ASU Law students successfully endow scholarship, help future Federalist Society students

May 13, 2019

The newly endowed James Madison Scholarship is the first of its kind and will recognize and encourage outstanding ASU Law Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies student leadership.

The scholarship will support a second- or third-year student enrolled full time at Arizona State University's Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law who is also a member of the Federalist Society. The recipient will also have expressed a financial need and exhibited a desire to promote awareness of the Federalist Society’s founding principles. photo of ASU Law Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies students ASU Law Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies students. Download Full Image

The scholarship was conceived by Grant Frazier, who graduated this past week from ASU Law with a Juris Doctor degree. As a student at ASU Law, Frazier served as president of the Federalist Society ASU Law chapter and as the chair for the 2019 National Federalist Society Student Symposium, which took place in March 2019.

“ASU Law FedSoc programming, as well as the invaluable intellectual forum it facilitates, greatly augments the in-class legal education provided by ASU Law’s renowned faculty. Such efforts require a great deal of time and effort by student leaders,” Frazier said. “The James Madison Scholarship will recognize the work of these student leaders and the critical contributions they make to the ASU Law community, and the greater Phoenix legal community more generally.”

Stacy Skankey, who also graduated this past week from ASU Law with a Juris Doctor degree, has a strong desire to help her fellow students. From her time serving as vice president of the ASU Federalist Society, she learned firsthand the importance of seeking opportunities for professional development. She was also one of the first donors to the James Madison Scholarship.

“I donated because it is important to me to help students with similar fundamental values and ideals find forums for intellectual discussion. The financial aid that the scholarship provides will allow the recipient to worry less about finances and devote more time towards the attainment of his/her academic and professional goals,” Skankey said. “Student members of the Federalist Society tend to be prominent leaders on campus, who are intellectually curious, driven and devoted to the communities for which they serve. It is my hope that my donation supports student leaders who exemplify these qualities and encourage additional, future students to aspire to such leadership."

Staying ahead while giving back

photo of Grant Frazier

Grant Frazier, JD '19. As a student at ASU Law, Frazier served as president of the Federalist Society ASU Law chapter and as the chair for the 2019 National Federalist Society Student Symposium.

Currently, of the 42 donors to the James Madison Scholarship, 36 are first-time donors to Arizona State University. Furthermore, approximately half of them are current students.

“Students giving back as students shows just how important a scholarship like ours is to the student community,” said Frazier. “It is an honor to call so many of our new donors my friends, and it is encouraging to see them become philanthropists early in their legal careers.”

The original fundraising goal for the scholarship was $25,000 in order to obtain endowment status. Since the scholarship has met and exceeded that goal, students and alumni wish to see the goal increased to provide additional scholarships to students.

The first James Madison Scholarship will be awarded to a student as they start the fall 2020 semester at ASU Law. At current levels, the scholarship award will be approximately $1,000 to $1,250. The goal for the students who launched the James Madison Scholarship was to reach an endowment level around $750,000 which would provide a full-ride scholarship for a deserving student leader.

“My goal is to fundraise for this scholarship every year to continue to grow the fund and therefore increase the amount awarded every year. While we will set incremental goals, the next big goal is to reach the amount necessary to provide a full scholarship,” Frazier said. “This is going to take some heavy lifting, but I believe over time a significant number of alumni will become donors.”

Assist future law students by donating to the James Madison Scholarship.

If you would like to make a multiyear pledge commitment, please contact Terri Burkel at ASU Law at or 480-965-5329.

Nicole Almond Anderson

Director of Communications, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law


Communication graduate set her sights on the entertainment industry

May 5, 2019

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for spring 2019 commencement.

Imagine maintaining a perfect GPA throughout your college career and still finding time to work and perform in a band.   Alexa Graves Download Full Image

That has been the experience of senior Alexa Graves, who is graduating summa cum laude this spring with a degree in communication from the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication and a minor in film and media studies. At the May 6 commencement ceremony, Graves will receive one of ASU's top academic honors, the Moeur Award, for her efforts. 

Since 1901, the ASU Alumni Association has presented the Moeur Award to graduating seniors who have maintained the highest academic standing over the course of eight consecutive fall and spring semesters. The award was named for Dr. B. B. Moeur, who was a physician and businessman in Tempe in the early 1900s.

Graves also received the Louis and Louise Menk Endowed Scholarship in 2017 from the Hugh Downs School. 

Graves has been a standout student since she arrived at ASU four years ago. In her first semester, she impressed her professor in her COM 100 class, Pauline Davies, who later invited her to be a classroom assistant to provide support and advice to more inexperienced students. 

“Alexa is very capable, conscientious and empathetic, and she's also very modest about her achievements. Though we've stayed in close touch, I just learned she would be receiving the Moeur Award when I was invited to the ceremony,” said Davies. “Only then did I realize that she has been an outstanding student in all her courses.”

Graves also worked as an office assistant at ASU’s Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science for three years, where her diverse talents were put to good use.

“From planning events to building websites, I’ve had a chance to work on many different types of projects,” said Graves. “Overall, I was able to learn many different interpersonal skills such as professionalism, dependability and time management.”

In addition to her work and studies, Graves is also the lead singer of the band, Lo Standard, formed in the summer of 2017, whose members are either ASU students or alumni. During that time, the band has performed all around Arizona including several times in front of the Memorial Union, and also at ASU’s Homecoming Block Party. They have also released their first music video, “No Fight Left” filmed by ASU Film Student Xavier Sanchez with the hope to raise awareness about emotional and physical abuse and to let victims know that they are not alone.

Alexa Graves, lead singer in the band Lo Standard, performing in front of the Memorial Union.

ASU Now sat down with Graves to learn more about her college experience: 

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?

Answer: I have always loved being social and working in teams. One day when I was looking at the different majors offered at ASU on their website, communication stood out to me as something I would enjoy and also had the flexibility to apply to many different career paths. That was the moment that I realized it was the perfect degree for me.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?

A: ASU is a really unique school, and part of that is because of how diverse the campus is. I have gotten to work with so many different types of people that I have never had the opportunity of meeting anywhere else. It is a really inclusive university when it comes to celebrating different cultures, and everyone is very respectful. I learned that hand gestures have different meanings in different cultures, so it is important to do your research before going to a new place!

Q: Why did you choose ASU? 

A: I chose ASU because the campus is beautiful and I felt that there would be an abundance of opportunity here. Which I have to say was a good choice because I have been blessed with so many amazing opportunities like being a student worker at the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science. I have worked there for three years as an office assistant for Paul Davies and I have been able to help plan events and meet really fascinating people like Lucy Hawking and Jennifer Doudna. As a singer, I have also had the opportunity of being one of ASU’s Got Talent’s top 10 finalists, and I performed at the Memorial Union multiple times as a part of the ASU Culture Express Yourself Series.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: During my time at ASU, I had the opportunity to teach a student success class for incoming freshmen, and the advice I always gave them was to get involved. The best part of ASU is how easy it is to make connections and participate in the many clubs and organizations. This type of experience is invaluable, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: My favorite spot was definitely the Secret Garden. I went there many times to study or hang out with friends! If you’ve never heard of it before you’ll have to ask around and see if you can find it.

Alexa Graves with her guitar.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I would love to work in the entertainment industry, so I am actively pursuing that right now with the help of people I have met at ASU. Besides that, I’m going on a graduation trip to Hawaii to celebrate!

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I would love to donate to the Ocean Cleanup Project to help rid our oceans of plastic. As humans, I believe we have the responsibility of protecting our environment. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is now estimated to be three times the size of France. If you would like to donate you can go to

Manager, Marketing and Communication, Hugh Downs School of Human Communication


ASU student-led payloads launched on Blue Origin space vehicle

May 2, 2019

Three Arizona State University student-led payload projects launched into space Thursday at 6:34 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on Blue Origin’s New Shepard space vehicle.

The payloads launched from Blue Origin’s facility in west Texas, approximately two hours east of El Paso. The New Shepard vertical takeoff and landing vehicle is capable of carrying hundreds of pounds of payload per flight and is ultimately expected to carry six astronauts to altitudes beyond 100 kilometers, the internationally recognized boundary of space.  Blue Origin's New Shepard space vehicle launches on May 2 in west Texas, with three ASU student-led payloads on board. Download Full Image

The student-led payloads were selected during a competitive pitching competition last year at ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration. To earn a spot, students were challenged to do one of three things for their payload project: Answer a science question, test technology development or engage the five senses (smell, taste, sight, touch, sound) in space.

The finalists’ payloads are the Suborbital Coagulation and Aggregation in Microgravity (science category), the Remote Acoustic Sensor (technology category) and Space Devils (five senses in space category). The teams are composed of students from both the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and the School of Earth and Space Exploration. They were built and designed at ASU and remotely by the students with guidance from ASU faculty mentors.

“These are the first-ever ASU student-designed and -built payloads to be launched into space and brought back to Earth,” said project lead Tanya Harrison, who is the director of research at ASU’s NewSpace Initiative. “The New Shepard suborbital rocket took our student payloads beyond the ‘Kármán line’ — the defined boundary of space.”

The payload slots on New Shepard were funded by ASU’s Interplanetary Initiative, a universitywide effort to build the future of humans in space; NewSpace, which is leading the integration of academic and commercial space enterprises using ASU’s strengths in space science, engineering and education; and by a generous donation from private donors Peter and Cathy Swan. 

“These student-led payload projects show that the opportunity exists for ASU students to design, build and fly in space,” said Peter Swan, who is also an Interplanetary Initiative team member and space industry expert. “This collaboration with Blue Origin opens up the future to our ASU students."

New Shepard launch

Watching from Blue Origin’s West Texas Launch Site along with Harrison were student-payload team members Logan Sisca and David Bates. Sisca and Bates are team members of the Remote Acoustic Sensor (RAS) payload, which was designed to capture acoustic data from bees and record their vibrations, pressures and orientation in space. 

"It is always rewarding to see your team's space hardware take flight, and this mission is no exception since our ASU engineering educations have led up to this moment,” said Sisca. “I am most excited to see the data and onboard video and I hope that the compelling in-space footage inspires future engineers and scientists to pursue their passion for exploration." 

When the RAS payload team members arrived at Blue Origin’s launch site, they loaded 24 locally sourced honeybees into the payload's experiment chamber, which is about the size of a softball. The bees remained in the chamber for the duration of the mission and were provided with sugar cubes to maintain their energy levels. Following the successful completion of their space mission, the bees — also known as "Flapstronauts" — were released into the wild to pollinate crops on Earth. 

“For our payload, we wanted to study the behavior of honeybees in space because, as prime pollinators, they are essential in any space colonization effort where crops are needed to be grown for food,” explained Sisca.

"The RAS payload has two goals,” said Bates. “The first is to observe the behavior of honeybees in the varying gravity and acceleration environments of space travel; and the second is to prove the viability of the remote acoustic sensor that measures air pressure variations like a microphone. RAS analyzes variations in light intensity that are produced when vibrating objects pass in front of the sensor and then converts that data into a sound file.”

As Bates explained, the RAS is able to "hear" objects in the vacuum of space and the successful operation of this experiment will verify that the RAS technology can operate aboard a spacecraft and that it can be used to gather information about the bees during flight.

“With good enough optical sensors, we can use ordinary light to hear vibrations even miles away,” added Danny Jacobs of the School of Earth and Space Exploration, who is a faculty mentor for the RAS team. “Given the task of demonstrating this technique on a rocket flight but constrained to a small box, the team conceived the novel application of monitoring insects. With much trial and error, the team recreated a RAS sensor, demonstrated it on bees and built a really nice experiment around it. This was all accomplished working remotely online and mailing hardware to each other. What a tour de force!”

Members of the original team include Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering electrical engineering undergrads Bates, Sisca, Bryan Trinidad and Roland Lizana. This team consisted entirely of online students spread across the country, as well as one student, Trinidad, who was working aboard a naval vessel in the Persian Gulf. While some team communication was done online, the team also shipped the payload around the world so each team member could physically work on it. Their faculty capstone leader is Mike Goryll with the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering.

“This project raises the technology readiness level of the remote acoustic technology which was invented by Dan Slater and promoted by Rex Ridenoure of Ecliptic Enterprises,” added Jacobs. “They were important mentors for this team and provided lots of help during the early concept development and testing of the sensor.”

Other ASU student-led payloads

The Suborbital Coagulation and Aggregation in Microgravity (SCAM) payload seeks to test the agglomeration of small particles, ranging from millimeter to centimeter in size, as they make collisions in microgravity, helping us to understand how planets form.  

Original members of the team include School of Earth and Space Exploration undergraduates Pat Jackson (exploration systems design), Jason Pickering (astrophysics), Chris Huglin (exploration systems design), Jin Kim (astrophysics), Kevin White (astrobiology), Kanishka Nirmale (astrophysics) and Mitchell Drake (explorations systems design). Their faculty mentor is Chris Groppi with the School of Earth and Space Exploration.

The Space Devils “Five Senses” payload measures and collects data on sight, smell, taste, touch and sound in space. It has, as its centerpiece, an ASU Sparky figure attached to a spring. During ascent and descent, Sparky is pushed up and down, creating the illusion that Sparky is doing pushups, which is measured by an accelerometer. A camera recorded the pushups, a microphone captured the sounds of the spaceflight, and air was pulled into the payload and passed through scent paper to capture the smell of space. 

The original members of the team include Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering mechanical engineering undergrads: Cody Bisbing, Gabby Bovaird, Clint Farnsworth, Josh Fixel, Peter Marple and Landon Wiltbank. Their faculty capstone leader is Abdelrahman Shuaib with the Mechanical Engineering Department.

Karin Valentine

Media Relations & Marketing manager, School of Earth and Space Exploration


ASU Teachers College, Avondale school district blaze new path in training educators

April 25, 2019

Editor's note: This story first appeared in the spring 2019 issue of Impact magazine, which is published twice a year by the ASU Foundation as a reminder of how private support enables and enriches ASU's creative and innovative enterprise.

In 1891, Karl Elsener invented a folding pocket knife for soldiers. His client, the Swiss army, had stipulated that their new knife should enable troops in the field to disassemble their rifles and open cans of food. And also cut things. Copper Trails Principal Stacy Ellis, center, oversees efforts to prepare teacher candidates for the classroom. Copper Trails Principal Stacy Ellis, center, oversees efforts to prepare teacher candidates for the classroom. She checks in with Elisa Samano, left, and Kaitlynne Paul. Photo by Philamer Batangan Download Full Image

In the century and a quarter since then, Elsener’s company, Victori­nox, has been producing the “Swiss Army Knife.” Deluxe models grew to include wood saws, fish scalers, magni­fying lenses, hoof cleaners, chisels, toothpicks, pens and digital clocks. Not yet available is a built-in sewing kit to repair overloaded pants pockets.

But what works for tools doesn’t work for schools. And by packing too many functions into too small a package, schools, too, are coming apart at the seams.

The education equivalent of the Swiss Army Knife is to­day’s teacher, enlisted to be not only an expert in content and in classroom management, but also assessment, indi­vidualized instructional strategies, learner differences, developmental psychology and cultural context.

Carole Basile calls this model “the widget teacher.” And as dean of Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, one of the most prolific producers of teachers in the U.S., Basile said, “The job of a teacher who is asked to be all things to all people at all times is unten­able.” The results, she says, are not in the best interest of kids, of teachers and of the education profession — already under stress from a nationwide teacher shortage.

Basile and her workforce development team have some ideas for managing the widgets: research-based, innovative ideas. And they’ve teamed up with some equally innovative partners in an initiative to reinvent the education workforce.

Christy Burton

… is one of those innovative partners. She chairs the Burton Family Foundation. And she found a kindred spirit in Basile.

“Our foundation, first and foremost, invests in leaders,” Burton said. “I met Carole at an ASU Foundation event and was impressed with her vision for rethinking the way the teachers college delivers education. She was willing to work with the community. I emphasize the community part, because I think sometimes that gets lost in the discussion about schools and what really makes a school rich.”

Burton says her deep appreciation for community means, “We’re a bit different from other foundations.” She and her husband, Daryl, created the foundation with profits from their family business. Presson Companies has a mix of industrial and office real estate holdings. “What formed the foundation was our decision to sell off quite a few of our office prop­erties and focus predominantly on industrial properties,” she said. “But we have properties in the Avondale area we plan to hold on to, and that gave me a look into the community and let me be familiar with what’s going on there.”

In Avondale, Burton had a passion, Basile identified an opportunity, and both found another innovative partner.

Avondale Elementary School District

… is one of two such districts serving the city of Avon­dale, a bedroom suburb of Phoenix that’s home to about 80,000. Avondale Elementary School District comprises 10 schools, including a middle school of grade six through eight.

Overseeing them all is Betsy Hargrove (EdD, ’06), Avondale ESD superintendent since 2012. In 2017, Hargrove approached Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College for help with a challenge that confronts nearly every public-school superintendent: how to encourage fam­ilies to enroll their children in their districts. Hargrove had heard that Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College offered a design thinking initiative that would enlist the district’s faculty and staff, as well as community members, to act as thought partners in addressing the challenge.

Wendy Wyatt conducts a lesson for third grade pupils at Copper Trails School in Avondale, Arizona. Copper Trails School pays Wyatt and her co-teachers for student teaching.

Wendy Wyatt conducts a lesson for third graders. Copper Trails School in Avondale, Arizona, pays Wyatt and her co-teachers for student teaching. Photo by Philamer Batangan 

The college describes its design labs as “intentional, col­laborative, open-ended design processes that value local context, diverse perspectives and iterative testing of solu­tions.” Teachers College facilitators guide teams of stakeholders in a process that identifies complex challenges in education and develops prototype solutions.

That’s what Betsy Hargrove wanted. And that’s what Christy Burton could get behind. She had heard about the design labs from Carole Basile and saw the potential.

“It wasn’t happening just at the university level,” Burton said. The design labs engage with people throughout a school district and beyond, “going right into the community.”

The Burton Family Foundation funded the Avondale Community Design Lab with $50,000. From October 2017 to February 2018, Teachers College personnel facilitated a series of workshops in Avondale ESD. Each of the district’s 10 schools and the district office sent teams comprising administrators and principals, teachers and staff, students, parents and community members. Their challenge: “How might each of the district’s schools design a unique identity for themselves?”

Using design thinking, the teams arrived at some ideas for retooling the schools. “As each session went by, you could see how people engaged differently and left with an idea,” Hargrove said.

Christy Burton took part in the pro­cess, and she and her son were present at the district-wide final presentation.

“As Christy said, we didn’t know what the end result would be,” said Hargrove. “But the ability to engage over an entire year with a large group of people from all of our sites was really the gift behind all of this.”

In the end, the workshops also iden­tified a larger challenge: The district’s schools should perhaps be focusing on delivering a different, better experience to their students. Their most pressing problem might not be marketing, but product.

Betsy Hargrove

… already knew one way to improve her schools: better teachers and more of them.

“In Arizona over the past several years we’ve had great difficulty being able to find a certified teacher to be in each of our classrooms,” Hargrove said, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t people who want the spots. An August 2018 investigative re­port by The Arizona Republic stated, “Since the 2015–16 school year, nearly 7,200 teaching certificates have been issued to teachers who aren’t fully trained to lead a class­room” — an increase of 400% in only three years.

Robert Morse, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College co-director of professional ex­periences, explains: “In Arizona, if you have a high school diploma or GED, you can go to the Department of Edu­cation and get your emergency substitute certificate. And some districts are in such high need to fill positions that they will have that person as the teacher of record in the classroom, so someone with a high school diploma is doing the job of a certified professional teacher.”

In Avondale ESD last year, 12% of the classroom teachers had only emergency certification. Another 25% were certified, but not for the subject areas they were teaching.

Based on the design lab experience, Hargrove decided to enlist the teachers college in addressing another chal­lenge she and her principals deal with every year: how to fully staff their classrooms with qualified teachers when there aren’t enough in the state to go around.

Claire McHale is one of three student teachers who, together, fill the role of a certified teacher.

Claire McHale is one of three student teachers who, together, fill the role of a certified teacher. Photo by Philamer Batangan 

Robert Morse

… is confronted with that challenge every day. He works the supply side to try to meet schools’ demand. As ex­ecutive director of professional experiences, Morse man­ages everything related to internship and student teach­ing programs to ensure that Teachers College graduates are fully prepared to enter the education workforce. By the time a newly minted teacher graduates, they’ve been through a junior year, part-time internship, and a senior year res­idency of full-time teaching under the wing of a highly qualified mentor teacher. With more than 3,000 educators graduating from MLFTC every year, that’s a lot of experi­ence. And experienced educators are what Avondale ESD desperately wants.

Morse is part of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College division of teacher prepa­ration, which is putting into action Carole Basile’s vision for developing and deploying a 21st-century education workforce. The college’s mission statement, adopted when Basile took the reins in 2016, says the Teachers College will “work with schools and community partners to design and deploy teams of professional educators that will provide the full range of expertise and personalized learning support that students need and deserve.” So if the workforce should be made of teams, not widgets, why not start deploying the teams before they’ve graduated?

Hargrove was ready.

“We reached out to several districts with the idea of placing students in our student-teaching experience in a collaborative team mod­el, and Betsy was the first to respond,” Morse said.

The new model moves away from assigning student teachers — what the college calls teacher candidates — to a one-mentor, one-teacher candidate placement.

“In Avondale,” Morse said, “we have three teacher candidates placed with a lead men­tor teacher who is one of the district’s certified teachers.

“Let’s say that lead teacher teaches second grade, and that grade level consists of four class­rooms, but one of those classrooms needs a certified teacher," Morse said. "In this model, there are three teacher candidates assigned to that lead mentor teacher, and they are respon­sible for two classrooms, so you have four adults working with 50 to 60 students.”

Morse says the idea is that the lead mentor teacher is constantly planning with and co-teaching with the teacher candidates, looking at ways to regroup the 60 students to optimally use the expertise in the room. “Those three teacher can­didates and the lead teacher are free to move between the two rooms, to maximize the time each student gets with the four adults,” Morse said.

Stacy Ellis

… sees the results of this new approach, and the chal­lenges, firsthand. She’s in her sixth year as principal of Copper Trails School, the Avondale K–8 piloting the team-teaching model. And she admits, the challenges have been many.

“It was definitely a pilot program being built and re­designed as we were going forward,” Ellis said. “We had to balance the needs of the candidates who are here to finish their education with student learning. For example, we needed to provide the teacher candidates with more planning time for them to observe their lead teach­er actually teaching, because the first day of school was their first day, too.”

A huge advantage of the new mod­el was that Ellis wasn’t just accepting student-teacher placements. “We in­terviewed all of these candidates,” she said, “so we were able to place them in a way that would have a positive im­pact on student learning.”

The candidates had to be inter­viewed because they had to apply to be employees of Avon­dale ESD, working with certificates as long-term substitutes. That’s the second trailblazing aspect of the model: These student teachers are being paid to teach.

It’s not much, everyone admits — more of a stipend than a salary. But the team of three teacher candidates is fill­ing the role of a certified teacher, so the district divides the salary set aside for that spot among the three teacher candidates on the team.

Betsy Hargrove says that was always part of her plan. She tells a story of stopping at the Home Depot after work a few years ago and being recognized by the young man at the register. “He said, ‘Aren’t you Dr. Hargrove?’ ‘Yes, I am. Aren’t you one of our student teachers?’ ‘Yes,’ he said. ‘I’m over at Wildflower School. Can I tell you what I’m going to be teaching tomorrow? I’m working here till 10 tonight, but then I’m going home and studying my lesson plan because I really want to be prepared.’”

“I thought, hold on a second,” Hargrove said. “We have this young man who’s student teaching all day long, who’s working incredibly hard with our children, who has to work after school from four until 10 o’clock at night, and then go home and do his lesson plans so he’s ready to be his absolute best for our kids.

“That’s when I wondered, how can we provide an oppor­tunity for our student teachers to be compensated for the work they’re doing so they can focus all of their efforts on what happens in our classrooms, rather than having to go out and support their families in a different way.”

Carole Basile

… has been outspoken about the need — particularly in Arizona — for a 21st-century education workforce.

“Too often, schools have to focus only on addressing immedi­ate, palliative needs,” Basile said. “With the support of the Burton Family Foundation, we’ve been able to partner with the Avondale district in a way that addresses long-term systemic issues. This work represents a significant step toward designing learning environments in which we sur­round learners with teams of professional educators who can deliver personalized learning.”

And Basile emphasizes that the concept being explored in Avondale is team teaching, not team teacher training.

“No teacher — whether a student teacher or a 10-year vet­eran — should be on an island,” Basile said. “Our pilot work in Avondale has drawn attention from a number of other districts because it has the potential to be better for both students and teachers. Ultimately, this is about developing a more sustainable educator workforce that can deliver better outcomes to learners and more rewarding careers to educators.”

Christy Burton

… says she’s excited to follow the success of the Avon­dale pilot, but she expects other, long-lasting benefits from the design labs her foundation made possible.

“There is a much deeper and richer experience that grew out of the vision of having these workshops of collected educators,” Burton said. “And when I say educators, I mean everyone who is involved in the education of students. That can be a coach, that can be somebody from a community organization that provides after-school tutoring groups; all those folks that are impacting the growth and development of students. I see the potential to take this model into other areas, and that’s something philanthropy can help with.

“These proof-of-concept projects, if they work, become the model for other schools or districts that are willing to think differently.”

Copy writer, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College


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Beuses' $10 million gift to build world’s first-of-its-kind X-ray laser lab at ASU

April 18, 2019

Investment to advance drug discovery, medicine and renewable energy

Editor's note: This story is being highlighted in ASU Now's year in review. Read more top stories from 2019.

Through their generous philanthropic investments, Leo and Annette Beus have already made a lasting ASU impact. They have changed the face of the downtown Phoenix landscape with the addition of the Beus Center for Law and Society, supported Sun Devil Athletics and provided numerous scholarships to increase student access to a college education.

Now, with a new $10 million investment, the Beuses want to help shape the future of medicine and improve the lives of others. Their ever-deepening ASU commitment will enable the completion of the Beus Compact X-ray Free Electron Laser (CXFEL) Lab, now under construction at ASU’s Biodesign Institute. The CXFEL will be a first-of-its-kind X-ray technology with potential applications in medicine, the “green” renewable energy economy, the computer industry and beyond.

“Leo and Annette Beus have become more than visionary benefactors critical to the mission and success of ASU; they represent the very best of our ASU family,” said ASU President Michael Crow, in announcing the gift. “With this most recent investment, they will spur the development of a brilliant, home-grown ASU X-ray technology that has a vast potential for life-altering, worldwide impact.”

For the Beuses, the opportunity to contribute to the future well-being of the community was a perfect fit for their philanthropic spirit.

“If you combine what you really think is sophisticated applied science and facilities with some of the most dedicated and smartest people you can ever imagine, it’s about as good as it gets,” said Leo Beus, who has practiced law in the Valley for more than 40 years at Beus Gilbert PLLC.

Video by Ken Fagan/ASU Now

The Beuses are hopeful this new ASU X-ray technology will lead to speeding up the costly drug discovery process and better drugs with fewer side effects.

“You know, every time that Leo and I have visited the Biodesign Institute, we have found something fascinating,” Annette Beus said. “And this laser is fascinating to me because I personally know of so many friends and family members who are affected by the bad effects of drugs that they have to take to support their lives. I just think the future is wide open with the good that can come from this laser.”

Looking even deeper beneath the surface

Ever since their original discovery almost 125 years ago, X-rays have transformed medicine and the way we see the human body, become modern-day national security sentinels at airports, and even captivated moviegoers’ imaginations by bestowing awesome powers to superheroes.

Despite changing the shape of medicine throughout the 20th century, X-ray technology changed only incrementally along the way. But there is a new excitement with 21st-century advances in applied physics to make a new leap in X-ray technology to benefit medical care.

“In many ways, the advancement of medicine has paralleled that of X-rays, going from the 19th century of basically describing diseases at the surface level, such as symptoms like 'the cholic' or 'the flu' to recognizing patterns in the cells and tissues that suggest different causes of disease," said Biodesign Institute Executive Director Joshua LaBaer, the Piper Chair in Personalized Medicine at ASU. "Now, in the 21st century, we are looking even deeper, within the cells at the molecules themselves, and finally understanding the molecular root causes of disease.” 

ASU is heavily involved in research projects to understand these molecular root causes of disease, including how the complete collection of proteins within our bodies, called the proteome, work.

“Proteins are the engines of biology,” LaBaer explained. “When they go wrong, we get disease. We need to understand how they function to make better drugs to repair the proteins or find out how they go wrong.”

But for the majority of proteins (an estimated 100,000 in the human body), how they work is not known. Current X-rays are too slow and disorganized to get the molecular details scientists need, limiting them to taking snapshots of the easiest proteins to study.

World’s most brilliant X-rays

Fast-forward to the 21st century, when, in just the last decade, it has been ASU’s scientific talent at the forefront of adapting the world’s most powerful X-rays to capture molecules in motion — making the fastest movies on Earth to better understand biology and medicine.

These X-rays are obtained by very fast pulses of light to string together images — like super slow motion — of a movie of the molecules to watch them in motion.  

But to peer ever smaller into the very heart of disease has required scientists to design ever bigger and more powerful X-rays using the “big guns of physics,” giant, billion-dollar, atom-smashing particle accelerators called an X-ray free-electron laser, or XFEL.

ASU scientists including Regents’ Professors John Spence, the Richard Snell Professor of Physics, and Petra Fromme, the Paul V. Galvin Professor of Molecular Sciences, were part of a worldwide team to develop the first theory and methodology to peer ever deeper into the biological world using XFELs in 2010.

“Proteins are in constant motion, carrying out the reactions that make life possible,” Spence said. “We want to see life in motion, but these movements happen on a scale too small, and too fast, to be seen with microscopes. They can only be seen with XFELs.”

Since then, the ASU scientific team has made a series of remarkable discoveries published in the world’s top scientific journals. They have solved protein structures that help us see and breathe, better understand diseases like diabetes and hypertension, and made the first movies to watch antibiotics in action.

“These movies can reveal biological reactions in unprecedented detail and demonstrate why drugs sometimes do not hit target proteins and how plant photosynthesis creates clean energy,” said Fromme, director of the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery and the BioXFEL program at ASU and part of the School for Molecular Sciences.

Before XFELs, it once took Fromme a dozen years to solve the structure of a key photosynthesis protein. It has been a lifelong ambition of Fromme to crack the code of how plants use sunlight for food to improve renewable energy applications.

A crowded road

But access to the big XFELs is limited and expensive. Currently, there are only five XFEL facilities worldwide, resulting in a traffic jam of scientific demand that is slowing down potential research.

In fact, a new giant X-ray facility completed in 2017, called the European XFEL, is 2.1 miles long and officially opened last summer in Hamburg, Germany. It took the combined effort of 11 countries, at a cost of $1.2 billion, and disrupted city blocks and uprooted houses during its decade-long construction.

Fromme and her team were among the first to use the European XFEL facility, and although she has been excited with XFEL science’s progress, she has been equally frustrated with the complicated logistics and costs to perform the science.  

Then, after a chance meeting on a flight to San Diego, she explained to Leo Beus her radical new plan. On that flight, Beus learned that Fromme wanted to start an X-ray revolution all over again.

“After I got off the airplane, I shot a note to President Crow saying I met one of the most delightful, phenomenal, fantastic, wonderful human beings I have ever met,” Beus said. “And her name was Petra Fromme. She is one of the head scientists on this project.”

Bringing the power of a national lab to fit inside a basement

The Beuses’ gift will enable ASU to pull off a seemingly unbelievable scientific magic trick — to shrink the power and cost of a 2-mile-long “big gun” XFEL lab into a small lab.

Or in this case, the one-of-a-kind vault that will house the world’s first compact X-ray laser machine within the Biodesign Institute’s newest building C, just completed last fall.

Fromme wooed physicist William Graves, the master designer and builder of this new compact XFEL (CXFEL), from MIT to ASU for the program. With the Beus gift, the laser is scheduled to be completed later this year, with the “first light” of turning on the machine and experiments beginning in 2020.

“The whole laser beamline is just 30 feet long, but it will deliver a performance similar to the big XFELs,” Graves said. “Because we came up with these ideas and ASU had the vision to execute this project, we’re going to be the first ones to develop the CXFEL. We think they will spread throughout the world after we demonstrate this first one.”

ASU’s aim is to create a new paradigm — where the CXFEL will offer cutting-edge performance, wide availability and ease of use in hospital or industrial settings — and test new ideas at their ASU Biodesign home without the barriers of schedule, travel and expenses of the big XFEL facilities.

Talking about a revolution

Locally, the ASU team is already collaborating with medical institutions to adapt the technology for medical imaging and semiconductor companies for quality control at their fabrication plants. And, in a series of CXFEL workshops ASU has hosted, scientists are eager to collaborate with ASU from their various institutions around the world.

This instrument at ASU has the potential to be a force-multiplier for discovery. It may one day give scientists and medical researchers throughout academia, industry and medicine access to brilliant X-rays in their own laboratories, accelerating and broadening scientific discovery like never before.

“Right now, if you want to take a drug from beginning to end it takes years,” Leo Beus said. “And it costs hundreds of millions of dollars in most cases. It can be accelerated. I think it (CXFEL) can change and revolutionize the lives of people, pain, malignancy, maybe even Alzheimer’s if you can figure out the proteins in the brain.

“And if other research scientists can have the benefit of what ASU is doing, and the technology can get spread out, it will revolutionize medicine.”

The reward in giving

During their 40-plus years of living in the Valley, the Beuses have witnessed ASU grow into a major metropolitan research university with a charter responsible for the well-being of the community it serves.

“The reward in giving to ASU comes back time and time again,” Annette Beus said. “And it’s so great to be able to see what they do. They want to bless the lives of other people and improve the lives of other people.”

There is a lasting affinity for ASU that resonates deep within their hearts.

“Even though neither one of us went to ASU, it’s become our life,” Annette Beus said. “It’s become where we look forward to getting together and we’ve learned so much. It’s just amazing what this institution is doing for the state of Arizona.”


Top photo: Annette and Leo Beus want to help shape the future of medicine and improve the lives of others. Their ever-deepening ASU commitment will enable the completion of the Beus Compact X-ray Free Electron Laser Lab, now under construction at ASU’s Biodesign Institute. 

Joe Caspermeyer

Manager (natural sciences) , Media Relations & Strategic Communications


Record number of donors support ASU on Sun Devil Giving Day

Generosity to ASU will fuel scholarships, innovation, emerging programs and student success

March 28, 2019

More than 9,300 individuals gave a record-breaking total of $11.4 million on Sun Devil Giving Day to support the causes they care about at Arizona State University.

Sun Devil Giving Day — celebrated annually on all ASU campuses — lasted for 24 hours on March 21, giving alumni, parents, fans, students, faculty and staff the opportunity to give to causes and ASU programs. Sun Devil Giving Day is an annual celebration of generosity to ASU. Christopher Marohn, program manager for professional education in the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law (left), and Ray English, assistant dean in the college's Office of Career and Employment Services, take part in Sun Devil Giving Day, an annual celebration of generosity to ASU students, faculty, staff and programs. Download Full Image

“Sun Devil Giving Day gives me the opportunity to support the programs I’ve been a part of,” said Amanda Alibrandi, who studies public administration and nonprofit leadership and management at ASU and is the Micheal Boulden Memorial intern for ASU Enterprise Partners. “It’s important to develop and sustain those programs so more students have access and can benefit from them.”

Supporters had the option to give to a specific ASU college or unit, or to one of the many causes advanced at ASU. Students at each campus had the opportunity to vote on projects they consider important, including clean-water programs, first-generation scholarships, cancer research, environmental sustainability and arts and culture.

In addition to generating support, Sun Devil Giving Day encourages the ASU community to cultivate a culture of philanthropy and an understanding of its impact on the university. Andrew Carey, executive director of donor outreach for the ASU Foundation, said private support gives ASU the margin of excellence it needs to innovate and elevate the university experience for all students, faculty and staff.


• Donors surpassed last year’s gift total of 4,325 by 10:50 a.m.

• The number of gifts increased by 115 percent.

• Alumni led the way, with more than 955 donations.

• Donations through Aramark point-of-sale locales increased by 409 percent. These gifts support the Sun Devil Family Association’s Student Crisis Fund and help students facing financial and personal crises.

This year’s total also includes an anonymous gift of $10 million to the W. P. Carey School of Business. When joined with gifts of all sizes from 9,319 donors, Sun Devil Giving Day raised $11,462,634 on behalf of ASU students, faculty, staff and programs.

Story by Shannon Ganzer, ASU Enterprise Partners

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$50 million gift supports dementia research, education

Donation to establish center at nursing school, initiative at Biodesign.
March 25, 2019

Charlene and J. Orin Edson's gift to be split between Biodesign Institute and newly renamed Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation

Editor's note: This story is being highlighted in ASU Now's year in review. Read more top stories from 2019.

Dementia is a health issue that touches everyone, from the person afflicted to their friends and family to the individuals providing their care. As the aging population continues to grow, the number of people who become susceptible to the condition increases every day, underscoring the urgent need for more well-trained caregivers and better treatments.

This spring, Charlene and J. Orin Edson made a $50 million gift to Arizona State University, to be split evenly between the College of Nursing and Health Innovation and the Biodesign Institute in support of the university’s groundbreaking, multidisciplinary research on dementia, and to enhance education and training for nurses and caregivers.

“The Edson family’s generous gift helps to position ASU as a leader in tackling one of the most challenging health issues of our time,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “Our belief is that it will serve as an example of how investing in research for the common good makes possible new breakthroughs, better outcomes and faster progress on a whole host of important problems facing society.”

Gretchen Buhlig, CEO of the ASU Foundation, says the $25 million gift to the College of Nursing and Health Innovation will rename it the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation. “The gift will also create The Grace Center for Innovation in Nursing Education (named for Charlene’s mother),” Buhlig added. The $25 million gift to the Biodesign Institute will include the creation of The Charlene and J. Orin Edson Initiative for Dementia Care and Solutions.

Video by Ken Fagan/ASU Now

“The Edsons’ wisdom in giving broadly to impact deeply is illustrated in further funding of new programs, faculty appointments, scholarships and more,” Buhlig said. “The Edsons have made an impact that will resonate for generations.”

The Edsons said they were proud to partner with ASU to find solutions for diseases of the brain.

“We believe in ASU’s interdisciplinary, collaborative approach to finding solutions,” the family said in a statement. “We look forward to new discoveries and solutions to better the quality of life for people affected by brain disease and the heartache of those that love them.”

Sybil Francis, president and CEO of the Center for the Future of Arizona and standing co-chair and founder of Women and Philanthropy, worked closely with the Edson family — whom she and husband Crow have known for 15 years — to secure the gift.

She called the gift, one of the largest ASU has ever received, “transformational.”

“Beyond that, it really speaks to ASU's mission of social embeddedness and taking care of our communities through the university,” Francis said, adding, “When families make decisions to invest, especially at this level, it's really about having faith in the institution.”

simulation and learning resource center

The Simulation and Learning Resource Center at the Mercado on the Downtown Phoenix campus provides a clinical simulation experience to future nurses and caregivers. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now

Dementia is the term used to describe the disabling impairment of memory and thinking. Just as there are many forms of cancer, there are many forms of dementia, with Alzheimer’s being the most common.

“It takes a devastating toll on the affected person and an underappreciated toll on family caregivers,” said University Professor of neuroscience Eric Reiman. “So this fight against Alzheimer’s and dementia is a passion for us.”

Reiman also serves as director of the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium and chief executive officer at Banner Research.

In 2017, the ASU-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center was established. Today, it lives on the fifth floor of the Biodesign C building, opened in September 2018. The interdisciplinary collaborative of researchers is poised to become one of the world’s largest teams of translational neuroscientists in the fight against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

At Biodesign, the gift will continue to fuel the institute’s two-pronged research approach to tackling dementia: one, to identify the causes and work toward a cure, and two, to develop tools for managing the disease.

biodesign lab

Researchers work in a lab at the Biodesign C building on the Tempe campus. Photo by Nick Merrick

It will also help to secure a program director and postdoctoral research fellows, supply seed funding for new experimental projects and establish an annual meeting to bring leading international experts in the field to ASU for discussion and collaboration.

Initial collaboration will begin within the university, though — Biodesign and the Edson College will be creating a program to encourage transdisciplinary inquiry that takes research findings from the bench to the bedside.

“We want to work with them because they're on the front lines,” said Biodesign Institute Executive Director Joshua LaBaer. “It's the nurses who actually do a lot of the patient care, and they have the best understanding of what the needs are.”

Edson College Dean Judith Karshmer called it “another beautiful opportunity for disparate units at ASU to come together.”

“We get to come together to do some things that ordinarily, we probably wouldn't have done,” she said. “And I think that a focus on both ends of this sort of continuum from prevention to treatment … is what a university like ASU should be doing, not one or the other.”

Judith karshmer

Judith Karshmer is the dean of the newly renamed Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation.

The Grace Center for Innovation in Nursing Education will set up shop in the Mercado A building on the Downtown Phoenix campus, where the Simulation and Learning Resources lab is housed. There, the gift will help advance research on simulation as a way to prepare nurses and other health care providers for careers in the field.

Karshmer hopes a portrait of its namesake, who was also a nurse, will inspire the next generation of nurses to pay it forward in the future.

In a stroke of serendipitous timing, Edson College will also soon be launching a center focused on healthy and resilient aging, to be led by the college’s associate dean of research, David Coon, that will advance capacity-building research opportunities with established community partners.

In addition, a new master’s degree entry program for college graduates from an array of disciplines will feature two-year-long academic practice partnerships in which students gain clinical experience working alongside professional health care providers across the Valley, and a dual PhD/DNP degree will prepare students as “nurse scientists” who have both practice and research capabilities in the area of cognitive impairment, dementia and family caregiving.

Current Edson College PhD student Abi Gomez is looking forward to all the new opportunities. She works as a research technician with Coon, investigating coping techniques for early-onset dementia patients.

Gomez has wanted to work in health care since high school and has studied in many countries, which gave her a chance to see how different cultures address the aging process.

“This will give us more scholarships and more grants to continue producing evidence-based practice … and work toward (solving) this global challenge,” she said.

Top photos: The Biodesign C building on the Tempe campus and the Mercado on the Downtown Phoenix campus, which will house The Grace Center for Innovation in Nursing Education. The Biodesign Institute and the Edson College of Nursing and Health Solutions will each receive $25 million from the Edson family to promote interdisciplinary dementia treatment and cure research. Photos by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Emma Greguska

Reporter , ASU News

(480) 965-9657

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Sun Devil Giving Day encourages gifts to impactful ASU initiatives

March 19, 2019

Annual event aims to reach record number of givers; pledges will fund scholarships, emerging programs and student success

Over the years, Arizona State University has encouraged its students and alumni to adopt a philosophy of philanthropy in support of higher education.

And the message has been catching on. In fact, it’s what Sun Devil Giving Day is all about.

On Thursday, thousands of Sun Devil alumni, families, faculty, staff and students will celebrate the seventh annual event by supporting the university’s education initiatives and research ventures with a goal of solving some of the most pressing issues facing society today.

“Sun Devil Giving Day is a universitywide celebration of giving at ASU,” said Andrew Carey, executive director of donor outreach for ASU Foundation. “It acknowledges the generosity of our community. It invites people to give to programs they care about. It’s also about understanding what private support does to advance ASU.”

More than 4,300 people made a difference last year when they pledged their support, ranging from $5 gifts to a six-figure amount. All told, they tallied over $600,000. Carey said the goal this year is to reach 10,000 gifts — more than double last year’s total gift count.

Philanthropy helps the university innovate, educate and pay it forward, said Carey. ASU programs include a clean-water initiative in developing countries, the reinvention of athletic facilities, the establishment of new professorships, a staff emergency fund for personnel in crisis, and almost 11,000 private-support scholarships awarded to students in 2019.

Woman holding frame

ASU student Miranda Yousif benefited from Sun Devil Giving Day last year. She is planning a career in the medical field.

Someone who directly benefitted from Sun Devil Giving Day is Miranda Yousif, who as a freshman took a part-time job doing basic lab work in ASU’s Biodesign Institute. She enjoyed it so much she ended up majoring in biological science.

Yousif received a Biodesign Student Travel Grant in February 2018 that was funded through Sun Devil Giving Day. The gift enabled her to travel to a conference in Las Vegas to present to the American Society for Microbiology, where she won an award for best undergraduate presentation. She went on to receive a Fulbright summer grant to study in England.

Now a junior, Yousif is set to graduate next spring and will take the Medical College Admission Test in May.

“All of my experiences at ASU have cemented for me that I want to go to medical school to become a physician,” Yousif said. “Sun Devil Giving Day gave me the opportunity to demonstrate that I am developing my footprint as a scientist."

There are several ways to participate in Sun Devil Giving Day:

• Join the discussion on social media by following the ASU Foundation on Facebook and Twitter.

• Share a story using the hashtag #SunDevilGiving and encourage family and friends to do the same.

• Make an online gift on March 21 to any area of ASU including a school, unit, program or scholarship account.

To raise awareness with the campus community, the ASU Foundation will set up tables from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Palm Walk and Tyler Mall and in front of Wrigley Hall and Hayden Library on the Tempe campus, between the University Center and the Cronkite School on the Downtown Phoenix campus, near the Memorial Union on the Polytechnic campus and outside Fletcher Library on the West campus. The tables will invite students to vote on one of five causes they care about: first-generation students, clean-water projects, the environment, arts and culture accessibility, and cancer research. These are the types of causes that benefit from giving to ASU programs.

This year the ASU Foundation has partnered with Aramark at all four ASU campuses to help raise resources for the Student Crisis Fund. Faculty, staff and students can make a $1 donation, or more, at point of sale at campus restaurants and stores through Thursday.

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Sun Devil Giving Day runs from midnight to 11:59 p.m. March 21, and donations are made on the website or secured through the Sun Devil Giving outreach center (Tell-a-Devil Network). The site will display a real-time dashboard showing the total amount of donors and program fundraising totals for the effort.

Gifts will be deposited with the ASU Foundation and may be considered a charitable contribution.

Top photo: ASU student Shannon Ganzer and Cheryl Shumate, vice president of human resources at ASU Enterprise Partners, promote Sun Devil Giving Day in March 2018. Photo courtesy of the ASU Foundation

Reporter , ASU News


Philanthropic gift helps ASU psychology launch new center that supports student successes in data analysis and writing

March 18, 2019

The combination of “data” and “statistics” might not sound exciting, but careers relying on data and statistics are projected to grow by 30 percent through 2024. Moreover, the National Association of Colleges and Employers identifies oral and written skills as core competencies for college graduates and as pivotal for future employment.

To equip students with the skills they will need to handle data and communicate effectively, the Arizona State University Department of Psychology launched the new Student Success Center (SSC). The center provides students enrolled in the foundational courses (PSY 101, 230, 290) and upper-division psychology courses with individualized coaching to improve both their data analysis/interpretation skills and their writing. To equip students with the skills they will need to handle data and communicate effectively, the Arizona State University Department of Psychology launched the new Student Success Center (SSC). To equip students with the skills they will need to handle data and communicate effectively, the Arizona State University Department of Psychology launched the new Student Success Center. Pictured here are Student Success Center coaches Xochitl Smola, Thato Seerane, Lauren Ott and Isabel Strouse. Download Full Image

“Being able to collect and analyze data and being able to communicate ideas effectively are critical not only for success in psychological science, but also for success in most careers. If we are to be invested in our students — which we are — we need to invest in helping them develop these skills,” said Steven Neuberg, Foundation Professor of Psychology and chair of the department.

The SSC is supported by the Robert B. Cialdini Leap Forward Fund. The fund allows the psychology department to take innovative risks, like the SSC, that would not otherwise be possible.

The goal of the center is to prepare undergraduate psychology students for success in academics and well beyond. Student success coaches, who have excelled in the courses they are helping with, will staff the center. The center will also offer workshops led by faculty, graduate students and other undergraduate students on topics like mindfulness, building a resume and coping with stress.

"The Student Success Center is unlike other options at ASU because our coaches are advanced psychology students. They have taken the classes, have mastered the content and understand how statistical and writing techniques should be applied in psychology courses," said Whitney Hansen, senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology and supervisor of the SSC.

Appointments are available 40 hours per week, in the psychology advising office or in virtual classrooms during the evenings and weekends.

“We aim to provide the resources that students need in this changing educational environment, outside of the classroom and discussion sections,” said Dawn Phelps, assistant director of academic services for the psychology department. 

Robert Ewing

Marketing and Communications Manager, Department of Psychology


Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service establishes scholarship for real estate, urban and regional planning honors students

March 12, 2019

Matt Consalvo, CEO of Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service, wonders how living in Arizona will change as the population grows and technology advances.

Will autonomous vehicles become common modes of transportation? Will people no longer have use for homes with garages? How will cities manage parking, community design, revitalization and neighborhood development? Matt Consalvo Matt Consalvo is CEO of Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service and the father of two sons who are students in Barrett, The Honors College at ASU. Download Full Image

Consalvo said he hopes students in Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University who receive the ARMLS Honors Fund scholarship will address these sorts of questions as they pursue degrees, research and theses in urban planning and other fields that focus on the future use of real estate.

The ARMLS Honors Fund was established last December with a gift of nearly $30,000. Funding for the scholarship came from the ARMLS endowment fund.

ARMLS was founded in 1982 to centralize and aggregate data on properties that are being offered for sale or lease and provide that data to thousands of real estate agents throughout the state. ARMLS also offers professional training for Realtors.

“We believe good data and customer service are integral to our success,” Consalvo said, but sometimes subscribers who have provided information with serious errors are fined. Those fines go into the organization’s endowment fund.

According to Consalvo, ARMLS will contribute to the Honors Fund each year to grow the endowment to the honors college.

“Our plan is to continue contributing to Barrett. I hope it is a partnership that will remain for years to come. Our focus will continue to be education. It is not our intent for this to be a one-time donation. It is our intent to make this a long-term relationship,” he said.

Under the endowment agreement, Barrett will handle the process for selecting students for scholarships, as well as the amount, number and term of the awards.

“The Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service Honors Fund will support Barrett honors students in a new way: to further the success of motivated undergraduates in the understanding and study of the real estate industry. It will help honors students doing research, pursing degrees or writing a thesis in real estate or urban/regional planning do so here in a region that in many ways leads the nation in real estate innovation,” said Mark Jacobs, vice provost and dean of Barrett, The Honors College.  

Consalvo, the father of three sons — two of whom are in Barrett — said he feels honors students are a worthy investment.

“I believe students at Barrett, The Honors College are great students who intend to do great things for society," Consalvo said. "Barrett not only focuses on academics, but on critical thinking. My sons have been challenged to think about the future of society and their contributions to it, and that’s an important part of their development into successful adults.” 

Information about criteria and applications will soon be listed at the Barrett scholarships site.

Nicole Greason

Public relations and publicity manager , Barrett, The Honors College