Former US Sen. Jeff Flake appointed distinguished dean fellow in The College

December 2, 2020

This fall, former United States Sen. Jeff Flake joined Arizona State University as a distinguished dean fellow with The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a role that will see Flake conduct seminars, visit classrooms, give public lectures, meet with students one-on-one and more. 

Flake was a guest lecturer in a number of classes this fall, including Discovery Seminar: Election 2020, instructed by Patrick Kenney, dean of The College; Philosophy, Politics and Economics, instructed by Ross Emmett; Just War, instructed by Luke Perez; Campaigns and Elections, instructed by Matthew Dempsey; and Speaking Politically, instructed by Tara Lennon. He also joined the ASU chapter of the national political science honor society Pi Sigma Alpha for a virtual question-and-answer session Former United States Sen. Jeff Flake Download Full Image

“Sen. Flake’s years of experience on Capitol Hill allow him to pass along invaluable lessons in public service and policy to our students and faculty,” Kenney said. “We are grateful to have him join us in The College and are eager to learn from him.”

Flake, an Arizona native, has held similar roles and given guest lectures at several universities around the country, including Princeton, Yale, Stanford and his alma mater, Brigham Young University.

From 2013 to 2019, Flake served as one of Arizona’s two senators in the U.S. Senate. While in the Senate, he chaired the subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, as well as the Africa subcommittee of the Foreign Relations committee. Prior to that, he served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and served as executive director of the Goldwater Institute in Arizona. In addition, he directed the Foundation for Democracy in Namibia during that nation’s transition to independence. He is currently a contributor to CBS News.

Flake said he hopes sharing his firsthand experiences as a politician will help ASU students gain a deeper understanding of public service.

“Having been on the stage or with a front row seat for some of the significant public policy battles of the past two decades, I hope, has given me a useful perspective about contemporary politics — and more than a few interesting stories,” Flake said. “ASU students have already learned a lot in class and their assigned reading, and some already have some experiences with the political process. But I think my time in Washington allows me to peel back the curtain just a bit and let them know what it's like to be an elected official.”

Drawn to ASU and The College because of the work being done in the public policy and service arena, Flake said he most looks forward to engaging with students and helping them explore possible fields of study and career choices.

“ASU students are eager to learn and, gratefully, have a less jaded view than many in my generation,” he said. “I hope to encourage and inspire students to consider public service at some point in their careers.”

Emily Balli

Manager of marketing and communications, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Bank of America announces $1M investment in ASU to drive new workforce development initiative supporting students of color

The support will fund early employment, education and job training in collaboration with ASU

December 2, 2020

Arizona State University will expand programs and initiatives to prepare students of color to complete the education and training necessary to enter and advance in sustainable employment in the Greater Phoenix area thanks to a $1 million gift from Bank of America.

The investment in ASU, announced by Bank of America on Nov. 20, will fund early employment, education and job training in collaboration with the university while supporting diverse talent and helping to build a pipeline that will strengthen and enhance today’s workforce. student at ASU Hispanic Convocation making a pitchfork with her hand Students at ASU's Hispanic Convocation. Download Full Image

“Arizona State University puts student success at the center of everything we do, and when partners like Bank of America stand with us in that commitment and put their own resources on the line to make things happen, the impact is one that changes people’s lives,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “There is an enormous amount of work to be done to reach all of the learners who have the drive and desire to attend college, and this contribution by BofA helps more of them achieve their dreams.”

ASU has a proven track record of student success through its commitment to inclusivity, affordability and accessibility. More than 40% of those enrolled this fall at ASU are students from underrepresented populations, and of all undergraduates, 35% are the first in their family to attend college.

With the support from Bank of America, ASU will enhance its existing curriculum to career tracks that meet specific skills gaps to create higher-paying, family-sustaining jobs that are in demand.

“We remain committed to helping address the barriers to sustainable employment that exist for many communities of color,” said Bank of America Arizona market president Benito Almanza. “This program helps support Black/African American and Hispanic-Latino students by creating a collaborative approach to job training that will enable them to make a real and meaningful impact in their communities now and over the years ahead.”

This year, the bank also provided $425,000 in grants to Phoenix nonprofits that are connecting individuals to skills and employment in Phoenix. The initiative is part of the bank’s recent $1 billion, four-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity, which includes a $25 million commitment to enhance up-skilling and reskilling for Black/African American and Hispanic-Latino individuals. The nationwide initiative includes the partnership with ASU and partnerships with nearly two dozen community colleges that serve predominantly Black/African American and Hispanic-Latino students, public historically Black colleges and universities and public Hispanic-serving institutions.

“Arizona State University is honored to partner with Bank of America to build new career pathways for students from Latino and other diverse backgrounds,” said James Rund, senior vice president of educational outreach and student services at ASU. “The partnership is an ideal pairing of two entities focused on increasing corporate investments within underrepresented communities while supporting college students and working adults to achieve their academic goals and succeed in a transformed workplace.”

The ASU-Bank of America collaboration will expand the university’s already significant, broad commitment to college and career access across the K-20 continuum. 

“The initiative will develop and advance a new model for Bank of America and other corporate partners to expand their talent pipeline from within through internships, certification programs and degree pathways,” said Edmundo Hidalgo, vice president of education outreach partnerships. “Ultimately, this effort will also leverage our shared goal to increase engagement in workforce development efforts and make a deeper impact within diverse communities in Greater Phoenix and across Arizona.”

Recognizing the importance of a diverse student community and the impact it has on shaping ideas, advancing research and preparing students to engage with people unlike themselves, ASU has become a majority-minority-serving institution.

In the last 12 years, Latino student enrollment at ASU has doubled, serving approximately 15,700 Latino students in fall 2018. The following year, ASU was one of nine institutions to earn the Seal of Excelencia, a prestigious, voluntary and comprehensive certification granted by the Washington, D.C.-based organization Excelencia in Education.

The seal recognizes an institution’s very high level of commitment and effort to serve Latino students successfully.