ASU, Draper University to partner on cutting-edge entrepreneurial program

May 17, 2016

Draper University and Arizona State University announced today that they are partnering to launch what they expect to be the No. 1 entrepreneurial program in the country.

The Draper/ASU Entrepreneurial Program will combine Draper University’s innovations in education for entrepreneurs with ASU’s entrepreneurial curriculum and access to a large group of talented students. The program will offer the most exciting and the most practical academic experience in entrepreneurship, culminating in a business plan competition. The program will offer the most exciting and practical academic experience in entrepreneurship, culminating in a business plan competition, where Tim Draper — who founded Draper University — will invest at least $1 million. Download Full Image

The residential program will run for nine months starting this fall and will be held at Draper University in San Mateo, California. The program will combine Draper’s signature “Hero Training” and out-of-the-box teaching methods with ASU’s outstanding content.

The curriculum will include forward-thinking simulations, headline speakers, “Survival Training,” team challenges, and hack-a-thons. Key coverage areas will be finance and empowerment, design and coding, robomarketing and growth hacking. The final module of the program will be titled, “Go!!!” and will include personal mentorship and career guidance.

“We are thrilled to be working with ASU,” said Draper. “Our program will be enhanced by ASU’s full curriculum combined with their expertise in scaling. Because of ASU, more and more students will learn the challenges and excitement of starting a business.”

Amy Hillman, dean of ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business, called the new partnership “a fantastic combination of academics and practical application of entrepreneurial lessons.”

“Draper U is an innovator in real-world education, and we are a highly ranked creative business school grounded in research,” she said. “Our students will have the best of both worlds, and they will emerge from the experience stronger and better prepared for the modern economy.”

The Draper/ASU Entrepreneurial Program is accepting applications for the pilot program, which starts Sept. 26. Apply at (ASU students) or (non-ASU students). Applications will be read on a rolling basis; the deadline to apply is Aug. 12.

Alex Haley’s 'Roots' rebooted: Does it matter in the age of Obama and Trump?

ASU associate professor of history talks about miniseries remake

May 17, 2016

This Memorial Day, a remake of “Roots” hits the little screen in a revival of the most popular miniseries of all time. Based on the late Alex Haley’s bestselling book, “Roots” traces the history of Kunta Kinte, a man captured in Gambia and turned into a slave in America, and seven generations of his descendants. 

In his forthcoming book, “Making Roots: A Nation Captivated,” Matthew F. Delmont, associate professor of history at Arizona State University, narrates the personal odyssey of Alex Haley and the absorbing behind-the-scenes details that led to the widely watched miniseries. Download Full Image

Below, Delmont talks about the 15-year production history of the original “Roots” and how the highly anticipated reboot on the History Channel could pave the way for greater dialogue in a culture that still battles how slavery is taught in schools and how it is portrayed in film.

Question: The original broadcast in the ’70s captured a nation trying to heal after the Civil Rights Movement. Now we have a black president and a presumed presidential nominee pledging to deport Hispanic undocumented immigrants. Who will watch, and what will the effect be?

Answer: “Roots” is a story about American identity that is as powerful today as it was in the 1970s. This multigenerational family history reminds viewers that African-American roots run deep in this country and that black people have always had to fight to be fully counted as Americans. Slavery remains one of the subjects Americans are most uncomfortable discussing, but I expect the new series to spark new conversations and arguments about our nation’s history. 

Q: The reboot arrives amid the “Black Lives Matter” protests, debates on racial representation and diversity in film and television, as well as long-standing battles over the way slavery is taught in America’s schools. How might a revival of the original “Roots” miniseries affect the way we view this part of our nation’s history?

A: The original “Roots” miniseries is the definitive mainstream portrayal of slavery and changed the ways generations of Americans view the subject. The racial climate in the U.S. is actually tenser today than it was in 1977, and slavery is being debated today with renewed urgency. The new “Roots” series will encourage viewers to see slavery as a story about black families and to identify with the sorrow, pain and joy of enslaved people in ways that are not commonly seen in popular culture.

Q: While the original miniseries broke television viewing records, the way the world consumes entertainment is different today. Do you think the remake will be able to speak to the new generation?

A: The “Roots” remake has the potential to reach across generational lines, bringing together younger viewers who have never seen the original series, and their parents who watched it with their families in the 1970s. Only the Super Bowl reaches the kind of massive audience “Roots” did in 1977, but the new series should reach as many viewers as critically praised shows like “Game of Thrones,” “Mad Men,” or “Breaking Bad,” and the subject matter is more historically important.

Q: Despite its mass audience success, “Roots” fell out of favor among critics and scholars because it was quickly discovered Haley exaggerated, fabricated and embellished pieces of his own history. What more can you tell us from your research regarding the shadow this cast over Haley’s otherwise highly acclaimed bestseller?

A: “Roots” is due for a re-evaluation. The plagiarism cases and other controversies surrounding Haley’s book have prevented people investigating and appreciating how this unprecedented cultural phenomenon was made. “Roots” encouraged more people to engage seriously with the history of slavery than anything before or since, but this legacy has been overshadowed.

To schedule an interview with professor Delmont, please contact Judy Keane at 480-965-3779 or