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Seminar helps Spirit of Service Scholars with future careers

October 28, 2010

On October 23, the Spirit of Service Scholars initiative held the Demographic Literacy Seminar. This seminar is the first of a series designed to provide the Scholars with information in core areas relevant to their future careers in public service.

Seventeen remarkable students make up the first cohort of Spirit of Service Scholars. Dedicated to pursuing careers in public service, these scholars are poised to help create the next generation of public and nonprofit leaders who will transform government and society at all levels.

Population patterns, birth, death, marriage and migration rates, immigration, fertility, age, structure, ethnicity, and household income are all core factors in understanding social structure.  Knowledge of these elements is essential for formulating public policy, understanding political trends, designing social programs, and planning for the future.  For these reasons, demographic literacy is key to leadership in public service. 

Dr. Jennifer Glick, Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Center for Population Dynamics at Arizona State University; Jerry O’Donnell, Regional Manager for the Partnership and Data Services for the U.S. Census Bureau; Dr. Debra Friedman, University Vice President and Dean of the College of Public Programs at Arizona State University, led the seminar.  Scholars discussed the changing local and global trends and their social implications.

Other core areas include economic literacy, cultural competency, environmental literacy, health care challenges, entrepreneurship, and leadership.

The Spirit of Service Scholars initiative provides scholarships to students dedicated to seeking careers in the public and non-profit sectors.  The scholars are serving as mentors to 30 Arizona high school students who are also interested in careers in public service.

To learn more about the Spirit of Service Scholars initiative please visit

Dana Berchman,
College of Public Programs