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Small grants make big impact

The grants are small but the impact is big for ASU student-led service projects.
February 17, 2017

ASU program receives national honor for funding student-led service projects that help refugees, teens, homeless families

The grants are small, but the impact is big.

A program that gives awards of $1,500 or less to Arizona State University student-led service projects is being nationally recognized for its success in only its third year.

This year, more than $21,000 was awarded to 19 student projects that are impacting hundreds of people in the Phoenix area, including refugees, high school students, homeless families, recovering addicts, prisoners and elementary schoolchildren who need books. The students are helping those in need through art, tutoring, sports, health education, yoga, literature, hiking and gardening.

“It offers such a unique opportunity for students to really create the change they want to see in the community,” said Lindsay Dusard, who won two grants in previous years and is now the student chair of the Woodside Community Action Grant program. The initiative has been named the “service program of the year” by the IMPACTDusard and others in the program left Feb. 16 for the national conference in St. Louis to accept the award. Conference, a national group of student leaders, administrators, faculty and nonprofit groups that engage college students in socially responsible work.

Woodside, like all programs that are part of Changemaker Central @ ASU, is run by students, who promote the competition, supervise the application process, judge the applications and administer the grants, with the help of a staff adviser. Dusard runs the program with Lindsay Zapata, a Woodside student intern.

Student winners are able to make a big impact with small amounts.

“The reasons these projects can happen is that the students dedicate their time and labor, and it’s a lot of work,” Dusard said. “And we encourage them to go out and seek more donations, for supplies or whatever, and they also work with their organizations to extend the money as far as they can to make the greatest impact.”

The program is funded by the Woodside Community Embeddedness Endowment held by the ASU Foundation. The endowment was established in 2000 by Migs Woodside and her late husband, Bill Woodside, to support faculty or student organizations making meaningful impact in the community. Over the years the endowment has grown significantly because of additional donations from Migs Woodside and attendees of the Woodside Lecture Series, which featured ASU faculty members speaking to members of the community. 

Migs Woodside said: “In gratitude to ASU's stellar faculty for presenting 16 years of seminars for the Woodside Lecture Series, our community is pleased to give funds to students to develop service projects and improve the lives of others. We hope the Woodside Community Action Grants will encourage students to continue their volunteer efforts and take on leadership roles in future. We are excited and impressed by the outstanding success of this program and its recognition in just three years by a national organization.”

Members of Students Organize for Syria, an ASU student organization, took children of Syrian refugee families hiking recently. The club won a Woodside Community Action Grant for its outreach program. Contributed photo

 After the Changemaker students make their recommendations for fundable projects, a committee of donors to the Woodside Endowment make the final determination on the amounts awarded. The 19 winners this year were chosen from 39 applications.

“A lot of the students have already volunteered extensively in the community they are applying to serve, so they have a good feel for the community needs, and they have to prove that in their application,” Dusard said.

Some of the projects have won in consecutive years, including Iron City Magazine, a journal devoted to writing and art from the prisoner world, and Designing Micro Air Vehicles, a hands-on engineering venture for minority high school students.

New this year is a series of monthly workshops for the winners, according to Jasmine Smalls, program coordinator at Changemaker Central and the staff adviser for Woodside.

“In the past, the feedback we received that the entire semester can go by and we would never know the progress of a project,” she said. “Now, the students are working on professional development workshops on topics such as e-portfolios, so they can tell their stories and the impact they’re making on the local community.”

Dusard’s two grants funded a project with the Peace Corps Club in which members gathered corps alumni and current students to work on a garden for refugee families, and a summer recreation program for refugee children that she established as part of her thesis for Barrett, the Honors College.

“It was important for the social and emotional development of these children who have experienced high levels of trauma and are forced to integrate quickly into a classroom,” said Dusard, a senior majoring in marketing and public programs and public policy in the W. P. Carey School of Business.

Helping refugees has been the focus of several projects over the three years. One winner this year is Ainsley Pfeiffer, a member of Students Organize for Syria, which won a $1,200 grant for its tutoring and outreach program. The group works with children of Syrian refugee families, giving homework help and boosting their English skills, but the members realized that the kids needed to get out more. The grant will pay for trips to museums and the zoo and recreational activities such as bowling and picnics. On Feb. 12, the group took several children hiking at South Mountain.

“Usually on the weekend, the kids stay at home and they haven’t seen much of Arizona or even of American culture, so we thought it would be fun to take them out,” said Pfeiffer, a senior anthropology major.

Over the course of many months, Pfeiffer and the club members have bonded with the families.

“When we drop off the kids, they invite us in for dinner, and we’ve built some great relationships,” she said. “I didn’t know any refugee families before this, and I see that they have a lot of resilience because they don’t speak English, but they still go out and get jobs and maneuver American society pretty well.”

Many of the Woodside projects reach out to children and teenagers. The Sun Devil Handball Club was awarded $750 for its Homework and Handball program in which club members visit high schools in Phoenix, play with the students and then talk to them about college.

The Sun Devil Handball Club won a Woodside Community Action Grant for its outreach program to Phoenix high schools. Contributed photo

 Derek Doyle, president of the handball club, said the members came up with the service idea last fall, and it was a natural fit for some of the Phoenix high schools because they already had courts and many students play during lunch time.

The grant money will be spent on equipment, including several dozen pairs of eye guards that the teens can use. At a typical outreach, the club will set up a bracketed tournament for the high school players, and after the games the club members will chat with them and encourage them to consider applying to college. Many of the high schoolers don’t come from college-going families.

“A lot of them think it’s too expensive or too hard. We’ll talk about how there are scholarships and financial aid. We tell them if they put in the effort during high school, they can realize college is an option,” said Doyle, who is a sophomore sports and media studies major in the W. P. Carey School of Business.

Forging that connection with the handball clubThe service project was one reason the Sun Devil Handball Club was recently named the “organization of the year” by the U.S. Handball Association. is another incentive for the young students.

“When a student gets into a club at college, they feel more welcome, and the kids realize there’s a team that’s already here that they can be a part of,” he said.

For a list of all the student projects that won Woodside Community Action Grants, click here.

Top photo: Book Buddy received $750 to help children who are English language learners in the third and fourth grade at Kyrene de las Manitas Elementary in Tempe, by giving them a reading resource that will help them improve their English language skills.

Mary Beth Faller

Reporter , ASU News


Barretts endow O’Connor Justice Prize

$3 million gift will help establish prize as an enduring symbol of commitment to the rule of law

February 13, 2017

Following Arizona State University’s public launch of comprehensive fundraising effort Campaign ASU 2020, the university’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law announced that well-known Phoenix business leaders and longtime ASU benefactors Ambassador Barbara Barrett ’72, M.A. ’75, J.D. ’79, and her husband, former Intel CEO Dr. Craig Barrett, donated $3 million to the university to endow the O’Connor Justice Prize.

ASU Law, which administers the award, first bestowed the O’Connor Justice Prize in 2014. It recognizes exemplary leadership in rule of law initiatives and honors the college’s namesake, the Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor, former U.S. Supreme Court justice and advocate for the rule of law and judicial independence around the world. President Jimmy Carter receives the OConnor Justice Prize from ASU Law Former President Jimmy Carter is presented with the O’Connor Justice Prize on Jan. 27 at the Arizona Biltmore by (from left) former Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Ruth McGregor; Barbara Barrett, former ambassador to Finland; and Patricia Wald, former chief judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Barrett and her husband, former Intel CEO Dr. Craig Barrett, have donated $3 million to Arizona State University to sustain the prize in perpetuity. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now Download Full Image

Past honorees include Ana Palacio, the first woman to serve as foreign affairs minister of Spain and former senior vice president and general counsel of the World Bank Group who is an ardent defender and protector of law, human rights and press freedom; and Navanethem “Navi” Pillay, United Nations high commissioner for human rights, the first non-white woman to serve on the High Court of South Africa and a successful advocate for establishing mass rape as a form of genocide.

The most recent prize winner is former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who accepted the award at the O’Connor Justice Prize Dinner, a formal event held at the Arizona Biltmore on Jan. 27. At the event, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Dean Douglas Sylvester announced the Barretts’ philanthropic gift, which meets one of the college’s Campaign ASU 2020 goals: to sustain the prize in perpetuity.

“This extraordinary gift will help secure the O’Connor Justice Prize as an enduring tribute to the rule of law and those dedicated to promoting it,” said Sylvester. “Since its inception in 2014, the awards dinner has become a signature event for ASU Law, drawing honorees and dignitaries from around the world. We are so grateful that the Barretts’ generosity will ensure the viability of this world-class event into the future.”

Ambassador and Dr. Barrett are unwavering supporters of ASU. Among their donations is a gift — the largest made to the university at its time — that endowed Barrett, The Honors College, which a New York Times op-ed piece called the “gold standard” in honors education. She and five other Campaign ASU 2020 volunteer principals have collectively contributed more than $50 million to ASU since the start of the campaign.

“The spirit of ASU inspires me and so many others as ASU takes the lead as the New American University,” said Ambassador Barrett. “Justice O’Connor personifies energy, team spirit, hard work, talent and dedication. ASU’s O’Connor Justice Prize annually honors Arizona’s foremost jurist, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, while it simultaneously celebrates another of the world’s leaders who also is dedicated to the values of justice, human rights and the rule of law.”

The ambassador’s connection to Justice O’Connor began at the Arizona State Legislature when then-Arizona State Majority Leader Sandra Day O’Connor encouraged then-intern Barrett to attend law school. Years later, O’Connor administered the oath of office to Barrett as U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Finland.

Like the initial two O’Connor Justice Prize recipients, Barrett and O’Connor are women of “firsts.” The former was the first female deputy director of the Federal Aviation Administration, the first female Republican to run for governor of Arizona and reportedly the first female civilian to land in an F/A-18 Hornet on an aircraft carrier. The latter was the first woman on the country’s highest court, serving from 1981 until her retirement in 2006.

Beth Giudicessi


Campaign ASU 2020: The basics

Learn the ins and outs of a fundraising campaign as ASU seeks to transform lives

February 7, 2017

In late January, Arizona State University publicly launched Campaign ASU 2020, a $1.5 billion campus-wide fundraising effort. We asked experts at the ASU Foundation, the non-profit organization that raises and invests private contributions to ASU, exactly what that means.

Question: What is a comprehensive campaign? Campaign ASU 2020 banner Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now Download Full Image

Rick Shangraw, chief executive officer: A comprehensive campaign is a chance for an organization to look across everything it does and put it all into a shared vision so that it can reach out to its community and to its friends to find ways to advance the institution.

Here, at ASU, Campaign ASU 2020 is designed to do just that.

Q: Why does a public university need private support?

Gretchen Buhlig, chief operating officer and managing director: Private support is not a replacement for a university’s other sources of revenue. Rather, it provides wonderful enrichment opportunities for students to transform their college experiences from good to great.

An example is a donor who provides a student the opportunity to study abroad: It provides not only a meaningful experience for the student, but the student can positively impact the community he or she is in.

Q: What areas does the campaign support?

Shad Hanselman, assistant vice president, Development Advancement: Campaign ASU 2020 supports a vast array programs, projects, and people that impact ASU’s efforts in the classroom, on the field, in the community and around the world.

Q: When did Campaign ASU 2020 begin?

Josh Friedman, chief development officer, Development Leadership: Our campaign began on July 1, 2010, at a time when ASU was contemplating many efforts that would require philanthropy to really help them reach the level we envisioned — from moving our law school downtown to dramatic improvements to ASU Gammage to huge, significant changes to Sun Devil Athletics and their facilities.

All of these require additional fundraising beyond what we were already doing, so a campaign was born.

Note: Campaign ASU 2020 was publicly launched Jan. 27, 2017. The university secured $1 billion in new gifts and commitments to advance ASU during the campaign’s pre-launch phase, which began in fiscal year 2011.

Q: Do all gifts count toward Campaign ASU 2020?

Andrew Carey, executive director, Campaign ASU 2020: All gifts to ASU — whether for a scholarship, faculty, research, equipment or any other program — count toward our goal of raising at least $1.5 billion by the year 2020.

Q: Will gifts made to the university be immediately available?

Buhlig: In donating to the university, donors can make a gift for immediate use or one that enables the success of the university to exceed their lifetimes. Non-endowed gifts provide immediate impact wherever a donor so chooses; endowed gifts are to ensure the long-term perpetuity of the success of the university. Both are essential and critical to the success of Campaign ASU 2020.

Q: How do you measure the success of a gift?

Friedman: Measuring success through philanthropy is crucial for the donor to know that they are achieving what they hope and for the institution to know that we are working to have the impact we need.

Some things are easy to measure, like scholarship dollars. Some things, like fundamentally transforming society or creating pathways to K-20 education, are bigger, harder and bolder — but that is what I’m most excited about. Those are the kinds of challenges ASU takes on. Those are the kinds of challenges our donors are most interested in. Here, we work together as partners on how we will measure that impact and what success looks like.

Q: How can I get involved?

Hanselman: The best way to get involved is to visit, make a gift to support something you are passionate about and share why you gave with your friends, family and fellow Sun Devils.

Q: If I make a gift, how can I be sure my financial information is safe?

Shangraw: Donor privacy and security is of paramount concern to us at Arizona State University:

  • We have a team of dedicated security professionals who work on our systems every day to make sure they’re safe and protected from intrusion.
  • We have encryption programs that allows us to store information in a way that is difficult to access.
  • When we transmit data, which we primarily do internally, we do it in a secure way.
  • We have a precise record retention policy so that we only maintain those records that are necessary.
  • Finally, we maintain a careful system to adhere to the wishes of our donors as to if they want their information public or not.


To learn more about Campaign ASU 2020, please visit

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ASU announces $1.5 billion comprehensive campaign

Campaign ASU 2020 aims to educate community about value of private support.
Wide-ranging comprehensive campaign is about gifts both large and small.
55,600 students have already benefited from scholarships during the campaign.
January 26, 2017

Funds raised in Campaign ASU 2020 to fuel discovery, champion student success and enrich community, among other initiatives

Editor's note: This story is being highlighted in ASU Now's year in review. To read more top stories from 2017, click here.

Developing an Ebola treatment. Caring for a city’s homeless population. Opening pathways to higher education through scholarships.

Such accomplishments take intelligence, compassion — and generosity. To make possible more such life-changing actions, Arizona State University is embarking on a comprehensive campaign to raise at least $1.5 billion to accelerate its mission.

Campaign ASU 2020 is a strategic effort that will focus the entire university’s development energies on one goal — to permanently raise the long-term fundraising capacity of the university. The donations will fund scholarships, faculty research, labs, projects to ensure that students succeed to graduation, arts initiatives and ventures in the community.

ASU President Michael M. Crow said the campaign comes at a pivotal time when the university is reflecting on its successes and building on that momentum.

“Campaign ASU 2020 is our moment in time to say, ‘Yes, we’ve been able to do that. Look at who we are.’ It’s not just the faculty and it’s not just the students and it’s not just the staff. It’s the hundreds of thousands of people and the thousands of organizations that are behind us to move this university forward,” he said.

The campaign has been in a “quiet” phase since 2010 — with $1 billion already raised through donations by corporations, organizations and, especially, individuals — 260,000 individuals have contributed so far, and 55,600 students have benefited from scholarships during the campaign.

Campaign ASU 2020 officially kicked off Thursday night at a gathering of university leaders and supporters. The focus of the night — and the message of the philanthropic effort — is how the work of ASU touches individuals, both on campus and in the community.

Megan Phillips, a global health major at ASU, has walked the streets of Phoenix with her fellow students to care for homeless people. She said her work at a downtown shelter and at the Student Health Outreach for Wellness clinic provides hope and dignity to homeless people.

“But it also provides students like me the chance to broaden their perspectives and serve the community in a very real way,” said Phillips, who is now the director of programs for the student-run clinic. The clinic is in the midst of raising $5,000 to help further its programs. Read more here.

Professor Charles Arntzen, who has saved lives with the Ebola treatment he developed at ASU, said the private funding he received allowed him to try something new and develop it into the leading therapeutic for Ebola.

“I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to be a scientist who started with a crazy idea and ended up seeing that our product saved lives in Africa,” said Arntzen, who is a Regent’s Professor and holds the Florence Ely NelsonThe Florence Ely Nelson Presidential Chair in Plant Biology was created by created by an endowment from Florence Nelson, who, Arntzen said, "gave me the freedom to explore blue-sky ideas that would typically be considered too risky for conventional grant programs. Florence’s visionary investment ultimately led the way to our discovery of ZMapp, today’s most promising drug treatment for people infected with Ebola." Presidential Chair in Plant Biology.

Crow said that ASU produces change at a huge scale, but it starts with individuals.

“It’s these people who are going to go out and produce these new ideas, produce the changes across the entire spectrum of society,” he said.

ASU must pursue larger, more important goals, Crow said, and become the model for future of higher education.

“This campaign will allow us to build on the momentum of all that we have established thus far and solidify our position as the first institution to successfully blend this level of academic excellence and egalitarian access,” he said.

A history of philanthropy

The university’s very beginning was because of a gift. Donor Craig Weatherup explained that in 1885, local butcher shop owners George and Martha Wilson gave 15 acres of pastureland to build the Territorial Normal School. He noted that two previous fundraising campaigns, in the 1980s and the 1990s, both exceeded their targetsIn the 1980s, the Centennial Campaign set a goal of $75 million and raised $114 million, and in the 1990s, when the campaign set a goal of $300 million and raised $560 million..

“Of course, it’s important to note that we didn’t arrive at this point overnight,” said WeatherupCraig Weatherup is an honorary co-chair of ASU’s President’s Club., former founding chairman and CEO of Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. The Weatherup Family Foundation has funded several initiatives, including the Weatherup Center indoor practice facility and training center for the university’s varsity basketball teams.

He noted other significant donors who have transformed ASU, endowing colleges, launching research centers, building facilities and funding student activities such as the Sun Devil Marching Band.

In addition to fundraising, Campaign ASU 2020 is about educating the community to the value of private support while engaging alumni and friends with the university.

The campaign’s goal of at least $1.5 billion will be distributed this way:

  • $441 million to fuel discovery, creativity and innovation, paying for research, labs, equipment, entrepreneurship opportunities and art galleries.
  • $258 million to drive Sun Devil Athletics competitiveness by increasing scholarships and academic support, adding sports and an Olympic Village on the east side of Rural Road that will include tennis, softball, track and field, soccer, lacrosse, wrestling, gymnastics and volleyball facilities, as well as an Olympic Village-style space for student-athletes.
  • $233 million to elevate the academic enterprise by funding endowed professorships, faculty fellowships and artist-in-residence programs.
  • $220 million to ensure student access and excellence, including scholarships based on need and merit, as well as helping students make progress toward graduation.
  • $184 million to champion student success, which funds students’ learning in real-life situations, study abroad and leadership development.
  • $165 million to enrich our communities, enabling ASU students to participate in local projects, performing arts and public television.

Private support is not a replacement for the university’s other sources of revenue, including investments from the state, students, their families, faculty, staff and research grants. Private support provides the margin of excellence that enables the “extras” that shape excellent, meaningful and impactful university and research experiences.

The campaign, which is being guided by the ASU Foundation for a New American University, is emphasizing the importance of small gifts, noting that in one year, more than 100,000 individual donors gave a total of $215 million that affected every college and school at ASU.

Donors can choose where to giveMany donors choose to restrict their gifts to a certain use or distribution schedule, which can include estate gifts and endowments. Accordingly, many funds raised during the campaign will not be available for immediate spending and will not apply to the university’s yearly operations budget., and ASU’s colleges have set priorities. For example, the W. P. Carey School of Business hopes to raise at least $150 million to fund student scholarships, summer programs and research centers, and to endow faculty chairs and professorships, including one named for Loui Olivas, which would be the first chair named for someone of Hispanic descent at any top 30 business school in the U.S.

ASU President Michael Crow at Campaign ASU 2020 kickoff

President Michael Crow speaks at Thursday's official kickoff of Campaign ASU 2020 at Chase Field in Phoenix. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Some Campaign ASU 2020 projects would far exceed the boundaries of campus, including creation of “The Culture Lab of the Americas,” a $30 million, 45,000-square-foot building with state-of-the-art classrooms, research labs, event spaces and ASU Art Museum gallery space that will connect artists and designers with practitioners across disciplines. The Culture Lab will be located near the Phoenix Art Museum and Heard Museum and will offer advanced degree programs and research centers through the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

ASU emphasizes projects that cross disciplines, and Lee Hartwell, a Nobel laureate and professor at ASU, spoke about how today’s students will enter a world that’s almost unimaginable now due to rapid technology changes.

“So, we have to do things differently — and we are. I believe that ASU is leading the way,” said Hartwell, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2001 and is the Virginia G. Piper Chair Virginia G. Piper Chair of Personalized Medicine is funded by a donation by the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.of Personalized Medicine and co-director of the Biodesign Institute's new Center for Sustainable Health.

He has appointments in the colleges of education, biomedical engineering and sustainability, and that gives him the chance to work with diverse colleagues. For example, in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, he is collaborating on a course called Sustainability for Teachers, intended to make the topic dynamic and inspiring.

“We think this is an important first step in educating the next generation on the very real challenges they face,” he said.

Campaign ASU 2020 principals

Campaign ASU 2020 principals (from left) Bill Post, Craig Weatherup, John Graham, Barbara McConnell Barrett and Leo Beus applaud the donations of all individuals and corporations so far; $1 billion has been raised since the campaign's "quiet launch" in 2010. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Donor Leo Beus described how moving it was to see the effects of his gift. He and his wife, Annette, established the Beus Family New American University Scholarship to support incoming freshmen or community college transfer students who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The couple then were able to interview the students who received the scholarships.

“We had the experience of looking them in the eyes and telling them not to worry because their college tuition was covered — and we knew our investments changed lives,” said Beus, co-founder of Beus Gilbert PLLC. They also supported the Beus Center for Law and Society, the new downtown Phoenix home of ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law. The center was designed to also house the nation’s first teaching law firm, a law library open to the public and a legal triage service to help the public find legal support.

Jackson Dangremond, president of the Undergraduate Student Government on the Downtown campus and a junior majoring in health care innovation, noted the donations that have already been made.

“Every step moves us one step closer to achieving our aspirations and making a difference in countless lives.”

For more about Campaign ASU 2020, visit Want to learn more about what a comprensive campaign is and why a public university needs private support, read the campaign primer from the experts at the ASU Foundation.

Top photo: Fireworks, singers and band members from the ASU School of Music celebrate at the conclusion of the official launch of Campaign ASU 2020 on Thursday at Chase Field in Phoenix. The goal is to raise at least $1.5 billion by the year 2020, with $1 billion already raised since the campaign's "quiet launch" in 2010. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

ASU establishing professorship in honor of late Sue Clark-Johnson

January 24, 2017

Arizona State University is creating an endowed professorship at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in honor of Sue Clark-Johnson, the newspaper executive, journalism pioneer and ASU professor who died two years ago this month.

The Sue Clark-Johnson Media Innovation and Leadership Professorship will drive innovations within Cronkite News, the student-produced, faculty-supervised news division of Arizona PBS, and create new, multidisciplinary collaborations with other ASU colleges and external partners. Clark-Johnson was the former president of the Gannett Newspaper Division and former publisher of The Arizona Republic. Sue Clark-Johnson Cronkite School ASU is creating an endowed professorship at the Cronkite School in honor of Sue Clark-Johnson, who died two years ago this month. The ASU professor was also the former president of the Gannett Newspaper Division and former publisher of The Arizona Republic. Download Full Image

“Sue Clark-Johnson was a pioneer and one of the leading thinkers in news media who embraced bold innovation,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “This endowed professorship will carry on Sue’s values and vision and preserve her extraordinary legacy.”

Louis A. “Chip” Weil, former Arizona Republic publisher and a close friend of Clark-Johnson, is leading the fundraising efforts. The Clark-Johnson Professorship already has received significant funding from her husband, Brooks Johnson, and friends as well as APS, where she served as a board member. The Cronkite School is working to complete the endowment and appoint a faculty member to the new professorship this fall.

“Sue was passionate about the news business. She believed providing people the information to make informed choices could bring about real, positive change,” Johnson said. “Technology has altered the way news is delivered, but the need for factual, dispassionate reporting remains unchanged. I hope this professorship will help find new ways to keep traditional journalism alive.”

Clark-Johnson served as a professor of practice at the Cronkite School from 2010 until her death in January 2015. She was a driving force behind the creation of the school’s New Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab, which brings students from across the university to the Cronkite School to develop cutting-edge digital products for media and other companies. She also pioneered the school’s partnership with Chyron Corp., an innovative digital broadcast graphics products and services company, to bring a new graphics management system to the school.

Clark-Johnson also was the director of the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at ASU, where she created the State of Our State Conference, which has become an annual signature event featuring reports, panels and interactive discussions on Arizona’s key challenges and opportunities.

Clark-Johnson joined Morrison in May 2009 after retiring as president of the Gannett Newspaper Division a year earlier. She worked for 41 years in a variety of news and executive leadership roles with the company, which owns about 85 daily U.S. newspapers, including serving as publisher of The Arizona Republic for five years.

Clark-Johnson previously served as senior group president of Gannett's Pacific Newspaper Group with oversight responsibility for 32 companies throughout the West, including Hawaii and Guam.

Her newspaper career included leadership positions at Gannett newspapers in Niagara Falls and Binghamton, New York, as well as in Reno, Nevada. She also served a term as chair of the Newspaper Association of America.

The Sue Clark-Johnson Media Innovation and Leadership Professor will join the Cronkite School’s five other endowed chairs and professorships: the Knight Chair in Journalism, occupied by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Steve Doig; the Weil Family Professor of Journalism, held by former Washington Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr.; the Donald W. Reynolds Endowed Chair in Business Journalism, held by business journalism leader Andrew Leckey; the Donald W. Reynolds Endowed Visiting Professor in Business Journalism, held by former CNN correspondent Susan Lisovicz; and the Frank Russell Chair for the Business of Journalism, occupied by former Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor-in-chief and Cox Media Group Ohio executive Julia Wallace.

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ASU professor leads audiology team to Malawi

August 22, 2016

Hearing for Humanity program helps treat hearing loss, train local clinic workers

Editor's note: This story is being highlighted in ASU Now's year in review. To read more top stories from 2016, click here.

Ingrid McBride has just returned from one of the world’s poorest countries, where she spends every summer working to make sure people can hear.

McBride, an Arizona State University audiology professor, has traveled to Malawi in southeast Africa for each of the last six years to address what she calls a “tremendous” need for medical professionals who can help people with hearing problems.

Audiologists provide a range of services, from fitting patients for hearing aids to diagnosing disorders, and there wasn’t a single one in the nation of 16 million people when McBride founded Hearing for Humanity in 2010. “There was just nothing happening as far as ear and hearing care at all,” said McBride, clinical professor and director of the Audiology Clinic at ASU.

Hearing for Humanity seeks to provide care and train local clinicians, implementing sustainable practices that can be put into use long after volunteers leave. McBride’s program also gives ASU students in the Department of Speech and Hearing Science an opportunity to study and work abroad for course credit.

The initiative is fueled by private charitable contributions from individuals and corporate partners. McBride and her team of students work to raise the funds needed to purchase supplies and hearing aids, which they bring with them to MalawiMap of the country of MalawiMalawi is nestled between Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia. .  

Each year, McBride and a team of students — there were 15 in the latest group — spend a month in Malawi, helping curb hearing loss for children and adults at hospitals and clinics across the country.

Since that first year, the level of care in Malawi has improved, though the need is still great. Today, there are still only three audiologists in the nation. But scores of clinic workers have learned from the Hearing for Humanity volunteers, making sure patients have access to care year round.

“Already what’s happened since we’ve been gone is just amazing,” McBride said, adding that people fit with hearing aids have been able to receive follow-up care, “so that makes it sustainable.”

Hearing for Humanity also has helped train four Malawian audiology students selected to attend the University of Manchester tuition-free to obtain master’s degrees. “When they come back, they will be Malawi’s first home-grown audiologists,” McBride said.

group shot of audiology specailists in Malawi

At the end of a long clinic day, the Hearing for Humanity team, along with local interpreters and clinical officers, pose for a group photo in Malawi. Photo courtesy Ingrid McBride


Among the small number of audiologists in Malawi is ASU alum Courtney Caron, who participated in McBride’s program for two years as a student and one year as a professional before setting up her own clinic.

“When I first began graduate school at ASU in 2009,” Caron said, “I had a plan set in my mind: I would graduate with my AuD then pursue an MBA and work my way toward opening my own private practice.”

Instead, she said, she “ended up skipping the MBA” and opening a clinic in a nation where the United Nations reports that 74 percent of the population lives on less than $1.25 a day.

She said she got her own practice in the end, “but I think I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to do it in a much more rewarding way.”

Others involved also say the program has benefits that stretch both ways.

ASU clinical assistant professor Kate Helms-Tillery was a part of McBride’s team this year and said “it’s an important experience for our students” to provide service to others as often as possible. Also, the program gives “students the opportunity to work with people from a different culture,” which she said is “critical because students will also encounter people of different cultures once they begin practicing.”

Audiology graduate student Jessica Wenger (pictured at top) recognized the benefit even before going, saying the program was what "sold" her on attending ASU. “There just aren’t any other universities offering something like it,” she said, calling the opportunity a “huge advantage over the experience you’d get anywhere else.”

For Caron, there is tangible benefit to helping others improve their lives.   

“You don’t need to speak the language to understand how much of a difference has been made,” Caron said. “Every task big or small takes so much more effort” in Malawi, “so every progress is a celebration.”

“The effect of any disability on a person’s life here is so much more so than in the U.S.,” she said. “So giving them even the smallest assistance can make a world of difference.”

Top photo courtesy Jessica Wenger.

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A good kind of early exposure

ASU offers students a look at health professions before high school graduation.
Students get a head start on health care careers at ASU summer institute.
July 28, 2016

ASU summer institute gives high school students insight into health professions

Taking care to place the stethoscope in just the right spot on his chest, Kelvin Tran waits patiently for the student at the other end of the device to confirm that he hears a heartbeat.

Tran, a College of Health Solutions rising junior, has gotten used to more complex equipment since he began research in genomics and neurophysiology at ASU’s Biodesign Institute in Tempe. But today he’s taking time to help out with the college’s Summer Health Institute at the Downtown Phoenix campus, which aims to expose high school students to a variety of health professions before they get to college.

“I’m here to just kind of work with the students and oversee them, but I’m also giving advice about things like med school applications, and mistakes I should have been more aware of as a freshman,” he said, “or even just cool opportunities that I wish I knew about beforehand.”

According to clinical associate professor Alison EssaryEssary also serves as director of academic partnerships for the College of Health Solutions, and associate director of the School for the Science of Health Care Delivery., there’s a big need for that.

“Many [similar] programs target college-age students, and by the time students reach college, a lot of them have already committed to a certain pathway,” she said. “So we felt we wanted to start earlier than that and expose them to a variety of health professions, outside medicine, outside nursing, and just go big and broad, and really give them opportunities to explore those professions before they get to college and have to really commit.”

Essary and her colleague, senior director of academic services Nate WadeNate Wade serves as the senior director of Academic Services for Pre-Health Professions at ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus., knew that in order for Summer Health Institute to be truly impactful, it would need to be accessible to students from all backgrounds. Thanks to support from the Arizona Central Credit Union, Summer Health Institute is completely free for all participants.

Now in its third year, the competitive program received 326 applications from 25 states and four countries. Of those, the 24 students chosen to attend represent six states and a variety of backgrounds. Just under half of the 2016 cohort self-reported being on free lunch, and 10 of the participants were determined to be the first in their families to attend a four-year university.

Other community partners include TGen, Fortis College, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University.

“This is very much a team effort,” Essary said. “So we’re very thankful to our ASU partners and our community partners.”

“We want to engage both high school students who might not have been exposed to health care professions yet, as well as high school students from communities where they might not have the opportunity to be exposed to health care professions,” said Wade.

The institute consists of a weeklong immersive experience in which students who have completed their junior year of high school live on the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus while being exposed to a variety of interprofessional health related activities, including three hours of daily simulation at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix campus (observing and practicing things like suturing, IVs, intubation, scrubbing, etc.), interactions with members of the health care team,\ and tours of health care facilities located within the health corridor of Arizona.

The students learn about all types of health professions — not just nursing and medicine — such as dentistry, physical therapy, optometry, health care administration and research. Throughout the week, they interact with volunteers whose specialties span the health care sector and even get to attend and participate in an actual physician assistant class — an extremely rare opportunity, Wade said.

Rosa Medina of River Valley High School in Mohave Valley, Arizona, is thinking about becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon or going into biomedical research. The Summer Health Institute addressed both of those interests.

“I’m looking forward to the sheep heart dissection that we have planned because I haven’t dissected a heart yet, and I think that’d be really cool,” Medina said. “And I really liked the visit to the TGen lab because I’m really interested in biomedical research, so seeing what I could do with research was really interesting.”

During a presentation from Teresa Wu, an emergency medicine physician with Banner Health, Medina also got an unexpected chance to glimpse her small intestines during an ultrasound demonstration. Wu is an associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix campus, one of the Summer Health Institute’s community partners.

“It has been an incredible experience giving back to our community,” Wu said. “I grew up here in Phoenix in a single parent household, and I want to make sure that our community understands that anything is possible if they put their minds to it.”

Following Wu’s presentation, Essary led a workshop on taking patients’ vitals. Both she and Wade not only developed and run the institute, they also teach in it.

“It’s fun to hear what they’re interested in,” Essary said of the student participants. “It’s fun to share in their energy. It revitalizes me and my energy, and it’s why I got into education and clinical practice in the first place.”

Essary is happy to announce that 100 percent of the students who participated in the institute during its first year matriculated to institutes of higher education, with remarks about how they found it “interesting” and “exciting.”

The Summer Health Institute, it seems, is not only doing its job; it’s doing it well. And as Essary points out, “it really fits within the mission of ASU to develop the health care workforce of the future.”

Top photo: Laura Hatty organizes stethoscopes for a lesson on vitals and diagnostics with Alison Essary, during the Summer Health Institute in downtown Phoenix July 12. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now