New center will serve as outreach into Southern California

March 21, 2013

Arizona State University opened its new ASU California Center in Santa Monica, Calif., with a reception on March 20. While the new space will act as an outreach center in a key market – although workshops, forums and internships will be held there as well – it is not an academic center or campus.

The California Center will provide ASU with a location in the Los Angeles area to connect with prospective students and their parents, offer enhanced academic and internship experiences for current ASU students, engage with alumni and strengthen connections between ASU’s entrepreneurial faculty and the critically important Southern California innovation ecosystem. It also will provide a location for ASU’s on-line engagement with California students and provide a local presence to support development activities. ASU California Center Download Full Image

“ASU has grown tremendously in the last 10 years in terms of student population, research funding and intellectual creativity,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “We feel now is an excellent time to establish a point of contact in this very important region and to spread the word on what ASU is doing and what it can do for you.”

Several ASU units will operate from 725 N. Arizona Ave. in Santa Monica, including Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE), the ASU Alumni Association, ASU Foundation, ASU Online, Center for Social Cohesion, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law – Los Angeles Legal Externship Program, Undergraduate Admissions, the W. P. Carey School of Business, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Zócalo Public Square. In addition to these units, the Arizona Commerce Authority and California Chicano News Media Association will be co-located at the site.

AzTE, ASU’s exclusive intellectual property management and technology transfer organization, is a good example of how the university plans to use the California Center. AzTE will use the office as a base to build relationships between ASU inventors and investors, as well as partnering with other major Los Angeles area research universities on a start-up competition modeled on the AZ Furnace accelerator program.

“AzTE has long cultivated relationships with entrepreneurs, investors, companies and universities in both Northern and Southern California,” said Augie Cheng, AzTE’s managing director. “This new office will further increase ASU’s visibility among key stakeholders in this important market and serve as a launching pad for a wide range of new entrepreneurial partnerships, programs and initiatives.”

The commercialization of university research generates new jobs, new companies and even entire new industries.  The challenge comes with finding the right partners and strategic investments needed to move from research to startup.

“There are many opportunities to connect the work of our outstanding ASU faculty and students,” said Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, senior vice president for ASU's Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development. “By our presence in Southern California, we want to embed ASU’s innovations and expand our economic and societal impact.”

ASU California Center comprises 9,970 sq. ft. of academic, office, meeting and event space on three floors. The Center includes approximately 2,550 sq. ft. of event space.

Co-written by Derek Sarley

Director, Media Relations and Strategic Communications


Alumnus named executive director of American Anthropological Association

March 21, 2013

Cultural anthropologist and Arizona State University alumnus Edward Liebow recently began work as the executive director of the American Anthropological Association (AAA), the world’s largest organization of anthropology scholars.

Liebow has a history of serving venerable and complex non-profits. Prior to assuming his role at AAA on January 28, he spent over two decades working in a range of positions for Battelle Memorial Institute, the largest not-for-profit research and development organization on earth. His specialties are health and social science issues, primarily social policy research and association management. Ed Liebow Download Full Image

In 1975, Liebow came to ASU’s Department of Anthropology – now the School of Human Evolution and Social Change in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences – drawn by the relatively new and small sociocultural program and its well-credentialed faculty.

“Our cohort included some illustrious scholars and great, long-lasting friendships,” Liebow says. In fact, on his first day of class, he met Erin Younger, his future wife and one of the first graduates of the ASU museum studies program.

Liebow thrived at ASU before graduating with a doctorate of anthropology in 1986.

Professor James Eder, a sociocultural anthropologist, was Liebow’s committee chair and remains close to him and his wife, catching up with them over dinner when they visit Arizona and once traveling to Seattle to see them on their turf.  Says Eder, “It has been a pleasure to follow his career, and obviously, I very much like Ed as a person.”

Eder explains that when Liebow attended ASU it was a very “social” time, with students and faculty frequently mixing outside the classroom. He calls Liebow “an important part of the glue that held the pack together” and remembers several notable adventures – such as backpacking through Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument – that helped build camaraderie, trust and solid working relationships.

Back in the day, Regents’ Professor Emeritus Geoffrey Clark and his wife, Professor Emeritus Barbara Stark, were part of an early morning tennis group that included Liebow and Younger, and they, too, have followed his career with what Clark deems “a kind of vicarious pride.”  He believes the AAA search committee “made a great choice” in placing Liebow at the helm.

“I feel quite fortunate to have inherited a talented, committed staff, and the association is financially healthy, thanks to Bill Davis’ excellent stewardship,” Liebow says of his AAA predecessor, who retired after 16 years. Still, he realizes there are many challenges ahead. He is particularly focused on publishing futures, international engagements and trying to make the association more welcoming to all brands of anthropologists.

Liebow has extensive experience with AAA as a member of their executive board and as a past treasurer. As he begins his work steering the association through its next phase, he continues to act as affiliate associate professor of anthropology and interdisciplinary studies at the University of Washington.

He is enthusiastic about his newest endeavor and generous with his praise as he looks back on what brought him to this point. Liebow states, “The sociocultural program at ASU was a nurturing home, and the guidance I received from my faculty mentors deserves a great deal of credit for the career I have enjoyed since.”

Rebecca Howe

Communications Specialist, School of Human Evolution and Social Change