Distinguished faculty members join OKED leadership

February 3, 2014

Three senior faculty leaders with extensive teaching and research experience are joining Arizona State University’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development (OKED).

Mitzi Montoya has been appointed OKED’s new vice president for entrepreneurship and innovation and university dean of entrepreneurship and innovation. Montoya has served as vice provost and dean of ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation since 2011. Mitzi Montoya Download Full Image

Gordon McConnell, OKED’s assistant vice president for entrepreneurship and innovation, will be promoted to associate vice president. He will work closely with Montoya to further advance ASU’s vibrant innovation ecosystem.

George Justice will serve as OKED’s associate vice president for humanities and arts. He will leverage his role as dean of humanities within ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to bring together the broad range of humanities and arts at ASU.

Alexandra Brewis Slade has been named associate vice president for social sciences in OKED. She will continue to serve as the director of ASU’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change as she works to rapidly grow social science research at ASU.

“I am delighted to welcome these outstanding faculty leaders to the OKED senior leadership team,” says Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, senior vice president for Knowledge Enterprise Development. “Their collective experiences demonstrate their commitment to advancing our faculty aspirations and their passion to contribute extensively to the success of ASU.”

During her tenure at the College of Technology and Innovation, Montoya spearheaded several initiatives designed to promote and support entrepreneurship. She was pivotal in bringing TechShop, a membership-based, do-it-yourself workshop and fabrication studio with locations nationwide, to the ASU Chandler Innovation Center. She also launched iProjects, which connects ASU students with industry to solve real business problems. Montoya earned a doctorate in business administration and a bachelor's in general engineering from Michigan State University. She has also provided industry consulting to businesses that include Dow Chemical Company, Raytheon Corporation, Eli Lilly and others.

“Entrepreneurship certainly includes new ventures and startups – something we do well at ASU and want to do more of. But it’s also more than that and it applies to all aspects of the university. Entrepreneurship is a process of adaptation and creating new value – and the outcome of that process is innovation,” Montoya says. “ASU is one of the most entrepreneurial universities in the world. I’m excited to have the opportunity to contribute to ASU’s role as an entrepreneur and innovator in higher education.”

Justice came to ASU recently from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he was vice provost for advanced studies and dean of the Graduate School. In these roles, he oversaw more than 70 doctoral programs and 90 masters programs spanning the arts, sciences, education, business, law, medicine, nursing, journalism and engineering. Justice also helped develop the University of Missouri Informatics Institute and spearheaded Missouri’s entry into the Center for the Integration of Research, Training, and Learning, a consortium dedicated to transforming STEM undergraduate education. In his new role, Justice looks forward to bringing together a wide variety of research from faculty and students in many different academic units.

“The humanities are not limited to the units I serve as dean of humanities in CLAS. In OKED, I will work with other deans and directors of university-wide initiatives in an ASU Council of Humanities Research, which allows us to spur collaborations among the arts and humanities, and also coordinate collaboration with other colleges, schools and research centers at ASU,” he says. “Already a top university for funded research in the humanities, ASU is poised to develop further critically important links among the humanities and arts, social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, public programs, journalism, health, law and other areas of research.”

Brewis Slade was selected as a 2013 President’s Professor, honoring her substantial contributions to undergraduate education. She is a world-renowned anthropology scholar who spearheaded the creation of ASU’s popular degree in Global Health. She brings a global perspective to her new position, having decades of international research experience in such places as the Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Mexico, the U.S. rural South and Arizona. Her research currently focuses on understanding the obesity epidemic, and her work on stigma related to obesity is widely cited, including recently on page A1 of the New York Times. 

“I am excited for the opportunity to work with the team at OKED to support and advance the work being done in social sciences at ASU,” says Brewis Slade. “Our scholars are some of the most productive anywhere, doing important and substantial research using a tremendous array of skills and approaches. Social science’s capacity to work with all fields of scholarship as well as the community means we can advance solutions to many different complex problems, from sustainability to policy to health care.”

“In their new roles, I have no doubt that Dr. Montoya, Dr. Justice and Dr. Brewis Slade will make an even greater impact in their respective roles and help accelerate the progress of OKED and the university,” says Panchanathan.

Media contact:

Amelia Huggins, amelia.huggins@asu.edu
Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development

(480) 965-1754

Director, Knowledge Enterprise Development


ASU executive director receives prestigious nonprofit award

February 3, 2014

The Nonprofit Leadership Alliance presented professor Robert F. Ashcraft, executive director of the Arizona State University Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation, with the prestigious H. Roe Bartle Momentum Award. The award presentation took place in Chicago, Ill., in January at the annual Alliance Management Institute, an educational conference geared toward students planning a career in the nonprofit sector.

The Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, formerly American Humanics, Inc., was founded in 1948 by H. Roe Bartle, scout executive and mayor of Kansas City, Mo. The national award recognizes an individual, group or organization that has strengthened Bartle’s vision, and has enabled the Alliance to better fulfill its mission of strengthening the social sector with a talented, prepared workforce. Download Full Image

The Nonprofit Leadership Alliance is a national flagship program that recruits, educates and inspires undergraduate students across disciplines for nonprofit service careers. Ashcraft has served since 1984 as the executive director of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance at ASU. His leadership over the last 30 years has resulted in a number of noteworthy achievements, including, in part, the development of the nation’s first bachelor’s degree in nonprofit leadership and management, and helping over 400 students to earn their Certified Nonprofit Professional credentials.

Ashcraft has served on several Alliance board committees before beginning his current board term in April 2013. He continues to provide leadership to campus directors that are part of the Alliance network. He is recognized nationally for his applied work in the sector, and he was recently named to The NonProfit Times 2012 Power & Influence Top 50 list.

Ashcraft continues his steadfast work by representing the Alliance at the national level with groups such as the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council and the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action. He is also a professor of nonprofit studies in ASU’s School of Community Resources and Development, part of the College of Public Programs, and has contributed numerous scholarly articles, book chapters and monographs to advance understanding of the nonprofit and philanthropic studies field.

“The program Dr. Ashcraft has helped build at ASU is the model we all aspire to create. The many programs his leadership has informed around the world stand as testament to the impact of this thoughtful and humble servant. Dr. Ashcraft is a modern-day H. Roe Bartle,” said Robert F. Long, retired vice president of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and distinguished professor of nonprofit leadership at Murray State University. “His long-term commitment to the core principles of service, his tireless dedication to preparing upcoming generations of community leaders and his creative contributions to the [Nonprofit Leadership Alliance] American Humanics program all stand testimony to what this important civil society leader represents,” he added.

In addition to Ashcraft, an H. Roe Bartle Momentum Award was given to Will Conway, senior executive vice president and chief operating officer of Mutual of America. The 2014 honorees are significant in that they are the first recipients ever to be awarded with this honor. The honorees were chosen by an awards selection committee comprised of key Alliance stakeholders, including affiliated faculty members, alumni, nonprofit partners, board members and sponsors. The selection of the award recipients was based on specific criteria for each respective award.

“Dr. Ashcraft’s contributions exemplify the criteria established for this honor. While growing the capacity of Arizona’s nonprofit organizations, Dr. Ashcraft maintains a strong commitment to the core undergraduate concepts envisioned by H. Roe Bartle: challenging courses, professional development, networking opportunities and co-curricular experiences to better prepare graduates for a career in the sector,” said Jonathan Koppell, dean of ASU's College of Public Programs. “We are enormously proud of Dr. Ashcraft's commitment to this important work. Under his leadership, the ASU Lodestar Center has become the ‘go-to’ resource for the nonprofit community throughout Arizona. He is also recognized as one of our nation’s most innovative thinkers in this space, providing leadership and addressing the needs of our emerging leaders as they prepare to build effective nonprofits for impact.”

“This was such a surprising honor and I am most humbled by receiving this national recognition,” said Ashcraft. “The credit goes to supportive administrators, innovative faculty, incredible students/alumni, committed funders and inspiring nonprofit sector leaders who see the value in all that we have been able to accomplish.”

For additional information regarding any of the ASU Lodestar Center’s programs, visit lodestar.asu.edu, call 602.496.0500 or email nonprofit@asu.edu.

Written by:

Nicole Almond Anderson, nicole.almondanderson@asu.edu

Media contact:

Heather Beshears

director marketing and communications, College of Public Service and Community Solutions