ASU center director Jane Maienschein joins University Professor elite

September 29, 2015

Two Arizona State University faculty members were appointed to an elite group of ASU University Professors on Sept. 29 by ASU President Michael M. Crow and Interim Provost Mark Searle.

“ASU is an environment that attracts pioneering minds in the creative arts and sciences and encourages them to thrive,” Crow said. “As University Professors, these leading scholars represent the best of our world-class faculty and the outstanding accomplishments that have made a significant impact on generations of scholars, entrepreneurs and our community.” Group with ASU President Michael Crow (From left) Former Provost Rob Page, Interim Provost Mark Searle, Professor Sally Kitch and Professor Jane Maienschein stand with ASU President Michael Crow after Kitch and Maienschein are awarded new certifications of University Professor on Sept. 29. Photo by: Charlie Leight/ASU News Download Full Image

Those chosen are also ASU’s top experts in their fields of research, nationally and internationally: Jane Maienschein, University Professor of History and Science; and Sally Kitch, University Professor of Women and Gender Studies.

Learn more about Kitch here.

“Regents’ Professors Maienschein and Kitch are exceptional scholars and outstanding leaders of innovative, thriving and impactful research centers,” said Searle. “Their insight, commitment and expertise has spurred new discovery and advanced novel programs of study, as well as vaulting understanding of the complex relationships between people, science and society.” 

Regents’ Professor Jane Maienschein is a professor in the School of Life Sciences and director of the Center for Biology and Society in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She is also a Distinguished Sustainability Scientist with the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and an adjunct senior scientist and director of the History Project with Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL). She received her bachelor’s from Yale, and her master’s and doctorate from Indiana University.

Maienschein is the author of four books, numerous articles, essays, and more than 160 book reviews. Her research interests span embryology, the field of study covering the development of embryos and fetuses; genetics and cell biology; the history and philosophy of science; and the changing social, political and legal context in which science thrives.

She launched the Embryo Project at ASU and founded the Embryo Project Encyclopedia, a digital archive of images, essays, articles and exhibits of embryology and development, stem cells, cloning and evolution, and reproductive medicine as well as the MBL digital archives and History Project

“This appointment is a huge honor, and it feels like it brings a huge responsibility,” Maienschein said. “I plan to continue doing everything I have been doing, but to extend a bit more in some new directions.”   

These new directions, according to Maienschein, include investing more energy to find funding to expand the digital archives and online exhibits for the History Project at the Marine Biological Laboratory and invest in students’ efforts to expand social media and public access to the online Embryo Project Encyclopedia.

As director of the Center for Biology and Society, Maienschein has attracted award-winning faculty to support a range of unique educational and research programs in the School of Life Sciences. Faculty members integrate teaching and research, offer individualized student support, and promote civic leadership and the scholarly exploration of conceptual foundations and historical development of the biosciences and their diverse interactions with society.

Maienschein was named Arizona Professor of the Year by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and received an Independent Publisher’s Book Award. 

In 2015, Maienschein received the David L. Hull Prize, the highest honor granted by the International Society for History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology. The prize honors extraordinary contributions to scholarship and service and promotion of interdisciplinary studies. 

Maienschein is a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Science and fellow of the Association for Women in Science, and recognized for her mentorship. Each year, Maienschein and ASU colleagues take students from Barrett, The Honors College to give professional presentations at the annual AAAS meetings. She has advised undergraduate students on more than 60 Honors Projects and theses, in addition to supporting 19 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.  

At ASU, Maienschein also holds the titles of President’s Professor and Parents Association Professor, and has received numerous awards, including the Zebulon Pearce Quality Teaching Award, Distinguished Faculty Award, Alumni Association Outstanding Teaching Award and Gary S. Krahenbuhl Difference-Maker Award.

Margaret Coulombe

Director, Executive Communications, Office of the University Provost


ASU, national lab to develop solutions to global challenges

September 29, 2015

Arizona State University and the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington, will enter into an agreement to solidify the burgeoning collaboration between the two institutions on research projects related to energy security, climate science and sustainability, and other aspects of global security.  

The signing of the official memorandum of understanding took place at Sept. 29 in the Fulton Center on ASU's Tempe campus. Group photo after collaboration agreement Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan (left), senior vice president of research, entrepreneurship and economic development at ASU's Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, and Doug Ray, director of strategic partnerships at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, sign an agreement to collaborate on research projects related to energy security, climate science and sustainability, and other aspects of global security, Sept. 29 in Tempe. Photo by: Charlie Leight/ASU Now Download Full Image

ASU and PNNL have collaborated successfully in the past on projects including power-grid resilience, climate change and environmental sustainability. The agreement paves the way for both ASU and PNNL to leverage their capabilities to achieve mutual objectives, which include attracting new funding in global security and complex systems science and developing immersive learning opportunities for students.

“ASU has already proven to be a great partner as both PNNL and the university strive to further solutions to global security and sustainability through better understanding of complex adaptive systems,” said Doug Ray, director of strategic partnerships at PNNL. “We are impressed with ASU’s commitment to innovation and are looking forward to creating opportunities to engage collaboratively on important research projects.”

Not only will the agreement foster innovative research between PNNL and ASU, but it will also open a pipeline for eventual joint appointments and extend national laboratory resources to students.

“PNNL and ASU share common goals for advancing research in key areas that will have an impact on our local and global communities,” said Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, senior vice president of research, entrepreneurship and economic development at ASU's Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development. “We are delighted to build upon our existing collaborations that will further our efforts to create sustainable solutions to energy security, climate change, resiliency and more.”

Group photo after collaboration agreement

(From left) Betsy Cantwell, deputy vice president of the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development at ASU; Nadya Bliss, director of the Global Security Initiative at ASU; Sethuraman Panchanathan, senior vice president of research, entrepreneurship and economic development at the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development; Doug Ray, director of strategic partnerships at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Jamie Winterton, director of the strategy global security initiative at ASU; and Jill Brandenberger, manager of sustainability and national security at PNNL, on Sept. 29 in Tempe. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Nadya Bliss, director of ASU’s Global Security Initiative, agrees that the mutual interests of each organization will greatly benefit the collaborative research efforts of the newly signed agreement.  

"Given our existing ongoing efforts both in global security and sustainability as well as complimentary strength and expertise to address national and global wicked problems, it made sense to expand and formalize the collaboration between our two organizations,” Bliss said. “On a personal note, I have had the pleasure of working closely with PNNL’s Joint Global Change Research Institute (JGCRI) and have been thoroughly impressed by both the ongoing research at JGCRI and effectiveness of our two organizations working together.”

In announcing the agreement, both Ray and Panchanathan said PNNL and ASU are committed to discovery and innovation to address the complex problems facing the world today.