Skip to Main Page Content
Address 1: 
4701 W Thunderbird Rd
Postal Code: 
Show On Map: 
image title
May 8, 2017

Celebrate ASU's newest graduates with photo galleries from the week's ceremonies

About 14,000 Sun Devils graduate from Arizona State University this week, turning their tassel and becoming the university's newest alumni. It's time to celebrate all they've accomplished in their college careers and the adventures to come.

Bookmark this page and return as we add photos from the week's convocations.


Friday, May 12–Saturday, May 13: College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, College of Health Solutions, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Hispanic Convocation


Thursday, May 11: College of Public Service and Community Solutions, W. P. Carey School of Buisiness, School of Sustainability, Black and African Convocation


Wednesday, May 10: Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Naval Comissioning Ceremony, American Indian Convocation, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, ROTC Army Comissioning Ceremony, ROTC Air Force Commissioning Cermemony, Asian/Asian Pacific American Convocation, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering


Tuesday, May 9: Barrett, The Honors College, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Undergraduate Commencement, May 8


Graduate Commencement, May 8


Saturday, May 6–Monday, May 8: Veterans Honor Stole Ceremony, International Student Graduation Stole Ceremony, Lavender Convocation, School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Thunderbird School of Global Management 

image title

Caffeine and big dreams: Sun Devils on their plans after commencement

May 5, 2017

In honor of Starbucks' Howard Schultz speaking at graduation, we ask soon-to-be ASU graduates a few questions

An open mind, good time management and a curiosity about the world — all are key tools in college students' journey toward a degree. But for many, caffeine is a crucial component as well, powering them through late-night study sessions and early-morning tests.

In light of that and in honor of Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz speaking at Arizona State University's Undergraduate Commencement on Monday, ASU Now set out to four ASU campuses to find students on the cusp of graduation.

We asked what they most looked forward to after graduation, what one question they'd ask Schultz if they could and what their caffeinated drink of choice was as they made their way through their final semester as a Sun Devil.

Video shot by Deanna Dent, Ken Fagan and Anya Magnuson and edited by Deanna Dent

Deanna Dent

Photographer , ASU Now


image title

Outgoing ASU West dean leaves legacy of interdisciplinary collaboration

ASU dean helps students think more critically about social expectations.
May 3, 2017

Tromp, forensic scientist Kimberly Kobojek and students in 'Murder Most Foul' crack baffling murder case from 1862 using combination of scientific and social aspects

Outgoing ASU West campus Dean Marlene Tromp is handing over a strong legacy. Under her guidance, the campus has added an interdisciplinary forensics major, launched a cybersecurity initiative and created mentoring programs to serve first-generation college students.

Her successor, Todd Sandrin, is looking forward to building on Tromp’s accomplishments, even as there’s one role he probably won’t be able to fill: international, Victorian-era sleuth.

Tromp, forensic scientist Kimberly KobojekKimberly Kobojek is a clinical associate professor in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences’ School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences. and students in a class called “Murder Most Foul” cracked a murder case three years ago that had baffled investigators for decades in the late 1800s after a maid was accused of hacking her friend to death with a hatchet.

“Basically,” Tromp said, “they threw up their arms like, ‘We don’t know who did this crime. We just don’t know.’”

The case, Tromp says, shows how social bias can muddle criminal justice, making it practical even today, and it features prominently in her latest book, “Intimate Murderer,” which is under review.

Tromp, currently vice provost and head of ASU’s Glendale-based New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, will step into her role as campus provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, on June 1. She’ll take her expertise in Victorian England and belief in interdisciplinary studies along with her.

“A big part of the idea” behind the “Murder Most Foul” course, which involved English history, forensic science and cultural studies, “was how do we help people be better critical thinkers?” she said.

“And that’s actually what an interdisciplinary college does so beautifully, because what we’re saying is you really can’t understand the science unless you understand social sciences, and humanities, and arts. You have to understand all these things together … because that’s what people are failing to do in a lot of these cases.”

Tromp referenced the trials involving Jodi Arias, Casey Anthony and O.J. Simpson as similar to the 150-year-old Sandyford case in which Jessie McLachlan was accused, in that the public had a hard time processing cultural expectations together with evidence.   

Without discussing the verdicts in those modern cases, Tromp said that justice wasn’t served in the 1862 hatchet attack.

Throughout the semester, Tromp and Kobojek examined with their students both the scientific and social aspects involved in the slaying of Scottish maidservant Jessie McPherson.

From the beginning, McLachlan was a suspect, Tromp said. Society’s inability, however, to conceive of a woman committing a brutal hatchet murder led to public outcry. McLachlan’s death sentence was reduced to 20 years in prison. And McPherson’s employer, James Fleming, who was nearly 90 years old at the time of his maid’s death, was rumored to have been the real killer — even though, as Tromp and Kobojek concluded, all forensic evidence pointed to McLachlan.

“Kim was able to use her forensic experience and knowledge, and I was able to use my cultural experience and knowledge, and we were able to say there’s this social component that made it hard for people to imagine [the female suspect] as a murderer,” Tromp said.

Fleming’s last words were reported to have been, “I may have been a sinner, but I didn’t kill the woman.”

McLachlan, meanwhile, went back and forth throughout her 20 years in prison between confessing and denying the crime.

“That was how the case was left,” Tromp said.

In “Intimate Murder,” Tromp examined eight separate but similar cases, both contemporary and from the 19th century.

“What I really wanted to do with this book is challenge people to think in more complex ways about cases that they think they already know and understand,” she said, “because I think that we actually have the power to become better critical readers of our culture and to be better at creating justice in the world. We can create justice more effectively if we can understand where we have our own stumbling blocks.”

Arias was convicted in the death of her boyfriend, who was found in the shower of his Mesa home. She has said it was an act of self-defense. Anthony was accused and acquitted of killing her 2-year-old daughter. Simpson was accused and acquitted in the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend.

Tromp has been with ASU since 2011 and has served as the dean of New College since 2013. She is the author of “Altered States: Sex, Nation, Drugs, and Self-Transformation in Victorian Spiritualism” (SUNY 2006); “The Private Rod: Sexual Violence, Marriage, and the Law in Victorian England” (UP Virginia 2000); and more than 20 essays and chapters on 19th-century culture.

Sandrin, meanwhile, came to ASU in 2008 and three years later founded New College Undergraduate Inquiry and Research Experiences. His research resides at the intersection of microbiology and chemistry, and he has optimized technology to identify microbes.

“We will miss her terribly,” Sandrin said of Tromp. “She has been a truly tireless advocate for our students and built partnerships and pathways that are going to allow us to do great things in the future, have more engagement with the community, and certainly grow ASU at West campus and far beyond.”

image title
April 29, 2017

John Hart attends college after years working in dead-end jobs, finds a passion for psychology, research and academia

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for spring 2017 commencement. See more graduates here.

A few years ago, John Hart found himself at a crossroads. For a long time, he’d been bouncing from one dead-end job to another, thinking that would be his life forever.

“I had this narrative in my head that I would never be able to afford school, and that I would never be able to manage going to school and work,” Hart said.

That was until he came across a mentor at work who he said pushed him to realize what he was capable of and helped him to change that narrative. He enrolled in community college classes and was off.

This May, he’s graduating from the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at ASU's West campus with a bachelor’s in psychology and has already been accepted to return in the fall of 2017 for the master’s program.

The Barrett Honors student is living proof that all you need is a goal and a will to achieve great things.

During his undergraduate years at ASU, he conducted research on human cognition using West campus’ 3-D motion-capture lab. Hart and his team studied people’s body movements as they performed problem-solving tasks to try to identify a measurable change in movement as they approached the moment of insight.

“If it is possible to be able to detect this underlying, unconscious process that leads up to insight, it’s possible that that can be implemented into educational software, for example, to prompt people who are stuck on a math problem to recognize whether they are close to insight or completely stuck, and change how it prompts them,” Hart explained. “That’s still kind of a far-off possibility though.”

Before he continues his research into human cognition this fall, ASU Now sat down with him to reflect on his progress so far.

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in? 

Answer: I had just started taking classes here and there at community college, and before that I had taught myself computer programming and web development, and I thought maybe that was what I wanted to go into but I wasn’t sure. Two of the earliest classes I took at community college were a computer programming course and a psychology course. I was just taking the psychology course to fulfill the social sciences requirement of the degree. Both courses were very remedial, covering stuff I already knew from my own reading and teaching myself. The computer programming course was stuff I already knew and it just felt very irritating to do it over again. The psychology stuff was also mostly stuff I already knew, but I had so much fun in the class engaging in conversations. That was the moment I realized, OK, this is a huge sign. This is what I actually want to do.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you, that changed your perspective?

A: I would have difficulty pinning it down to just one thing. I think what changed my perspective more than anything was a few key professors who have shown they truly care about the students. They truly care about me. And I’ve found that just that, just knowing that there are these advocates, these professors who truly care and have my back and really want me to succeed and will engage with me outside of class in deep, interesting conversations, has really helped me open up and feel like I actually fit in and helped me actually make progress.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: Partly because they were recruiting at GCC. I actually did look into quite a few colleges. I’m a working adult, I’m an older adult who came back to college, working to support my family. So I felt like I was limited to colleges here in Phoenix. I actually did look at UofA and I almost decided on UofA. I looked at Grand Canyon University, I even looked at University of Phoenix and some of the for-profits.

And along with looking at what they offered and the prices, I really looked at what was the value of the degree? And when I looked into that at all of the for-profit colleges, they just completely fell short for me. I thought it’s not worth it for me to put in this effort and this money for something that I’m not sure is going to be good for me at all.

I’m very glad I went with ASU instead. I’m getting a better education and I’m getting research experience, which I just don’t think would have been possible at those other colleges. And it also has a better reputation.

Q: Why decide on ASU West?

A: Originally, I decided on ASU West because of the location. And also because I got my associate’s degree at Glendale Community College and the recruiters from ASU West were really good about coming to GCC. When I was at GCC, I was a member of Psi Beta, which is the honors society for psychology students in community colleges. The Barrett Honors College and the ASU recruiters came to our meetings and talked about the benefits of ASU West and how nice it was, and they did a really good job of selling it. This campus feels like a small, private college. It’s a really nice atmosphere.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: I would definitely say — especially for younger students — stick with it. No matter how much it may be frustrating, stick with it and graduate because it is much harder to come back in your 30s and try to do it while you’re working a full-time job. I would also say — and this is for everyone — actually get to know your professors and go to their office hours and see them outside of class. There’s so much benefit in that interaction that you just can’t get in the classroom.

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: The Barrett Suite on West campus. It’s on the second floor of UCB. There’s a room in there with beanbags; it’s a really good spot to rest. And there’s an area with chairs and a table, and an open space where I’ve had some amazing conversations.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: This summer is going to be my first break from classes for many years. In the fall, I’m beginning the master’s of science program at ASU West. I’m going to keep working on the research that I’ve been doing as an undergrad. And after I finish my master’s, I want to go into a PhD program.

It is definitely my goal to get into academia, to become a tenure-track professor. I’m also realistic and I know that that field, that whole path in life, is extremely competitive, and there’s also an element of luck. So my fallback plan is data science. Data science is a pretty broad field, but everything that’s being done in businesses and nonprofit organizations, where we take all of this data that we now have about people’s behavior, everything that’s collected from online activity, from our mobile devices, these huge data sets, is being used to figure out how we can get insight out of it.

Traditionally data science has been dominated by people with applied math degrees or computer science degrees. But more and more, businesses are looking for people with psychology and philosophy degrees because they want people who can really think about complex issues, who can think about how to design research. Psychology research actually has a lot of emphasis on using statistics, which is very important in data science. So I feel like with my mathematics background, my job experience as a data analyst at Cox Communications and my psychology education, I’ll be pretty well-prepared to [go into data science] as well if I have to. But I really want to go into academia, do research and teach.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: Something I think is too big of a problem to solve but I think is something that would be good to start trying to solve is inequality in education. We know that there are really great schools out there, and the reason they’re really great schools is because of these small classrooms with really great teachers. And it’d be great if we could just have that everywhere.

That’s something that’s an immense, intractable problem, but I do think that we could start to tackle it. We could maybe find ways to use the research that’s done in cognitive science, in how children learn and develop, to build better schools, to find better ways of finding and training and incentivizing good teachers.

I know it’s a type of problem that a lot of people have tried to tackle and we’ve seen that some of the attempts to fix it have had unintended consequences, like the problem we now have with standardized testing. I think what I would do with that money would be to start a nonprofit foundation that would focus on educational research to try to find ways to make education better.


Top photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Emma Greguska

Reporter , ASU Now

(480) 965-9657

image title
New College Dean Todd Sandrin touts success of NCUIRE program.
April 28, 2017

Recently named dean, vice provost of New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences wants to 'rewire academia in the West Valley'

When you’ve gotten used to waking up to your iPhone buzzing, asking Google every random question that pops into your head and relying on GPS to get around, it can be easy to forget how new it all is.

“We’ve come so far in developing technology so quickly,” said Todd Sandrin, that “the rate at which we can adapt to, comprehend and engage the solutions has plateaued a little bit.”

He wants to address that in his new role: dean and vice provost of ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. 

“At New College and at West campus, we have an opportunity to rewire academia in the West Valley at a scale we haven’t seen before,” Sandrin said.

“When we think about changing the way the next generation thinks about and solves problems, ensuring they’re critical thinkers, adaptable learners, flexible lifelong learners, we’ve got all the raw ingredients right here.”

Sandrin said his biggest challenge will be thinking about how to “rewire the academic institution in a way that allows human adaptability to be at the rate which it needs to be to allow all of humanity to use those wonderful technological devices and ideas to their maximal benefit.”

He’s not intimidated by the challenge, saying it’s something ASU and New College have already begun to do.

Sandrin will succeed Marlene Tromp as New College dean. He joined ASU in 2008 as associate director of the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences after being lured away from a faculty position at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh by ASU President Michael Crow’s “grand idea” for a New American University.

“The idea of aligning what we do as an institution of higher education with what the world, with what society needs really attracted me,” Sandrin said. “President Crow’s vision of that alignment — and how it should come about, and how quickly it needed to come about — were really exciting to me, so I wanted to be a part of that.”

Most recently, Sandrin has served as associate dean of New College. He also has served as a professor of microbiology and as director of New College Undergraduate Inquiry and Research Experiences, which he founded in 2011. As its name suggests, NCUIRE provides New College undergrads the opportunity to engage in meaningful research partnerships with faculty and other undergraduates across the disciplines.

"Todd reflects the qualities of leadership we sought and the breadth of experience to lead the college to develop dynamic new initiatives, enhance the high quality of education offered to our New College students and grow the student enrollment," said Mark Searle, executive vice president and university provost.

Sandrin has been pleased with his work. At NCUIRE, students have published alongside world-class faculty in top-tier journals, and they’ve attended and presented at internationally recognized conferences.

Students who participate in NCUIRE have a 97 percent year-to-year retention rate, and transfer students who participate in NCUIRE have a 100 percent graduation rate — something that speaks to ASU’s commitment to access and to the value of a mentor-mentee relationship, Sandrin said.

There is no GPA requirement to participate in the program.

“As long as the student can articulate to a faculty member [what they’d like to research], and the faculty member says the student has the fire in their belly … we believe that’s the most important criteria,” he said. “And that, I believe, is why we see outcomes like that.”

Sandrin has mentored several NCUIRE students, working on research that looks at how to optimize microbial identifying technology. He and his students were able to take the process of identifying a germ and what drugs it is resistant to from several hours down to a few seconds.

Several hospitals, including ones run by Banner Health and the Mayo Clinic, use the methods they’ve developed, and it wouldn’t have been possible without interdisciplinary collaboration; Sandrin and his students worked with statisticians, an area life scientists don’t generally use, to help improve their process.

Being a mentor to students is a rewarding experience, Sandrin said.“What excites me sometimes most is to see them doing work they never knew they could do,” because it is “work which leverages the intersection between disciplines, that space where, for whatever reason, people have not yet looked for solutions.”

But for faculty and students at ASU, he said, it’s second nature.

“It’s what we do as an interdisciplinary group of scholars across ASU and certainly in New College,” he said. “It is what we’re trained to do.”

Sandrin said he is looking forward to serving as dean of New College but points out there are seven total colleges at ASU’s West campus, each of which complement each other and allow for collaboration across the disciplines.

“We have the interdisciplinary perspective, we have the expertise, we have the faculty who are committed to doing this on all fronts, and we have students that we are looking forward to serving.”

To learn more about New College and its 70-plus degree programs, click here.

Top photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

ASU to Ditch the Dumpster starting next week

Students can donate, recycle unwanted items as they move out of residence halls

April 20, 2017

For a ninth consecutive year, Arizona State University is organizing an effort to help local students, families and organizations.

Starting on Monday, April 24 — two days after Earth Day — ASU students can "Ditch the Dumpster" by donating or recycling unwanted items as they are moving out of their residence hall towards the end of the school year. This year's event will run through May 12, and for the second conseucitve year, every pound donated and recycled will generate scholarships through the Tempe Dollars for Scholars program. A student participates in a previous Ditch the Dumpster effort. A student participates in a previous Ditch the Dumpster effort. Download Full Image

"It's a great program," said Katie Schumacher, the ASU Zero Waste senior program coordinator. "We provide students on campus with opportunities to donate and divert items from the landfill as they move out. The program also brings together many departments across the university, including Unviersity Housing, Zero Waste, Grounds Services and ASU Police."

In addition to the new scholarship effort, ASU is also starting a donation bag system on the Tempe campus. Goodwill, one of the six outside sponsors of the initiative, has contributed 10,000 bags that will be handed out to Tempe residents for the sole purpose of donations. 

It's no coincidence that the creative attempt at recycling comes from the only university in the country with a school dedicated to sustainability.

According to Schumacher, limiting landfill waste is a big reason why ASU holds this event each year.

"Ditch the Dumpster fits most closely in with the university zero waste goal, which is one of four sustainability goals," Schumacher said. "This program provides students with an opportunity to divert material away from the landfill and put it directly into reuse within the surrounding community, ultimately supporting the goal of waste diversion from the landfill."

A total of 523 tons has been diverted from the landfill throughout the history of this event. Questions can be sent to

Connor Pelton

Reporter, ASU Now

image title
Flexible programs at ASU Study Abroad allow for different ways to see the world.
Want to study abroad & stay on track with degree? @ASUStudyAbroad has your back.
April 20, 2017

Since the inception of Global Intensive Experiences, the number of students studying abroad during breaks has more than doubled

When considering challenges such as staying on track for an on-time graduation, taking time away from family or work obligations and making a big dent in finances, the Arizona State University Study Abroad Office adopted a new program model to meet students where they are.

Similar to faculty-led programs where students take courses with an ASU professor and other ASU students, this new type of program (coined Global Intensive Experiences) bridges these gaps, and does so during seven- to 12-day academic breaks, typically winter or spring break.

With tuition packaged within the regular semester costs, these programs offer an affordable price tag (particularly since financial aid and scholarships apply) and don’t disrupt jam-packed major maps. These programs are also ideal for first-generation college students, the novice traveler or students who want to reserve their summers for internships or work.

“By offering innovative scheduling options, we can reach more students with different kinds of experiences,” said Andi Hess, study abroad program faculty director.

This past spring break, students learned about the coffee industry in Costa Ricadove into topics related to borders and identity in Cuba and got a taste for the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic — all while earning academic credit. Starting in 2016, there were four programs and 65 student participants. In the current year, students had three times the amount of opportunity at 12 programs, with 176 student participants, and 2018 will offer around 30 programs with spots for nearly 300 students.

The Study Abroad Office hasn’t stopped there. To offer more options for students’ schedules, spring 2018 is a pioneering time for semester-long faculty-led programs abroad, offered during sessions A and B. The goal of these programs is to provide more economically sound options for students without disrupting their academic schedules.

One of the inaugural semester faculty-led programs in Chiang Mai, Thailand (directed by ASU Professor Martin Matuštík), offers a direct look into the culture through the Southeast Asian-West Perspectives on Philosophy, Religion and Society. With the choice of six or nine credits, students will spend seven and a half weeks bookended between winter break and spring break studying death, social conflict and transformation, and cultural and gender studies.

“Spending a semester abroad is something that a student may never have time to do again. ASU offers many programs abroad, but this one is among the very few that give students a full semester-equivalent abroad and still one session back on campus,” Matuštík said.

Besides developing intercultural competence and leadership skills required to face global challenges, Matuštík noted that students will “expand in new directions, make one’s resume stand out, pursue new topics for a capstone, thesis or field experience (clinical, political-NGO, religious or social work field experience or internship).”

On the other side of the world, Hess’ session B program is another faculty-directed option to study Identity and Conflict in the Balkans.

“The semester schedule also allows students to fit study abroad into their planned academic schedule in ways many can’t during the summers due to family, work and other obligations,” she said. “Innovative options like embedded semester programs allow us to reach more students with these incredible transformative opportunities, which in turn enriches our community.”

This five-week program offers six credits for students and covers five cities in four countries across Eastern Europe.

“We will be able to engage with local people of all kinds that would otherwise be inaccessible during the busy summer months when many areas are crowded with tourists. We are also able to offer these programs to students at a lower cost when they occur during off-seasons,” Hess said.

These programs support the vision of the Study Abroad Office in providing every student with meaningful opportunities for academic and personal growth. Students can participate in programs as short as a week, as long as a year and everything in between. ASU credit is issued on all programs, and students can earn credit toward their major, minor, certificate, general education coursework or electives. Global Intensive Experiences and faculty-led programs are only two of the four program types, with partnership and exchange options readily available for students as well.

Apply to Matuštík’s program in Thailand here, or follow his Facebook page for more details. The application to Hess’ program in the Balkans is here. The deadline for these two programs is Sept. 25.

To learn more about the 250-plus study abroad programs in more than 65 different countries offered at ASU, see the Study Abroad Office website.


Top photo: The Phra Singh Temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Photo by Panupong Roopyai/Wikimedia Commons

Carrie Herrera Niesen

Communications and marketing specialist , Study Abroad Office


Sun Devils making a difference in your neighborhood

Largest philanthropic event of the year brings ASU students together, committed to make a change

April 5, 2017

For the fourth consecutive year, Arizona State University partnered with the Valley of the Sun United Way to present Sun Devils UNITE on March 31 through April 9 across four of ASU’s campuses, raising awareness and money for Arizona’s most underserved populations.

Students learn that it is important to be a good neighbor and take responsibility for the overall health of the surrounding community. Sun Devils have contributed more than 1.8 million hours of community service. Students do service projects as part of Devils in Disguise Freshman sports journalism major Keaton Milburn talks with Jaslyn Ravenscraft before their service project at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul main campus. Students filled pill bottles with single-use servings of shampoo and conditioner for those who visit St. Vincent de Paul. Photo by Anya Magnuson/ASU Now Download Full Image

“Community service is so important because it gives students the opportunity to connect with the problems in their community and be a part of a solution,” said junior and Devils in Disguise chair Erica Balderas. “It allows students and student organizations to create partnerships with local nonprofits, and it allows students to meet people they would not normally meet and get outside of their college bubble. It makes people feel more a part of their communities.”

The Sun Devils UNITE weeklong humanitarian events are hosted by student organizations to raise awareness among the ASU community and focus on challenges facing surrounding communities. This year’s goal? To raise $150,000 through the series of events hosted this week including Buffalo Wild Wings Percentage Day on Wednesday in Tempe, where 10 percent of the proceeds will go towards the fundraising goal, and the Bleed Maroon Blood Drive at POST I San Carlos at noon Thursday at the Downtown Phoenix campus.

The Sun Devils UNITE week kicked off with Devils in Disguise, the largest student-led day of service at ASU. In its 17th year, student organizations participate in this project by hosting volunteer sites, engaging and encouraging their fellow Sun Devils to sign up and devote a Saturday to serving the local community.

“Events like Devils in Disguise are important because they add to the ASU experience, and it brings students from different majors, ages, backgrounds and clubs together to celebrate the culture of service at ASU. Events like this make me feel proud to be a Sun Devil,” Balderas said.

On April 1, approximately 820 students from Phoenix metropolitan campus locations and the Lake Havasu location deployed to more than 55 volunteer sites. Students helped serve their community in different capacities at organizations such as St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix, Thew Elementary in Tempe and the Exceptional Rodeo and Spring Fair in Lake Havasu.

Lake Havasu students were part of the Exceptional Rodeo and Spring Fair. The event was sponsored by HoofBeats from Heaven, who help improve well-being through horse therapy and related activities, and Milemarker’s Therapy Clinic, focused on family-oriented and play-based speech and occupational therapy. All student volunteers were hands-on, assisting in booth set-up and staffing booths and activities.

Balderas added that signature events like the one this past weekend allow students to find ways to further their involvement with Changemaker Central — a community of students leading social change in the local and global community — and any of the nonprofits served on Saturday.

The purpose of the week is to connect students and partner with Valley of the Sun United Way to accomplish a range of goals: improving the quality of education, combating hunger and homelessness and assisting children and families across the Valley. It also encourages students to get involved in philanthropic events year-round.

“Devils in Disguise is something every student should participate in at least once during their time in college,” Balderas said. “We have numerous projects to accommodate the different interests of the student body. Students who are hesitant to participate should join in anyway and bring their friends. They can even make new friends while participating in a great cause.”

image title
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


Annual staff BBQ promotes sustainable socialization, employee engagement

March 13, 2017

On behalf of Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow, ASU Staff Council hosts annual staff barbecues on four ASU campuses. The barbecues set aside time for staff to get to know each other and learn about resources. 

The event began when Crow asked that a barbecue be held to honor staff achievements. The first barbecue outgrew the original Old Main area, and since 2011 it is the largest zero waste event each year. Large crowd at West Two-hundred fifty staff members enjoy their lunch at the West campus Staff Appreciation BBQ Wednesday, March 2. Download Full Image

This year’s barbecues drew more than 3,800 attendees, including: 

  • Downtown Phoenix campus: 435
  • Polytechnic campus: 175
  • Tempe campus: 3,000
  • West campus: 250

“The picnic allows us to appreciate staff for their achievements,” said Stephen Potter, Staff Council president. “We also take this time to educate staff on the many opportunities Staff Council and ASU provide to staff year-round.”

The event not only celebrates staff, but educates them about landfill waste diversion. Katie Schumacher, Zero Waste program coordinator, said despite the large attendance, the 2017 events diverted 94.3 percent of all event waste from a landfill.

“This event was one of the first large-scale university events to incorporate zero waste,” she said.

Vendors, like MidFirst Bank and BC Graphics, provided information. Resources like ASU Employee Wellness, ASU Police Department and Zero Waste at ASU were also in attendance. One group that is always proud to be part of the experience is the ASU Retirees Association (ASURA).

“Not many ASU staff are aware of the ASURA and what it does,” said Barry McNeil, ASURA president. “These barbecues give us an incredible opportunity to alert people to the lasting legacy of Sun Devils.”

Sign up for Staff Council monthly updates for information on upcoming events and news.

Upcoming Staff Council events:

Peter Northfelt

Editor assistant, Business and Finance Support – Communications