New faculty head to lead ASU's Counseling and Counseling Psychology unit forward

August 30, 2022

Arizona State University’s College of Integrative Sciences and Arts (CISA) is pleased to welcome new faculty head for Counseling and Counseling Psychology Ayşe Çiftçi (pronounced eye-SHAE chief-T-CHEE).

A truly dedicated educator, Çiftçi's distinguished career includes a 16-year tenure at Purdue University, where she most recently served as the department head of educational studies in the College of Education.  Portrait of ASU Professor Ayşe Çiftçi outside with a natural backdrop of green grass and leafy trees. Professor Ayşe Çiftçi joins the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts ready to lead Counseling and Counseling Psychology unit as its new faculty head. Download Full Image

Through her leadership positions and scholarship, she has worked to identify critical factors and develop interventions that will help build more inclusive environments — particularly for marginalized communities — in educational and training settings.

Çiftçi's academic accolades are plentiful, including the American Psychological Association 2014 Presidential Citation, and she’s an APA Fellow in divisions 17 (counseling psychology) and 52 (international psychology). She has more than 40 peer-reviewed publications, has had research funded by the National Science Foundation and is a renowned keynote and international guest lecturer and presenter. 

“We’re delighted to have Ayşe join CISA to lead the CCP faculty in shaping the next generation of counselors and counseling psychologists,” said College of Integrative Sciences and Arts Dean Joanna Grabski. “The need is great for professionals who are dedicated to promoting the health of individuals, families, groups and organizations in a multicultural, diverse society.”

Çiftçi is excited to be a part of CISA’s team. 

“I am thrilled to have an opportunity to lead Counseling and Counseling Psychology (CCP) and be a part of the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts leadership,” said Çiftçi. 

“CCP has such a strong reputation nationally and internationally. I am looking forward to leading the unit collaboratively with its amazing diverse faculty, students, alumni and community partners to a new future that is inclusive, innovative and socially responsive.”

CISA’s Counseling and Counseling Psychology unit offers two graduate degrees — the Master of Counseling and the PhD in counseling psychology — at ASU's Tempe campus, and bachelor’s degree programs in psychology (Polytechnic campus) and counseling and applied psychological science (Polytechnic campus and ASU Online); the latter includes a concentration in substance abuse and addictions.

CCP is also home to the ASU Counselor Training Center, which offers low-cost counseling services for ASU students, staff and faculty, as well as the larger community. Anyone living in Arizona is eligible for services.  

As Çiftçi settles into her Arizona life, she is enjoying her new surroundings. 

“It is fascinating to see the biodiversity of the Valley,” she said. “It’s quite an adjustment to the desert environment after living in the Midwest for 16 years and growing up on the coastal city of Izmir (in Turkey)!”

Çiftçi earned her PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Memphis and an MS in psychological counseling and guidance, and BS in educational sciences from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey.

Theresa Cordon

Web Content Communications Administrator, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts

New ASU assistant professor to explore policy, social identities

August 30, 2022

This fall, Kenicia Wright joins Arizona State University as a new assistant professor in the School of Politics and Global Studies (SPGS).

“The vision outlined in the charter couldn't have been a better fit for my personal aims and goals,” said Wright. “These factors, as well as my ability to contribute to such rich diversity and passion for excellence and innovation made joining ASU the clear choice for me.” Portrait of ASU Assistant Professor Kenicia Wright. Kenicia Wright's research focuses on public policy and social identities in American politics. Download Full Image

Wright comes to ASU from the University of Central Florida, where she was an assistant professor. She received her PhD in political science from the University of Houston. Her research focuses on public policy and social identities in American politics.

"We are so excited that Dr. Kenicia Wright has joined SPGS. Dr. Wright is a fantastic scholar whose work is receiving national recognition. And the addition of Dr. Wright to our faculty fortifies our already impressive strength in race/ethnicity and politics,” said Magda Hinojosa, SPGS director and professor.

This fall, Wright will be teaching a political science course on public opinion. In the future, she hopes to teach courses related to social identities — race/ethnicity, gender, class, etc. — and intersectionality.

She spoke with ASU News about why she came to ASU and what she hopes to accomplish while at the university.

Question: What is the focus for your area of research, and why did you choose that field?

Answer: My research interests include exploring the effects of social identities on the policymaking process. I often apply intersectionality to study the overlapping effects of multiple social identities on policy preferences, policy implementation and policy outcomes related to health care policy and education policy. I find it important to develop research that contributes to our understanding of pressing issues and highlights the potential relevance of highly rigorous research for everyday life.

Q: What are you most looking forward to in your role as an assistant professor in the School of Politics and Global Studies?

A: Being able to learn and interact with students and the ASU community! I am a first-generation college student, so I am eager to be able to learn more about the interests, goals and experiences of ASU students, as well as the history of ASU and the surrounding communities. I've recently started studying questions related to Latina/o/e/x Americans, so I'm starting to develop that research and connect with the extensive body of ASU scholars with interests in related areas.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish as you work at the university?

A: I have two major goals that I hope to be able to accomplish: to continue developing research that centers on important and timely topics of groups that are traditionally under-studied in academic work, and to contribute to the growth and success of students in the School of Politics and Global Studies, as well as ASU students more generally.

Matt Oxford

Assistant Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications, College of Global Futures