ASU Global trip promotes sustainability, regional cooperation

February 4, 2009

A delegation led by Anthony “Bud” Rock, vice president for global engagement, and Stephen Feinson, director of ASU’s Policy and Strategic Partnerships Office, traveled to the United Arab Emirates the week of Jan. 12 for a series of meetings to follow-up on last summer’s visit to ASU by Sultan Saeed Nasser AlMansoori, minister of economy for the UAE, and President Michael Crow and Rock’s subsequent visits to the UAE.

The ASU group, which met with government leaders, university officials and private sector representatives, included Mari Koerner, dean of the College of Teacher Education and Leadership; Sam DiGangi, executive director of ASU's Applied Learning Technologies Institute; and Jonathan Fink, director of the Global Institute of Sustainability. Download Full Image

Focus was on two thematic areas linked to ASU’s design aspirations: education technology and teacher training; and sustainability, with emphasis on renewable energy and public policy decision-making.

The trip, which included stops in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al-Khaimah, explored a range of potential projects and collaborations between ASU and the UAE. The delegation met with government leaders from the ministries of higher education, economy and environment; officials from Abu Dhabi University, the Higher Colleges of Technology, UAE University and Masdar Institute of Science and Technology; and private sector representatives.

Abu Dhabi University is a potential partner in the areas of educational training and technology, including possible development of a joint master’s in teacher leadership, as well as potential degrees in areas of special education and a possible joint center in education policy.
A meeting with the crown prince and the deputy ruler of Ras Al-Khaimah may lead to a linkage with Arab Grid for Learning, a pan-Arabic educational technologies initiative in which ASU is a partner and stakeholder.

Among opportunities under discussion with governmental and private contacts was construction of a Decision Theater, modeled on ASU’s facility, at some location in UAE to focus on environmental decision making, urban planning, and possibly connecting with the Masdar Initiative, a new, carbon-neutral city for 90,000 being built from scratch outside the city of Abu Dhabi. The latter is being managed by CH2M HILL, a large, international engineering firm with a presence in Tempe.

In addition, Vice President Rock met with representatives of the Dubai Municipality and Chamber of Commerce to discuss interest on the part of the City of Phoenix in building relationships with the emirate.

“It was a successful trip,” says Rock. “This is a critical region and ASU has a tremendous amount it can contribute, not only to economic development, but to fostering regional cooperation and collaborations. We’ve identified a range of opportunities and potential funding that can extend ASU’s global engagement aspirations and the university’s core objectives–sustainability, teacher leadership training, educational technology and public policy decision making—in collaboration with our partners.”

Following the UAE meetings, Feinson and Fink continued on to Jordan and Israel for additional meetings where they identified potential partners and resources that could extend core ASU global engagement objectives to a more regional approach which would build on some of the natural parallels between Arizona and that part of the world.

Discussed were the possibility of Jordanian/Palestinian/Israeli collaborations with ASU in the key areas of water resources, renewable energy (particularly solar) and long-term ecological research with a heavy focus on roles for ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability and School of Sustainability and Tel Aviv University’s Porter School of Environmental Studies, as well as Friends of the Earth Middle East, an non-governmental organization of Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli environmentalists that works cooperatively on regional environmental issues.

“ASU is seeking solutions for sustainability problems that affect arid regions with rapid population growth,” says Fink, “conditions that definitely apply in the Middle East. Our emphasis on research that directly helps decision-makers was especially well-received by the leaders we met with in the UAE, Jordan and Israel. We are exploring partnerships around water, energy and urbanization.”

Sun Devil softball gives back at the Kajikawa Classic

February 4, 2009

Arizona State University Athletics and Sun Devil Softball have teamed up with St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, Goodwill of Arizona, and the American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter to help valley residents in need.

The American Red Cross hosted a Blood Drive sponsored by the Sun Devil Softball team on the Tempe campus Friday, January 23rd from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM.  All units of blood donated at this event will be announced at the Kajikawa Classic games as part of the Devils Give Back weekend.

The weekend of February 6th, 7th, and 8th the Sun Devil Softball Team will give back at the Kajikawa Classic. Fans who donate a non-perishable food item or gently used clothing during the Kajikawa Classic at Farrington Softball Stadium or Tempe Sports Complex will receive a voucher for a future Sun Devil Softball game and a raffle ticket for a chance to win autographed ASU Softball team items!

Food and clothing donations will be accepted at the entrance of Farrington Softball Stadium and Tempe Sports Complex upon arrival to the Sun Devil events. 

Your participation in these events is greatly appreciated by all in the Arizona community. Currently, 686,378 Arizonans are considered food insecure and more than 800,000 Arizonans live at or below the poverty line, including 314,658 children. This means that 1 in 7 Arizona residents and 1 in 5 Arizona children live in poverty. In 2007-2008, the Food Bank distributed 43.4 million pounds of food to families and individuals.

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, the world’s first food bank, is a non-sectarian, non-profit organization that alleviates hunger by efficiently gathering and distributing food to 675 sites that serve the hungry. Serving 13 of Arizona’s 15 counties, the organization is committed to volunteerism, building community relationships and improving the quality of life for Arizonans in need. For more information on St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, visit or call 602-352-3640.

Goodwill of Central Arizona’s commitment is to Put People to Work throughout central Arizona by providing job training and employment services to those with vocational disadvantages that can include physical and emotional barriers, welfare dependency, illiteracy and age. We turn community donations into dollars that support human services programs. In 2008, Goodwill served almost 23,000 youth and adults on their quest toward self-sufficiency and secured more than 5,100 employment opportunities. For more information on Goodwill of Central Arizona, visit />
The American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter has developed community-based programs to serve populations with “unmet needs” – services either not available in their local community or not available at the level that is required.
Blood is needed in times of emergency, but the ongoing need is also great.
Every two seconds someone needs a blood transfusion. The Red Cross serves as the bridge between over 4 million generous blood donors and millions of patients in need each year, and serves over 3,000 hospitals throughout the United States. For more information on how to donate Call 1-800-GIVE LIFE (1-800-448-3543) or visit to make an appointment to donate blood today.
For questions or more information on how you can “Give Back” with the Sun Devil Softball team, please contact Jamie Acks at or 480-965-5941 or Aaron Pisk at or 480-727-0002.

Sun Devil Softball Gives Back Events

2009 Kajikawa Classic
February 6th, 7th, 8th at all games-click here for a complete schedule
Farrington Softball Stadium (ASU Campus) or Tempe Sports Complex
*Donate & receive a voucher for a future Sun Devil Softball game and a raffle ticket for a chance to win an autographed item

Ticketing Information
Day passes are $30 Adult and $20 Junior/Senior.  Single day tickets are also available and start at only $5. To purchase your tickets call the Sun Devil Ticket Office at 480-727-0000

Suggested items to donate (food must be non-perishable):

•    Peanut butter
•    Tuna
•    Canned vegetables/fruit
•    Rice
•    Pasta
•    Beans
•    No glass containers
•    Gently used clothing
•    Shoes
•    Linens Download Full Image