ASU, Argonne partner on climate, population growth and renewable energy

May 28, 2015

Arizona State University has signed an agreement with the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory that will facilitate a broad portfolio of research shared between the two institutions.

The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology by conducting leading-edge research in virtually every scientific discipline. ASU and Argonne sign MOU Download Full Image

The five-year memorandum of understanding will establish a structure for ASU and Argonne to pursue novel research in areas including decision-making based on climate variability and uncertainty; the impacts of global population dynamics and urbanization; the challenges of renewable energy practices; and creating innovative solutions to problems in energy, education and sustainability.

ASU and Argonne have collaborated on scientific efforts ranging from investigating the structure of spider silk to developing an artificial leaf that uses solar energy to convert water into hydrogen. ASU currently leads a $20 million, five-year project known as the Foresight Initiative in collaboration with Argonne’s Global Security Sciences Division and other partners. The project brings together knowledge and capabilities from a variety of organizations to develop an integrated computational platform that will enable decision makers to explore how climate change and future resource contention could contribute to political unrest and instability, as well as gain insights into sustainability and resilience strategies for mitigating the effects.

During the ongoing work, it became apparent that the two institutions shared a common belief in the power of interdisciplinary, cooperative research to tackle the really large problems facing the country.

“ASU is a world-class research institution and their approach to addressing scientific challenges aligns closely with ours, so this agreement makes perfect sense,” said associate laboratory director for Energy and Global Security Mark Peters. “This idea of putting together cross-cutting teams to collaborate on challenging research really resonates at both ASU and Argonne.”

Nadya Bliss, director of the Global Security Initiative, which manages the Foresight Initiative, agreed with that assessment. She said not only will the agreement foster innovative research between Argonne and ASU, but it will also open a pipeline for talent to flow between the two institutions.

“Argonne and ASU share common goals for advancing research in key areas that will have an impact on our local and global communities,” added Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, senior vice president of ASU's Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development. “We are delighted to continue the strong collaboration between our organizations with this new relationship, which will further our efforts to create sustainable solutions to challenges in the areas of climate adaptation, population growth and energy security.”

Director, Knowledge Enterprise Development


ASU Alumni Association welcomes new class of 30 Medallion Scholars

May 29, 2015

The Arizona State University Alumni Association recently welcomed 30 incoming ASU freshmen into the Medallion Scholarship program, the Alumni Association’s signature scholarship initiative.

The Medallion Scholarship program incorporates components of leadership, scholarship and service. The scholars were introduced with a dinner at Old Main on the Tempe campus. ASU Alumni Association Medallion Scholars The ASU Alumni Association recently feted 30 new recipients of the Medallion Scholarship at a dinner at Old Main in Tempe. More than 100 students currently receive the renewable, $3,000-per-year scholarship, supported by sales of the “Sparky” state license plate. Photo by: Arizona State University Alumni Association Download Full Image

Medallion Scholars receive four-year, renewable scholarships of $3,000 annually, provided they actively participate in a mentorship program, contribute volunteer hours to the Alumni Association and other service organizations, maintain a satisfactory grade-point average and remain in good standing as an ASU undergraduate.

This year’s class of Medallion Scholars, who are projected to graduate in 2019, is:

•    Hibah Agwani, Perry High School, Gilbert
•    Cierra Apodaca, Basha High School, Chandler
•    Olivia Besthoff, Gilbert High School, Gilbert
•    Madeline Briguglio, Fountain Hills High School, Fountain Hills
•    Sydney Cereska, Pinnacle High School, Phoenix
•    Kendall Chan, Horizon Honors High School, Phoenix
•    Vincent Ciaramitaro, Red Mountain High School, Mesa
•    Celeste Cruz, Flagstaff High School, Flagstaff
•    Briana Diaz, Phoenix Union Bioscience High School, Phoenix
•    Alexis Dong, Mesquite High School, Gilbert
•    Mackenzie Dunnahoo, Marcos de Niza High School, Tempe
•    Joelle Dykstra, Red Mountain High School, Mesa
•    Desiree Figueroa, Arizona School for the Arts, Phoenix
•    Terence Funk, Peoria High School, Peoria
•    Hannah Graff, Basha High School, Chandler
•    Hanna Lalani, Hamilton High School, Chandler
•    Sergio Mejia, ASU Preparatory Academy High School, Phoenix
•    Alec Moss, Scottsdale Preparatory Academy, Scottsdale
•    BethEl Nager, Tesseract School, Phoenix
•    Rachael Nowak, BASIS Scottsdale, Scottsdale
•    Ariel Patterson-Gonzales, Arcadia High School, Phoenix
•    Sarah Purdy, Arizona College Prep – Erie, Chandler
•    Cameron Ribail, Fountain Hills High School, Fountain Hills
•    JamieLee Richardson, Agua Fria High School, Avondale
•    Nicholas Serpa, Campo Verde High School, Gilbert
•    Michael Starkey, Sunnyslope High School, Phoenix
•    Karla Valenzuela, San Luis High School, San Luis
•    Madeline Vitale, Desert Mountain High School, Scottsdale
•    Keenan Woodburn, Brophy College Preparatory, Phoenix
•    Alexandra Wyroba, Horizon High School, Phoenix

More than 100 students currently receive the scholarship. During the most recent academic year, Medallion scholars received $300,000 in financial support.

Arizona vehicle owners with a “Sparky” license plate – ASU’s official collegiate license plate issued by the state Motor Vehicle Division – pay $25 annually for their plates, $17 of which supports the Medallion Scholars. Sparky license-plate sales began in 1989, and now there are more than 16,000 Sparky plates on vehicles throughout the state.

Reconstituted in 2006, the Medallion Scholarship Program was born out of the Alumni Association’s previous Medallion of Merit Scholarship. The original scholarship program traced its beginnings to the 1960s and provided merit-based financial assistance to thousands of students from across the state.

For more information on the Medallion Scholarship Program, visit To learn more about the “Sparky” plate program or to purchase a plate, visit