ASU to host economic development experts

March 2, 2015

The upcoming ASU Annual Public Finance Conference, March 12-13 in downtown Phoenix, will bring together experts from around the country to explore innovations in public finance. Attendees have the chance to gain insight and strategies from the leaders of large-scale projects, including entertainment, culture and social impact financing for economic development.

Keynote speaker Kent Hiteshew, director of the Office of State and Local Finance, will share observations on the role of the new office. Hiteshew will also explore the new and upcoming federal activities addressing local governments' rebound from the recession. ASU Public Finance Conference Download Full Image

Hiteshew’s office at the U.S. Department of Treasury was established in 2014 in response to requests for help from local jurisdictions facing fiscal and financial challenges.

“Financial capacity in the public sector is one of the key challenges in governance,” said Jonathan Koppell, dean, College of Public Service and Community Solutions. “Without intelligent innovation in finance, city officials will be hard-pressed to build the infrastructure and implement the change needed to build strong communities.”

“Our annual municipal finance workshop is one of the many ways we bring together researchers and practitioners to generate real solutions and implement constantly-evolving practices,” said Koppell.

“This is a unique opportunity to gain insights from practitioners around the U.S. and Canada, to hear from experts from the private and public sectors, to learn from other communities and to take away tangible tools,” said Karen Mossberger, director of the School of Public Affairs, part of the College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

Longtime business journalist and former managing editor at Bloomberg News, William Glasgall, will lead the opening panel discussion on public finance and how his team at Volcker Alliance is addressing the State Budget Crisis Task Force.

Glasgall oversaw coverage of state and local government and financial news at Bloomberg that won awards from the National Press Club Foundation and other organizations.

Other sessions will bring experts from around the country to share insight and lessons learned working in the public finance space.

"Last year we partnered to develop a guidebook on various financing options for use by local and national governments with the Smart Cities Council,” said Kevin Desouza, associate dean for research for the College of Public Service and Community Solutions. “The future of financing public sector projects in all areas from infrastructure to social services and education needs to be carefully considered. As the nature of financial instruments continues to get complicated and innovations in the financial marketplace occur, forums such as ASU’s Public Finance Conference are important avenues to debate and design solutions."

The closing panel will be devoted to sports and cultural amenities financing with notable guests Paul Dolan, CEO of the Cleveland Indians, Jeffrey Patchen, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, Simon Farbrother, city manager of Edmonton, Canada, and Mark Rosentraub, director of the University of Michigan Center for Sports Management.

For more information on the ASU Public Finance Conference, visit

Written by Adrianna Ovnicek

Heather Beshears

director marketing and communications, College of Public Service and Community Solutions


Students find opportunities at second annual ASU Humanities Career Fair

March 2, 2015

Tim Day teaches film classes at Texas Tech University and enjoys a devoted following on his movie blog. Jennifer Green makes life-changing decisions for Valley families every day as a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge. Andrew Hedlund has a Wall Street office in New York City and is a bankruptcy reporter for a national publication.

All three are graduates of Arizona State University and hold various degrees in the humanities division of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) – the largest college at ASU. They are also proof that the humanities and job employment can by synonymous. ASU Humanities Career Fair Download Full Image

“Humanities students are highly sought out by employers because they have highly developed skills in critical thinking, communication and working in diverse settings," said George Justice, dean of humanities in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and associate vice president for humanities and arts in the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development. "Moreover, humanities students have become essentially entrepreneurial, applying their imagination and intellectual passion to the great works of human culture and great themes of the human experience. They transform the world that they enter.”

“Many of our society's leaders, in industry, government, culture and even technology have majored in the humanities. A humanities education is never the end; it is always the beginning,” he added.

On Tuesday, March 3, CLAS will host the second annual Humanities Career Fair at ASU’s Memorial Union (MU 221) on the Tempe campus. The event will run from 1 to 4 p.m. and will offer humanities students the opportunity to meet face-to-face with prospective employers and internship providers in non-profit, corporate, governmental, small business and privately-run organizations.

Past participating employers and internship providers have included Arizona Capitol Museum; Arizona Department of Education; City of Phoenix; GEICO; Govig & Associates; Green Living Magazine; Office of the Attorney General; Peace Corps; South Mountain Community College; Teach For America; Yelp Inc.; and more.

More than 3,000 students major in humanities disciplines at ASU and are trained as writers, communicators and creative problem-solvers. Many have also developed foreign language skills, international awareness and cultural competencies. They are eager to join workplaces that value the knowledge and skills they have acquired.

“I read a lot of complex material and I have to dig down deep through a lot of minutiae to be able to tell a story,” said Hedlund, who graduated in 2012 from ASU with a bachelors of arts in English. “A lot of what I was required to do and read in my humanities studies enhanced my critical and comprehensive thinking in the job I do today. I’m very thankful to ASU for giving me those tools.”

The Arizona State University Humanities Career Fair is jointly presented by humanities units in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at ASU; the Department of English; the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies; the College of International Cultures; and ASU Career Services.

Reporter , ASU News