image title

ASU senior wins Marshall Scholarship — a prestigious honor to pursue studies in UK

ASU student Erin Schulte wins prestigious Marshall Scholarship.
ASU student Erin Schulte feels compelled to take on big problems.
December 7, 2016

Global studies major preparing to tackle world's most complicated problems

Arizona State University student Erin Schulte is preparing herself to tackle some of the world’s most complicated problems. She’s already co-founded a non-profit group to fight human trafficking and might one day help rebuild the economy in war-torn conflict zones.

“If I’m not going to do it, who will?” she asked.

“I can’t just say ‘why isn’t something being done’ without going in and trying to help.”

Erin Schulte is a graduate of Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale.

Schulte has won the prestigious Marshall Scholarship to pursue a graduate degree at a university in the United Kingdom in 2017. The scholarship committee makes the final determination, but her first choice is King’s College London, where she would like to pursue two degrees, in conflict, security, and development and in big data in culture and society.

She is the 18th ASU student to win the scholarship since it was established in 1953 as an act of Parliament. The scholarship, which selects up to 40 winners every year, is named for U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall to commemorate the ideals of the Marshall Plan and is meant to express the post-World War II gratitude of the British people to America. The most recent ASU winners were in 2014 and 2012, according to Kyle Mox, director of the Lorraine W. Frank Office of National Scholarships Advisement at ASU and associate dean of Barrett, the Honors College.

In 2016, 932 Americans applied for the Marshall Scholarship and 32 were selected — and only 25 percent of those winners were graduates of public universities.

Schulte will graduate from ASU in May with a degree in global studies, with minors in political science and economics and a certificate in applied business data analytics. She was in Barrett, the Honors College.

“I really want to pair international security work with development and big data,” she said. “I think it’s really important to be data driven when you’re looking at big issues like conflict and poverty. To help prevent further conflict and mitigate the effects of conflict, I want to work in development.”

Schulte said she would like to work in pre- and post-conflict zones.

“I want to use predictive analytics to help mitigate conflicts and humanitarian crises before they hit a critical point,” she said.

Schulte, who is from Scottsdale, is a co-founder of the All Walks Project, a student-led non-profit that educates at-risk students about human trafficking. She oversees the nonprofit’s chapters at high schools and universities around the U.S. and she facilitated the nonprofit’s expansion into Thailand.

While Schulte is leaving the organization to the next group of activist students, she’ll always be fighting human trafficking.

“If I’m working with conflict, human trafficking exists. It exists with refugees, in war-torn zones, and in conflict-free areas. It exists everywhere,” she said.

She feels compelled to tackle some of the world’s thorniest issues.

“I feel like once I become aware of these problems, I can’t just walk away from them,” she said. “I can’t just go on with my life.

“I have to choose the hardest problems because very few people do.”

Click here for more.

Top photo: Erin Schulte, who won the prestigious Marshall Scholarship, visited with some elephants last summer when she was in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with the All Walks Project to promote education for at-risk youth in rural villages.

Mary Beth Faller

Reporter , ASU News


image title

ASU lecturer selected as Phoenix's poet laureate

ASU's Rosemarie Dombrowski "ecstatic" to be Phoenix's inaugural poet laureate.
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton: "We need [poetry] now more than ever."
December 7, 2016

Rosemarie Dombrowski will act as city's first official ambassador of literacy and art under newly announced appointment

The city of Phoenix has selected its first community poet, appointing ASU lecturer Rosemarie Dombrowski, who welcomed the nod, saying poetry represents a “recognition of the human struggle and a celebration of the human form.”

The choice was announced at a news conference Wednesday at South Mountain Community Library, attended by Arizona poet laureate Alberto Rios, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and other city officials.

Dombrowski’s two-year appointment as the city’s ambassador of literacy and art will begin in January, with responsibilities that include giving public readings and composing poems for special occasions.

She also will work on a special project, which likely will focus on education. In the past, Dombrowski has hosted writing workshops for teenaged girls at Changing Hands Bookstore. She said in an interview Tuesday with ASU Now that she hopes to do something similar with elementary school children.

“Poetry is such a wonderful avenue for self-expression,” Dombrowski said, adding, “I hope I can convince people of all ages that it’s a vehicle we can use to express ourselves.”

Rios, Regents’ Professor of English at ASU, said Wednesday that Dombrowski “finds the beautiful no matter what it looks like. This is what a great poet does.”

Stanton, meanwhile, said there is a vital “role arts play in the health and well-being of our community.”

Originally from Kansas, Dombrowski grew up in Missouri and moved to Mesa, Arizona, with her family at 14. After high school, she settled in Phoenix and never looked back.

“I feel like I’ve been a Phoenician my whole life,” she said.

A self-described perpetual writing machine, Dombrowski also serves as an editor for the independent Phoenix-based literary magazine Four Chambers Press; co-founder and host of the Phoenix Poetry Series and Get Lit, two separate monthly gatherings of local poets and artists in downtown Phoenix; and founder and editor-in-chief of the local Rinky Dink Press, which publishes micro-poetry in micro-zine form.

Her love affair with Phoenix began as an undergraduate at ASU when she and fellow classmates would set up card tables in dirt lots near Roosevelt and 7th Street, selling copies of a student literary publication “for two bucks a pop” as downtown was still largely empty and First Fridays starting to grow in popularity.

“I remember when it was dusty and desolate, and I loved it then,” Dombrowski said. “It’s so emotional for me to see the evolution that’s taken place there in the last decade.”

After receiving her doctorate in American Literature from ASU in 2007, Dombrowski said a stroke of “wild luck” resulted in her first post-doc teaching gig at the university’s Downtown Phoenix campus. It was there she helped found the campus’ undergraduate writing journal Write On, Downtown, and has served as its editor-in-chief ever since.

Dombrowski called Phoenix an “omnipresent” influence on her work, both on the page and in her human interactions, something Gail Browne, executive director of the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, said the selection panel noticed.

Browne said Dombrowski’s appointment is “a way for our city to articulate who we are through poetry and literature, a way of advocating for the importance of language, literacy, reading and writing.”

Over the past few years, a number of cities throughout the U.S. — including Los Angeles, Houston and Key West, Florida — have appointed poet laureates. “We thought it would be an interesting time for Phoenix to do that as well,” Browne said.

Dombrowski’s writing has appeared in Columbia Review, Anthro/Poetics, Nano, The Review Review and elsewhere. She has received four Pushcart Prize nominations, was a finalist for the Pangea Poetry Prize in 2015 and was nominated for the Best of the Web Anthology in 2016. Her collections include The Book of Emergencies (Five Oaks Press, 2014) and the forthcoming The Philosophy of Unclean Things (Finishing Line Press, 2016).

For this “amazing windfall of happenings” Dombrowski made sure to thank ASU for “the immense opportunities” given to her throughout her education and as a senior lecturer in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts.

“I’m ecstatic to take on this role as your community poet,” she said. “I hope to do right by the city of Phoenix and everybody who’s interested— and disinterested — in poetry. Because we’re gonna change that!”

In 2012, Dombrowski penned “A Love Letter to Phoenix” for the Huffington Post. You can read it here.