Kauffman Foundation grant will help ASU diversify entrepreneurship

December 2, 2016

With support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s Inclusion Challenge, the Arizona State University Entrepreneurship and Innovation team is launching a new initiative to welcome more women and people of color into and along their journey of entrepreneurship.  

The foundation’s $245,000 grant will help entrepreneurship program leaders from ASU and in the greater community, develop best practices for diversity and inclusion. Program leaders will develop innovative ideas to support diversity and inclusion, test those ideas, and receive mentoring, networking and other support services throughout the process. At the end of 2017, E+I will compile the initiative’s most successful ideas and share them with organizations working toward similar goals. Download Full Image

“At ASU, we measure our success by whom we include and how they succeed,” said Sethuraman Panchanathan, executive vice president of Knowledge Enterprise Development and chief research and innovation officer at ASU. “Support from the Kauffman Foundation continues to help us engage diverse entrepreneurs from a variety of backgrounds, ensuring that our communities are reaching their full potential.”

In 2015, women made up only about 36.3 percent of new entrepreneurs. Only 18 percent of businesses that received venture capital in 2013 had one or more women on the executive team with less than 3 percent of the CEOs of these businesses being women. Latinos and minorities are underrepresented among business owners, and few investors and entrepreneurs see diversity as a priority. Women and minority entrepreneurs’ lack of access to the resources to reach their entrepreneurial potential results in loss of jobs, tax revenue and possible solutions to social problems.

“ASU is committed to serving our student, faculty and community entrepreneurs through programs that break down barriers and provide lasting influence and value,” said Ji Mi Choi, associate vice president of strategic partnerships and programs, who accepted the grant award at the Kauffman Mayor’s Conference on Entrepreneurship on Dec. 1 in St. Petersburg, Florida. “This grant from the Kauffman Foundation will help us identify our strengths and best practices, and share it with like-minded organizations and individuals for a much bigger impact.” 

ASU Entrepreneurship and Innovation and 11 other organizations around the United States were selected from a competitive pool of nearly 400 applicants.

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that aims to foster economic independence by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success. A $5 million grant in 2006 from the Kauffman Foundation was instrumental in establishing ASU as an entrepreneurial university, allowing ASU to become known for its unique and effective approach to growing an entrepreneurial enterprise within a public university system.

ASU selected as institutional partner for renowned transdisciplinary organization

December 5, 2016

The Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) has announced Arizona State University as its partner institution after a competitive, nationwide search. HASTAC is a leading organization in the pursuit of innovative modes of research and education, with over 15,000 members and 400 affiliated organizations around the world.   

“HASTAC is one of the premier international organizations for the Digital Humanities and Web literacy,” explained George Justice, ASU dean of humanities, “it also embodies many of our design aspirations as well as ASU's Charter.” The Nexus Lab, a project of ASU’s Institute for Humanities Research, is aimed at growing the digital humanities alongside interdisciplinary collaborations among the humanities, science, and technology.

Filling the role previously held by prestigious institutions such as Duke University and Stanford, ASU will divide HASTAC’s central administration with the City University of New York (CUNY). Jacqueline Wernimont, interim director of ASU's Nexus Lab for Computational and Digital Humanities, will act as the new co-director, alongside HASTAC co-founding director Cathy N. Davidson (director of the Futures Initiative, CUNY Graduate Center). 

Davidson explained that ASU was chosen from a highly competitive pool because, “ASU's proposal was a model of vision, practicality, and innovation with an emphasis too on access, inclusion, and diversity.” She added that “this should come as no surprise … ASU has distinguished itself as one of the most forward-looking universities in the United States.”

In tandem with CUNY leadership, Wernimont will now oversee and further develop HASTAC’s significant sources of data, research, technology, and social networking expertise, as well as its cutting-edge website. HASTAC is considered the world’s first and oldest academic social network, and serves as a virtual commons for everything from creative collaboration opportunities to the latest news on pioneering educational technology. Wernimont feels “deeply honored” to be working with Cathy Davidson and the HASTAC community, explaining that “this partnership allows CUNY and ASU to work together to continue transforming higher education and research such that it is inclusive, of public value, and assumes responsibility for the care of our communities.” 


The Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory is a leading organization in the pursuit of innovative modes of research and education.

Wernimont joins the ranks of over sixty internationally-known leaders who have guided HASTAC since its inception in 2002. In addition to directing the Nexus Lab, she also teaches as an assistant professor of English, directs ASU’s new Digital Humanities Graduate Certificate, and is the founding co-director for the Human Security Collaboratory. In her ten years of professional experience she has become a nationally recognized leader in digital archives, feminist digital media, histories of quantification, and technologies of commemoration.  

Wernimont will co-direct HASTAC through the Nexus Lab, a project of ASU’s Institute for Humanities Research aimed at growing the digital humanities alongside interdisciplinary collaborations among the humanities, science, and technology. In the three years since its inception, the lab has grown to become one of the leading centers for innovative modes of research at ASU. Such work is key to addressing the mounting “wicked problems” faced by humanity.

“The grand challenges that the world faces today, including issues related to water, energy, security and food, cannot be solved by just one discipline,” said Sethuraman Panchanathan, executive vice president of Knowledge Enterprise Development and chief research and innovation officer at ASU. “Researchers from across disciplines have to work together to find comprehensive and sustainable solutions for these challenges. ASU is one of world’s leading universities in driving innovative, interdisciplinary research and discoveries. The partnership with HASTAC will help us have a wider, more transformational impact.”

Susan Anderson

Communications Coordinator, Institute for Humanities Research