Starbucks partner finds her passion for justice studies in ASU Online classes

December 17, 2019

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for fall 2019 commencement.

Contrary to the busy morning bustle as a shift supervisor at Starbucks, Britta Grant says “don’t rush through your classes ... take time to relish and ponder over the lessons learned in class.”  ASU Online student Britta Grant Download Full Image

It was only once she began classes through ASU Online that she realized justice studies was her passion. She found her courses thought provoking and believes this career path will help her not only to be a more well-rounded person, but help others seeking assistance.

“After taking some of the first classes within my degree program, I realized that this topic would help me in being a well rounded person,” she said.

And while being an online student means completing your work away from campus, Grant's local library, the Hamilton East Public Library, is her favorite place to study.

According to Grant, “their quiet rooms are the perfect place to be free of distractions and focus on my work.” 

Graduating with a BS in justice studies and a minor in anthropology, Grant credits the Starbucks College Achievement Plan as the driving force in completing her degree.

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in? 

Answer: I realized justice studies was the field I wanted to study after finishing the Intro to Justice Studies class. The information was so enthralling. Learning about the principles and philosophies pertaining to the subject was so thought provoking. 

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you, that changed your perspective?

A: I enjoyed Dr. (Nancy) Jurik's Justice Theory class. In the class, there was one thing I learned that was very surprising. The philosopher John Locke influenced the founding fathers quite a bit. His viewpoint on property helped pave the way for the dispossession of indigenous inhabitants in America. The ramifications of this is felt to the present day. 

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: First, I chose because Starbucks had partnered with the university to provide tuition coverage to its partners. Second, on closer examination of the credentials of the university, I knew that I would receive a solid education that supported me in being a free thinker and innovative.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: Don't try to rush through your classes too much. Take time to relish and ponder over the lessons learned in class. Soon enough the time will come for you to graduate. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Q: As an online student, what was your favorite spot to study or to just think about life?

A: I loved going to study at my local library. The Hamilton East Public Library in Fishers, Indiana, is perfect for studying. It had plenty of space and comfortable chairs. Also, it has plenty of quiet rooms. I would find a spot, put my headphones on and listen to my lo-fi beats. All was perfect and I could focus on my work.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: My dream career is to work in diversity and inclusion for a business/corporation. I will be focusing on my path to this goal.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I would want to work on building sustainable ways of bringing fresh, drinkable water to all who don't have it. So many illnesses are brought on by people having no choice but to drink water that is not drinkable. 

ASU president delivers keynote at center launch in Washington, D.C.

President Crow talks about foresight as a way to grow institutions, organizations

December 17, 2019

The growing intersection of technology and politics, the implications for personal privacy and national security, and the increasing complexity of public policy problems of all kinds were the focus of “From Deep Fakes to Deep Space: Policy Challenges for the Future,” a conference sponsored by the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) Center for Strategic Foresight.

In his remarks keynoting the conference, Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow focused on how the U.S. can use foresight as a way to help public institutions and organizations grow and evolve to meet pressing social challenges. Using ASU as a case study for thinking more broadly about “organizational technology,” he explained how public institutions can become more effective by aligning their mission and core work with the broadly shared values of the publics these institutions serve. ASU president is keynote speaker at GAO event ASU President Michael Crow talks about the advantages of foresight — and design-driven focus — for growing U.S. institutions and organizations at a conference launching the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s Center for Strategic Foresight in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 10. Download Full Image

“We don’t spend enough time thinking about design in the public sector,” Crow said. “We think about implementation. We think about design here and there. But this notion of core values, these public values, and the world outside and everything that’s going on: This is the object of design.”

Crow also emphasized that the way that universities and other public institutions are designed to work should be considered a kind of technology. Large public organizations can use design and foresight to discover innovative solutions to complex challenges. Indeed, Crow explained that orienting ASU toward this kind of design has been the focus of his tenure as ASU president.

“We embrace complexity. We embrace the speed of change,” Crow said. “It's undeniable, unavoidable, can never be done away with. … But the design of the institution is anything other than just following some set of instructions.”

The convening served as the formal launch for the center, which is charged with enhancing the nonpartisan watchdog agency’s ability to identify, monitor and analyze emerging issues. The center is a unique entity in the federal government, one that reflects the GAO’s broad mandate to provide Congress with reliable, fact-based information for overseeing federal agencies and programs.

During his remarks opening the conference, U.S. Comptroller General Gene L. Dodaro emphasized the GAO’s priorities in the coming years. According to Dodaro, these priorities include examining the most important trends in the world and developing a list of areas that will require attention from Congress and the presidential administration. He also discussed the need for GAO to use foresight instead of hindsight to predict the issues that will require the country’s focus in the future to help government adapt to these challenges.

The GAO is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress, examining how taxpayer dollars are spent and providing Congress and federal agencies with information to help save money and work efficiently. The Center for Strategic Foresight, part of the GAO’s Office of Strategic Planning and External Liaison, will focus on using future planning to anticipate and identify our country’s challenges to government leadership.