Christensen to receive honorary degree

April 5, 2013

Clayton Christensen, the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School (HBS), will receive the Doctor of Science honoris causa from Arizona State University at the May 9 undergraduate commencement in Sun Devil Stadium.

Christensen, a Salt Lake City native, is regarded as one of the world’s top experts on innovation and growth. As an experienced entrepreneur, he has started four successful companies and has advised the executives of scores of the world’s major corporations. These companies generate tens of billions of dollars in revenues every year from product and service innovations that were inspired by his research. Download Full Image

Prior to joining the HBS faculty, he and three MIT professors founded CPS Technologies, which has become a leading developer and manufacturer of products from high-technology materials.

In 2000, Christensen founded Innosight, a consulting firm that uses his theories of innovation to help companies create new growth businesses. In 2007, he founded Rose Park Advisors, a firm that identifies and invests in disruptive companies. He is also the founder of Innosight Institute, a non-profit think tank whose mission is to apply his theories to vexing societal problems such as healthcare and education.

Christensen is the best-selling author of eight books and more than a hundred articles, including the recently released and New York Times best-selling, "How Will You Measure Your Life?" "The Innovator’s Dilemma" received the Global Business Book Award as the best business book of the year (1997). In 2011 The Economist named it as one of the six most important books about business ever written.  

In a 2011 poll of thousands of executives, consultants and business school professors, Christensen was named as the most influential business thinker in the world. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tribeca Film Festival.

Christensen holds a bachelor's degree with highest honors in economics from Brigham Young University (1975), and an M.Phil. in applied econometrics from Oxford University (1977), where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He received an MBA with High Distinction from the Harvard Business School in 1979, graduating as a George F. Baker Scholar. In 1982 Christensen was named a White House Fellow, and served through 1983 as assistant to U.S. Transportation Secretaries Drew Lewis and Elizabeth Dole.

Language scholar awarded Fulbright to study in Mexico

April 5, 2013

Samantha de Palo, a student in Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, has been granted a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to teach English in Mexico.

ASU is one of the top 10 producers of Fulbright Scholars in the United States, and is tied with Yale and Berkeley for the No. 5 spot. Download Full Image

A double major in Spanish and English (linguistics), de Palo applied for the award on the advice of Janet Burke, the associate dean of Barrett. After a yearlong process of essay writing and interviews, she was notified of the good news last week.

“I’ve been celebrating all week," she said.

She will leave in late August to begin her nine-month stay in Mexico as an English teacher. She has not yet been assigned an exact location, but she says she would be happy in Mexico City or the Yucatan Peninsula.

“I completed my honors thesis on the Aztecs because I’m really interested in their culture and indigenous language. I’m hoping that while in Mexico I can continue my studies on these topics,” she said.  

As a student in the School of International Letters and Cultures, de Palo gained invaluable experience being exposed to multiple languages. To focus her studies, she decided to solely concentrate on Spanish and add on linguistics, a degree offered by the Department of English, to broaden her humanities focus.

“I’m at a place where I’m about to graduate and my career path isn’t quite clear. That used to make me anxious but I’ve realized that my experience in the humanities has given me a more diverse education and, therefore, more opportunities in the future she said.

These opportunities have already taken her in places she didn’t expect to go. She secured a tutoring position with the help of the Honors College. Through this she discovered her passion for teaching.

“I want each student to walk away with a sense of confidence. Our educational system focuses so much on math, science and test scores that kids who do not excel in these areas feel like they are stupid. That’s not true and I hope to empower them,” she said.

The Honors Devil is excited to use the Fulbright scholarship as an opportunity to learn about the educational system in Mexico. She says that while she will miss her family and rescue dog Po, having the opportunity to immerse herself in a new culture is something she could never pass up.

When asked about her dream job, de Palo jokingly replied, “Queen of the World.”

Kidding aside, she says she is a firm believer in creating positive change in her community. Whether in the form of advocating for her beloved state of Arizona, or becoming a university professor through which she could inspire and educate youth.

No matter her path, the future is bright for this young Sun Devil.

The Department of English and School of International Letters and Cultures are academic units in ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.