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ASU again a top producer of Fulbright student winners

ASU is once again a top producer of Fulbright student winners.
February 19, 2018

University ranks seventh among public institutions for sending students abroad in prestigious program

Arizona State University is again one of the top producers of students who win the prestigious Fulbright award, according to rankings released this morning.

ASU has 14 students in the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program for 2017-18.

Among public universities, ASU ranked seventh in student Fulbright awards, ahead of the University of Virginia, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Penn State and Ohio State. Among all research institutionsThe top Fulbright producers among all research institutions for 2017-18 are: Brown University, 39 students; University of Notre Dame, 29; Northwestern University, Princeton University and the University of Michigan, each with 25; Harvard University, 24; University of Chicago, 23; Georgetown University and the University of Southern California, both with 22; and Indiana University, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania, each with 21. The University of Arizona had 12 Fulbright students for 2017-18., ASU was 23rd.

Over the past 10 yearsThe top PhD-granting institutions and their number of Fulbright students over the past decade are: University of Michigan, 315; Harvard, 270; Yale, 246; Northwestern, 240; University of Chicago, 238; Brown, 221; Columbia, 189; Berkeley and ASU, both with 185; Stanford, 183; and Princeton, 180., ASU has produced 185 student Fulbright winners, ranking eighth among all PhD-granting institutions and ahead of Stanford, which has sent 183 students on Fulbright awards in that time. The University of Arizona has produced 106 Fulbright student winners in the past decade.

ASU’s 14 Fulbright students who are abroad now are four graduate students and 10 undergrads. Six are doing academic research and eight are serving as English teaching assistants, according to Kyle Mox, director of the Lorraine W. Frank Office of National Scholarships Advisement at ASU and associate dean of Barrett, the Honors College. Many of the Fulbright winners are students in Barrett, the Honors College.

“It may be a surprise to some that ASU has been such a consistent producer of Fulbright recipients, but to anyone who’s been here, it certainly isn’t,” Mox said.

“We are a truly global campus, and our students are committed to service and leadership. ASU students make excellent ambassadors and are encouraged by our faculty and staff and their peers to go out and do good in the world.

"That’s a great fit for Fulbright, and it’s a great thing for our country.”

In addition, ASU has 34 current students who were recently named semifinalists for next year’s Fulbright awards.

Besides becoming a steady producer of Fulbright winners, ASU has been raising its profile with other elite awards. Last year, ASU became one of only four institutions to have winners of the three most prestigious international scholarships — Marshall, Rhodes and, for the first time at ASU, a Churchill Scholar. In addition, 19 Sun Devils won a prestigious Gilman scholarship to study abroad last summer — the most everErin Schulte was the 18th ASU student to win a Marshall Scholarship. Ngoni Mugwisi is ASU’s first Rhodes Scholar since 2001. Christopher Balzer is ASU’s first Churchill Scholar. All three are currently studying in England. The nationwide Gilman scholarship funds international travel for students who might not otherwise consider study abroad — such as first-generation college students, those with disabilities and underrepresented demographic groups. for ASU.

The Fulbright program, created in 1946 to increase mutual understanding between Americans and the people of other countries, provides the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research abroad. The program awards about 1,900 grants annually in all fields of study and operates in more than 160 countries. The sponsor is the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Top-producing institutions are highlighted annually in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Find the complete rankings here.


On March 21, ASU will hold a “Fulbright Day” at the Memorial Union in Tempe at 3 p.m., at which representatives and alumni from Fulbright will describe the program and answer questions.

Mary Beth Faller

reporter , ASU Now


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What makes for a gold-medal diet? That depends on what sport you're tackling.
Ever wondered what's on the menu at the Olympic Village? Read on.
February 14, 2018

ASU assistant professor and leading dietitian on Dutch Olympic Committee’s nutrition team says it depends on the athlete

The most-decorated Olympian of all time made headlines in 2008 for something other than his athletic prowess — or, ahem, lung capacity — when some outlets alleged Michael Phelps, the U.S. competitive swimmer, maintained a diet of 12,000 calories a day. Those reports turned out to be bogus, but it didn’t stop the public from wondering: Just what do Olympians eat? And how much, and how often?

According to Floris WardenaarFloris Wardenaar is an assistant professor of sports nutrition, working for both ASU's College of Health Solutions and Sun Devil Athletics., Arizona State University assistant professor of sports nutrition and a leading dietitian on the Dutch Olympic Committee’s nutrition team, it depends on the athlete. But generally, they’re encouraged to eat the same proteins, fruits, veggies and whole grains they usually do, and to adjust their intake based on their daily strength output needs.

“This is the most important game in the world, and of their life, probably,” Wardenaar said. “So they shouldn’t be eating anything other than what they’re used to.”

Before Wardenaar gave advice to Olympians on what to eat, he watched them on TV as a child in the Netherlands. His interest in performance nutrition grew when he began cycling competitively at the age of 14.

This year, he’s excited to see the historically high-performing Dutch speed skating team continuing to excel at their sport. But before the games got started last Friday and his attention was commandeered, he took the time to illuminate ASU Now on the business of chowing down, champion-style.

Editor’s note: The following responses have been edited for length and clarity.

ASU prof
Floris Wardenaar

Question: Who determines what the Olympians are eating?

Answer: Some countries — like for example, the U.S., Australia and the UK — have a close relationship with the Olympic organization and are able to provide input as far as food offerings at the Olympic Village. But mainly what those countries want is beneficial for everyone. Before the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Aramark was the preferred supplier. They brought their own dietitians with them to the village, so if an athlete wanted, he or she could directly consult with them. But I know some teams bring their own; the U.S. always brings several sports dietitians with the team.

Q: Why do different athletes need different diets?

A: With hockey, for example, the kind of nutrition you need depends on the position you play. Most enforcers will have different intakes compared to the center. It depends on the focus of the athlete. For ski jumpers, they benefit from being as light as possible but when their diet is too restrictive, they also lose muscle mass and therefore jumping power. So it’s about fine-tuning their diet and varying the protein, carbohydrate and fat contents based on their needs. Some good basic advice is to eat lots of protein, fruits, veggies and whole grains.

Q: How does an athlete’s diet vary depending on whether they are training or competing?

A: All athletes nowadays focus on mealtime planning, having about five meals a day, with plenty of protein. Depending on if they’re training or competing, they may change the timing of their meals slightly to make sure that their fuel is fully loaded before a competition.

Most of the time they train two times a day. So that means they have a light breakfast, then during the training session probably something like water or a sports drink, depending on the intensity. Then after that, they will probably have a recovery shake or else something to eat for lunch. After that, most of the time they rest for one or two hours, then the next training session begins. So again, they’ll have a light snack before that and then something afterward — a meal-replacement shake or dinner — to help them recover. Depending on the preference of the athlete, they might also want to have a light evening snack before they sleep.

Q: What kind of food do most Olympians eat?

A: One of the basic rules is to eat what they normally eat. This is the most important game in the world, and of their life, probably. So they shouldn’t be eating anything other than what they’re used to. At the Olympics Village kitchen, they have choices between Western food, halal, Asian food, everything. And of course, Asian food will be very good this year. I don’t think Americans will be complaining because all the kinds of food preferences you find in the normal American diet, you can find there. Some teams bring their own food, though. One time we had fridges where we were staying stocked with yogurt for our athletes because the Netherlands is a dairy country.

Q: Any predictions for the upcoming games?

A: During the last Winter Games, the Dutch won almost all of the medals in speed skating, but that will probably not happen this year because that was exceptional. Actually, one of the reasons that happened was because the U.S. speed skaters were underperforming at that moment. But I think the U.S. will definitely win more medals this year. There’s also short-track speed skating, and the Netherlands are doing better and better at that. So that’s something I’ll watch as well. The Olympics is such a special event, so I’ll probably have the television on all day.

Top photo courtesy of pexels.com

From Iraq to ASU, Taghreed Adnan wants her language to help others

February 13, 2018

For Taghreed Adnan, studying Arabic at the School for International Letters and Cultures at Arizona State University wasn’t just a way to brush up on her language skills. It allowed her to connect with a culture and language she had to leave behind in Baghdad when her family escaped the Iraq War.

A biochemistry major with goals of her own optometry practice, Adnan recognized that her language background was a major asset, both to her work and her own interests. Taghreed Adnan Taghreed Adnan hopes that her language skills will make her an inclusive optometrist . Download Full Image

“I’m really blessed to be taking my classes,” Adnan said. “I spoke Arabic when I was younger, but after we came to the U.S. — I’ve been here for about a decade now — it’s been hard to find people who speak Arabic. My community has been pretty small. It’s been nice to step back into it.”

Adnan’s family left Iraq in 2006 for Jordan and lived there as refugees for three years, in hiding until they got United Nations cards and enrolled Adnan and her siblings in international school. That’s where she first studied English, which helped when they moved to Arizona. Despite this, she said the culture shock lasted for a couple of years.

“Not being able to speak perfect English, or not knowing where to go to get food, it was really, really rough,” Adnan remembered.

“I thought my Arabic was not good, so I was never brave enough to take an Arabic class … but I made friends and became more comfortable translating for students. It was a good opportunity for me to take this class.”

She said studying Arabic again has made her last semester at ASU memorable. In addition to school, she works at two different eye-care clinics.

“There’s a lot of people in Phoenix who have a language barrier, specifically Arabic,” she said. “I’ve been in situations every couple of months where I have to translate for the doctor to communicate properly.”

Adnan said that has been happening to her ever since she moved to the United States.

“We see 20 to 50 patients a day, and I’m not going to lie, a lot of our patients are international,” Adnan said. “Being able to be comfortable speaking to people from other cultures is really important. Being able to speak their language is even more crucial.”

Adnan hopes that between her medical knowledge and language skills, she’ll be able to help patients from a broad background and get people the help they need.

Gabriel Sandler

There's no democracy without debate, says former Canadian prime minister at ASU Thunderbird

February 12, 2018

John N. Turner, 17th prime minister of Canada, spoke at Arizona State University's Thunderbird School of Global Management on Feb. 7 to share his views on leadership, resiliency and U.S.-Canada free trade. His keynote was part of Thunderbird's ongoing ThunderTalks speaker series.

Interspersed with engaging stories of his political and personal encounters with the likes of Robert F. Kennedy and former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and his wife (who was pregnant at the time with current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau), Turner delivered a rousing keynote with one primary message: "Discussion, not diatribe, is the only way to ensure the continuity of democracy in our countries." Former Canadian Prime Minister Turner Speaks at Thunderbird Former Canadian Prime Minister John N. Turner during his keynote at Thunderbird, "Fierce and Personal: A View on Leadership, Resiliency and US-Canada Free Trade." Download Full Image

The Rhodes Scholar and Canadian Olympic team sprinter talked about the unique and peaceful relationship Canada and the United States have had, calling it “the best in the world” — a relationship that has created an environment suitable for sustained and sustainable cross-border trade.

“But this hasn’t been by accident,” he said. “We talk and listen to each other.”

Freedom to speak

One of the strongest points Turner emphasized was that members of Parliament and the U.S. Congress must not be constrained by bureaucracy or party dictates. He said he fears that parties work to control what their members can say, especially with proceedings being televised and, now, shown across a multitude of social-media channels.

“We need to restore the freedom to speak, without consequence from the party. Free them from party discipline, and [ministers of parliament and congressional members] will become more useful. Let them use their judgement. Isn’t that why they were elected by their constituents?” he said.

The next generation of politicians

Although he realizes that current insular thinking creates longer-term problems, the former prime minister said he is not without hope.

“I’m a champion of getting young people involved in the political process, regardless of party,” he said. “I do this as I’m a firm believer in the teaching, ‘To whom God has given some talent, let he or she give some back.’”

People can get involved by helping political campaigns, or even running for office, whether at the local, state/provincial or federal level, he said. Combined with the freedom to speak, he believes this will work to strengthen our democracy.

“If people have the feeling that their elected officials will have something to say and to represent them more effectively, more voters will get involved,” he said.

“But if talk becomes meaningless, there is no debate. And without debate, there is no democracy. Talk is essential to democracy. Don’t let it be taken away from you.”

Jeanine Jerkovic, economic director for the city of Surprise, coordinated the prime minister’s visit to Thunderbird, and the Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles provided promotional efforts.

Written by Tim Weaver, Thunderbird Executive Education

ASU Global Launch alumni find success at university

February 12, 2018

Arizona State University's Global Launch program propels students, educators and other professionals to thrive in the global marketplace through academic preparation services, training in multilingual communication and professional skills development.

Houria Alabbas and Sebastian Cordova, alumni from Global Launch's Intensive English Program, share their experiences with the program and how it prepared them for success in the classroom and beyond. Global Launch alumni Houria Alabbas and Sebastian Cordova Global Launch alumni Houria Alabbas (left) and Sebastian Cordova. Photos by Kevin Hornsby Download Full Image

Question: Let’s start by introducing yourselves.

Alabbas: My name is Houria, and I am from Saudi Arabia. I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in clinical exercise physiology in the College of Health Solutions.

Cordova: My name is Sebastian Cordova, and I am from Ecuador. I am a sophomore at ASU getting my degree in aeronautical management technology with a focus on professional flight at the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

Q: Why did you choose Global Launch?   

Alabbas: I chose this program because it was the most recommended program in [Saudi Arabia].

Cordova: I read a lot of articles about ASU and Global Launch, and learned that ASU is a top university in the world. I learned that Global Launch is diverse.

Q: How did Global Launch prepare you for ASU?

Alabbas: It gives you opportunities to improve your language skills in a place where making mistakes is acceptable. It is a place where you will find support all the time. We weren’t only learning the language. It is also about learning American culture and discussing other global issues, which opened my mind to many different topics. My favorite Global Launch activity was Reading Theater because it’s a combination between listening and watching movies to help understand context and conversation.

Cordova: Global Launch helped me get involved with ASU students because the classes were on the Tempe campus. I got involved in (the) ASU environment, which helped me not be afraid of my first day at ASU as a freshman.

Q: You both have different majors. How did Global Launch help you succeed in your specific degree programs?

Alabbas: I was able to learn skills like writing academic papers and summaries, citation styles and academic research, which all helped in my graduate study. The English program was a simulation of real ASU classes, what to expect from the professor, and how to perform to be successful in my classes for my degree.

Cordova: Global Launch helped me to communicate effectively. My major is aviation, which involves a lot of communication not only with your co-pilot, but with the tower. You have to be in constant communication, so the Global Launch conversation clubs were a really good way for me to practice. It was also good to meet new people from different backgrounds and countries who do not speak Spanish, so I was forced to practice.

Q: Do you think you are at an advantage over the ASU students who only rely on taking the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exam for admission?

Alabbas: I think I am. I learned about how to do all of the things like comprehension and composition, learning about new cultures and the university, and making new friends. After the program, I was still able to get a TOEFL waiver to start my graduate program.

Cordova: Yes. It is important for students to complete the program through the most advanced level because if you want to start at ASU after you complete the program you can get a TOEFL waiver. With that, you won’t have to spend money on an extra exam like TOEFL or IELTS ( International English Language Testing System) and you can start your degree right away. If you take a test, you’re not going to learn about what going to college really feels like or how to meet new people in a new country. Without Global Launch I would have never grown as a person or be living here in the U.S. 

To learn more about the Intensive English Program, request materials or to become an educational agent, go here or contact globallaunch@asu.edu.

Samantha Talavera

Senior marketing and communications specialist, Global Launch


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ASU expert: The time is now for an end to the Macedonian name game

February 9, 2018

Leaders in Greece and the Republic of Macedonia are close to striking a deal on the use of the name “Macedonia.”

Past governments on both sides have claimed exclusive ownership of Macedonian history, back to Alexander the Great and beyond. But now, bucking recent trends in global politics, right-wing populism is on the retreat in both countries. New Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev’s initial overtures to Greek counterparts, their positive response, and the enduring commitment of United Nations mediator Matthew Nimetz, represent a broad commitment to repair relations.

To gain insight on this issue, ASU Now turned to Keith Brown, director of Arizona State University’s Melikian CenterASU’s Melikian Center is a unit within the School of Politics and Global Studies., whose individual research focuses on politics, culture and identity in the Balkans.

Man in tie smiling
Keith Brown

Question: How long has the dispute over Macedonia's name been going on?

Answer: In its current form, the dispute dates back 27 years, to the moment the Republic of Macedonia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Greece insisted that the new country change its constitutional name in all international forums, on the grounds that “Macedonia is Greece.” Greece has subsequently blocked the Republic’s goals of joining NATO and the European Union. 

But at its heart, the dispute derives from 19th-century nationalism. A century ago, Macedonia was part of Ottoman Turkey, and included parts of modern Bulgaria, Greece, Albania and the whole of the Republic of Macedonia. It was home to Orthodox and Catholic Christians, Muslims and Jews, who spoke Turkish, Albanian, a range of Slavic dialects, Greek and Ladino. “Macédoine” was the French word for fruit salad, as tribute to the religious, ethnic and linguistic diversity of the region.

In 1912–13, Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece attacked Ottoman Macedonia, to gain territory and population by “liberating” its Christian population. Greece was the biggest winner, and still refers to the territory it gained as simply “Macedonia.” In Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia, that same area is referred to as “Aegean Macedonia.” Thus the Balkan Wars, and the history of place-naming, nation-building and population displacement that has followed are really ground-zero for the current dispute.

Q: So there’s more going on than a cultural claim to Alexander the Great?

A: During both World Wars and again in the Greek Civil War of 1945–52, this region was a battleground. The area around Dojran Lake, on the modern border between Greece and the Republic of Macedonia, still has unexploded ordinance from World War I; during World War II, much of the Republic and Northern Greece were under Bulgarian control. In the Civil War, the communist-backed Greek rebels recruited heavily among Slav-speaking, self-identified Macedonians in Northern Greece. When the communist forces were defeated, many of these recruits took refuge in Yugoslavia and other Eastern European countries. They were only allowed to return, and reclaim property, if they declared themselves as Greeks; many refused to do so. These individuals and their families, still sometimes referred to as “Aegeans” by their fellow-citizens in the Republic of Macedonia, are often the most vocal critics of reconciliation with Greece. The former premier and nationalist party leader, Nikola Gruevski, for example, traces his descent to the Aegean part of Macedonia. Some of the hostility between the two sides is deeply personal, entwined in family tragedies and community trauma.

Q: Why is this important to the rest of the world?

A: Until the two sides reach some compromise, Greece will continue to block the Republic of Macedonia’s path to membership in European economic and security organizations. Until recently, that was mostly a problem for Macedonia’s citizens. Now, though, analysts have noted that keeping the former Yugoslav countries outside NATO and the EU serves Russian foreign policy goals. This was made dramatically evident by Russian involvement in the attempted coup in Montenegro, to prevent that country’s accession to NATO. Athens’s 27-year campaign against the new Republic, and the previous nationalist turn in (Macedonian capital) Skopje, now look less like manifestations of patriotism, and more like short-sighted dereliction of duty by elected leaders. If (Greek) Prime Minster (Alexis) Tsipras and Zaev can find common ground and untie this Gordian knot, they deserve broad recognition for pursuing true statesmanship in a time of growing threats to international security.


Top photo courtesy of Pixabay.com 

ASU, Global Launch celebrate 30-year partnership with Hiroshima Shudo University

Global Launch welcomes new cohort of Japanese students

February 9, 2018

This month, Arizona State University and Global Launch celebrated a 30-year partnership with Hiroshima Shudo University (HSU) by welcoming a new cohort of Japanese students.

Through their study abroad programs, HSU strives to respond to social needs by expanding its international links with overseas universities and promoting student exchange partnerships with 31 universities in 14 different countries and regions. Since 1998, Global Launch has served more than 650 students from Hiroshima Shudo on the Tempe campus. Global Launch COO Susan Edgington presents HSU’s Tomoe Morito with partnership award. Global Launch COO Susan Edgington presents Hiroshima Shudo University's Tomoe Morito with partnership award. Photo by Samantha Talavera. Download Full Image

Each year, students from Japan travel to ASU to study English at Global Launch and learn about American culture in a four-week intensive English program setting. Participants in the program will attend language training sessions, academic success activities, community events around the state, and Arizona cultural activities to help students practice their English.

“This is going to be an exciting and busy 4 weeks. Hiroshima Shudo students have a reputation in our program of being very dedicated and hardworking, and we couldn’t be more excited to continue this partnership,” said Dianna Lippincott, Global Launch’s strategic innovation manager.

For information on international university partnerships with Global Launch, contact Dianna Lippincott at Dianna.Lippincott@asu.edu.

Samantha Talavera

Senior marketing and communications specialist, Global Launch


ASU launches digital English courses, provides ESL training to Mexican educators and Syrian refugees

Through innovative digital platforms, ASU Global Launch becomes a university leader in online English language learning

February 9, 2018

In November, ASU launched digital English courses, becoming the only university to offer a comprehensive English language learning product ranging from basic to advanced English proficiency, as well as providing the only English-language product on the market that prepares students for university study and success in academia. 

Developed by ASU Global Launch, the online courses allow students to utilize digital technologies to enhance learning, engage all skill levels, learn from experienced ASU ESL instructors and researchers, and access hundreds of online resources. Additionally, students can watch videos, have discussions with educators and peers, and collaborate on assignments at any time from anywhere in the world. Dr. Shane Dixon with course facilitators at the Za’atari Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. Senior educator Shane Dixon (second from left) with course facilitators at the Za’atari Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. Photo courtesy of Shane Dixon Download Full Image

Through these courses, ASU Global Launch, in partnership with Tec de Monterrey, has helped more than 850 teachers throughout Mexico improve their English proficiency and interact with colleagues in English on a national scale.

“I’d definitely recommend this resource to other teachers since they are tech-friendly and extremely guided. [It’s] almost as if you have a teacher with you at all times, within reach,” said learner Marisol Garcia.

In further efforts to expand the digital courses outside of Latin America, Global Launch ran an English language program for Syrian refugees. Senior educator Shane Dixon trained facilitators to lead discussion groups and English activities, then traveled to Jordan to both Al Azraq and Za’atari refugee camps to meet learners and understand the impact of the courses. Upon return there was one clear takeaway: Syrian refugees wanted English.

English, for many of the refugees, is access. Access to information, access to education and even access to other countries,” Dixon said. “If their English is good enough, the thinking goes, they will be better able to get jobs in Europe or other host countries that might accept them. English is a ticket.”

“English, for many of the refugees, is access. Access to information, access to education and even access to other countries.”
— Shane Dixon, ASU Global Launch

ASU and Global Launch hope to expand their global outreach through the digital English courses to create a broad community of world leaders and revolutionize the way that students around the world learn new languages.

ASU digital English courses are self-paced, accessible online from anywhere in the world and open for enrollment. Group discounts are available for institutions looking to facilitate courses in their home countries. You can learn more about the courses by clicking here or by contacting Dianna Lippincott at Dianna.Lippincott@asu.edu

Samantha Talavera

Senior marketing and communications specialist, Global Launch


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ASU students create pop-up shop to help refugees become entrepreneurs

ASU students help refugees become entrepreneurs through a downtown pop-up shop.
February 9, 2018

Global Market in Phoenix to showcase women's handmade crafts, artwork

After the life-altering difficulties they faced in their home countries, refugees who come to America can feel overwhelmed trying to integrate into their new communities.

Becoming economically self-sufficient is crucial for the families, and a group of Arizona State University students has stepped up to help with that.

The Global Market is a monthlong pop-up shop in the heart of downtown PhoenixThe students partnered with RED Cityscape Development, which is providing the space with the assistance of the city of Phoenix. that sells handmade goods, art and other items created by female refugees. The store is a project launched by ASU students in the Master of Social Work program who are interns in the ASU Office of Global Social Work.

The shop, directly across the street from the CityScape retail and dining complex, features items made by female entrepreneurs from Middle Eastern countries, including handmade soap, ceramics, jewelry, textiles, home decor, glass art and paintings.

“It’s a low-cost, low-risk way to get exposure for their merchandise,” said Alyaa Al-Maadeed, one of the ASU graduate students.

Al-Maadeed, who is from Qatar and earned her bachelor’s degree in social work at ASU, said she wanted to tackle a project in which her fluency in Arabic could help refugees.

“We’re trying to get them to the point where they’re engaging with the community and to feel empowered,” she said.

The students did a one-day pop-up shop in December as a pilot project to help the women understand what the event would be like.

Megan McDermott, one of the ASU students, said that the process of coming downtown to the shop and interacting with customers in English is challenging for them.

“As social workers, we have to be very aware that we’re taking them out of their comfort zone,” said McDermott, who helped the women deal with the parking garage.

Creating a shop like this is complicated and involves dealing with a lot of people and different cultures — the exact skills the master’s program is teaching, according to Barbara Klimek, a clinical associate professor in ASU’s School of Social Work and coordinator of the MSW program.

“It takes time, and students understand the issues and the process,” Klimek said. “I’m pleased to see the energy of the students and how they want to do something good for the community and their devotion to the refugee population.”

The students are learning what “help” really means.

“It’s what we teach in social work: Take people where they are at and move them at their own pace,” said Klimek, who also is director of the Office of Global Social Work.

“You can create wonders, but you need to be creative and patient and to really find the solutions that can help those people to achieve the goal they want, which you’re helping them to do. It’s their goal, not yours.”

A previous project by students in the Office of Global Social Work included developing and training refugees on different topics, such as safety, transportation and child welfare, in a culturally appropriate way.  

“They worked with the community leaders who said, ‘If you want this topic introduced, this is how you need to do it,’ “ she said.

When refugee families arrive in Phoenix, some of the women are eager to go out into the community to work, while others are less comfortable doing that. The American Muslim Women’s Association of Arizona can guide them, according to Asma Masood, the president.

“We want to provide opportunities to refugee women who don’t work outside the home, whether because they have children at home or for cultural reasons,” she said. “Some women come with skills. Other don’t have marketable skills so we teach them.”

The nonprofit organization offers English lessons, tutoring, mentoring and a yearlong program called Creative Refuge Studio that teaches the women how to sew and launch a business. Items from the studio are being sold at the Global Market pop-up, including clutches, colorful aprons, kitchen and table linens and knitwear, including hats with cat ears.

“We tell them if you want to make it here, you can do it. It just needs hard work. And many of them have done it,” Masood said.

Among the success stories is the Syrian Sweets Exchange, a cooperative of independent family bakers that formed in 2016 and is selling pastries in the Global Market.

McDermott said the sweets have been selling out every day. “Then they go home after being in the shop all day and bake at night,” she said.

One entrepreneur who has already found success but is looking for a wider customer base is photographer Marwah Asad, who has a display in the Global Market of her photographs, as well as bridal and home decor that she creates.

Asad has a degree in computer engineering, but after she emigrated from Iraq in 2012, she found that the process to become qualified in that field in the United States was expensive and difficult, so she started taking photographs.

“I’m really patient with children, so I started photographing birthday parties for my friends and they said, ‘Why don’t you make it a business rather than doing it for free?'”

“Most of the customers I’m having are from the Middle Eastern community,” she said. “I thought that being in a store downtown, everyone would be here that’s out of our society. I don’t want to be in just one corner.”

The Global Market is in a storefront shop just one door south of the southeastern corner of Washington Street and Central Avenue in Phoenix. The shop is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday through Feb. 28.


Top photo: ASU student Alyaa Al-Maadeed (right) looks at the pricing of some of the Syrian Sweets Exchange treats with Rodain Abozeed at the Global Market in downtown Phoenix. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Mary Beth Faller

reporter , ASU Now


ASU College of Nursing and Health Innovation hosts international guests

February 8, 2018

This week Arizona State University's College of Nursing and Health Innovation welcomed some high profile international guests from the nursing department at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy (UMP) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The group, which included the head of the nursing department and professors, made the more than 8,000-mile journey to the Valley of the Sun to get an up-close look at all things health-care education, including the innovative teaching methods used at ASU. Nurses educators from Vietnam observe students in the SLR Tran Thuy Khanh Linh from the BSN School of Nursing in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, observes nursing students participationg in ASU's nursing simulator. Photo by Marcus Chormicle/ASU Now Download Full Image

“Vietnam is a developing country so we need to expand and improve a lot in nursing and we would like to see the health-care system (in Vietnam) evolve so that nursing is an important member in the health care systems,” said Tran Thuy Khanh Linh, dean of the UMP nursing department. “These observations and this trip is very helpful for us so that we can learn from ASU and we hope that we can implement (at least) part of it.”

On Wednesday the group arrived on the Downtown Phoenix campus and was greeted by Dean Teri Pipe before setting out on a full day of exploring the facilities, meeting faculty and learning more about the unique program offerings.

Nurse educators from Vietnam pose with CONHI Dean Teri Pipe
ASU Dean Teri Pipe meets with the group.

First up was the recently expanded, state-of-the-art simulation and learning resources lab. After a tour, the group observed students in action from a debrief room, so as not to disturb the learning experience.

“The technology is very impressive, I know that simulation scenarios are very important and that strategy for teaching and learning is very helpful for students,” Khanh Linh said. “My observation is that these students are very excellent.”

In addition to getting an up close look at an evidenced-based curriculum in action, the delegation from UMP was very interested in seeing how the college’s online programs work. Currently they do not have any online course options.

“Online can reduce time, can reduce cost and provide more convenience for people. We need to prepare BSN nurses in the near future so this online concept is very important,” Khanh Linh said.

Nurses educators from Vietnam tour the SLR
The group gets an up-close look at the college's simulation and learning lab.

Heidi Sanborn, clinical assistant professor and interim director of the RN-BSN and Concurrent Enrollment Program (CEP) in the College walked them through how online education works at ASU.

The group also got a chance to examine the online course structure and the design that goes into making these programs engaging, user friendly and therefore successful.

The day ended with a discussion about different teaching methods.

This was their first trip the College of Nursing and Health Innovation and ASU. It came about thanks to a connection several faculty members have with the nonprofit Vital Links for Humanity.

Former faculty member Roxena Wotring and current adjunct faculty member Nancy Spahr are are among them.

“Our organization has been working for several years with the school of nursing in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, spending time with the faculty to try to grow and develop their program,” Spahr said.

Wotring, who taught at the College of Nursing and Health Innovation for 14 years before retiring, first visited Vietnam with two other ASU faculty members 10 years ago and they’ve been going every year since, teaching at UMP and other local hospitals.

“They have been very eager to learn about nursing education in the United States, from incorporating evidence-based practice, to quality assurance and just generally what our classes look like,” Wotring said.

Part of the goal of the visit Wotring said, was to explore opportunities for developing a long term, mutually beneficial relationship between the two institutions as there’s a lot to be learned from each other.

They recognize as nursing care evolves there’s an opportunity to learn or see how other systems adapt and they’re interested to see how others are meeting these challenges and there’s a lot our faculty and students can learn from their methods and ingenuity,” Wotring said.

Amanda Goodman

Media relations officer, College of Nursing and Health Innovation