ASU, San Carlos Apache Tribe enter historic agreement to establish new tribal college

June 12, 2014

Arizona State University has entered into a historic agreement with the San Carlos Apache Tribe in southeastern Arizona that will bring a college to the tribal nation, as well as programs that benefit youth and emphasize healthy lifestyles.

“ASU has one of the largest populations of Native American students of any college or university in the country, and we are enriched by the presence of our Native students, faculty and staff,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “The Apache tribal college will prepare students for the rigors of university studies and encourage more of them to pursue a four-year degree at ASU and other institutions. We look forward to working with the San Carlos Apache Tribe to help more Native students realize their dream of obtaining a college education.” two men signing papers on table with people watching on Download Full Image

“A tribal college operated by and for Apaches will help secure the future of the tribe, not just as a means for sustainable economic development, but as a critical institution to preserve our language, our culture and our history. Our partnership with ASU will greatly assist the tribe with making a tribal college a reality,” said Terry Rambler, chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe.

ASU administrators will work to advise the tribe in establishing the college’s operating guidelines, articles of incorporation and accreditation standards, as well as support for credit transfer partnerships, said John Tippeconnic, ASU American Indian Studies director. Maria Hesse, ASU vice provost for academic partnerships, will work on ensuring seamless transfers for students.

“We anticipate that students who begin at the Apache tribal college will be able to easily transfer into majors at ASU, and we will build curricular pathways that ensure they have the right preparation for university success,” Hesse said.

A tribal college will also help youth continue their studies after completing high school.

“Aiding in the design of a tribal college will enable San Carlos tribal youth and adults to bridge the gap between high school and the four-year university. This effort will provide a pipeline for students to earn college credit during their first two years and then transfer to ASU,” Tippeconnic said.

Tippeconnic has first-hand knowledge of the process since he was instrumental in building Comanche Nation College in Oklahoma. Diane Humetewa, former special adviser to the president for American Indian Affairs, was instrumental in bringing the agreement to fruition.

ASU will consult with the tribe in facility design and curriculum. Students from the ASU Del E. Webb School of Construction will benefit from the planning, design and construction processes as the new tribal college is shared as a best practice that will be showcased at ASU-sponsored events.

Through the agreement, a Native American Achievement Program that is administered through ASU American Indian Student Support Services will provide academic counseling and personal support.

“This will help incoming first-year freshmen and transfer student recipients of San Carlos Apache tribal grants and scholarships to succeed academically and socially at ASU,” said Michael Begaye, American Indian Student Support Services director.

The memorandum of understanding also supports the tribe’s Sports Camp and Healthy Lifestyles Initiatives by advising the tribe on nutrition and fitness best practices, as well as identifying university fitness, sports and nutrition awareness activities that may benefit the tribe.

San Carlos Apache Youth leadership initiatives will involve ASU support in endeavors such as advisement on best practices to engage youth in academic and community leadership, hosting youth from the tribe for leadership through public speaking and writing skills support when available, as well as jointly researching grants and funding for youth participation in summer bridge programs that support incoming ASU students.

2 ASU professors named presidents of national associations

June 12, 2014

Two ASU faculty members, Janet Franklin and Elizabeth Wentz, both professors in ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, recently began terms as presidents of national professional associations.

Franklin took up her position as president of the U.S. national chapter of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (US-IALE) in June. Landscape ecology is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on understanding ecological processes at the landscape scale and improving land management. ASU professors Janet Franklin (left) and Elizabeth Wentz Download Full Image

After two decades of involvement with US-IALE, Franklin said she was particularly pleased with several ways that US-IALE had developed, including, “a manageable size (about 400 members) – just right for meaningful professional interactions, very strong support of student involvement and a membership composition that includes academics and other professionals.”

According to Franklin, the chapter she heads up will be very busy during the next year preparing to host the IALE World Congress, held once every four years. The congress is scheduled to convene in July 2015.

While overseeing the congress preparations, Franklin will continue her research, which concentrates on the dynamics of terrestrial plant communities, with a particular focus on the impact of human-caused landscape change.

Wentz, who is director of the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, became president-elect of the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science. The consortium announced Wentz as the 2015-2016 president this June following an organization symposium.

The consortium is a non-profit organization that aims to advance research in geographic education and to promote ethical use of and access to geographic information and technologies. Established in 1995, the consortium is comprised of over 60 affiliate institutions. The organization is a hub for the GIS research and education communities.

Wentz said that as president of the consortium, she hopes to bolster the organization’s leadership role, both within academia and with federal agencies and private agencies. According to Wentz, Geographic Information Science (GIS) has developed very rapidly in the last decade, and the next few years will be a great time to even further broaden the field’s impact.

“GIS is now a multi-billion dollar industry that is embedded in government, private industry and in academia,” Wentz said in a speech to the consortium. “I’m hard-pressed to think of a field of study that hasn’t at some level considered how spatial thinking and analysis can provide insight into or solutions to their problems.”

While serving as the consortium's president, Wentz will continue her role as director of the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and further pursue her research and teaching focused on the design, implementation and evaluation of geographic technologies with emphasis on applying these tools to study and understand the urban environment.

The School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning is an academic unit in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Wynne Mancini,
School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning

Barbara Trapido-Lurie

research professional senior, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning