Technology advances earn international, state innovation awards


November 26, 2014

Biomedical technology advances achieved by David Frakes and his Arizona State University research team have recently earned a World Technology Award in Health and Medicine, as well as one of the Arizona Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Awards.

In addition to Frakes’ state award, Sarah Galvin, an ASU freshman electrical engineering student, was presented one of four Future Innovators of the Year awards. Galvin was recognized for a research project she developed as a student at Corona del Sol High School in Tempe. Frakes biomedical innovation Download Full Image

Frakes is an associate professor in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering and the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering.

Through his Imaging Processing Applications Lab, he has led development of technology that aids physicians in devising patient-specific plans for endovascular treatments. It is expected to have a significant impact on the success of insertions of neurovascular stents to improve patients’ recovery.

The new technique for enhancing preparation for the treatment of blood vessel problems is among recent accomplishments deemed to have “the greatest likely long-term significance” by the international panel of scientists, engineers and inventors who select winners of the annual World Technology Awards.

The technology has become the basis for a startup company, called Endovantage.

The state Celebration of Innovation Award recognizes the achievement of Frakes’ lab team in developing a cloud-based computer simulation platform enabling precise modeling of the conditions of patients with brain aneurysms.

The awards program is organized by the Arizona Technology Council in partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority.

The modeling technology development is related to other biomedical projects that are bringing attention to Frakes’ work. Among them is the 3-D Cardiac Print Lab at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, which is being run under Frakes’ guidance by ASU biomedical engineering doctoral student Justin Ryan.

The lab produces 3-D prints of individual patients’ cardiovascular, respiratory and skeletal structures. The lab also provides physicians a novel virtual screening of the conditions of pediatric patients, helping surgeons ensure a proper fit of artificial hearts implanted into the patients.

The Future Innovators of the Year Award recognizes Galvin’s research, which involves experimentation with using combinations of various materials to make devices that could help pave the way for the next generation of electronics.

Earlier this year, the project earned her a first-place prize in the electrical and mechanical engineering category in the Intel International Science and Technology Fair for high school students. Galvin is continuing her research at ASU. Read more about her work.

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Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

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Multicultural education expert joins ASU's 'Inside the Academy'


November 26, 2014

Recognized globally as the “father of multicultural education,” James A. Banks is the latest esteemed scholar to be interviewed for Arizona State University’s “Inside the Academy.”

The free, open-source online archive of conversations with America’s “best of the best” education luminaries was created by Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, associate professor in ASU's Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. The Banks video interview delves deep into the influential educator’s career-long quest for social justice in K-12 classrooms, first in the U.S. and now worldwide. portrait of James A. Banks Download Full Image

Growing up in segregated rural Arkansas, Banks explained that he comes from “a long pedigree of farmers and Southerners” and even worked picking cotton as a child. One of his most poignant memories was as a first grader walking five miles to school, with other African-American schoolmates joining him along the way.

“I remember that the white kids would pass us riding in school buses that splattered mud on us,” Banks recalled.

Later on in high school, Banks said he started seeing fellow students who were “as bright as I (was) or brighter” falling by the wayside. It triggered a recurring dream for him, in which he created a school in the South where African-American students could thrive.

“I developed a real strong commitment to make it possible for kids who were black and poor to be successful,” he said.

Today, Banks serves as the Kerry and Linda Killinger Professor of Diversity Studies and director of the Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Washington in Seattle. A past president of the American Educational Research Association, Banks is perhaps best known for co-editing the groundbreaking, “Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education,” with his wife and colleague, Cherry A. McGee Banks. This seminal work is one of a total of 100 journal articles, 60 book chapters and 20 books he has authored or co-edited.

It was Banks’ doctoral dissertation – an extensive content analysis of how African-Americans were portrayed in the nation’s K-12 textbooks – that launched his scholarly quest to study multicultural issues. He said his thesis found the textbooks generally restricted mention of African-Americans to slavery, depicting all slaves as “happy,” and three famous figures – Booker T. Washington, educator; George Washington Carver, scientist; and Marian Anderson, contralto singer.

Being at the forefront of multicultural research, Banks set a career trajectory that opened space for a new generation of scholars. It also led him to develop the widely recognized five dimensions of multicultural education, including content integration, knowledge construction, equity pedagogy, prejudice reduction and empowering school culture. This conceptual framework is intended to help teachers of all disciplines understand that “multicultural” needs to span all aspects of K-12 education, not simply content.   

Banks said his determination to work for social justice in education has been a powerful motivator for him personally and professionally. He added that his efforts also continue to expand to encompass additional minority and ethnic groups in the United States and around the world.

“I always tell my graduate students to study something they have a passion about,” he said. “That is what keeps you going.”

Written by Judy Crawford

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