ASU Law announces new scholarship program for members of military

December 12, 2017

The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University is offering a new scholarship program specifically for veterans of the U.S. military.

The program will provide four full-ride scholarships for a juris doctor degree and bolster ASU Law’s ongoing efforts to support and expand opportunities for veterans. The scholarship was made possible by a donation from Deborah Carstens, who shares that passion. Deb Carstens and students at Scholarship Luncheon Deb Carstens and law students at the annual ASU Law Scholarship Luncheon in October. Download Full Image

“We are especially proud of the students who have served our country, and we want to do everything possible to help prepare them for meaningful careers as they transition back to civilian life,” said ASU Law Dean Douglas Sylvester. “We thank Deb for her generous donation and dedication to creating and enhancing student opportunities.”

Looking for a few good students

Carstens attended the annual ASU Law Scholarship Luncheon in October when a specific segment of a law school video caught her eye. It was an ASU Law student discussing his volunteer work with the Arizona Legal Center. She was impressed. When she noticed the Marine Corps logo on his polo shirt, she was inspired.

Wanting to know more, she asked administrators if they had identified any more Marines trying to get into ASU Law.

“They said, ‘Yes, we are targeting some Marines,’” Carstens said. “I asked, ‘What’s holding them back from attending law school?’ They said, ‘Tuition.’”

Carstens decided to do something about it with a donation to fund four full-ride scholarships through the duration of law school. Two of the scholarships are reserved for individuals who have served in the Marine Corps, and two are reserved for veterans of the Special Forces, such as Army Rangers or Green Berets, Navy SEALs or Marine MARSOC or RECON.

Carstens says it is Arizona State University’s commitment to veterans that inspires her.

“I’ve long been impressed with the Pat Tillman Center for undergrad military students, and now it’s great to learn the law school is providing a second layer of support.”

“I congratulate ASU for paying particular attention to the military,” she said. “America has been at war for 16 years, and too many of us don’t show enough appreciation for the 2 percent of Americans who defend our country by voluntarily serving in the military.”

Although the GI Bill helps veterans and active-duty military personnel pay for college, there are caps on the benefits, which are typically used for an undergraduate degree. The amount of assistance provided by the GI Bill depends on a number of factors, including the specific GI Bill program, the amount of education being pursued, and an individual’s service time. Most veterans and military members would need to pay out of pocket or receive scholarships if they wanted to pursue a law degree.

Carstens says it’s important for communities to support their local universities. And the law school has a special place in her heart because her late husband, Bill, was a lawyer who also served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

So she and ASU Law are now looking for a few good students.

“The personal qualities that Marines possess make them the kind of students who will succeed at the law school,” Carstens said.

For more information on applying for one of the scholarships, contact Andrew Jaynes at

To learn about giving to your passion or interest, go to

Executive Director, Marketing and Communications, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law


Global leaders learn how ASU embraces emerging challenges at South Korea forum

November 27, 2017

Leaders seeking to understand a world transformed by technology learned how Arizona State University — ranked number one for innovation for three consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report — is reshaping higher education when ASU Enterprise Partners Chief Executive Officer R. F. “Rick” Shangraw Jr. shared the university's vision at South Korea’s Global Leaders Forum, the country’s premier international assembly for addressing pressing societal issues.

Drawing on his decade-long experience shaping university strategy as part of ASU’s executive team, Shangraw focused on how higher education will evolve over the next ten years and how leaders can address emerging challenges and opportunities. man speaking at forum R. F. “Rick” Shangraw Jr. shared ASU's vision for evolving higher education in an era of rapid technological change at the Global Leaders Forum in South Korea. This year’s forum focused on “technological singularity,” the idea that rapidly developing artificial intelligence will outpace our capacity to manage it and trigger unforeseen changes to human civilization. Download Full Image

He was part of a panel that included Ju-Ho Lee, former South Korean minister of education, science, and technology; Jae Sung Lee, vice president of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology; Hye Ri Baek, cofounder of SEED CO-OP; John Schwartz, head of enterprise business development at edX; and Sohail Inayatullah, UNESCO chair for future studies.

Shangraw shared that:

• Colleges and universities are being forced to rethink what and how they teach — known as “instructional design” — because some students arrive on campus highly proficient in technology and demand digitally immersive learning environments; yet others are underprepared and need remedial courses and counseling.

• Life-long learners of all ages will seek to engage with colleges and universities to learn about a wide variety of subjects. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center found 73 percent of Americans view themselves as life-long learners. 

• Faculty will become increasingly interdisciplinary, often holding degrees in multiple subjects. They’ll be globally connected through sophisticated communication networks.

• The nature of research will change as faculty have ubiquitous access to datasets and methods.

• The nature of teaching will change as faculty interact with hundreds of students through digital learning platforms. More part-time, non-tenured instructors will teach these courses, creating a divide between faculty who both teach and conduct research and faculty who exclusively teach or conduct research.

• Technology is spurring advances in learning analytics, virtual reality as a learning tool, voice-activated learning technologies, and the creation of lifetime digital knowledge portfolios.

• Technology is transforming infrastructure and administration. For example, ASU’s newest residence hall is equipped with Amazon Echo devices programmed to ASU-specific information, including course content. 

• Financial models for higher education are shifting. Universities are diversifying revenue streams as government support shrinks and students struggle with tuition costs. Public-private partnerships, common for parking, residence halls, food service, will grow to include sophisticated models for student, career and enrollment services.

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R. F. “Rick” Shangraw, CEO of ASU Enterprise Partners; Ju-Ho Lee, former South Korean minister of education, science, and technology; and John Schwartz, head of enterprise business development at edX shared with members of the Global Leaders Forum how to embrace changes that will transform higher education.

ASU’s strategy to manage change has focused on strengthening its “knowledge core” — the heart of all major research universities. Comprised of basic research, applied and translational research, inventions, libraries, living-learning facilities, and research facilities, the knowledge core allows the ASU community to create, store, synthesize, analyze, and share knowledge.

It is vital to ASU’s long-term success and must never be compromised, Shangraw said.

Around that core is the evolving campus learning environment. Over the next decade, ASU will advance next-generation digital learning spaces to augment traditional physical classrooms; develop artificial intelligence-based advising and tutoring platforms, and personalize learning at scale.

“We’re not far from the time when everything you studied or learned inside and outside of the classroom will be stored in a personalized digital portfolio for easy reference,” said Shangraw, who, from his current position as CEO of the private, non-profit Enterprise Partners, oversees efforts to raise, create and invest resources for ASU.

Next, ASU will continue to develop digital support for online learning. ASU has one of the largest platforms for a public university with more than 30,000 online students.

ASU will also embrace lifelong learners eager to expand their knowledge and gain new skills. It seeks innovations in content delivery and learning pathways unimpeded by organizational constraints.

Finally, ASU is working on creating fully personalized learning platforms. Learners will be able to take knowledge and skill gained in one adaptive course and transfer it to the next. To advance this model, ASU seeks innovations in virtual reality learning, advanced group learning, and tools to integrate individual learning across life stages.

The most successful colleges and universities will embrace these four realms, Shangraw said.

Learn more at

Dorothy Foundation donates to Biodesign Institute project to diagnose pancreatic cancer earlier

November 21, 2017

Last year, pancreatic cancer overtook breast cancer as the third leading cause of cancer deaths. With a five-year survival rate of just 8 percent, it is one of the deadliest forms of cancer.

But with early detection, that survival rate rises to 60 percent, even with conventional treatments. That’s why the Dorothy Foundation donated $25,000 to a project led by Stephen Johnston, director of the Biodesign Center for Innovations in Medicine and professor at the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. Dorothy Foundation check presentation The Dorothy Foundation donated $25,000 to the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University for a project to diagnose Stage 1 pancreatic cancer. Download Full Image

Johnston is hoping to transform the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. His research aims to detect Stage 1 pancreatic cancer with an immunosignature technology he developed at the Biodesign Institute at ASU.

Johnston said the donation will help him gather blood samples of Stage 1 pancreatic cancer, which are difficult to collect because pancreatic cancer does not create symptoms at early stages. He needs those samples for a pilot study to prove the immunosignature technology works, a key step to developing a reliable and inexpensive diagnostic test.

“We try to push the edge, and we feel this is our responsibility for the university,” Johnston said. “We should be taking the really high-risk chances out there, which often starts just like this. It starts with a little seed fund that’s willing to take a bet, and then we see that catalyze enough interest that we can get the bigger funding to come in, and that’s been our modus operandi for years and years.”

Longtime FOX 10 Phoenix sports anchor Jude LaCava and his sister Sandra LaCava started the Dorothy Foundation to honor their mother, who died of breast cancer at age 49, and accelerate cancer research. Sandra LaCava serves as executive director of the foundation.

“We know the devastation of loss and the tremendous torment that many patients go through, especially when it’s late-stage cancer,” said Jude LaCava. “We’re here to get in the trenches and support the researchers like Dr. Johnston here at ASU Biodesign.”

The Dorothy Foundation presented a check during a ceremony at the Biodesign Institute on Friday morning. Friends of Jude and Sandy LaCava who had lost loved ones to pancreatic cancer joined them at the event, and Johnston gave them a tour of his laboratory and an update on his work to develop better diagnostic tools for cancer.

“I can’t express enough my appreciation for Jude, Sandy and the Dorothy Foundation for giving us continued support for what we’re trying to do here,” Johnston said.

So far, the Dorothy Foundation has donated more than $100,000 to support cancer research at the Biodesign Institute. Eric Spicer, senior director of development at the ASU Foundation, thanked the Dorothy Foundation and the LaCavas personally for their support, which contributes to Campaign ASU 2020.

“Cancer is such an awful thing, and the fact that you all have taken the initiative to establish a foundation in honor of your mom and recognize her legacy in this way is an inspiration to others to also join the fight, so we thank you for that,” Spicer said.

“You’ve chosen Biodesign. You’ve been an advocate for us for a number of years now, and that means the world to us. It’s more than just the dollar figure. That provides us inspiration to keep going, and we’re just incredibly grateful for the support.”

Ben Petersen

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Back from the brink: How small donations helped save a species from extinction

November 14, 2017

A year after launching a PitchFunder campaign to save a tropical frog species, an ASU scientist is making strides

While stationed with the U.S. Army School of the Americas in the Panama Canal Zone during the 1970s, entomology expedition leader Albert Thurman would listen to the chorus of frogs in the streams at night.

The tropics of Central and South America were once lush with at least 110 species of colorful harlequin frogs, but nearly two-thirds of the known populations were wiped out by a deadly fungal disorder called chytridiomycosis, also known as chytid, in the '80s and '90s.

“The frogs are gone,” Thurman said. “There are no more songs at night.”

The Talamancan harlequin frog, Atelopus varius, was thought to have gone extinct along with other species until a tiny population was rediscovered in Costa Rica when a local child walked into a biology field station with one in his hand. That was more than five years ago. Even though the species was found, it is still on the road to recovery.

Conservation and wildlife biologist Jan Schipper, the field conservation research director at the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation/Phoenix Zoo and adjunct faculty in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University, led an online PitchFunder campaign to save the Atelopus varius last year.

“The ethics of saving a species is a new one for humanity,” Schipper said. “We have a moral imperative to not let any species go extinct due to our reckless nature and heavy footprint on Earth, but we are also finding the value of the species is far more than just intrinsic.”

play game

The Atelopus varius is a flagship species for drinkable water because it relies heavily on an ecosystem with clean water, natural flow patterns and predictable seasons. However, contaminants are increasing in the area from “poison” fishing and people living upstream, Schipper said.   

Thurman, a research associate with the Frank F. Hasbrouck Insect Collection at ASU, was one of several donors who contributed to the School of Life Sciences’ PitchFunder campaign. Since 2001, he has been taking small groups of entomologists and ornithologists on trips to Panama.

Over the last 10 to 15 years, he has noticed the Talamancan harlequin frogs have been absent from the streams where they were once plentiful. He said that’s why he wanted to help the researchers in their efforts to save the species.

“I haven’t seen the frogs in years,” Thurman said. “Somebody has to do research and figure out how to stop them from going extinct because they’re a good part of the ecosystem. We can’t afford to lose all the frogs.”

Back in the 1970s, Thurman also saw Atelopus zeteki, the Panamanian golden frog, in El Valle de Antón, Panama. Local children would sell the frogs at the Sunday market in paper bags for 50 to 75 cents, he said. The frogs weren’t protected at the time. The unabated collection and selling of these amphibians drastically reduced the population before the chytrid fungal disorder hit, wiping out the populations of these frogs. 

“I would buy as many of the frogs as I could and drive way back into the mountains to release them in the hopes the kids wouldn't find them,” said Thurman. “I don't think it worked as well as I hoped.” 

Schipper and his team of local and international researchers and students used the funds from the PitchFunder campaign to implement a biosecurity protocol for the small population of this critically endangered frog in the Talamanca Mountains of Costa Rica. They facilitated a decontamination process to ensure no other strains of the fungus could contaminate the frogs’ habitat. The team also installed barrier fences to enclose breeding frogs and protect them from invasive trout predation.

The PitchFunder campaign funds also helped support the team’s initiative to further research on this amphibian. They increased testing for the presence of fungus on the frogs and the degree of infection. The team also gathered a significant amount of data on individual frogs.

“We managed to use all the funds from the campaign, which not only had a huge stand-alone value but has also helped us leverage other funds,” Schipper said. “We combined funds from ASU, the Phoenix Zoo, Disney and some private donations to pull off the most successful field season with Atelopus varius to date.”

The frogs began their breeding season in October and November of last year. Schipper said the crew found tadpoles, which means the harlequin frogs are still breeding and the measures to avoid animal extinction played a significant role.

“The continued existence of the species is testimony to the philanthropic support we have received,” he said. “We had the first visual evidence of tadpoles in this population ever — so they’re reproducing — and this might be the first year we haven’t had net negative population growth, which is amazing. It’s incredible to see that the combination of smaller donations was able to make such a difference.”

With the news of tadpoles, Schipper and his team are creating an entire recovery strategy for the species. During the next 12 months, a massive transition will occur to ensure a breeding population into the future, he said. They’ll build a new field station with a “head-start” facility to bring eggs in from the wild to be hatched in captivity and raised to tadpoles, increasing survivorship to nearly 100 percent. Then, they’ll relocate the frogs to a better habitat in streams that are inaccessible to them because of the range.

The team also plans to hire one full-time biologist to monitor the population and maintain the equipment. The Arizona Center for Nature Conservation/Phoenix Zoo pledged $40,000 for the 2017-18 fiscal year to help build a small harlequin frog rescue and breeding center on site. The center will work to increase the number of frogs and have an infection-free population from the fungal disorder. 

“The catalyst, in part, was ASU via the PitchFunder campaign, so we remain eternally grateful for the head start we received in saving the species,” said Schipper. “We’ll also be starting a small campaign now to help cover staff salaries since the Phoenix Zoo can’t cover international salaries.”

Schipper’s team also started a local, environmental education program with startup funds from the Rufford Foundation. The program will partner with the Costa Rican water and aqueduct ministry to educate locals about water quality and how animals and humans need access to clean water.

“It’s a win-win,” Schipper said. “To promote conversation, human health and well-being together.”

Top photo by Sandra Leander/ASU

Save the frogs

Help Sparky and researchers in the School of Life Sciences save the Talamancan harlequin frog from going extinct. Dodge invasive trout predation and contaminated fungal water along the way. Make sure to capture the frogs before opening the door to a safe habitat for the critically endangered amphibian.

Choose your level of difficulty:

Use the keyboard arrows to move
your Sparky character.

Press Enter to start the game.

Amanda Stoneman

Senior Marketing Content Specialist , EdPlus


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ASU Foundation volunteers at St. Vincent de Paul to prepare food, better lives

November 9, 2017

Fundraisers from the ASU Foundation welcomed in the month of November by volunteering at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Arizona to prepare food and spruce up the organization’s Phoenix site — furthering the foundation's commitment to improving lives across the Phoenix community.

Volunteers joined forces with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Arizona on Nov. 3 to pack more than 1,500 sack lunches, prepare 250 pounds of potatoes for meals, distribute resources — including toiletries kits and clothing to hundreds of individuals in need — and paint 15 walls.

“The ASU Foundation is an organization that is committed to serving our community, and this is a great example of doing exactly that,” said Gretchen Buhlig, who organized the event.

Buhlig was appointed CEO of the ASU Foundation in July 2017 and is committed to growing the organization’s presence in the community as she continues to lead Campaign ASU 2020, an effort to generate at least $1.5 billion in support for ASU.

“I’ll always be asking our team and myself: ‘How can we stay focused on how we better other lives, both on and off campus?’” Buhlig said.

The foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises private support for Arizona State University’s educational priorities, is one of five subsidiaries of ASU Enterprise Partners. Employees from across ASU Enterprise Partners joined in the foundation volunteer day.

Buhlig added that she is proud of her team for serving such a great cause.

“Considering that 90 percent of the work done at St. Vincent de Paul is done by the community, I believed it was critical for us as an organization to be a part of the larger effort,” she said.

Every year, St. Vincent de Paul — an international nonprofit dedicated to serving the poor — ensures hundreds of families have warm meals, clothing and a safe space where children can study and play. Recently, aided by private support, professors in ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business worked closely with the organization to improve every step of their supply chain.

“The service project was truly inspirational for me,” said Rebecca Herrera, coordinator of scholarship programs at the foundation. “I was raised to give back to others, and I quickly realized there’s a lot more I can do to help my community.”

Creating partnerships throughout the community in an effort to magnify the impact of its volunteer efforts is another goal for the ASU Foundation.

“I firmly believe that fundraising is more powerful when we team up together. I look forward for the two organizations to work together again and to be an influential part of our communities,” Buhlig said.

Aza Issifu, project manager in ASU Enterprise Partners’ communication department, said, “Being a part of the foundation and getting the opportunity to serve our community in such an active way is truly incredible.”

Enhancing the ASU community’s local impact and social embeddedness is part of the university’s mission. Programs across campus partner with local organizations in a variety of fields, including at the College of Public Service and Community Solutions, where students and faculty team up with St. Vincent de Paul.

“It’s a partnership that only continues to strengthen,” said Dale Larsen, professor of practice and honors faculty at the college. “The college hosts an annual Day of Service each fall for 100-150 student and faculty volunteers, who are assigned all kinds of tasks [at St. Vincent de Paul], including their two urban farms and indoor residential living units.”

In addition to the service days, the college also supports a project manager at St. Vincent de Paul and student internships arranged by sponsoring schools.

ASU Foundation and St. Vincent de Paul were equally thrilled about the turnout of the service. Irma Leyendecker, the volunteer services manager for St. Vincent de Paul, said they truly appreciate the support and partnership.

“St. Vincent de Paul couldn’t do all that it does without the help of partners like the Foundation and ASU,” she said. 

Written by Raneem Hamad, student writer, ASU Enterprise Partners

Top photo: ASU Enterprise Partners staff members painted 15 walls as part of a November day of service at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Arizona.

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New sustainable home opens for Herberger Young Scholars Academy

November 1, 2017

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

Arizona State University celebrated its latest state-of-the-art educational facility on Monday at the new home for the Gary K. Herberger Young Scholars Academy on the ASU West campus.

The building provides a sustainable, open and inviting space for Herberger Academy students and the ASU community.

“The whole purpose for this school is built around the core premise that we have as a university,” ASU President Michael M. Crow said at the opening ceremonies, which included student performances and a tour of the new facility. “We are here to create teaching, learning and discovery environments for all learners. We’ve left the world that everyone is going to be pushed through the same factory, through the same box, through the same system.”

Herberger Young Scholars Academy (HYSA), created in 2011 as part of ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College with an endowment from philanthropists Gary and Jeanne Herberger, offers a learning environment designed for highly gifted students in grades 7 to 12 who will have the opportunity to explore the building’s unique features on a daily basis.

The learning setting includes cutting-edge classrooms, a makerspace for collaborative projects, a black-box theater for drama, a fish tank that students are responsible for, and outdoor spaces with raised-bed gardens and an amphitheater.

Carly Cairns, a student in her humanities year at HYSA (roughly equivalent to 10th grade), said she was excited about what the new building and its location offer.

“There are so many great opportunities here being on the ASU campus,” she said. “Not only that, but with this amazing new building there are so many things that we can built off of to really pursue our interests. I have an interest in theater and drama, and this new black-box space is great for plays.”

The academy offers students an accelerated academic program that encourages students to complete middle and high school in as few as three years. Many students choose to continue their studies, taking advanced classes offered under the guidance of the internationally recognized Cambridge curriculum and ASU courses for college credit. Students also have the opportunity to participate in research with an ASU professor.  

The new building offers a space befitting its exceptional mission.

“The building delivers a great deal of natural light and different types of learning spaces,” said Kim Lansdowne, Herberger Young Scholars Academy executive director. “We did not want it to look like an average school.”

HYSA was involved in the building’s design process and was able to tailor some of the features to meet its needs. HYSA students participated in a design charrette with Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts faculty and students, and the architect, Marlene Imirzian and Associates, incorporated these features into the final design.

Lansdowne said the school would not be able to step into this new era without the support of Jeanne Herberger and her late husband, Gary Herberger. The Herbergers provided financial support to open the school in 2011 and provided additional new-building funds.

“What would Gary say if he were on hand for this celebration? If Gary had a chance to address you today, how would he tell the remarkable story of the Herberger Young Scholars Academy?” Jeanne Herberger said during Monday’s ceremonies. “I thought about it. I kept turning it over and over in my mind, and then it hit me: Gary is here. Gary’s spirit is fully alive in this gathering and in every corner of this magnificent building.

“The story of the Herberger Young Scholars Academy is Gary’s own story of how a gifted young person who is encouraged to pursue his or her own dreams can achieve extraordinary things.”

Sustainable future

As with the school’s learning environment, special considerations were taken into account of the physical environment during the building’s design and construction.

“ASU is a leader in sustainability, which includes creating and maintaining a sustainable physical environment, said Bruce Nevel, ASU Facilities Development and Management ­­associate vice president and chief facilities officer. “As a leader, we set the example by constructing and maintaining our buildings in a highly sustainable and energy-efficient manner.”

All new ASU buildings are required to achieve a minimum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification, with many garnering Gold and Platinum rankings. ASU currently has the largest number of LEED-certified buildings in Arizona at 47, with several more buildings pending LEED certification, including HYSA.

LEED criteria encompass how well the building conserves energy, water efficiency, types of construction materials used, whether the site enhances sustainability and indoor environmental quality.

The following sustainable aspects were implemented in the HYSA design and construction phases:

• 15 percent of annual energy consumption is offset by the ASU West campus solar photovoltaic system
• 95 percent of construction waste was recycled and diverted from the landfill
• designed with materials that do not contribute to the urban heat-island effect
• low-flow fixtures save 25 percent of indoor water use
• native, adaptive landscaping reduces the amount of potable water needed for irrigation
• occupancy sensors and lighting controls provide energy savings

Green Ideas Building Science Consultants, which assists ASU in the LEED documentation process, expects HYSA to perform closer to 30 percent below ASHRAE 62.1-2007 Standard. This means compared to a similar building of size, use and construction, the HYSA building will perform approximately 30 percent better because of careful design of the building envelope and mechanical systems.

“Every nook and cranny of this space has Gary (Herberger) in it,” said Gretchen Buhlig, CEO of the ASU Foundation for a New American University. “Though he didn’t have this kind of place to learn, for these students to understand that he was one of them is an amazing legacy for generations to come.”

Communications program coordinator , Facilities Development and Management


High performance, excellence and accountability

Australian rules football coach Ross Lyon’s lessons of leadership

October 30, 2017

When Gretchen Buhlig was named chief executive officer of the Arizona State University Foundation, the non-profit that generated a record $220 million last year as part of Campaign ASU 2020, she committed to developing her staff’s leadership abilities.

As part of that pledge, Buhlig invited former Australian Football League player and head coach of its Fremantle Football Club Ross Lyon to share wisdom with a different kind of team: development officers at the ASU Foundation. two people talking in front of a group of people At right: Ross Lyon and Gretchen Buhlig Download Full Image

“A lot of what Ross says is relatable to our work,” Buhlig said. She and Lyon met at the Harvard Business School’s Authentic Leader Development course, where they recognized overlap in their diverse professions.

Here, Lyon shares his lessons of leadership, which apply on and off the field — no matter the discipline.

1. “Fixed mindsets are dangerous.”

Lyon’s players, like ASU students, are from varied backgrounds. He encourages them to define themselves not by genetics, but by a “growth mindset” in which they believe their talents can be developed — or, as ASU President Michael M. Crow says, that one is capable of learning anything, anywhere, at any time.

2. “By definition, anything is possible.”

Results are just feedback, according to Lyon. He utilizes feedback to drive possibility and, in turn, define actions that create change. If one is honest about how his or her actions align with goals and adjusts accordingly, possibility is brought to life.

3. “Be clear on why you do things.”

When it gets tough — on the field, in fundraising or in life — Lyon says that if we are clear on the purpose of what we are trying to achieve, stress and anxiety can transform into perseverance and action.

4. “Education is key.”

Based on what he’s seen at ASU, Lyon hopes to add to the player development staff at his club. He lauded the university as a vibrant, caring, warm and welcoming place with strong accountability and respect. Traits that, along with education, give one a purpose off the field — and improve performance on it. “What does your 45 year-old self look like?” he asks. “I don’t want to produce tragedies.” Instead, he aims to help his player build a life off the field that will sustain them beyond their football careers.

5. “If you don’t see possibility in people, they’ll know it.”

As the head coach of elite athletes, Lyon sees part of his job as recognizing potential and using it to inspire the individual who holds it. Though he is fierce on accountability, he challenges behavior while supporting his people.

6. “The mental bucket’s got lots of space.”

Three times a week, Lyon’s team participates in activities to help them visualize completion of specific tasks, like going all-out for a ball or a tackle. Imagery and meditation are compulsory for his team, whom he hopes to equip with skills to “declutter.” At ASU, Chief Well-Being Officer and Dean Teri Pipe leads the donor-supported Center for Mindfulness to teach the university community how to improve engagement and performance through mental centering.

7. “Everything’s created twice: mentally first, and then it’s linked to the physical world.”

Lyon recommends Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” to help leaders balance that duality.

8. “Everyone wants to belong to something.”

ASU has a lot of opportunity to belong, he says. Impressed by alumni who give back, especially those who embrace that all support matters and are part of the 92 percent of donors whose gifts are less than $100, Lyon intends to make his own gift to ASU.

9. “It starts at the top.”

How one is as a leader, Lyon says, is how one’s organization will act. He wants to model a behavior of continual improvement because better coaches produce better players. Every three weeks, Lyon encourages his staff to provide anonymous feedback, saying, “I have to act on it.”

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Condoleezza Rice encourages students to be the solution during talk at ASU

October 20, 2017

Former secretary of state talks about the state of international affairs at Barrett, The Honor College's Global Leader Series lecture

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

For the first woman to hold the position of U.S. national security adviser and the second to serve as secretary of state, it should come as no surprise that strength and strategy have always been in play for Condoleezza Rice — especially in the male-dominated world of politics.

Growing up in segregated Birmingham, Alabama, Rice says she deployed tactics she learned from her father to turn racism on its ugly head and used those tactics again when confronted with sexism in her early career.

“My father once told me if someone doesn’t want to sit next to you because you’re black that’s just fine, as long as they move,” Rice told students, faculty and invited guests at the Barrett Distinguished Global Leader Series at Arizona State University on Friday in Tempe. “That was also the attitude that I went in with when people looked at me like I was in the wrong meeting as a young professional. I was never taking somebody else’s sexism or somebody else’s prejudice onto me because when you start doing that, you start thinking ‘I’m victimized’ — now you’ve lost control of the situation.”

Rice’s follow-up advice to emerging leaders who might find themselves in a similar situation: “Walk in there like you mean it, like you believe you belong there because you do; you worked really hard to get there; own the room and they’ll back off.”

The former secretary of state was invited to participate in the Barrett, The Honors College’s new global lecture series by former U.S. Ambassador Barbara Barrett. The two became acquainted in the administration of President George W. Bush.

“Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice brings to Arizona State University exceptional global experience and insights,” Barrett said. “The new Distinguished Global Speaker Series invites ASU students to hear, meet and interact with top global leaders right on campus. Getting to know and learn from experienced cabinet members, heads of state and other decision-makers enriches the campus-learning environment. Secretary Rice exemplifies the speakers of distinction who share their insights with interested ASU students through the BHC Distinguished Global Speaker Series.”

Barbara Barrett listens as Condoleezza Rice delivers remarks at the Barrett College's Distinguished Global Leader Lecture on Friday in Tempe. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Barrett and her husband, former Intel CEO Craig Barrett, are funding the lecture series and other global initiatives at the honors college as part of their renewed commitment made during Campaign ASU 2020 to their namesake college. The series launched in late September with a lunch meet-and-greet with Elisabeth Rehn, Finland’s first female minister of defense.

Before taking student-submitted questions moderated by Barrett Dean Mark Jacobs, Rice — a noted expert on Russia and current professor of political science at Stanford University — addressed the room of 300 that included Barrett students as well as students from ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Rice offered a background on the current international system, which she described as “chaotic” right now with headline crises in such places as North Korea, Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela and Russia, whose relationship with the U.S. Rice said is in the lowest place it has been since the darkest days of the Cold War.

She said one of the more pressing threats facing the international system right now is the rise of populism, which has had its echoes in Brexit and in Austria and Germany where right-wing populist parties have gained prominence — an event not seen in such frequency since World War II. She also cautioned against the expansion of identity politics, or the idea that everybody is an ever-smaller identity group — each with its own grievance and narrative that tends to divide instead of unify.

On those subjects, Rice called on ASU students to use their time in college to become a part of the solution by finding a passion and acting on it. Passion is something Rice said she found in international politics after coming to grips with the reality that she wasn’t going to be a concert pianist (her first love) or an English literature major (no love lost there). Her message resonated with many of the students in attendance, including Ceci Shell, a first-year law student.

“It was finding that passion that led me to go to law school. So for someone of her caliber — the secretary of state — telling us young people that ‘you too can be that global leader and that change when you find that passion’ really meant a lot to me,” Shell said.

A former athlete now studying sports law, Shell said she had hoped to also ask the former secretary a question about her passion for sports. Rice is well known for her love of football and golf and was recently named chair of the new NCAA Commission on College Basketball.

Regarding the former secretary’s comments on women, Barrett student Hanna Maroofi said Rice’s remarks on confidence were very genuine.

“Hearing her talk about the importance of going in with confidence and knowing what you want and understanding — that it’s not necessarily you who has to change and conform but to make yourself aware of your surroundings and be confident with those surroundings — was very uplifting and inspiring,” said Maroofi, a sophomore studying biomedical sciences and global health with a minor in French.

Edward Nolan, also a Barrett student, said he was excited when he got a chance to move up to the front row to listen to Rice.

“I don’t know where we’d get this but at Barrett at ASU,” said Nolan, a junior studying political science and biology with an emphasis in genetics and cell development. “She spoke a lot about what we’re learning right now. It was great to hear all of the different areas that she mentioned from just having studied them and from having personal experience. My family is from Colombia, and right along the Colombia border is Venezuela and we talked a lot about the humanitarian crises that are going on along that border.” 

Barrett honors students Hanna Maroofi (left) and Edward Nolan. Photo by Beth Giudicessi

The students say they are looking forward to interacting with more global leaders in the Barrett Distinguished Global Leader Series.

“I think the topic of globalization for college students is very crucial, especially at ASU,” Maroofi said. “We are very passionate about various topics in the Barrett Honors College and being able to combine all of these topics and areas of study into this globalization series is a key aspect to Barrett and the future of our students here.”

In addition to her professorship at Stanford University, Rice is also the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution and a founding partner of RiceHadleyGates LLC. She served as the 66th secretary of the State of the United States from 2005-2009, the second woman and first African-American woman to hold the post. Rice was also the first woman to hold the position of national security adviser from 2001-2005.

Top photo: Condoleezza Rice has a discussion with Barrett, The Honors College Dean Mark Jacobs following her inaugural keynote address Friday in Tempe. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Sr. Media Relations Officer , Media Relations & Strategic Communications


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Judy Woodruff at ASU: Journalists are not the 'enemy of the American people'

October 19, 2017

She and the late Gwen Ifill, co-anchors of “PBS NewsHour,” received the 2017 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism

Judy Woodruff and the late Gwen Ifill, the award-winning co-anchors and managing editors of the “PBS NewsHour,” were awarded the 2017 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism by Arizona State University on Thursday.

In an era with a president who built a campaign and an administration by calling most news fake and most journalists enemies of the American people, Woodruff told the audience, “I am not an enemy of the American people. I love this country.”

Woodruff, the anchor and managing editor of the “PBS NewsHour,” received the 34th annual award, given by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, at a luncheon ceremony in downtown Phoenix. Roberto Ifill accepted the award on behalf of his sister Ifill, who served with Woodruff as co-anchor and co-managing editor from 2013 until her death from cancer in November.

Woodruff reflected on how the news business is in flux from a changing business and technology landscape, and not necessarily for the better.

“Newspapers have been closing down, reporters by the hundreds and even thousands have been laid off,” she said. “Too many state capitals, city halls, boards of education are going uncovered around this country today because there simply aren’t enough reporters to cover them. Once Americans found they could get their news for free, they didn’t need to buy a newspaper. And with newspapers for so long having set the pace reporting in communities across the nation, that has been a blow to the public’s ability to know what’s going on.”

Technology, which has taken so many jobs away, has also provided a new source of news, she said.

“Channels by the hundreds, an explosion of online sites, news in our Facebook feeds, whenever we check Google, Yahoo, there’s news everywhere,” Woodruff said. “It’s good news, it’s reported news, it’s sloppy news, it’s credible news, it’s made-up news, and everything in between.”

Excellent reporting still can happen. Woodruff talked about the Weinstein scandal, which was broken by the New York Times and the New Yorker magazine, and the exposure of drug lobbyists worsening the opioid crisis by encouraging Congress to hobble the DEA by CBS 60 Minutes and the Washington Post.

“Mainstream journalist organizations, which took months and months of work to nail it down,” Woodruff said in praise of both investigations. “That’s the mainstream media working for you.”

Social media is not going to replace professional journalism, she said.

“Now the news is coming to us from every conceivable source, from places that never thought they were going to be in the news, like Facebook and Twitter,” Woodruff said. “We thought they were there to do something else. We are watching the transformation as these organizations try to understand what their role is. They’ve made some big mistakes, and they’re trying to figure out how to fix that.”

As part of Woodruff’s two-day visit to ASU, she reported for the NewsHour from the Cronkite School. She sat down with Cronkite faculty member Jacquee Petchel and students Claire Caulfield and Jasmine Spearing-Bowen to discuss a major national investigation into water quality as part of the Carnegie-Knight News21 program at the Cronkite School. She also interviewed U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego as part of an ongoing NewsHour series on the future of the Democratic Party.

Woodruff’s visit included an appearance on the public affairs program “Arizona Horizon” on Arizona PBS, which is operated by the Cronkite School. Woodruff fielded questions from host Ted Simons on a variety of topics ranging from her career and friendship with Ifill, to her memories of Walter Cronkite. After the taping, Woodruff, Simons and “PBS NewsHour” Executive Producer Sara Just took questions from Cronkite students in the audience. They discussed the convergence of media, fake news and the importance of journalism, among other topics.

The job of journalism is to be the public’s eyes and ears, Woodruff said Thursday at the awards luncheon. Journalists are needed to find answers day after day.

“People often ask me if the news business is going to survive,” she said. “Yes, it absolutely is because we will always need to know what’s going on around us, what opportunity and what peril out there lies around the corner, what our fellow human beings are up to.” 

The Cronkite School contributed to this report. Top photo: Judy Woodruff addresses the audience after accepting the 34th annual Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix hotel on Thursday afternoon. The 2017 awardees were both Judy Woodruff and the late Gwen Ifill, award-winning anchors of the “PBS NewsHour." Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now

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New 365 campaign aims to take Sun Devil Stadium into the future

October 13, 2017

Initiative's aim is to transform ASU landmark into a year-round hub of community activity

A new fundraising campaign kicked off Saturday to take Sun Devil Stadium to the next level of transformation with the goal of turning the nearly 60-year-old landmark into a year-round hub of activity the entire community can enjoy.

The ASU 365 Community Union campaign seeks to raise $40 million that will be used to fund elements needed to create a successful venue with amenities that will attract not only the Arizona State University community but also residents from surrounding cities.

Leading the 365 Community Union initiative is Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, vice president for cultural affairs at ASU and executive director of ASU Gammage. Here she provides some insight into this unique initiative, which is an ASU first.

three people posing on stadium field

Left to right: Jack Furst, ASU alumnus; Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, ASU vice president for cultural affairs; Ray Anderson, vice president for university athletics.

Question: What was the impetus for ASU to look into using the stadium beyond the seven or so football games played each year?

Answer: Sustainability is always top of mind at ASU. With a typical college stadium being utilized only 2 percent of the time, we knew we needed to flip the paradigm and move to a 98 percent solution. Redefining Sun Devil Stadium as a university asset that becomes a cultural hub between campus and the surrounding communities is where we are heading.

Q: What type of activities can people expect inside the stadium once the 365 Community Union is fully up and running?

A: ASU’s 365 Community Union will be your place for cardio and concerts, festivals and farmers markets. It will be a place for your morning jog and your morning joe. A hot spot for movies and meals as well as a place to showcase the leaders on the field and the leaders of tomorrow. Our goal is to bring the community together in a way that has never been done before.

Q: Although the 365 Community Union at Sun Devil Stadium is being designed for use by everyone, what specific benefits do you anticipate for students?

A: The 365 Community Union will house classes, seminars and recruitment events, as well as be a new home for the Pat Tillman Veterans Center, Public Service Academy and the Global Sport Institute. There will even be a brand-new studio for the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. These new facilities were big priorities for ASU President Michael Crow and will showcase how important these initiatives are to the New American University. There will also be many opportunities for student run popup shops for aspiring entrepreneurs as well as many opportunities for work experience and internships in venue management.

Q: If you could look ahead 10 years, what is your vision of what you hope the 365 Community Union becomes? 

A: Our vision is for the 365 Community Union and Sun Devil Stadium to be a dynamic cultural hub that operates every day of the year and acts as a model for venues around the world. We want to create a place where you can imagine Sun Devils of all ages starting their day with yoga on the sun deck or a breakfast meeting at a café and ending their day with a film festival or concert under the stars.

Q: What message do you have for those supporters that want to help bring the 365 Community Union vision to fruition?

A: The reinvention of Sun Devil Stadium really was born out of our philanthropy and our alumnus Jack Furst. Turning Sun Devil Stadium into a facility that operates 365 days a year couldn’t happen without incredible donors who wholeheartedly believe in this vision. Private support is so critical to everything we do at ASU, and along with Campaign ASU 2020 we all have the historic opportunity to shape the future of this great university.