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ASU's 133 new faculty members include scholars at the top of their fields

September 30, 2013

ASU has welcomed 133 new tenure and tenure-track faculty members this fall, perhaps the largest group of any university in the country and the highest number ever for ASU. Almost a third of them are senior scholars, many of whom enjoy national reputations in their fields.

They include a Pulitzer Prize winner, members of national academies, researchers who bring grants from primary funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health, fellowship winners and experts who are invited to speak all over the world.

“ASU’s growing academic reputation has made us much more competitive in recruiting senior scholars,” says Barry Ritchie, vice provost for academic personnel. “Almost 40 of these individuals are coming in with tenure. We are enhancing our learning environment by bringing in senior scholars with cutting-edge knowledge of their fields, as well as enlisting the best rising scholars with new ideas and directions for students to explore.”

The group is also more diverse than ever before, including 56 women and 46 members of ethnic minority groups. Most notable is the addition of five new Native American scholars, who bring expertise in the fields of law, social transformation, American Indian studies, and social and family dynamics.

“It’s unheard of to recruit that many Native American faculty members,” says Ritchie. “We have 22 tribes in Arizona and we want to enhance our abilities to speak directly to their needs. These faculty members have skills and insight that can benefit all of us, but particularly the Native American citizens of Arizona.”

Among the new ASU faculty members is Karen Mossberger, director of the School of Public Affairs. A sought-after speaker and author who comes to ASU from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Mossberger studies how technology is transforming the way cities and towns communicate with their citizens. She has received top awards from the American Political Science Association and has been invited to speak this year in Washington, D.C. and the Netherlands.

Robert J. Miller joins the Indian Legal Program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law after a distinguished academic career at Lewis and Clark Law School. A member of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, Miller serves as Chief Justice of the Grand Ronde Tribe. He is an internationally recognized expert on economic development in Indian country and consults with the American Philosophical Society on tribal language and artifacts.

At the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Jacquee Petchel is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who has managed investigative teams at the Miami Herald and the Houston Chronicle. Over the course of her career she has reported or led projects that have won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, and others. She will direct students in the Carnegie-Knight News21 investigative reporting program.

Ronald Simons, Foundation Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice in the College of Public Programs, is one of the most highly regarded contemporary scholars in the field of criminology. His research team is concerned with developing and testing biosocial models of crime, mental illness and physical disease, building on recent findings of the connection between social factors and biology. He has been Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of Georgia.

For profiles of these professors and several other outstanding new faculty members at ASU, visit