nation over the past century, he said. The technology and capabilities that the public takes for granted and the brainpower that made it all possible all are the product of college education, Crow said. The future advances produced by educational attainment will drive the next transformations.

“Can you imagine the arguments they had in 1905 when some fool walked up on stage and said, ‘I have to get all these farmers high school diplomas’?” he said.

“I can guarantee that reductions in educational attainment, with fewer people going to college, fewer people learning to become master learners, as a percentage of the population, won’t produce good outcomes.”

ASU has increased the number of people earning degrees from more than 14,000 in 2007 to roughly 20,000 last year.

He said that ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering have increased the number of graduates by two and a half times, as well as boosted the freshmen retention rate from 68 percent to more than 90 percent.

“We’ve done all that while investments from our principal investor, the state, have gone down,” Crow said.


Men talking at an event.

State Sen. John Kavanagh (left) talks with ASU President Michael Crow before the Sun Devil Advocates Network Breakfast in the KAET studio Tuesday. President Crow and College Success Arizona head Rich Nickel laid out the case for increased funding for ASU to members of the state Legislature. Photos by Charlie Leight/ASU Now


Crow implored the legislators to consider the Arizona Board of Regents’ proposed funding model, which asks the state to fund half the cost of educating in-state students. Currently, state funding covers about a third of that costAccording to statistics supplied by the Arizona Board of Regents, which governs the three state universities, the annual resident per-student cost is about $15,550, an average of the three state universities. That number includes academic, support and maintenance programs, but not research or capital expenditures. In 2016, the state will fund about $5,302 per resident student. Tuition and fees cover about $6,554. That means the three state universities must cover the remaining $3,694, which comes from sources including the increased tuition paid by out-of-state and international students. The Arizona Board of Regents is proposing that the state eventually increase its investment to $7,775 per in-state student..

In his “state of the state” speech Monday, Gov. Doug Ducey said he valued the Arizona’s three public universities but gave no funding details. The current budget cut $99 million in university funding. Ducey will release his 2017 budget proposal Friday.

Crow said the state’s universities have long wanted a performance-based funding model that would reward them for success in hitting specific metrics.

Currently, Arizona is one of 19 states that have no goal for educational attainment, which would include professional certificates and two-year associate’s degrees as well as bachelor's degrees. For example, Colorado’s goal is to increase the number of adults ages 25 to 34 in the state holding postsecondary degrees or certificates to 66 percent by 2025.

“Setting a goal would provide a beacon of light for everyone to move toward, and it doesn’t cost a dollar,” said Rich NickelRich NickelRich Nickel is president and CEO of College Success Arizona, a non-profit group that provides scholarships and mentoring and seeks to raise awareness of the importance of college completion., president and CEO of College Success Arizona, who also spoke at the event.

“If you’re looking at regional competition and other states around us who are doing well economically and have said that a certain percentage of their population needs to have degrees to fill jobs, maybe it’s something we should consider also,” Nickel said.

His organization doesn’t advocate for a specific goal.

“The goal needs to be thoughtfully considered, but I would not expect Arizona to come in at less than 50 percent,” he said.

Currently about 37 to 40 percent of Arizonans have a degree or certificate, Nickel said, adding that about 68 percent of jobs in Arizona will require post-secondary training by 2020.

State Sen. John Kavanagh, a Republican who represents Fountain Hills, said that setting a goal can be a roadmap to the future.

“If they’re measurable, as Dr. Crow wants them to be, then they also let those who invested, the taxpayers and the students, know there will be accountability.” 

Mary Beth Faller

reporter , ASU Now

O: 480-727-4503/M: 480-748-9679