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Alumni Association honors world-changing innovators

March 03, 2009

The Arizona State University Alumni Association will honor faculty members and alumni involved in solving challenges with world-changing consequences at its Founders’ Day Awards Dinner, slated for 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 3 at The Buttes, a Marriott Resort, 2000 Westcort Way, Tempe.

The award ceremony has been a signature event for the university for decades, and it honors individuals who exemplify the spirit of the founders of the Territorial Normal School of Arizona, ASU’s predecessor institution, who received their charter from the Thirteenth Territorial Legislature on March 7, 1885.

“At this year’s Founders’ Day event, ASU will debut The Challenges Project at ASU, an idea-driven campaign at the university that is soliciting community and internal input on the most significant challenges of the current age,” says Christine Wilkinson, ASU Alumni Association president.

“The Challenges Project at ASU ( crystallizes hundreds of individual educational and research initiatives into a compelling, cohesive communication of the university’s purpose and value to society. It brings the big, bold ideas that are at the core of the New American University concept, as articulated by ASU President Michael Crow, to life so that the university can inspire support, enlist advocates and attract resources.”

The following individuals and groups will be honored at the Founders’ Day event.

James W. Creasman Award of Excellence: GlobalResolve
About the award: The Creasman award is presented to an individual or group whose contributions to the Alumni Association, the university, and the community illustrate qualities exemplified by James W. Creasman, a key contributor to the success of the ASU Alumni Association over his six decades of service to Arizona State. 

Honorees: Mark Henderson, professor, Department of Engineering, College of Technology and Innovation; David Jacobson, professor, School of Government, Politics and Global Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; alumnus Mark Kerrigan ’74 B.S.; Brad Rogers, associate professor, Department of Engineering, College of Technology and Innovation; Rajiv Sinha, professor, Marketing Department, W. P. Carey School of Business.

Henderson, Jacobson, Kerrigan, Rogers, and Sinha are being recognized for their work with GlobalResolve, a social entrepreneurship initiative that utilizes the talents of ASU students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners in developing countries to improve the lives of underprivileged people throughout the world. The program, founded in 2006, currently focuses on projects in the African nation of Ghana. GlobalResolve participants help address health concerns from cooking fires, primarily through developing a new stove that runs on a gel fuel which would be developed and produced within Ghana.

The organization’s unique blend of engineering, business, health, entrepreneurship and no small degree of on-the-fly anthropology results in solutions designed to be replicable locally, regionally, and internationally. The work done by GlobalResolve also creates the potential for profitable new business ventures that generate sustainable income streams for impacted populations.

The GlobalResolve project was nominated by William Verdini, Chair, Supply Chain Management, W. P. Carey School of Business.

Faculty Achievement Awards
About the awards: Faculty achievement is recognized at the Founders’ Day event for contributions in teaching, research and service. Award winners will receive a $2,000 grant for their achievements. Funds for the awards come from gifts received from members of the 2009 Founders’ Society.

Faculty Achievement Research Award
Patricia Gober
Professor, School of Geographical Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Professor, School of Sustainability
Co-Director, Decision Center for a Desert City at ASU

Patricia Gober is being honored for her role in advancing the issues of water management and environmental change in metropolitan Phoenix. Gober played a key role in obtaining multi-year funding from the National Science Foundation for ASU’s Decision Center for a Desert City, which studies water management decisions in the face of growing climatic uncertainty in Phoenix. She also serves as co-director for the center.
Gober was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in November 2008. She is a past president of the Association of American Geographers and a former member of the Population Reference Bureau’s board of trustees and the Science Advisory Board of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Her most recent book, “Metropolitan Phoenix: Place Making and Community Building in the Desert,” was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2006.

Gober was nominated by Craig Kirkwood, a professor of supply chain management at ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business.

Faculty Achievement Research Award
Charles Perrings
Professor, School of Life Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Co-director, ecoSERVICES Group at ASU

Perrings is being honored for his contributions to advancing the understanding of the impact of human activities on the biosphere. His research interests include the management of environmental public goods under uncertainty, and the environmental implications of economic development.
He has engaged in an international agenda to promote sensible management of the Earth’s ecological endowments for the past several decades. His 1987 book “Economy and Environment” is considered a seminal work in the field. In addition to being a past president of the International Society for Ecological Economics, Perrings authored a four-volume series on "Ecological Economics" in 2008. The United Nations Environment Programme recently contracted with Perrings to produce a series of policy briefs on such issues as green accounting, payments for ecosystem services, and the greening of development.

Perrings is the co-chair of the ecoSERVICES core project of Diversitas, the international program of biodiversity science. He co-directs the ecoSERVICES Group at ASU, which studies the benefits that people derive from the biophysical environment.

Perrings was nominated by Jane Maienschein, a Regents’ Professor and President’s Professor, and the director of the Center for Biology and Society in the School of Life Sciences.

Faculty Achievement Service Award

Bernard Young
Professor, School of Art, Katherine K. Herberger College of the Arts
Director, Eleanor A. Robb Children’s Art Workshop

For many of his students at ASU, Bernard Young provides a first exposure to multicultural artists outside the Western European tradition. He is being recognized for his work investigating African-American and multicultural issues in art and culture.

As director of the Eleanor A. Robb Children's Art Workshop since 1988, Young oversees a unique community program that serves students throughout the Phoenix area who are interested in learning about art. Young also works with schools on Indian reservations and others throughout Arizona as well as with artists in the Black community.  

In 2003 the National Art Education Association’s board of directors named Bernard Young as a Distinguished Fellow. He also has served as director of the organization’s Higher Education division. Young is also the recipient of the 2003 International Ziegfeld Award sponsored by the United States Society for Education through Art.

Young was nominated by Nancy Serwint, acting director of the School of Art within the Katherine K. Herberger College of the Arts.

Faculty Achievement Teaching Award
Frank Serafini
Associate professor, College of Teacher Education and Leadership

Frank W. Serafini is being honored for his work to promote children’s literacy. Serafini was an elementary school teacher for nine years in Phoenix and spent three years as a literacy specialist in K-6 classrooms. He taught at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for seven years before joining ASU’s College of Teacher Education and Leadership.

Serafini’s work as a professor focuses on teaching and conducting research about reading instruction and the role of children's literature in the reading curriculum. His current research project focuses on visual literacies. Serafini has published six professional development books for elementary educators, as well as a series of children’s picture books about nature.

Serafini was nominated by Mari Koerner, dean of the College of Teacher Education and Leadership.