Alberto Ríos appointed to Academy of American Poets

January 15, 2014

ASU Regents' Professor Alberto Ríos, the inaugural poet laureate for Arizona, has been appointed to the Academy of American Poets' board of chancellors.

In this capacity, Ríos will advocate for the programmatic work of the academy; act as a consultant to the organization on matters of artistic direction and programming; elect the recipients of various awards, including the Academy Fellowship; and serve as an ambassador of poetry in the world at large. ASU Regents' Professor Alberto Ríos Download Full Image

“This honor speaks to that boy sitting in his second-grade chair reading Dr. Seuss at Coronado Elementary School in Nogales, Ariz.," said Ríos. "I was struggling with written language but was in awe of its power to make laughter – and meaning – come alive. I am humbled by this charge and hope to build on its significance."

Well-known poet translator Khaled Mattawa also was named to the 15-member board. Both will serve a six-year term.

Founded 80 years ago, the academy is a nonprofit organization that supports American poets at all stages of their careers and fosters an appreciation for contemporary poetry. They simultaneously publish a biannual literary journal and sponsor numerous readings and other events.

The post of chancellor is a high honor and appointment to it is indicative of a poet’s national standing. According to the academy’s selection guidelines: “These men and women must be chosen from amongst literary persons of the highest standing. They must themselves be known for their good judgment and eminent integrity of opinion.”

Ríos was named inaugural poet laureate for Arizona last August. He has individual works in more than 300 journals and more than 250 anthologies, and has been honored with numerous awards – including the Walt Whitman Award in Poetry, bestowed by The Academy of American Poets, the Western Literature Association Distinguished Achievement Award, the Arizona Literary Treasure Award and a Governor's Arts Award. Ríos also has led countless community projects in cities and towns across Arizona.

Ríos received both his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Arizona. As a full-tenured professor in the Department of English at ASU, Ríos was subsequently awarded the highest rank distinction the university system in Arizona can bestow: Regents’ Professor. He is also the Katharine C. Turner Chair in English in ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He has been with ASU since 1982.

Read the full release here.

TechShop adds new ASU 'makerspace' to Chandler's growing innovation hub

January 15, 2014

TechShop, a membership-based, do-it-yourself workshop and fabrication studio with locations nationwide, will celebrate the official grand opening of its Chandler location in ASU’s Chandler Innovation Center Jan. 17. 

Kicking off the celebration in true maker style, TechShop founder Jim Newton, ASU President Michael M. Crow and City of Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny will cut into a special steel ribbon with a plasma torch. Tours of the facility will follow the ribbon-cutting ceremony, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. inside TechShop Chandler Download Full Image

Festivities will continue from 11 a.m to 4 p.m., Jan. 18, with tours, action-packed equipment demos, hands-on activities and more. Several TechShop Chandler members will be joining the Saturday event, including local businesses and entrepreneurs Arcology Now!, Desarollo, Local Motors, Mobile Safe Case and SITGREEN Furniture.

“Many young makers are drawn to TechShop to build their dreams, from a now patented walking aid that a high school student designed for her grandmother to the prototype of a prefabricated classroom for developing nations in the tropics that a team of college students created,” said Newton. “In our first academic partnership ever, we’re thrilled to bring the TechShop model to the next generation of makers and inventors at ASU and (in the) Chandler community.”

“ASU’s partnership with TechShop demonstrates our commitment to expanding entrepreneurship and innovation opportunities for our students and the community,” said Crow. "This makerspace will greatly benefit Chandler and the entire East Valley." 

ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation will offer memberships to students who are taking classes at the ASU Chandler Innovation Center, with discounted memberships available for other faculty and students. Anyone can become a member of TechShop Chandler. A list of membership offers for Chandler can be found online.

“This is a first-of-its-kind opportunity in the nation for college students,” said Mitzi Montoya, dean of the College of Technology and Innovation. “Beyond access to TechShop’s state-of-the-art tools, ASU students have a new community of entrepreneurs and inventors to collaborate with in the East Valley.”

The new makerspace also extends Chandler’s reputation as an innovation and creative corridor in the Southwest.

“This partnership aligns perfectly with the city’s strategic goals, and more importantly, we are looking forward to seeing the ‘next big thing’ emerge from the ASU Chandler Innovation Center,” said Tibshraeny. “The City of Chandler is committed to boosting long-term economic growth by supporting entrepreneurship through innovative individuals and companies in our community.”

RSVP for the grand opening celebration on Jan. 17 and get more info for the Saturday festivities on Jan. 18.