Levine named co-director of Mayo Clinic/ASU Obesity Solutions Initiative

January 15, 2013

James A. Levine, professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic and a world-renowned leader in obesity research and child advocacy, has been named co-director of the Mayo Clinic/Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative. 

Levine has been appointed a tenured professor in ASU’s School of the Science of Health Care Delivery in the College of Health Solutions, as well as in the School of Life Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the School of Biological and Health Engineering in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. He also will continue as a professor at Mayo Clinic Dr. James Levine Download Full Image

The obesity initiative, co-directed by ASU Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth D. Phillips, will move beyond traditional modes of doing medicine and science, applying new approaches that are more multi-faceted, trans-disciplinary, innovative and agile. The goal is to develop simple solutions that work for real people in the real world. Researchers will seek to understand how different facets of obesity impact each other – from surgical solutions, to helping someone talking with their doctor about how to eat better, to creating walkable neighborhoods and promoting thoughtful global food policy.

Levine is an international expert on obesity. In the United States, he has been an invitee to the President’s Panel and the State Department. Internationally, he has consulted with governments around the world. 

The author of the non-fiction work “Move A Little Lose A Lot,” he has published more than 150 articles on building effective solutions to obesity for adults and children, including five in the journals Science and Nature. His research has focused on physiological, technological and environmental approaches to help people become more active, decrease cardiovascular risk and become healthier. He has developed multiple body-worn devices that measure physical activity and caloric intake, and the desk treadmill, which is in use in some ASU offices. 

He also has crusaded against the abuse of children, and his international best-selling novel about childhood prostitution, "The Blue Notebook," has been published in 27 languages in 34 countries and has effected policy changes concerning child prostitution. 

“Obesity is perhaps that fastest spreading epidemic in the United States, threatening the health of young and old alike.  It is exactly the kind of challenge that ASU, as the New American University, must undertake,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “The Mayo Clinic/ASU Obesity Solutions Initiative, another innovative partnership between ASU and Mayo Clinic, will make tangible and significant headway in solving this challenge. One glance at James Levine’s credentials and it is obvious that there is no one better to help lead this effort.”

“Jim Levine is a highly creative entrepreneurial scientist who energizes all of us to do our best and make progress on the problem of obesity,” said Philips. “He crosses many disciplines and fields, a true Renaissance man. We are thrilled he has joined us.”

“Only by many societal actors marching together – as one – will we solve obesity,” said Levine. “We can reverse obesity and we must.”

“Together, Mayo Clinic and ASU are poised to advance research in obesity solutions, to provide education about preventing obesity and to care for patients suffering from obesity. Dr. Levine’s connection to both Mayo and ASU will be a crucial component of our work together,” says Wyatt W. Decker, CEO, Mayo Clinic in Arizona.

Levine received a Bachelor of Science degree from the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine in London, and doctor of philosophy and doctor of medicine degrees from the Royal Free Hospital and was the Elmore Medical Research Scholar at the University of Cambridge, UK. He did postgraduate internships at the Royal Free Hospital (in medicine), Wellhouse Trust (in surgery) and Mayo Graduate School of Medicine (in internal medicine), where he also was a fellow in endocrinology.

He became a senior associate consultant in endocrinology, nutrition and internal medicine at Mayo in 1998 and later became a professor of medicine (2004), the Richard Emslander Professor of Nutrition and Metabolism (2006), professor of physiology (2007) and professor of bioengineering (2007). He continues to hold all four positions Mayo Clinic.

Levine has been the principal investigator or co-investigator on more than 30 federal grants and contracts. In addition, Levine has won more than three dozen awards across a range of disciplines, including nutrition, biomedical research, tropical medicine, surgery, endocrinology, cardiology and journalism.

Levine is a member of the Board of the International Society for Missing and Exploited Children. In 2010, Doctors Without Borders commissioned him to visit people living with SIDA (AIDS) in Kinshasa, where the novella he wrote, "Makass," appeared in a collection, "Dignita," with Mario Vargus Llosa, the Nobel laureate. His team has a keen focus on underserved communities with a particular reference to poverty and he has worked with the Native American and Hispanic communities. 

Sharon Keeler

Online MBA program ranks No. 2 in nation

January 15, 2013

For the first time ever, U.S. News & World Report is issuing complete numeric rankings of the country’s best online graduate business programs. The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University comes in an impressive No. 2 on the list.

“We’re extremely happy to see U.S. News confirm we have one of the world’s best online MBA programs,” says Robert Mittelstaedt, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Increasingly, students are looking for the flexibility of an online program, but they don’t want to sacrifice the high quality of a top university. The W. P. Carey School was one of the first highly respected schools to get into the online arena – more than a decade ago -- and we offer the same stellar faculty and degree in our online program as we offer in all of our other highly ranked MBA programs.” W. P. Carey School of Business Download Full Image

In addition to the new online-MBA ranking, U.S. News & World Report already currently ranks the W. P. Carey School’s undergraduate business, full-time MBA and evening MBA programs among the nation’s Top 30 in their respective categories.

As far as online programs, last year, U.S. News & World Report only issued an “Honor Roll” of 14 graduate business choices and some rankings on subcategories, but the publication stopped short of giving a full, overall rankings list of the top programs. The W. P. Carey School did make the “Honor Roll,” but this year’s clear-cut No. 2 is even more definitive. The new rankings are based on important criteria: student engagement, admissions selectivity, peer reputation, and faculty credentials and training.

“This means U.S. News & World Report looked at our accomplished students, renowned faculty, small class sizes, diverse online-learning technologies, prestigious accreditation, and reputation among peer schools, and they placed us among the two best online MBA programs in the entire United States,” explains Stacey Whitecotton, associate dean for W. P. Carey MBA programs.

Students serving in the military, starting their own businesses and traveling extensively for their jobs are among those who have chosen the W. P. Carey School’s online MBA program. For example, NFL Pro Bowl kicker Billy Cundiff completed the program, even while attending NFL training camp. Lieutenant Colonel Scott Coulson, who was awarded the Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and a Combat Action Badge for his service and actions while leading combat missions in Iraq, participated in the program while serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.

This past summer, QS, a Britain-based company that helps students select MBA programs, ranked the W. P. Carey School’s online MBA program among the Top 15 in the world. QS says there are at least 300 online MBA programs right now and that attention has boomed, going from just 4.4 percent of MBA students interested in 2008 to 15.6 percent interested in 2012.

The W. P. Carey School’s popular two-year online MBA program allows students to meet at a face-to-face orientation just once at the ASU campus, then complete the rest of the courses completely online. Students work in small, personalized teams with peers from other industries, focusing on one course at a time. This is also one of the few online MBA programs in which students can earn their degrees with an area of emphasis, such as finance, international business, marketing or supply chain management. Participants have a dedicated financial aid specialist and a career center to help them with job searches. For more information, go to www.wpcarey.asu.edu.

The W. P. Carey School also offers other online graduate business programs: a weekend/online hybrid MBA, a 16-month online Master of Science in Information Management, and a newly announced 21-month Master of Science in Supply Chain Management and Engineering.