ASU In the News

Research on subsidized day care draws national attention

Chris Herbst spent countless hours tracking down, reading and analyzing thousands of pages of government documents as part of his research on a World War II program that provided quality, low-cost day care to parents.

An associate professor in Arizona State University's School of Public Affairs, a part of the College of Public Service and Community Solutions, Herbst had spent much of the last decade examining what works and what doesn't when it comes to subsidized day care and other welfare programs designed to help people in need.

Little did Herbst realize that his research would draw the attention of the President of the United States.

In his State of the Union speech, and at events since then, President Obama has cited the World War II program that Herbst has researched as he proposes expanding child care subsidies and a new tax cut of up to $3,000 per child each year.

Herbst told NPR that the program started during the Depression and was designed to employ out-of-work teachers and offer help to parents looking for work.

At the cost of 50 cents a day, the day care program proved essential as women filled jobs while men fought in the war.

Herbst explained that it was "a source of fiscal stimulus. "He noted that Congress later approved a similar program, but that President Nixon vetoed it.

"Some critics of the program actually called this child care bill an entry into the Sovietization of America's children," he says.

The president's proposal calls for doubling the amount of money spent on subsidized child care, which would cost about $80 billion dollars over the next 10 years. His call would boost the annual per-child income tax credit from $1,000 to $3,000 per year.

Herbst told NPR the current child care subsidy system isn't very effective.

"The problem is that the quality rendered in the U.S. child care market is low to mediocre, on average," he says.

In fact, his research finds that children in federally subsidized day care don't fare well on cognitive and behavioral tests.

Read or listen to the NPR story.

Article Source: NPR
Paul Atkinson

assistant director, College of Public Service and Community Solutions


Conference offers insight into living an abundant life

January 27, 2015

What are the secrets to not only living a long life, but living an abundant life? Six leading scholars will share their insights at “Abundant Aging and Longevity,” an event that features fast-paced, 20-minute presentations on the latest health and well-being topics important to seniors and their families.

Hosted by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), part of ASU's College of Public Service and Community Solutions, the event will be held at the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus, Feb. 7. ASU Osher Lifelong Learning Institute lecture Download Full Image

“This is an extraordinary opportunity to witness the great minds of ASU scientists and OLLI members who are working together to discover the keys to abundant living and human longevity," says Richard Knopf, director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at ASU.

“It is a don’t-miss event,” says institute member Bonnie Murphy, who attended the inaugural longevity event last year.

“The presenters were knowledgeable, interesting and clear communicators,” she says. “Personally, I learned more about blood pressure, why certain populations live longer lives than others, and how the body and mind function when mentally or emotionally stressed.”

New member Danielle Broelinckx echoes that sentiment: "The longevity event last year was my first venture in downtown Phoenix, and also my first contact with the OLLI community. Attending the event opened a door of unending learning possibilities in my life. I was hooked.”

This year, Arizona Poet Laureate and ASU Regents’ Professor Alberto Rios will keynote the event.

Other presentations include “The Fish Story” with Carol Johnston, associate director of the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion. Johnston will discuss how both a fish-based and a meat-based diet might protect the aging brain. Karen Anderson, associate professor in the Biodesign Institute, will talk about advances in the detection and treatment of cancer.

Julie Fleury, a professor in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, and Nelma Shearer, director of the Hartford Center for Gerontological Nursing Excellence, are partnering to present “Empowering Your Potential for Abundant Living,” an examination of the power of promoting strengths to enhance well-being.

Professor of communications studies Vincent Waldron will also look at promoting physical and mental well-being in his talk, “Forgiveness: A key to health and wellness in later life.”

Waldron, who founded the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute ten years ago, says, “OLLI has become a vibrant community of lifelong learners."

“We are pleased that Dr. Waldron is joining us to celebrate OLLI's ten-year anniversary,” says Knopf. “In addition to the rich history of the program and the many scholars that have shared their expertise with our members, we celebrate the deep sense of community that has developed among our members.”

“Abundant Aging and Longevity” is the institute’s signature annual event complimenting year-round opportunities for older adults to connect with the intellectual, cultural and social resources of ASU. This spring, the institute is offering over 90 classes in a diverse array of areas, including history, art, religion, current events and more.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is part of ASU’s Partnership for Community Development in the School of Community Resources and Development.

“Abundant Aging and Longevity” will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, Feb. 7, at the Nursing and Health Innovation Building II, Auditorium (room 110), 550 N. Third St. in downtown Phoenix. The event costs $10 to attend and requires membership in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute ($15), which offers low-cost classes and lectures throughout the year. Register online at or call 602-543-6440.

Heather Beshears

director marketing and communications, College of Public Service and Community Solutions


New college name reflects commitment to service, solutions

January 13, 2015

The College of Public Programs at Arizona State University is now the College of Public Service and Community Solutions. Jonathan Koppell, dean of the college, says the title better reflects the college’s commitment to service, research and learning that addresses social problems.

“Whether the focus is on public safety, social welfare, public administration or community development, the diverse academic programs and research initiatives of the College of Public Service and Community Solutions offer a multifaceted approach to solving society's shared challenges,” says Koppell. “We help build stronger, more resilient, more dynamic communities.” Jonathan Koppel, dean of the College of Public Service and Community Solutions Download Full Image

Located in downtown Phoenix, the college serves 5,500 undergraduate and graduate students in four schools: Community Resources and Development; Criminology and Criminal Justice; Public Affairs; and Social Work. The college has the distinction of having the highest percentages of underrepresented minority students, first-generation college students, transfer students and veterans at ASU.

College of Public Service and Community Solutions schools and centersThe college also sponsors the Spirit of Service scholarship program and other initiatives that provide learning opportunities, leadership training and mentors to students who aspire to make a difference in their community.

“The college provides a first-rate education in fields that are vital to our well-being,” says ASU President Michael M. Crow. "What some may not know is the role it plays in developing a new generation of civic leaders. Through current and future initiatives, the College of Public Service and Community Solutions will continue to have an impact well beyond the classroom. That is the kind of leadership we need to address the complex issues we face today.”

The college is home to 17 research centers that work on some of the most pressing matters facing communities today, including sex trafficking, technology in policing and the scarcity of water in Arizona and the Southwest.

Many of these centers – including the Morrison Institute for Public Policy and the Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation – are well-known vital resources for the people of Arizona, providing policy analysis, training and support for dozens of community and government bodies.

Other units, such as the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center, are doing cutting-edge applied research through externally-funded research grants that bring millions of dollars to the state while developing innovative interventions to address vexing social problems. Through its Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and Bob Ramsey Executive Education, the college offers education beyond university degrees.

“These research entities make important contributions to the solutions of complex problems," says Shultz, co-chair of the Dean's Leadership Council at the College of Public Service and Community Solutions. “And there is a monetary value to them. It may not be like gold or an Intel manufacturing facility, but it can be calculated in terms of the impact on lives and society.”

The college boasts more than 20,000 graduates since it was created by the Arizona Board of Regents in 1979 and located on the Tempe campus. At the time, the College of Public Programs consisted of the School of Public Affairs, the Department of Leisure Studies, the Center for Criminal Justice, the Department of Communication and the Department of Journalism and Telecommunication. The latter two departments are now stand-alone schools. The School of Social Work joined the College in 1999. The ASU West Department of Social Work and the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, which was also located on the Glendale campus, joined the college after it relocated to downtown Phoenix in 2008.

The college is launching a new speakers series to commemorate the new name, which kicks off Jan. 20 at the Downtown Phoenix campus. It features three professors whose research is helping build strong communities:

• School of Social Work associate professor Dominique Roe-Sepowitz will explain how innovation and collaboration are making a difference addressing the world’s oldest profession.

• School of Social Work director Michelle Carney will talk about her research on domestic violence abusers, including female abusers and what it takes to end the cycle of violence.

• School of Social Work associate professor Joanne Cacciatore will talk about why death and grief are necessary for life and joy.

The event starts at 6 p.m. in the Cronkite Theater, 555 N. Central Ave., Phoenix.

Paul Atkinson

assistant director, College of Public Service and Community Solutions


Natural resource expert named inaugural director of ASU water center

January 8, 2015

Following a national search, natural resource expert and Audubon leader Sarah Porter has been named the inaugural director of the new Kyl Center for Water Policy at Morrison Institute.

“I am so excited to join the new center and help it succeed in finding collaborative solutions to address our state’s water challenges,” said Porter, who had been with the Audubon Arizona since 2006, including as executive director since 2010. Sarah Porter Download Full Image

She will begin her new job at Morrison Institute for Public Policy on Jan. 20.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with having Sarah take charge of the Kyl Center as Arizona seeks new and innovative ways and strategies to settle water claims, develop sound water policy through consensus and better educate the general public about water resources and choices,” said Thom Reilly, director of Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University.

Porter has a broad understanding of both Arizona and regional water issues, having directed Audubon’s Western Rivers project, a multi-state initiative to raise awareness of the challenges to Colorado River sustainability, as well as protecting and restoring flows for critical habitats and communities.

“It’s all about securing Arizona’s water future through collective and inclusive input from a diverse roster of agency leaders, elected officials, policymakers and stakeholders. Sarah understands that,” Reilly said, noting Porter’s nonpartisan and collaborative successful initiatives at Audubon.

The Kyl Center, named after retired U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl in recognition of his statesmanship and continued leadership on water issues, was officially launched in November after a $1 million gift from the Morrison family. The Kyl Center is housed at Morrison Institute, which is part of the ASU College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

Kyl, who is actively involved in the center, including the selection process for the director post, said he was pleased by the choice of Porter.

“I was very impressed by the quality of all the candidates who expressed interest in the position, and particularly impressed by Sarah’s credentials, energy and dedication to collaboration – all of which are needed in making the center the success we all want and need it to be,” Kyl said.

Morrison Institute last month announced the addition of two senior research fellows to help with the research component of the Kyl Center for Water Policy: Kathleen Ferris, executive director of the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association; and Rhett B. Larson, an associate professor of law in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU. Both are attorneys.

Porter also is an attorney, having graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree and obtaining her juris doctor from Arizona State University (ranking third in her class). She clerked for federal appellate Judge William Canby and was a litigator for Brown & Bain; Coppersmith Gordon Schermer Owens & Nelson, PLC; and Osborn Maledon PA.

She said she left her law career in 2006 for Audubon because she wanted to contribute to a collaborative effort to address Arizona’s natural resource challenges. She will now dedicate that focus to the Kyl Center.

Kyl Center Mission Statement:
The Kyl Center for Water Policy at Morrison Institute seeks to generate policy proposals for public evaluation and subsequent consideration for possible action or adoption. An ASU resource, the Kyl Center promotes research, analysis, collaboration and open dialogue to identify opportunities for consensus to ensure sound water stewardship for Arizona and the Western region for generations to come.

ASU criminology and criminal justice online grad program ranked No. 2 in nation

January 7, 2015

Arizona State University's School of Criminology and Criminal Justice ranks second nationally in the rankings of online graduate programs by U.S. News & World Report. The ranking is the highest of any ASU online graduate program. View the complete list of university rankings here.

“The fact that our online graduate degree is ranked number two in the nation is a reflection of the time and energy that the faculty and staff have devoted to developing a high quality and demanding program that serves the needs of our students,” says Cassia Spohn, director of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Ana Perez and Mariela Diaz received their graduate degrees in December 2014 Download Full Image

The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, in the College of Public Service and Community Solutions (formally the College of Public Programs), was one of the first at ASU to offer an online graduate program. Since the first degree was awarded in 2010, 329 students have earned their master of arts in criminology and criminal justice, including 73 last month.

Ana Perez is one of them. She traveled from her home in North Carolina to participate in graduation ceremonies.

“I feel that Arizona State has put a lot of thought into how it's running its online programs, especially the criminal justice program,” says Perez. “I'm very impressed with how they do it.”

Perez earned a pre-law degree in justice studies from ASU before moving to North Carolina, where her husband is stationed in the military. She had planned on enrolling in law school there, but as a new mother, thought a master’s degree made more sense. Perez finished in one year with a GPA of 3.85. She will teach part-time as an adjunct instructor at a North Carolina school and hopes to land a position as a crime analyst with the Raleigh Police Department where she volunteers.

Perez appreciated the flexibility an online degree offers. It allowed her to study on her own schedule while working full-time and raising a newborn. She says what stood out about her experience at ASU were the professors and faculty associates she learned from.

“I think the instructors pay special attention to their online students, and [the students] receive the same type of education as someone going to school in person,” Perez says.

Unlike in-person classes that are taught over the course of a fall, spring or summer semester, online courses are taught over seven and a half weeks.

“Honestly, it helped me remember what I learned a lot better,” says Mariela Diaz, who earned her bachelor’s degree in criminology and criminal justice in person and her master’s degree online. “Because they were only seven week classes instead of expanding it out over an entire semester, it was always fresh in my mind.”

Like many of the school’s online graduate students, Diaz wasn’t in a position to take in-person classes. She is a regional profit risk analyst for Kohl’s department stores.

“I oversee 73 stores and I travel a lot,” Diaz says. “So that’s why the MA online was the best choice for me.”

In addition to a master of arts in criminology and criminal justice, the school offers online graduate certificates in law enforcement administration and corrections management for professionals seeking career advancement. A new online graduate degree – a master of arts in emergency management and homeland security – began in fall 2014. The interdisciplinary degree, offered by the College of Public Service and Community Solutions, is one of the fastest growing online degrees at ASU.

Paul Atkinson

assistant director, College of Public Service and Community Solutions


ASU professor creates tool for government collaboration

January 5, 2015

Finding new and innovative ways to deliver public services is a challenge for many city and county managers, especially if it involves partnering with another government, nonprofit or company.

But now, thanks to a new tool developed by David Swindell, director of the Center for Urban Innovation at Arizona State University, public managers can better determine if a service partnership is worthwhile. ASU Public Affairs professor David Swindell Download Full Image

While government collaborations are't new, the assessment tool created by Swindell provides government managers with a new ability to assess whether collaboration is the right thing to do. And, if so, what kind of partnership has the best chance of success.

“The really cool innovations are happening at the local level,” says Swindell. “There could be some efficiencies to be gained by working with other partners through collaborative arrangements and maybe even increases in effectiveness as well.”

The new tool, itself, is the result of collaboration among Arizona State University’s Center for Urban Innovation, the Alliance for Innovation and the International City/County Management Association. It’s aimed at public managers who are tasked with delivering more cost-effective services that exceed the expectations of citizens.

“We are trying to provide them a useful tool that’s going to be applicable everywhere,” Swindell says. “It can be a school board, it can be a city council, it can be the township in Indiana. If you are a public entity, this framework is something you can utilize to determine whether or not the collaborative approach makes sense for your community given the service that you want to explore and then what kind of collaboration will make the most sense – would maximize the likelihood for success.”

Swindell, who is an associate professor in the School of Public Affairs at ASU's College of Public Programs, points to a Nevada public nonprofit partnership that illustrates the value of collaboration.

The cities of Reno and nearby Sparks found it difficult to keep up with the number of abandoned dogs and cats. They were forced to euthanize several thousand each year. In 2002, voters approved funds to build an animal shelter to be run by a new county animal services agency, not the cities.

The Nevada Humane Society contributed $2 million to help build a facility next door, taking in animals that would otherwise go to the animal shelter and cost taxpayers money. The nonprofit also offered low-cost spay and neutering, and helped unwanted pets get adopted. Within a few years, more than 90 percent of unwanted and rescued pets had homes, saving the county money, reducing the stress and burnout of staff, and improving public support.

“This is a good example of where a county is working in collaboration with a nonprofit agency to both absorb costs and share benefits in a true partnership,” says Swindell.

Swindell became interested in the concept of government collaboration after conducting an extensive literature review for an article he co-wrote with Cheryl Hilvert, the director of the Center for Management Strategies at the International City/County Management Association. In discovering patterns associated with communities' success or challenges, Swindell began constructing a model for a collaborative service delivery program.

“Local government managers know that collaboration is a truly viable alternative for service delivery, and given the economic climate, is one that we have to consider more often,” says Hilvert. "They simply need some help to get the dialogue started on the things that are really important to understand in a collaborative service delivery program.”

Hilbert and Swindell are helping get the dialogue started with a workbook that walks public managers through the process. To get them comfortable using the evaluation tool, it includes exercises on evaluating current collaborations underway by local governments. The two are speaking about the workbook at national and international conferences.

“The tool that David developed will help guide this process, allowing managers to fully understand the service itself and the context in which the services are to be delivered,” Hilvert says. “It will also help to identify the myriad of partners that exist locally in the community as well as nationally, so that partners can be identified beyond the “usual suspects.” All of this will help to make discussions and decisions on collaboration better informed and, hopefully, a little easier!”

If a decision is made to partner with another government, nonprofit or corporation, Swindell says one key to success will be to know what’s going on at all times.

“One of the things we harp on a lot in this is you got to stay engaged, you’ve got to measure what you’re doing,” Swindell says. “If you do don’t measure, it doesn’t exist. And these partnerships requiring a lot of networking – you got to have the communication.”

Paul Atkinson

assistant director, College of Public Service and Community Solutions


Conference explores resiliency in governing

January 5, 2015

Recovery does not equal resiliency. This was one of the key takeaways from the Alliance for Innovation’s 2014 BIG Ideas conference, a gathering of more than 100 thought leaders from the public and private sector.

“By bringing together leaders from across the spectrum – business, education, foundations and government – we explore critical issues, exchange ideas and foster innovative ways of thinking about plans for the future of our communities,” says Karen Thoreson, president of the Alliance for Innovation. Download Full Image

The Alliance for Innovation is a unique collaboration of members, supported by Arizona State University’s College of Public Service and Community Solutions, and the International City/County Management Association. The annual BIG Ideas event aims to explore cross-cutting challenges facing local governments.

This year, the group examined adversity and better ways communities can adapt to future challenges.

“Resiliency for our communities requires more than the ability to bounce back,” says Thoreson.

Four primary themes emerged: prepare and plan today; institutionalize resiliency; build collaboration; and the importance of communication.

Opening the conference, Rebecca Ryan, resident futurist for the Alliance, stressed the need to embrace adversity. She explored protective and promotive factors that cities use and how “innovation and resilience will occur to those best prepared.”

Other speakers led interactive discussions on environmental, economic and emotional resiliency.

Summaries from the conference presentations and a recap from Public Sector Digest are available on the Alliance website. For more, visit

Heather Beshears

director marketing and communications, College of Public Service and Community Solutions


White House cites research of ASU professor on federal child care subsidies

December 18, 2014

The research of Arizona State University public affairs professor Christ Herbst was featured by the White House during its summit on early childhood education Dec. 10.

Herbst has written extensively about the federal child care subsidy program, called the Child Care and Development Block Grant. His articles were among those included by the Executive Office of the President publication, titled “The Economics of Early Childhood Investments.” The document provided background information for those who attended the event. Chris Herbst and Erdal Tekin Download Full Image

At the summit, President Obama announced that $250 million in new funding will be awarded to 18 states for child care, including Arizona.

“Today fewer than three in 10 four-year-olds are enrolled in high-quality preschool,” President Obama told those attending the summit. “It's not that working parents don't want their kids to be in safe, high-quality learning environments every day. It's that they can't afford the costs of private preschool. And for poor children who need it most, the lack of access to a great preschool can affect their entire lives.”

Herbst and research colleague Erdal Tekin, a professor of public administration and policy at American University, found that the federal government’s child care subsidy program failed to meet the health and developmental needs of preschoolers, leaving them ill-prepared to start school.

The early education summit was attended by business leaders, mayors and philanthropists involved in early childhood education. In addition to the speech by the president, the daylong event featured guest speakers and panel discussions looking at best practices in early childhood education employed throughout the nation.

Paul Atkinson

assistant director, College of Public Service and Community Solutions


ASU partnership to expand peer-delivered services in behavioral health sector

December 18, 2014

The Arizona Department of Health Services/Division of Behavioral Health has recently awarded a two-year contract to Arizona State University to coordinate a Peer Career Advancement Academy. The purpose of this academy is to provide advanced training and educational opportunities to certified peer specialists.

Peer specialists are individuals in recovery from mental illness and/or addiction who are employed by behavioral health care providers. Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy Download Full Image

“People who have achieved and sustained recovery from mental health and substance abuse conditions are powerful supports for individuals seeking their own path to recovery,” says Kathy Bashor, bureau chief for the Office of Individual and Family Affairs, Division of Behavioral Health.

“Nowhere else in the U.S. is an innovative program like this available,” she says. “It gets individuals out of the system and into providing services.”

ASU’s Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy will be coordinating this new initiative. Over the course of the next two years, the design of the Peer Career Advancement Academy will be finalized, and training tracks implemented for health and wellness coaches, special assistance advocates, housing support and supported employment specialists.

“One of the most powerful outcomes of peer support is that it has a mutual benefit. Peers not only help someone else, they help themselves,” says Vicki Staples, associate director for clinical initiatives for the center, which is part of the School of Social Work in the College of Public Programs.

“We are expanding opportunities for people in the community, and know that we’ll need to provide additional peer-delivered services in these areas,” says Staples.

Peer support services have been shown to facilitate recovery and reduce health care costs. Findings from Klein, Cnaan and Whitecraft (1998) on the use of peer support have documented reductions in hospitalizations, improved social functioning, reduced substance use and improved quality of life. Research has shown that peer support plays a part in reducing the overall need for mental health services over time. Peer support has also demonstrated outcomes in the areas of parenting, loss and bereavement, cancer and chronic illnesses.

“This is a great collaboration between state agencies, building a program from the ground up with community input,” Staples adds. “Ongoing community support will be critical to its future.”

For more information about the ASU Peer Career Advancement Academy, contact Vicki Staples at

Heather Beshears

director marketing and communications, College of Public Service and Community Solutions


Criminal justice undergrad lands internship with US Marshal's Office

December 17, 2014

Jennifer Pitts, an undergraduate in criminology and criminal justice at Arizona State University, says her ultimate goal is to be a U.S. Marshal and work in witness protection. She’ll be getting a taste of that this spring, as she was recently selected for a highly competitive internship with the U.S. Marshal’s office in Phoenix.

“I am very excited. I essentially put all of my chips into that pot – I wanted it so badly,” she says. ASU student Jennifer Pitts Download Full Image

“I really like helping victims and getting justice. I know that sounds cliché,” she says. “I’ve always been interested in criminology and criminal justice. I think it is due to the fact that my dad’s a firefighter and my mom’s a nurse, so I wanted to go into a field where I help people.”

“Jennifer is a great example of what we hope happens with all of our students,” says Kevin Wright, assistant professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, part of the College of Public Programs at ASU. “She has started the process of translating excellence in the classroom into making an impact in our communities.

“I am particularly pleased that she has chosen to focus on helping victims. When we talk about ‘justice’ in the criminal justice system, we usually mean justice for victims, and yet they are often left out of the process. This prestigious internship will allow Jennifer to make an immediate impact on the lives of others,” Wright adds.

As an intern, Pitts says she will be doing a little bit of everything – helping with prison transport, doing fitness tests, going to court – to get a full perspective of the job.

Her interest in the Marshal’s office stems from a desire to “make a bigger impact at the federal level.”

Pitts transferred to ASU from Northern Arizona University (NAU) as a sophomore. She was already working toward a degree in criminology and criminal justice. An internship with the NAU police department furthered that interest.

When she decided to transfer, she says that meeting with an adviser was a great help.

“I met with Becca Garcia-Blanks, who is wonderful,” she says of Garcia-Blanks, an adviser with the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. “She helped ensure that I had the classes that I needed and [was able to] make a smooth transition.”

Pitts is on track to graduate in spring 2015. She says one of her favorite classes is CRJ 406, a sex crimes class with Rebecca Loftus, a lecturer with the school.

“You hear some very colorful terms at 9 a.m.,” she says. “But it is information that I feel will be useful after graduation.”

She notes that she is learning about the offense cycle, law enforcement and the criminal justice process.

“We are learning how victims respond and how offenders actually think,” she adds.

But not all of Pitts’ time is spent on the Downtown Phoenix campus. She lives at the West campus and is part of ASU’s color guard, with frequent visits to Tempe for practice. She has been a part of the Sun Devil marching band and color guard since transferring to ASU, and is also part of the Phoenix Independent Winter Guard.

Pitts is also a member of Alpha Phi Sigma, the criminology and criminal justice honor society.

Heather Beshears

director marketing and communications, College of Public Service and Community Solutions