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ASU Foundation News

Drones spell out ASU in the sky over the football stadium

ASU students design spectacular drone halftime show

A team from Arizona State University animated the sky with 600 lighted drones in a spectacular show before more than 53,000 people at Mountain America Stadium on Saturday night. The four- to five-minute drone show during halftime of the ASU football game was designed by three students and a professor in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. The drones danced in a space above the scoreboard that was as big as a 30-story building, swirling and zipping around to create a series of three-dimensional animations, including a drum, the ASU logo, a spinning pitchfork, Sparky and a gigantic football helmet. The drone colors were synched to the Sun Devil Marching Band, whose members wore glowing LED bracelets that emitted radio signals. The show was the culmination of nearly three months of work by Ana Herruzo, an associate professor in The Design School and the School of Arts, Media and Engineering, who recruited Henry Beach, in his third year of a Master of Fine Arts program in theatre (interdisciplinary digital media), and Alba Olivé Martí and Derrek Sekito, both fourth-year animation majors in the School of Art. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Arizona State University (@arizonastateuniversity) Beach, who was the project manager and production director, said he was thrilled with how the show turned out after endless hours spent in front of a computer screen in the design phase. “The crowd's reaction was amazing — to hear them cheer when the drones would transition to a new scene,” he said. “But mostly the scale of the drone show was just so beyond anything we expected. We spent weeks building out our show in pre-visualization so that we could wrap our heads around what the design of the show would look like in reality, but it's just so hard to depict the volume it actually takes up in air space over the stadium.” The show was set to the marching band's performance of the music of Elton John, marking the 50th anniversary of the release of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” The project was done in partnership with Nova Sky Stories, a drone company founded by Kimbal Musk, brother of Elon Musk, and was funded by a donation from the Swette family, longtime donors to ASU. Tricky technical details Herruzo’s background is in large-scale, interactive audiovisual shows — “anything that interacts with people at a large scale,” she said. She teaches immersive experience design and leads the MEDIAted eXperiences Lab in the Media and Immersive eXperience Center in Mesa. She was first approached about the project in June, ensuring a short timeline for such a big project. Herruzo said the goal was to follow the donor’s wishes to “electrify the marching band.” Then she began collaborating with Nova Sky Stories, which was founded by Kimbal Musk in June 2022. He was inspired to found the company in 2021, during the pandemic-impacted Burning Man gathering in the Nevada desert, when the iconic burning of the large wooden man figure was instead a drone show. Musk said that a friend suggested collaborating with ASU because of the high quality and cutting-edge educational practices of The Design School. "I have always been interested in supporting and exploring the intersection of art, technology and education, and this idea quickly appeared to be a fantastic fit,” he said. Herruzo hired her student workers in August, and they began working on the design, which had several constraints. Because the drones are not allowed to fly above people, there was a strict “bounding box” space above the scoreboard. The drones took off from the practice field next to the stadium. “This design is specific to these 600 (drone) points, and there are very tricky technical details they had to learn and they did such a good job,” she said. As the project and production manager, Beach juggled many responsibilities — everything from dealing with the company that provided the LED wristbands to making sure there was a tent with food for the drone pilots the day of the show. He coordinated with the stadium facilities team, the marching band and Nova Sky Stories. And he worked with Olivé Martí and Sekito to create a software tool to visualize the animated show. “There are a lot of design constraints when working on a drone show in terms of how they have to model the animation and account for things like making sure the drones don’t collide with each other in the air,” said Beach, who is a research assistant in the MEDIAted eXperiences Lab. “So when modeling and working on these designs, they did a great job of adapting their own style to the limitations of the medium.” After designing the show, the team’s models were uploaded to Nova Sky Stories, which programmed its small, lightweight drones. Olivé Martí is on the Sun Devil water polo team. “It was very interesting to me to bring art and sports together, so that was really exciting,” she said. “At the beginning, me and Derrek were doing storyboards when we realized the limits. At one of the meetings, I was really happy with one of my models, and everyone said, ‘That’s not going to work.’ So OK, I had to completely change it. “When you’re working on it, you feel like 600 points will not be enough.” Sekito said he had never done anything like this but was excited to learn the process and the tools. “We had a specific bounding box we had to animate in because the drones are not allowed to fly over people, and we had to keep the power lines in mind,” he said. “It was a challenge at first. There were a lot of different parts and everything was always changing, so we had to stay flexible in our design.” Herruzo said that the faculty in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering are hybrids of technology and design. “And the students who graduate from here have those skills,” she said. Video of ASU drone show lights up game night: Arizona State University (ASU) Video by ASU Media Relations A new medium Saturday’s event was the first drone show ever held at ASU, but Herruzo is working with Nova Sky Stories to continue the collaboration in a class that would teach drone design. Jeremy Stein, chief operating officer of Nova Sky Stories, sees drone shows as a new way of telling stories. "Drone light shows, and the version of art we call ‘sky stories,’ are a mega powerful new medium that combines amazing art, technology and enormous scale," he said. "Our images in the sky can be the size of the tallest buildings while touching the hearts of global audiences.” Stein said that Sky Stories is just scratching the surface of artistic expression. “We are now embarking on a new generation of ideas to create with this medium, educate across many disciplines and discover technological advances,” he said. “Similar to when the camera was invented, new forms of art and expression will now surface. It’s incredibly exciting.” Steven Tepper, dean of the Herberger Institute, said that the partnership will benefit students. “Thanks to outstanding faculty like Ana Herruzo and our leadership at the intersection of art, design and technology, ASU students are able to learn from partners like Nova Sky Stories, who are at the forefront of this new medium,” he said. “Not only do the students get high-level professional experience — in this case, they also have the extraordinary opportunity to see their own designs come to life in the sky above the stadium.” Stein said that educating students on this new medium is important. "As humans, we can only realize the potential of this new medium by inviting all generations to take part," he said. “Ensuring that our efforts are open-sourced will allow for many ideas to rise. Thus, it is critical to create bridges with education leaders such as ASU’s Design School. Nova Sky Stories is thrilled to explore opportunities to support a new generation of designers to test the boundaries of what is possible.” Top photo: Some 600 dancing drones fill the sky above Mountain America Stadium during halftime on Saturday, Sept. 23. The show was the result of a collaboration between Nova Sky Solutions drone entertainment company and ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts’ choreography, and thanks to a donation by the Swette family. The four- to five-minute show featured designs including Sparky, Forks Up and the Sun Devil pitchfork, a highlight of the Sun Devils’ final PAC-12 football game against USC. Photo by Nova Sky Stories ]]>
ASU student Emra Muslim holding a sign that reads "Thank you so much!"

Honors students at ASU thrive with scholarships

For Emra Muslim, a first-year student in Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University, a donor-supported scholarship is the boost she needed to start off right at the university. For Mary Murphy, a senior honors student, a scholarship has helped her keep going in the face of despair.Both students say they’re grateful for the scholarships they received through the honors college, but for vastly different reasons.Muslim, a political science major, feels that the Austin James Service Scholarship will help pave her way as a freshman and first-generation student whose parents immigrated from Bosnia to the United States in 2001. Murphy, a senior majoring in Russian and political science, said the Barrett Emergency Student Fund is the lifeline and support she needed to remain at the university after escaping with her young child from an abusive marriage.There are many merit- and need-based Barrett Honors College student scholarships available to students in need, and applications for the 2024–25 academic year open on Nov. 1 and close on Feb. 1, 2024. Need-based aid requires that a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) be on file. Oct. 1 is the FAFSA form submission deadline.Paola Gale, associate director of development for Barrett Honors College with the ASU Foundation, said the impact of scholarships is significant in the lives of students.“Scholarships provide the essential funds needed to obtain a top-tier education, and in some cases, keep students in the university. But the positive effects of the scholarships extend beyond the student recipients. The impact that will happen as a result of their future professional endeavors is incalculable. Many lives will be changed for good, as a result of one donor, one student, one scholarship philosophy,” she said.Recalling the challenges her parents faced leaving their beloved, but politically unstable and war-torn homeland in eastern Europe, Muslim is equally as grateful for their sacrifices as she is for the opportunities the four-year Austin James Scholarship affords her.“As a daughter of immigrant parents, I know that I’m having this experience because of the sacrifices they made for me to be here today,” said Muslim, who aspires to be a lawyer serving the Bosnian community. “Being chosen to receive a scholarship means someone believes in me and what I want to accomplish."Three weeks into the fall 2020 semester, physical threats and stalking forced Murphy and her child to flee their home — leaving everything behind, including a job, car, apartment and personal belongings — and enter a high security shelter.“With a lot of help, I stayed in classes that semester. By the end of the semester, though, I made the decision to drop out of Barrett in order to provide stability for my child and myself, as I could not see a way to continue to provide stable housing and continue studying in Barrett,” Murphy said.She notified her Barrett thesis director and honors academic advisor of her situation and they encouraged her to apply for the Barrett Emergency Student Fund, which provides support for students to continue their education while experiencing life challenges.“The support and help offered enabled me to not only stay in Barrett and continue toward completion of my degrees, but also to thrive here,” said Murphy, who used funds for housing expenses.“The benefit extended far beyond the financial help I received. Support from the Barrett leadership, faculty, staff and donors in the form of this tangible financial help made me feel valued and seen, and helped me remember I was not alone. Knowing that they are all in my corner and want me to succeed in my education encouraged me and helped me to keep moving forward,” she added.Muslim and Murphy are two of many honors students who have received scholarships specifically designated for Barrett students.In the 2022–23 academic year, 662 honors students were awarded scholarships with a total value of over $1.3 million. In the same time period, 23 students received a total of $13,522 in assistance from the Barrett Emergency Student Fund.According to Gale, there are many opportunities to support Barrett students and initiatives. Donors can make gifts of cash and stock, put Barrett Honors College in estate plans or take advantage of company matching gift programs. To inquire about these options, contact Gale at]]>
Woman smiling in front of a backdrop of flowers.

ASU Thunderbird alum creates scholarship to send students on Semester at Sea

Karen Simon, a retired banking executive and distinguished alumna from the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University, has made a generous donation to create the Karen J. Simon '83 Semester at Sea scholarship for Thunderbird undergraduate students. This philanthropic initiative aims to provide Thunderbird undergraduates with the opportunity to embark on a transformative global journey through the Semester at Sea program.Simon's deep appreciation for her European ancestry, fueled by her father's post-World War II immigration from Berlin, Germany, inspired her passion for international experiences. After graduating from the American Graduate School of International Management, now ASU Thunderbird, in 1983, she joined a global financial institution, which eventually led her to relocate to London, where she resided for over two decades. In 2019, after a 36-year career at J.P. Morgan, Simon retired as vice chairman in investment banking, during which she conducted business in over 50 countries. Today, she serves on the board of directors for three public companies, two of which are in Europe and one in the United States. Recently, Simon was invited to join the Semester at Sea board of trustees, which sparked her idea to establish this scholarship due to the strong synergies between Semester at Sea and Thunderbird, both of which emphasize international leadership education."I always wanted to live overseas and explore diverse cultures," Simon said. "My goal with the (Semester at Sea) scholarship is to encourage as many T-birds as possible to learn about the Semester at Sea program and, hopefully, sign up for this magical study abroad opportunity — with or without financial assistance. It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and if I can pay it forward and inspire others to pursue an international career, that is an added bonus!"Semester at Sea offers students a unique opportunity to gain insight into diverse cultures, economies, geographies and artistry. Beyond the traditional on-campus experience, students develop valuable life skills, such as handling travel challenges, interacting with host families and collaborating with peers from different backgrounds. These experiences foster self-confidence and resiliency, and provide a first-class academic education.Paw NaSimon's Thunderbird degree opened doors to a fulfilling international career. Reflecting on the advice she wishes to impart on current and future T-birds, she said, "You have more power than you think. Seek out what brings you joy and be persistent in pursuing your goals. It took me seven years to get transferred to London! Remember to take risks and develop constructive relationships."The impact of the Karen J. Simon Semester at Sea scholarship is already felt by Thunderbird students Paw Na, Jesse Marquez and Emma Salazar, three of the recipients whose lives and academic journeys have been significantly influenced by this initiative.Na, a current Bachelor of Global Management student, shared her experience and said, "I once thought Semester at Sea was impossible until I attended a Thunderbird seminar about the Karen Simon scholarship. It became a dream come true during my junior year of college."I feel very privileged and fortunate to be a member of a community with such a dependable networking environment that always gives back to their community. Thunderbird has taught me the value of always giving back and remaining humble."Jesse MarquezMarquez is a first-generation Mexican American and the first person in his family to attend college. He is enrolled in Thunderbird's Online Bachelor of Science in International Trade degree program through the Uber and ASU online partnership and is passionate about creating a more prosperous and peaceful world.“Growing up in poverty, I know firsthand the struggles that come with a lack of financial resources and access to education. Breaking the cycle of poverty for as many people as I can is something I am deeply passionate about,” he said. "Being awarded this scholarship has proven to me that there are good people in the world who continue to pay it forward. In Karen Simon, I see a role model of what I hope to achieve someday. I want to do the same someday and provide scholarships that financially empower dedicated students to help them achieve their goals."Emma SalazarSalazar is a current Bachelor of Global Management student pursuing the international business, language and culture track, which requires two years of foreign language study. She has traveled a lot already in her life and has always had a sense of wanderlust for more.“I am excited to truly challenge myself and see how everything in my life will affect how I take on this journey. This scholarship allowed me to see a better future for myself, full of opportunities, and look out for positives because you never know how life will gift them to you."I want to set an example as a scholarship recipient who made the most of this experience. I am sincerely grateful for Karen Simon; she has truly improved my life, and I can’t wait to make her and my family proud,” Salazar said.]]>
ASU charter sign on West campus

Philanthropy to ASU fuels research, academics, opportunities in FY23

Arizona State University students, faculty, academic programs and research will benefit from the philanthropy of 107,529 individual, corporate and foundation donors.The ASU Foundation for A New American University raised more than $379.3 million in new gifts and commitments for the ASU community during fiscal year 2023, which ended June 30.In total, there were more than 435,000 gifts to support ASU, 92% of which were under $100.“We’re extremely appreciative of donors’ generosity to support ASU, its people and its charter,” ASU Foundation CEO Gretchen Buhlig said. “Every gift — large or small — can change futures for ASU students, faculty and the community members who benefit from ASU research and programs.”The ASU endowment reached $1.47 billion at the end of the fiscal year and provides continuing payments to the university for student scholarships and fellowships, academic programs and research, faculty professorships, directorships and chairs, Sun Devil Athletics and other restricted uses. The endowment posted returns of 10.1%, 9.0% and 7.6% for the trailing three-year, five-year and 10-year periods, outperforming the investments’ strategic benchmark return of 6%–7% for each of those periods.The endowment is managed by the ASU Foundation and is comprised of more than 2,000 individual accounts that are restricted by donors to a specific use and paid out to the university on a distribution schedule.“Beyond the strong performance, most importantly, the endowment’s payout to ASU has grown exponentially in recent years and provides a stable and reliable payout to the university that isn’t affected by donor giving trends and market conditions, which enables ASU to make long-term plans to advance its charter and grow,” Chief Investment Officer Jeff Mindlin said.The ASU Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization that raises and manages private contributions for ASU to ensure as many people as possible have a chance at a better life through its resource-raising efforts.Student scholarshipsStudent scholarships remain an important passion for ASU donors. More than $39.3 million was raised to support student scholarships.The Canon Solutions American Environmental Equity Scholarship was established in fiscal year 2023 to empower undergraduate and graduate students to lead environmental stewardship efforts and preserve the national environment.“The best way for us to make a genuine, lasting impact is to provide for students who will one day be leading the fight for environmental safety,” said Krystal Bird, associate director of strategic partnerships at ASU. “The students who are focused on confronting environmental issues, especially those which impact marginalized communities, are those we want to award with this scholarship.”Karen Simon, an alumna of the Thunderbird School of Global Management at ASU and Semester at Sea program, established the Karen J. Simon ’83 Semester at Sea Scholarship that enables Thunderbird undergraduate students to spend a semester living and learning on a ship during a three-continent, multicountry voyage.The Semester at Sea adventure, paired with her Thunderbird education, led to Simon’s passion for global business and wanderlust. She’s hoping her philanthropic investment will enable other students to benefit from similar opportunities.“The work of higher education has never been more important to the country than it is today, and at Arizona State University much of it is supported and driven by philanthropy,” ASU President Michael Crow said. “We receive funding from multiple sources, but it is the commitment of our philanthropic donors that powers much of our ability to advance research to address global challenges and provides scholarships that expand access to education globally. It is also philanthropy that helps create faculty chairs for academic units and expand enrichment opportunities for both student and faculty."We are grateful beyond measure to our donors and to the work of the ASU Foundation that provides the support to make this happen."Philanthropy for researchDonors supported research focused on the health of humans and the planet during the year.A $15 million donation from the Dorrance family and the Dorrance Family Foundation is being combined with funding from U.S. Senator Brian Schatz’s office, the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and ASU to help preserve and restore vitality to Hawaii's coral reefs and the health of its coastlines.Greg Asner, an ASU Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory scientist and director of ASU’s Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science in Hawaii, and a team of colleagues are leading the research."It is our kuleana to protect and care for what we love, our coral reefs and the species they harbor, and all of Hawaii,” said Jacquie and Bennett Dorrance in a joint statement in June. “Success in saving our reefs relies on ‘laulima,’ many hands working together. The Dorrance family and the Dorrance Family Foundation hope this investment ignites action and vital funding, and we encourage others to join us in support of this tremendous effort. The time is now.”The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research donated more than $5 million to further ongoing Parkinson’s disease research with Jeffrey Kordower, founding director of the ASU-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center and the Charlene and J. Orin Edson Distinguished director at the Biodesign Institute at ASU.ASU received a $750,000 grant from Genentech and Genentech Foundation’s Health Equity and Diversity in STEM Innovation Fund to advance and support research for equitable Indigenous health and well-being.Angela Gonzales, associate professor in the School of Social Transformation and a health solutions ambassador in the College of Health Solutions, and Nate Wade, assistant vice president of operations for ASU Health and research assistant professor in the College of Health Solutions, are co-principal investigators who will work with Native communities and a team of 30 Native and non-Native faculty.Giving to athleticsSun Devil Athletics received $30.5 million from donors. Those gifts are earmarked for facility upgrades and student-athletes’ mental health.An investment from Mary Massman will establish the Massman Musco Behavioral Health Center at ASU to provide mental and behavioral health support for Sun Devil athletes. The program aims to design and deliver team- or cohort-based psychoeducation, peak performance skills, preventive training and sport psychology in the student-athlete population. Inasmuch Foundation awarded the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication a $125,000 grant to fund investigative reporting initiatives, including the Edith Kinney Gaylord Visiting Professor in Investigative Journalism. The visiting professorship in spring 2023 was held by Ken Foskett, who retired from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution after a 32-year career.  In addition to receiving private support, there are about 24,000 gifts totaling $3.5 million from faculty and staff to support passions they care about.Philanthropy for academic programsThe W. P. Carey School of Business established a new finance lab thanks to the generous support of Schwab Advisor Services, in partnership with the Charles Schwab Foundation.The Charles Schwab Foundation Financial Access and Research Lab will provide financial access and literacy tools, experiential learning opportunities for students and information for student asset managers, some of whom manage money on behalf of ASU Foundation’s endowment through the Student Investment Management program.Infographics courtesy ASU Outreach Hub]]>
Hawaii islands with text "Caring for our community. This is ASU."

Support fund aids ASU community members affected by Maui fires

After the devastating wildfires in Maui, Hawaii, people across all the islands are facing loss and hardship, including potentially more than 2,400 people from the Arizona State University community who live in Hawaii. The newly established Maui Support Fund aims to assist these individuals affected by the tragedy.ASU has been actively engaging with communities, organizations and government entities in Hawaii since 2014, and since then has cultivated a strong community of Sun Devils originally from, or currently living, on the islands.“There is a desire and a strong sense of responsibility to help where we can,” said Gretchen Buhlig, chief executive officer of the ASU Foundation for A New American University. “Those from the Sun Devil family that are affected face a great deal of loss and hardship. It is important that they are not facing this alone.” The fund intends to create a support system for members of the Sun Devil community, including students, faculty, staff and alumni, who were directly or indirectly impacted by the recent events. All contributions made to the fund will be used for needs such as food, shelter, goods and educational services.If there are any remaining funds after all Sun Devils in need have received aid, the remainder will be directed to the Hawaii Community Foundation, one of the most trusted community organizations on the islands and an organization with which ASU has a longstanding partnership.ASU focuses its work in Hawaii around four pillars: education; sustainability initiatives; honoring Indigenous knowledge systems; and the importance of community collaborations. The following are a few examples:The Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science, led by Greg Asner, seeks to expand our understanding of the natural world, supporting conservation efforts in coastal ecosystems. It is based in Hawaii and grants access to the necessary environment and resources to carry out its mission.For almost 10 years, ASU has worked closely with Kamehameha Schools to underpin and support their mission to educate native Hawaiian children. In 2020, ASU Prep partnered with Kamehameha Schools to build an online platform for their students and trained their teachers to deploy digital, blended and hybrid learning teaching methods and best practices. ASU Prep also helped co-create culturally relevant learning environments so learning could continue through the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this partnership with Kamehameha Schools and the Hawaii Department of Education, ASU provided modern, full-digital learning capabilities to thousands of elementary school students across the state. The partnership also offers scholarship opportunities to Hawaii residents who enroll full time at ASU.ASU partners with the Polynesian Voyaging Society to create an online sailing simulation to amplify the brilliance of Polynesian voyaging and navigation. The partnership creates opportunities to reach students across the globe.If you would like to support those affected by the Maui fires, click here.If you are part of the ASU community and have been affected by the Maui fires, click here.Written by Richard Canas]]>
Exterior of the Psychology Building on ASU's Tempe campus.

Department of Psychology celebrates research awards, scholarly honors

Faculty members in the Department of Psychology, a unit within The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University, received exceptional research awards and scholarly accolades leading up to the new semester. The diversity of projects and awards announced this summer reflects the breadth of expertise in ASU’s psychology department. Faculty members are organized into six specializations: behavioral neuroscience and comparative psychology; clinical psychology; cognitive science; developmental psychology; quantitative research methods; and social psychology. Professor Tamera Schneider, chair of the department, says she’s impressed with the quality and breadth of research, as well as the collaborative spirit in the department.“We’re committed to developing foundations and deploying solutions for healthy minds, bodies and societies," she said. "I’m extremely proud of the innovative work we’re doing. From cells to society, our researchers are improving lives and communities."Take a closer look at what psychology faculty will be working on this fall:Research awardsAthena AktipisAktipis, an associate professor and director of The Cooperation Lab, has been awarded $1.5 million by the National Science Foundation to tackle the growing gap in society’s ability to manage risk, especially those stemming from ecological changes and natural disasters. Rare events like floods and droughts are becoming more common, and misinformation about hazards, risks and how to manage these events is being exasperatingly spread through the internet, explained Aktipis. As the principal investigator on the grant-funded project, Aktipis and her team will employ gamification and narrative storytelling to benefit vulnerable communities and risk managers by developing effective strategies and outreach initiatives.Under this grant, three app-based video games will be designed, including “The Survival Game,” in which players manage herds of cows, fostering cooperation for survival. Aktipis and her colleagues originally developed this game concept for the Exploratorium, a science museum in San Francisco. The goal is for participants to learn more about managing risk through need-based sharing and other risk management strategies.Aktipis — a cooperation theorist, social psychologist, theoretical evolutionary biologist and cancer biologist — believes teamwork and cooperation are some of the most powerful forces in the world. “This work will reach diverse segments of society — from low-income communities struggling to deal with disasters to water managers in the desert Southwest trying to increase the resilience of the water supply," she said. "Those who will be most positively impacted are those who are most vulnerable, including communities in regions with high risk of natural hazards.” To learn more from Aktipis, tune into ASU Learning Sparks, where ASU faculty transform complex ideas into easily digestible educational experiences.Foster OliveOlive, professor and head of the Addiction Neuroscience Lab at ASU, examines how abused drugs affect the brain on a neurobiological level. He was granted a research fund of $1.7 million from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) to investigate the neural mechanisms behind binge drinking.Olive’s prior research discovered that binge alcohol consumption activates specific endorphin-producing neurons in the hypothalamus, a brain region linked to behavior regulations. Specifically, the arcuate nucleus, rich in endorphin-producing neurons, forms connections with the amygdala, which controls emotions. The NIAAA funded study will expand on this research, investigating brain circuits associated with excessive drinking.Characterized by intricate connections between various nerve cells and the involvement of different types of chemical signals, brain circuits are not limited to neurons alone. Non-neuron cells also participate in coordinated activity across brain regions. Olive explained this study will determine exactly what subtypes of endorphin neurons and circuits in the brain are sensitive to binge drinking, leading to more effective addiction treatments and improved outcomes for those facing addiction-related challenges.“Our hope is to identify specific circuits in the brain whose primary chemical messengers — endorphins — regulate binge drinking and how these circuits go awry when someone binge drinks repeatedly to the point of self-harm,” Olive said. “With that knowledge in hand, hopefully newer neuromodulation technologies that allow for precise retuning of specific brain circuits can be used as intervention strategies for individuals struggling with alcohol dependence and uncontrollable episodes of binge drinking.” Irwin Sandler Sandler, a research professor and Regents Professor emeritus at the Research and Education Advancing Children’s Health (REACH) Institute in ASU’s Department of Psychology, has been awarded a $925,000 research grant from The New York Life Foundation. The grant aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a digital program designed to aid caregivers of children who have experienced the death of a parent and to facilitate its widespread dissemination.His prior work on the Family Bereavement Program, which was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, involved a randomized trial that demonstrated significant impact in preventing long-term mental health issues of children who had experienced the death of a parent. The program reduced the incidence of major depression in bereaved youth, even fifteen years after, and demonstrated significant long-term benefits for the surviving bereaved, including decreased prevalence of prolonged grief-related distress six years down the line.The New York Life Foundation supported Sandler and his team in translating these experimental results into a service that can be easily provided by community-based service providers. They have trained numerous individuals to deliver the caregiver component of the Resilient Parenting for Bereaved Families program. An evaluation has confirmed its positive impact in strengthening caregiver-child relationships, alleviating caregiver-complicated grief and reducing child behavior problems.Now, The New York Life Foundation is assisting Sandler and his team in digitizing the program into the Online Resilient Parenting for Bereaved Families Program (eRPBF) to reach a wider population of caregivers of children who have experienced the death of a parent. Over the course of three years, the new grant enables Sandler and his team to partner with community agencies and professionals that work with bereaved families to evaluate and disseminate the digital program. The grant will also aid in developing cultural adaptations of the program that make it fully resonant with the life experiences of African American and Latino bereaved families.“It’s been both an intellectual challenge and a personal privilege to develop research-based tools that can support caregivers and their families following the death of a parent," Sandler said. "Our challenge now is to make these programs accessible to all families who need them so that they really make a difference in the lives of children.”Michelle ShiotaShiota, professor and director of the Shiota Psychophysiology Laboratory for Affective Testing (SPLAT) Lab at ASU, has launched not one, but two funding projects totaling over $270,000. Both grant-funded projects address the escalating opioid crisis. One project, a collaboration with REAL Prevention, refines and evaluates a new technology aimed at reducing deaths by opioid overdose. By teaching community responders to use Naloxone — a nasal spray that can rapidly reverse an opioid overdose — and using an app called PulsePoint to alert community responders to a possible overdose happening nearby, the Opioid Rapid Response System directs lifesaving measures to people in need until emergency services can arrive. Shiota will help develop the training program and assess effects on community responders’ knowledge and confidence in administering Naloxone. The project will monitor the overall impact on participating communities as well, in terms of overdose survival rates.In the second project, Shiota leads a contract between the city of Phoenix and the Substance Use and Addiction Translational Research Network (SATRN) — a collective of university researchers, community-based prevention and treatment practitioners, and policymakers across the state of Arizona dedicated to reducing death and distress associated with substance use disorder. Shiota and other SATRN affiliates will advise the city of Phoenix on potential uses for opioid settlement funds, developing and analyzing assessment surveys and recommending training and other initiatives addressing the most pressing needs.“City of Phoenix residents and employees alike are encountering people struggling with opioid-related problems in their daily lives. Through this partnership, SATRN is helping to capture and understand people’s experiences, and learn what initiatives residents and city staff think would be most helpful,” Shiota said. “While these two projects differ in many ways, both engage community members in helping to save lives and rely on teamwork and knowledge-sharing to develop solutions.”Scholarly accoladesSamantha AndersonAnderson, an assistant professor in quantitative psychology, was elected into the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology (SMEP). This distinguished assembly of 65 experts champions multivariate quantitative methods’ application in psychology and allied fields. An individual’s SMEP membership spans from the time of election to the age of 65. “It is such an honor to have been elected into SMEP by my quantitative methods colleagues, especially this early in my career. So many of the greats of my field have been members of this organization, and I am humbled to be a new part of such a longstanding research society,” Anderson said. Anderson joined ASU in 2018. She probes research design, statistical methods and metascience, spotlighting practical and rigorous approaches that encompass potent sample size planning, replication remedies, multiplicity’s impact on Type 1 error rates and power, and approaches for missing data. Driven to enhance accessibility, Anderson co-developed open-source software for unbiased sample size planning and recently received the Rising Star Award from the Association for Psychological Science for her pioneering early-career research.David MacKinnonMacKinnon, Regents Professor and director of the Research in Prevention Lab, instructs graduate analysis of variance, mediation analysis and statistical methods in prevention research courses at ASU. This fall, he’ll further amplify his influence by serving as a McCausland Visiting Scholar at the University of South Carolina (USC). This premier faculty program is reserved for award-winning, impactful researchers who foster interdisciplinary collaboration. MacKinnon’s distinguished career encompasses vital roles, including as a founding member and inaugural fellow of the Society for Prevention Research (SPR), as well as serving as a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and the American Psychological Association's Division 5: Quantitative and Qualitative Methods. He has also previously served as president of the Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology.His decades of experience in research and leadership in quantitative methodology offers a unique perspective on the evolution of quantitative psychology and its promising research avenues. As a McCausland Visiting Scholar, MacKinnon will expand on his existing collaborations with USC researchers by delivering guest lectures to students, engaging with faculty like Amanda Fairchild and presenting compelling public seminars.“They have an outstanding group of quantitative and substantive psychologists at USC. The quantitative faculty conduct research in some of the major new directions in this area,” MacKinnon said. “I am very much looking forward to formal and especially informal discussion of a variety of topics as a McCausland Visiting Scholar.” ]]>
Woman seated at a desk working on a computer.

ASU English boosts skills-based training through funded internships

What do most employers want to see on a job application? The answer, of course, is “experience.” But for full-time students, being able to legitimately add that line to a resume can be tricky — sort of a chicken-and-egg situation — unless they participate in an internship.Arizona State University English major Margaret LaCorte said that through her internships, one at a literary magazine and one as a class teaching assistant, she gained confidence in her abilities and learned how to put her “best foot forward.” LaCorte expects to graduate next spring and hopes to work in publishing or teaching.Ruby Macksoud, an instructional professional who directs the internship program in the Department of English at ASU, said this is exactly the outcome students should see. “Internships are a valuable part of the student experience,” she said. “Doing an internship builds skills and competencies that transfer to the workplace and smooth the transition from college.”Employers agree.ASU English major Margaret LaCorte has had an internship at a literary magazine and as a teaching assistant. Photo courtesy Margaret LaCorte A 2022 survey of hiring managers by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reveals internship experience as the “most influential factor worth examining while making tough hiring decisions.” But what if you don’t have time in your schedule for an internship because you have to work? What if paying for additional internship credits breaks the bank?Starting this fall, ASU English offers a boost to its students who are contemplating an internship but don’t think they can take time away from their job or who may struggle to pay the tuition associated with for-credit internships.The Department of English Scholarship for Students with Unpaid Internships is for undergraduates majoring in Department of English programs: English; culture, technology and environment; and film and media studies. The scholarship awards up to $3,000 per student to support them on the path to career readiness. Unlike loans, scholarships never have to be repaid.“The vast majority of our students in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences work — often 20 or more hours per week,” explained Dean of Humanities Jeffrey Cohen. “A career-enabling internship thus becomes a challenge since they will face a wage penalty. ... And that's why I love that ASU English has started this program.”The committee expects to award five scholarships each fall, spring and summer semester. Deadlines are Oct. 1 for spring internships, Feb. 1 for summer internships and Mar. 1 for fall internships.Demonstrating knowledge and skillsASU’s Department of English has a robust career development program, with more than 300 internship partners. Students can choose from the number of credits, depending on the number of hours they want to complete each week. All students in the department, including online students, are eligible to participate.Having an internship may be even more important for students in the humanities than it is for students in other disciplines. While employers value the writing, critical thinking and analytical skills that English, philosophy and language majors bring to the table, applicants who show they have completed work similar to the actual job for which they’re applying may have a proverbial leg up in the process.Maya Noto, who graduated with her English degree in 2022 and now works in marketing for a nonprofit, completed a paid internship during her last semester as a student. She said that being able to quit her restaurant job and work fewer hours let her focus on her studies. It also introduced a new realm of possibility for life beyond college, as she interacted with people who became mentors: “It allowed me to take time to invest in myself.”ASU English alum Maya Noto completed a paid internship during her last semester as a student and now works in marketing for a nonprofit. Photo courtesy Maya NotoEnglish chair Krista Ratcliffe said that offering scholarships for students who complete unpaid internships was a way of leveling the playing field. “While some internships are paid, many are not,” she said. “Because not all students have access to paid internships, our departmental scholarships are intended to encourage internships for majors who might otherwise pass on an internship experience."Any internship context — remote or in person, domestic or international — is an acceptable choice for students applying to the new Department of English scholarship. Students can also select the internship partner that fits best with their career interests; nonprofit organizations, government agencies, corporate environments and ASU academic or research units are all good places to start.The scholarships are made possible in part by gifts to the department's internship support fund.“Internships directly benefit students by creating pathways to doing work that matters to them and to their communities,” said Macksoud. “I’d call that a win-win.”For more information, please visit the scholarship page on the Department of English website.Top photo: Maya Noto, an ASU graduate in English, works at Arizona Humanities, where she held an internship as a student. Photo by Meghan Finnerty/ASU]]>
Members of the Terracon Foundation, the ASU Foundation and Professor Ram Pendyala standing at the top of a staircase holding a large check. A sign in the background reads "Thank you Terracon!"

Terracon Foundation scholarships empower future engineers

Engineering is a field that drives innovation and shapes our world. To help ensure the development and training of students who will build and support the communities of tomorrow, it is essential to invest in the education and development of Arizona State University’s future engineers.The Terracon Foundation, the community investment branch of the employee-owned engineering consulting firm Terracon, is establishing a scholarship to support civil engineering students.“Terracon is a leading company in the civil and geotechnical engineering domains undertaking complex infrastructure projects that benefit communities nationwide,” says Ram Pendyala, a professor of civil engineering and director of the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, part of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU. “The company's commitment to advancing the workforce of the future is exemplified through their generous donation toward student scholarships. We are very grateful for the support and look forward to working together to grow an outstanding pipeline of talent that will serve the industry for years to come.”Terracon's commitment to engineering education has been demonstrated through its involvement in various ASU organizations and initiatives, including the Friends of Civil and Environmental Engineering, or FOCE2, and the Arizona Pavements/Materials Conference. In addition, the firm recruits ASU students into its workforce, exemplifying its dedication to the Arizona engineering community.“The true value lies in the unconditional support that Terracon and its employees provide for interns and students who are working on class projects necessary to complete their degree requirements,” says Kamil Kaloush, civil engineering program chair and professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment. “They participate in our classes as guest lecturers, provide speakers for engineering seminars and support our engineering student organizations' chapters.”The Terracon Foundation Scholarship provides financial support to engineering students pursuing graduate or undergraduate degrees in civil, environmental and sustainable engineering. While scholarships have always been an essential means of helping students overcome financial barriers to education, industry collaborations with companies like Terracon also create opportunities for students to gain professional experience and industry knowledge.Terracon Executive Vice President Tim Anderson, who is a 1987 ASU alum, says the scholarships can provide valuable opportunities for students with a company that is one of the largest in the country, with more than 6,000 employees in 175 locations. The company is consistently ranked as a top 25 design firm by Engineering News-Record.“We're the No. 1 employee-owned firm in geotechnical engineering in the U.S. and do a wide variety of engineering consultations,” Anderson says.The company’s motivation for creating this scholarship is to increase the number of professionals in the field.“We want to drive more people into engineering. We want to help increase the number of people in the pipeline not only for our firm but all engineering firms," Anderson says. "ASU is an excellent place for students to learn. It's a great location with great faculty. Just looking at the changes since I graduated, it's pretty impressive.”Terracon’s scholarship program seeks to attract students who have specific interests in geotechnical and pavement engineering, two crucial disciplines that play a major role in shaping modern infrastructure.“There is a real demand for geotechnical engineers,” says Brent Borchers, a regional manager at Terracon. “We are constantly looking for people to fill our geotechnical civil engineering roles because we don't have enough. It’s important for us to support quality engineers coming out of these programs at ASU.”Meet the studentsThis year, three students with exceptional academic potential in the field of civil engineering are recipients of the Terracon Foundation Scholarship: Samuel Montano, Abby Noël and Aiden Vital.Vital, a junior at ASU, says the scholarship will allow him to focus on his studies, take part in meaningful research projects and participate in activities that will enrich his learning experience.“I was born and raised right here in Arizona and am very community-oriented,” Vital says. “So engineering at ASU was an easy choice for me.”Noël, a sophomore in Barrett, The Honors College, says that the scholarship is an investment in her education, enabling her to focus on her studies and career.“I look forward to continuing my studies in the fall to follow my pursuit of becoming a civil engineer who makes a difference in their community,” Noël says.Montano, a student in the honors college, plans to use the scholarship to pursue his bachelor’s degree and graduate summa cum laude, saying the award motivates him to continue his education and take on more activities at ASU.“I plan to become a professional engineer and eventually become a practice-builder where I lead projects for clients around the Valley,” Montano says.Beyond scholarships, the company encourages its employees to request grants to support organizations focused on education as well as the built and natural environments. To date, the Terracon Foundation has awarded nearly $4 million in grants to community organizations, universities, dependents of employees and disaster relief efforts.]]>
Portrait of Bobette Gorden and Robert Cialdini.

$1M donation to empower lives with evidence-based psychology knowledge

Robert Cialdini connects people to the profound insights of human social behavior, and with his latest million-dollar donation to Arizona State University, he’s ensuring an even broader audience has access to psychology knowledge to enhance their lives.Cialdini is a Regents Professor emeritus of psychology and marketing at ASU. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, he’s globally renowned as the preeminent scholar in the field of social influence. His legacy spans more than five decades of giving back to The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychology through his groundbreaking research, philanthropy and inspiring teaching and mentoring. Now, along with Bobette Gorden, his wife and business partner, Cialdini has amplified his long-standing commitment with his gift to the department’s Psych for Life program. “Bob and Bobette’s generous donation is yet another manifestation of their quest to give psychology away — empowering people, charitable organizations, communities and businesses to improve their overall well-being, in ways that stand true to our scientific understanding and responsible ethics,” said Foundation Professor and Psych for Life founder, Steven Neuberg. At the heart of Psych for Life lies a powerful mission: to leverage the best science to provide people and organizations with access to evidence-based knowledge to enhance everyday life in ways that are trustworthy, engaging, usable and empowering. The initiative digitizes psychological science into on-demand, bite-sized modules, enabling individuals to acquire essential skills for enhancing various aspects of their lives. From guiding difficult conversations to building new habits and managing stress, Psych for Life utilizes top psychological science to address everyday challenges and opportunities in relationships, parenting, well-being, career and more.“I’ve always felt a commitment to providing research-based, psychological knowledge to interested learners. I know of no program that does this better than Psych for Life,” Cialdini said.The Psych for Life initiative began as a commitment to lifelong success and well-being for psychology students and evolved into a broader mission to support learners at scale, explained Neuberg.  “In 2017, the Department of Psychology embarked on a long-term commitment to prepare our students for the many career pathways they could be taking after graduation. We wanted to help them attain meaningful and productive lives, and began creating an integrated set of programs for enhancing undergraduate success and career preparation,” said Neuberg, the former chair of ASU’s Department of Psychology. These programs included a psychology-specific tutoring center where students engage in a peer coaching model, an expanded internship program, increased access to scholarships for students who are typically underrepresented in STEM, and a mentorship network where alumni share their experiences of what they are currently doing with their psychology degrees. Advancing to further serve its alumni and the community, the gift from Cialdini and Gorden to Psych for Life will enable the expansion of these efforts to reach a wider range of people while also supporting the other missions of the department.“At ASU, our work is a partnership with our communities and the world to improve lives, including economic, social and cultural health. The Psych for Life initiative is evidence that the Department of Psychology is on the forefront of developing solutions to critical social, cultural and well-being challenges,” said Tamera Schneider, professor and psychology chair.A New York Times No. 1 bestselling author, Cialdini penned “Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion,” “Pre-suasion: a Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade,” and, together with Gorden, co-founded the Cialdini Institute and runs Influence at Work. They’re committed to helping causes they believe in, and Cialdini and Gorden believe in the power Psych for Life holds.“Easy access to scientifically grounded, helpful content is exactly what we need as individuals and as a society," Gorden said, "and that’s exactly what Psych for Life offers."]]>
Portrait of ASU alums Jerry and Ruth Bell.

For ASU alums Jerry and Ruth Bell, service comes above self

Ever since Jerry Bell was a child, he was instilled with the value of philanthropy.“I could tell you many stories of when I was growing up, my mother asking me questions like, ‘Jerry, don’t you want to share this?’ or ‘Jerry, do you think they would be happy if you included them?’" Bell said. "No one can tell me that she didn’t mold us with kind hearts and thoughts of sharing."Throughout his time as a student at Arizona State University, where he played football for four years before going on to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for six years, Bell never forgot his mother’s words. And along the way, he met his wife Ruth, also an ASU alum, who shared his passion for giving back.Recently, the couple established the Jerry and Ruth Bell W. P. Carey Black Student Success Scholarship for any students engaged with the Black Business Student Association or a similar association that supports Black students at ASU.“Being able to help Black students achieve the opportunity to obtain a college degree is personally very important to me,” Ruth said. “We had friends as undergrads who dropped out because they were unable to meet the financial commitments of tuition, room and board.”Jerry has also seen firsthand some of the barriers that limit Black student success. “It must be difficult to overcome being continually minimized,” he said. “Black students can use all the assistance they can get, and they will definitely get as much help from us as we can provide.”The couple is passionate about education as a conduit for future success, and believes that the investment of a scholarship does not stop maturing at graduation, but continues to build up students and their communities for years.“Success is watching them grow professionally, start and raise their families, establish themselves within their community and then watching them develop a philanthropic project to give back when the time is right,” Jerry said.The couple is excited for the opportunity to support Black success at W. P. Carey.“We tend to focus on service above self and are so impressed with the strides ASU has made in welcoming and supporting Black students,” Ruth said. “To reengage in this way after a great undergraduate experience is really exciting.”In addition to the new scholarship at W. P. Carey, the Bells support two scholarships at the University of South Florida in Tampa. They are also passionate about elevating the status of women, youth development, health care access, voter registration and the arts.“To me, philanthropy includes the giving of time, talent, money and other resources, such as service or other tangible items,” Ruth said. She and husband Jerry demonstrate that through volunteer service and nonprofit board memberships in addition to their scholarships.“Philanthropy is our opportunity to give back all the blessings that we have received,” Jerry said.And W. P. Carey students will benefit from that ethos for years to come.To learn more about how you can support W. P. Carey as an alumnus, visit]]>
Portrait of ASU student Jason Amoako-Agyei.

ASU student on the importance of Black generosity

Editor's note: This article is part of the ASU Foundation's ongoing work to celebrate Black philanthropy at ASU.Jason Amoako-Agyei started his college career as a nursing student but soon realized that the bedside wasn't the right place for him. He remained passionate about the field in which much of his family works but decided that he was more inclined to work behind the scenes. Today, Amoako-Agyei is a rising senior in Arizona State University's College of Health Solutions, where he studies health care administration and policy.When Amoako-Agyei isn't in class, he spends much of his time connecting Black communities at ASU. He currently serves as external vice president of ASU's Black African Coalition, which works to unify students of African descent to support the success of Black community members, increase the visibility of Black life and be an advocate for the interests of Black students and organizations.Here, Amoako-Agyei discusses ASU's Black communities, his leadership experience, the importance of philanthropy and more.Question: How did you get started in this community?Answer: I started in my junior year, so quite late, but that was mostly because of the impact of COVID. I was exposed to more of Black ASU around my junior year, which showed me the importance of highlighting Black ASU and the Black experience at ASU. At a school this big, it's difficult to find your footing, to find where you belong if you don't know where to look. I was new to the school. I didn't know if I fit in. I still doubted whether I should have gone to a historically Black college or university (HBCU) to be in a place where I felt more comfortable. But after I found this space, although it was smaller, it felt like home. And because it was small, you could get to know everyone very well.You're able to host events where everyone can feel included, to create a family-like environment. Our goal is to create the feeling of a mini HBCU where we can feel that we belong, that we have a tradition, that we have values and that we have things that you'll find at universities established in the cultural context.Q: How did you get involved with the Black African Coalition?A: I actually started in the Black African Coalition as part of the African Student Association this past school year. I was the vice president of community engagement and recruiting for the African Student Association. It was our first year back on campus after the pandemic. And so, in working with the African Student Association, I became much more involved on campus in the Black community. We were registered as part of the Black African Coalition, so we worked closely with many Black leaders on campus and hosted many events highlighting the diaspora. Since then, I've become more involved and joined the board directly as the external vice president. Q: What do you do as external vice president?A: As external vice president, my responsibilities include being in contact with organizations and entities outside of just the Black African Coalition. We focus on highlighting the existence of students of any minority or any marginalized group here on campus. And then I also work with alumni organizations that get involved with, for example, bringing speakers to campus. And then I also work on anything involving philanthropy. Q: What does philanthropy mean to you?A: Philanthropy is going to be my main focus for this next school year, and I've thought about this in depth. Everyone wants to be involved in philanthropy, but they don't know how they can get involved. Philanthropy is just providing anyone who has a dream the access, resources and opportunities to achieve that dream.Your time, money, contacts — anything you can give someone to help them achieve a dream — is a form of philanthropy. When looking at Black philanthropy on campus, donations are incredible, and donors are highly valued in our organization. But so are people who can provide their time and come to speak to students about career and life advice. As college students, we're in the most transformative years of our lives, and it's really important that we have guidance and mentors to ensure we're going in the right direction. Q: Have you benefited from philanthropy?A: I'm on the New American University Scholarship, so my tuition is covered right now. And to be honest, that's really provided me the opportunity to get more involved on campus. It's allowed me to focus on matters that aren't necessarily financial, which has been a game changer.I don't know how my college career would have been different if I had to focus on my tuition while also trying to be an involved student. So having my tuition covered and not having to focus on that has truly been a blessing. Q: What does mentorship mean to you?A: I'm currently a mentee in the YP Connect mentorship program. It's part of the Urban League of Young Professionals, and this is a program I believe every single Black student at ASU should apply to. In working with the Urban League of Young Professionals, I grew my competence immensely and learned everything I needed to know about starting my career in corporate America. I practiced my interviews. I learned financial management. I learned how to create a LinkedIn profile — I didn't have a LinkedIn profile before the Urban League. I was able to land my first internship. I was able to connect with incredible people. And that's going to be a lasting partnership. I was in a cohort of only five other students, and there were way more mentors available than there were mentees. If more students applied to be in this program, I can't even imagine how much of an impact they would have. They'd be incredible.Q: What would you tell a student — especially a Black student — first coming to ASU?A: I would let them know that they are not alone. It can be very easy to get lost at such a big school. But it's a beautiful school because it's so big. There are so many opportunities everywhere you look. Don't be afraid to branch out. This is your time to shine. And as long as you know who you are and that there are people here to support you, you'll do just fine.]]>
Xavier Magaña-DeVries and Martin Wojcik smile together for a photo.

Mirabella residents give back to ASU community through philanthropy

Since 2020, Mirabella at Arizona State University has welcomed lifelong learners to a unique retirement experience at the heart of downtown Tempe and the ASU Tempe campus.This year, residents wanted to pool their charitable contributions to the ASU community by establishing the Mirabella ASU Scholarship Fund, supporting Mirabella employees who are students at ASU.It's just one step in the residents’ efforts to enhance the Mirabella experience and community through charitable giving. Residents recently formed the Charitable Giving Committee in collaboration with the ASU Foundation, which raises private support on behalf of ASU.Together, in its first year-end campaign, residents raised more than $15,000 to award to students for the 2023–24 school year. The inaugural group of six student recipients work in various areas at Mirabella, including health care, valet, dining services and marketing.“Our student employees are committed workers and are often learning on the job,” said Martin Wojcik, a Mirabella resident and co-chair of the Charitable Giving Committee.As lifelong learners, Mirabella residents have centered their lives on continuous education. They now want to support the education and success of the next generation of students.“I would say we're all very proud” of the students, Wojcik said.Scholarship recipient Josephine Schmitz, a fourth-year student at ASU studying psychology, has worked as a certified nursing assistant at Mirabella since her first year at ASU. After graduation, she hopes to go to physician assistant school and continue her career in health care.“I love taking care of people, helping people,” Schmitz said.Mirabella has been a great experience for learning and connection, Schmitz said. In addition to learning professional skills, she is able to spend time with the residents.“You get close with them. They know about my life. They know about my family. I know about theirs,” Schmitz said. “I’ll remember them all forever.”Schmitz, who pays for her own rent and tuition, said she is grateful for the assistance the Mirabella ASU Scholarship Fund provides.Another recipient, fourth-year student Xavier Magaña-DeVries, works in food service and is studying aerospace engineering. After he graduates, he hopes to work in Arizona for a while and eventually go home to California.But his longer-term goal is to one day get his PhD and become a professor to teach future generations about engineering.Magaña-DeVries said he wasn’t sure he would get the scholarship, but he saw applying for it as an opportunity to have his own story heard by residents. When he received the scholarship, he was shocked, he said.The scholarship will enable him to dedicate more time to his studies instead of working extra hours to pay for his education.“The money I received from the scholarship means a lot,” Magaña-DeVries said.Those interested in supporting the Mirabella ASU Scholarship Fund can visit the ASU Foundation site.]]>
A screenshot of a zoom panel with four feminine-presenting Black individuals.

National Endowment for the Humanities recognizes ASU team for humanities research

In the first-ever round of grants awarded for the National Endowment for the Humanities' Dangers and Opportunities of Technology program, a project team at the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics was recognized for its humanities research on social media algorithms.The award is part of more than $41.3 million in grant awards the National Endowment for the Humanities has announced to support 280 humanities projects across the U.S.The project directors — Sarah Florini, associate director; Liz Grumbach, manager of digital humanities and research; and Erica O’Neil, research program manager — are collaborating with the Online Content Creators’ Association to conduct interviews with creators on TikTok.“It’s hard to overstate how impressive and important this collaborative work is for our ongoing research at Lincoln, and for scholarship on the ethics of technology more broadly,” said Gaymon Bennett, director of the Lincoln Center.The team’s interest in TikTok originated in early 2020, when Florini and Grumbach became intrigued by how the TikTok algorithm seemed especially effective at sorting users into/out of solidarity networks. Building on this curiosity, Florini and Grumbach initiated a series of collaborations with the Online Content Creators’ Association over the past two years, including a series of panels hosted by the Lincoln Center last year that focused on the experiences of marginalized content creators.“Content creators, especially those from historically underrepresented communities, deeply feel the impacts of algorithmic rules and norms from content curation and opaquely defined moderation, as we’ve seen from users like Ziggi Tyler,” Grumbach said. “Especially on TikTok, but also other social media platforms, it’s often the creators that reveal the inner workings of the algorithmic black box, and they do so through experiential knowledge.”Their collaborators from the Online Content Creators’ Association, who have been a part of the project since 2021, are a creator-led advocacy group with the goal of improving labor conditions for online content creators, and represent more than 700 TikTok users. T.X. Watson, longtime collaborator on the project and a creator of educational content on TikTok, will join the team as the primary researcher from the association.Florini, Grumbach and O’Neil aim to combine users’ experiences and folk theories about the platform’s algorithm with academic research and analysis.“Many creators are actively engaged in ad hoc research to understand and make sense of algorithmic content curation and moderation," said Florini, who is also an associate professor of film and media studies in the Department of English. "We not only want to record what content creators know, but how they come to know it. What are their strategies for investigating the platforms they use?”“This project is important because it takes community-based understandings of algorithms as a starting point for co-creating a shared vocabulary across university-community partnerships,” Grumbach said. “We hope that it will serve as a model for future ethical and care-based collaborations with social media creators and users.”The award from NEH will propel their ongoing project into 2024, with work beginning in earnest in October 2023. The Lincoln Center is one of only two groups at ASU recognized in this round of NEH award announcements.“We believe that collaborative research that includes people with a variety of expertise, both inside and outside academia, is the most powerful way to understand the social media platforms that are increasingly shaping our society," Florini said. "We are grateful to the NEH for recognizing the potential of this research and supporting our work.”]]>
High school students practice intubation on a manikin at ASU's Summer Health Institute.

College of Health Solutions’ Summer Health Institute secures new funding from The Burton Family Foundation

The Summer Health Institute, a partnership between ASU’s College of Health Solutions and Creighton University Health Sciences Campus-Phoenix, can look forward to stability and growth thanks to a new signature sponsor.Due to generous support from The Burton Family Foundation, the weeklong summer camp (which launched in 2014) for high school students not only has funding for at least the next three years, it will be able to double the number of participants.The Summer Health Institute is an opportunity for students from across the nation to learn about career options in health care while also being exposed to a college environment. The students (rising high school seniors) spend a week on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus in addition to three hours of daily interactive activities at Creighton University Health Sciences Campus-Phoenix, which partners with the College of Health Solutions to put on the camp.Because of generous support from community partners, the only cost to participants in the Summer Health Institute is travel to and from the camp. Securing the $690,000 commitment from The Burton Family Foundation has helped make the goal of making sure cost did not stop students from attending easier, said Nate Wade, executive director and assistant research professor for the College of Health Solutions.“We used to scramble to find funding for the camp,” Wade said. “We’ve always had sponsorship from multiple different donors over the past 10 years, but to find a sustainable sponsor who said, ‘Not only do we want to sustain it, but grow it and double the number of participants for the next three years,’ is tremendous.”The foundation’s support is committed for three years with the potential for a longer relationship. It will make planning for upcoming camps easier, Wade said. The camps run in two sessions each summer. The 2023 sessions were held June 25–July 1 and July 9–15.The new funding source will also allow the camp to double enrollment from the 48 students to 96. There were 168 applicants for the 2023 camps.“Summer Health Institute brings students into a hands-on learning environment and allows them to experience firsthand how incredible careers in health care can be,” Dr. Jaya Raj, assistant dean of diversity, inclusion and belonging at Creighton University School of Medicine-Phoenix, said. “Our innovative partnership with ASU College of Health Solutions aims to eliminate perceived barriers so that more people will be able to envision themselves working in medicine. We are proud of this collaborative effort between our schools and the positive impact it is having within our community.”Wade said it’s gratifying to hear from past participants in the camps who, in some cases, didn’t think college was an option before attending the Summer Health Institute.“For the past decade, the Summer Health Institute welcomed high school seniors to the ASU campus at no cost for a weeklong, residential experience to explore a variety of health career pathways, encourage college-going behavior, meet peers with similar interests in health and health care, and research a specific genetic disorder throughout the week that culminates in a group presentation,” Wade said. “It is truly rewarding to know how positive of an impact the camp had on the personal and professional journey of so many participants. This sentiment was echoed to this year’s participants by a panel of alumni and previous camp counselors of the Summer Health Institute.”Brooke Horne, a rising senior at Blue Ridge High School in Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona, took part in the 2023 camp. She said the experiences presented were invaluable to her.“I had the opportunity to learn from numerous health professionals and medical students,” Horne said. “I loved being able to explore many different areas of the medical field ranging from speech pathology to physician assistant. The hands-on experiences, like administering an IV or performing a physical, were my favorite parts of the ASU Summer Health Institute. After attending the camp, I feel determined and excited to pursue a future in the medical field.”]]>
Small wooden house next to stacks of coins.

W. P. Carey School of Business, Phoenix Union launch financial literacy partnership

As Camelback High School students return to school this fall, 150 of them will complete a new program focused on improving financial literacy.A new partnership between Phoenix Union High School District (PXU) and the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University hopes to boost practical financial knowledge in young people, leading toward better financial outcomes for students and their communities.Laura Lindsey, chair of the Department of Finance at W. P. Carey, explains, “We hope to empower young people to take control of their financial lives at an earlier age, reducing barriers to financial well-being.” Lindsey and Atif Ikram, clinical associate professor of finance and faculty director in the MBA program, worked to develop the course curriculum with a team of faculty from the finance department, alongside administrators and teachers at PXU.Incorporating new financial literacy components into an economics class that already exists, students will tackle topics such as budgeting, taxes, debt management, retirement, insurance and more. Students who earn a "C" or above have the option to earn college credit through dual enrollment in ASU's universal learner courses, which are offered via ASU's Learning Enterprise, the university's unit for advancing universal access to learning at all stages in life.W. P. Carey School alumnus and Dean’s Council member Bart Faber, '69 BS in finance, first proposed the idea and is financially supporting the program through its first iteration. Thanks to Faber’s support, the W. P. Carey School plans to fully scholarship the credits so financial barriers do not interfere with a student’s ability to take advantage of the program.“I’m honored to be a part of this new program bringing quality financial education to young people in the Valley,” Faber says. “Over 60% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. We hope early financial literacy education can play a role in breaking that cycle and teaching students sound financial habits.”“This new program is an excellent way for our students to not only learn vital life skills, but also a way to introduce them to college and show them they are capable of earning college credits,” says Tony Camp, executive director for teaching and learning at PXU.James Arndt, principal of Camelback High School, is thrilled to launch a program with such potential for impact. “We greatly appreciate W. P. Carey’s partnership on this effort. We commit to our students ‘achieving readiness in college, career and life,’ and this program helps make that promise a reality.”The program is one key way the W. P. Carey School of Business is honoring its mission to take responsibility for the well-being of the communities it serves. Financial literacy is also an area of strategic focus for the school. A separate program offering graduate courses to K–12 teachers on personal finance topics is also launching this fall.“W. P. Carey recognizes financial inclusion as a key enabler for economic empowerment and future prosperity. It can be a valuable cornerstone to driving student success while in school, and to make sound financial decisions throughout their lives,” says Ohad Kadan, Charles J. Robel Dean and W. P. Carey Distinguished Chair in Business. “As a business school, we not only need to engage with banks and corporations, but also in helping individuals make better financial decisions. Through the financial literacy program and our partnership with Phoenix Union High School District, we are investing in Arizona students and families.”Those interested in contributing to the program can do so via the Department of Finance Development Fund.]]>
Close-up view of a piece of paper with a legislative proclomation on it.

Aug. 16 established as 'ASU Pat Tillman Veterans Center Day'

During a special event Wednesday in Mountain America Stadium, state representatives recognized a renowned Arizona State University center responsible for helping thousands of military-affiliated students achieve their educational goals since 2011.Arizona Rep. Lorena Austin read a proclamation to gathered university deans, staff, government officials, veterans, business leaders and guests, establishing Aug. 16 as “ASU Pat Tillman Veterans Center Day” across Arizona.The proclamation was endorsed by the Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives Ben Toma, Legislative District 27; Rep. Cesar Aguilar, Legislative District 26; Rep. Austin, Legislative District 9; and Rep. Stacey Travers, Legislative District 12.“All our veterans, all the student workers, really define what the vision of the center is about that bears the greatest legacy we’ve seen in the state,” Austin said. “I know it because I see it practiced often, and it’s about family and service.“And what I mean about family is being part of a community only they can understand. A community that embraces all that it means to be a veteran, or what it means to be part of a veteran’s life as a family member. And that comes with good, and I’m sure it’s sometimes difficult, but the encouragement and willingness to uplift and support one another at all costs is what this center is about.”Austin graduated from ASU and was part of the Public Service Academy Next Generation Service Corps within the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.One of the most significant challenges veterans face when leaving the service is transitioning back to being a civilian again, said Travers, an Army veteran.“How do you get yourself back to civilian life when you’ve lost that sense of purpose, and you’re not sure where to find meaning?” Travers said. “We in the military have a very unique and nuanced shared experience that very few can understand. So to have that resource available … means a huge part of our community can now help make that transition from military life into a civilian life, and feel like it’s OK that they can do it, that they’re not lost, and that they’re not isolated.”Alumna Marisa Von Holten turned to the Pat Tillman Veterans Center after leaving the active duty Air Force in 2016. Working in the center as part of the outreach team under a work-study program, she found camaraderie, mentors and a support system that gave her an enriching and rewarding college experience.  “Finding that camaraderie that I missed really got me through my time in college, and also made it really enjoyable,” Von Holten said. “Our service for better or worse, shapes so much of who we become. And the Pat Tillman Veterans Center really recognized that. Not only do they recognize it, but they really harness it and use it to propel us forward.”Von Holten graduated from ASU in 2020 with a bachelor's degree in public service and public policy (emergency management and homeland security). She currently serves as an emergency management coordinator with Maricopa County.Pat Tillman Veterans Center Executive Director Shawn Banzhaf became the center leader in November. He sees the state recognition as an important aspect of helping the organization move forward.“This is the beginning of the future for the Pat Tillman Veterans Center,” he said.Despite the center's success transitioning veterans into college life, through graduation and on to new careers, challenges remain within some of the veteran population nationally.“The 22 veterans that take their own lives every day, we have a chance at the Pat Tillman Veterans Center, with your help, to drop that number,” Banzhaf said to supporters in the room. “I want to make a change and difference in the lives of student veterans. I want to help enrich them, and I just ask you to partner with us.”Named in memory of legendary Sun Devil and Arizona Cardinals football star Pat Tillman, the center opened Aug. 16, 2011, then supporting 1,978 student veterans. Today the center cares for more than 15,000 military-affiliated students — including veterans, service members on active duty stationed around the globe, members of the National Guard and Reserves and military family dependents using Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits.The center has been the force behind ASU earning various accolades throughout the years, including being named Best for Vets by the Military Times Publishing Group, and earning consecutive designations as one of the nation’s Military Friendly Schools from Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs and Military Spouse publications. This month, Victory Media confirmed ASU once again earned its highest rating under the category of “Gold Status” Military Friendly Schools.]]>
Group of ASU students gathered on the steps of the Old Main building on the Tempe campus.

ASU Alumni Association recognizes 70 students with Legacy Scholarships

Inside the Carson Ballroom at Old Main, Arizona State University's past, present and future gathered recently to grant 70 Sun Devils with Legacy Scholarships.Legacy Scholarships are awarded annually to outstanding incoming and current students who continue the family tradition of pursuing a Sun Devil education. Awarded by the ASU Alumni Association and made possible by the generosity of donors, these scholarships have grown substantially over the years.When the Legacy Scholarship started, just three students were selected as recipients. Now, 13 years later, Christine Wilkinson, president and CEO of the ASU Alumni Association, addressed a room of over 100 people who beamed with Sun Devil pride.“I want to thank you for knowing that your degree meant a great deal to you and you now want your family member to be a part of ASU in the next generation,” Wilkinson said. “Cherish the traditions, but embrace the new ones. … Enjoy having another Sun Devil in the family. Go Devils!”Among this year’s honorees, four students received the Alissa Serignese Legacy Scholarship, endowed after Serignese’s passing in January 2022. The former vice president of the ASU Alumni Association, Serignese worked passionately to champion ASU pride, spirit and traditions for future generations of Sun Devils.Samuel Arenson, Isabella Titus, Elena Titus and Angelina Woodall are this year’s Serignese Scholars.Maxwell Weidinger, a first-year student from Chandler, Arizona, who was named a Legacy Scholar, relishes the Sun Devil connection he now shares with family.“I’ve had a lot of family members who have attended ASU, and I wanted to follow in their footsteps because they’ve gone on to do really amazing things, like working for NASA, being a civil engineer (which is what I’ve chosen my major to be), studying in other countries and just being great, fantastic people in society,” he said.Trish Thiele-Keating, the vice president of the Alumni Association, shared parting thoughts and advice for the current students.“Whether you’re just entering your first year at ASU or you’ve already spent some time on campus, I hope you feel the impact and significance that legacy and tradition have on this place. It makes it more than just a physical place. “You’re all here at this place because of those who came before you; your family and friends who attended ASU, making memories and developing connections with their classmates, helped to establish the connection to Arizona State University that has been instrumental in bringing you here today.”The ASU Alumni Association offers its congratulations to the 2023 class of Legacy Scholarship honorees. If you would like to take part in the tradition of giving, visit the following pages to donate: ASU Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship.Alissa Serignese Legacy Scholarship.Clare Morris Legacy Scholarship.]]>
A silhouetted man and women sit on a mountain top looking out at a golden sunset.

ASU’s online master’s program in addiction psychology receives game-changing $800K donation

Despite being one of the largest preventable health problems in the U.S., people facing substance misuse and addiction have limited access to evidence-based treatment.At Arizona State University, the Department of Psychology, a unit within The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, addresses a critical need to increase the addiction counselor workforce through an innovative addiction psychology program.Recently, the Glen Swette Estate donated $800,000 to help accelerate the expansion of training and treatment offered through the addiction psychology certificate and master’s program, as well as to establish a resource center for community education and prevention services.“We are grateful to Mary Walker and Rob Swette, Glen’s trustees, for their contributions to improve access to addiction resources and qualified professionals,” ASU Foundation CEO Gretchen Buhlig said. “Their generous investment will enable more people to get the help they need.”Launched in 2022, the Master of Science in addiction psychology —offered through ASU Online — is steadily increasing enrollment. The graduate program stands out as one of the few online addiction psychology programs to include an in-person practicum experience, qualifying students for licensure in almost every state upon graduation.“The supervised practicum experience allows students to learn counseling skills while directly helping those in need of addiction treatment,” said Matt Meier, clinical associate professor and director of the program. “Our students are increasing access to addiction treatment locally, and through our new telehealth practicum, we will also be able to reach into underserved areas throughout the state.”The ability to complete practicum fieldwork, combined with the excellent faculty and supportive learning environment, attracted students like Clifford Hudson and Matthew Broussard, who aim to change the addiction conversation.“I think the practicum was probably my favorite part of the program,” Broussard said. “You get feedback in real time. I would have a session recorded and then immediately after the session be able to watch it with my supervisor. I’d take that feedback into the classroom and discuss it with my peers. I thought it was extremely beneficial.”Broussard became the first program alumnus this past May, adding a master’s degree in addiction psychology to his collection of scholastic achievements. He graduated from ASU three times prior, earning a master’s degree in the science of health care delivery and bachelor’s degrees in psychology and philosophy, in addition to his advanced addiction psychology degree. He plans to apply for licensure in Massachusetts.Hudson, a currently enrolled student who was selected for the 2023 National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) Minority Fellowship Program for Addiction Counselors, understands the need for increased access to addiction counselors firsthand.“I’m 12 years sober. Early on in my sobriety, I realized I didn’t want to just live the sober lifestyle, but I wanted to help other people,” Hudson said.Hudson first entered the addiction psychology profession as a certified recovery specialist. When he was exploring potential graduate programs, he said the 7.5-week pacing asynchronous class sessions provided a focused and flexible solution for his studies. What truly stood out to Hudson, however, was the remarkable support he received from his classmates. When he was struggling with classes and assignments, they were there to encourage him and provide valuable resources.Broussard echoed Hudson’s sentiments, saying, “We’re all learning how to be clinicians and learning how to help other people. I really felt like my classmates truly cared. When things would get rough and difficult for some of us, we would really lean on each other and really support each other, and you felt that from not only your peers, but from your supervisors and your professors, as well.”A wish to 'help people’Swette had a successful career in real estate in California and was known for his resilience, sense of humor, friendliness, generosity and unselfish concern for others. He died in 2017 after a courageous battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease. His final wish to his siblings, who serve as trustees to his estate, was to use the estate to “help people.”In addition to supporting Lou Gehrig’s disease research, they chose to support addiction research at ASU because Swette was a recovering alcoholic who was 20 years sober when he died.Collaborating with ASU partnerships like the Substance Use and Addiction Translation Research Network (SATRN) and Research and Education Advancing Children’s Health (REACH), the development of the Addiction Resource Center for Community Education and Prevention Services will have broad community impact in preventing youth substance use and reducing the burden of addiction by providing continuing education courses and in-service trainings for addiction counselors, behavioral health professionals, secondary education teachers and counselors.Support will be available for corporate partners, too. Evidence-based, self-guided prevention programs for employees will be developed and disseminated through the Swette family-funded resource center and the department’s Psych for Life initiative.Funding would also support the development of a telehealth addiction practicum, increasing the availability of evidence-based, addiction prevention and treatment services in underrepresented communities.“The online format of the master’s program has allowed us to provide classroom training to students throughout the U.S., including students in remote and underserved locations. Master’s students must also complete a 600-hour supervised addiction practicum. However, the lack of high-quality addiction treatment broadly, and particularly in underserved areas, makes it difficult for some students to secure an approved local, supervised practicum. This telehealth program will make us more accessible, increasing high-quality addiction prevention and treatment where it is needed most,” Meier said.]]>
hands appearing to hold a variety of envrionmentally-themed illustrations

New scholarship empowers students to take charge of environmental stewardship

Three Arizona State University students have been awarded the ASU Canon Solutions America Environmental Equity Scholarship.Taylor Fisher, Kennedy Gourdine and Semhar Geberemaram were awarded the new scholarship established by Canon Solutions America, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., Inc., and the African and African American Faculty and Staff Association for demonstrating a strong interest in environmental protection.The scholarship was established for ASU graduate and undergraduate students who are pursuing a major in environmental stewardship or share the university and Canon’s commitment to preserving the natural environment through conservation and sustainable practices.Fisher, a civil, environmental and sustainable engineering doctorate student in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering is working on a dissertation research project to use metal-organic framework nanomaterials to treat biological contaminants in drinking water. Through a two-and-a-half-month research exchange at the University of South Africa in Johannesburg, she worked with researchers on solving drinking water and wastewater concerns across South Africa. After becoming familiar with water concerns in nine South African provinces, her research goal is to develop a water treatment nanotechnology for use there and in the U.S.“I plan to pursue a postdoctoral position at a university in Africa before pursuing my career goal of a tenure track position at a university in the United States,” Fisher said. “I believe it’s important to expand my global breadth of not just my environmental research but also life and culture outside of the USA.”Gourdine, a junior in the College of Global Futures majoring in sustainability and minoring in urban planning, aims to use this opportunity to give back to underserved communities on the East Coast.“I have seen firsthand how the lack of public transit, little access to green space, food deserts and car-centric communities have affected the people in the area I grew up,” Gourdine said. “I want to give back to my community by building affordable, walkable communities for everyone to enjoy.” While studying at ASU, Gourdine has been involved in numerous volunteer activities on and off campus that help her learn how to address poverty and inequalities in local communities.“To me, sustainability isn't only about protecting the environment but improving the well-being of the community and addressing resource inequity,” she said.Geberemaram, a graduate student studying global education at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, plans to take the experience and education received from this opportunity to give back to the ASU community by promoting sustainability and equity in education. A first-generation American and mother of two, Geberemaram is returning to school through ASU Online to become a leader in global education. She seeks to incorporate sustainability practices and the impact of human activity on the planet into curriculum.“I am deeply committed to education and environmental stewardship and believe that they are interconnected,” Geberemaram said. “Through my academic and career goals, I hope to make a positive impact by promoting educational equity and environmental sustainability.”Kenja Hassan, a member of the African and African American Faculty and Staff Association, or AAAFSA, and assistant vice president of cultural relations in ASU’s Office of Government and Community Engagement, was instrumental in establishing the partnership with Canon Solutions America in early 2022.“Environmental equity came up numerous times during our conversations, in part due to Canon’s positive stance on taking responsibility for the environment and human prosperity,” Hassan said. “That evolved into conceptualizing a scholarship that would support students who want to play a role in environmental protection and the protection of under-resourced communities.”The partnership between AAAFSA and Canon Solutions America began as a response to the health disparities made evident by COVID-19. The idea was to create a scholarship to address the palpable issue of pollution and other environmental challenges, which are more likely to impact areas with a lack of financial resources.“The best way for us to make a genuine, lasting impact is to provide for students who will one day be leading the fight for environmental safety,” said Krystal Bird, associate director of strategic partnerships at ASU. “The students who are focused on confronting environmental issues, especially those which impact marginalized communities, are those we want to award with this scholarship.”The scholarship embodies Canon Solutions America’s perspective on environmental issues and its corporate philosophy of “kyosei,” a combination of two Japanese words that Canon uses to illustrate that all individuals and organizations should work together for the common good.  Canon Solutions America feels a social responsibility to cultivate good relationships with customers, communities, governments and the environment. Establishing this scholarship is a way to raise awareness of their business efforts and encourage a shift in how students operate in their day-to-day lives for the future of our planet.The scholarship also represents the university’s effort to spread awareness about the LIFT (Listen, Invest, Facilitate, Teach) Initiative. LIFT is a movement developed by ASU in 2020 with the goal of enhancing opportunities for Black undergraduate and graduate students, and Black faculty and staff.Written by Richard Canas]]>
Logan Higgins on the steps of the Supreme Court doing the forks up hand gesture.

Summer internship gives ASU student hands-on experience with US Supreme Court

Arizona State University student Logan Higgins has had a long-standing interest in public policy and politics. So when it came time for the California native to decide where to attend college after high school, ASU’s offerings in those fields made her decision an easy one.“I knew I was prelaw and I knew I wanted to go to Washington, D.C., at some point, so I was looking for schools that had good programs for that,” Higgins said. “ASU is partnered with the McCain Institute, and I knew they would have good opportunities for what I wanted to do, and that was the deciding factor.”Based in Washington, D.C., the McCain Institute at ASU offers policy research, events, student internships and other activities meant to support American global leadership. The program’s goal is to advance democracy and human rights, combat issues such as targeted violence and human trafficking, and empower character-driven leaders.While Higgins busied herself with attending events and seminars offered by the McCain Institute, an internship offered through the School of Politics and Global Studies gave her the opportunity to put what she was learning to use at the public information office of the U.S. Supreme Court this summer. The Capital Scholars Program allows students to gain valuable skills and hands-on work experience at government agencies and network with professionals from a number of fields.“I saw the program on social media and I looked it up and thought why not just apply. … It’s definitely something I would want to do,” Higgins said.After applying to the program, she was delighted to receive several callbacks for interviews as she advanced throughout the application process, and she was eventually offered an internship with the U.S. Supreme Court.Higgins said that sharing any type of experience can be helpful in an interview.“Experience can be the number-one thing internships look for, but it doesn’t matter where your experience comes from. It is what you’re able to do with it. I worked at a fast food chain and that’s what I talked about for these interviews,” she said. “I talked about customer service, I talked about working with a diverse group of people, and they were impressed and mentioned that those skills were great for this type of position.”In her role at the public information office, Higgins served as a liaison between the U.S. Supreme Court and the press, and assisted with distributing court statements and decisions.Now about to enter her third year at ASU, the Barrett, The Honors College student is double majoring in political science at the School of Politics and Global Studies and family and human development at the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics. This fall, she will serve as a learning assistant for The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as well as a community assistant.“I’ve always wanted to be a district attorney, but now with this internship and my majors, I am more open to what might happen and whatever I fall in love with," she said.]]>
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