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ASU in top 1 percent of world’s prestigious universities, says Times Higher Education

April 12, 2018

University in upper crust of world’s 20,000 universities in teaching, research, knowledge transfer, international outlook

Arizona State University is in the top 1 percent of the world’s most prestigious universities, according to 2018 rankings announced by Times Higher Education.

Times Higher Education world university rankings represent the only global performance tables that measure research-intensive universities across core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

The rankings include the world’s top 1,000 universities (representing no more than 5 percent of the 20,000 higher education institutions around the globe) and are based on responses from 20,000 senior scholars from more than 140 countries. In total, 77 countries are featured in THE’s table of the top 1,000 universities.

“ASU is proud to be a globally engaged, 21st-century knowledge enterprise that delivers high-quality education and leading-edge research opportunities to learners and partners around the world,” ASU President Michael M. Crow said. “As a community of innovators, we’ve demonstrated that the simultaneous achievement of comprehensive excellence, broad access and public service at scale is possible, and we’re excited to continue building on that trajectory going forward.”

Times Higher Education notes, “the prestigious group (of top universities) is drawn from THE’s comprehensive and growing database, which contains hundreds of thousands of data points on more than 1,500 leading global research universities, selected for analysis on the strength of their record in international research and on their global academic reputation.”

The U.S. topped the list of countries represented in the top 200 world universities, counting 62 institutions, including ASU, among such prestigious international entries as Stanford, MIT, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Johns Hopkins, UC Berkeley and others.

Among the trends cited by Times Higher Education in its 2018 rankings is the positive impact growing research performance has on reputation. In 2017, ASU was recognized by National Science Foundation Higher Education Research and Development (NSF/HERD) as one of the fastest-growing research enterprises in the United States, placing in the top 10 in overall research expenditures among institutions without a medical school; Health and Human Service funding — including NIH funding — among institutions without a medical school; and NASA funding.

“ASU’s place among the top 1 percent of worldwide higher education institutions is a testament to the innovative spirit, constant pursuit for excellence and a growing commitment to societal impact through our research and education endeavors,” said Sethuraman Panchanathan, executive vice president of Knowledge Enterprise Development and chief research and innovation officer at ASU. “ASU continues to pioneer world-class basic and solutions-oriented research that addresses the needs of communities both locally and globally.”

Top photo by Andy DeLisle/ASU Now

Steve Des Georges

director strategic marketing and communication , Enterprise Marketing Hub


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Thunderbird alumni gather to say goodbye to their iconic campus

Nostalgic alumni celebrate Thunderbird's campus before it moves to Phoenix.
April 8, 2018

Graduates reminisce in Glendale before their school moves to ASU's downtown Phoenix campus

Hundreds of alumni gathered at the Thunderbird School of Global Management over the weekend to say goodbye to their iconic campus before Thunderbird moves to downtown Phoenix over the summer.

The “campus tribute” celebration marked the school’s past, with flyovers from World War II-era planes on Saturday, and looked ahead to its future, with a Sunday morning visit to the new site in Phoenix. In between was a lot of reminiscing by nostalgic graduates at the iconic Glendale campus.

“I came because it was the last chance to see the campus,” said Alan Horne, from the class of 1993. He learned Japanese at Thunderbird and after graduating, he worked in Japan for 10 years.

“I had read about Thunderbird before I came here and it was like they were writing about me. I knew I had to be a student here. And when I got here, sure enough, it was everything it was advertised to be,” said Horne, who now lives in Florida.

Alumni spent Saturday taking class photos and wandering around the campus. Graduates visited the library, with its artwork donated from around the world, and the Tower Building, home of the original flight tower and the iconic Pub, the social center of the school.

Alumni who gathered at the Thunderbird School of Global Management campus tribute event this weekend learned that the new site in downtown Phoenix will include many of the iconic parts of their campus, including artwork and the Pub. Photo by Marcus Chormicle/ASU Now

Allen Morrison, CEO and director-general of Thunderbird, told the alumni that the new site will include that legacy.

“We’re committed to retaining the heritage icons of this campus and capturing the history of Thunderbird as we move downtown,” he said.

Saturday’s festivities kicked off with a flyover, evoking the original use of the Glendale campus, which was started as a World War II air field. More than 10,000 pilots from 30 countries trained at Thunderbird Field before going off to fight in World War II.

After the war, Gen. Barton Kyle Yount, the retired commander of the Army Air Forces, bought the vacant air base for a dollar and started a school to train businessmen to work overseas. The American Institute for Foreign Trade opened in 1946. Thunderbird grew from a small trade school to a bustling center of graduate education. By 1990, about 1,500 students were enrolled from all over the world.

But by the late 1990s, people could earn degrees online and companies didn’t have to send employees abroad to do international business. Enrollment declined, leading to financial problems. In 2014, Thunderbird was bought by ASU, which stabilized Thunderbird's finances.

Today, Thunderbird has more than 44,000 alumni, with active chapters in more than 140 countries. The undergraduate program, which began in 2015, will remain at ASU’s West campus.

Morrison said that he’s spent the past three years meeting with alumni around the world.

“We have moved from a feeling, I would say, of discouragement to one of excitement and engagement,” he said.

Rennie Sloan, of the class of 1993, came to the campus tribute from Atlanta, where she works as an assistant communications director at the Carter Center.

“I’ve met some wonderful young undergraduates who are very impressive and seem committed to carry on the T-bird vision and uniqueness,” she said.

Sanjeev Khagram, who will become Thunderbird’s new dean and director-general on July 1, addressed alumni and students at ASU's downtown Phoenix campus on Sunday morning. “I know this weekend has been a powerful and emotional time for all of our alumni, students and faculty,” he said. Photo by Summer Sorg/ASU Now

“It’s so good to meet all the alumni and new people here. We all share a common bond and this has reinforced our connection to the school.”

The alumni network is one of the strengths of Thunderbird. Sloan came to the event with Kara Connell, a 2013 graduate who is a global senior marketing leader for GE. They met through the Atlanta alumni chapter.

“I moved a bunch for work because I was part of a post-MBA leadership program,” said Connell, who organized a “speed-networking” event for current students and alumni on Friday.

“Every time I moved, the alumni in each of those cities were one of the primary sources of how I made friends,” she said.

One quality that Thunderbirds share is their affinity for international travel, said Connell, who holds passports from Canada, the United States and England.

“I’ve been to 21 countries, I lived abroad in Colombia and Peru. I speak Spanish,” she said.

“We don’t have the sports teams to talk about, like ASU, but we do have that love of travel.”

Alex Sielaff, from the class of 1989, said she’ll always remember her time at Thunderbird as intense.

“People from all over the world come together with something indescribable, yet commonly valued. It’s a feeling I have not replicated unless I get together with other alums around the world.

“We’re a global club and we can always pick up where we left off.”

Sielaff, who’s a professor and corporate trainer in Milwaukee, recalled how rigorous the master’s of international management program was.

“We did real-life scenarios. I could get a call at 3 a.m. requesting me to drop deutsche marks. We all had accounts in our international finance class and we were trading against real currencies in the world market.

“At any time, you could be called upon to execute a trade for your team. Our professors were the real deal.”

Sielaff said she wanted to attend the tribute as a “last hurrah.”

“We’ll never again have this coming together at this place.”

The love of international cultures is what brought Corinne Holm to the American Institute for Foreign Trade, where she graduated in 1950.

“I already knew French, German and Spanish, so I majored in Portuguese,” she said. “There were so few girls then that we had a date every night.”

Holm lived abroad in Nepal, India, Pakistan and Ecuador for many years with her husband, an embassy doctor.

“I taught at schools for the Department of State and I taught them what I learned at Thunderbird,” said Holm, who came to the event from Tucson.

A decade ago, a group of Thunderbird alumni wanted to offer the school’s unique education to more people from developing countries, so they created the SHARE Fellowship, which provides funding and mentorship to high-potential students. Annie Wambita Okanya of Kenya, who has a degree in journalism from the University of Nairobi, is one of 18 current SHARE fellows at Thunderbird.

On Saturday, she talked to alumni about the program.

“These are people who have been involved in interesting projects to create impact in their regions. All of us have unique stories,” said Okanya, who will graduate in December. She worked on a project that helped doctors in East Africa get benchmarked to international standards for minimally invasive surgery.

“We’re a family created by the bigger family,” she said.

Okanya will be among the 400 current students and staff who will move over the summer to downtown Phoenix.

The new Thunderbird building, which will be at Polk and Second streets next to the Beus Center for Law and Society, is scheduled to open in 2021, the school’s 75th anniversary. The 85,000-square-foot building will be financed through donations, proceeds from selling the Glendale campus and a $13.5 million investment from the city of Phoenix.

In the meantime, Thunderbird will hold classes at One Arizona Center, near the downtown campus, starting in the fall.

On Sunday morning, several hundred alumni and current T-birds visited the new site and toured ASU’s downtown Phoenix campus. Sanjeev Khagram, who will become Thunderbird’s new dean and director-general on July 1, addressed them.

“I know this weekend has been a powerful and emotional time for all of our alumni, students and faculty,” he said “It's a time of change and I want you to join me in bringing that global village we had in Glendale here to downtown Phoenix."

Khagram, an expert on global leadership and sustainable development, said he knows what moving is like.

"Over my life, I have moved about 25 to 30 times. I tell you this because I know what it means to experience change. I've been through it and I know that we can take what happened in Glendale and take it right into the 21st century here at our new home."

Okanya said she is excited to make the move.

“There’s a misconception that letting go of this place will hurt,” she said.

“But being a T-bird is a mindset. You can throw me in the middle of Namibian desert and I’ll still be a T-bird.”

Connor Pelton contributed to this story.

Top photo: Thunderbird School of Global Management alumni from the 1990s pose for a class photo at the campus tribute event in Glendale on Saturday. More than 1,000 alumni celebrated the iconic Glendale campus over the weekend before it moves to Phoenix this summer. Photo by Marcus Chormicle/ASU Now.

Mary Beth Faller

reporter , ASU Now


ASU enters international partnership to accelerate research collaborations, educational reforms in Japan

April 4, 2018

Committed to finding pedagogical solutions and educational reforms beneficial to every Japanese citizen, Japan’s universities have begun forging international relationships to face their unique challenges — including a rapidly aging, shrinking population and changing economy.

Arizona State University, along with seven other U.S. universities, has entered into an ambitious collaboration with eight Japanese universities to promote international, cross-institution partnerships and cooperative research. From left to right: Troy McDaniel, associate director of Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing (CUbiC); Satoshi Watanabe of Hiroshima University; Derrick Anderson, adviser to the president; Sethuraman Panchanathan, chief research and innovation officer and executive vice president of ASU’s Knowledge Enterprise Development; Nadya Bliss, director of the Global Security Initiative; Luke Tate, assistant vice president and executive director of opportunity initiatives and Professor Yohsuke Yamamoto of Hiroshima University pose for a photo in Toyko during a Japan-U.S. Digital Innovation Hub event. Download Full Image

Through the Japan-U.S. Digital Innovation Hub, the sixteen institutions aim to facilitate and promote research collaboration, especially in fields such as data science, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. The hope is that the hub will serve as a platform to create educational projects to develop necessary skills for the digital age.

“The future of education is rapidly changing, providing an exciting and unprecedented opportunity for forward-thinking universities to shape the next iteration,” said Sethuraman Panchanathan, chief research and innovation officer and executive vice president of ASU’s Knowledge Enterprise Development. “As institutions of higher learning, we can empower individuals with the mindsets necessary to succeed in a continually evolving economic and technological landscape.”

From March 19-20, representatives from the hub’s member universities, as well as Japanese government officials, gathered at the University of Tsukuba’s campus in Tokyo for a workshop to discuss the future of the Japan-U.S. Digital Innovation Hub.

Along with Panchanathan, ASU’s delegation included Luke Tate, assistant vice president and executive director of opportunity initiatives; Nadya Bliss, director of the Global Security Initiative; Troy McDaniel, associate director of the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing (CUbiC) and Derrick Anderson, adviser to the president.

Panchanathan presented a keynote speech to the assembled representatives and guests, who included Yasuo Fukuda, former prime minister of Japan and Michael Chertoff, former secretary of the U.S. Department of HomeIand Security. Both Fakuda and Chertoff delivered lectures as well.

Panchanathan’s keynote covered the accelerating pace of knowledge creation, lifelong learning, the future of work and the relative role of universities. These topics are of particular interest to universities in Japan as the nation weathers great economic and demographic change.

The enormous economic growth of the '80s and '90s, spurred by advanced manufacturing and electronics, has slowed in the past two decades as the population is both declining and becoming older. More than 22 percent of Japanese citizens are 65 or older and working-age adults are either having fewer children later or forgoing parenting altogether. These factors are leading to predictions of an overall population decline of more than 30 percent by 2060, when more than 40 percent of the population will be 65 or older.

This uncertain future is challenging universities in Japan to reconsider the role they have in the broader societal context, said Anderson.

“Within that challenge, many Japanese institutions have connected with ASU out of interest in learning more about the design for a New American University and how that thinking could benefit Japanese higher education reforms,” he added.

The hub’s next summit is slated for summer 2018. ASU will host the event at the newly opened Barrett & O’Connor Washington Center in Washington, D.C.

Japanese universities participating in the initiative are Osaka University, Hiroshima University, Kyushu University, Keio University, Nagoya University, Tohoku University, University of Tsukuba and Waseda University.

In addition to ASU, Case Western Reserve University; University of Delaware; Johns Hopkins University; North Carolina State University; Ohio State University; Washington University in St. Louis and University of Maryland, Baltimore County comprise the U.S. institutions in the Japan-U.S. Digital Innovation Hub.

ASU, partners commit to be a fair trade-designated university

March 28, 2018

Arizona State University President Michael Crow sent an open letter on March 28 to the ASU community committing ASU to be the largest fair trade university in the U.S. The commitment is in partnership with Aramark and Follett.

Fair trade-certified products are produced with fair labor practices and environmental protections. ASU joins 47 other universities and 533 university retailers that pledge to provide fair trade food items like coffee, tea, chocolate and other products including textiles.  two students having food made for them at a college dining facility Chantel Lawrence (right) and Tracie Smith have a stir fry prepared just for them in the Barrett Honors College dining facility. Download Full Image

As part of the commitment, the following locations must provide at least two fair trade food options:

• Aramark

• Atlasta

• Sun Devil Campus Stores

• Sun Devil Dining

Participating vendors must provide signage and education about fair trade certified products. Aramark already provides fair trade resources when it caters campus events.

“This designation demonstrates institutional commitment to fair labor, global connection and supporting student initiatives,” said Nichol Luoma, University Business Services associate vice president and chief sustainability officer. “It furthers the university’s sustainable procurement policies and procedures.”

ASU School of Sustainability graduate student and Aramark intern Hannah Trigg invested three months in drafting the fair trade commitment and implementing most of its provisions, and then partnered with University Sustainability Practices for the final steps in securing the commitment. Biological sciences junior Daniella Simari continues to lead tabling events, education and outreach.

Four ASU students will attend a national conference and showcase fai trade innovations in late March. They also plan to host a lecture about fair trade clothing in partnership with The Fabric Studio and the ASU Global Institute of Sustainability on April 27.

Campaign organizer and Japanese senior Sydney Williamson connects the ASU community to parts of the world most affected by fair trade practices. The campaign asked students to write Valentine’s Day cards to farmers in Ecuador, Ghana and Philippines. In April, Asian Pacific Heritage month, the campaign will bring more awareness to tea grown in Asia and India.

“We’ve seen these events excite both international students and U.S.-born students,” she said. “It’s a powerful way to humanize the issue of fair trade.” 

Students can further the university’s commitment to food reconnection when they purchase fair trade products. When employees purchase fair trade food, they can earn points on a green office or event certification.

“The university’s food reconnection goal includes re-establishing a strong relationship with nutritional food and where it comes from,” said Mick Dalrymple, university sustainability practices director. “When we buy fair trade, we’re closer to knowing our food’s sources and impacts on other people and the health of our planet.”

Learn more about ASU’s food reconnection goal. Learn about how to become involved in collaborative sustainability action on campus. 

Peter Northfelt

Editor assistant, Business and Finance Support – Communications


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Sun Devils go dark to celebrate Earth Hour

Exit light. Enter night. #EarthHour2018 is approaching for ASU.
March 21, 2018

60 minutes of darkness will help ASU advance its sustainability goals

Arizona State University will answer an international call to action this Saturday when the school participates in Earth Hour 2018. 

From 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on March 24, the university will encourage students to turn off all non-essential lights and host stargazing events to highlight the benefits of reducing light pollution.

"We are looking at it as a way to highlight what each person can do in just a small amount of time," said Lesley Forst, a program manager at ASU Sustainability Practices. "We want to let students know that we should really be turning off non-essential lights whenever possible, and Earth Hour is a great first step."

ASU staff members will lead the way in the effort. All janitorial crews will only turn on lights on specific floors or rooms they are cleaning, rather than the normal practice of turning on the lights in an entire building.

The University Sustainability Practices (USP) team has also been hard at work to inform both students and staff of the difference they can make.

"From the USP side, we've been responsible to make sure we are promoting and supporting energy conservation," Forst said.

Conservation has been a focal point for ASU over the past decade. 

The university has reduced its carbon emissions per student by 46 percent and per square foot by 48 percent since 2007. This is a big step for ASU, which has a goal of achieving climate neutrality from building emissions by 2025. 

"Earth Hour fits into ASU's sustainability goals by creating awareness as to energy waste that adds to our carbon footprint and utility costs," USP director Mick Dalrymple said. "It also supports our goal of being climate positive." 

ASU is joining over a billion people in this event, which has been organized by the World Wildlife Fund since 2007. In the past, icons such as the Golden Gate Bridge and the Eiffel Tower have gone dark for 60 minutes in support of Earth Hour

"I really enjoy the solidarity that it creates in connecting people across the globe with the same actions," Dalrymple said. "We are all connected, and together we can turn things around." 

For more information about ASU's sustainability initiatives, visit

Top photo by Nathan Thrash/Arizona Board of Regents

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New director for ASU at Lake Havasu has vision for the location's future

March 20, 2018

The university has named a new director, who predicts Havasu will double its student population in 5 years

Man in dark suit and glasses smiling
Raymond Van der Riet

Raymond Van der Riet's resume is impressive. He served in the military. He’s proficient in several languages. He has a law degree. He’s comfortable in international diplomacy. He runs marathons. And he dabbles in quantum physics.

It’s possible only a few of these skills are actually on the job description, but those Renaissance-man attributes make Van der Riet the ideal new director of ASU at Lake Havasu.

“Raymond has been with ASU at Lake Havasu from the beginning and has been integral to the development and growth of this important component of the ASU knowledge enterprise,” said Mark Searle, executive vice president and university provost. “His relationship with the community in Lake Havasu City, his vision for the future of ASU’s work in western Arizona and his passion for teaching will help to further the reputation of the Havasu location as he works to create a learning environment unlike any other.”

Born in London and raised near Cape Town, South Africa, Van der Riet said the common denominator in all of his work is finding interesting and innovative projects that can make a difference in society.

“I’ve believed in this project from day one,” Van der Riet said. “I can see big things for this location and I’m on a mission to move it in the right direction.”

What is ASU at Lake Havasu?

ASU at Lake Havasu's genesis was also interesting and innovative. The idea was given seed funding with a $1 million grant from Mr. and Mrs. James J. Santiago, longtime Lake Havasu residents and principal owners of Beachcomber Resort and Island Suites. Another $1 million was raised by the Lake Havasu City community through bake and T-shirt sales, payroll deduction campaigns and other fundraising activities in the wake of the Great Recession.

The location is a former middle school. It opened in its new form in fall 2012 — the same year Van der Riet started. Its main aim is to give students lower-priced alternatives to higher education.

It offers bachelor’s degreesbiology, business, communication, criminology and criminal justice, environmental science, health education and health promotion, kinesiology, organizational leadership, political science, psychology, sociology, tourism and recreation management, and general studies all tied to the degree programs at the Phoenix-area campuses. It also includes exploratory majors in humanities, health and life sciences, and social and behavioral sciences.

“ASU looked at a few other locations but no one matched this community’s passion,” Van der Riet said. “I feel such an obligation to this community because there is such buy-in to see ASU succeed.”

The buy-in was a no-brainer say many of its supporters, including Cal Sheehy, vice mayor of Lake Havasu City and vice president and general manager of the London Bridge Resort. He called ASU at Lake Havasu “a valuable resource.”

“It’s the only four-year university in northwestern Arizona and provides an opportunity to increase the educational attainments in our community,” Sheehy said.

He said in addition to providing a large economic benefit to Lake Havasu through investment, salaries and staff and student purchases, ASU also stimulates minds through a community lecture series given by PhD-level experts in fields of study that range from the opioid epidemic to water conservation and management.

A program poised for growth

Speaking of water, ASU at Lake Havasu is located at the edge of 19,300-acreLake Havasu is technically a large reservoir behind Parker Dam on the Colorado River. lake and at the foot of several mountains. And with easy access to volleyball, boating, picturesque hiking and mountain biking, ASU’s Havasu students are an active bunch — on and off campus.

The active lifestyle is one reason why students chose the Havasu location, and Van der Riet and his colleagues aim to introduce this special environment to an increasingly larger national audience. ASU at Lake Havasu, Van der Riet says, should be a destination for students who want a great education on a campus with well-developed connections to the great outdoors.

ASU at Lake Havasu is currently home to 130 students, and Van der Riet expects the student population to more than double in the next five years. A lot of that growth will come from initiatives being implemented by the newly formed 42-member community advisory group, comprised of key city stakeholders who help him explore ideas on student recruitment and retention, branding, fundraising for scholarships, awareness campaigns for potential students, and promoting local ASU pride.

“Raymond is a dynamic and trusted leader who is not afraid to get his hands dirty and work alongside us in creating a better environment for education and business,” said Lisa Krueger, director of the Lake Havasu City Chamber of Commerce. She said the chamber supports the college in many ways, initiating and participating in a payroll deduction fundraising campaign and providing literature and referrals about ASU to prospective residents and businesses.

The community advisory group recently concluded an innovative agreement with Arizona’s state parks department to allow ASU at Lake Havasu to place an ASU-branded beach hut right next to the lake. The group also funded the purchase of six kayaks, two paddle boards, and three mountain bikes to be housed in the beach hut. Use of the equipment is open to students free of charge. Van der Riet said the ultimate goal is to have a permanent recreational structure on the beach.

“ASU at Lake Havasu students will truly have the best of all worlds,” he said. “A world class education with access to fun resort-style living.”


Top photo: Students complete labs for their ecology class at Lake Havasu beach. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now

Sethuraman Panchanathan elected to Oak Ridge Associated Universities’ Board of Directors

ASU’s chief research and innovation officer among six new members to ORAU's board

March 20, 2018

For more than 60 years, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) has worked to bridge academic, government and scientific resources to advance national research priorities and keep the U.S. on the forefront of science, education, security and health.

ORAU announced Tuesday that Sethuraman Panchanathan, ASU’s chief research and innovation officer and executive vice president of ASU’s Knowledge Enterprise Development, was elected to the Board of Directors, where he will play a role in guiding ORAU’s research and education initiatives. This marks the first time an administrator or faculty member from ASU has joined ORAU’s board. Sethuraman Panchanathan, ASU’s chief research and innovation officer and executive vice president of ASU’s Knowledge Enterprise Development Sethuraman Panchanathan. Download Full Image

“The accessibility to education and research opportunities is key to success and competitiveness, and I am delighted to join the board and assist in the advancement of our nation’s scientific progress,” Panchanathan said. “I look forward to forging new partnerships and building on ORAU’s leadership in global security and sustainability.”

A consortium of 121 American universities, ORAU collaborates with other national laboratories, government agencies and industry partners to accelerate research and education in the U.S. Headquartered in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the consortium provides services for science education and peer review, professional training, conducts environmental assessments and evaluates worker and public health, and contributes to national security and emergency preparedness. ORAU also manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education for the U.S. Department of Energy.

“A core tenet of ASU and our knowledge enterprise is partnership and transdisciplinary collaboration," Panchanathan said. "It’s only through cooperation with other higher education institutions, as well as governmental agencies and private industry, that we can address the grand challenges of our time.” 

Prior to his election to the board, Panchanathan served as councilor to ORAU, beginning when ASU joined the consortium in April 2017. ASU is the only Arizona university to join ORAU. 

“We are pleased to have someone with Dr. Panchanathan’s caliber of expertise in research and innovation join ORAU’s Board of Directors,” ORAU CEO and President Andy Page said. “His depth of experience and prior appointments are impressive and we look forward to a strong and collaborative partnership with Dr. Panchanathan and Arizona State University that we hope will last for many years to come.”

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ASU mourns the loss of David Lincoln, benefactor and ASU trustee

March 19, 2018

Firm believer in the Golden Rule, Lincoln embraced the ideal of service to the community

Many people believe in the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Few, however, adhered to that principle as closely as did David Lincoln, a successful entrepreneur and business owner known not only for his business acumen, but also for his unwavering commitment to advancing the common good.

Lincoln, who passed away March 16, spent his lifetime advancing the ideals of good behavior and good ethics through his personal example and through generosity to a breadth of causes, including higher education at Arizona State University. He was 92.

Together with his wife, JoanMFA '73, he helped establish ASU’s Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics, a hub and catalyst for research that advances a broad understanding of ethical behavior.

The Lincolns built upon their support for the Lincoln Center by establishing an endowment to support Lincoln professors and fellows across the university in a variety of disciplines, and an endowed chair in ethics, all designed to cultivate outstanding faculty with an interest in applied ethics; and the Lincoln Scholars program, which supports students who are committed to exploring the moral and ethical dimensions of complex societal challenges.

He sought to advance and uphold the values he exhibited as founder of Lincoln Laser, where in the 1970s he developed a precision cutting technology that was embraced by industries such as aerospace and agriculture.

When running his company, he adopted the guiding principles set by his father and mother, John C. and Helen Lincoln — founders of the John C. Lincoln Health Network of hospitals, medical facilities, physicians, and outreach programs across Arizona — to treat employees fairly.

“Good ethics is good business,” he would often say.

“David Lincoln changed our society for the better,” ASU President Michael M. Crow said. “His commitment to ethics, tolerance and respect, and to civic involvement shaped ASU’s vision to be a university that takes fundamental responsibility for the communities we serve. His belief that good ethics mean good business governs the aspirations of many students, faculty, and staff. ASU mourns his loss.”

The Lincolns' investments in higher education at ASU weren’t confined to ethics education. Their gifts, like their interests, spanned many arenas. Joan, who died in 2016, was an accomplished ceramicist who was active in the arts community.

The Lincolns supported ASU’s Ceramics Research Center and established the Joan R. Lincoln Endowed Professor of Ceramics at ASU. They also supported the ASU Art Museum, the SchoolThe School of Art, and the School of Film, Dance and Theatre are part of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. of Art, and the School of Film, Dance and Theatre.

Other areas include the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, the Institute for Social Science Research, ASU Library, the W. P. Carey School of Business, the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, and the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Their Chautauqua-Lincoln Travel Fellowship allows ASU students to attend the Chautauqua Institute in New York, where they explore educational, recreational, spiritual and artistic endeavors.

“For David, economic success was a path to generosity, and we are grateful that he and Joan saw ASU as a place where they could promote the values they held so dear,” said Gretchen Buhlig, CEO of the ASU Foundation.

“We see the impact of their generosity across our campus — in the arts, in business education, in the success of our students. And that impact grows as our graduates go out into the world and make a difference in their own communities. David and Joan truly did leave a legacy.”

A dedicated volunteer, Lincoln served as a trustee of ASU, where he embraced the university’s mission to execute its charter principles of accessibility, excellence and impact to the community. ASU trustees are advocates, advisors, and investors committed to the success of the university.

In addition to his support for higher education at ASU, Lincoln devoted extensive service to various boards and foundations across the Valley, including to the health network his family founded. Joan Lincoln served as Paradise Valley mayor, vice mayor and city councilmember. 

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6th annual Sun Devil Giving Day on tap for ASU

What will you give on #SunDevilGiving Day?
March 16, 2018

All members of the ASU community are invited to give to the areas of the university they care most about on March 22

If it's late March and you hear cheers and boos coming from Stuart Rice's office, don't be too alarmed.

Odds are that the Arizona State University graduate student and EdPlus creative designer is simply reacting to a recent donation made on Sun Devil Giving Day, his various mood swings coming as he tracks the contributions made either to his school — the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College — or another college following closely behind his. 

"Last year I got really annoyed at the law college, but cheered when a large donation came through for Mary Lou Fulton," Rice said. "I know it's childish, but it's part of the fun."

Rice was one of over 3,000 donors whose gifts totaled $3,222,522 on Giving Day one year ago. The Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ended up leading the way, seeing its donations tally over $1.45 million.

Last year saw an increase from the nearly 2,600 donors that gave in 2016, and ASU is hoping to see that number grow again when Giving Day 2018 rolls around on March 22.

"It is an important day for ASU in the way it shows [the] commitment and impact that Sun Devils can provide," said Patrick Hanson, an ASU student and Rice's spouse.

In the past, Hanson has also donated to the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, as well as the Schoolpart of the College of Public Service and Community Solutions of Community Resources and Development, where he is a nonprofit leadership and management major.

"Sun Devil Giving Day is a great way for me to give back to my community of Sun Devils," he said.

This year will mark the university's sixth annual Giving Day, which started as a way to celebrate and encourage gifts in support of ASU. All members of the ASU community — alumni, parents, fans, friends, faculty, staff and students — are invited to give to the areas of the university they care most about. 

The ASU Foundation later came up with the idea of turning the day into a competition between the university's different colleges and schools. The community, team-style aspect that the day has taken on keeps things entertaining for Rice and others. 

"Who doesn’t like a challenge?" Rice said.

He and Hanson start their Sun Devil Giving Day by waking up and posting the initative on their social media accounts. After that, it's time to donate and follow the Giving Day tracker.

"It’s all about the impact of a lot of people moving the needle in the same direction," Rice said. "Even though giving at any time of the year helps the university carry out its charter, Sun Devil Giving Day makes it a community process." 

"[It's] a single day that can show an instant measurable way of giving," Hanson said.

Sun Devil Giving Day runs from midnight to 11:59 p.m. March 22 and donations are made on the website or secured through the Sun Devil Giving outreach center (Tell-a-Devil Network). The site will display a real-time dashboard showing the total amount of donors and which units have collected the most money.

Gifts will be deposited with the ASU Foundation and may be considered a charitable contribution. For more information or to donate, visit

Top photo: Stuart Rice holds up a sticky note indicating that he will be donating to the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College on Sun Devil Giving Day. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASUNow

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ASU Emerge to create a moon colony on campus

Immerse yourself on a futuristic moon colony at ASU Emerge event this weekend.
March 12, 2018

'Luna City 2175' will take audience to a future community grappling with how to be civilized

A good book can transport the reader into a faraway universe filled with rich detail. The ASU Emerge event will do the same thing this weekend, but the audience actually will be able to touch, see and interact with the newly created world.

“Luna City: 2175,” the title of the seventh annual ASU Emerge, will be a combined art, theater and museum experience that’s based on real research about what an extra-planetary colony would be like 157 years from now. The two-day event, March 17–18, will transform the Galvin Playhouse on the Tempe campus of Arizona State University and is free and open to the public.

The audience can interact with Luna City residents, played by actors, and participate in events such as a “conflict circle” or a funeral. They’ll see what a house will look like, how the residents feed themselves and what they do for fun. There will be artifacts, dancing and music.

About 180 people have been working for nine months to create “Luna City: 2175,” sponsored by the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, the Center for Science and the Imagination, the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, the Interplanetary Initiative, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Earth and Space Exploration. The project was inspired by the vision of Kim Stanley Robinson, the writer-at-large for the School for Future of Innovation in Society. He’ll do a presentation on Saturday afternoon.

Interdisciplinary strategy

Nine months ago, dozens of experts, including planetary geologists, launch system engineers, architects, sociologists, political scientists, economists and artists, gathered in several intense all-day sessions where they presented research and hashed out what Luna City would look like, according to Jake Pinholster, co-director of the event and associate dean for policy and initiatives in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and head of graduate programs in interdisciplinary digital media and performance design.

The team developed a “story bible” — an outline of the self-contained Luna City, which started as a mining and research facility and now is a spaceport and artists’ colony.

“We’re not just building the physical environment. It’s also about the story and how we think a human civilization will really evolve,” Pinholster said.

The story is about how people govern themselves in a place where they are forced to be interdependent in the face of a hostile natural environment.

“Right now, no one has ever been to space who didn’t go there specifically to go to space. So once people just start being people in space, what does it mean?” he said.

Building a new world

Over spring break, students were busy cutting, hammering and painting the physical world of Luna City, which will look different than what the audience might expect.

“I think when people envision the future of space travel, we base it off of ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Star Wars’ — everything is metal and plastic,” he said.

But in real life, metal and plastic can’t be manufactured on the moon and is expensive to transport, while bamboo thrives in the poor soil, can purify water and air, and provide food, textiles and building materials.

But also in real life, bamboo is expensive so the students used a five-step process to paint boards to look like bamboo.

Pinholster said that some students earn credit for working on Emerge, such as those in the Engineering Projects in Community Service program, known as EPICS, who were building an aquaponics system that will house both trout and tomatoes to provide food for Luna City.

The project is incorporating existing technology, including the AZLoop pod, a high-speed transportation device developed by ASU students for the SpaceX Hyperloop competition last year.

Suspending disbelief

Others who are creating the 3,500-square-foot Emerge universe are student workers, staff, faculty and community members. The project also solicited artists to participate, and one of them is Shomit Barua, a sound artist who also teaches writing at ASU. He created a sound installation that will be in the lobby, where the audience first encounters Luna City. “Ancient Passages” will use several speakers, each with a “captain’s log” narrative, describing the background of the community, which includes famines and cultural crises.

“It’s a humanizing effect to this history that we would normally just read as like a timeline,” said Barua, who became interested because he’s a big fan of Robinson’s books.

Barua created different characters and prompts, and then offered them to his writer friends, who created the monologues.

“It ended up creating a diversity of voices that worked out much better than if I had written them all myself,” he said.

The Emerge experience can be immersive, but the audience can choose to just observe, according to Kenneth Eklund, an artist in residence at the School for the Future of Innovation in Society who is helping to create Emerge. Eklund, who lives in Oregon, creates games to engage people in topics such as climate change, and is teaching a class this semester called “Play the Future: Engaging the Public with Serious Games.”

“The audience comes in at whatever level they’re at,” he said. “We need to be inclusive and I want to make sure that everyone is comfortable.”

But he’s eager to accommodate people are want to become immersed in a created world.

“People don’t always get this opportunity. They want to suspend disbelief and be in your fiction,” said Eklund, who’s worked at filling in the gaps in the story line.

“A lot of what I do is about making it so that there’s a fiction that’s doing as well as they are.”

“ASU Emerge: Luna City 2175” is free but reservations are required for the timed entrance. Click here for tickets and details.


Top photo: Fara Shippee, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering, cuts a metal tube while building an aquaponic system as part of the "ASU Emerge: Luna City 2175" set at Galvin Playhouse. Shippee and her classmates in the Engineering Projects in Community Service program, known as EPICS, are working on the project. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now.