ASU nursing degree serves alumna in leadership role at NIH

Rachele Peterson is the chief of staff for the All of Us Research Program

July 25, 2022

When you hear the word "research," you might envision people in white coats looking through microscopes and working with test tubes in a lab somewhere. And while that element certainly exists, there’s an entire ecosystem outside of a lab that makes up the scientific research process.

Rachele Peterson doesn’t wear a white coat or work in a lab, but she does play a key role in one of America’s most ambitious research projects. Earlier this year, she was named the chief of staff for the All of Us Research Program at the National Institutes of Health. Rachele Peterson smiles at the camera in this professional headshot. She has blonde shoulder length hair. Is wearing a dark blazer and has bright red lipstick. Rachele Peterson plays a key role in one of America’s most ambitious research projects. Download Full Image

"This is a historic effort to collect and study data from 1 million or more people living in the United States for 10 years or more,” she said.

Prior to this promotion, she served as a leader and principal investigator on multiple awards for the same program working on enrollment, engagement and the retention of the cohort as well as technology platforms for the consortium.

Helping to prepare her for a career in research was her degree from Arizona State University’s Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation. She graduated in 2014 with a Master of Science in clinical research management

“As a lifelong learner, I have continued to obtain additional education and certifications since graduating from Edson College. I achieved certifications as a CCRP (certified clinical research professional) and CRA (certified research administrator). Satisfied with my first graduate experience at ASU, I returned, and in 2021 I graduated with an executive MBA from the W. P. Carey School of Business.”

When she’s not busy working on this bold research effort, Peterson lends her time and expertise as a board member of the National Diaper Bank Network and a representative on its Policy, Program and Evaluation Committee. She stays connected to her alma mater by volunteering to serve as an alumni panelist, and previously served on the alumni board prior to accepting her new federal role.

Below, she reflects on her time in the clinical research management program and shares some best practices for students pursuing the degree. 

Question: How did your degree program help you in achieving and maintaining the position you have now? 

Answer: Completing my master's degree while working full time, I became very skilled in time management and efficient application of my effort. It was invaluable to have classes and educational content in my area of work, which I could apply in real time for the benefit of my educational experience and fellow students, but also to enrich my own workplace with new ideas.

I really appreciated getting to know my fellow students from across the country, learning about their careers and seeing the shared experiences among us in the field of clinical research. This is one of the best and most important fields for young professionals to consider. Graduate education is essential to continued career progression in the field.

Q: What is a favorite memory from your time in your program? 

A: I loved the flexibility provided to us in the selection of the capstone project. I created an onboarding and training program for new clinical research staff, which I have since used many times in my leadership roles as I build teams to great effect — and which I continue to update as new guidance is released.

Q: What advice would you give to students who are currently enrolled in the program? 

A: Consider challenges or complex, unsolved problems in your job — use those scenarios broadly without identifying details for homework, group exercises or forum discussion. Not only will the deeper reflection help you, but you will benefit from the perspectives of others and in applying course material and process to your work.

To learn more about Edson College alumni activities, events and programming, visit the alumni section of the college's website.

Amanda Goodman

Senior communications specialist, Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation


ASU scholars join conversation on climate, communities at Global Humanities Institute

July 25, 2022

The Environmental Humanities Initiative in the Institute for Humanities Research at Arizona State University will explore vital lessons about the climate crisis and problems of scale this summer at the Global Humanities Institute.

The 2022 institute on "Climate Justice and Problems of Scale," which was twice delayed due to the pandemic, will take place July 29 to Aug. 7 as a public, hybrid event at the University of Pretoria in South Africa and online. Collage of headshots of ASU scholars (clockwise from top left) Sara Aly El Sayed, Steven Hartman, Joni Adamson and Joan McGregor. ASU scholars (clockwise from top left) Sara Aly El Sayed, Steven Hartman, Joni Adamson and Joan McGregor. Download Full Image

“After COVID delays, we are now ready with an innovative, hybrid platform for delivering an event that offers attendees varied options for access and participation,” said Joni Adamson, institute co-organizer and President’s Professor of Environmental Humanities at ASU. “As a hybrid event, the institute will be less-carbon-intensive than it may have been before the pandemic … and we have been able to diversify our class of attendees across five geographical regions in the world.”

ASU's Environmental Humanities Initiative is collaborating with the University of Texas Humanities Institute to conduct the Global Humanities Institute. The institute will focus on cultivating scale literacy among environmental humanists and scientists interested in the unequal ways in which the climate crisis impacts individuals and communities.

The institute will place a special emphasis on three main themes: conceptualizing scale for a changing climate; climate/justice on the ground; and futures of climate justice.

These themes will be explored by teams from various organizations at each of the six participating universities, including the Humanities Institute at the University of Texas at Austin; the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship at the University of Pretoria; the Sydney Environmental Institute at the University of Sydney; the Institute for Humanities Research at ASU; the Center for American Studies and Research at the American University of Beirut; and the Humanities Center at Carnegie Mellon University.

ASU will be represented by Adamson; Steven Hartman, founding executive director of the BRIDGES Sustainability Science Coalition; Joan McGregor, Global Humanities Institute co-organizer, professor of philosophy and senior global futures scientist; and Sara Aly El Sayed, postdoctoral research scholar in public interest technology.

The institute is also an opportunity for early career scholars to gain experience and receive mentorship.

“Joan McGregor and I are so excited to be able to work with 15 brilliant, competitively-chosen early career scholars representing 18 (Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes) in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Lebanon, Canada and the United States,” Adamson said.

A major goal for all those attending the institute is to link scholarship developed in the humanities — books, articles and pedagogies  to scientific research into scale and climate crisis. The institute will introduce and contextualize an exciting, scaled-up response among humanists, scientists, and local and regional groups who are co-organizing communities of purpose and action.

“Together with 10 senior scholars from around the world, each of the early career scholars will co-produce knowledge and methodologies that place the humanities centrally into the social justice and sustainability curricula of the next generation,” Adamson said. “Our shared goal is nothing short of achieving intergenerational justice, for humans and the more-than-human world on which our future depends.”

Funding for the institute was provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and awarded by the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes.

Communications Coordinator, Narrative Storytelling Initiative