ASU student receives Devils Pride Chapter On Q Financial Scholarship


September 14, 2021

On Q Financial Inc., a national home-mortgage lender, announced the recipient of its first scholarship to Arizona State University senior Olivia Roush, Class of '22. Roush will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a certificate in LGBT studies in May 2022.

She was selected for the $2,000 award based on her academic merits and community service through the ASU Alumni Association’s LGBTQIA+ Devils Pride Chapter. Five people stand in a line for a group photo From left: Shirley Boynton, On Q Financial; Brenda Hedeen, On Q Financial; Olivia Roush, ASU student; Juan Rodas, On Q Financial; and Christine Wilkinson, ASU Alumni Association. Download Full Image

“At On Q Financial, we understand the importance of a well-educated workforce and the increasing financial needs of many college students today,” said Juan Rodas, senior vice president of capital markets and fulfillment at On Q Financial Inc. “Through the scholarship selection process, we were deeply impressed with Olivia’s commitment to service, her passion for health care, and her dedication to serving the unique needs of the LGBTQIA+ population.

“Scholarships like this take a bit of the weight off of students. With our corporate headquarters in Tempe, ASU was a natural place to reach out for help in finding the right student of our first award.”

Community service during Roush’s college career has included the following: COVID-19 vaccine administrator at various sites in Maricopa County; Phoenix Pride, which recognized her as the 2020 Volunteer of the Year; Chispa Arizona, where she volunteered as a voter-registration canvasser; and Grace Center for Innovation in Nursing Education, a part of ASU’s Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation. In the spring 2019 semester, Roush also completed a three-week study abroad internship with Nature Seekers in Matura, Trinidad, where she conducted biological research.  

“During her college experience, which includes the intense academic rigors of the honors college and participation in extracurricular activities, Olivia has worked to support herself throughout this journey,” said Michael Einstein, ’15 BA ’17 MA, of the LGBTQIA+ Devils Pride Chapter. “Olivia has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to her coursework as well as identifying opportunities to invest in the community through applied settings and leadership positions.”

After graduation with her bachelor’s degree in nursing, Roush plans to work as a registered nurse to gain hands-on medical experience. She also has a desire to attend graduate school and eventually become a nurse practitioner and open her own practice focusing on the needs of the LGBTQIA+ population.

“Continuing to earn scholarships is essential to my ability to reach my goals of improving the treatment of LGBTQ+ individuals in health care,” Roush said. “I am so grateful for the On Q Financial Scholarship to fund a portion of the final year of my undergraduate education. This scholarship gives me the opportunity to dedicate myself to completing my degree and pursuing additional learning experiences. I understand that the opportunity of a college education must be earned, so I am proud to work diligently to continue identifying resources through employment and scholarships to fund my schooling.”

Christine Wilkinson, president/CEO for the ASU Alumni Association, talks about the growing need for financial support for students: “One of our primary initiatives at the Alumni Association is to assist students, especially those with financial need. When community partners like On Q Financial step up to provide scholarships, we’re appreciative of their desire to help students reach their academic goals. On Q believes in supporting students to build a well-educated workforce. We look forward to working with Juan Rodas and his team at On Q Financial to continue supporting Sun Devil students so they can achieve their dreams of graduating from ASU and starting their professional careers.”

For more information about the Devils Pride Chapter and the On Q Financial Scholarship opportunities, visit https://alumni.asu.edu/chapters/lgbtqia-devils-pride-chapter.

Alexandra Navrotsky increases ASU donation to $10M to help ensure future of materials science


September 14, 2021

Alexandra Navrotsky has long been invested in materials science as a researcher and professor, and with her most recent donation to Arizona State University, she is ensuring that the study will continue to be supported for years to come.

In 2019, Navrotsky rejoined ASU as a professor in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' School of Molecular Sciences and in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, and as the director of the Navrotsky Eyring Center for Materials of the Universe. Professor Alexandra Navrotsky Professor Alexandra Navrotsky at the Navrotsky Eyring Center for Materials of the Universe's ribbon-cutting ceremony in 2019. Navrotsky has made a $10 million donation to Arizona State University to help further the growth of material science at the university. Photo by Mary Zhu/ASU Download Full Image

“In addition to the leadership and internationally recognized scholarship that Alex brings to ASU, she has made a personal $10 million investment which will ensure the long-term growth of materials science in this area at ASU,” said Neal Woodbury, vice president for research and chief science and technology officer for ASU’s Knowledge Enterprise. “This gift will support the Center for Materials of the Universe, named professors of materials research, early-career faculty encouragement awards and research in thermochemistry. The Materials of the Universe Center is an opportunity for ASU to significantly advance materials science research through a collaboration between the sciences and engineering.”

A chemist by training, Navrotsky’s first faculty position was at ASU in 1969.

“I wasn't actively job hunting at that point; I was thinking I'd stay in my postdoc for two years. But I came out for an interview. They liked what they saw in me; I liked what I saw in them,” Navrotsky said. “ASU was a wonderful place to be because it was really building up both in student numbers and in quality, and the solid-state sciences effort was really thriving. When I came, I didn't fully realize what a wonderful opportunity it would be. And of course we, the young faculty at the time, helped make it and defined the field of what was going on at ASU. So those days in the 1970s and early '80s were really, really exciting.”

In 1985, Navrotsky joined the Department of Geological and Geophysical Sciences at Princeton University and served as the chair from 1988 to 1991. Then in 1997, she moved to the University of California, Davis, and became an interdisciplinary professor of ceramic, earth and environmental materials chemistry. In 2001, she was appointed the Edward Roessler Chair in Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

Following a celebration of life for emeritus professor of chemistry and geology John Holloway in 2018, Navrotsky said she began to reflect on the exciting days of research she experienced at ASU in the ’70s.

“It occurred to me once I got home to say, ‘OK, you can't re-create the past, but what are the opportunities now?’ And that's when I started thinking about the Materials of the Universe Center opportunity,” she said.

In the first donation to her endowment, Navrotsky said she was focused on establishing the center and ensuring that those involved had access to funding. Then this year, as she was reviewing her retirement plans, she said she realized she had a larger sum than expected and made a plan to help ensure future research in a topic she cares deeply about, at a place she is forever connected to.

“ASU has a long and distinguished tradition in solid-state science. The new opportunities in Materials of the Universe related to solid-state science are something that I hope will continue at ASU for many years, and my endowment should help stabilize and energize that effort.”

The gift is structured to help impact graduate-level research and junior faculty support as well as direct funding for ASU’s thermodynamics research efforts.

“I'm convinced now, after being here since October of 2019, that I made the right choice to come back home. I hope that I have a number of good years to continue doing things, having fun and helping ASU.”

Kirsten Kraklio

Content Strategist and Writer, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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