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ASU programs make headlines across country


September 10, 2007

People around the country are taking note of ASU.

Now, Sun Devils traveling out of town are just as likely to get asked about the ASU Mars program, or the Biodesign Institute, as football.

National press coverage of ASU has more than doubled over the last year. The New York Times ran 28 stories describing ASU programs or quoting ASU experts, and USA Today had 54, between June 2006 and June of this year. The Washington Post ran 35 stories mentioning ASU and the Los Angeles Times 41. ASU even cracked the Wall Street Journal 23 times.

The prestigious journal Nature ran a three-page feature story in April on the far-reaching changes in interdisciplinary research at ASU.

“It (ASU) has become a very different and very exciting institution,” says Frank Rhodes, former president of Cornell University and the one-time chair of the U.S. National Science Board, in the Nature article. “It is going to be a prototype for the rest of the country.”

Notable New York Times stories included a lengthy story on ASU’s new film school and others on the Biodesign Institute and on the campus fight for carbon neutrality.

The Wall Street Journal featured ASU’s sports management program and its study correlating a company’s stock performance with home-buying behaviors of chief executive officers. A Washington Post editorial column praised ASU President Michael Crow’s efforts to break down traditional barriers.

An Associated Press story highlighting ASU’s efforts as a mega-university to be both large and excellent ran in newspapers across the country from the Pittsburg Post-Gazette to the Los Angeles Daily News.

“ASU is a place of extraordinary variety,” according to the AP story. “There is a growing roster of high-profile faculty doing cutting-edge research, working alongside instructors in more vocational programs like golf-course management. There’s an elite honors college for exceptional students, set within the larger university that accepts 92 percent of its applicants.”

The discovery of 3-million-year-old fossil remains of a child in Ethiopia grabbed the attention of daily newspapers in Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Dallas and San Diego.

The new School of Sustainability garnered three stories in the Chronicle of Higher Education, as well as stories in USA Today, the Christian Science Monitor and other newspapers.

“One of the best examples of the ivory tower’s effort to tread lightly on the land is at Arizona State University,” reports the Christian Science Monitor. “It is one of many universities putting its intellect and talents to use in the name of ecology. But ASU has ratcheted up the effort with a holistic approach that is unique in the nation.”

Newsweek zeroed in on ASU in an Aug. 20 story on “The Green Campus.” San Francisco Chronicle reporters wrote about ASU’s Mars research and its researchers’ study of plant vaccines.

Few hometown folks are surprised that ASU now ranks as one of the best national universities. It just took the rest of the world a while to take notice.