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ASU president, spouse give $1.2M to boost new Public Service Academy

September 16, 2015

Couple endow directorship for first program to integrate civilian and military leadership training for service-oriented undergraduates

Arizona State University President Michael Crow and his wife, Sybil Francis, announced Wednesday a $1.2 million commitment to fund the directorship of the ASU Public Service Academy, a new center created to educate purpose-driven leaders who intend to serve in nonprofits, the civil service and the military. Public Service Academy's first cohort at their leadership retreat. Arizona State University's new Public Service Academy, which launched its first cohort this semester, is a new university-wide program aimed at developing the next generation of service-oriented leaders, with the goal of creating positive social change. Students from every major are welcome. Photo by: Paul Atkinson Download Full Image

The gift from Crow and Francis, who serves as executive director for the Center for the Future of Arizona, comes as the academy welcomes its inaugural cohort of 100 service-oriented students to their first semester on campus.

“This program will build a culture of service and a pipeline of leaders who will work across sectors to undertake humanitarian efforts and to address real-life issues facing our unpredictable world,” said Crow. “Public service is something to which Sybil and I have devoted much of our professional lives. It is fitting that emerging leaders in the field are trained at ASU — a solutions-focused institution committed to the highest level of academic excellence to achieve maximum societal impact. We are eager to witness these leaders go on to improve communities in Arizona and across the world.”

Crow appeared on several national news shows in New York on Wednesday morning to speak about the gift.

“We're building an academy where people will learn practical aspects of leadership and will take their regular major and will have scholarships training side by side with future military officers to produce the new kinds of leaders,” Crow told the “Today” show.

“Today” host Matt Lauer praised the move.

“How many times in the past have we talked about only really respecting people who put their money where their mouth is? Dr. Crow is putting money where his mouth is, and is personally donated more than $1 million to this academy,” Lauer said.

Tom Brokaw also appeared on the show to speak about Crow and his actions.

“I'm not afraid of embarrassing him, but everybody regards him as one of the two or three greatest university presidents that we have in this country because he is so dynamic,” Brokaw said.

The gift — composed in part from contributions by private supporters to the Presidential Leadership Chair, a fund established to provide ASU with resources to retain and incentivize university presidents — will permanently establish the Michael M. Crow and Sybil Francis Endowed Directorship for the Public Service Academy.

“It is absolutely in keeping with Mike and Sybil’s character that their first thought was to give money intended for their family to Arizona State,” said former Pepsi-Cola chairman and chief executive officer Craig Weatherup, who helped lead the effort to provide funds for the chair. “I expect the Public Service Academy will be the next great ASU initiative to reshape higher education and the economic future of America.”

The Public Service Academy is embedded in ASU’s College of Public Service and Community Solutions, where Crow is a professor of science and technology policy and public affairs. Crow’s career in public service dates to 1974, when he joined the University Year for ACTION, an affiliate program of the Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA). Similarly, Francis began her career in 1980 as a congressional aide before serving in the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The new Public Service Academy offers two tracks: Reserve Officer Training Corps, the existing university-based program to commission officers in the U.S. Armed Forces, and the Next Generation Service Corps, an original program for students from all majors to become civilian service leaders. Both tracks include a unique civilian-military collaboration, a series of seven leadership courses and a set of summer internships in nonprofit, government or private organizations.

The academy’s director, Brett Hunt — a former captain in the U.S. Army and Foreign Service officer for the U.S. Department of State who was appointed to the Public Service Academy in June 2015 — will be the first to hold the endowed directorship role. He said he is renewed by this generation’s focus on moving the needle for social good — even more than on securing high-paying jobs.

“We are thrilled by Brett’s vision for creating the pre-eminent training hub for the next generation of change-makers,” said Francis. “Brett is an energetic leader who has spent his career shaping the dialogue around public service. He embodies the spirit of community improvement and commitment to the public good that is the backbone of ASU’s charter. We are delighted to give back to this thriving university as it defines a new model for the betterment of our society.”

Jonathan Koppell, dean of the College of Public Service and Community Solutions, added, “We are enormously grateful for this transformative commitment, which will support the Academy’s director in perpetuity, and for the generosity of private donors like Dr. Francis and President Crow who take seriously our commitment to cultivating the spirit of public service that is strong in so many ASU students — regardless of major or career path. Their example is one we should all follow.”

A formal launch event for the Public Service Academy is scheduled for early November.

ASU professor named Navajo Nation poet laureate

September 11, 2015

Growing up in a tiny town on the Navajo reservation, Laura Tohe relied on comics, fairy tales and books to stimulate her mind — even if that meant a four-hour round-trip drive to the nearest library.

“Since we didn’t have television, reading was a way out of the rez for me,” said Tohe, an English professor in Arizona State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Books took me to other places in the world and to other time eras.” Laura Tohe weaving Arizona State University English professor Laura Tohe is being named the poet laureate of the Navajo Nation for 2015-2017. She finds writing to be like weaving; she’s continuing the legacy traditions of her mother, aunt, grandmother and great-grandmother, using some of their tools as well. Here she weaves in her Mesa home on July 13. Photo by: Charlie Leight/ASU News Download Full Image

Today, the Tohe era will commence when she is named the new poet laureate of the Navajo Nation at an official ceremony in Crownpoint, New Mexico. Tohe succeeds Luci Tapahonso, who was named the nation’s first ever poet laureate in 2013.

The goal of designating a chief poet is to encourage other Navajo writers and artists and to underscore their contributions to Navajo culture.

Tohe has already contributed much to the Navajo Nation and the literary world.

She has written four books, published hundreds of poems and has had several translations of her work ­­— including into dance and music. In 2008, Tohe wrote the commissioned libretto for “Enemy Slayer: A Navajo Oratorio” for the Phoenix Symphony.

Tohe credits a vivid imagination and the lack of a family television to her success.

“I was introduced to reading with the ‘Dick and Jane’ series at school,” she said. “I gravitated to fairy tales, and when my mother could afford it, she bought me ‘Little Lotta,’ ‘Richie Rich’ comics and later my brothers reluctantly let me read their comics — ‘Superman,’ ‘Batman’ and others.”

Tohe grew up on the reservation in Crystal, New Mexico, near the Chuska Mountains on the eastern border of the Dine/Navajo homeland. The town’s population hovered just above 300 people, and outside of attending school, there wasn’t much to do. Storytelling was not only a way to pass the time, but an art form among her people.

“One time I drove with my grandparents down Highway 666, and they recounted all of the places where a relative died or some incident happened. It was a highway of stories,” Tohe said. “I grew up with an oral tradition, and that has been my biggest influence in developing my voice and my work as a poet and writer. ‘You don’t have anything if you don’t have stories,’ is what my mother used to say.”

Tohe said as a child she told such captivating stories that a family friend would come over to listen to her when she’d go on a tear. Her stories eventually grew into poetry and sometimes prose poetry.

“Dine people, like many indigenous peoples, have always had great reverence for language, for sacred words and how they are used in meditations,” Tohe said. “For example, prayers and song meditations are used to heal and restore health and wellness for someone suffering from a certain illness. It can also uplift the human spirit.”

In her duties as poet laureate, Tohe wants to help uplift the Navajo people, specifically the next generations.

“I would like to see our younger generation continue the tradition of writing poetry, what we call ‘Saad Naazhch’aa,’ which translates to ‘pictures with words,’ ” Tohe said. “We didn’t have a word for poetry a few years ago. Since our language has diminished with the boarding-school era, poetry can be one of the ways to revitalize and save the Navajo language.”

Reporter , ASU Now


Transborder program helps get research that matters off the ground

September 4, 2015

The Mexican government calls them “etnias,” or ethnicities. In her research, Saskias Casanova refers to them as “indigenous immigrants.”

They are individuals descended from groups of peoples living in Mexico prior to its European colonization – much like Native Americans in the United States today are descended from tribes living here prior to European colonization. Nahua/Mexicano community dance in the streets during a celebration Members of the Nahua/Mexicano community dress up and dance through the streets of Coatepec de Costales in Guerrero, Mexico, during a celebration hosted by the indigenous organization Mi Tierra,Mi Familia, which connects families from Coatepec de Costales to their transnational families in Arizona. Saskias Casanova, an assistant professor in ASU's School of Transborder Studies, and her team are conducting research into four Mexican indigenous transnational communities (Maya, Mixteco, Nahua/Mexicano and Zapotec) and how indigenous students from Mexico adjust in Arizona. A grant from the year-old Program for Transborder Communities is helping to further their research. Download Full Image

The U.S. is seeing a growing number of these indigenous immigrants from Mexico making their homes in the border states of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. And, much like modern-day Native Americans in the U.S., because of factors such as varying cultures and languages, they face distinct issues when it comes to social institutions like education.

Before becoming an assistant professor at Arizona State University, Casanova conducted research that found indigenous Mexican adolescents in the U.S. faced higher levels of discrimination compared with indigenous Mexican adolescents still living in Mexico, and also compared with Mexican students who weren’t of indigenous origin in Mexico.

In essence, she was trying to find out “what happens to [indigenous immigrant] students when they are trying to negotiate multiple cultures in the context of schooling.”

“From sharing my findings with colleagues in the field, I knew there was still a need to continue my research,” Casanova said.

So when she came to ASU’s School of Transborder Studies in August 2014, she was delighted to discover the school’s brand-new Program for Transborder Communities.

Launched in July 2014, the program is a initiative that provides yearlong seed funding for ASU faculty conducting collaborative, interdisciplinary research on the changing needs and growing cultural, political and economic influence of Latinos in the U.S., as well as on cross-border issues faced by communities in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and other border regions in the world.

During its inaugural year, the program awarded three research cluster grants and three individual research grants. Along with her colleagues – Brendan O’Connor, School of Transborder Studies, ASU; Vanessa Anthony-Stevens, University of Idaho; and Francesca Lopez, University of Arizona – Casanova applied for and was awarded a cluster grant to continue her research.

They titled the project “Ecologies of Cultural and Linguistic Adaptation for Indigenous Latina/o Immigrant Families With Children: Implications for Development and Learning.”

With the help of the cluster grant, Casanova’s team has been able to begin collaborating, and also hired a community liaison to assist in targeting indigenous communities in Arizona with whom they intend to conduct further research.

The next step is applying for a larger, external grant to fund the actual research, but, Casanova asserts, the initial grant money from the program has made being awarded a larger grant much more likely.

“Research projects that already have a team of experts assembled are more likely to get funded by larger grants because the initial seed grant gives you time and funding to pull together research and a collaborative team, and to do some initial outreach,” she said. “You’re not rushing to apply [for a grant] … so you have time to build a strong foundation and really explore your research questions and build a good study and be prepared.”

A social psychologist herself, Casanova touts the program’s emphasis on research that reaches across disciplines.

“One of the things I really appreciate about the program is that it’s interdisciplinary, so it encourages you to reach out to potential collaborators that aren’t just in your field.”

She cites as proof fellow researchers O’Connor, an anthropologist, and Lopez and Anthony-Stevens, an educational psychologist and an educational anthropologist, respectively.

“There are a lot of things in place within the Program for Transborder Communities that really encourage young, emerging scholars like us to really push ourselves to not only engage in a project that we all care about, but also push ourselves to be really interdisciplinary, which also fits within the larger mission of ASU as the model of the New American University,” said Casanova.

The program also organizes seminars, workshops and colloquiums to facilitate a network of information and research sharing, and to explore opportunities for collaboration across disciplines, institutions and borders – both physical and metaphysical.

School of Transborder Studies associate professor Francisco Lara-Valencia helped to design the program and now serves as its director.

“In particular because of the location of ASU, within a border state, the study of border issues and communities is critical,” he said. “What we are trying to do with this program is facilitate a better understanding of borders in general and, in particular, the Arizona-Mexico border, through research and education.”

During its inaugural year, the Program for Transborder Communities hosted eight interdisciplinary seminars and two colloquiums – one of which served as the final major event of its inaugural year, the Arizona-Sonora Colloquium – and also partnered with the Mexican Consulate General’s Office in Phoenix for a public exhibition titled “Imagined Regions: The ASU Simon Burrow Map Collection.”

Due to heightened interest, the program has increased some of the funding for its second year.

Carlos Santos, an assistant professor of counseling and counseling psychology at ASU, and Enrique Vivoni, an associate professor in ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, are the respective recipients of an individual research grant and a cluster research grant for the program’s 2015-16 academic year.

Santos’ project, titled “The Stigma of Illegality and Its Impact on the Well-Being of Immigrants of Mexican-Origin in Arizona,” takes a hard look at certain laws, such as SB 1070, that “institutionalize racial profiling.”

“What is interesting to me as a psychologist (about laws like SB 1070) is that they target people regardless of status; if you appear to be of Mexican origin, you can be targeted. And there are psychological underpinnings of that. That makes people anxious … I wanted to capture that anxiety quantitatively through numbers, through surveys,” he said.

Vivoni will be researching urban sustainability across the U.S-Mexico border. He feels that the program “supports existing strengths, such that our efforts at ASU can be taken to another level. … This effort will serve as a seed for research for years to come.”

Santos and Vivoni represent the varied nature of the research being funded by the program, and both are enthusiastic and appreciative of what it’s enabling them to accomplish.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to be able to expand my research. It’s wonderful to have the resources to do that,” Santos said.

Other recipients for the 2015-16 academic year:

•Individual: Elizabeth Sumida Huaman, assistant professor, Justice and Social Inquiry, School of Social Transformation. Project: Indigenous Education in the Americas: A Comparative Study of Community-based Schooling in Canada, the United States, Peru, and Bolivia.

•Individual: Christiana Honsberg, professor, School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering. Project: Efficient Water Desalization Using Combined Photovoltaic and Solar Thermal Energy Sources.

•Cluster: Rudy P. Guevarra Jr., associate professor, Asian Pacific American Studies, School of Social Transformation. Project: The Latino Pacific Archive: Digital Access to the Latina/o Experience in Oceania.

•Cluster: Noe Crespo, assistant professor, School of Nutrition and Health Promotion (Exercise Science and Health Promotion). Project: Fostering Transborder Collaborations to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity
Among Underserved Latino Families Living in the Southwest U.S.-Mexico Border.

Emma Greguska

Reporter, ASU Now

(480) 965-9657

Silent Drill Platoon, helicopter landing part of Marine Week events at ASU

September 3, 2015

Marine Week 2015 is coming to the City of Phoenix, and Arizona State University will host activities on the Tempe and Downtown Phoenix campuses starting Sept. 10.

As part of Marine Week Phoenix 2015, more than 600 U.S. Marines will engage with local communities through free, family-friendly events open to the public. Thursday, Sept. 10, is designated as “ASU Day,” but events will take place on campus throughout the week. U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon The U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon will perform twice at ASU as part of Marine Week Phoenix 2015. Photo by: U.S. Marine Corps Download Full Image

“This is a purposeful visit for the campus and local community to really get in touch with the Marine Corps and understand their mission to keep us safe in the U.S. and abroad,” said Joanna Sweatt, a veterans advocate with ASU’s Pat Tillman Veterans Center and Marine Week committee member. “ASU is the perfect place to host the Marines because we are proud supporters of our service members, veterans and those who will serve in the future. “

ASU is considered one of the nation’s top universities for veterans and has a population of more than 4,000 veteran and military students, with about 20 percent of the total associated with the Marine Corps.

On-campus events will include static equipment displays (armored Humvee, Jeep and UH-1Y Huey helicopter, which is scheduled to land around 4 p.m. Sept. 10 on the west practice field near the Sun Devil Fitness Center in Tempe), leadership panels and sports competitions. One of the highlights will be two halftime performances by the renowned Marine Silent Drill Platoon.

The first performance will be during a free soccer game between the ASU Football Club and the Marine Corps team at 7 p.m. Sept. 10 at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium. The second will be during the ASU-Cal Poly football game starting at 8 p.m. Sept. 12 at Sun Devil Stadium. Based out of Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C., the drill team members are individually selected from Marine infantry schools and exemplify the discipline and professionalism associated with the Marine Corps.

“The drill team is phenomenal,” said Sweatt, a Marine Corps veteran. “Their performances are moving and instill a sense of pride in our military and country.”  

Sweatt also hopes students, faculty and staff will take the opportunity to attend two leadership presentations with seasoned Marine officers at the Tempe and Downtown Phoenix campuses.

“The panels will be very beneficial because leadership is not just a military subject; we need leaders everywhere,” said Sweatt, who learned about leadership during her time in the Marine Corps. “It’s a necessity. I am a product of what you can make of people when you provide that initial investment.”

Brig. Gen. Helen Pratt will lead an all-female Marine officer panel from 5 to 6:15 p.m. Sept. 10 in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication's Cronkite Theater on the Downtown Phoenix campus. Pratt is the president of Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. The seminar is titled “Send the Marines, All of the Marines: Women’s Leadership in the U.S. Marine Corps.”

The Tempe campus seminar from 8:30 a.m. to noon Sept. 11 will feature ASU alumnus Brig. Gen. Daniel Yoo providing a workshop-style presentation titled “Standing Out From the Competition.” Yoo serves as the commander of the 1st Marine Division in Camp Pendleton, California. He is an ’84 graduate justice studies major from ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Complimentary lunch will be provided for those who RSVP by Sept. 4 to VeteransRSVP@asu.edu.

For full details on the scheduled events, visit asuevents.asu.edu/marine-week-asu-day

Jerry Gonzalez

Media Relations Officer, Media Relations and Strategic Communications

ASU's Department of Psychology helps close autism-treatment gap

August 26, 2015

In 2008 Arizona became the fourth state to allow for the treatment of autism to be covered by insurance. As a result, families of children afflicted with the developmental disorder began relocating to the state at an alarming rate.

Alarming because, at that time, the number of Arizona practitioners capable of providing the sort of specialized treatment required – called applied behavior analysis (ABA) – was dismally low compared with the growing number of individuals in need of it. Foundation Professor and psychology department chair Keith Crnic Amy Kenzer, introducing herself at the Aug. 18 event, is clinical services director for the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center. She said ASU’s Department of Psychology was approached for the program because of its “rich history in behavioral analysis.” Download Full Image

“The data out there at the time indicated that there was only one licensed behavior analyst per every 400 kids with autism,” said Sara Pennak, director of program development and clinical initiatives for Arizona State University’s Department of Psychology.

Most programs available to students looking to become licensed in ABA did not include a real-world clinical training component.

“One of the hurdles for people becoming licensed is that they have to have supervised hours by a licensed practitioner. So you’ve got licensed practitioners who are spread really thin anyway because they’re seeing all of their clients, and so what would happen with many of these other programs across the country, across North America, is that the students would get their degree and then they’d be stuck trying to find a way to get 1,500 hours of licensed supervision,” Pennak said.

Meaning that even though students had completed a program, they would still find it difficult to become licensed even after they became certified. Adding to the problem was the fact that many of the available programs just weren’t up to par when it came to teaching the science behind ABA, resulting in less-prepared graduates.

It was clear to many professionals in the field that something had to be done to produce not just more behavior analysts, but more well-trained licensed behavior analysts.

Taking action

So around 2012, a group of five ABA professionals from the Phoenix metro area decided to take action and contacted ASU with an idea. The group (endearingly referred to by members of the psychology department as “the gang of five”) wanted the university to develop a doctoral program to help meet the growing demand for licensed behavior analysts.

Abby Twyman, clinical director for Trumpet Behavioral Health and one of the “gang of five,” was the then-president of the Arizona Association for Behavioral Analysis, the local chapter for the international organization.

“All the people coming to us had focused on the practice of behavioral analysis, but not on the science behind it,” she said. “So, due to the high need for services in this state, we felt as an organization that it would be really important for a university to start an in-person program so that when people are done, they will have had a really high-quality education and clinical experience.”

Amy Kenzer, clinical services director for the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center, said the group chose to approach ASU’s Department of Psychology because of its “rich history in behavioral analysis” and because “a lot of us had some association with ASU already, whether teaching courses as associate faculty or having students who did undergrad internships with us … it made sense to continue to grow that relationship.”

Foundation Professor and psychology department chair Keith Crnic agreed to meet with them.

“They were looking for people who would become well-trained clinically to be out there working. So I said to them, ‘Then you don’t want a doctoral program. What you want is a master’s program,’” Crnic said.

The reason being, he explained, is that doctoral programs in psychology are meant to train researchers, not practitioners.

“Master’s-level training is meant to be hands-on and in-the-field, working with existing professionals who are well-trained. You can give students the kind of intensive clinical experiential training that adds to the scientific background that it takes to really do this well,” Crnic said. “So we chatted about it for a while, and they quickly realized that that was what they needed. And then they said, ‘Can you guys do that?’”

As it turned out, the timing was just right for the university, which was looking to develop more health-related master’s programs.

“You know, what’s great about this development is that members of the community hear about these things and they say, ‘Hey, you can get access to ASU, and ASU will listen and try to respond to the community need.’ And that’s what happened in this situation,” Crnic said.

So Crnic recruited the help of Pennak to develop the program, and Adam Hahs, a licensed behavior analyst and current co-director of the program, to help implement it.

“One of the things we wanted to do with our program is to incorporate elements of the best medical-school teaching models so that, from day one, our students are going to be out in the field at a clinic, at an agency, at an organization, applying what they’re learning in the classroom to the real world,” Pennak said. “We want them to hit the ground running.”

The program begins

On Aug. 18, the Department of Psychology welcomed its first cohort of students to the inaugural semester for the Master of Science program in Applied Behavior Analysis (MS ABA) at an orientation on ASU’s Tempe campus.

“They really are excited about this program, it being affiliated with ASU, all the history, and being able to walk away with a degree that’s as powerful as this one,” Hahs said.

“It was pretty amazing how quickly and with such high integrity this program was put together,” Twyman said.

One of the students, Reyna Rivera, has worked as a therapist for children with autism and eventually wants to become a board-certified behavior analyst and “serve as a pillar in the autism community.”

“I look forward to growing as an individual and learning more about myself as a practitioner throughout the MS ABA program,” Rivera said.

Behavior analysis is a science of the principles of learning and behavior, and its focus is the study of the environment on behavior. Applied behavior analysis is concerned with the development and application of a technology for improving behavior based on those principles of learning and behavior.

It’s important to note that ABA techniques are not only used for the treatment of autism. ABA also has utility for dealing with addiction, traumatic brain injury, weight-related issues, educational systems, disease prevention and control, business management and more. The goal of the new master’s program is to provide its students with as many diverse opportunities as possible within the broad field that is ABA.

Special-education teacher and student in the program Johanna Emershaw was already utilizing ABA techniques in her classes but realized she could use more training to meet her students’ needs.

“All the programs that were available were online programs, a format that did not meet my learning style,” she said. “I had begun a program with NAU, a few years back, but found that it was a struggle for me to express my knowledge through an online format. I needed an in-class program where I could interact face to face with like-minded people.”

According to Hahs, as of 2015, the ratio of licensed behavior analysts to children with autism is closer to one to 144 in the state of Arizona.

With the help of this new program, which will be accepting applications for the fall 2016 cohort in September, it’s likely that ratio will only get better.

Emma Greguska

Reporter, ASU Now

(480) 965-9657

ASU's 'Hooked' documentary to receive prestigious Governors' Award

August 18, 2015

An Arizona State University documentary about heroin will receive the highest honor given by the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS). It is the first time a journalism school will receive the award.

The NATAS Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter will honor ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Arizona Broadcasters Association with the Governors’ Award in October for the documentary “Hooked: Tracking Heroin’s Hold on Arizona,” which aired on all 33 broadcast television stations and 93 radio stations in Arizona in January and reached more than 1 million Arizonans. Hooked Documentary ASU student Erin Patrick O'Connor conducts an interview for the documentary "Hooked: Tracking Heroin's Hold on Arizona." The documentary, which reached more than 1 million Arizonans, will receive the prestigious Governors' Award in October. Download Full Image

“The ‘Hooked’ campaign by the Arizona Broadcasters Association and Cronkite School addresses an issue that plagues so many members of our community,” said Theresa Maher, president of the NATAS Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter. “We hope that their raw look into the world of heroin use will change the course of many lives for the better.”

The 30-minute documentary, produced by the Cronkite School in association with the Arizona Broadcasters Association, traces the rise of heroin use and its impact on Arizonans through the stories of addicts struggling with sobriety, families grappling for solace and law enforcement officials battling on the frontlines. More than 70 students and eight faculty members at the Cronkite School worked on the project under the direction of Cronkite professor Jacquee Petchel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist.

“The award represents a significant contribution to public service,” Petchel said, “and it says a lot about our students and how the Cronkite School prepares them to produce compelling journalism.”

During and after the simulcast, 100 recovery counselors answered hundreds of calls at an Arizona Broadcasters Association-sponsored call center at Arizona PBS for assistance on heroin and opioid addiction.

“The Governors’ Award greatly acknowledges what was not only historic with the airing of the ‘Hooked’ project, but honors the students, professors, leadership at Cronkite as well as the character of every local TV station and 93 radio stations in the state that provided the valuable airtime and the professionals at the front line in taking the calls that flooded the call center that evening,” said Arizona Broadcasters Association President and CEO Art Brooks. “I have no doubt lives were changed and saved that night and since Jan. 13.”

The Governors’ Award is the second professional honor Cronkite students have won for “Hooked.” In May, students took first place in video storytelling at the Arizona Press Club Awards, marking the first time in the history of the contest that students of any university beat professional journalists.

The Governors’ Award recognizes individuals and organizations for going above and beyond in telecommunications profession. “Hooked” shares this year’s award with KSL in Salt Lake City.

“This award demonstrates the extraordinary power and impact that outstanding ASU students working with inspiring faculty members can produce for our community,” said Christopher Callahan, dean of the Cronkite School. “We are extremely honored to receive this award, unprecedented for a university.”

This year’s Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards ceremony will take place on Oct. 17 at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale.

NATAS is a professional service organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television and the promotion of creative leadership for artistic, educational and technical achievements within the television industry. The Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter, formed in 1959, represents Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and El Centro, California.

Founded in 1952, the Arizona Broadcasters Association functions as a 501(c)6 nonprofit corporation, and is the official trade association serving all free, over-the-air radio and television stations in Arizona. The ABA’s mission is to serve, educate and advocate for its members as well as the general public.

Communications manager, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication


Criminology students get a 'Clue' on how to succeed

August 17, 2015

Editor's note: As ASU gears up for the start of classes this week, our reporters are spotlighting scenes around its campuses. To read more, click here.

The killer was Miss Scarlet with the candlestick in the conservatory. students playing Clue  Freshmen Devon Lunemann, left, and Jesus Gonzalez crack up as adviser Juan Fortenberry, center, tells them they haven't got a clue, during the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice’s team building of the game "Clue." Download Full Image

“It’s always the candlestick,” said Austin Clemens, shaking his head.

Clemens was among two dozen freshmen in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice who started their academic careers by sleuthing through a a life-size version of the board game “Clue.”

Teams of students wandered around the college’s offices in the University Center at Arizona State University's Downtown Phoenix campus, marking off the suspects, weapons and locations on a score sheet.

The clever game was a fun freshman ice-breaker. But it also planted the seeds for some of the most important relationships that students need to succeed.

This is the third year that newcomers to the college have played the game, which was the idea of Rachel La Vine, an academic success coordinator in the college.

“I know with freshmen there is that awkward tension, and I wanted a way to start off the year appropriately and by establishing roots with the school and each other,” she said.

“It’s a retention effort. Retention is a matter of making these connections.”

Hank Fradella, a professor and associate director of the school, emphasized that point to the freshmen before their game got under way.

“This is the advising staff,” he said, waving his arms around the room. “They’re more important than the professors. Get to know them.

“We have about 80 years of research on what makes college students succeed, and the number one thing is a good mentor.”

Fradella told the students to jump at the chance to work on important research with their professors.

“We work with police officers and parole officers and crime analysts to figure out what works and what doesn’t work,” he said. “If you want to know how the police do search and seizure or the use of force, we want to help you learn about that.”

Mikayla Petersen, a sophomore, works in the college and helped this year’s freshmen play the game by giving out clues in the “conservatory.”

She played “Clue” as a freshman last year.

“It was fun to beat the other teams and I met a lot of the friends I hang out with now,” she said.

Petersen said she grew up in a family of police officers and wants to eventually work for a federal agency, “I knew a lot of kids who went through a lot of hard times and I like to know that I can help them.”

You could say she’s giving them a clue to success.

Mary Beth Faller

Reporter, ASU Now


ASU alum helps bridge community, government through technology

July 27, 2015

The greater Phoenix-metro area and its government will soon become a lot more technologically advanced, and Arizona State University alumnus Dominic Papa is helping to usher in this tech transformation.

Papa, who currently serves as council aide for City of Phoenix District 3 Councilman Bill Gates, recently earned his master’s in public administration from the School of Public Affairs, part of the College of Public Service and Community Solutions. Dominic Papa Dominic Papa has taken his passion for digital innovation to help spearhead the Phoenix chapter of the Smart City App Hack Challenge. Photo by: Christopher Hernandez Download Full Image

His expertise and passion for digital innovation helped spearhead the Phoenix chapter of the “Smart City App Hack Challenge.” In this challenge, aspiring app creators are asked to develop or brainstorm an app that incorporates solutions to five common issues that all major cities share: urban mobility, energy and emission, shopping and retail, culture and tourism, and the collaborative city.

“It is ultimately the residents that are going to drive Phoenix into becoming the next smart city,” Papa said. “We want to leverage our city as a platform for bringing people together and help foster in this urban innovation.”

Papa’s dedication to the project and its community engagement are what excited Councilman Bill Gates and motivated him to help bring this project to the public.

“Our diverse and multitalented residents are the most important and valuable asset the city of Phoenix has,” Gates stated. “Thus, programs such as the ‘Phoenix Smart City App Hack’ are essential to making sure those residents are having their voices heard and are given multiple platforms to take an active role in shaping the future direction of their home city.”

Learning skills by doing

Papa credits the Marvin Andrews Fellowship program in helping in develop the skills and self-assurance to cultivate this idea as well as presenting it to the councilman.

While in the program’s first year, Papa served as an intern for ASU’s Center for Urban Innovation and was involved with the Alliance for Innovation, giving him opportunities to sit in on a network with leading city managers from all around the nation. In his second year Papa got to work day-to-day with the City of Casa Grande to learn how the inner workings of a city function daily.

The Marvin Andrews program is a fully funded selective fellowship that combines a master’s in public administration with a management internship.

“It allowed me to see all the different kinds of problems and issues cities from all over the nation were facing, and to try to find what the main theme was,” Papa reflected. “ASU and the Marvin Andrews program did a great job in fostering that confidence in us. I would have to credit almost all of where I am today because of it.”

He says that the experience also showed him that innovations and solutions for cities should not just be limited solely to one town’s limits which is why the “Phoenix chapter” of the Smart City App Hack is not just limited to those residents.

“It’s bigger than just one city/ Any solution we develop here in Phoenix has to be able to work in Scottsdale, Mesa, and all across the valley,” Papa noted. “Transportation and technology are beginning to obliterate boundaries.”

“Dom has a knack for entrepreneurship and wants to develop innovative solutions for local governments,” said Kevin Desouza, a professor in the School of Public Affairs who teaches a public entrepreneurship class that Papa took. “I enjoyed exchanging ideas with Dom on designing smarter cities and public entrepreneurship, especially when it comes to creating international collaborative platforms like the App Hack.”

Engaging the community in solutions

As the deadline for the Smart City App Hack approaches, both Papa and Councilman Gates agree that the biggest takeaway from this movement is that of collaboration, and that residents across the Valley can come together for the betterment of their own, as well as neighboring communities.

Applications for the contest run through Aug. 1 and can be submitted online, with enticing incentives, even for those who do not walk away with the grand prize.

Five finalists will be selected from the group of initial applicants; these finalists will then receive mentoring through a series of workshops produced by local companies as well as app development professionals to further develop their app into a fully functional device for market adaptation and development. After this, comes the city finale in which the five finalist (and others who wish to submit fully completed apps) will pitch their apps to a panel of judges. Three city winners will be selected for a cash prize as well as entry into the international contest with the grand prize winner receiving an all-expense paid trip to Barcelona, Spain to represent Phoenix at the international grand finale at the 2015 Smart City Expo.

“To have local residents and graduates apply their efforts to improving the lives of their peers that helped get them to where they are now is nothing short of inspiring,” Councilman Gates said. “It speaks volumes to the character and heart that the City of Phoenix’s residents have.”

Written by Christopher Hernandez

Media contact:

Heather Beshears

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


ASU business students take over Arizona Senate in public policy exercise

July 24, 2015

Forty students from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University recently took over the Arizona State Senate building in a role-playing exercise designed to introduce them to the legislative process and to develop the skills necessary to be effective in the public policy arena.

The intensive workshop, designed and administered by Cox Communications through a partnership with ASU professor of management Gerry Keim, is one of only a dozen or so classes of its kind in the nation to be offered to executive MBA students. ASU business students Megan Faust, Matt Anderson (second and third from left) and classmates receive guidance from Cox proctors during the executive MBA Business Strategy and Public Policy course. Download Full Image

“This is a unique opportunity for executive, master’s-level students, many of whom are interested in becoming business leaders, to learn about the processes at work at the state and national level and where they can have an influence throughout the process,” Keim said.

The course assigns each MBA student a role of advocate, state senator or representative. The class then elects a governor, Senate president and speaker of the house who appoint subcommittee assignments.

To prepare for their role, students hear from top officials and legislative leaders about the state budget and the legislative process. This year the students heard from Senate President Andy Biggs, Senate Minority Leader Katie Hobbs, House Majority Leader Steve Montenegro and House Minority Leader Eric Meyer, as well as the assistant director of the Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting. Local lobbyists also shared their experience in the role of an advocate.

With the preparation complete, an abbreviated state budget is introduced and students break into their respective house and senate groups and interact based on their roles to pass a new balanced budget as required by the Arizona constitution. Students experience first-hand the multi-faceted budget process by participating in hearings, meeting with advocates and voting in committees. In the afternoon of the last day, students proceeded to the floor of the senate, sitting at the desks of current senators, for the final budget vote.

“Participating in this budget exercise in the Arizona State Senate was eye opening,” said Matt Anderson, a physician who was elected senate minority leader. “We got a real-world experience in how to navigate the state budget process. I now have a new understanding of the delicate balance our state leaders must find each budget session.”

Reflecting the real process, the group had difficulty reaching a consensus on a unified budget. In the last hour and after two days of negotiation, the group voted in a slight tax increase, balancing the budget and completing the exercise.

The class will go to Washington, D.C. later in July to learn about the federal process.

“Our founder, James Cox, believed in community and civic involvement.” said Michelle Bolton, director of government relations for Cox Communications. “Some of the ways he led by example include serving as governor and as a member of congress for Ohio and running for president in 1920. To follow this corporate commitment, for the last 9 years, Cox has been proud to partner with ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business to help educate students on the democratic process in our state.”

Cathy Chlarson, cathy.chlarson@asu.edu
W. P. Carey School of Business

Lisa Robbins

editor/publisher, Media Relations and Strategic Communications


High school students experience sports broadcasting at ASU camp

July 23, 2015

Eton Tuttle, a high school student from Davis, California, hopes to one day be a baseball play-by-play announcer, preferably for the San Francisco Giants. Another high school student, Marenis Kansfield, from Peoria, Illinois, wants to direct sports documentaries similar to the ones on ESPN.

The two 16-year-olds are taking their first steps toward their dreams this week through a sports journalism summer camp at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Cronkite Sports Broadcast Boot Camp, Eton Tuttle Eton Tuttle of Davis, California, practices a stand-up shot at the Cronkite Sports Broadcast Boot Camp at ASU's Cronkite School this week. Photo by: Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication Download Full Image

The Cronkite Sports Broadcast Boot Camp is a two-week residential summer camp that exposes high school students to the growing field of sports journalism. Thirty students from 16 states are participating in the July 19-31 camp, which includes baseball play-by-play sessions in the press box during Arizona Diamondbacks games, as well as trips to cover the Phoenix Mercury basketball team and the Arizona United Soccer Club.

“It’s the perfect way to get a sense of what being a sports journalism major at ASU is all about,” said Mark Lodato, assistant dean of the Cronkite School, who leads the school’s sports journalism program. “Students are exposed to the resources, faculty and partnerships that make our program the best in the country.”

Sessions include video editing, interview training and play-by-play techniques taught by Cronkite faculty as well as leading Arizona sports broadcasters and producers from the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Phoenix Suns and KTAR sports, among others.

Kansfield, who is editor of his high school’s newspaper, said the camp’s video editing session will be helpful for cutting highlight reels of football games back home. Tuttle is excited to get in the broadcast booth at Chase Field later this week and call a Diamondbacks game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

“I’m a big baseball guy, a little basketball and football, but primarily baseball,” Tuttle said. “I just like to be around the game as much as possible.”

According to Cronkite production manager Brian Snyder, who is leading the camp, students will have the opportunity to record a play-by-play broadcast, which they can watch back at the Cronkite School. Before visiting the booth, students will receive play-by-play advice from Diamondbacks announcers Steve Berthiaume and Jeff Munn during a session at the Cronkite School. Additionally, Cronkite alumna Siera Santos, a sports broadcaster for CBS Los Angeles, is co-directing the camp with Snyder.

“I don’t know of another place in the United States where students can get on-field access to Major League Baseball, where they can do play-by-play broadcasting of a Major League Baseball team and learn the ins and outs of what it takes to put a sports story together for broadcast,” Snyder said.

In the past year, the Cronkite School has significantly grown its sports journalism offerings to include bachelor’s and master’s degree in the discipline as well as sports reporting bureaus in Phoenix and Los Angeles where ASU students cover professional and collegiate sports under the direction of veteran journalists.

Students regularly cover MLB spring training and recently reported on Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix. Lodato said students also will have the chance to travel to Rio de Janeiro to cover the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

At the Broadcast Boot Camp, students experience life as a sports journalism student on the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus, staying at the Taylor Place residence hall and using the Sun Devil Fitness complex. Kansfield said he has been amazed by the camp so far as well as the state-of-the-art media facilities at the Cronkite School.

“I looked all over for the best journalism schools and ASU just kept coming up,” Kansfield said. “When I finally came out here for a tour, I was introduced to this camp. Since being here, I have just fallen in love with this school.”

Communications manager, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication