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New college name reflects commitment to service, solutions

Jonathan Koppel, dean of the College of Public Service and Community Solutions
January 13, 2015

The College of Public Programs at Arizona State University is now the College of Public Service and Community Solutions. Jonathan Koppell, dean of the college, says the title better reflects the college’s commitment to service, research and learning that addresses social problems.

“Whether the focus is on public safety, social welfare, public administration or community development, the diverse academic programs and research initiatives of the College of Public Service and Community Solutions offer a multifaceted approach to solving society's shared challenges,” says Koppell. “We help build stronger, more resilient, more dynamic communities.”

Located in downtown Phoenix, the college serves 5,500 undergraduate and graduate students in four schools: Community Resources and Development; Criminology and Criminal Justice; Public Affairs; and Social Work. The college has the distinction of having the highest percentages of underrepresented minority students, first-generation college students, transfer students and veterans at ASU.

College of Public Service and Community Solutions schools and centersThe college also sponsors the Spirit of Service scholarship program and other initiatives that provide learning opportunities, leadership training and mentors to students who aspire to make a difference in their community.

“The college provides a first-rate education in fields that are vital to our well-being,” says ASU President Michael M. Crow. "What some may not know is the role it plays in developing a new generation of civic leaders. Through current and future initiatives, the College of Public Service and Community Solutions will continue to have an impact well beyond the classroom. That is the kind of leadership we need to address the complex issues we face today.”

The college is home to 17 research centers that work on some of the most pressing matters facing communities today, including sex trafficking, technology in policing and the scarcity of water in Arizona and the Southwest.

Many of these centers – including the Morrison Institute for Public Policy and the Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation – are well-known vital resources for the people of Arizona, providing policy analysis, training and support for dozens of community and government bodies.

Other units, such as the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center, are doing cutting-edge applied research through externally-funded research grants that bring millions of dollars to the state while developing innovative interventions to address vexing social problems. Through its Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and Bob Ramsey Executive Education, the college offers education beyond university degrees.

“These research entities make important contributions to the solutions of complex problems," says Shultz, co-chair of the Dean's Leadership Council at the College of Public Service and Community Solutions. “And there is a monetary value to them. It may not be like gold or an Intel manufacturing facility, but it can be calculated in terms of the impact on lives and society.”

The college boasts more than 20,000 graduates since it was created by the Arizona Board of Regents in 1979 and located on the Tempe campus. At the time, the College of Public Programs consisted of the School of Public Affairs, the Department of Leisure Studies, the Center for Criminal Justice, the Department of Communication and the Department of Journalism and Telecommunication. The latter two departments are now stand-alone schools. The School of Social Work joined the College in 1999. The ASU West Department of Social Work and the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, which was also located on the Glendale campus, joined the college after it relocated to downtown Phoenix in 2008.

The college is launching a new speakers series to commemorate the new name, which kicks off Jan. 20 at the Downtown Phoenix campus. It features three professors whose research is helping build strong communities:

• School of Social Work associate professor Dominique Roe-Sepowitz will explain how innovation and collaboration are making a difference addressing the world’s oldest profession.

• School of Social Work director Michelle Carney will talk about her research on domestic violence abusers, including female abusers and what it takes to end the cycle of violence.

• School of Social Work associate professor Joanne Cacciatore will talk about why death and grief are necessary for life and joy.

The event starts at 6 p.m. in the Cronkite Theater, 555 N. Central Ave., Phoenix.