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West campus pair earn recognition from Washington Center

June 22, 2010

A pair of Arizona State University West campus program directors have been recognized as co-Liaisons of the Year by the prestigious Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars.

Elaine Jordan, director of the student internship program for ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, and Adele Darr, who heads the Disability Resource Center at the West campus, earned honors from the nonprofit, D.C.-based organization. According to a letter from the center, the two are being honored for their “exceptional dedication and support of The Washington Center on the Arizona State University campuses (and their) efforts to recruit, screen, monitor and debrief students who participate in our internship program, ensuring qualified students have access to this significant life-changing opportunity.”

Jordan and Darr, who were selected from candidates across 500 U.S. college campuses, will receive the awards at the center’s annual Academic Affairs Awards event in October at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

“Drs. Elaine Jordan and Adele Darr have grown to be exceptionally strong liaisons for The Washington Center,” said Eugene Alpert, center senior vice president. “They have expanded their leadership with regard to the TWC program at Arizona State University beyond their home base on the West campus to the Tempe, Downtown Phoenix and Polytechnic campuses. They’ve been committed to supporting students from all backgrounds and majors and are clearly caring individuals and are wonderful counselors to ASU students.”

Jordan, who is also a New College political science professor, came to ASU’s West campus in 2001 and began working with The Washington Center in 2008. Among the many services she provides students interested in an internship in the nation’s capital are pinpointing interest areas and career goals, sharpening résumés, and facilitating contacts between the students and the center.

“This is a wonderful honor from a wonderful program,” Jordan said. “The Washington Center gives students such a great opportunity to interact with other students from across the globe, the opportunity to participate in forums featuring national and international leaders; and the chance to live and work in what I think is the most dynamic city in the world.

“The personal and professional growth of our students who participate in this unique experience is very rewarding.”
Darr was a faculty member in ASU’s nursing program on both the Tempe and West campuses from 1984 through 1992.

She joined the Disability Resource Center at ASU in Tempe in 2003 and transferred to the West campus in 2006. Like Jordan, she has worked with The Washington Center since 2008.

Darr said the center and ASU are an ideal combination for students. 

“As a Research I university that is in the global spotlight for its excellence and innovation, we are able to offer students an incredible experience to facilitate their learning in a global environment.

“I am honored to be recognized by The Washington Center,” added Darr. “This is a prestigious and respected organization that, through its internship program, provides not only long-lasting friendships for its student participants, but a unique opportunity to experience actual world events, actions and experiences that cannot be experienced anywhere else.”

In three short years, Jordan and Darr have expanded Washington Center internship opportunities from one campus to all four ASU campuses. They have coordinated center visits to the Valley with ASU faculty and university organizations, arranging times and places students can learn more about participation directly from center representatives. They have targeted faculty who teach coursework that relates well with center internships, and have worked with Career Services and Disability Resource Centers on each campus to help inform students of center programs.

Elizabeth Langland, ASU vice president and New College dean, said the recognition is another example of what ASU and its West campus have to offer students.

“Elaine and Adele are shining examples of our connection with our students,” Langland said. “They help us build the unique relationships and partnerships we have with students from the time they first enroll up to and following their graduation.

“Whether its services such as those provided by Elaine and Adele, like our internship programs, or conducting research alongside our faculty, I believe our students are offered opportunities that can be found in few other places. To be recognized for this is a credit to Elaine and Adele and our students who have achieved success in the program.”