Arizona secretary of state will co-teach ASU class in fall 2023


Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes visited ASU on Feb. 24 for a conversation titled "From the Border to the State Capitol." Photo by Meghan Finnerty

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Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes will co-teach an undergraduate course on Latina/o politics and leadership with Professor and Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lisa Magaña in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University this fall. Open to all students, this course is being offered through the School of Transborder Studies and School of Politics and Global Studies and will be led by Magaña.

Fontes, who recently visited ASU to discuss his journey of service and education, also served in the United States Marine Corps, practiced law for 15 years and was the Maricopa county recorder during the 2020 election.

“Service is about giving, it’s about gratitude, it’s about paying back,” Fontes said during his visit. “If you’re lucky enough to be that generous, it comes back again to you.”

Fontes, an ASU alum, grew up in Nogales, Arizona, which he describes as “one of the most amazing experiences anybody could have because sometimes the only way you knew which side of the border you were on was by looking at what flag was flying over the bank that you were closest to.”

The course, listed as TCL 494 and POS 494, will focus on a vast range of topics examining historical, contemporary, traditional and nontraditional Latina/o political and leadership issues within Arizona. Students will explore strategies for successful mobilization to grow political participation.

The ASU Sync format will also provide an opportunity to hear from other elected officials as guest speakers.

“The Latino Politics and Leadership in Arizona course is an incredibly valuable opportunity for our students to learn firsthand from current political leaders. Students will critically analyze some of our more substantial societal challenges, and particularly the complex issues that we see and experience near the U.S.–Mexico border,” said The College's Dean of Social Sciences Magda Hinojosa, who also grew up on the U.S.–Mexico border.

“Leadership transcends not only politics but subject matter and profession in every single area of life,” Fontes said. “Understanding the nature of leadership in this context is critically important for the future of Arizona and her people."

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