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ASU finishes $60 million in facilities improvements

November 19, 2021

New buildings and upgrades spanned across all ASU campuses, including a refurbished historic structure in Los Angeles

Arizona State University completed over 160 projects totaling more than $60 million ahead of the fall 2021 semester. Facilities Development and Management collaborated with several departments and partners to provide a supportive and welcoming environment across all ASU campuses and locations. Upgrades included the opening of four large buildings in Tempe, Phoenix and Los Angeles.

“These projects support the tremendous growth trajectory the university has been on for over a decade,” said Alex Kohnen, Facilities Development and Management interim vice president. “By adding these facilities, we continue to provide the necessary support to enable our faculty, staff and researchers to serve our community and our students.”

Along with new buildings, personnel improved and repaired facilities and completed critical enhancements to university buildings and common areas. Following are details about several recently completed construction projects.

Herald Examiner Building

The Herald Examiner Building, a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument constructed in 1914 for William Randolph Hearst, re-opened its doors in the heart of Downtown LA with adaptive reuse of the former newspaper-printing facility.

Interior of Harold Examiner Building

The interior of the Harald Examiner Building in Los Angeles.

The building showcases ASU’s global vision by providing students access to higher education in the area and job and internship opportunities. Major ASU programs that benefit from the Southern California location have a presence in the building:

The first floor features the historic east lobby and a special event space scaled to accommodate 250 people and associated support spaces, along with a large classroom and breakout rooms. The building’s second floor provides additional classrooms and breakout spaces.

The remaining three floors include seminar and conference rooms, entrepreneurship and innovation space, an open office, lounge areas, a local newsroom, a creative media center and two media production studios, including virtual reality and editing studios.

Fusion on First

The newly opened Fusion on First residence hall offers students a unique urban environment with cutting-edge facilities supporting the popular music and fashion industry programs on the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus.

furnished residence room inside ASU building

Student housing in Fusion on First includes a mix of four-bedroom, two-bedroom and studio apartments.

The first three floors of this 16-story, 283,000-square-foot building are dedicated to academic programs, including student entrepreneurship projects and presentations, maker labs, fashion design studios, and ensemble and individual music practice rooms.

A fully equipped, state-of-the-art recording studio was installed for the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts’ new popular music program. A food service area, which opens onto a street-level park, provides a venue for student performances.

A 13-story tower above delivers housing for 532 residents in a mix of four-bedroom, two-bedroom and studio apartments.

The unique faceted facade, along with floor-to-ceiling glazing, captures the best of the natural diffused lighting as it deflects the heat of direct sunlight. ASU has targeted the building for LEED Silver certification, as it does at minimum for all new construction projects.  

Thunderbird School of Global Management

The new headquarters for the Thunderbird School of Global Management reinforces ASU’s commitment to providing world-class educational opportunities in downtown Phoenix.

New Thunderbird building in downtown Phoenix

ASU's new Thunderbird building in downtown Phoenix.

The 111,000-square-foot facility houses graduate programs and include new classroom space of different modalities, conference rooms, faculty offices, hoteling space and ancillary support space.

The building also provides an Innovation Center, which includes virtual reality suites to prepare students for fieldwork. The rooftop features the Thunderbird Pub evoking the spirit of Thunderbird’s founding in 1946.

Durham Hall

The second phase of the Durham Hall renovation addresses maintenance issues while modernizing the space at one of ASU’s highest-use academic buildings on the Tempe campus. 

Inside of Durham Hall

Phase 2 of the Durham Hall construction includes open work areas.

A complete upgrade of the six-story, 52,000-square-foot tower was finished with new brick veneer and energy-efficient windows.

Phase 2 includes four new classrooms with advanced audiovisual technology, new office space for the School of International Letters and Cultures, open work areas, conference space and a renovated main-entry lobby with an additional elevator.

In addition to these improvements, the last phase of Durham Hall construction is scheduled to conclude in December 2021 with new east and west entries, 13 additional classrooms and landscaping and exterior improvements.

Additional capital projects

  • The Alameda Building just west of the Tempe campus underwent renovations to construct a 50,000-square-foot, high-bay warehouse. The new facility consolidates and optimizes operations for materials services, central receiving, surplus operations, mail services, managed storage and moving services, allowing for a substantial redesign of campus deliveries that will ease campus congestion.
  • The second floor of the Creativity Commons Building on the Tempe campus was renovated to include two Dreamscape Learn pods for virtual immersive learning environments, an extended reality immersive learning lab, a Dreamscape studio, fabrication and assembly space, test pods and storage rooms. The project also added new EdPlus recording studios and Black Box studio to the first floor.
  • The latest ASU outdoor classroom was constructed at the Garden Commons on the Polytechnic campus. The classroom provides the campus community with hybrid learning opportunities and a central gathering space. This outdoor pavilion is open to all and available to reserve for classes and meetings.

In addition to many capital projects, Facilities Management completed numerous infrastructure projects — electrical, paint and maintenance — on classrooms, laboratories and offices across all ASU campuses.

These projects are only part of existing ASU capital projects currently in planning, design or construction phases, including:

Learn more about ASU’s past, present and future construction projects and follow Facilities Management on Twitter at @ASUfacilities.

Top photo: The newly opened Fusion on First residence hall is located on the Downtown Phoenix campus.

Communications program coordinator , Facilities Development and Management


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ASU names 2022 Regents Professors

November 18, 2021

4 scholars honored for expertise in planetary science, education, engineering and psychology

David MacKinnon didn’t have much time to digest the news when Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow recently informed him that he was being named a Regents Professor — the most prestigious and highest faculty award possible.

“Oh wow, that’s great!” MacKinnon said. “But um … I have a class to teach in 15 minutes.”

Since then, the psychology professor has had more time to contemplate the award, and he says it has finally sunk in.

“Given the people I know who are Regents Professors, I’m humbled to be in that group,” said MacKinnon, who was one of four ASU scholars to receive the designation for next year. “I’m very proud this comes from Arizona State University, which has been my home for 32 years now.”

Considered the best and brightest scholars, Regents Professors like MacKinnon bring honor and distinction to their disciplines and are considered the top researchers that ASU has to offer. Less than 3% of all ASU faculty carry the title.

In order to receive this elite designation, they must be recognized by peers nationally and internationally. On Nov. 18, their names were submitted by Crow and quickly approved by the Arizona Board of Regents.

“Excellence and creativity drive forward our understanding of the world,” Crow said. “These newly named Regents Professors are the very best in their fields, advancing new frontiers of knowledge, exploring new ways of thinking about instruction, about interventions, about quantum chaos and about enhancing our understanding of the universe and its origins. To receive ASU’s highest honor, it is not enough to be knowledgeable, but to be a perpetually curious pioneer — this is where these scholars excel.”

Nancy Gonzales, executive vice president and university provost at ASU, also had high praise for these individuals.

“On behalf of the entire Academic Enterprise, I congratulate the four faculty members who are joining our elite community of Regents Professors this year,” Gonzales said. “Not only are they advancing new knowledge as respected leaders in their fields, but they are also dedicated educators, committed to sharing that knowledge with the students they teach and mentor. I have deep admiration for our newest Regents Professors and celebrate their achievements.”

ASU requires all nominations for Regents Professor to come from groups of tenured faculty members. An advisory committee evaluates all nominations following an established review process. Crow then considers the recommendations and forwards them to the Arizona Board of Regents for final approval.

The new Regents Professors

Lindy Elkins-Tanton – a Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She was twice named a Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences and has received an NSF CAREER Award.

Karen Harris — the Mary Emily Warner Professor of Education in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and a fellow of both the American Educational Research Association and the American Psychological Association, in which she has served leadership roles.

Ying-Cheng Lai — the ISS Endowed Professor of Electrical Engineering in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Externally, he is a member of the Science and Technology Experts Group of the National Academies of Sciences.

David MacKinnon — a Foundation Professor in the Department of Psychology in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, an inaugural fellow of the Society for Prevention Research and a fellow of association for Psychological Science and the Society for Prevention Research.

Learn more about them

Lindy Elkins-Tanton

Woman with grey hair smiling

Lindy Elkins-Tanton

Elkins-Tanton is a scholarly leader whose research directly addresses big questions on the formation and evolution of rocky planets and their habitability.

Her most significant research contributions to date include the evolution of planetesimals, the eruption of the Siberian flood basalts and the discovery that the magma ocean stages of terrestrial planet formation retain sufficient water to create habitable planets without additional water delivery.

She has also been named as the principal investigator of the NASA Psyche Mission, a $738 million project launching in 2022 that will investigate a unique body in the asteroid belt.

Karen Harris

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Karen Harris

Harris is a groundbreaking scholar who has transformed contemporary notions of writing instruction. She is regarded as the international authority on integrating theoretical perspectives and research in the domain of writing, best known for developing and co-researching the Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) model of instruction for both special and general education.

Throughout her teaching and research career she has chosen to work in highly diverse schools in low-income areas due to her commitment to improving teaching and learning for all students.

Harris also has authored 14 books and more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, which have been cited approximately 30,000 times. Her work and that of her colleagues have generated $23.5 million in research funding.

Ying-Cheng Lai

Man smiling with glasses

Ying-Cheng Lai

One of the world’s most influential and innovative researchers in nonlinear dynamics and complex systems, Lai focuses on relativistic quantum chaos, an interdisciplinary field that he pioneered at the boundaries of three branches of theoretical physics: quantum mechanics, relativity and chaos theory.

Another major achievement is his development of methods to modulate quantum transport in nanoscale devices.

In all, Lai has more than 500 referenced journal articles with over 26,000 citations and has secured over $12 million in federal funding. Additionally, he has graduated 22 PhD students and numerous master’s degree students and has mentored more than a dozen postdoctoral fellows.

David MacKinnon

Man in grey shirt smiling

David MacKinnon

MacKinnon is globally recognized as a leader in quantitative psychology, specifically quantitative methods in prevention and intervention science. His quantitative approaches have empowered scientists across a host of disciplines to move beyond determining whether their interventions affect an outcome of interest to ascertain how such effects come to be. He has also applied these approaches to develop and refine interventions that address some of the most pressing issues of modern times, including the prevention of adolescent drug abuse.

His research also has had major impacts on fields ranging from health to marketing and from dentistry to engineering.

MacKinnon has published more than 200 articles, chapters and books that have been cited more than 57,000 times. His research has been continually funded since 1990 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Top photo: A view of Old Main on ASU's Tempe campus. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU News

Reporter , ASU News


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Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced as founding director of The Sidney Poitier New American Film School at ASU

November 16, 2021

Former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences brings well-earned practical advice and leadership to the position

Arizona State University has added another well-known name to its newly established film school. Highly respected American film marketing and public relations executive Cheryl Boone Isaacs will lead The Sidney Poitier New American Film School as its founding director.

Boone Isaacs will assume the directorship of the three-campus film school starting on Jan. 1, 2022. She will lead from the ASU California Center as well as from Tempe and from Mesa, which will be home to a 118,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art film and immersive media center.

Peter Murrieta, who has served as director-in-residence, will continue in a leadership role supporting engagement and outreach efforts.

Cheryl Boone Isaacs headshot

Cheryl Boone Isaacs, former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is the new director of ASU's Sidney Poitier New American Film School.

With her decades on the front lines of the film industry, Boone Isaacs brings well-earned practical advice and leadership to ASU and The Sidney Poitier New American Film School. She has worked on more than 300 movies and served four terms as president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. During her 24 years as a board member, she served as president of the Academy Foundation and produced the academy’s 2012 Governors Awards.

In January 2016, one year after the #OscarsSoWhite movement, all 20 Oscar nominations in the acting categories went to white performers — again. Boone Isaacs called an emergency meeting of the academy’s board of governors. At that meeting, the group approved sweeping and ambitious changes with the A2020 initiative, including the goal of doubling the number of women and ethnically underrepresented members in four years.

The academy had already been working toward increasing diversity and inclusion, Boone Isaacs told The New York Times in a 2020 oral history of #OscarsSoWhite, “but we went from first to fourth gear.”

“The academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” Boone Isaacs said at the time. Spike Lee told the New York Times, “Cheryl Boone Isaacs really made it her mission to open things up so that the voting body looked more like America.”

Boone Isaacs said she is drawn to ASU because of its emphasis on “representation, and the idea of inclusion, not exclusion.”

“Sidney Poitier — the man, the icon, the legend — is my North Star who exemplifies determination, passion, professionalism and excellence,” Boone Isaacs said. “I am honored to be part of his legacy and to impart his ethos to future generations of storytellers.”

Steven J. Tepper, dean and director of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, said, “Cheryl Boone Isaacs has built her extraordinary career championing — and exemplifying — two of the primary things The Sidney Poitier New American Film School stands for: inclusion and excellence. Cheryl is one of the most respected leaders in Hollywood, and she fully understands its operating system — making her the perfect person to build a school that can help disrupt both film education and the industries it serves.”  

Boone Isaacs is looking forward to building the newly established film school with an eye to the future, with the goal of empowering visual storytellers across entertainment platforms.

“The world of storytelling, and certainly visual storytelling, is really taking off,” she told an audience in the 2018 IPR Distinguished Lecture. “I'm not sure any of us really understand how much it's going to impact ... so many different platforms by which these expressions can be seen and shared with others.” 

Boone Isaacs got excited about working in film when she was very young, thanks to her older brother, Ashley, who worked in the industry. Boone Isaacs and her family would drive from their home in Springfield, Massachusetts, to New York City for the big movie openings, including 1961’s “West Side Story.”

“He was the coolest guy ever,” Boone Isaacs said of Ashley, who began his career as a junior film publicist, promoting movies to audiences overseas. One of those movies was 1963’s “Lilies of the Field,” which starred Poitier in an Oscar-winning performance.

Ashley Boone would go on to work for Poitier’s production company, before landing at 20th Century Fox in 1972, where he became the president of distribution and marketing. Along the way, among his many achievements, he played a critical role in the launch and success of “Star Wars” and oversaw the midnight showings that turned “Rocky Horror Picture Show” into a cult hit.

It was through her brother that Boone Isaacs first met Poitier, in the late '60s.

“He was such a striking figure,” she recalled. “And he was very kind and sincere.”

Their paths would cross again through Boone Isaacs’ work with the academy. She served as president of the organization from 2013–17, the first Black person, first person of color and third woman elected to the post.

Boone Isaacs’ path to the film industry was not direct. After graduating from Whittier College with a degree in political science, she became a flight attendant for Pan American World Airways. She’d fallen in love with traveling her junior year abroad, in Copenhagen, Denmark: “I discovered I had such an interest in how other people existed on the planet, whether it was through art, architecture, language — all of it, how different it was.”

When she was 25, she moved to Los Angeles to find a job in the film industry. Ashley was not “for it,” Boone Isaacs said.

“He knew how tough it was in the industry as a Black man and how tough it would be for me as a Black woman, when there were only a few women and few people of color behind the scenes at the time,” she said.

In the end, her brother did help her, indirectly: “He helped me because he had a great reputation. Barry Lorie at Columbia Pictures asked me if I was related to Ashley, and I said, ‘Yes, he’s my brother,’ and he said, ‘OK, you’re hired.’” 

At Columbia, she served on the publicity team for Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” The following year, she was hired as coordinator of marketing and publicity at Melvin Simon Productions, where she worked for five years and rose to become vice president of worldwide advertising and publicity. 

In 1983, Boone Isaacs was named director of advertising and publicity for the Ladd Company, where she worked on films such as “Once Upon a Time in America,” “The Right Stuff” and the box-office hit “Police Academy.” In 1984, she was named director of West Coast publicity and promotion for Paramount Pictures. She went on to lead the worldwide publicity department as executive vice president for Paramount and orchestrated the marketing campaigns for Academy Award Best Picture winners “Forrest Gump” and “Braveheart.” 

“When I first started (in the film industry), I said to myself, You’re going to put your head down for 10 years and work hard, and in 10 years you’re going to look up to see if you’ve advanced. It’s a fast business — a lot of egos, a lot of money. You earn respect, you earn advancement. I spent 13 years at Paramount moving up, moving up. I got passed over a few times. I don’t forget, but I don’t hold a grudge. I just thought, ‘Keep plugging.’”

In 1997, Boone Isaacs was named president of theatrical marketing for New Line Cinema. She was the first African American woman to head a studio marketing department, and only the second African American to do so: The first was her brother, Ashley, 20 years before her.

At New Line, Boone Isaacs developed and executed the campaigns for such films as “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me,” the company’s highest-grossing film at that time; “The Wedding Singer”; “Rush Hour”; and such critically acclaimed motion pictures as “Wag the Dog,” “Boogie Nights” and “American History X.”

In 2000, she founded her own company, CBI Enterprises Inc., and worked on publicity for “The King's Speech” and “The Artist.” She has also consulted on marketing efforts for such films as “The Call,” “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” “Spider-Man 2” and “Tupac: Resurrection.”

In 2014, Boone Isaacs was inducted into the NAACP Hall of Fame. She has served as a trustee of the American Film Institute and holds honorary doctorate degrees from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the Chapman University Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.

Teaching and mentoring hold a special place for Boone Isaacs. She is an adjunct professor at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University and previously served as a filmmaker-in-residence for Chapman. She was an adjunct professor at USC Cinema and Television School’s Peter Stark Producing Program, Columbia College Chicago and Mount Saint Mary’s College. She has been a guest lecturer at the University of Southern California, UCLA, Harvard’s Kennedy School, Loyola Marymount, Bryn Mawr Film Festival, Soka University of America, Dubai International Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Singapore Film Festival and Korea’s Busan International Film Festival.  

In particular, Boone Isaacs aims to help students gain an understanding of the size of the industry and the many levels within it.

“What students usually know is actor, director, writer,” Boone Isaacs said. “It’s important to understand the industry and how many career possibilities there are inside of it — and then the support group that surrounds it. Depending on your attitude, your aptitude, your desire, the range is wide.”

Top photo by Marina Razumovskaya/iStock

Deborah Sussman

Communications and media specialist , Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts


W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU names new dean

Ohad Kadan to join the school in July 2022

November 15, 2021

Following an intensive national search process, Arizona State University has announced Ohad Kadan as the new dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business, effective July 1, 2022.

Kadan is currently serving as the vice dean for education and globalization and as the H. Frederick Hagemann Jr. Professor of Finance at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. Ohad Kadan, Vice Dean for Education and Globalization and the H. Frederick Hagemann Jr. Professor of Finance at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis Ohad Kadan is the new dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business, effective July 1, 2022. Download Full Image

“I am thrilled to be joining W. P. Carey and ASU, and am looking forward to the continued growth of an already outstanding school,” Kadan said. “One of the things that most excites me about W. P. Carey is our commitment to inclusive access to world-class business education.”

Kadan joins the W. P. Carey School during a crucial period for higher education.

“W. P. Carey prides itself on channeling ASU’s spirit of innovation and rethinking what’s next in business education,” he said. “I am excited to lead the school into emerging areas, while never losing sight of our commitment to student success and cutting-edge research.”

In his current role, Kadan oversees the Olin Business School’s undergraduate, graduate and global programs, as well as Olin’s Center for Digital Education. An award-winning researcher and educator, his research covers different aspects of liquidity, information, risk and incentives in financial markets, and his work regularly appears in top academic journals in his field. As vice dean, he has spearheaded the introduction of multiple innovative programs with an emphasis on values, data, global orientation and multidisciplinary collaboration. Kadan holds a PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

He takes over the role from interim Dean Amy Ostrom, a professor of marketing and the PetSmart Chair in Services Leadership.

“It has been an honor to serve the school through this period of transition, and I am equally honored to hand the reins over to Ohad," Ostrom said. "He will be an excellent steward of our school, pushing us to achieve new heights while staying committed to our values of excellence, integrity, impact and community.”

Ostrom has served as interim dean since January 2021.

As interim dean, Ostrom succeeded Amy Hillman, who had served as dean since 2013. Hillman, the Rusty Lyon Chair of Strategy and an ASU Foundation Professor, remains on faculty in the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship. Hillman led the W. P. Carey School through a period of tremendous growth, including the addition of McCord Hall, the launch or reconceptualization of 20 new academic programs and a tripling in the number of U.S. News-ranked programs and disciplines.

The W. P. Carey School has continued this pace of growth — increasing enrollment by 8% in fall 2021 — and offering new degrees in Los Angeles at the ASU California Center.

“W. P. Carey is already leading business education into new frontiers. I’m honored to join that movement and continue to guide the school through a period of educational transformation,” Kadan said.

Shay Moser

Managing Editor, W. P. Carey School of Business


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Valley leaders unite to make Maricopa County more resilient

November 10, 2021

New council will advance solutions to short- and long-term stresses

Arizona State University today convened the inaugural meeting of the Council of Resilience Leaders, its latest effort to advance resilience-promoting strategies as communities in Arizona and around the world search for answers to complex issues from climate change to economic, health and social inequities.

The newly formed council comprises 14 influential and diverse leaders from the public, private, nonprofit and advocacy sectors. The group will work together to support ASU’s Knowledge Exchange for Resilience in its mission to leverage the university's intellectual resources and partners to build Maricopa County’s capacity to withstand future shocks and stresses.

Arizona is experiencing rapid changes in the demand for health care and education, economic expansion, and social and environmental evolution, and as 2020 showed us, we can’t wait around for answers,” ASU President Michael Crow said. “Now more than ever, we need to work together as leaders to address the multifaceted challenges confronting our state and find better ways to ensure the overall well-being and prosperity of the communities we serve.”

The city of Phoenix, Maricopa Association of Governments, Salt River Project, Arizona Public Service, AARP, Greater Phoenix Leadership, Chicanos Por La Causa, Black Chamber of Arizona, Wildfire, Intertribal Council of Arizona, State of Black Arizona, Children’s Action Alliance, The Arizona Republic and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce were among the organizations represented at today’s gathering at Mirabella at ASU in downtown Tempe. 

The council is one of several resilience-building initiatives supporting the Knowledge Exchange for Resilience, which launched in 2018 with a $15 million grant from the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. Other recent endeavors include the Resilience Fellows, who conduct individual and collaborative research on resilience themes, and the Recognition of Resilience, which honors local entities for their innovative and inspirational efforts to strengthen community resilience.

Additional information about the Knowledge Exchange for Resilience and the council’s membership is available at

ASU’s continued work to strengthen local resilience is another example of its ongoing, institutional commitment to take fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.

Top photo by Sean Pavone/iStock

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Matthew Hulver joins ASU as vice president of research

November 9, 2021

Advancing a major research enterprise dedicated to solving the world’s toughest challenges requires both visionary leadership and a solid understanding of the complex operations that keep labs safe, funds flowing and equipment humming. Matthew Hulver will bring both to Arizona State University when he joins the Knowledge Enterprise as vice president of research on Dec. 6.

Hulver is currently executive director of the Fralin Life Sciences Institute at Virginia Tech, which is dedicated to improving the human condition by supporting innovative environmental and life sciences research, education and outreach. He is also a professor in human nutrition, foods and exercise and a scientist who has studied the adaptation of human metabolism in response to changes in diet and physical activity.

Hulver says he chose to accept the position at ASU because its charter provides clarity of purpose and a call to action.

“ASU is focused on solving the world’s grand challenges and educating at scale — and doing it with excellence. It’s exciting to be part of it,” he said.

Hulver’s broad academic and leadership experience was a key factor in his selection. He has served as executive director of a major research institute, assistant dean, department head, animal care and use committee chair, graduate program director and tenured faculty member. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed publications, taught undergraduate- and graduate-level classes, and mentored dozens of student dissertations and theses.

“The diversity of Matt’s experience will allow him to excel in this role. He has real boots-on-the-ground experience both as a researcher and a leader,” said Sally C. Morton, executive vice president of ASU Knowledge Enterprise. “He is also an energetic, thoughtful intellect.”

As vice president of research, Hulver will be responsible for identifying and deploying strategies to grow and diversify ASU’s research enterprise, which is one of the fastest growing in the nation. He will collaborate closely with colleges, schools and departments to support their ongoing research and develop plans for the future. He will also hold a faculty appointment in the College of Health Solutions.

“There are a lot of processes that are necessary to run a research enterprise, from sponsored projects to regulatory compliance to core facilities,” Hulver said. “How can I help scale up this already robust organization to meet our ambitious goals for the future? I want to eliminate barriers so that our faculty and staff can focus on what they do best.” 

Neal Woodbury has been serving in both the vice president for research and chief science and technology officer roles.

“I am extraordinarily grateful to Neal for stepping up and taking on multiple roles,” Morton said. “The continued growth and impact of our research enterprise — even during a pandemic — is evidence of his inspiring and tireless leadership.”

Woodbury will focus on his role as chief science and technology officer, charting a long-term, pan-university vision for ASU research. He will work closely with Hulver and Morton to move the university toward its goal of expanding the research enterprise and its value to the communities it serves.

“We have a responsibility to our faculty, our students, our state and our global community to advance discovery that serves the public good,” Morton said. “We have an exemplary team to fulfill that responsibility, and I am excited to work together to accelerate our positive impact.”

Director , Knowledge Enterprise Development


ASU Biodesign Clinical Testing Laboratory receives coveted CAP accreditation

November 3, 2021

The Biodesign Clinical Testing Laboratory at Arizona State University has received accreditation from the College of American Pathologists (CAP), the nation’s largest organization of board-certified pathologists.

The CAP Accreditation Committee has awarded accreditation based on results of rigorous onsite inspection as part of the CAP’s accreditation programs. Scientists wearing personal protective equipment in the Biodesign Clinical Testing Laboratory at Arizona State University. Joshua LaBaer (front) pictured with colleagues from the Clinical Testing Laboratory. LaBaer is the director of the laboratory as well as executive director of the Biodesign Institute and director of the Biodesign Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics. Photo by Andy DeLisle. Download Full Image

Since the start of the pandemic, the Biodesign Institute at ASU has dedicated its specialized resources to mass testing for COVID-19 and sequencing genomes of the viral pathogen SARS CoV-2.

On Oct. 8, ASU announced the lab’s milestone of 1 million COVID-19 tests. The prestigious accreditation is the latest benchmark of excellence for the clinical testing lab, which has played a vital role in COVID-19 surveillance across the state, including in underserved communities.

Carolyn C. Compton, the facility’s director, was advised of this national recognition and congratulated the lab for the excellence of the services being provided.

“CAP accreditation is widely recognized as the highest bar for a clinical laboratory and signifies excellence on all levels. It is not easily attained for any laboratory,” Compton said. “I am especially proud that the (ASU Biodesign Clinical Testing Laboratory) was able to achieve this while under the duress of an international pandemic.”

Compton, board-certified in both anatomic and clinical pathology, is a professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences.

Carolyn C. Compton

The ASU Biodesign Clinical Testing Laboratory (ABCTL) is one of more than 8,000 CAP-accredited facilities worldwide. The U.S. government recognizes the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program, begun in the early 1960s, as being equal to or more stringent than the government’s own inspection program.

During the CAP accreditation process, designed to ensure the highest standard of care for all laboratory patients, inspectors examine the laboratory’s records and quality control of procedures for the preceding two years. CAP inspectors also examine laboratory staff qualifications, equipment, facilities, the lab’s safety program and record, and overall management.

“It is deeply gratifying to see the hard work and dedication of all involved in the clinical testing lab recognized with this important accreditation,” said Joshua LaBaer, executive director of the Biodesign Institute and director of the Biodesign Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics. “The accreditation helps us continue the outstanding services we provide in terms of statewide COVID-19 surveillance, as well as expand our laboratory operations to address other threats to public health.”

The Biodesign Clinical Testing Laboratory had already been certified by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, or CLIA, designed to ensure quality handling and testing of diagnostic samples. CLIA is administered through the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each agency plays a specific role in ensuring quality laboratory testing. The new CAP accreditation further solidifies the clinical lab’s standing as a facility of excellence.

The Biodesign Clinical Testing Laboratory was the first in the West and in the state of Arizona to offer saliva-based testing for COVID-19. This less invasive method provides highly accurate results, is less labor-intensive and requires fewer medical personnel.

The lab’s web-based portal and case tracking system has provided a streamlined system for COVID-19 monitoring, with extremely rapid turnaround times from sample submission to diagnosis, an essential requirement for the tracking of the rapidly evolving pandemic. 

Vel Murugan stands in front of the ASU Biodesign Clinical Testing Laboratory. Murugan is program and technical director of the Clinical Testing Lab and associate research professor at the Biodesign Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics. Photo by Andy DeLisle/ASU

“When we started ABCTL, our goal was to setup a CLIA laboratory that meets and exceeds CLIA regulatory requirements,” said Vel Murugan, associate director of research and an associate research professor at the Biodesign Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics. “Accreditation by CAP is an attestation to ABCTL’s quality laboratory practices and the integrity of the results that we generate. We aim to continuously demonstrate excellence in laboratory practices.”

The newly CAP-accredited clinical testing lab is the first of its kind at ASU and fulfills the university’s ambitions to apply leading-edge science in the service of the community and its well-being.

As the world's largest organization of board-certified pathologists and leading provider of laboratory accreditation and proficiency testing programs, CAP serves patients, pathologists and the public by fostering and advocating excellence in the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine worldwide. Find more information at 

Richard Harth

Science writer, Biodesign Institute at ASU


ASU joins Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning to better prepare future faculty

ASU graduate students and postdocs can access CIRTL certifications, online classes and workshops to improve their teaching skills

November 1, 2021

The ASU Graduate College has announced that Arizona State University is now a member institution of the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning Network. The CIRTL Network seeks to develop a national faculty by engaging graduate students committed to enhancing excellence in undergraduate education through effective teaching practices for diverse learners.

CIRTL was founded in 2003 as a National Science Foundation Center for Learning and Teaching in higher education. The core ideas of the network are to provide professional development graduate training through diversity, teaching as research, and learning communities. Download Full Image

ASU joins 42 other member research universities, including the University of Arizona, Yale, Stanford, UCLA, Penn State and Caltech, among others.

“The Graduate College shares CIRTL’s mission to support and better serve the professional development needs of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars,” said Elizabeth A. Wentz, vice provost and dean of the Graduate College. “We are excited about adding CIRTL offerings to our professional development resources for future faculty.”

All CIRTL Network member institutions collaborate to learn and share strategies for building local learning communities in support of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. 

“Universities don’t always do a great job of teaching graduate students and postdocs how to teach, which is often a crucial part of a successful career as a faculty member,” said Tamara Underiner, associate dean of professional development and engagement in the Graduate College. “We joined CIRTL precisely to help fill that gap.”

CIRTL offers a wide range of online programming. A variety of credit-bearing and non-credit-bearing classes are available for graduate students and postdocs, both via the national network and through offerings specific to the ASU community. Some of CIRTL’s core classes include: "Diversity in the College Classroom," "Teaching with Technology" and "Research Mentor Training."

CIRTL's workshops give graduate students and postdocs an opportunity to develop a specific material or set of materials to help advance their career development, such as writing a teaching philosophy or CV. Participants can also join online learning communities that cover a range of topics.

Get certified with CIRTL

All members of the ASU Community are welcome to participate in any of the free ASU/CIRTL offerings. Additionally, graduate students and postdocs wishing to become certified by CIRTL may do so at three tiered levels — associate, practitioner and scholar — representing certain benchmark achievements.

“Once you’re certified for any one of those levels and then apply for a job at another of the 42 CIRTL member institutions, they recognize that as a sign that you have given serious thought to pedagogy and teaching in your discipline,” Underiner said.

Learn more about CIRTL certifications.  

Get your CIRTL account

Through CIRTL membership, graduate students and postdocs have expanded opportunities for future faculty preparation, are able to connect with a national network of future and current faculty, and learn more about evidence-based research and teaching as research.

Interested ASU graduate students, postdocs and faculty should create a CIRTL Network account

The Graduate College will be offering information sessions for graduate students, postdocs and faculty in the spring.

Written by Jenna Nabors

ASU Foundation now accepting cryptocurrency gifts

November 1, 2021

The ASU Foundation for A New American University is now accepting cryptocurrency options as a philanthropic payment method.

The nonprofit fundraising arm of Arizona State University can accept more than 90 different cryptocurrencies from donors, which will enable them to connect with a broader range of donors. Image of five coins displaying Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin with red jagged chart behind them Stock image of Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin, three of the more than 90 cryptocurrencies the ASU Foundation will now accept as gifts.

"We recognize that millennials and Gen Zers, some of which are ASU alumni, want to be able to facilitate gifts in the form of cryptocurrency," said Samuel Michalove, director of investment strategy and portfolio management for ASU Enterprise Partners, parent organization to the ASU Foundation. "We're open for business and want to be able to engage in a new way with individuals and facilitate the ways they want to give."

ASU donors could already give through a variety of options beyond cash, including stocks, bonds, fine art, real estate, closely held companies and life insurance. The additional giving option enables the foundation to accept assets donors have and want to give.

“We have to be forward-thinking about alumni and new ways in which we can engage with them," said Jazmin Medina, ’09 BS, principal of NewView Capital and ASU Foundation's Next Generation Council member. "This is what we strive to do as members of the Next Gen Council — find meaningful ways to connect with alumni and to make their experience donating as seamless and easy as possible."

The Next Generation Council was instrumental in adding cryptocurrency options. Members are successful entrepreneurial alumni who graduated since 2002 and are looking to create ways for fellow alumni to engage in meaningful ways.

"Crypto has changed the world in so many ways since I bought my first Bitcoin a decade ago," said Daniel McAuley, ’09 BS, data scientist for Instagram and a member of the Next Generation Council. "Making it easy for alumni to donate their crypto wealth will help the ASU Foundation to continue that trend. I also think it's a strong signal to younger alumni that ASU sees where the world is going and can be entrusted to put their capital to work in shaping it."

When donors give cryptocurrency to the ASU Foundation to support ASU students, research and programs, the currency is transferred through Coinbase, a third party that facilitates the transfer on behalf of the foundation. The foundation acknowledges the currency and quantity of the currency that transferred.

Cryptocurrency is treated as a property asset under Internal Revenue Services tax code. There are some suggestions that it is like publicly traded stock, which is also property under the IRS guidelines; however, when it comes to tax deductions, it is more like real estate, art or privately held companies, said Brian Nielson, estate and planned gift adviser for the ASU Foundation.

"The amount and how and when it was acquired all affect the potential deduction and documentation requirements," he said. "Because it is a new type of asset, the laws and IRS forms haven’t fully caught up. The foundation can help navigate the requirements for donors who would want a charitable tax deduction."

Other benefits may include a reduction in capital gains taxes.

"Like publicly traded stock, donors can potentially avoid paying capital gains taxes if their cryptocurrency was acquired as an investment, has been held for more than a year and is donated as cryptocurrency directly to a charitable organization such as the ASU Foundation," Nielson said.

Cryptocurrency is not widely used for settling transactions that can be settled by other means, said Dragan Boscovic, ASU computer science professor and director of the Blockchain Research Lab.

"People are still very used to using credit cards, sending wires or just paying in cash. Nevertheless, there are certain benefits to paying by cryptocurrency," he said. "It's more instantaneous, you do not pay a high transaction fee and it's used globally so you don't have to exchange your dollars to make international payments."

Accepting cryptocurrency for philanthropy purposes may lead to other partnerships for ASU that would enable the university to participate in a blockchain network and receive utility tokens in exchange for participating in various network activities, Boscovic said.

Michelle Stermole

Director of communications, ASU Enterprise Partners


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ASU employees honored with President's Awards for social embeddedness, innovation

ASU honors employees' civic-education, pandemic-relief initiatives.
October 26, 2021

Civics education, pandemic-relief initiatives awarded

Arizona State University President Michael Crow honored staff and faculty members during the 2021 President’s Recognition Ceremony on Tuesday.

The annual event recognizes collaborative initiatives that have demonstrated excellence in advancing the university’s mission: the President's Award for Innovation, which went to two programs, and the President’s Medal for Social Embeddedness, which went to three programs this year.

Individual employees were also honored with Serving University Needs (SUN) Awards, which are decided by peers.

President’s Award for Innovation awardees

NatureMaker, a nature-based, applied-learning library created by the Biomimicry Center and the Library of ASU.

NatureMaker offers artifacts such as feathers, shells, skeletons, insects, dried plants and seeds, tools for visualizing natural phenomena — including microscopes, 3D scanners, binoculars, field kits and magnifying lenses — and books on topics such as biomechanics, natural history and up-close photography of objects drawn from nature. Crow said that libraries are vital to fighting the misinformation found on the internet.

“The fact that you’re able to take this and enhance our understanding of where we are in time and space is fantastic," he said. "What we need is curation and intellectual context, and that’s what you guys provide.”

Beetle collection

The bio-inspired NatureMaker space in the Biomimicry Center features scores of beetle samples. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

Study Hall, a YouTube channel that reached more than 1 million learners during its first year with entertaining concepts that prepare learners for college success. Students can learn how to navigate college, explore majors and get an early start on foundational knowledge. The initiative is a collaboration among many units, including Crash Course, developed by EdPlus with Hank and John Green.

Crow said: "This project is exemplary of the way ASU is going. Whatever barriers there were in the past to accessing the institution – we are moving those barriers, and this is a fabulous, scalable innovation.”

Illustration of person reading a chemistry book

Screenshot from a Study Hall video on YouTube.

President’s Medal for Social Embeddedness awardees

The Guadalupe COVID-19 Community Response Team, which provides culturally tailored health education and prevention to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The team spends one day a week on food distribution and two others helping coronavirus victims and reaching out to isolated individuals. Student volunteers assist with case investigations, contact tracing, delivering supplies and assessing needs.

The effort, which began after ASU researchers found high levels of the COVID-19 wastewater in the community, is a collaboration among ASU, the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, Native Health Inc., the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at ASU, the Student Outbreak Response Team, the town of Guadalupe and Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. Crow praised the effort as an effective way of leveraging the university’s resources at the community level.

“It was extremely difficult for us to find communities that were willing to work in a way that took the things we could build and turn them into real tools,” he said. “Your work helps lay the foundation to help us figure out how to work and be engaged with other communities.”

Megan Jehn at a Guadalupe food drive in August 2020

Associate Professor Megan Jehn helps distribute food at a community food drive in Guadalupe on Aug. 4, 2020. The weekly event is part of the Guadalupe COVID-19 Community Response Team's work supporting community health in the town. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

School Participatory Budgeting, a civic learning program implemented in 47 Arizona K–12 schools. The program teaches democracy by empowering students to develop proposals and vote on a proposal to implement on their campus. The program was created by the ASU Participatory Governance Initiative, the Center for the Future of Arizona, the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, the Arizona Development Disabilities Planning Council and several school districts.

Crow said: “This project is fantastic because it’s worked at multiple schools and created this opportunity to teach civics by doing it and making decisions by participating in the process and deciding how real resources are allocated.”

cover of Participatory Budgeting toolkit

The toolkit has been implemented in 47 Arizona K–12 schools.

Thrive in the 05, an initiative to develop community solutions to solve complex social problems through partnerships and research in Tucson. The initiative is named after the 85705 ZIP code, a 2.5-square-mile area near the city’s urban core that includes Tucson House, a public housing high-rise, and Old Pascua, a community of the Pascua Yaqui tribe. Thrive in the 05 pivoted during the pandemic to offer a helpline, care boxes of household and personal supplies and wellness checks of vulnerable residents.

The program is a collaboration among ASU’s Office of Community Health, Engagement and Resiliency; Chicanos Por La Causa; the city of Tucson; the Pascua Yaqui Tribe; Pima Community College; Pima County Health Department; the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at ASU and the Tucson House residence.

“You helped to build resilience capacity," Crow said. "You made it work during a very complex moment. This is not the last complex moment – this is the latest complex moment.”

Thrive in the 05, volunteers, care bags, drive through, distribution, ASU, School of Social Work

Volunteers for the School of Social Work's Thrive in the 05 initiative hand out care bags to Tucson residents. Photo courtesy of School of Social Work

SUN Award winners

Derek Keith, a senior coordinator with University Academic Success Programs at the Polytechnic campus, where he supervises tutors and staff in the writing center.

Crow said: “You have to master writing as your main form of expression to be a college graduate. Thank you for taking that on.”

Valerie Keim, a senior grant and contract officer in the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects Administration on the Tempe campus, who was honored for her diplomacy and resourcefulness when dealing with complicated contracts. Crow said her work in helping faculty to apply for proposals is vital, especially when there are missed deadlines.

“We ask our faculty to do so many things, and you put together a team to help them have an easy way to submit a proposal," Crow said "They’re putting their life’s work in that proposal.”

Maureen McCoy, a senior nutrition lecturer in the food and nutrition entrepreneurship degree program in the College of Health Solutions at the Downtown Phoenix campus, where she is the faculty adviser for the Pitchfork Pantry and researches food equity and insecurity.

Crow said the nutrition program “is one of the only ways we can get to equitable health outcomes.”

Jenna Graham, a senior management research analyst in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences on the West campus.

Crow said: “The New College is a tough assignment because it’s new and it’s different from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Finding a way to communicate that and find and keep students and make that college thrive is a tough assignment.”

cards with bios on them

Bios of the SUN Award winners and a President's Award for Innovation are on display at the 2021 President’s Recognition Ceremony in the Carson Ballroom in Old Main on the Tempe campus on Oct. 26.

Top photo: ASU President Michael Crow addresses members of NatureMaker, one of the winners of the President's Medal for Innovation, at the 2021 President’s Recognition Ceremony on Oct. 26. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

Mary Beth Faller

Reporter , ASU News