ASU Regents' Professor a major strategist in substance-abuse prevention

August 20, 2015

Editor's note: This is the first installment in a weekly series about ASU's new Regents' Professors.

Addiction rates in America continue to rise, with recent research suggesting one in every 10 people older than 12 are addicted to drugs or alcohol. portrait of ASU Regents' Professor Flavio Marsiglia Flavio Marsiglia is the director of the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center in ASU’s College of Public Service and Community Solutions. He was recently named a Regents' Professor for 2014-2015. Download Full Image

The reality of these numbers can be troubling, but Flavio Marsiglia sees hope by focusing on prevention, specifically targeting youth ages 12 to 14.

“Our society is filled with drugs — chiefly alcohol and cigarettes — and it’s not realistic for people not to use. However, we must delay initiation as long as possible,” said Marsiglia, director of the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center in ASU’s College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

“Research shows that the teen brain isn’t fully developed and if they are initiated with drugs or alcohol at that age, they reach addiction much quicker.”

Marsiglia’s work on diversity, substance use and youth development is regarded to be among the best and most influential in the field, and why he is one of four Arizona State University faculty members recently named as Regents' Professors for 2014-2015.

The designation is considered the highest faculty honor at the university and is given to professors who have made exceptional achievements and international distinction.

“Flavio is doing research that is exceptional in every sense,” said Jonathan Koppell, dean of the College of Public Service and Community Solutions. “He is an internationally recognized expert on health disparities and minority health research who has not only brought innovative ideas to the forefront, he has brought communities together to enact solutions.”

A native of Uruguay, Flavio started building substance-abuse prevention programs for middle school students in Cleveland, Ohio, during the late 1980s.

After relocating to ASU, Flavio and his colleagues’ multicultural, school-based substance-use program, Keepin’ it REAL, was developed for Phoenix-area youth ages 12 to 14 in the mid-1990s. The program uses a 10-week lesson curriculum taught by trained classroom teachers in 45-minute sessions, with booster sessions delivered the following school year. It’s designed to help students assess the risks associated with substance abuse, enhance their decision-making and offer up resistance strategies. The program has been implemented in all 50 states as well as in Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, Spain and the United Kingdom, among other countries.

Thanks to a National Institutes of Health grant, Marsiglia has tweaked the program in the past few years, gearing it toward Mexican immigrant youth and their parents. Families Preparing the New Generation is currently being implemented in middle schools by getting parents and their children discuss the pressures of adjusting to a new culture.

“It’s tough to be a kid from another culture and have to navigate a complex and fast society,” Marsiglia said. “These youths tend to become Americanized very quickly and learn the language faster than their parents. It stirs this feeling inside that they have become smarter than their parents, and it creates a vacuum.”

The NIH awarded Marsiglia’s team additional funding for a new program, which focuses on American Indian substance prevention, with a $2 million grant. He says despite the constant attention on drugs and substance abuse in youth, he sees legitimate power in prevention.

“Most kids do not use alcohol or other drugs, and we as a society tend to focus on the ones who do,” Marsiglia said. “We do, however, need to educate and equip all youth with tools for prevention. Above all else, I want to be an advocate for prevention.”

Reporter , ASU News


“Contemporary Photography in Mexico: Existe lo que tiene nombre” on view starting Aug. 22 at the ASU Art Museum

August 20, 2015

The ASU Art Museum is pleased to present "Contemporary Photography in Mexico: Existe lo que tiene nombre," an exhibition comprised of more than 50 photographic and video works produced by 23 different artists, all within the past decade. It will be on view Aug. 22, 2015 through Jan. 9, 2016 in the lower level galleries at the ASU Art Museum’s Mill Avenue & 10th Street location in Tempe. The exhibition is the U.S. debut for many of the exhibiting photographers.

"Contemporary Photography in Mexico: Existe lo que tiene nombre" was curated and first presented in April 2015 at San Francisco Camerawork and Galeria de la Raza by Sergio De La Torre (San Francisco) and Javier Ramírez Limón (Tijuana). The ASU Art Museum presentation of the exhibition is managed by Julio Cesar Morales and is supported by the Helme Prinzen Endowment. Pablo López Luz, "Vista aérea de la Ciudad de México, I," 2013. Inkjet on paper, 39.5 x 48.6 in. Image courtesy of the artist. Photo by Pablo López Luz Download Full Image

The title of the exhibition, "Existe lo que tiene nombre," which translates to “that which has a name exists,” comes from a conversation with the artist Jazzibe Santos, whose photographic project documents her grandmother's household of labeled objects. Santos’ project is included in the exhibition alongside the work of Adela Goldbard, Aglea Cortés, Alejandra Laviada, Alejandro Cartagena, Alfredo Káram, Bruno Ruiz, Carlos Iván Hernández, Colectivo Estética Unisex, Daniela Edburg, David Vera, Fernando Brito, Iván Manríquez, Jimena Camou, Juan Carlos Coppel, Livia Corona, Mariela Sancari, Mauricio Alejo, Melba Arellano, Oswaldo Ruiz, Pablo López Luz, Roberto Molina Tondopó, and Yvonne Venegas.

“Since the late 1800s to the documentation of the Mexican Revolution, photography in Mexico has played an important role in capturing and developing the identity of ‘Mexicaness,’ or the state of being Mexican,” says Morales. “Contemporary artists have always helped create a national visual language for Mexico that historically has been fluid and transformative in nature. 'Existe lo que tiene nombre' is a rare and powerful look into the contemporary practices of Mexican artists working within a photographic influence.”

The exhibition attempts to expand the traditional terrain and focus of photography by looking at how contemporary artists are placing the photographic image at the center in their practice and how artists are using discretionary ways of working with the medium itself, explains Morales. “The artworks in 'Existe lo que tiene nombre' concentrate on the dissolution of historic borders in photography between notions of the ‘documentary,’ ‘experimental’ and ‘conceptual.’”

"Existe lo que tiene nombre" is part of the Contact Zones series of exhibitions at the ASU Art Museum which focuses on contemporary migration and its intricate uncertainties within border culture, destiny and contested histories. The series includes new commission-based video installations, public engaged programs, guest-curated exhibitions and artist initiated projects.


On Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, from noon – 1 p.m., the ASU Art Museum will host a public preview of the exhibition and a brown bag lunch conversation with Julio Cesar Morales and Sergio De La Torre. Morales will also lead a tour of the exhibition as part of the museum’s #ThirdWednesday series on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015 at 1:30 p.m.

An opening reception for the exhibition will be held Friday, September 11, from 6:30–8:30 p.m. (with a members, alumni and press preview from 5:30–6:30 p.m.).

All ASU Art Museum events are free and open to the public.


A 180-page catalogue with 56 color plates will accompany the exhibition. The publication includes essays by Mexican art critic Irving Dominguez and curators Sergio De La Torre and Javier Ramirez Limon.


This exhibition is curated by Sergio De La Torre (San Francisco) and Javier Ramírez Limón (Tijuana) and is supported by the University of San Francisco, The San Francisco Arts Commission, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The ASU Art Museum presentation is supported by the Helme Prinzen Endowment. Following the ASU Art Museum’s presentation of the exhibition, it will travel to Centro de las Artes Universidad de Sonora, and El Centro Cultural Tijuana.


The ASU Art Museum, named “the single most impressive venue for contemporary art in Arizona” by Art in America magazine, is part of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University.

To learn more about the museum, call 480.965.2787, or visit

Location/Parking: The museum has three locations across the metro Phoenix area: the ASU Art Museum at 10th Street and Mill Avenue, on ASU’s Tempe campus; the ASU Art Museum Brickyard at 7th Street and Mill Avenue, in downtown Tempe; and the ASU Art Museum International Artist Residency Program Project Space at Combine Studios, in downtown Phoenix. Designated parking is available at all three locations.

Admission: Free at all three locations.

Hours: The ASU Art Museum and ASU Art Museum Brickyard are open 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The museum is closed on Sundays and Mondays. The ASU Art Museum International Artist Residency Program Project Space in downtown Phoenix at Combine Studios has variable public hours depending on exhibition schedules and is open by appointment. 

Public Contact: 
Juno Schaser
PR Specialist