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Top Arizona high school graduates head to ASU ready to make a difference

Top high school graduates commit to giving back and choose ASU to do it.
April 26, 2017

10 Flinn Scholars commit to being Sun Devils

Some of the most elite high school graduates in the state want to devote their careers to giving back, and they’ve decided the best place to begin that journey is at Arizona State University.

Daniel Nguyen, whose father came to the United States as a refugee, wants to be a military doctor, and Camryn Lizik, whose family has been affected by mental illness, will research the roots of the disease. These future Sun Devils are among this year’s Flinn Scholars, winning one of the most prestigious scholarships in Arizona.

Daniel Nguyen

“I’m definitely looking forward to the research. There’s a lot of great research being done at ASU, and I’ve already gotten to speak with many professors and researchers there. I would love to be involved with the new partnership with the Mayo Clinic,” said Nguyen, who is in the 32nd class of Flinn Scholars and one of 10 who will attend ASU.

The scholarship, which started in 1985 and is supported by the Flinn Foundation and the universities, is offered to outstanding Arizona high school students who attend either ASU, Northern Arizona University or the University of Arizona, which also has 10 future students in this Flinn class of 20.

Flinn Scholars are chosen based on merit. The scholarship covers the cost of tuition, room and board, and study abroad expenses and is valued at more than $115,000. The summer after their freshman year, the scholars travel together for a three-week seminar in China. The students also get support for off-campus internships and are paired with faculty mentors.

The Flinn Scholars coming to ASU will attend Barrett, The Honors College.

“It is always wonderful each year to hear that many Flinn Scholars will attend ASU and Barrett, The Honors College. We support, advise, guide and mentor them, and they add their extraordinary intellects and interests to our community,” said Mark Jacobs, vice provost and dean of Barrett. “It is a pleasure to see these top scholars from our state spread their academic wings and take flight at ASU and Barrett!”

Nguyen, who is graduating from Liberty High School in the Peoria Unified School District, will major in biological sciences and would like to be a military surgeon. His desire to give back was ingrained by his father, who came to the United States as a refugee from Vietnam after the war and eventually became a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army.

“He always tried to instill in me the attitude of service and giving back to the country that gave so much to us,” he said.

Like most Flinn Scholars, Nguyen is already quite accomplished, having earned certification as an emergency medical technician at Glendale Community College.

“I got to spend some time doing what EMTs do, which influenced my outlook on my career as well. The ability to work with patients on the provider level is amazing,” he said.

Camryn Lizik

Lizik’s decision to attend ASU was helped by the fact that she has already spent a lot of time on campus, with the HOBY youth-service program and the Cesar Chavez Leadership Institute.

“It’s always felt homey and familiar, and I feel it’s a place where I could make an impact as a student,” said Lizik, who attends Arcadia High School in Phoenix and wants to major in biological sciences.

“My family has a history of mental issues, and I struggle with OCD and it’s something that has a stigma that I would like to see erased,” she said.

“I have a very strong interest in the connection between social science and biological sciences. I’m interested in studying mental illness and how it affects people on a chemical level and how to correct that permanently.”

Ashley Dussault

Another Flinn Scholar and future Sun Devil, Ashley Dussault, also wants to use her major — sustainability — to help people.

“The program is about change, which is what I want to do. I want to plan cities to be better and to help with poverty,” said Dussault, who will graduate from Hamilton High School in the Chandler Unified School District.

She’s especially interested in the social-justice component of sustainability.

“I want to show the people of the world that just because sustainability is happening, they don’t have to be pushed out of their homes and that there’s a place for them in the world.”

Besides Nguyen, Lizik and Dussault, the other Flinn Scholars headed to ASU, along with their high schools and intended majors, are:

  • Daniel Bonner, Brophy Prep, Phoenix, electrical engineering
  • Jake Dean, Sunnyslope High School, Phoenix, earth and space exploration
  • Brittany Duran, Santa Cruz Valley Union High School, Eloy, biological sciences
  • Mark Macluskie, Cave Creek, home-schooled, mechanical engineering
  • Keaton McDonald, Arcadia High School, Phoenix, computer science
  • Shivam Sadachar, Basis Chandler, computer science
  • Cameron Whyte, Saguaro High School, Scottsdale, mathematics

Mary Beth Faller

reporter , ASU Now

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ASU sustainability efforts are visible across Valley campuses.
ASU sustainability czar Mick Dalrymple calls for practice and engagement.
April 20, 2017

Dozens of student groups come together at university known for ongoing, wide-ranging sustainability efforts

Over the past academic year, Kendon Jung noticed something about the 77 sustainability-related student groups he oversaw at ASU: Though they shared common goals, they were working separately to achieve them instead of combining forces.

This week's Earth Festival on Hayden Lawn in Tempe was the first step toward fostering a coalition to change that. Sustainability student groups from multiple campuses came together to network, showcase their missions and achievements, and participate in a town hall conversation. 

Jung, a student activity adviser, said having a sustainability coalition at ASU will “organize students in a way that they can collaborate, brainstorm and put together projects that will be resilient, implementable” and that will “move the sustainability needle forward.”

It should be no surprise that so many ASU students are invested in the cause; the university was the first in the nation to offer a degree in sustainability in 2006 and has been at the forefront of the movement since, most recently earning a 2017 Best of Green Schools award from the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, in collaboration with the Green Schools National Network. That honor was preceded by a top 10 spot in Sierra magazine’s 10th annual “Cool Schools” ranking of America’s greenest colleges and universities in September.

The reason behind that kind of recognition can be seen everywhere at ASU, from its LEEDLEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and is one of the most popular green building certification programs used worldwide.-certified buildings, to its solar-panel-shaded parking lots, to its green-certified restaurants.

But sustainable physical operations alone aren’t enough, director of University Sustainability Practices Mick Dalrymple said. You’ve also go to implement principled practice and active engagement — in other words, you’ve also got to change people’s thoughts and behaviors.

“I call it walking the talk,” he said. “We’re trying to get people to rethink what sustainability looks like.”

What it looks like is giving employees the option to work from home, making alternative forms of transportation more accessible and changing the default copier setting to two-sided printing, among other things, he said.

“The bottom line is that the Earth is going to go on. Whether it goes on with us or without us is the question,” Dalrymple said. And if we want it to go on with us, “we have to realign our man-made systems with natural systems.”

Here are some of the ways ASU is doing that: 

Video by Ken Fagan/ASU Now

Energy conservation and production

The most visible manifestation of ASU’s sustainable energy efforts are its vast expanses of solar panels, spread out over parking lots and roofs, and its power parasols, giant collections of solar panels that tower over pedestrians on campus malls, providing shade and cooling the surrounding area while generating energy.

In January of this year, ASU partnered with a solar power plant in Red Rock, Arizona, increasing the university’s renewable-energy use by 150 percent and adding to the nearly 90 existing solar installations spread out across its campuses. Those installations produce more than 24 MWdcMWdc stands for megawatts in the form of direct current., one of the largest on-campus university solar-energy portfolios in the nation, and enough energy required to power 3,366 homes for one year. The new Red Rock partnership will push the university past a new milestone of 50 MWdc, more than double its current renewable-energy capacity. 

“It sends a message to our community, and in particular to our students, that this is what a sustainable campus can look like,” Gerald DaRosa, director of ASU Energy Innovations, said. “My hope is that they come to expect this as the norm, so that when our students progress through their lives and become parents, teachers, engineers and executives, they demand the same and more, eventually raising the bar even higher.”

Energy Innovations is only two years old at the university, but the department’s function is invaluable; mainly, it’s responsible for ensuring as much energy conservation and efficiency is being achieved as possible and also for identifying renewable-energy opportunities on- and off-campus.

Currently, they’re looking into how emerging battery technology has the potential to store energy generated by solar panels so it can still be used when the sun goes down. They’re hoping to install a battery system that will be used to power a small building within the next 12 months.

Within ASU’s many buildings are a number of existing features that help with energy reduction, such as motion-activated lights, something that has helped contribute to the university’s 47 certified-LEED projects. 

Zero Waste

ASU’s commitment to diverting waste from the landfill is seen all over its campuses and surrounding areas, in the form of the ubiquitous Blue Bins cozied up next to every trash can. The folks behind those efforts are members of the Zero Waste Department, an initiative that provides leadership development and hands-on experience in waste-diversion and aversion tactics.

Department assistant director Alana Levine said the difference is that diversion keeps waste out of landfills through recycling or repurposing while aversion keeps things that could become waste from proliferating in the first place. An example of aversion is the newly available reusable cup that provides free refills at all Tempe campus athletic events. Using the same cup instead of a new one every time you get a drink at a game reduces the number of paper cups that would otherwise be produced and then become waste.

Some of Zero Waste’s other initiatives include the Blue Bag recycling program, launched in 2015 to capture traditionally hard-to-recycle items, such as batteries and food wrappers; “green” sports games, where Zero Waste staff sort, weigh and calculate a diversion rate for the total waste produced; Recyclemania, a yearly, eight-week-long competition among colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and Canada; Ditch the Dumpster, a program that allows students who are moving out of dorms to donate, repurpose or recycle items they no longer need instead of throwing them away; and the No Wasted Paint Program, which collects and reuses old paint on campus.

The ASU Canon Strategic Alliance Partnership is helping reduce paper waste by better assessing individuals’ and departments’ printing needs. So far, it has reduced printing waste from 100 million pages a year to about 45 million.

ASU is also leading by example on the food production and consumption front. Many campus restaurants and shops offer locally sourced food, sometimes even from campus itself. Engrained, on the top floor of the Memorial Union, recently received a Green Restaurant Certification for such sustainable practices, and every year, various campuses host fruit harvests. There are also a number of gardening and composting efforts.

Water waste is also on the university’s radar, with a goal of cutting water use in half and eliminating all wastewater by 2020. Proposals have been made for a water reclamation facility on campus that would allow ASU to treat its own wastewater and reuse it. The university is also looking to retrofit fixtures in older buildings with antiquated bathrooms and to begin metering buildings to measure how much water is actually being used. Even landscaping is considered, with ideas for weather-sensitive sprinkling systems that can tell when it rains.

Everywhere you look at ASU, there are ways to help reduce your environmental footprint, Levine said. It’s just a matter of getting started.

“Don’t get overwhelmed by all the options,” she said. “Start with your initial actions that are doable, and then build on that,” such as carrying a reusable mug, or bringing your lunch in Tupperware instead of one-time-use bags. “You don’t have to change your entire life right away. There’s always a starting point and then a next step to take.” 

Carbon neutrality

ASU has set a goal of carbon neutrality for its buildings — several of which are already LEED-certified — by 2025, and for buildings and transportation combined by 2035. During fiscal year 2016, renewable-energy use at ASU avoided approximately 21,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, roughly equal to the annual emissions of 4,500 passenger vehicles.

Also aiding in the cause are the number of alternative transportation options offered by the university, such as intercampus shuttles; bike lanes and valets; and employee and student Valley Metro light rail unlimited-ride passes. Online courses and employee telecommunication options also help cut down on transportation emissions.

“People don’t realize the incredible impact transportation has had,” Dalrymple said. “We’ve made significant strides in that area.”

And ASU is doing the same in construction, he added. The campus’ newest building, the in-progress Student Pavilion on the Tempe campus, will be the university’s first net zero-energy building, meaning it will use no more energy than can be produced on site annually.

Walking the talk

Dalrymple said it’s a goal of University Sustainability Initiatives “to implement sustainability into every function of the university.”

From student groups, to construction practices, to waste diversion, to energy production, to sustainable dining, that goal is already a reality. What all those things do, combined, Dalrymple said, is help to change people’s overall mind-set about sustainability in general.

“When I started working in this field in 2001, we were talking about (environmental effects on our) grandchildren,” Dalrymple said. “But we’re seeing impacts now. It’s not just going to impact our grandchildren, it’s going to impact us in our lifetimes … and we need to make the right choices now.

“The future will be determined by what we do now.”

In celebration of Earth Month and in anticipation of Earth Day on Saturday, a number of events have been taking place all over ASU. Aside from the student group Earth Festival on Hayden Lawn in Tempe, there was a screening of the climate-change documentary “Before the Flood” at the West campus, a farmers’ market at the Polytechnic campus and a gardening and cooking workshop at the Downtown Phoenix campus.

For a full list of Earth Month events at ASU, click here

 

Top photo: Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability staffer Trinity Dosemagen (left) and senior sustainability major Dania LaScola try their hand at the Future Builder game during the Student Sustainability Club Earth Day Festival on Hayden Lawn on April 19. The game assigns colors to money, resources and people and asks you to build a Jenga tower and borrow from it to play the game. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now

ASU surges in tech transfer rankings


April 20, 2017

Arizona State University has surged in technology transfer rankings in a new Milken Institute report released today. In the newly released report, ASU ranks 21st. In the institute’s 2006 report, ASU ranked 43rd.

“Arizona State’s improvement since 2006, in a period of just over a decade, is tremendous,” said Ross DeVol, chief research officer at the Milken Institute. “When you look at the universities ASU ranked ahead of, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Duke, you can go down the list, these are premier research universities and ASU has moved ahead of them. ASU has a top notch research apparatus in place, especially with President Michael Crow’s emphasis on research that doesn’t just advance scientific knowledge but also is relevant to the marketplace.” Download Full Image

The Milken report, “Concept to Commercialization: The Best Universities for Technology Transfer,” ranks more than 200 U.S. research institutions. The methodology controlled for research expenditures and focused on four key indicators of technology transfer success: patents issued, licenses issued, licensing income, and startups formed.

“The Milken Institute ranking recognizes ASU’s commitment to sharing the knowledge we create with the innovation marketplace to better serve our communities,” said Sethuraman Panchanathan, executive vice president of Knowledge Enterprise Development and chief research and innovation officer at ASU. “We’re not only advancing regional competitiveness through research and discovery, but also ensuring that our work has direct impact on lives every day.”

Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE) is the exclusive technology transfer organization for ASU. AzTE works with faculty, investors and industry partners to translate ASU innovation into broad societal impact. Since 2003, AzTE has launched more than 100 startups, which have generated more than $650 million in investment capital, and has received more than 2,700 invention disclosures.

Augie Cheng, AzTE’s CEO, was recruited by ASU in August 2007 to lead AzTE’s transformation into a faculty service and impact-driven organization.

“We have been quite fortunate to be able to work with world-class researchers at ASU focused on use-inspired research activities. Our team partners with industry and investors to execute rapid and efficient deals that aren’t bogged down by the typical institutional constraints,” Cheng said. “This emphasis on speed to market, universal marketing, and post-deal support for our technologies and startups has helped ASU inventors achieve real-world use of their intellectual products.”

More information can be found online at http://www.azte.com/.

ASU joins Oak Ridge Associated Universities


April 19, 2017

Arizona State University has become a member of the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), a consortium of more than 100 major PhD-granting institutions focused on collaborative partnerships that enhance the scientific research and education in the U.S.

ASU is the first university in Arizona to join the consortium, which is affiliated with Oak Ridge National Laboratories Explore sign Download Full Image

Sethuraman Panchanathan, executive vice president of Knowledge Enterprise Development and chief research and innovation officer at ASU, will serve as ASU’s councilor to ORAU throughout the partnership.

“ASU places great emphasis on research and education being accessible to empower the region and nation’s economic competitiveness,” Panchanathan said. “Our participation in the ORAU consortium will enable us to collaborate with similar-minded higher education institutions to respond to grand challenges related to sustainability and global security.”

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major PhD-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest.

Learn more about ORAU at http://www.orau.org.

For Preservation Week, meet an ASU conservator

Tours will be given of Hayden Library's conservation lab April 24-25


April 19, 2017

Do you have an old book, vintage letter or a 1980s Star Wars movie poster at home that you want to properly preserve?

ASU conservator Suzy Morgan carries out this work every day in the ASU Library conservation lab, where she performs in-house treatments and repairs for the library’s circulating collections and many special collections, including the Star Wars collection and the Chicano/a Research Collection. ASU Conservator Suzy Morgan ASU conservator Suzy Morgan will lead tours of the conservation lab at ASU Library, April 24-25, as part of Preservation Week. Download Full Image

Morgan will be leading tours of the conservation lab, April 24-25, as part of Preservation Week – a global celebration of a key library function. 

For many who take the tour, it will be an introduction into the work of preserving knowledge, both artifactual and textual.

“A conservator has to have a good grasp of not just art, but also science, history and a high level of manual dexterity,” Morgan said. “The best and most challenging part of my work is the problem-solving skills that are required. Each item that comes into the lab has its own unique combination of preservation issues. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach — each item gets a customized treatment from me and my staff.”

It’s estimated that some 630 million items in collecting institutions such as libraries require immediate attention and care; therefore, the goal of Preservation Week is to raise awareness about the urgency of preservation, why it’s needed and what you can do, individually and as a community, to preserve both shared and personal collections.

During Preservation Week, Morgan will demonstrate how she and her highly trained staff work to repair, revive and bolster vulnerable materials, such as old books, documents and artifacts — ensuring their sustainability for generations to come.

“Our goal is to return the repaired material to our patrons and to specialized library collections as quickly as possible, using the highest quality materials and techniques possible,” Morgan writes.

ASU Library’s Preservation Department was founded in 1987 under the direction of Sharlane Grant, and is located on the first floor of Hayden Library. For more information on preservation services at ASU Library, visit https://lib.asu.edu/preservation.

Group tours of the ASU Library conservation lab will be approximately 45 minutes in length and are scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday, April 24, and 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 25.

Sign up here for the tour of the ASU Library conservation lab during Preservation Week. RSVP is required.

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library

 
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3 new appointments enhance ASU efforts to serve students, community

April 19, 2017

University leaders take on new roles, responsibilities in cultural, communications and Campaign ASU 2020

Arizona State University is rewriting what it means to be a university with a mission to serve its students and beyond, from new ways to open access to higher education, to innovative ways to make a college stalwart — the football stadium — into a community gathering place year-round.

To further support strategic goals such as these, three leaders in the ASU community will take on new and expanded roles.

Christine Wilkinson, Colleen Jennings-Roggensack and Katie Paquet will each assume new responsibilities, effective immediately.

Wilkinson, ASU’s senior vice president, secretary of the university and president of the ASU Alumni Association, will be playing a pivotal role in spearheading fundraising efforts around two of the key components of the Campaign ASU 2020 objectives: ensuring student access and excellence, and championing student success. Campaign ASU 2020 is a university-wide philanthropic effort with a goal to raise at least $1.5 billion for the enterprise over the next three years. Wilkinson will also take charge of the new Office of University Ceremonies and Events, overseeing, among other things, the preparation, protocol and execution of major gatherings like commencement.

Wilkinson has served the university in a multitude of roles for 47 years, including as the vice president of Student Affairs and as the interim athletic director. She holds a tenured faculty position in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and was recently inducted into the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame.

Jennings-Roggensack has been named vice president for cultural affairs at ASU and will remain the executive director of ASU Gammage, the premiere performing arts venue in Arizona. In her role, Jennings-Roggensack will lead Sun Devil Stadium 365, a university-wide initiative to reimagine and redesign the use of Sun Devil Stadium as a community union used 365 days a year by faculty, staff, students and the entire Arizona community for events and activities beyond athletics. She will also continue her work connecting ASU and the community through the arts.

Jennings-Roggensack was nominated by President Bill Clinton to serve on the National Council on the Arts, which she did from 1994 to 1997. She served as an ambassador for the arts for the National Council on the Arts until 2004. She has held positions at Dartmouth College and Colorado State University and chairs the Broadway League's Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She is also Arizona’s only Tony voter.

Katie Paquet, currently the deputy chief of staff in the Office of the President at ASU, has been named the vice president for media relations and strategic communications, overseeing the creation of print, photo and video stories about the university and engaging with media outlets to proactively communicate the success and work of our students, faculty and staff.

Prior to joining ASU, Paquet was the vice president of public affairs and external relations for the Arizona Board of Regents. She oversaw all communications and government relations activities for the board, serving as a liaison with media, policymakers, and the business, civic and educational community. 

 
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ASU’s Wilkinson to be inducted to Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame

March 22, 2017

Christine Wilkinson, senior vice president and secretary, honored for her contributions to education, community

There are few people you encounter who believe wholeheartedly in a cause and who have dedicated their entire life to one organization or one community. Christine Wilkinson is a model for that distinction. WilkinsonWilkinson also holds the position of president and CEO of the ASU Alumni Association. is ASU’s senior vice president and secretary, the first female minority to hold that title. She has an unwavering commitment to the betterment of Arizona.

Wilkinson’s career at ASU and achievements span decades. Throughout the years she has inspired generations of educators, leaders and creators. She has collaboratively worked to solve problems and find ways to better our society, her reach extending into surrounding Arizona communities. 

Because of her contributions to education and her community, Wilkinson is being inducted Thursday to the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame as a Living Legacy. Living Legacies are exceptional, inspirational women who have reached a high level of professional accomplishments in their chosen endeavors. She took a moment to chat with ASU Now about this honor. 

Question: What do you think is your most significant contribution to ASU or the Arizona community?

Answer: I think most people don’t have a singular achievement that probably made the difference. I hope that what I have done — and always with other people, always with my colleagues — is prepare future leaders, improving lives, improving the welfare of our community and making it a better place to live. I’ve had the absolute fortune and opportunity to be at a place where the focus has been on preparing future leaders in all parts of society. All of which I have been involved touches on that, including my involvement in the community, my involvement with nonprofit organizations that I do believe are making a difference.

Q: What led you to choose a career in education?

A: My father and mother were significant role models. My father was a professor and coach at the university for many years, before I ever arrived. Having grown up here, I felt I wanted to be in education. I initially thought it would be in secondary education so I prepared to be a high school English teacher and high school counselor.

Q: Who were your role models, both toward the beginning of your career and now?

A: My parents were clearly my role models and mentors very early on and both by what they did, how they raised my sister and me and what they did professionally and in the community. All of that really made a difference. I think now, the people who influenced me have a strong positive value system and are grounded. It could be someone who is being the face of the university at the front desk or those who are developing programs or are in senior-level roles. You are really influenced by the people you’re around, and I have been absolutely blessed by those who I work with daily and they clearly make the difference.

Q: On a similar note, did you have mentors that help shape your career?

A: “Mentors” is an interesting term because I think for some individuals you can form a relationship, of mentoring somone or being mentored by someone, but I often see where over a career you can actually watch individuals and in a different way be mentored by them and they may not even know it. You watch how they administer. Do leaders, by their action, follow what they say? Do they take the time to listen? I think, for as long as many of us have been in administration and a leadership role, we sometimes don’t listen as much as we should or more carefully than we should so that decisions aren’t made in a vacuum. Listening allows you to bring people along with you in a collective decision and advance.

Q: What achievements are you most proud of?

A: You know we can be proud of a number of achievements that we have worked on as a team with other people. If I were to say the areas in which I have a personal feeling of perhaps helping somebody, it’s those individuals come back. I just had someone come up to me today and say I gave them an opportunity to go to college. She knew that I probably didn’t even know that — how I met with her and her family and gave her an opportunity has made the difference in her life. That always takes me aback because I think that’s part of what we do. To have someone remember that 30 years later, just absolutely made my day.

The same in the community — there’s over 1,000 nonprofits in the metropolitan area and I think they’re all doing very hard, very serious work, and the ones I’ve chosen I hope are ones that, in each case, we’re trying to impact individuals directly and not through multiple organizations but directly. Whether it’s the Red Cross and helping with disaster relief or the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization or Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center, which I have been or am currently actively involved in now, I can see what difference they make and see a number of different challenges that continue. We need a lot of people to help in those areas, but wherever we can make a difference is terrific.

Q: You’re being inducted into the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame. What do you see as the biggest issues for Arizona women in the next few years?

A: I think as Secretary Clinton said it best, “Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.” I think for everyone we have to realize how important education is and that we’re challenged by a pipeline that we have to broaden every day, even now. I see at commencement when we ask how many [students] are the first ones to finish college in your family, and we still have the majority standing up. I get chills because I know it’s making a difference. So that’s men and women working on that.

I think for women there’s still much to be done, advancing women throughout organizations and in leadership roles and to understand one woman or one minority is not really representative of a whole. To ask them to be in that position is probably a bit unfair. If you have more diversity in your boards, in your departments, in your organizations you’ll hear different perspectives and you’ll have a better conversation and discussion before making a decision, but it’s just a broader discussion and it’s a richer one. I think there’s still room for improvement. Women need to be in more leadership positions and in many different areas. I think it’s good but … more. More diversity in general, beyond gender, is important.

Q: You are the first Living Legacy awardee in the field of education. What does this honor mean to you?

A: I was absolutely astounded. I understand now, I didn’t know at the time, the vast majority of the recipients are historical figures. I am the one of four people that’s living and I’m very happy to be in that category [laughs]. Happy to be in the living! To be selected for education, which I’ve always believed in and I believe it’s my life script, is really heartwarming. The fact that my community leadership was noted along with my role as an educator took me aback because I just think that’s part of what we do, it’s what my family has always done. I was very honored and humbled by the fact they had community leader and educator.

Q: What wisdom would you impart on women who want to emulate your success?

A: I don’t think there’s any one recipe for success. I have said that leadership involves many shapes and sizes and voices. By being soft-spoken doesn’t mean you’re soft-headed. Most of us are goal-directed, but we have to realize there are many paths to get to that goal. Sometimes when there’s a detour, you can still get back to it. Other times you find that detour leads you into another amazing opportunity. Above all, many voices and keep advancing.

 

Top photo: President and CEO of the ASU Alumni Association Christine Wilkinson speaks at a community dialogue put on by Los Diablos, a chapter of the ASU Alumni Association, in August 2016. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

 
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ASU Provost's Office helps potential Fulbright scholars navigate tricky process.
March 17, 2017

Only four schools in the nation boast Rhodes, Marshall and Churchill scholars

Fulbright Day on Tuesday allows Arizona State University to bolster the reputation it’s earned as a top producer of such scholars, but it’s not the only award that puts the school in elite company. ASU, Harvard, Stanford and the University of Chicago are the only institutions with Rhodes, Marshall and Churchill scholarship winners. 

“It’s a really potent and clear statement about our breadth and the excellence of our programs that students with such different backgrounds and goals can demonstrate not just at a national but at a global level their competence and vision,” said Kyle Mox, director of the Lorraine W. Frank Office of National Scholarships Advisement at ASU and associate dean of Barrett, The Honors College.

ASU has maintained its position as a top producer of faculty and student Fulbright scholars, with six faculty members and 15 students currently in the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. ASU ties for No. 6 in faculty awards with Cornell, Georgia, Texas, Washington and Western Michigan. ASU ranks No. 11 for student awards, aligning with Boston College, Cornell, Northwestern, Louisville and Maryland. 

The overall elite company is "really exciting because ASU is also the most innovative school, and it goes to show that the potential here is unlimited and there’s a lot happening behind the scenes,” said Ngoni Mugwisi, an ASU student and 2017 Rhodes Scholar, referencing the U.S. News & World Report distinction that ASU has garnered two years running, ahead of Stanford and MIT. “We three are fortunate to be taking center stage at this point, but this is just the beginning.”

All three of the elite scholarship winners are in Barrett, The Honors College, and will graduate in May. They are:

• Erin Schulte, a global studies major, the 18th ASU student to win the Marshall ScholarshipThe Marshall Scholarship, which selects up to 40 winners every year, was created to express the gratitude of the British people to America after World War II. The most recent ASU winners were in 2014 and 2012. since it was established in 1953. Schulte will attend King’s College in London and pursue two degrees, in conflict security and development and in big data in culture and society. She hopes to work in international security and development. At ASU, she was co-founder of the All Walks Project, a student-led non-profit that educates people about human trafficking.

• Ngoni Mugwisi, an electrical engineering major, ASU’s first Rhodes ScholarThe Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest and perhaps most prestigious international graduate scholarship program in the world, established in 1903 by empire builder John Cecil Rhodes. ASU has had a total of five Rhodes Scholars, and the most recent, Philip Mann in 2001, is currently the conductor of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. since 2001. A native of Zimbabwe, he is a MasterCard Foundation Scholar and will pursue a PhD in engineering science at the University of Oxford. At ASU, he started Solar Water Solutions, a hybrid non-profit and business venture to retrofit water wells in Zimbabwe with solar-powered pumps.

• Christopher Balzer, a chemical engineering major, ASU’s first Churchill ScholarThe scholarships, the brainchild of Winston Churchill, were first awarded in 1963 and select 14 people annually for a year of graduate study in science, mathematics or engineering.. Balzer will study advanced chemical engineering at the University of Cambridge. At ASU, he participated in the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative and won a Goldwater Scholarship, which recognizes excellence in science, math and engineering.

ASU's top international scholarship winners are (from left) Erin Schulte, a Marshall Scholar; Ngoni Mugwisi, a Rhodes Scholar; and Christopher Balzer, a Churchill Scholar. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now

This convergence of top-level winners could not have happened until recently, as ASU students have only been eligible to apply for the Churchill Scholarships since 2013.

In all three of the international scholarships, only about 25 percent of the American winners are from public institutions such as ASU.

All three students credit the national scholarship advisement office with preparing them for the grueling application process. Schulte said she sat for 12 nomination, practice and finalist interviews.

“They helped me think through my story and think critically about what I wanted to do and why I wanted to do it,” Mugwisi said.

Mox, the next president of the National Association of Fellowship Advisers, said that ASU has one of the oldest and best fellowship advising offices in the country.

“One thing we do is find the students. It’s a large school, and we have to get the right information to the right students at the right time,” he said. The staff also works with students during the spring and summer before the fall Fulbright application deadline, rewriting essays, refining goals and coming up with project ideas.

ASU’s Provost’s Office works with faculty members who are seeking Fulbright Scholar positions, including offering a mentor application review, where Fulbright alums review faculty applications, according to Karen Engler-Weber, program director in the Office of the University Provost.

She said it’s no surprise that ASU is a top producer of faculty Fulbrights, because the program’s goals align closely with ASU’s charter and mission.

“Fulbright is looking for three critical things when they review Fulbright Scholar applications: impact, inclusion and innovation. These are things our faculty are already doing in their work,” Engler-Weber said.

While some faculty may hesitate to seek out an opportunity that would take them out of the country, Engler-Weber said there are new types of awards that allow the time abroad to be broken up into multiple shorter stays, and some packages include financial support and benefits to support bringing a family.

Mox said he would like more ASU students to apply for Fulbright positions.

“They don’t see it as something achievable, and we’re here to tell you it is.”

Fulbright Day will be held Tuesday at the Memorial Union, with workshops and information for faculty from noon to 1:30 p.m., and sessions for students from 3 to 4:30 p.m. A networking reception with current and former Fulbright award-winners will follow at 4:30. Click here for more information.

 

Top photo courtesy of freeimages.com

Mary Beth Faller

reporter , ASU Now

480-727-4503

 
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ASU community invited to make a difference on Sun Devil Giving Day

Small gifts can make a big impact for Sun Devil Giving Day campaign.
March 16, 2017

5th annual fundraiser focuses on small donations that add up to big results, university looks to top 3,000 donors

You can’t turn around at Arizona State University without finding a building, school or professorship named for a generous donor who’s invested millions into the mission.

But some of the most vital work done at ASU is sustained by tiny donations that, added up, transform the lives of students, faculty and community members. Small sums of money can keep students who face hardship from dropping out, advance ground-breaking research and pay for programs that send students and faculty into the community to help people who need it most.

The theme of many individuals joining forces to help ASU is especially relevant for the fifth annual Sun Devil Giving Day on Friday because the university is in the midst of Campaign ASU 2020, an effort to raise $1.5 billion with the motto, “Together, Our Potential is Limitless.”

“The day is about continuing that tradition of generosity by asking alumni, family, friends, students and faculty to get involved in giving back to ASU,” according to Tiffany Khan, director of Sun Devil Giving, a division of the ASU Foundation for a New American University.

Rather than setting an amount goal, the university is hoping to increase the number of donors — no matter how much they give, Khan said. Last year, 2,548 donors raised $4,038,081.

“Last year, we wanted 2,000 pledges and we crossed that 2,500 line, so this year we’re hoping to pass 3,000 donors,” she said.

Donors can choose to donate to any part of ASU, such as college units, research centers, scholarships or athletics. Gifts can be designated to an area most in need or to a specific area, such as the Center for Meteorite Studies.

Private donations have a wide impact:

• Andrea Valentin-Hickey, a speech and hearing sciences student, doesn’t have a car but was able to work on her thesis for Barrett, The Honors College, thanks to the Jose Franco & Francisca Ocampo Quesada Research Award. The gift pays cab fare for Valentin-Hickey to travel to different schools for her research project on a reading program for English language learners.  

• Three students in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law were named Sun Devil Giving Scholars — receiving scholarships made up entirely of donations of less than $100. One of the students, Cara James, is a first-generation college student who hopes to represent poor people in the area of family and housing law.

• Elizabeth Garbee, a doctoral student in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, received a $2,200 Advancement Award to fund part of her dissertation, which is exploring the value of doctorate degrees in science, technology, engineering and math. This is the first time the award was given, and she said it’ll be a “huge jump-start” on her project. The grant will pay for a student to help her gather a survey sample of thousands of undergraduate and graduate students.

“What we’re finding now is that students who are earning STEM PhDs are struggling to find careers in their fields, or even adjacent fields,” she said. “I’m trying to identify those areas of value disconnect that are preventing these students with these high-value degrees from getting jobs.”

Garbee said that besides the actual dollar amount, the Advancement Award is important because it represents recognition.

“It’s really important to tangibly demonstrate to students that we matter,” she said.

Sun Devil Giving Day runs from midnight to 11:59 p.m. and donations are made on the website. Last year, the site ran a real-time dashboard displaying which units were collecting the most money.

“This year, because of ‘Together, Our Potential is Limitless,’ we wanted to focus less on competition and focus more on what happens when we all come together,” Kahn said.

So the site will have interactive tiles that show the number of donations to some of the units, a real-time map of where people are donating from across the nation and the total amount donated.

One part of Sun Devil Giving Day will be “Student Select.” Tables will be set up at the Tempe and Downtown Phoenix campuses, and students will be asked, “If you had $500 to give to one cause, what would it be?” They’ll write their answers on index cards, and 10 will be chosen randomly to be funded, thanks to corporate support, Khan said.

“We have student donors and we’re grateful to them but we know that not all students can donate while they’re in school,” she said. But by asking them to write down their ideas, “We want them to think about what giving will really look like when they graduate.”

Khan said that donors will have a huge choice of initiatives.

“If you care about cancer research, we’re doing it. If you care about first-generation students, we have one of the largest populations in the nation.

“The beauty of this is that no matter what you’re passionate about, ASU is doing it.”

For information or to donate, click here.

Mary Beth Faller

reporter , ASU Now

480-727-4503

 
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ASU's MBA, education graduate programs jump in US News rankings.
W. P. Carey, Thunderbird programs rank among top five in their fields.
Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College ranked 11th out of 256 schools
ASU's full-time MBA program ranked 25th out of 129 schools
March 14, 2017

U.S. News & World Report rankings show business programs in top five, significant jump for Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College

Two of the largest graduate schools at Arizona State University jumped significantly in the latest rankings from U.S. News & World Report, with two business programs ranked among the best in the country.

The Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College ranked No. 11 out of 256 schools evaluated by U.S. News, climbing three spots from last year. The college's graduate program moved up 24 spots since 2012 in the news magazine’s "Best Graduate Schools" annual survey for 2018. ASU's Teachers College was tied with the education school at the University of Texas at Austin and was ahead of those at New York University, Ohio State University and the University of California at Berkeley.

The supply-chain management program in the W. P. Carey School of Business was ranked thirdMichigan State University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were ranked first and second in supply-chain management. in the country, ahead of Stanford University, while the full-time MBA program ranked 25th out of the 129 schools U.S. News evaluated, improving 10 spots.

The Thunderbird School of Global Management at ASU was ranked fourth in the country among internationalThe top seven were the University of South Carolina, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Thunderbird, Stanford, Berkeley and the University of Michigan. Columbia, Georgetown and New York University tied for eighth place, followed by the University of Southern California. programs, higher than Stanford, Columbia and Georgetown.

The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU, meanwhile, retained its ranking of 25th place from last year. That's out of 197 law schools ranked by U.S. News. It is the 8th highest ranked law school at a public university, ahead of the law schools at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Ohio State University.

The widely touted set of annual rankings was released Tuesday by the news magazine, which compared hundreds of graduate programs on a variety of metrics.

Carole Basile, dean of the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, said that rankings are only one indicator of quality and progress.

“But our trend line makes a strong case that our college has done outstanding work for a considerable period of time. A trend line like that is signal, not noise. It’s worth recognizing and celebrating,” she said.

Melissa Woodward, a graduate student in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, said she chose the higher and postsecondary education program because she knew she wanted an immersive experience and saw the rankings improving every year.

“It’s been a great fit for me, and the faculty associates who teach the courses work in all different areas of the university, so I’ve really seen how higher education functions,” said Woodward, who also is the communications director for ASU’s Graduate and Professional Student Association.

Woodward is enjoying her position as an intern in ASU’s Education Outreach and Student Services department and is interested in student services as a career, possibly as an administrator.

“The rankings place a value on our degrees, are a great way to recruit students and show ASU’s commitment to academic excellence,” she said. “And it’s great to be part of a college that continues to do so well.”

One measure used by U.S. News & World Report to rank the education colleges was research funding, and the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College tied with Columbia for second-highest research funding at $60.1 million — behind only the University of Wisconsin, which spent $78.6 million.

This year’s full-time MBA students are the first cohort in W. P. Carey’s Forward Focus MBA — an initiative to draw highly qualified students who might not otherwise seek an advanced degree, such as entrepreneurs and non-profit leaders.

Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business, said it’s an honor to be in the top 25.

“This ranking confirms the quality of our full-time MBA, but it also reinforces the access to a great education we’re providing with our Forward Focus curriculum and scholarship,” she said.

“By opening the door to talented students from so many different backgrounds and with so many different goals, we’re not only elevating the program and the W. P. Carey School, we’re elevating the future of business.”

Among the top 25 full-time MBA programs, ASU was in the top five for highest percentage of graduates employed three months after graduation — 95.1 percent, good for fourth place.

Douglas Sylvester, dean of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, said the school’s ranking is a testament to the quality of the students and the support from the community.

“Despite the tremendous challenges facing legal education, ASU Law continues to thrive and we are honored to be recognized for this achievement,” he said.

U.S. News & World Report did not rank grad schools in public affairs or fine arts this year. Last year, ASU’s College of Public Service and Community Solutions ranked 13th overall, and its city management program was rated fourth in the country. The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts ranked 20th overall, with the print-making program rated fifth.

The magazineThe top five education graduation programs were Harvard, Stanford, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Wisconsin. The top five full-time MBA programs were Harvard, Stanford, the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania and MIT. evaluated the graduate programs on measures including surveys of deans and hiring recruiters; student selectivity; faculty resources, including the ratio of full-time doctoral students to faculty, for education programs; research activity, including expenditures; overall rank and specialty rankings.

U.S. News & World Report releases several higher education rankings throughout the year, most recently rating ASU’s online bachelor’s degree program fourth in the nation. In 2016, ASU was named the most innovative university for the second year in a row.

Mary Beth Faller

reporter , ASU Now

480-727-4503

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