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Sun Devil Welcome a raucous start to new year


August 18, 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.

If anyone walking into the arena Tuesday afternoon for the Sun Devil Welcome rally didn’t have maroon and gold blood coursing through their veins, they certainly did when they left. Incoming freshman show their school spirit at the Sun Devil Welcome. Incoming freshmen of the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering show their school spirit during the Sun Devil Welcome at Wells Fargo Arena on Aug. 18 in Tempe. Download Full Image

Plus ruptured eardrums.

With drums, horns, dancers and balloons cascading from the ceiling, the 11,000-strong class of 2019 filled two-thirds of the arena with a sea of gold from all 50 states and more than 100 countries.

“Awesome,” said Race Carter, a business management major from Scottsdale.

After a kickoff performance by Andaaz, the Bollywood dance team, vice president of athletics Ray Anderson told the crowd that when he arrived at ASU two years ago, people said ASU Athletics was a sleeping giant.

“I’m here to tell you the giant is alive and well, and stomping through the Valley and the Pac-12,” Anderson said. “And we are kicking butt in all our programs.”

“Raise your pitchforks high and give ’em hell, Sun Devils!” yelled Corina Tapscott, ‎president of downtown student government.

A video of a Godzilla-size Sparky stomping across the Valley to the thundering bass of AC/DC drew huge cheers, especially when he crushed a car with the University of Arizona logo on the roof before entering his Sun Devil Stadium and impaling the turf with a flaming pitchfork.

“That is the last time you will hear those words (U of A) spoken,” marching band director James Hudson told the crowd. “It’s ‘that place down south.’ We never speak those words.”

And, he added, “On Friday we wear gold.”

University President Michael Crow took the stage. “Yes, I’m the old serious guy,” he began. “Somebody’s got to be.”

He asked the crowd what they want their lives to mean. “When people talk about you after you’re gone, what do you want them to say?” he said. “There is not a person in this room who should not graduate from this institution and go on to do fantastic things.”

There are 400 areas of subjects to learn from at ASU, Crow said.

“We have hundreds and hundreds of majors,” he said. “Why? It’s not because we have so many students. It’s because they have so many dreams."

The university president — who was the first in his family to graduate from college — spoke about how majoring in political science helped him, despite not going into politics. It doesn’t matter what you study, he said.

“What that major did for me was help me to understand how things work,” Crow said. “It helped me to figure out how to learn new things. … I was able to adjust to anything I experienced. Every job I’ve had, every opportunity that I’ve had, everything was a function not of the specifics of what I learned, but of the process of learning how to learn.”

He gave out his email address and asked any student with an unsolved problem to contact him directly.

Carter was most impressed by Crow’s speech, “the fact that he believes in all of us, the fact that someone that high up is approachable is impressive.”

Ashley Altmann, a journalism and mass communication major from the Bay Area, thought the rally was inspiring.

“It made me want to get involved,” she said. “I feel like I’m at home here. It’s only my third day and I feel like I’m at home.”

SunDevil Welcome from Arizona State University on Vimeo.

Scott Seckel

Reporter, ASU Now

480-727-4502

Mother and Son Devils: Student heads to ASU after mom earns online degree


August 18, 2015

When Diane Gubran decided to take a break from college in 1984, she told herself it would be temporary. She had been a journalism student at California State University-Northridge, but after one semester, she began to lose focus and ended up dropping out.

“Anything that is challenging takes discipline. When I was younger, I was more interested in having fun and living life [than doing schoolwork],” she said. Mother-son Devils Diane and Konrad Gubran Konrad Gubran, an incoming freshman and business major from Valencia, California, walks with his parents, Jake and Diane, on the way to his residence hall on Aug. 15. Diane just walked in ASU’s spring 2015 convocation ceremony in Tempe, receiving her bachelor's in interdisciplinary studies from the College of Letters and Sciences — son Konrad will be attending the W. P. Carey School of Business. Download Full Image

After a string of odd jobs, Diane land a position in the mortgage industry with the help of a friend, and as time went by, she grew comfortable. Even so, she still harbored a dream of one day returning to school and earning a college degree.

Flash-forward to the fall of 2015. Diane is watching her son, Konrad, move into the Hassayampa Academic Village on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus — something she never experienced. He will begin classes at the W. P. Carey School of Business on Aug. 20.

But even though she never had that “college experience” of living on campus, she did eventually achieve her dream of a degree, thanks to ASU Online. In fact, it was only a few short months ago that she walked at ASU’s spring 2015 convocation ceremony in Tempe, graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor’s in interdisciplinary studies from the College of Letters and Sciences.

Back to the start

In 2000, more than a decade and a half after dropping out, Diane made the decision to re-embark on her college journey. She signed up for classes at a local community college in Valencia, California, where she resides.

She cites two big motivators: the birth of Konrad in 1997, and an instance in which she was overlooked for a promotion because she didn’t have a degree.

“I knew then that if I wanted to further my career, I would be limited,” she said.

Unfortunately, the community college didn’t offer any online courses, meaning Diane had to be physically present for every class. So she painstakingly tackled one course at a time in the spare time she was able to eke out between fulfilling her roles as wife, mother and career woman, which required frequent travel.

Then, during a business trip in 2010, Diane was on a plane when she heard a radio advertisement for ASU Online. She’d heard of plenty of online college opportunities before, but this was different. ASU was “reputable,” she said.

“I’ve hired lots of people throughout my career and when you look at where they went to school, it matters,” Diane said. “If you say ‘ASU’ or ‘Arizona State University,’ people know it; it’s recognizable. Other colleges that offer online courses are more obscure and don’t usually get a positive reaction.”

So in spring 2011, she began taking courses through ASU Online, interacting with students and professors, completing assignments and taking tests from hotels, airplanes and her home in Valencia. Finally able to take more than one course at a time, Diane made swift progress toward her degree.

When asked if it would have been possible to earn her degree without the flexibility of an online program, she is emphatic.

“I don’t know how I could have. Not that I wouldn’t have wanted to, but I honestly don’t know how I could have,” Diane said. “It wouldn’t have been physically possible.”

Continuing the Sun Devil legacy

Not everyone gets to see their parent graduate, but when Diane walked across the stage and was handed her degree this past spring, her son was there to witness it.

“Seeing my mom get her degree was really cool,” Konrad said. “It gave me some inspiration to want to be in the same place in a few years.”

Now, as a freshmen at his mother’s alma mater, he is certainly poised to be.

Konrad says it was his love of classic cars that made him realize he wanted to study business.

“I wanted to open my own [auto] shop and do custom work, and I realized I would need a business degree for that,” he said.

Though he considered other schools, he ultimately chose ASU and the W. P. Carey School in particular on the advice of trusted individuals.

“I talked to some really intelligent people who I trusted a lot, and they said the [W. P. Carey] School is really good, one of the best in the country,” Konrad said. “And it helped that my mom had just gotten her degree there.”

After experiencing firsthand the obstacles that often accompany the lack of a college degree, Diane couldn’t be happier that her son is on his way toward one.

“I am very excited for him to have that college experience because both my husband and I, the way we did it, we did distance learning (her husband attended Cal State Long Beach), and I had a great experience with it and my husband did as well, but I want Konrad to be able to take all of it in and do it while he’s young,” she said.

The next chapter

Diane is still working in the mortgage industry and recently joined a new company as a servicer oversight manager. She also recently received an offer from Thunderbird School of Global Management to enroll in a master’s program there, with a 60 percent tuition credit.

Though she hasn’t yet decided whether she’ll pursue Thunderbird’s offer, she’s interested in switching things up and looking into positions in human resources. Whatever she decides, she is now able to go further in her career than she thought possible just a few short years ago.

Emma Greguska

Reporter, ASU Now

(480) 965-9657

Fall Welcome: What's the buzz on ASU's campuses?


August 17, 2015

As Arizona State University gears up for the start of classes this week, our reporters are spotlighting scenes around its campuses. Take a look at what's been going on during ASU Fall Welcome.

Changemaker Central Day of ServiceTrash-chute drama and pizza freedom: Freshmen share new experiences Download Full Image

More than 11,000 freshmen started their ASU journey this week, and they’ve been getting a lot of advice: Connect with mentors! Try new things! Five freshmen on the Downtown Phoenix campus share experiences they never had before coming to ASU.
 

Changemaker Central Day of ServiceStudents make a change on Polytechnic campus, in their lives

Albert Giovanazzi could have slept in Wednesday morning, but the ASU freshman wanted to make a difference. His goal was achieved by helping the Changemakers clean up part of the Polytechnic campus.
 

Sun Devil Welcome eventSun Devil Welcome a raucous start to new year

New Sun Devils received an official welcome Tuesday in a raucous celebration in Wells Fargo Arena. Among the speakers: President Michael M. Crow who told students that there is nothing standing in their way from graduating from ASU.
 

Cronkite Village orientationCronkite Village gives journalism freshmen sense of community

Incoming journalism students play welcome games – including trivia about ASU – and get to know each other as part of their orientation to the Cronkite Village, one of 32 residential colleges across the four campuses in which students live and learn together.
 

New College traditional handprint collagePeer mentors help New College freshmen find their feet

At the start of each fall semester, peer mentors from the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences on ASU's West campus help freshmen know what to do if faced with an unfamiliar situation. Here, mentors share their tips for newcomers.
 

Air-traffic-control software installationNew technology provides clear landing for ASU Polytechnic students

The final installation of new air-traffic-control simulation technology was being overseen Tuesday on ASU's Polytechnic campus. The system ("so cutting-edge that it’s bleeding edge") will help prepare students for a rewarding but highly competitive field.
 

SDFC West campus student workersWest campus fitness complex ready for incoming students

Despite the present stillness at ASU's West campus Sun Devil Fitness Complex, Casey Monroe knows what is coming: a barrage of energetic students ready to dive headfirst into another semester.
 

Criminology students play ClueCriminology students get a 'Clue' on how to succeed

Freshmen entering ASU's School of Criminology and Criminal Justice in downtown Phoenix spent their first day playing a life-size version of the popular board game "Clue," which helped them build relationships that will be key to their success.
 

Sparky dancingPolytechnic campus students dance through move-in

The Polytechnic campus has all sorts of fun things, including students who break into dance while helping freshmen move into the dorms. Volunteer Megan Lymer says of the campus: “We all get along, and we know where to go if we need anything. It’s fun.”
 

Stoney familyStart of college a rite of passage for parents, too

From stocking up at the bookstore to imparting words of advice, three families share their impressions of moving their new Sun Devil into college this week — and whether they will worry about them when they're gone.
 

Camp SoleraCamp Solera welcomes freshmen to West campus

Camp Solera is a three-day experience for freshmen at ASU's West campus, designed to build class unity, introduce the incoming students to campus resources and give the newest members of the Sun Devil family a sneak peek into ASU traditions.

Lisa Robbins

editor/publisher, Media Relations and Strategic Communications

480-965-9370

West campus fitness complex ready for incoming students


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 enormous verdant quad, a point of pride on Arizona State University’s West campus, is empty, save for a few sputtering sprinklers and the sorrowful crooning of Lana Del Rey lamenting her “Summertime Sadness.” students at ASU's Sun Devil Fitness Complex on the West campus Student workers hang out near the entrance of the Sun Devil Fitness Complex on ASU's West campus (from left): Daniel Gonzales (senior, business), Casey Monroe (senior, secondary education — math) and Michael Imperial (junior, secondary education — math). Download Full Image

The crooning comes from speakers on the Sun Devil Fitness Complex, which flanks the southern border of the quad. But the song’s theme is perhaps a bit incongruous with the current atmosphere. Despite the present stillness, Casey Monroe knows what is coming: a barrage of energetic students ready to dive headfirst into another semester at ASU's West campus.

“Right now, it’s still a transitioning period,” said Monroe, a senior student worker at the fitness complex. But, she assures, come Thursday (the first day of classes for the fall 2015 semester), there will be hundreds filling the now nearly vacant facility.

Astrid Samaniego, a junior majoring in communications with a minor in Spanish, is one of about 15 students taking advantage of these early, slower-paced days of move-in week when places like the fitness complex can be had almost all to one’s self.

Samaniego doesn’t live on campus, but she wanted to come check out the facility anyway. She’s excited for the semester to begin and is looking forward to more of a “university feel” at West campus after transferring from Estrella Mountain Community College.

Though the indoor track and basketball court below are free of squeaky sneakers, the rows of high-tech workout equipment are mostly silent and the six-lane swimming pool outdoors is uncharacteristically placid, a mere three days’ time will change all of that.

Fitness-complex student worker Michael Imperial’s eyes light up as he describes the plethora of various inflatable activities scheduled for RecIgnite, which will take place from 7 to 10 p.m.Thursday, Aug. 20.

He describes an inflatable screen to be used for karaoke and a movie screening at the pool, an inflatable shooting range, stand-up paddle boarding and “tons of free stuff.”

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Imperial says.

Students interested in the event can check it out online, among several other Fall Welcome events, here.

Emma Greguska

Reporter, ASU Now

(480) 965-9657

Talent times 3: High-achieving triplets head to Barrett at ASU West campus


August 17, 2015

You might say the Moen triplets are competitive.

“[Grant] would never let me hear the end of it when he beat me on the PSAT by like one point,” Claire Moen says of one of her brothers. All three triplets will all be attending Arizona State University at its West campus this fall. “He was so proud of himself for beating me on that.” Moen triplets at Barrett Honors College at ASU West The Moen triplets – Claire, Anders (center) and Grant, pictured at the Paley Gates that welcome freshmen to ASU's West campus — have followed the same path to Barrett, The Honors College at West. The family was drawn to the campus' small-college feel, while still offering the resources of a large university. Download Full Image

Grant is quick to respond, albeit in a lowered voice: “It was more than one point.”

The high-achieving triplets — Anders, Claire and Grant — offer an interesting take on the age-old debate of nature vs. nurture, and they would seem to offer evidence of the latter. They were all active in sports and extracurricular activities in high school — but not always the same ones.

“Just because they’re triplets, they’re not identical; they’re not the same person,” says Todd Moen, their father.

It seems as if academic acumen comes naturally to the siblings, who will all be members of Barrett, The Honors College. However, when asked if they think it has anything to do with the fact that they push each other to achieve more, Anders is quick to respond: “Yeah.”

“It definitely helps, for sure,” Grant says.

“I guess we also kind of hold each other responsible to succeed,” Claire adds.

Kathy Lemery-Chalfant, associate professor of psychology at ASU, says that sets of multiples often tend to be more competitive compared with single-born siblings, simply because they are all the same age.

“They’re compared a lot more to each other throughout their whole life,” Lemery-Chalfant said. “There’s always a comparison in terms of grades, height, hair color, etc. from the get-go.”

The Moens are an example of when that phenomenon goes right.

Each received a New American University Scholarship, along with plenty of other scholarships between them, including a private business scholarship for Anders, an SRP scholarship for Claire and a National Merit Scholarship for Grant.

“It’s funny, the first day we found out we were having triplets I thought about college,” Todd says. “And if they didn’t have the drive themselves, they wouldn’t be sitting where they are today.”

Originally from Arizona, the Moen trio spent most of their lives in Arkansas, where they attended Harmony Grove High School.

Anders is an art lover who often indulges in sketching and painting. Grant is a sports guy, who was a starting player on his basketball team and a lead scorer on his soccer team. Claire enjoys reading and taking the helm on various projects, events and activities.

Despite their varied interests, when it came time to choose a college, the siblings knew they wanted to stick together. So they did their research.

“We visited quite a few schools in Arkansas,” Anders said, but they never found what they were looking for.

At that point, their parents got in on the search.

“My wife and I, we were looking for more of a liberal-arts-style school for them,” Todd says. “But as we looked, we noticed other schools didn’t have the resources and the programs that a larger university had.”

The Moens still had family in Arizona and decided to look into ASU’s West campus, which offers that smaller, liberal-arts-school feel they were looking for without sacrificing on the resources larger universities offer.

It was a perfect fit.

“For all of us, it was really kind of like, ‘Wow, they’ve got everything,’ ” Todd says.

So they packed up and headed back to Arizona, ASU West-bound.

Anders will be studying accounting while Claire and Grant are both going into medicine. All three will be living on the West campus this fall, and their excitement is palpable.

“I don’t even know what to expect, honestly. I’m just looking forward to doing new things and meeting new people,” Grant says.

And, it’s safe to say, their father shares in their enthusiasm.

“Now they’re in a place where all doors are open to them,” he says.

Emma Greguska

Reporter, ASU Now

(480) 965-9657

ASU boasts diverse achievers in freshman class


August 17, 2015

Amani Burton is looking forward to meeting a new person every day.

It should be easy, as he is among more than 11,000 new Sun Devils in the incoming class of freshmen at Arizona State University. students walking on campus mall The incoming class of freshmen at Arizona State University comprises some 11,566 new students. They are diverse mix with academic credentials eclipsing the mark set by last year's pack of incoming students. Download Full Image

“It excites me because I can find so many clubs and organizations that fit me,” said Burton, who’s from Nevada and will be majoring in Sports and Media Studies in the W.P. Carey School of Business.

In keeping with the university’s mission of encouraging accessibility for all, the percentage of minority students in the freshmen class has increased: 38.6 percent this year, compared with 38.4 percent last year. In fall 2007, it was 29.4 percent.

Burton, who is African-American and Filipino, says that’s important.

“It’ll add more cultural diversity to the college, which is great, although ASU’s population is already so diverse, with students from all over the world,” he said.

Kent Hopkins, vice president for enrollment management and services, said that providing opportunity for everyone is part of ASU’s mission.

“It’s something that is so very important to serving our citizens and as a charge from President Michael Crow – that our student body is reflective of our world.”

The incoming freshmen are also academically accomplished. As a group, their average high school grade point average is 3.41 and their average SAT score is 1126, the highest averages of any ASU freshman class.

Last year, the average grade point average for the incoming freshmen was 3.4, and in fall 2007, it was 3.34. The average SAT or ACT – in which the ACT score is converted to an SAT scale – was 1118 last year. It was 1078 in fall 2007.

Scott Fitsimones of Phoenix is one of the elite students coming to ASU. A graduate of Arizona School for the Arts charter school, he is a Flinn Scholar – an honor awarded only to the most accomplished students who choose to go to one of the state’s three public universities. Fifteen of this year’s 21 Flinn Scholars chose ASU.

Fitsimones has been designing smartphone applications since he was 15, and dreamed of attending Stanford University.

But he was drawn to ASU’s reputation for innovation and support of student start-ups.

Fitsimones, who will be living in Barrett, the Honors College, is considering a major in computer systems engineering or another type of engineering. He’s been experimenting with three-dimensional printing.

“I’m not exactly sure what I want to do and I know I can explore that at ASU,” Fitsimones said. “I want a creative role, and I want to meet a lot of cool people who are looking to do that too.”

ASU continues to draw students from beyond the state’s borders. Nearly half – 46 percent – of the incoming freshmen are from outside of Arizona. Twelve percent are from California, and half of those students are minorities.

One of the 1,406 freshmen from California is Taylor Lucido, who graduated from high school in Brentwood, a town about an hour outside San Francisco.

Lucido, who will be living on the Tempe campus and majoring in philosophy, is from a Sun Devil family, with several relatives who are ASU graduates.

“My cousin got married at Old Main last year. I fell in love with the campus and it’s always been my dream to go there,” she said.

“With a big school there are a lot more connections and opportunities, and I feel like I will be ahead of someone who didn’t go to ASU.”

This freshmen class will top 11,000 for the first time, and Hopkins said that each of the five campuses provides a unique environment for the incoming students. ASU at Lake Havasu City will have 42 freshmen, and ASU West will be home to 360 freshman. ASU Polytechnic will welcome 525 freshman and about 1,400 freshman will begin at the Downtown Phoenix campus. Nearly 9,000 freshman will begin their Sun Devil experience on the Tempe campus.

“We have such a wonderful mosaic of campus opportunities for our students,” Hopkins said.

“That tends to provide a different perspective about the who we are at ASU than just reporting one freshman class figure.”

Mary Beth Faller

reporter, ASU Now

480-727-4503

Exhibit takes visitors back to ASU Art Museum's founding


August 5, 2015

The year is 1950, and tucked away among the stacks of books in Arizona State College’s Matthews Library hangs a small collection of American art.

There’s a painted still life of fruit and pottery cast against a crimson background. A moonlit, tree-filled shore glows with the simple, but profound, warmth of twilight. And a man sits in a harvested field while shucking corn in a scene courtesy of noted American landscape painter Winslow Homer. gallery wall "Founding" exhibit ASU Art Museum The "Found(ing) Story: The Oliver B. James Collection" exhibit goes back in time to tell the story of how the ASU Art Museum was founded 65 years ago. Download Full Image

These are among the first 16 paintings of what would eventually become the ASU Art Museum, which now holds a collection of more than 12,000 objects.

But 65 years ago – before Arizona State University was even a university – it all started with a small anonymous gift by a donor who wanted to provide students, faculty, schoolchildren and the general public with the opportunity to view original works of art.

That generous donor was Phoenix attorney Oliver B. James, and over the next five years he gave close to 150 works of primarily American art to the school.

The ASU Art Museum’s latest exhibition, “Found(ing) Story: The Oliver B. James Collection,” showcases its formative time and puts a spotlight on this humble origin story.

It begins with James, an avid art collector who wanted to represent the growing prominence of American art. He was passionate about his collection and worked closely with the head librarian and curator at Matthews Library on the placement of the pieces.

“We have delightful letters to the curator, Paula Kloster, and the head of the library, with suggestions on placing the works for powerful comparisons and to build the narrative of the history of American art,” said Heather Lineberry, associate director of the ASU Art Museum. “James’ passion for collecting, his own curiosity and study of art and artists and his excitement to be sharing it with the students and public comes through loud and clear.”

When the books in Matthews Library were moved to the new Hayden Library in 1965, James’ art collection remained and the building was renamed the Matthews Center. Eventually, the museum grew to 10,000 square feet, ­and in 1989 the collection moved to its current venue at Nelson Fine Arts Center. Select pieces remained on permanent display up until four years ago.

Now visitors to the museum have a chance to view much of James’ art again, but with a fresh perspective – as new research has emerged on the collection.  It joins a series of exhibitions the museum has presented over the past few years, which examine its collections and exhibition history.

“‘Found(ing) Story: The Oliver B. James Collection’ looks at the beginnings of the museum’s collecting and exhibition history and its early mission, which is essentially the same today – a meeting point for the exchange of new ideas, perspectives and experiences among artists, students and the public through our exhibitions, residencies, collections and programs,” Lineberry said.

Aside from those first 16 pieces, which are arranged in chronological order, the exhibition includes work from prominent American artists, such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Edward Hopper.

“Many of our visitors remember particular paintings from past visits, or from when they were a student at ASU, and they have deep personal attachments,” Lineberry said. “It’s like visiting an old friend with powerful memories and associations.”

And though most of the pieces, which date back to the 19th and early 20th centuries, lend a more traditional feel to a museum that has become known for its contemporary art, Lineberry points out that when James first donated the art, many pieces – such as one of O’Keeffe’s first skull paintings – were contemporary for the time.

“The museum has always had a focus on the art of our own time. When James was collecting … many of these works, they were contemporary and radical in their style and subject matter,” Lineberry said. “Our historic collections provide context and the opportunity to build powerful narratives that are relevant today.”

“Found(ing) Story: The Oliver B. James Collection” is on view in the Art Musuem’s Americas Gallery through Nov. 14. Admission is free. For more information, visit asuartmuseum.asu.edu.

Lisa Robbins

editor/publisher, Media Relations and Strategic Communications

480-965-9370

ASU joins national movement committed to diversifying engineering


August 4, 2015

Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering are among more than 100 engineering schools whose deans have committed to an action plan to increase diversity in the engineering professions.

Their commitment, spelled out in an American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) letter, was shared by the White House as part of its first ever Demo Day, on Aug. 4, which brought together entrepreneurs from across the country to share their success stories. Engineering deans diversity initiative Download Full Image

The Diversity Letter recognizes that, “While gains have been made in the participation of women, African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans in recent decades, significant progress is still needed to reach a level where the engineering community fully embraces all segments of our increasingly diverse and vibrant society.”

The 2014-2015 period was declared by ASEE as the Year of Action in Diversity. The deans signing the letter include Kyle Squires, interim dean of the Fulton Schools.

“While we are encouraged about the gains we have made in the diversity of our student body and faculty, we need to continue to improve as we strive to be representative of Arizona’s demographic landscape,” Squires said. “About 25 percent of our domestic students are from underrepresented groups, though only 10 percent are Hispanic or Latino and three percent American Indian. Our goal is to move those numbers, among others, upward.”

The Fulton Schools' percentage of female students hovers around 20 percent, about the national average. Squires said, “We feel we are well positioned to make strong gains in that area, as well.”

About 42 percent of the Fulton Schools faculty are from underrepresented minority groups and about 22 percent are female.

The engineering schools signing the letter have committed their institutions to:

Develop a diversity plan for engineering programs with the help and input of national organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers. Undertake an annual equity and inclusion climate survey of faculty, students and staff with the goal of assessing and increasing the effectiveness of the diversity plan developed.

• Commit to at least one K-12 or community college pipeline activity with goals and measures to increase diversity and inclusiveness of the engineering student body.

• Commit to developing strong partnerships between research-intensive engineering schools and non-Ph.D. granting engineering schools serving populations underrepresented in engineering.

• Commit to the development and implementation of proactive strategies to increase representation of women and underrepresented minorities in the faculty.

A measure of success will be notable increase in diversity in enrollments, retention and graduation rates of engineering students, and increased diversity in the faculty and the engineering workforce over the next decade.

Other Arizona universities signing the diversity letter include Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the University of Arizona.

Sharon Keeler

Sun Devil salute: 10 facts about the military at ASU


May 21, 2015

ASU has a long and proud history with the military, from strong academics to support services.

Through the Pat Tillman Veterans Center, ASU staff helps veterans, military members and their dependents manage their GI Bill benefits. Student advisers can also match military training with course credits and assist students as they apply for scholarships or other support.   Pinning ceremony for naval cadet's transition to officer The Pat Tillman Foundation invests in military veterans and their spouses through educational scholarships – building a diverse community of leaders committed to service to others. There are more than 347 scholars across the U.S., including students at ASU. Photo by: Tom Story Download Full Image

More facts to know about veterans, ROTC and the military at ASU:  

1. We are home to one of the oldest Army ROTC programs in the nation.

Arizona State University has a proud history of embracing our nation’s veterans, their families and those who continue to serve on active duty, in the National Guard or reserves. AROTC was established in 1935. Air Force ROTC was established in 1948 and our Navy and Marine Corps ROTC in 2010. We are home to 500 ROTC cadets.

2. We offer some of the top language training in the U.S. for ROTC.

The Critical Languages Institute in the Melikian Center: Russian, Eurasian & East European Studies offers intensive training in Armenian, Russian, Bosnian and 12 other lesser-known languages. The ASU center also supports ROTC-specific training through Project Go, a summer program in Persian, Russian, Turkish and Uzbek.

A pilot program for ROTC students is also part of ASU’s Chinese Language Flagship Program through the School of International Letters and Cultures. The flagship’s undergraduate programs provide intensive, professional-level proficiency in Mandarin Chinese and study abroad. 

3. We recognize military, veterans and their families annually with a two-week “Salute to Service” celebration.

The ASU community is invited to attend all of the Salute to Service events, which include military appreciation football and basketball games, performances, faculty and staff training, panel discussions and activities sponsored by student clubs.

4. ASU has benefits tailored to meet ROTC and service member’s needs:

• The Pat Tillman Veterans Center is the focal point for veterans to access benefits, transition to university life and get assistance on a wide range of topics.

• The Office for Veteran and Military Academic Engagement helps integrate veterans into scholastic life and serves as platform to capture their voices on range of topics.

• ASU accepts credits earned through military courses or training, has offered in-state tuition for honorably discharged veterans since 2011 and provides priority registration.

• Scholarships include ASU’s Veterans Education Fund, Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, Tillman Military Scholars, ROTC and more.

• Veterans Upward Bound Program helps low-income or first-generation vets improve academic skills through free, federally funded prep courses.

5. The College of Public Service and Community Solutions has the highest percentage of veterans at ASU. 

Although the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering enrolls the most veterans and service members, followed by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Public Service and Community Solutions has the highest percentage of veterans, topping 9.5 percent. ASU is also working to advance civilian-military collaborations through the new Public Service Academy, promoting public service while developing cross-sector leadership skills. 

6. Our researchers are contributing to national defense and military technology.

Our faculty members submitted $96.4 million in proposals to the Department of Defense and received $37 million in award obligations in 2014. Key projects have included the establishment of the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict (to understand root causes of conflict), and the Flexible Display Center (development of cutting-edge electronics).

7. ASU has a new Center for Veterans' Wellness to support and treat battle trauma/PTSD.

Led by inaugural director Mary Davis, an ASU pyschology professor, the center draws together experts from a variety of disciplines across the university and its partner organizations to expand their work and develop new ideas. The center will build national visibility for research and treatment advances, bringing in scientists who have an accomplished record in veterans’ health research.

8. We are widely and consistently recognized as a veteran-focused school.

ASU was recently ranked among the top schools in the nation for Best Online Programs for Veterans by U.S. News. The university has also been named a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs magazine each year from 2010 to 2015.

9. We present graduating veterans with honor stoles to recognize their service and status as veterans.

10. We are home to a Veterans ASU Alumni Chapter. How many of our notable military alums do you recognize?

• Allan McArtor: ’71 M.S.E., former Air Force fighter pilot and Vietnam veteran, chairman and CEO of Airbus Group and former administrator of U.S. Federal Aviation Administration

• Barry Bruner: ’80 B.S., retired Navy rear admiral, commanded Submarine Group 10, Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, Georgia

• Daniel Yoo: ’84 B.S., Marine Corps, commanding general Marine Corps Recruit Depot

• John Goodman: ’71 B.S., retired Marine lieutenant general, commanded Marine Forces Pacific and served as director of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance

• John Kenyon: ’85 B.S., retired Coast Guard captain, former commanding officer of U.S. Coast Guard Activities Europe

• Margaret Woodward: ’82 B.S., retired Air Force major general, commanded air forces during Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya

• Mark “Marshal” Dillon: ’83 B.S., retired Air Force brigadier general, former commander of the 86th Airlift Wing, Ramstein Air Base, Germany

• Pat Tillman: ’97 B.S., former Army corporal, star ASU and Arizona Cardinals football player

• Ronald “Ron” Shoopman: ’72 B.S., retired Air Force brigadier general, president of Southern Arizona Leadership Council

• Ryan Cleckner: ’08 B.S., former Army Ranger sniper, veterans activist and vice president at Remington Outdoor Company

• Vern “Rusty” Findley: ’76 B.S.,  retired Air Force lieutenant general, former vice commander Air Force Air Mobility Command

• Victor Petrenko: ’83 B.S., Army brigadier general, former deputy commanding general and chief of staff for U.S. Army Accessions Command, Fort Knox, Kentucky

Margaret Coulombe

Director, Executive Communications, Office of the University Provost

480-965-8045

 
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Sun Devils celebrate spring commencement, convocations

May 11, 2015

Fireworks heralded the new grads at ASU's undergraduate commencement May 11, 2015, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. The featured speaker was John Seely Brown, author and researcher. “I envy you,” he told the graduates. “You are graduating and embarking on your life at an amazing time.”

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