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Students raise funds for former foster youth studying at ASU

February 22, 2016

Only 3 percent of former foster youth who attend college ultimately graduate.

Many times unexpected expenses are what stand between them and completing their degrees. ProMod class PitchFunder campaign A group of students hopes to help their peers with a PitchFunder campaign to raise emergency funds that help cover expenses and keep students in school. Download Full Image

While some students can turn to their parents or guardians for help with buying books, financing medical bills and paying for unexpected expenses, college students who aged out of the foster-care system usually do not have that same type of financial support.

A group of Arizona State University students aims to solve that problem for fellow students.

As part of a new learning pilot class called ProMod, students in the College of Public Service and Community Solutions decided to create a PitchFunder campaign to raise funds. Their goal is $10,000 to create the Bridging Success Emergency Fund.

The money will go to the Bridging Success program, which was launched last year to help former foster youth — both current and prospective students — pursue and finish their college education. The Arizona foster-care tuition waiver, a bill signed into law by former Gov. Jan Brewer in 2013, helps Arizona’s foster youth earn a college degree by offering free tuition. 

“We started this emergency fund because, although these students do receive financial aid and tuition, there’s still expenses that aren’t fully covered,” said Ernesto Hernandez, one of the students running the campaign.

These expenses include online course fees, book fees, hospital bills, rent increases, transportation and other unexpected payments that students’ tuition and scholarships might not cover.  

Cynthia Alaffa, a student in the Bridging Success program, said that although her scholarship covered most of her finances, she knew other students who were in different situations.

“They’ve had excess fees, and some of those excess fees caused them to not re-enroll for the next semester,” she said.

The campaign has already raised almost half of the funds for its $10,000 goal, but the campaign has just over a week left.

The money will expand the financial aid currently offered by the ASU Bridging Success program, which has continued to grow since its initial grant from the Nina Mason Pulliam Trust. ASU’s Women & Philanthropy funded Bridging Success Early-Start to help support specialized programming for incoming freshmen. The overall goal is to connect students to resources and each other to help them persist in their education.

“The biggest thing is helping them feel connected,” said Bridging Success coordinator Justine Cheung. “And that’s what makes them stay and finish.”

The ProMod class is a project-based, modular learning class that applies what students learn in their degree programs to public service efforts benefitting the community.

ProMod student Anna Piper said, “It feels good to know that we are able to help former foster youth out and able to raise this money and actually make a difference for them.”

Learn more about the Bridging Success Emergency Fund PitchFunder campaign.

Written by Andres Guerra Luz

Heather Beshears

director marketing and communications, College of Public Service and Community Solutions


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McCain says these are strange days, indeed

John McCain: "I've never seen anything like" current presidential election.
Sen. McCain says we're living in rare times.
February 19, 2016

Arizona senator discussed politics, the election and global security in talk at ASU

U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is a man people come to for answers, but when it comes to the 2016 presidential election he’s as baffled as the next guy.

“We’re in the most unusual period in American political history in modern times,” said the Arizona Republican, who was the GOP’s nominee for president in 2008 and one of the most high-profile veterans of the Vietnam War.

“I’ve never seen anything like it and know of no political pundit who could have predicted it, and I don’t know what’s going to happen next.”

McCain visited the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication on Arizona State University's Downtown Phoenix campus Friday to take part in “Iconic Voices,” a public interview series.

Moderated by Professor of Practice Jeff Cunningham, the discussion was attended by approximately 200 students, faculty and members of the public. It explored McCain’s views on the 2016 election, global security, refugees in Europe, the state of the Arizona economy and his political career.

The 79-year-old McCain was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982 and four years later to the U.S. Senate, where he has remained for three decades. He currently serves as the chairman of the Senate Armed Forces Committee and sits on the Senate’s committees on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and Indian Affairs. 

John McCain

Sen. John McCain talks with Jeff Cunningham as part of his "Iconic Voices" series at the ASU Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication on Feb. 19 in Phoenix. McCain touched on a variety of topics ranging from the presidential candidates to the Supreme Court to North Korea. Photos by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

McCain said the 2016 presidential election is being driven by anger, dissatisfaction and mistrust in elected officials, which is why Republican candidate Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, a Democrat from Vermont, are emerging as front-runners for their respective parties.

“There are lots of Americans who are angry. Millions of Americans looking for work. Millions of Americans who have not seen any improvement in their lives since the economic crash of 2008,” McCain said. “There’s a lot of middle-aged Americans that yearn for a previous era in our history where we had a steadily improving economy, when we were the strongest nation in the world. There’s a great deal of unhappiness, and there’s a great deal of uncertainty.”

McCain said Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” and the perception that he is not a part of the establishment are resonating with voters who are looking for something different.

“He (Trump) defies all historic precedence,” McCain said.

Sanders’ popularity among younger voters, McCain said, is his belief that that all education should be free in the United States and that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton doesn’t engender public trust.

“So many young Americans carry this burden, particularly if you go into a profession like medicine and others, where they’re carrying hundreds of thousands of dollars of student loans, which will take them years to pay off,” McCain said. “Bernie Sanders says all education should be free and, yes, it’s a simplistic statement, but I also think that he’s popular because Hillary Clinton has an issue of trust. … If people don’t trust a candidate, then they’re not willing to examine their other values. Right now, Secretary Clinton’s trust numbers are in the 30s.”

A possible independent third party could emerge in the race, McCain said, in New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose net worth is estimated at around $44 billion.

“He could spend a couple of billion and it wouldn’t bother him in the slightest,” McCain said. “I’m not saying it’s gonna happen, but I think two things could happen that have never happened in modern times — one is a third-party candidate who is very viable and the other scenario on the Republic side is a brokered conventionIn U.S. politics, a brokered convention is a situation in which no single candidate has secured a pre-existing majority of delegates (whether those selected by primary elections and caucuses, or superdelegates) prior to the first official vote for a political party's presidential candidate at its nominating convention. — Wikipedia, which happened with Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan and was a disaster. It could lead to a Democratic or Independent victory.”

McCain said whatever happens in the 2016 election will not only be memorable but historic.

“These are the most telling times, my friends,” McCain said. “You’ll be telling your grandchildren about it.”

Reporter , ASU Now


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Exploring dignity in death with a Jewish perspective

How do we die with dignity? An ASU conference will take a Jewish perspective.
Rabbis, chaplains, physicians to explore dying with dignity at ASU conference.
February 19, 2016

Conference to gather academics, physicians, rabbis to explore complicated issue

How do we die with dignity?

An Arizona State University professor is bringing together voices from science and religion to explore this complicated issue at a conference this weekend.

The discussion will have a Jewish viewpoint. Rabbis, chaplains, physicians, academics and people of faith will gather for “Health, Mortality and Morality: Jewish Perspectives” on Sunday and Monday. This will be the eighth annual conference held by the Judaism, Science and Medicine Group, which is part of the Center for Jewish Studies at ASU.

Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, director of the center, said a goal of the conference is not to be contentious.

“It’s not about being enemies. It’s not about being friends,” she said. “It’s how we understand the past, present and future, taking into consideration both science and religion.”

The relationship should not be understood as “either/or” but rather as “both/and,” she said.

“You need both approaches to figure out how humanity has thought about itself,” said Tirosh-Samuelson, who launched the Judaism, Science and Medicine Group in 2008.

The conferenceBesides the Center for Jewish Studies, the other sponsors are the Harold and Jean Grossman Chair in Jewish Studies and the Irving and Miriam Lowe Professor of Modern Judaism. Co-sponsors include Valley Beit Midrash and the Dr. Michael Anbar Memorial Lecture in Judaism, Sciences and Medicine Endowment. will bring together people representing different strands of Judaism — including Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist.

“These people are right next to each other and have to talk to each other. It’s not common,” she said. “It’s hard to do.”

Tirosh-Samuelson said she’s succeeding in drawing together these different voices because a university is a good place to tackle difficult and emotional subjects like dying.

“It’s not advocacy. We can look at it in an analytical way,” she said.

“It’s all about creating bridges.”

The conference lecturesThe conference will be at the Embassy Suites Phoenix-Scottsdale, 4415 East Paradise Village Parkway South, Phoenix. will include “Can the Bible Be Our Guide?” and “Dying in the Age of Advanced Medicine.”

Previous conferences have addressed topics including obesity, addiction, healing and evolution.

She said the conferences are not large, but the discussions are deep. And the work is at a high level. The Journal of Jewish Ethics has agreed to produce a special issue based on next week’s conference after the presenters’ papers have been reviewed.

The focus on science and religion is a distinctive focus of the Center for Jewish Studies. Another aspect of Tirosh-Samuelson’s research focuses on religion and ecology and this semester she is teaching a course on “Religion and Environment.”

The newly launched Spirituality and Sustainability Initiative at ASU indicates that people are beginning to pay more attention to the relevance of religion and culture to our contemporary ecological crisis. 

“We should all be grateful to Pope Francis, whose encyclical 'Laudato SiLaudato si is the second encyclical of Pope Francis. The encyclical has the subtitle On Care For Our Common Home. — Wikipedia'  has made the ecological crisis into a moral issue of the first order,” Tirosh-Samuelson said.

Top photo: Hava Tirosh-Samuelson is director of ASU's Center for Jewish Studies and launched the Judaism, Science and Medicine Group in 2008. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Mary Beth Faller

Reporter , ASU Now


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How the West campus was won

ASU West was created in mid-1980s in response to decade-long grassroots effort.
The architecture at ASU West was modeled after Oxford and Cambridge.
ASU West has been designated a Phoenix "Point of Pride."
February 18, 2016

ASU's West campus — which began as one student's project and grew into a formidable grassroots campaign — is thriving as it turns 30

Wind spatters Fletcher Library’s three-story picture window with rain, but inside hardly anyone notices.

The crowd grows inside the library — the first building to be completed on Arizona State University’s West campus — kicking off a monthlong 30th-anniversary celebration of the groundbreaking of the campus that would firmly establish the university’s presence in the West Valley. Among the throng on a rainy day in early February are West campus Vice Provost Marlene TrompMarlene Tromp also serves as a professor of English and women and gender studies, and dean of ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences., campus architects Gerald McSheffrey and Jack DeBartolo, and the library’s namesake, Robert L. Fletcher.

The West campus began rather humbly, as a class project of Glendale Community College student Barbara Ridge, who called for the establishment of a West Valley ASU campus. Ridge was not alone in her vision, and soon, members of the community rallied behind her in support.

State Sen. Debbie McCune Davis was among them. She remembers the three-and-a-half years she spent driving back and forth between 54th Avenue and Camelback Road in Glendale and ASU’s Tempe campus to attend classes during the 1970s.

“Every single day, I said, ‘We need a campus in the West Valley.’ I mean, it was as clear as can be,” she recalled.

Also in agreement was state Rep. Lela Alston, who was familiar with the same long drive.

“We knew that this community on the west side, which was growing and thriving, deserved an opportunity to go to college and expand and give back to our community,” Alston said. “It was just such an obvious need, and all of us representatives from the west side were resolute about that being our number one priority.”

In 1972, Ridge and her supporters formed the Westside Citizens Committee for Higher Education to push the cause forward. Four years later, in 1976, after a furious letter-writing campaign that inundated House and Senate members with 2,000 handwritten pleas for support, a feasibility study was undertaken. After a year of deliberation, the study committee decided it was time to establish education facilities on the west side.

Both McCune Davis and Alston were present on April 18, 1984, when Gov. Bruce Babbitt signed Senate Bill 1245 officially establishing Arizona State University West. Architects Gerald McSheffrey and Jack DeBartolo were called upon to design the new campus, and two years later, in 1986, the groundbreaking took place at 47th Avenue and Thunderbird Road.

McSheffrey recalled the scene: “[It] was 300 acres of just desert.”

But he and DeBartolo had a vision of a campus that conveyed a sense of place; a feeling that, “when you’re here, you can’t be anywhere else.”

So they set to work, modeling the campus and its buildings after the cloisters and courtyards of Oxford and Cambridge. The move was a calculated one, allowing for larger walkways and breezeways that provide ample shade and protection from the harsh Arizona climate.

During construction, DeBartolo says he often daydreamed of the end result.

“I was visualizing students running across [Fletcher] lawn to get to the shade, and having fellowship and interaction in the courtyards,” he said.

Today, it’s safe to say those daydreams are a reality. At the 30th-anniversary celebration, Tromp welcomed the crowd to what she called “the most beautiful campus at ASU.”

“ASU West has made a lasting mark on the state of Arizona, and a lasting mark on the world,” Tromp told the crowd. “We have alumsASU West campus alumni include Arizona’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year Jeff Kunowski, state Sen. Martin Quezada and cybersecurity firm co-founder Edward Vasko. who have done extraordinary things. ... And it’s because of the beautiful foundation they had in this community that, just like the external West Valley community, gathered together to create this campus.”

Today, ASU West serves thousands of students in more than 50 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs. Each year, academic program offerings expand to meet increased workforce and marketplace demands in subjects such as applied computing, natural sciences, teacher education, criminal justice, nursing, global business and accountancy — the dedicated faculty who teach those subjects are top-caliber experts in their fields. The physical campus has also expanded, most recently to include a state-of-the-art fitness complex, as well as new dining and residence halls.

“We could talk about the number of programs we’ve produced, the kinds of academic impacts we’ve made, but we’d be falling short if we didn’t talk about the way it has changed people’s lives,” said Tromp. “Having this campus here has changed people’s lives, and it changed the West Valley.”

The 30th-anniversary celebration continues all month. Join in the fun at noon Saturday, Feb. 20, at the lacrosse tailgate birthday bash. Attendees will have the opportunity to take a picture with Sparky, enjoy cupcakes and test their knowledge in an ASU West trivia game for fun prizes.

To delve even deeper into the history of ASU’s West campus, check out the ASU West History Project in ASU Libraries Digital Repository.

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Affirming inclusion as the ASU way

ASU President Crow, university leaders preach inclusion mind-set at ASU.
February 18, 2016

President Crow and other ASU leaders discuss inclusive mind-set during a Diversity Dialogue

Arizona State University is working to defeat the deep-rooted idea that higher education is an exclusive enterprise, a privilege set for only a segment of the population.

And the university is working to empower the current generation of students to carry out that mission, according to ASU President Michael Crow.

“Our entire education system is built around the notion of exclusivity, scarcity, hierarchy and social status,” Crow said during a panel discussion titled “Creating Success by Whom We Include,” sponsored by the Faculty Women of Color Caucus at the Marston Exploration Theater on Thursday, Feb. 18.

“If you want inclusion to work, you must defeat that.”

Crow cited ASU’s Starbucks Initiative and the Global Freshmen Academy as two programs that have greatly expanded access to university credit. 

He also said that for current students — whom he described as “late Millennials” — easy access to technology has made their world more egalitarian.

“Our students have unbelievably high expectations for the environment when they come to the university,” he said. “They assume it will be inclusive. They believe our society should be inclusive.”

People sitting at a table.

ASU President Michael Crow (left) joins
panelists Colleen Jennings-Roggensack,
Edmundo Hidalgo, Bryan Brayboy and
Ray Anderson at a Diversity Dialogue
on Feb. 18.
Photos by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

The panelists said that ASU’s work toward becoming more inclusive of all types of people is ongoing.

Crow noted that in 1991, only 3 percent of ASU’s students came from families eligible to receive the federal Pell Grant financial aid. In 2002, it was about 10 percent, and now it’s about 40 percent.

He said that ASU’s approach has been to alter its culture, which is not easy.

“Would you be rejected by this institution as a leader or faculty member if you didn’t believe in this inclusion? The answer now is yes,” he said.

Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, executive director for ASU Gammage and associate vice president of cultural affairs, said she prefers the term “inclusion” to “diversity.”

“Diversity means ‘not me,’ while ‘inclusion’ means everyone,” she said.

At Gammage, the staff has collaborated with communities in Arizona to express their cultures.

“We worked with the Latino community, and they wanted a chance to share their culture defined from the beginning of time to today, and reflective of class structure,” she said. “There are 14 Asian communities, and we’ve worked with 29 First Nation communities.”

“We need to recognize that students come to us with millennia worth of knowledge. What we do is help them to envision and enact their own futures.”
— Bryan Brayboy, special adviser to President Crow on Indian initiatives

Ray Anderson, vice president for university athletics, said that his background in the private sector — including the National Football League — proved that inclusion is simply good business.

And that concept translates from the business world to ASU.

“We are trying to recruit and sell young men and women and their parents on what we are here,” Anderson said. “There is a higher comfort level when they know there are folks who look like them. We have women and we have brown-skinned folks.”

Edmundo Hildago, vice president for outreach partnerships for ASU, said the university must be willing to have difficult conversations about inclusion.

"We have to bring those conversations forward and not pass the buck when the opportunities present themselves," he said.

Bryan Brayboy, special adviser to Crow on Indian initiatives, noted that ASU is built on the ancestral lands of Native Americans.

“We need to recognize that students come to us with millennia worth of knowledge. What we do is help them to envision and enact their own futures,” he said.

He echoed Crow’s frequent theme of ASU preparing people to be lifelong “master learners.”

“It’s important that we take it a step further. We’re preparing master learners to become master doers.” 

Mary Beth Faller

Reporter, ASU Now


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A taste of Native culture

UNITY conference helps to build a better Native America.
February 15, 2016

UNITY conference celebrates Native America culture, helps to build a better Native America

The United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) hosted its' midyear conference in Mesa this past weekend, bringing scores of students from across the United States to participate in Native youth leadership exercises and to build community amongst Native youth.

The three day conference was supported in part by the Arizona State University American Indian Initiatives, the Yavapai Apache Nation, the San Carlos Apache Tribe and 12News. UNITY, in its 40th year, seeks to foster the spiritual, mental, physical and social development of American Indian and Alaska Native youth and to help build a strong, unified, and self-reliant Native America through greater youth involvement. Sessions featured subjects from environmental advocacy to budgeting for young adults and the importance of voting. The local Mesa Strength Youth Council also invited students attending to a "Taste of the Southwest," encouraging visitors to learn about different Arizona tribe's food and drinks from prickly pear preserves of the Hualapai to the Pascua Yaqui's atole.

Deanna Dent

Photographer , ASU Now


ASU Polytechnic team wins wildlife Quiz Bowl

February 10, 2016

Buoyed by the thrill of participating in the 2013 national wildlife trivia Quiz Bowl, held in conjunction with the annual conference of The Wildlife Society, four ASU Polytechnic natural resource management students returned from that contest with a big idea.

What if a similar Quiz Bowl event could be offered at the regional level? ASU Polytechnic students are regional wildlife Quiz Bowl champs ASU Polytechnic team members (from left) James Ecton, Jacquie Evans, Sky Arnett-Romero and Jessica Latzko accepted the Quiz Bowl "traveling plaque" from Quentin Hays (far right), president of the New Mexico Wildlife Society. The award was presented in front of the 400 professionals and students who gathered for the joint annual meeting of the Arizona – New Mexico Chapters of the American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society. Download Full Image

“Held closer to home, it would give more students the chance to compete — and also be a hook to get students engaged with the professional community of researchers and practitioners in wildlife biology and habitat management,” said Heather Bateman, associate professor of applied biological sciences in the College of Letters and Sciences, who took up the cause and chaired the committee that launched the first regional Quiz Bowl competition in 2014.

Three years later, the contest has become quite popular with student chapters, which now have the chance to compete at the Joint Annual Meeting of the Arizona and New Mexico Chapters of the American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society.

Last week, when the societies gathered for their 49th joint annual meeting at the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona, from Feb. 4-6, the Quiz Bowl competition drew nine teams: one from Northern Arizona University, one from Prescott College, two from New Mexico State University, two from Eastern New Mexico University, two from Bosque School and one from ASU.

Coming full circle, this year’s Quiz Bowl committee was chaired by a member of that first ASU team to compete at nationals, alumnus Brett Montgomery, now with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. 

ASU’s 2016 team of James Ecton, Jacquie Evans, Sky Arnett-Romero, and Jessica Latzko — all applied biological sciences majors from ASU’s natural resource ecology program in the College of Letters and Sciences at the Polytechnic campus — finished strong in every round, earning a place in the finals.

“It was a repeat of last year’s final match-up — we once again faced a team from New Mexico State,” said Latzko, president of the Wildlife and Restoration Student Association at the Polytechnic campus and a veteran of the 2015 ASU team which took home second place.

But this year the Sun Devil team prevailed.

“None of us thought we would do as well as we did; we were just hoping that we didn't get crushed,” said teammate Jacquie Evans, who is president of ASU’s student chapter of the Society for Range Management. “We realized that we may have a chance when we watched the first round and knew almost all of the answers between the four of us. 

“The win was truly a team effort,” Evans continued. “We each had our own areas of expertise: Sky covered the reptile questions; Jessica got the fisheries questions; I knew about birds and plants; and James provided support, random trivia, and a really important quick reflex.” 

The finals drew a standing-room-only audience of more than 150 people — all on tenterhooks — for a contest in which teams not only need to know the right answer but must be quick to buzz in.  

“I was on the edge of my seat, trying to hide my emotions and had my hand over my mouth so I wouldn’t accidently ‘mouth’ any answers,” said ASU’s faculty coach, Stan Cunningham, wildlife biology lecturer on the Science and Mathematics Faculty in the College of Letters and Sciences. “It was tight but it was a good win.”

Cunningham, who also chaired one of the wildlife panels at the meeting, said he received numerous compliments on the caliber of ASU’s students, their overall turnout at the meeting (17 students attended), and the ASU Polytechnic program.

“This type of recognition does a lot for our program and, more importantly, our students’ ability to compete for professional positions,” he said. “We have an excellent natural resources ecology curriculum at the Polytechnic campus. Our students have done well with it, and it's nice to see it gaining visibility.”

In addition to competing, students participated in the full range of conference events, including fisheries and wildlife sessions focused on new research, technology, best practices, and the impact of climate change; poster sessions; as well as a timely plenary session, “Who Will Manage the Future of Our Public Lands,” which brought together elected officials, policymakers, conservation activists, and USDA Forest Service practitioners.

“I was glad so many of our students were able to be at these meetings and attend a plenary devoted to a current political and public policy debate that will directly impact their careers and our wildlife,” said Cummingham. 

Latzko said she greatly appreciates the friendships forged in competition. "Attending the conference the last three years, I've gotten to know some of the other students from different schools that we competed against. I think that’s what makes it fun! It's a healthy competition among friends — one that I think we'll look back on fondly when we're in our professional careers and likely still coming to the conference."

Maureen Roen

Manager, Creative Services, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts


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Former MLB commissioner coming to ASU Law

From Field of Dreams to field of law, former MLB commish coming to ASU.
Former MLB commish Bud Selig joining ASU Law.
February 9, 2016

Selig, who led Major League Baseball for more than two decades, will join Sports Law and Business program

The man who called the shots for Major League Baseball for more than two decades is joining the rotation at ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

Former MLB Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig has been named the O’Connor Distinguished Professor of Sports in America and will join the Sports Law and Business program, where he will teach and serve as the founding president of the Sports Law and Business Advisory Board. 

Bud Selig

Selig (pictured at left), who has had a second home in the Valley for years, said teaching at ASU after his July 2015 retirement as MLB commissioner was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

“One of my daughters went to ASU, and the more I met with (ASU Law Dean) Doug Sylvester and knowing the vision of Michael Crow, the more attractive this all became,” said Selig, who was calling from his home state of Wisconsin.

“Frankly, these are all of the things that appealed to me so this was, I guess, cue the baseball term — a natural.”

Selig said he’s excited to teach Sports Law and Business because it’s a dynamic and growing branch of the law.

“It’s a field that didn’t exist when I first got into the business,” said Selig, who served as acting commissioner in 1992 before being named official commissioner in 1998. “I don’t think any of us understand how big this is going to be, and I really believe ASU is going to be a pioneer in this field.”

Selig sees Phoenix as an emerging baseball town, which would only help ASU’s new program attract students.

“Phoenix is a growing market, a dynamic market and I know there were some people who early on questioned what kind of baseball market it is. I think this year you’re going to see Phoenix emerge as a great market,” Selig said. “I love what the Diamondbacks have done. I’m a big fan of Tony La Russa, and I have a lot of faith in him. And Ken Kendrick is stunning. There’s growth potential in Phoenix for everything.”

At ASU, the new professor will help select two Selig Sports Law and Business Scholars — one from the incoming jurisprudence class and another from the Master of Sports Law and Business or Master of Law.

He will also lead efforts to bring speakers to ASU Law as part of the Bud Selig Speaker Series on Sports in America.

“In my long, 50-something career I’ve met a lot of fascinating people, and depending on the subject, I’ll bring in people who have had experience in this field,” Selig said. “Everybody will not only be surprised by the quality but by how exciting they are.”

ASU Law Dean Douglas Sylvester said Selig’s presence is a major boost for the university and its students.

“Our students will have an invaluable opportunity to tap into the vast experience and knowledge Selig brings to the Sports Law and Business program from his 22-and-a-half years as commissioner,” Sylvester said. “In those years he oversaw and initiated strategic changes that transformed Major League Baseball. In addition, Bud is a natural teacher with years of experience in mentoring students and imparting his knowledge to the next generation of sports leaders.” 

“I don’t think any of us understand how big (Sports Law) is going to be, and I really believe ASU is going to be a pioneer in this field.”
— Bud Selig

During his tenure as commissioner, the MLB expanded the wild-card postseason format, instituted interleague play, implemented instant replay, brokered a labor agreement with the Players’ Association that has resulted in 21 years of labor peace, developed revenue sharing that led to greater competitive balance and crafted the most comprehensive drug-testing policy in professional sports.

Under Selig, baseball rose in popularity, with record-breaking attendance, and with revenue increasing from $1.2 billion in 1992 to a record $9 billion-plus in 2014.

This is Selig’s third assignment as a professor at the university level. He has taught at Marquette University Law School since 2009, and, last fall, he began teaching a course titled, “Baseball and American Society since World War II,” in the history department at the University of Wisconsin, his alma mater. There in 2010, he endowed the Allan H. Selig Chair in Sport and Society in the United States.

Selig said not only will he offer his vast experience to mentor students, but will also be their biggest fan.

“I’ll tell you what I’m going to tell students when I start teaching at ASU,” Selig said. “I’ll say, ‘You have the best education at ASU and now you’re in a great field. Do what you want to do. There is no substitute for hard work … and dream big.’ ”

Reporter , ASU Now


Fostering collaboration to address water sustainability

ASU, Western city mayors join together at summit

February 8, 2016

Cities in the United States' Western region face a higher demand for water as populations grow and drought diminishes supply. That’s why the mayors of several Western cities recently agreed to work together on water sustainability and climate-change adaptation. 

“As they like to say, mayors have to get stuff done. They are problem solvers with very immediate constituencies,” said Dave White, director of Arizona State University’s Decision Center for a Desert City, a research unit of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. Download Full Image

White, an associate professor in the School of Community Resources and Development within the ASU College of Public Service and Community Solutions, and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton hosted the mayors of Mesa, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Aurora and Fort Collins, Colorado, at a side event alongside the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C., last month. The “Western Mayors Water and Climate Change Summit” was an opportunity for city leaders to discuss what actions their cities are taking to address urban water supply and demand issues in an era of changing climate.

“Cities are doing a lot in this space — perhaps more so than the federal and state governments,” noted White. “We wanted to facilitate a conversation about what is working and share ideas that will have potential to help in the future.”

The event builds on a long-standing collaboration between the center and the City of Phoenix, going back over a decade. It is a two-way street — helping to ensure policy and management concerns are incorporated into the research process and that those in the science community inform the policy-making process.

The goal is to take those lessons and broaden impact regionally.

“We have to stop thinking of water as a zero-sum game and that if Phoenix does better it’s somehow at the expense of some other area of Arizona, particularly the rural ones or other urban areas in the Western United States,” Stanton told Cronkite News.

Western states have unique challenges in water management. While not all of the ideas transfer well, and each city is in a different place with regard to climate change and the impacts, the goal is to move toward a consensus on a series of principles developed in cooperation by the center and the cities.

“For many years, the first choice was hard engineering infrastructure,” said White. “Moving forward, there is an eye on promoting policy innovation, cooperation and conservation demand management.”

The City of Phoenix has a couple of innovative programs designed to conserve water. One is a water-banking agreement with the City of Tucson. Both cities receive water from the Colorado River via the Central Arizona Project canal system. The agreement allows Phoenix to send unused Colorado River water to Tucson where it is banked in aquifers. If Phoenix needs the water, Tucson can direct equivalent amounts of its Colorado River water to Phoenix.  

“It is likely going to save the City of Phoenix millions in not-built infrastructure,” White said.

Phoenix is also one of several cities participating with the Bureau of Reclamation in the Colorado River Resiliency Fund. The city pays $5.5 million a year into the fund. The money is used to help large businesses and growers improve water efficiency. The water that is saved is stored in aquifers and allows Phoenix to use that water if its share of Colorado River water is later reduced due to drought.

At their meeting in Washington, D.C., mayors talked about the role Improvements in information technology will play in helping conserve water. White compares it to the energy sector where instant data on usage allows suppliers and consumers to make better decisions.

Another area of concern for mayors is educating the next generation of leaders in government, industry and environmental policy. Current leaders have spent years learning about water delivery, use and conservation. Transferring that knowledge to new leaders is crucial for successful water management.

“The idea of thinking about providing a secure, sustainable water supply for future generations is this notion of a public good that really crosses sectors — public, private, nonprofit — and requires us to train leaders in all of them,” White said.

Both White and Stanton plan to build on the initial meeting. In addition to facilitating idea sharing, the group will evaluate a series of principles developed by Decision Center for a Desert City, with the goal of refining and ultimately moving toward a consensus for implementation.

Heather Beshears

director marketing and communications, College of Public Service and Community Solutions


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Using innovation to broaden equity in education

Innovation, university partnerships key to equity in schools, experts say.
February 5, 2016

Teachers College panelists see university partnerships as key to better education for all

Universities can be a key player in getting good education to poor students, and several experts said that innovation as promoted at Arizona State University is the way to do it.

The Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College explored the idea “Think Big” at its 10th annual summit, held Friday at Chase Field in Phoenix.

Mari Koerner, dean of the Teachers College, started out teaching poor students in Chicago, where her classroom was a trailer.

“It was a long time ago and we’re still talking about these issues. Why? To whose advantage is it that there are children who remain uneducated?”

Still, she said she’s optimistic.

“At no other time in history has there been the wealth and the education available to people in the U.S.,” she said at the panel discussion.

“People in America, especially in the Southwest, really think we can change things and that tomorrow will be better than today.

“We get so settled into our jobs that we don’t even realize we’re innovative,” she said.

Among the innovations in the Teachers College are the iTeachAZ preparation program, which places teacher candidates into classrooms with mentors and site coordinators for a full year rather than a semester, and a technology-infusion initiative.

That attitude of adaptation is key to improving equity, one education leader said.

“The door to that is the university,” said Patricia Tate, superintendent of the Osborn Elementary School District (shown in the photo above, at right). “It opens the door to disruption. When you have researchers knocking on the door saying, ‘Let’s try this, and I say ‘here’s the teacher.’

“I would never work in a district that was not connected to a university,” said Tate, whose district was in a classroom-technology partnership with ASU that provided iPads and teacher training.

The educators added that innovation doesn’t mean constant revolution.

“The definition of innovation is not the throw it out — it’s to make it better,” said Jaime CasapIn his role, Casap launched Google Apps for Education and he said ASU was the first university to participate. He also is an adjunct professor at ASU., whose title is chief education evangelist for Google.

“I talk to superintendents all over the country about giving teachers the space to try things and say, ‘This didn’t work but here’s my idea to make it better.’ "

Mari Koerner (left) dean of the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, leads a panel that includes Jaime Casap, chief education evangelist at Google, and Maria Harper-Marinick, executive vice chancellor of the Maricopa Community Colleges, at Chase Field in Phoenix Feb. 8. Photos by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton addressed the educators at the summit, and thanked them.

"What this school is doing, producing the top talent and motivating people who could make a lot more money doing other things but commiting their lives to children — the community and I owe you a huge debt."

The panelists said that for education to improve for all students, a change in attitude is required.

“The rational arguments don’t seem to move people,” said Jackie NortonNorton is former vice president of the Arizona State University Foundation and has a law degree from ASU., president and CEO of the Rodel Foundation of Arizona, which has programs to boost achievement in high-needs schools. “I think it’s the perception that not all kids deserve to be educated. There’s also a ‘deserving’ factor. ‘Are they here illegally? Are they paying taxes?’

“How do we get to peoples’ core beliefs? You can’t change them, but we can address them.”

Maria Harper-Marinick, executive vice chancellor and provost of the Maricopa Community Colleges, agreed.

“As long as we keep thinking ‘those kids’ and not ‘my kids,’ it won’t bring real equity,” she said.

“We need to bring equity without apology. It’s not about equality, it’s about equity. Some people need a little bit more.”

Harper-Marinick, who was born in the Dominican Republic and grew up in a dictatorship, said that support of public education throughout the entire spectrum is a key.

“There was no public education as we know it. I never had access to libraries,” said Harper-Marinick, who came to ASU on a Fulbright scholarship. “When I saw Hayden Library — six floors of books. That feeling of access to information without fear — knowing that nobody was going to jail if Maria was reading about — I can’t tell you the feeling of liberation that is. It’s the appreciation of the right to an education without fear.

“Funding K12, community colleges, the state’s public universities is a necessity because it’s the model that works.”

Mary Beth Faller

Reporter , ASU Now