ASU Graduate College announces 2020–21 Outstanding Faculty Mentors

February 16, 2021

On Feb. 22, four ASU graduate professors will be awarded the Graduate College’s Outstanding Faculty Mentor award — a 33-year old tradition in which the Graduate College recognizes the impact that faculty members have on their students through mentorship.   

Mentors are essential to the success of graduate students in both their academic pursuits and their professional careers, and faculty mentorship is one of the most important elements of the job of graduate faculty — and can be one of the most rewarding. asu-graduate-college-outstanding-faculty-mentor-awards-2020-21 Download Full Image

The Outstanding Faculty Mentor Awards mentors are given to all levels of faculty — tenured, tenure-track, non-tenure-track clinical, instructional and postdoctoral advisers — and are initiated by their graduate student and postdoctoral mentees.

Faculty mentors become “outstanding” when they invest time and effort into their mentees, offer personal support in addition to being an academic and professional resource and when they expand the knowledge, opportunities and capabilities of their students.

This year's awardees will be recognized at the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Awards reception at 1 p.m. Feb. 22.  

2020–21 Outstanding Faculty Mentors

Leah Doane: Associate professor and developmental area head, Department of Psychology

Leah Doane “wears many hats” within ASU’s Department of Psychology, according to her student nominators. 

In addition to serving as an associate professor and developmental area head, she is the lab director for the Adolescent Stress and Emotion Lab and a co-principal investigator for multiple research projects.  

Doane is the proud mentor of nine current and former doctoral students and over 300 current and former undergraduate research assistants.

While she juggles all these roles, Doane “still makes it a priority to provide both quality and quantity mentoring to each of her students by holding weekly one-on-one meetings,” according to Jeri Sasser, one of the PhD students who nominated Doane for this award. 

When Sasser’s original mentor retired unexpectedly during her freshman year, Doane provided her guidance, options and “emphasized the support I had from her and the department as a whole,” Sasser wrote in her nomination.

Sasser later asked Doane if she would take her on as her mentee. 

“She didn’t hesitate to say yes,” Sasser wrote. “Dr. Doane turned what should have been a devastating experience for a first-year student into the best situation I could have asked for. And she did so without hesitating.”

Mentoring students such as Sasser is a central focus of Doane’s role as an academic. 

“Much of my enthusiasm for research and scholarship comes from my lab community and the mentoring relationships I have with students in my lab, and beyond,” Doane wrote. “Mentoring is at the core of my academic identity as I believe that training and promoting emerging scientists is the best way to bring about discovery and change.”

Kristin Hunt: Associate professor, School of Music, Dance and Theatre

Kristin Hunt is an artist and scholar working in many fields such as theater, performance studies and drama-based pedagogy. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the performing arts, negatively affecting many of Hunt’s students. 

In their written nominations, several of Hunt’s mentees praise the patience, flexibility and encouragement Hunt showed them when classes were moved online and when quarantine kept them at home. 

“As the chair for my applied project this year, Kristin has been doing a great job helping me navigate the difficulties of planning a community performance event in light of current social distancing restrictions,” wrote Jillian Johnson, a master’s degree student studying theater for youth under Hunt. “She has encouraged me to stay positive and to trust that I can make needed changes and accommodations when the time arises.”

Additionally, her students admire that she encourages them to turn their love of art into research and, eventually, careers. 

“Dr. Hunt has taken the time and care to help me think through the ways in which my seemingly ‘extracurricular’ activities can exist within my academic goals and interests, opening up a whole new way of thinking about my work as an artist and a researcher,” wrote Allison St. John, another of Hunt’s theater for youth students. 

Hunt says her mentoring method is “simple in theory and nuanced in practice.”

“Over many years of our work together I continually listen, learn and reflect upon the ways in which I can best support each student’s intellectual and creative agendas,” she wrote. “This work is time-consuming and challenging, but it is also one of the greatest pleasures of being an educator.”

Kevin Wright: Associate professor and director of Center for Correctional Solutions, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Kevin Wright has developed numerous courses and programs at ASU and within the Center for Correctional Solutions in order to enhance the lives of people living and working within our correctional system. 

Wright believes incarceration can be reimagined as an opportunity to repair harm, empower people and promote public safety. By involving his students in this mission, he hopes to enhance their lives through empowerment, deliberate practice and service to others.

According to several of his student nominators, Wright is caring, inclusive, dedicated and concerned for and considerate of the personal lives of his students.

When PhD student Danielle Haverkate was dealing with a tough separation and relocation, Wright “made sure to consistently check in on me, provide support for my academic duties, and also give practical advice and support when it was needed.”

Additionally, Wright listens with respect to all ideas and opinions.

“Kevin recognizes and respects the opinion of others, regardless of their gender, race/ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation or criminal record,” Haverkate wrote. “He is open to hearing the ideas of all of his students and is consistently interested in important discussions revolving around our individual experiences and perspectives.”

Finally, Wright is attentive and involved in the work of his mentees.

“Dr. Wright shows up to every conference presentation his students give,” wrote Caitlin Matekel, another of Wright’s students. “He sends notes of congratulations for achievements big and small. He leads by example and lives mentorship in all he does.”

For Wright, mentorship is not optional; being a mentor to his students is a requirement. 

“I believe that the professional development of students should be a baseline responsibility for faculty and that true mentoring takes shape in providing the support and encouragement for students to create meaningful futures for themselves,” Wright wrote. 

Kelin Whipple: Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration

Kelin Whipple has been a professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration for 15 years. His research is focused on the activity of the earth’s tectonic plates and how this activity is related to climate change.

Whipple is a knowledgeable and involved mentor in this field, according to Anna Grau Galofre, a postdoctoral exploration fellow in the School of Earth and Space Exploration. 

Whipple has assisted Grau Galofre in many of her postdoctoral projects and his help “has been key to my academic and professional development,” she said. 

However, it is not his academic or professional assistance that has been most impactful for Grau Galofre. Instead, it is Whipple’s commitment to inclusivity and his cultural awareness that has left the strongest impression. 

She first met Whipple in 2016 at the American Geophysical Union. After her poster presentation at the event, Whipple waited patiently for 30 minutes to discuss her work while another “rather disrespectful” professor was questioning her methods and results. 

“Upon introducing himself, he said 'You did a great job managing that professor's mansplaining',” Grau Galofre said. “I was impressed by Professor Whipple's forwardness and his recognition of the situation, which no other professor or researcher recognized.”  

Grau Galofre also appreciates that Whipple recognizes her Catalan identity — “Catalonia is a small region within Spain with its own language, social reality and a very active movement for independence,” Grau Galofre explained — and always refers to her as Catalan rather than Spanish. 

For Whipple, being a mentor is a role he prioritizes and is one that lasts a lifetime.

“My job is to enable and facilitate my mentee’s future success; the priority and focus is their research and their careers, not mine. My career benefits when I focus my efforts on their success,” Whipple said. “When I accept a graduate student or hire a postdoctoral researcher I see this as a lifelong commitment to mentoring and advocating as their careers advance and they face various decision points and challenges – just as my former advisers are there for me.”

Join the Graduate College in celebrating this year's Outstanding Faculty Mentors. Register for the virtual reception today.

Written by Emily Carman

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New vaccination site at ASU stadium to increase capacity

February 2, 2021

Arizona aims to inoculate 3.5 million by midsummer

With the goal of vaccinating 3.5 million Arizonans by July 1, the state opened its second COVID-19 drive-thru vaccination site Monday at Arizona State University’s Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

ASU, along with ASURE, will manage site operations in collaboration with the Arizona Department of Health Services, the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, and with support from many private, public, corporate and nonprofit partners.

“We created state-run sites at State Farm Stadium and now ASU’s Phoenix Municipal Stadium to add capacity and get even more Arizonans vaccinated,” said Dr. Cara Christ, Arizona Department of Health Services director, during a site-opening press conference. “Over the weekend the State Farm stadium administered its 100,000 dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and today that site began giving second doses of the vaccine while still accommodating thousands daily for their first dose.”

The new site boasts the same capacity of 12,000 vaccines per day as at State Farm, but will begin by providing 500 per day, ramping up as vaccine supply in Arizona is increased. The Phoenix Municipal site will be open daily and appointments can be made through the ADHS website.

“In addition to providing this site, Arizona State University brings its expertise by overseeing the staffing, logistics, and operations at both facilities,” Christ said.  “These state-run sites have drawn attention from other states and from our federal partners as best practice models for mass vaccination. They are a credit to the professionals and volunteers who have worked tirelessly to create and run them.”

ASU teams are providing staffing including triage, traffic control, security and clinicians delivering vaccines under the medical direction of ADHS.

“As we work through this next opening I want to say thank you to ASU,” said Maj. Gen. Michael T. McGuire, Arizona adjutant general and DEMA director, during the opening ceremony that marked the new public vaccination site. “Their partnership here and at State Farm has been invaluable.”

Over 760,000 Arizona residents have been infected by COVID-19 to date since the first case was diagnosed in the state in January 2020. The virus has claimed the lives of more than 13,000 people in Arizona as numbers continue to climb.

ASU has been instrumental in fighting the pandemic. The university manages over 100 testing sites across the state, and ASU’s Biodesign Institute has processed over 625,000 COVID-19 tests while providing results in about 48 hours.

However, the pandemic is not yet under control and the struggle against the virus is far from over, ASU President Michael M. Crow said. While enthusiastic about ASU’s commitment to be of service, the president had words of caution about the pandemic and encouraged all Arizonans to be vigilant, mask up, get tested and get vaccinated as soon as eligible. 

“I want to make sure that everyone understands that this is a long-term thing,” Crow said. “This is a virus that has been introduced into the human ecosystem in a way in which is going to require us to all work together.”

Dealing with the pandemic must be approached with an open mind, Crow said. It requires caring about others and doing what is necessary to get the pandemic back to “some level of management” so people can get on with their lives.

“Management is going to require all of us working together,” Crow said. “ASU is a part of the team to make this happen. We are excited to be able to be here today to help open this site.”

Phoenix Municipal is home to the ASU Sun Devil baseball team. The site previously served as a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site before transitioning to vaccines and is located in the parking area west of the stadium, on the corner of East Van Buren Street and North Galvin Parkway.

Vaccinations are by appointment only and based on eligibility set by the current state prioritization. Appointments are booked through the ADHS registration system. Once an appointment is booked and confirmation from ADHS is received, residents may proceed to the site between the hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, including weekends. Hours may expand once more vaccines are available. 

“We look forward to the day when Arizona’s vaccine supply allows us to operate this site at full capacity and look toward opening state-run sites elsewhere around Arizona,” Christ said. 

Top photo: A new COVID-19 vaccination site opened at ASU's Phoenix Municipal Stadium Feb. 1. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU

Jerry Gonzalez

Media Relations Officer , Media Relations and Strategic Communications

ASU hosts AAAS annual meeting Feb. 8–11

Dozens of free sessions are open to the public at the 2021 American Association for the Advancement of Science virtual meeting

February 1, 2021

Arizona State University will host this year’s American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting, the world’s largest general scientific gathering, Feb. 8–11.

This year’s virtual meeting is the first ever to offer dozens of free public events. These include a plenary session on COVID-19 in 2021 presented by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and another on the future of competitiveness with Sethuraman Panchanathan, director of the National Science Foundation. AAAS Meeting Card Download Full Image

The theme for 2021 is “Understanding Dynamic Ecosystems.” From the environments that we inhabit to the social systems in which we live and work, we are all embedded in a variety of ecosystems. Finding ways of maintaining the stable balance of these ecosystems in the face of rapidly changing circumstances is critical for our advancement. 

This annual meeting features diverse ways of understanding the complexities and dynamics of biological, physical, social and economic systems across scales, as well as strengthening and activating new connections to address underlying problems in various spheres. These challenges facing contemporary society will provide the opportunity to creatively harness science, engineering, technology and policy to promote sustainable change.

ASU President Michael Crow will join others in a panel session around the call for universities today to engage more deeply with the overall research and innovation ecosystem, enabling greater contributions toward solving society’s critical problems while also boosting academic excellence.

Dozens of ASU faculty, staff and students will present on a range of topics, including the future of humans in space, innovating organic agriculture, and access and inclusion in engineering, among others. The event will close on Feb. 11 with remarks from Sally C. Morton, the new executive vice president of ASU’s Knowledge Enterprise.

“The AAAS is integral to understanding and appreciating science and the role it plays in all of our lives,” Morton said. “As a leading research institution, ASU is uniquely positioned to host the annual meeting, and we are honored to have this privilege. I am looking forward to sharing the incredible work being done here and to bringing together the brightest minds in the scientific community to collaborate and learn from one another.”

Full program registration costs $50 for members. Nonmembers can join AAAS and register for the conference for as little as $75. In addition to the full program available to members, the event includes a Public Events Passport that is free to nonmembers. Public events include:

  • Plenary events and award presentations.
  • Workshops on career development, advocacy and diversifying the STEM workforce.
  • E-poster galleries.
  • Sponsored sessions.

Learn more and register for the AAAS annual meeting

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ASU transcends fundraising goal, grows culture of philanthropy

January 27, 2021

Campaign ASU 2020 was a resounding success, generating $2.35B and helping countless Sun Devils succeed

Dementia research. Coronavirus testing. Revitalizing communities. Giving more students access to education through scholarships.

Supporters’ tremendous generosity to Campaign ASU 2020 enabled all of those accomplishments and many more.

Nearly 359,700 individuals, corporations and foundations donated to Arizona State University’s fundraising campaign, which raised $2.35 billion and established a culture of philanthropy across the university. Of those, 213,473 were new donors.

“The resources the university receives from donor investors are among the most impactful support ASU receives,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow during a virtual donor appreciation event Tuesday. “They enable us to fund individual students in making progress, to give special resources to individual faculty members, to create entire faculty chairs that change the trajectory of an academic unit. They help us to maintain all of our initiatives in sustainability and dozens of other engagements that allow us to serve more people and accomplish more for the state; $2.3 billion-plus sounds like a huge number, and it is a huge number, but the impact is infinitely greater than that — it’s infinitely greater in lives changed, trajectory changed, outcomes changed.”

A gift of land enabled ASU’s start, so it’s fitting that philanthropy pushed boundaries and opened up new avenues for faculty, students and the community overall. More than 87.5% of the gifts were less than $100, but there were more than 10,000 gifts of $25,000 or more during the campaign.

“We are extremely grateful for the gifts to support ASU’s vision for what higher education can and should be,” ASU Foundation CEO Gretchen Buhlig said. “Every gift is important, whether it’s $10 or thousands of dollars. It all makes a tremendous impact on our students, faculty and the community.”

RELATED: Celebrating the impact of faculty and staff giving

Another notable campaign milestone is the endowment reached the $1 billion threshold. This achievement enables the university to attract and retain distinguished faculty and their research, provide additional scholarships to students, and offer additional enrichment opportunities and research to solve world problems in perpetuity.

ASU is one of about 45 public universities and 100 universities overall that have an endowment of $1 billion or more, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers fiscal year 2019 survey.

The ASU Foundation publicly kicked off Campaign ASU 2020 in January 2017 to raise the long-term fundraising capacity of the university and focused on six priorities: ensure student access and excellence; champion student success; elevate the academic enterprise; fuel discovery, creativity and innovation; enrich our communities; and drive Sun Devil competitiveness. The campaign concluded Dec. 31, 2020.

“Together, our potential is limitless,” Crow told donors during the celebration. “There’s nothing that we can’t do, nothing that we can’t achieve, and you all have been a part of making that happen. Thanks.”

Enrich our communities

“This has really been a fantastic opportunity where the campaign has allowed us to amplify our charter,” Crow said. “Our focus on inclusion versus exclusion and the success of our students, our focus on research that benefits the public, and really importantly, our focus on taking responsibility for our community.”

Caring for the ASU and Arizona communities was paramount when the COVID-19 outbreak spiked in March 2019.

“We were very fortunate that the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust stood and helped us out in our early response to the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Josh LaBaer, executive director of the Biodesign Institute. “We were contacted by a number of first responder organizations as well as critical infrastructure people, people who run power companies. They have individuals critical to the power grid, but they cannot socially distance. By offering them testing, these people could safely work in their environment and know they weren’t going to infect each other.”

ASU developed a COVID-19 saliva test to offset the shortages of nasal swab tests in Arizona and rapidly scale testing for the ASU community as well as the community at large. The new test was available by the beginning of April, and more than half a million tests have been completed since then, LaBaer said.

“All of this was because of the seed the charitable trust planted by getting us going quickly, by putting that equipment in place, by getting us the supplies we needed to run those tests,” he said. “It got us up and running immediately. That was crucial.”

Ensure student access and excellence

One student who benefited from donor support is Sonia Villalba, a senior studying communication in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She moved to the United States from Ecuador when she was 5, and her father passed away when she was 11.

“Going to school was a big deal for my family, especially attending a four-year university,” Villalba said. “We never thought we’d have the money to do that. That all changed when I met Chris and Chuck Michaels.”

Charles “Chuck” (’83) and Christine “Chris” (’87) Michaels created a scholarship to help Arizona high school graduates continue their education at their alma mater. They were among 92,479 degreed alumni who donated to ASU during the campaign, which is up 11% from when the campaign began.

“Education is the great equalizer,” Chris Michaels said.

“We’ve really tried to not only help financially but to help with mentoring,” Chuck Michaels added.

Villalba is one of 70,969 undergraduate and graduate students who received $253 million in ASU Foundation philanthropic scholarships during the campaign. That’s a 22% increase in scholarship recipients.

Elevate the academic enterprise

During the campaign, $85 million was donated to establish 60 new chairs and professorships, which is a 53% increase during the campaign.

While endowed positions are prestigious for the scholars who hold them, they are also marks of distinction for a college, Mari Koerner said. The former dean of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College became the Alice Wiley Snell Professor of Education in 2015 to 2020. Now a professor emeritus, she said, “An endowed professorship or chair is an act of trust by an individual that an investment in this enterprise, specifically in faculty, will pay dividends through increased knowledge for and impact on the community.”

Koerner’s professorship was not the first to be funded by Richard and Alice Snell. They previously endowed a professorship in education policy studies in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ School of Social Transformation, formerly held by Emeritus Professor Teresa McCarty.

Faculty not only benefited from private support, but also contributed to a culture of philanthropy. Nearly 4,747 faculty and staff members donated during Campaign ASU 2020, doubling the number of employees who gave to ASU at the start of the campaign.

Fuel discovery, creativity and innovation

Brent Nannenga, an assistant professor in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, is working with a few others in the university to use advanced technology to understand why toxins attack the brain and a transformational gift from J. Orin and Charlene Edson is bolstering that work.

“The seed funding has really helped us because we’ve had this idea that has potentially groundbreaking implications, but we just need to get it off the ground,” Nannenga said. “Can we use some of these tools for new diagnostics, or can we use some of these tools for new therapeutics, maybe develop a vaccine?”

“It’s been great to finally get the resources to make a difference for Alzheimer’s research,” Nannenga said.

Abigail Gomez Morales, nursing and health care innovation PhD candidate in the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation, is combining virtual reality and geriatrics to simulate what Alzheimer’s disease and dementia patients endure to help their caregivers improve communications.

“Thanks to your gift I got an education that gave me all of the foundations that I needed to create this gift for the community,” Gomez Morales said during the virtual donor appreciation event.

Champion student success

Donors contributed to the new, larger Pat Tillman Veterans Center, now located inside ASU 365 Community Union, which also was made possible, in part, from donor support.

The Pat Tillman Veterans Center provides comprehensive resources for about 10,000 student veterans, military active duty, guard and reserve members, as well as their dependents who are utilizing their sponsors’ GI Bill benefits while attending ASU. The center connects them with academic and support services such as assistance with veterans’ benefits, employment and referrals to make the transition from the military smoother.

Chris West and his family established the Family First Scholarship to assist dependents of veterans who died or were completely and permanently disabled while on active duty with their Chapter 35 benefits, which includes 45 months of education and training benefits.

“What’s so important about this group is they fall short of Veterans Administration help by one year,” West said. “It just fell in our lap that this is a great opportunity to pick up this last year for them. When you speak to them, and you can hear in their voice and see the relief you’re bringing to them, it gives me great joy that I’m touching lives and not just writing checks.”

Drive Sun Devil competitiveness

Zylan Cheatham, NBA player and ’19 graduate, wanted to make a difference in the south Phoenix community he grew up in that was surrounded by poverty, gang violence and other challenges.

“I knew I wanted to change things for the next generation of kids,” Cheatham said. “I wanted to get into the classrooms and get into the school systems and donate. Anything I can do to help.”

Cheatham’s gift benefits the ASU Center for Child Well-Being, which works with children whose parents are incarcerated.

“I know I’m going to impact kids that weren’t presented the same resources that everyone else was. That’s pretty much a big thing for me,” he said. “The more educated, the more prepared students are for the next level, for the real world, it’s only going to benefit us in every way.”

Private support is not a replacement for the university’s other sources of revenue, including investments from the state, students, their families, faculty, staff and research grants.

“Private support is critically important to Arizona State University because it enables solutions to problems that can transform lives and improve communities,” Buhlig said. “Private support enables opportunities for growth, innovation and excellence for our students and faculty.”

Although the campaign concluded, fundraising to elevate ASU’s work toward transforming higher education and making it more accessible continues.

“There’s no rest. There’s only where we move to next,” Crow said. “We have already emerged as America’s most innovative university and we are well-positioned by 2025 to be a completely new breed of university. One that impacts the state of Arizona, its residents, businesses and environment and extends across the nation and around the globe.”

Michelle Stermole

Director of communications , Enterprise Partners


ASU’s MBA makes double-digit improvement in global ranking

The W. P. Carey full-time MBA at Arizona State University ranks No. 23 worldwide by The Economist

January 22, 2021

The W. P. Carey School of Business full-time MBA at Arizona State University climbed from the top-50 MBA programs globally to the top 25, ranking No. 23 worldwide by The Economist. The 2021 ranking places the program at No. 14 in the United States. This represents a dramatic increase in the reputation of W. P. Carey’s full-time MBA program compared to the last Economist ranking. In 2019, it held the No. 42 spot globally.

The W. P. Carey full-time MBA was ranked particularly well along four dimensions: Ashish Padda, full-time MBA student working on a laptop Download Full Image

  • #29: Open new career opportunities.
  • #23: Personal development and educational experience.
  • #29: Salary.
  • #25: Potential to network.

The Economist collected data during spring and summer 2020 with two surveys. The first was completed by schools with eligible programs and covered quantitative matters such as the salary of graduates, the average GMAT scores of students and the number of registered alumni. This accounted for around 80% of the ranking. The remaining 20% was derived from a qualitative survey filled out by current MBA students and the most recent graduating MBA class from each institution. The Economist asked respondents to rate factors such as the quality of the faculty, facilities and career services department.

Additional information including the full methodology details and summary of ranking criteria and weightings can be found on The Economist's Which MBA? page.

“Despite the pandemic, our full-time MBA emerged stronger,” said Amy Ostrom, interim dean and PetSmart Chair in Services Leadership. “We made it available on campus, in the virtual campus format, and completely asynchronous as online classes. This has given students the most choice and greatest opportunities to learn while prioritizing safety and convenience.

“We’re confident these steps will put us on a path to helping MBA students for years to come.”

The W. P. Carey MBA is available in five formats: full-time, online, professional flex, executive and fast-track, with a variety of specializations, areas of emphasis and concurrent degrees to align with students’ goals and emphasize their strengths.

Learn more about W. P. Carey MBA programs

See W. P. Carey’s full list of rankings.

Communications assistant, W. P. Carey School of Business

ASU Graduate College launches COVID-19 Caregiver Assistance Fellowship for grad students

January 19, 2021

Being a graduate student at Arizona State University is demanding enough for most, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more challenging. 

Recently, the Graduate College identified a particular group of graduate students whose unique financial needs have been affected by pandemic-related closures — graduate student caregivers.  Graduate student works while caring for baby “In our efforts to provide relief to students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognized that many graduate students are also caregivers for other family members," said Mark Searle, ASU’s executive vice president and university provost. Download Full Image

“In our efforts to provide relief to students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognized that many graduate students are also caregivers for other family members, including children unable to attend school, and this has increased the challenges they face in completing their degrees,” said Mark Searle, ASU’s executive vice president and university provost. 

To meet this challenge, the Graduate College introduced the Caregiver Assistance Fellowship to financially assist graduate students who are sacrificing part of their already busy schedule to care for a child, dependent adult or elderly family member. 

“Earning a graduate degree is an incredible achievement that is challenging under the best of circumstances,” said Elizabeth Wentz, vice provost and dean of the Graduate College. “ASU graduate students have demonstrated unbelievable resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, but many are struggling to juggle work, teaching, research and taking care of family members. It was important for us to find a way to help.”

The Caregiver Assistance Fellowship is primarily intended for graduate students who can not work or hold an assistantship during the 2020–21 academic year, due to their role as a caregiver to family members that are unable to attend school or care facilities.   

“With the Caregiver Assistance fund, we hope to ease the burden on graduate students caring for others while also trying to complete their degree and express our commitment to their success,” Searle said.

Fellowships of up to $2,500 per semester are being awarded to eligible applicants. While the funding is limited to this academic year, the Graduate College hopes to expand this funding in the future through their work with the ASU Foundation.

The Graduate College has been supporting graduate students during these difficult circumstances with other initiatives like the Pandemic Impact Award, which provided funding to graduate students whose research and culminating projects were impacted by COVID-19. Many students utilized the funding for alternative data collection activities or to purchase materials and supplies to continue their research activities during unanticipated closures.

“Graduate students play a vital role in ASU's teaching, research and innovation mission so it's important for us to provide them with the support they need to be successful, particularly now,” Searle said. 

Eligibility and application requirements for the Caregiver Assistance Fellowship can be found on the information page.  

There are also additional resources available to graduate student caregivers:

• Graduate students caring for children while holding teaching or research assistant positions can use the Busy Bee babysitting program at a discount.

• The ASU Dean of Students Office also has funding available for students in crisis. For more information contact

Written by Emily Carman, graduate student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

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Tiffany López appointed ASU's next vice provost for inclusion and community engagement

January 15, 2021

Tiffany López, professor in The New American Film School in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, has been named Arizona State University’s next vice provost for inclusion and community engagement.

López assumed the new leadership role on Jan. 1, after spending the fall semester in the provost’s office as a leadership fellow, working alongside Professor Stanlie James, who vacated the role Dec. 31, 2020. James will retire in May 2021.

López was previously the director of the former School of Film, Dance and Theatre. The Herberger Institute recently reorganized its schools, with the School of Music, Dance and Theatre and The New American Film School taking the place of the former School of Film, Dance and Theatre and the School of Music.

As the School of Film, Dance and Theatre’s director since July 2016, López has helped position ASU’s film program as one of the top 25 fastest-growing programs in the nation, while increasing the number of undergraduate female filmmakers and diversifying faculty within the school’s programs. She has also been a key player in preparing the university's film program to launch into The New American Film School and for the Herberger Institute's scheduled expansion into Mesa City Center in 2022.

As a first-generation college student, López has dedicated her career to expanding opportunities in higher education, advancing the role of the arts and building pathways to support success through leadership. López believes she would not be where she is today without the support of transformative mentors.

“I’m excited to be appointed into a leadership role that serves the entire university and has a core focus on inclusion and community engagement,” López said. “These are pillars for creating an environment where everyone feels supported to bring their best and whole selves to working with a sense of purpose and connection.”

The Office of Inclusion and Community Engagement is a unit within the Office of the University Provost that helps ASU achieve its commitment to creating an inclusive environment through campus programs, initiatives and beyond.

“Dr. López has demonstrated great efforts in advancing the university’s commitment to inclusion,” said Mark Searle, executive vice president and university provost. “Her leadership of the School of Film, Dance and Theatre reflects that and positions her well to contribute to the university’s continued work toward a fully inclusive community. Tiffany will be building on the work of Professor James and her challenge will be to help ASU accelerate its achievement of its goals.”

Before coming to ASU, López spent more than two decades at the University of California, Riverside, where inclusion and community engagement were instrumental to her teaching, research and creative activity on how artists use their work to stage conversations about trauma and violence to generate paths for personal and social change.

It has been no different at ASU’s Herberger Institute. López has worked tirelessly to create a spirit of “radical welcome.” And as senior adviser to the dean for equity practices and engagement, she has helped advance inclusive initiatives, such as recent work with the social justice organization Race Forward and the ongoing Projecting All Voices fellows program.

“I’m looking forward to working with university leaders and members of the ASU community to identify the gap between our intentions and impact,” said López about her goals in the new leadership role. “This is necessary to fully realize the vision of our charter, which provides such a wonderful compass for this work.”

López is a founding member of the Latino Theater Alliance of Los Angeles, the National Latinx Theater Commons and the Latinx Literature Society for the American Literature Association. She earned her bachelor’s degree from California State University, Sacramento and her master’s degree and PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She was also the first Cesar Chavez Dissertation Fellow at Dartmouth College.

López is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including ASU Faculty Women’s Association Outstanding Faculty Mentor award (2019), Hispanic Lifestyle Latina of Influence (2015), Fulbright Scholar (2004); and numerous grants and fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts and Rockefeller Foundation.

Top photo of Tiffany López provided by the Herberger Institute. 

Jimena Garrison

Copywriter , Media Relations and Strategic Communications

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New research director for Kyl Center focused on equity in water access

New research director of Kyl Center sees water equity as a top issue for state.
January 12, 2021

Kathryn Sorenson sees clean water as 'the foundation of public health'

When Kathryn Sorenson was director of water services for the city of Phoenix, she was in charge of a massive infrastructure that included 7,000 miles of pipeline.

When she needed information, she often used the resources of the Kyl Center for Water Policy at Arizona State University, which provides research and support for decision-makers.

“They have produced some amazing papers on water security, groundwater management and adjudication reform,” Sorenson said.

“I used the Arizona Water Blueprint all the time,” she said of the online visualization tool that uses maps and data sets to show a holistic view of water in the state.

woman's portrait

Now, Sorenson is part of the Kyl Center team, where she recently was named director of research. The Kyl Center is part of the Morrison Institute for Public Policy.

“I’m so excited to contribute to what the center has already done,” she said.

"It's exciting to be able to bring to ASU my experience leading large municipal water systems.

“Access to clean water is a fundamental need of every person on Earth, and yet we're still so far from fulfilling that need, even in Arizona. I want the research and teaching I do at ASU to help us overcome the barriers that prevent people from having secure access to safe water.”

Sorenson was director of water services for Phoenix for seven years, and before that was director of the Water Resources Department for the city of Mesa. In addition to directing research in the Kyl Center for Water Policy, she will be a professor of practice in the School of Public Affairs and will contribute to the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory.

She answered some questions from ASU Now:

Question: What did you do as director of water services for the city of Phoenix?

Answer: I was responsible for making sure that about 1.7 million people had safe, clean water in their taps 24/7, 365 days a year, in the correct quality and the correct pressure, and for making sure that those deliveries were reliable.

The job entailed five water-treatment plants, hundreds of pumping stations, wells and pressure gauges, and 7,000 miles of pipeline, as well as 430,000 customer connections, each of which has to work all of the time.

In addition, I oversaw 1,500 employees, $700 million in annual appropriations and a $2 billion capital improvement program.

Q: What are some of the water issues facing Arizona?

A:  Arizona depends heavily on the Colorado River, and it is over-allocated, meaning we collectively take more water from the system than nature puts in. To make matters worse, the Colorado River basin has been experiencing a prolonged drought of more than 20 years. 

When you take the longer term view, a lot of communities in Arizona are heavily dependent on fossil groundwater supplies. Once you pump them out, they’re gone forever. There are real problems looming when it comes to groundwater management and the Colorado River.

Q: What topics will you be researching?

A: When stakeholders, managers and elected officials understand where water flows, who it goes to and what the societal, economic and ecological costs are, then they have the foundation to make sensible water-management decisions. I see a lot of our research focusing on that basic premise. Water equity is a big piece of that, making sure there is a level playing field in terms of access to supplies.

Q: What changes have you seen in water policy and management over the years?

A: I’ve seen positive ones. When I started in this field, it was a very small group of folks that were making the most important, most fundamental decisions about water allocation in this state. That group over time has become larger, more inclusive and more diverse, and I think that’s hugely important. We only make good decisions when we have many different perspectives at the table.

Q: What’s important for Arizonans to know when they turn on the water tap?

A: I want people to understand that the delivery of safe, clean water in our communities really is the foundation of public health, economic opportunity and quality of life.

The COVID-19 pandemic has really brought that into focus. When the CDC came out with the recommendation early in 2020 about frequent handwashing, one of the first things we did (in the city of Phoenix) was to make sure that the taps were on for everyone in the community, even those who had been disconnected for nonpayment.

Because the water industry has been successful, we are many generations removed from a time when babies died of waterborne diseases. That’s not in our collective memory any more. So while I think it is taken for granted, clean water really is the foundation of public health.

Top image courtesy of Pixabay.

Mary Beth Faller

Reporter , ASU News


Amy Ostrom named interim dean of ASU's W. P. Carey School of Business

Effective Jan. 1, Ostrom succeeds Amy Hillman, who had served as the school’s dean since March 2013

January 5, 2021

Amy Ostrom, chair of the Department of Marketing and PetSmart Chair in Services Leadership, has been appointed interim dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, effective Jan. 1. Ostrom succeeds Amy Hillman, who had served as the school’s dean since March 2013.

Ostrom has served as the chair of the Department of Marketing since 2015 and as a President's Professor since 2011. An honors college graduate, she earned her BA in psychology from ASU and a PhD in marketing from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She joined the W. P. Carey faculty in 1996. Amy Ostrom, chair Department of Marketing and PetSmart Chair in Service Leadership Amy Ostrom is the new interim dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU, with the process for selecting a new permanent dean to commence early this year. Download Full Image

As a researcher and teacher, Ostrom has been recognized for her achievements in academia, including the 2012 Huizingh Outstanding Undergraduate Service Award, the 2007 ASU Parents Association Professor of the Year, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's 2004 Arizona Professor of the Year. She is also on the editorial review boards for the industry-leading publications Journal of Service Research and Journal of Service Management.

In acknowledging the legacy of her predecessor, Ostrom said, “Amy Hillman has been an exceptional leader to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude. She achieved many notable accomplishments during her tenure as dean, including the opening of McCord Hall, the addition of numerous new degree programs to our portfolio, and the attainment of the $150 million capital goal as part of Campaign ASU 2020.”

Ostrom also credited Hillman’s leadership for helping the W. P. Carey School respond with resilience and perseverance to the needs of its students during the difficult circumstances of the past year.

In her new role as interim dean, Ostrom indicated that she will continue to focus on several key areas, including student success, research, and efforts to increase the diversity and inclusiveness of the ASU community.

Provost Mark Searle, in an email to W. P. Carey staff and faculty, confirmed that the process for selecting a new permanent dean will commence early this year. “We expect to conduct a national search welcoming candidates from within and outside the W. P. Carey School,” he wrote. 

Outgoing Dean Amy Hillman will remain on the W. P. Carey faculty, where she has been a celebrated teacher and world-renowned researcher. Her research includes over 30 peer-reviewed articles published in leading journals such as Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, and Administrative Science Quarterly. She was elected a fellow of the Academy of Management in 2014. In 2019, Hillman was elected to a five-year term as an executive officer of the Academy of Management, and she was selected as a Strategic Management Society fellow in 2020.

Shay Moser

Managing Editor, W. P. Carey School of Business


Champion of arts education, ASU grad student receive MLK Jr. awards

Teniqua Broughton, Simone Bayfield will be honored at ASU's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Jan. 21 during a private virtual online event

January 4, 2021

Two women with a passion for philanthropy have been selected as the 2021 ASU Martin Luther King Jr. Servant-Leadership awardees as a part of Arizona State University’s 36th annual MLK Jr. Celebration, for their influential work in arts education, women’s and homeless shelters, and advocacy for minority students.

Teniqua Broughton and Simone Bayfield will be honored at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Jan. 21 during a private virtual online event. This year’s theme is “Race may differ. Respect everyone.”
Teniqua Broughton and Simone Bayfield are the 2021 ASU Martin Luther King Jr. Servant-Leadership awardees. Teniqua Broughton (left) and Simone Bayfield will be honored at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Jan. 21 during a private virtual online event. Download Full Image

The awardees were selected by the ASU MLK Jr. Committee for their servant leadership: a philosophy of serving first, then leading as a way of expanding service.

Teniqua Broughton, Servant-Leadership Award

Teniqua Broughton was a student-athlete at ASU preparing to graduate when she took her first theater class.

Broughton, pursuing a degree in interdisciplinary studies in educational psychology with an emphasis in theater for youth, knew she wanted to work with children in some capacity, but it was during the theater class when she decided to intersect those two passions and turn it into a career.

“I found that I fell in love with just the energy behind what it took to remember your lines,” Broughton said. “I think very similar, being a former student-athlete, the dedication, so I was really kind of connected to that, and the emotion that I had to put into the scene, so you really are becoming the character that you were reading or representing. And so, that class was really when I knew at that point, that I wanted to still work with kids to a degree, but I knew arts and arts education was my interest."

Broughton had the opportunity to work as a counselor for Camp Broadway at ASU Gammage, a multi-day theater camp for children ages 10 to 17 to learn acting, scene study, improvisation, music theory, singing and dancing, while building self-esteem, teamwork skills and creative potential.

After her success with Camp Broadway, the perennial Sun Devil found her first full-time job at ASU Gammage as a cultural participation manager. It was at ASU Gammage where Broughton first realized the impact of her work in arts education through the Journey Home program, which she called “instrumental” to her professional journey.

Journey Home is an intensive four-week program for women incarcerated at the Maricopa County Estrella Jail. Through creative writing, expressive movement, storytelling and visual arts, the ASU Gammage program is designed to raise the awareness and consciousness of the women so they feel empowered to create a different life for themselves in the future.

Broughton said it was “dear to my heart” to “see how arts become the medium for them, that 'You know what, when I leave here, I have the opportunity to be a better mother, a better sister, cousin, wife.'”

“To see the transformation of women who are incarcerated for the choices that they have made ... that's what makes me feel excited about it,” Broughton said. “And so, when I think about it more, it's the fact that I can be a part of just changing maybe one person's life, whether it's a woman, whether it's a child, that's what makes me feel excited about it.”

At ASU Gammage, Broughton also worked with Desert Harbor Elementary School in Peoria, Arizona, to help teachers with arts integration strategies. She called her five years working with the school her “greatest gift.”

To Broughton, arts education is about the inclusivity for different types of learners to engage with material in a way that makes sense to them. 

“Arts education has given really a platform to make sure that ... there's inclusivity in the learning process, and the engagement process of bringing people and kids together,” Broughton said. “So, when I think about a child who may be struggling with just auditory learning, or just completely visual learning in a platform, this was an opportunity to use different tools and skills and ways to engage them.

"So, for me, it develops the whole child, it provides an opportunity for them to be well-rounded, and to enter into the world and experiences in a way in which you can appreciate people, things and experiences that maybe you haven't had, that would allow you to be a little bit more open-minded because the arts have provided that for you.”

As much passion as Broughton had for each of the roles she worked in previously, she wanted to have a bigger impact in her work, which she saw in herself as being “much more community-oriented than sector-oriented.”

“As I traveled on my journey to different jobs, I started to notice that I was not going to compromise my community leadership for staying within a box space,” Broughton said. “And I started to realize that that's how I could grow departments, that's how I could grow an organization. But I wanted to build something that I had, and I didn't really want to have to compromise what I was doing ... in the community because I knew it was benefiting my organization.”

Broughton founded her company, VerveSimone Consulting, in 2013, through which she supports nonprofits in the areas of arts, culture, social services and education.

“So now, almost six years plus of having worked among consulting, it's pivoted, I want to say with different skills that I can do, but I will say now, I feel like I really honed in on what I can do, which is my nonprofit, governance and management stuff,” Broughton said. “I can start an organization from the bottom up, you know, building it. And so, I've really gotten to that place where this is what I should be doing. And this is what I want to do.”

Even now, after years of service in the arts and nonprofit sectors, Broughton said she knows “my purpose is to serve others” and that being named a servant-leader made her realize “that's what I feel like I practice every single day.”

“To get this award, for me, means that I think about how I treat others,” Broughton said. “I think about what am I putting into the world that is a legacy piece? And if I walked away today, did I do a good job? Have I done a good job of being that leader today? And so that's how I look at servant-leadership.”

For Broughton, seeing the legacy of her work has been the most gratifying reward of all.

“I can think about every organization I've been at, I left something there,” Broughton said, “something is there, that's still going, that's associated with me. And that, to me, is what I wanted to do.”

Though she is proud her commitment to arts education and nonprofit work is being recognized, Broughton said, “I just think that you should travel down life doing right because it's the thing you should do.”

“I don’t look for an award,” Broughton said. “The things that I do with the programs that I do are the things that I love, the things that I get excited about, the things that makes me happy. So, to get an award for finding how to get to that place is unreal for me, and that somebody recognized that the goodness I might have put in 20 years ago is now all these pieces.”

When reflecting on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., the namesake of the servant-leader award, Broughton said that “this is the moment to continue to platform bringing people together to truly treat all people of color as humans.”

“As a Black woman, who is proud to be who she is, with a name like Teniqua, I think the things that I see happening with the constant protesting and we're not going to stand for that, means that we have said we are taking back what we know we deserve, what we know we should be at the same line as, when we know that is important to have.”

Broughton also serves as the executive director of the State of Black Arizona, a nonprofit organization that runs leadership programs and produces data on African Americans in the state, which she said is how she embodies King’s “stance for action through our activism.”

Simone Bayfield, Student Servant-Leadership Award

When Simone Bayfield, a young graduate from Johnson C. Smith University, a historically Black university in Charlotte, North Carolina, moved back to California and started a career in retail management for L’Oreal, she never could have known how soon she would be changing her plans to pursue her passion for beauty — and changing lives along the way.

Bayfield had always been interested in the beauty industry, but coming from a family where graduate degrees were the norm, she never thought that dream could be her reality.

One day, Bayfield decided to leave her job and go back to school to pursue a cosmetology license. Soon after, she founded Simone Bayfield Beauty.

It was not just a love of doing hair and makeup that inspired her to start her own beauty business, but also the realization that there was a gap in the industry of providers who knew how to serve clients with multicultural hair and skin.

“Funny enough, one of my first professional jobs was actually Los Angeles Fashion Week,” Bayfield said. “It was very interesting to me that all of the models of deeper skin tone had to bring their own makeup with them because, so oftentimes, the makeup artists that were hired for these shows didn't know how to work with their skin type, didn't know how to match it. I really was just like, OK, there needs to be education, there needs to be more advocates in this area. We need to have more representation of artists that look like the models and look like the talent and really be able to provide everyone with a service, not just certain people.”

As Bayfield’s business grew, she found herself doing wedding makeup for a Broadway star and saw her work credited in People Magazine.

Her natural instinct to serve others never changed, though, and Bayfield would routinely volunteer at women’s shelters and homeless shelters in Los Angeles. By offering her beauty services to women — many victims of domestic violence — she gave them “a new lease on life.”

“When I was in beauty school ... the school would authorize these vouchers to the local homeless shelters, so that some of their residents could come in and get free haircuts and it was practice for us, as part of our training,” Bayfield said. "You could see these people come in with their heads held down, and they didn't want to look you in the eye and they weren't really sure what to say. And then, to see them come out and kind of straighten their back and put their shoulders back and look in the mirror and kind of reignite that spark in someone's eye, I immediately knew like, OK, this is something that I can do basically for free, and it's not costing me anything and something that I know is going to make a huge impact.”

Bayfield continued her work at the shelters, helping women who were ready to transition into the workforce get “mini makeovers.”

“Again, it was like, seeing these women that ... really felt kind of worthless, and felt broken and beaten down and didn't feel worthy of love or feeling like they deserved to feel pretty, and seeing again, that kind of light just really be reignited,” Bayfield said. “And then also, realizing that it was so much more than just a haircut or so much more than just makeup. You were really giving people a new lease on life and feeling like they deserved to be happy. They deserved to be seen as more than just a statistic.”

In 2018, Bayfield decided to go back to school once more and pursue a master of business administration. At ASU, Bayfield has continued to serve others, though in a different way than with her beauty business.

“It was pretty apparent to me when I first started the program that there weren't a lot of people that looked like me,” Bayfield said. “I was the only African American student in the entire program. And while that was an amazing experience, it was also like, OK, but what about our students here? Why aren't we attracting in more talent in our own local community? You know, where's the disconnect there?”

In addition to seeing the lack of representation in her own program, a summer of protesting against police brutality toward Black Americans was the tipping point for Bayfield to do something in the ASU community.

“I think everything just really exploded in the summer after Breonna Taylor and George Floyd,” Bayfield said. “And there was kind of a little bit of outrage from me and some of my classmates that the school wasn't addressing it, and that it was taking weeks for a statement to come out. And it ... very much felt like there wasn't a support system. And I was like, OK, myself and one of my other classmates started talking, and we really felt like now is the time, people are more open to change, because of what's going on.

"This is the first time that we're really going to be able to have these open discussions. And people are kind of finally accepting and acknowledging the fact that there has been this systemic oppression in our country, and it's part of our history, and that we really need to make a change. You know, why not us? Not why us but like, why not? Anyone can do any small change and start anything and just helping one person is really going to have a trickle-down effect, right?”

Along with her peer, Daniel Valdez, Bayfield co-founded Accelerated Leadership for Underrepresented Minorities (ALUM). The student organization is “a pipeline” for students of color to move into high-power positions in the business world.

“We just really started talking about how we wanted to get this organization started,” Bayfield said. “We wanted to have a place for all of the students of color to be able to come together to support each other, to create networks, to make sure that we have the resources that we need to be successful. With diversity now being such a hot topic, we really needed to take advantage of that and make sure that we were providing opportunities that maybe we weren't getting from the school to build these pipelines with these companies that were looking specifically for hiring diversity.

"And so, we really just started working over the summer of doing some research in our own class and seeing how people felt about the issue, brought in some of the other Hispanic students and started working on creating this organization so that we could not only bring awareness to the topic, but make sure that there was a community in place for ourselves and also for any future students.”

Bayfield hopes that ALUM will move to other MBA programs across the country, saying her dream is for ASU’s organization to be a “strong model” and “that we have a strong enough community that any student feels welcome and supported when they come.”

Bayfield said being a servant leader is about being there “to serve your constituents and serve your community.”

“That's what the purpose of a leader really is, is to not be the one who's necessarily the face of an organization, or the person with the most power or the most money, but it's about who's helping make the biggest change,” Bayfield said. "So, to me that servant leadership is really a leader who stays embodied in knowing that they're there to work for the people they serve, not the other way around.”

Bayfield’s advice to those who may not see themselves as leaders is to think about “what small thing you can do to make a positive impact in the world.”

“Martin Luther King Jr. ... was bringing awareness to issues that people maybe didn't want to talk about,” Bayfield said. “And so, by continuing to bring awareness to those issues, whatever they may be ... we need to remember that most of all we're all united in the fact that we are the human race, regardless of anything else, and that we need to always be looking out for the marginalized groups and making sure that everyone's voices are heard, regardless of who they are, what they look like, or what they believe in.

"So, to me, that's the best way to honor him. You don't have to be a leader to make change. Let your voice be heard. Have an open mind. Participate in conversations that are uncomfortable. Talk to someone who's different than you are and try to see their opinion. Continue to be empathetic to other people's feelings and use that to really form your own opinion.”

Marketing Assistant, ASU Gammage