More than 200 families to graduate from ASU's new Future Sun Devil Families program

May 21, 2013

Donna Snyder is one parent among hundreds who are graduating this week from an innovative new program that ASU recently piloted at four schools in the West Valley. The ASU Future Sun Devil Families initiative will help more Arizona students and families prepare for college.

Last night 38 parents and 35 students graduated at Westview High School in Avondale and tonight more than 70 parents and students will graduate from Copper Canyon High School, located at 9126 W. Camelback Road in Glendale. Parents also will graduate from La Joya High School’s Future Sun Devil Families program at 5:30 p.m., May 23, in Avondale, and more parents at 4:30 p.m., May 24, at Sierra Linda High School in Phoenix. A total of 260 family members will graduate from this new program this week. Download Full Image

Snyder learned how to create a portfolio for her son, apply for admission, research scholarship opportunities and more in the workshops.

“I had no idea how to get my son into college, but Future Sun Devil Families changed all that and I learned how to navigate the process in a matter of weeks and now he is going to ASU on a Presidential Scholarship,” said Snyder, parent of Andrew Boras, a senior at Westview High School. Both mother and son participated in the Future Sun Devil Families’ pilot college-preparation classes at Westview High School.

The college preparation program is accepting applications and will launch this fall at several local school districts. The program will begin this fall with 9th grade students and their parents, adding additional grades each year. Students must have a 2.5 GPA or above in core classes. Students and at least one parent are expected to attend the monthly workshops at local high schools.

Future Sun Devil Families builds on the program models of the Hispanic Mother-Daughter Program and the American Dream Academy, two of ASU’s exemplary family-centered programs, to prepare more Arizona students for success at ASU. Future Sun Devil Families workshops take place seven times during the academic year, are available at no cost to families and can be taught bilingually. Workshops are designed to guide students and parents through the college application process in an interactive co-learning environment. For more information, and to apply, visit:

“Future Sun Devil Families illustrates ASU and President Crow's vision to measure the success of our university not by who we exclude, but by who we include and how they succeed,” said Beatriz Rendon, associate vice president of Educational Outreach and Student Services at ASU.

“Future Sun Devil Families, in partnership with our high school colleagues, creates a pathway to access the university early and often, and ensures that students are university eligible and that families have the tools and resources to support them in that endeavor," Rendon said. "Part of ASU's mission is to assume responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality, and the health and well-being of the community. Future Sun Devil Families is a concrete example of how we fulfill the commitment to working in the community as partners in preparing more Arizona youth for the university.”

ASU cancer expert Raymond DuBois to keynote AZBio Expo

May 21, 2013

Internationally renowned cancer expert Raymond DuBois will give the lunchtime keynote address at the Arizona BioIndustry Association’s AZBio Expo, May 30, at the Fiesta Resort Conference Center, 2100 S. Priest Dr., Tempe. He will speak about emerging discoveries from ASU’s Biodesign Institute, the state’s largest research facility.

The presentation and the conference will support the Arizona bioindustry’s focus and efforts on bridging the gap between new discoveries and the development and delivery of innovative marketplace solutions.  Raymond DuBois Download Full Image

“In one day, the AZBio Expo provides a statewide update of what is happening in the bioscience industry,” says Joan Koerber-Walker, president and CEO of AZBio. “We are delighted to welcome someone of Dr. DuBois’ stature to the Valley and look for his leadership in cancer research and translation to stimulate Arizona’s community of researchers, innovative companies and investors.”

Previously with University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, physician-scientist DuBois came to the Valley in December 2012 to lead the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. In his own research, he examines the molecular mechanisms by which inflammatory mediators affect epithelial biology, the tumor microenvironment, carcinogenesis and development. 

The Biodesign Institute that DuBois leads is spearheading ASU’s innovative application of bio-inspired research that fuses previously separate scientific fields to serve as a model for 21st century academic research. Its entrepreneurial research culture attracts scientists uniquely capable of working across disciplines and in close cooperation with industry. 

In addition to his ASU responsibilities, DuBois’ appointment includes co-leadership of the Cancer Prevention Program at the Mayo Clinic, which has a hospital and clinic, and is developing a medical school campus in the Phoenix area. DuBois is also the Dalton Chair in ASU’s School of Health Solutions and professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

“We can achieve so much forward momentum by bringing the state’s bioscientists together,” says DuBois. “I am looking forward to learning more about Arizona’s scientific capabilities and entrepreneurial efforts.”

In the 1990s, DuBois and colleagues reported that colorectal tumors contained high levels of the enzyme cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2). This enzyme is a key step in the production of pro-inflammatory mediators such as prostaglandin E2. The DuBois team was the first to show that colorectal cancers over-expressed COX-2 and their research defined a series of critical molecular pathways involved in COX-2 expression – namely, that blocking or inhibiting the COX-2 enzyme would cause colorectal tumors to shrink. This work led to clinical trials and the treatment of precancerous polyps with Celebrex, an arthritis drug that selectively inhibits COX-2.  

Congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona’s 4th Congressional District will address conference-goers prior to the DuBois keynote address. The luncheon is scheduled from noon to 1:30 p.m. The conference runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Conference tickets are available at  

Julie Kurth

Assistant Director, KE Strategic Marketing and Communications, Knowledge Enterprise