ASU Online alumnus named Idaho History Teacher of the Year

September 26, 2022

Colin Donovan, an alumnus of the ASU Online history master’s program at the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, was named the 2022 Idaho History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History.

Since 2004, the Gilder Lehrman Institute has awarded elementary, middle and high school history teachers for their excellence in history education. The award honors one teacher from each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools and U.S. territories. Portrait of ASU alum Colin Donovan. He has short black hair and a beard and smiles at the camera in front of a blue backdrop.hirt Colin Donovan earned his master's degree in history from ASU Online in 2022. Download Full Image

Donovan was nominated by a colleague at the school where he works, Coeur d’Alene High School, and was selected by a committee of educators and education professionals in Idaho to receive the award.

“I was surprised to win,” said Donovan. “They provide a ton of resources that I’ve been a fan of for a long time. This is just the cherry on top.”

Donovan will receive an honorarium as well as access to resources and courses from the institute.

“Hopefully it’ll give me things I can bring to the classroom and enrich my instructional practices and content knowledge,” said Donovan. “I’m a history nerd.”

Although Donovan has always been a self-proclaimed “history nerd,” he never thought he’d go into teaching. His father was a county attorney, and his mother was in the Navy and later became a teacher. 

He attended Washington State University on a football scholarship and enrolled as a communications student.

“Actually, I wanted to get into advertising, and I got three years into that program and decided I wasn’t sure about that, so I went the history route,” said Donovan.

He thought the history degree would be a good prerequisite to law school, and in addition, he earned a teaching certificate.

“I did my student teaching in England on an Air Force base and then traveled around Europe for a year after that. I came back and got my first teaching job and fell in love with it,” said Donovan.

This fall marks the start of Donovan’s 13th year of teaching history at Coeur d’Alene High School. He primarily teaches Advanced Placement courses and dual-enrollment classes for students to earn credits at the local community college.

“I start every year and I say I never had any business being in those classes when I was a student, and I feel the same way with these awards,” said Donovan.

The Gilder Lehrman award is not the first teaching award Donovan has won, though. In 2019, he won a James Madison Graduate Fellowship, one of the most prestigious awards in constitutional history for secondary educators.

The fellowship picks one teacher from every state and pays for that teacher’s master’s degree to help create a well-versed group of educators who teach constitutional history.

“Those connections, with any of these nationally recognized awards, it always feels like imposter syndrome for me because it’s great, but seeing the quality of the other educators in there is just amazing,'' said Donovan. “It’s humbling to be counted in that group.”

He chose to attend Arizona State University’s online history master’s program and found it especially helpful when the pandemic forced K–12 schools to move online. His own experience as an online student guided him to adapt his classroom during the difficult transition. 

“There’s great educators (at ASU) that really pushed me in a lot of ways and made me a better teacher,” said Donovan.

One of his mentors during the program was Clinical Assistant Professor of North American history James Dupey. As one of Donovan’s instructors, Dupey was excited to hear about him winning the award.

“He was a fantastic student, and I'm not surprised that his passion comes through in the classroom,” said Dupey.

Donovan feels like he has found what he loves to do and doesn’t see himself doing anything else in the near future.

“There’s no better way to make an impact than being a teacher,” said Donovan. “In the over 12 years I’ve been doing this, that’s thousands of students that I’ve been able to connect with. There’s nothing better.”

Rachel Bunning

Communications program coordinator, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

Lincoln Scholar spotlight: On family, leadership and being a woman in tech

September 26, 2022

Arizona State University senior Alexis DeVries has had a passion for leadership and technology since her freshman year.

“I fell in love with working in teams to create projects from scratch that create change in the community,” said DeVries, a student at the W. P. Carey School of Business. Portrait of ASU student Alexis DeVries. Alexis DeVries is a senior in the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU. Download Full Image

Now, DeVries is putting that passion to work as one of the newest Lincoln Scholars at ASU's Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics. The scholar program engages students in ethics discussions and activities with faculty and community members.

An advocate for gender and racial equality in STEM fields, DeVries has defined her time at ASU and beyond through service and leadership, participating in Greek life, the Hispanic Business Students Association, the Department of Information Systems Club (DISC) and much more.

DeVries spoke with ASU News about the passions that drive her, how the Lincoln Scholars program has helped her pursue those passions and what’s on the horizon after graduation.

Editor’s note: The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Question: Tell us about your experience as a student at ASU.

Answer: I am a double major in computer information systems and management at Arizona State University, and I will be graduating with honors in May of 2023. In addition to maintaining a 3.7 GPA in a challenging academic program, I have completed several computing internship projects. For example, my experience as a Microsoft Ambassador required me to have excellent skills in the Microsoft Office suite, gather/analyze/groom user requirements, and utilize various coding techniques to create solutions to business problems. I also gained experience as a software developer for the Social Impact Project with the Phoenix Ivy Council.  Using my knowledge of Java Scripting, HTML/CSS, P5, Visual Studio and GitHub, I designed immersive video game experiences targeted to the needs of the special education and adult disability community.

Q: What are you most passionate about in your studies?

A: Being a woman in tech has come with its own challenges. I have been placed in group projects with all male students, who often silence me in meetings when I try to share my ideas or who edit out my work in research essays. I knew I had every right to contribute as much as they did, and I wouldn't let them determine the value of my work. I am focused and determined to succeed despite everyone's doubts. I've been on the Dean's List every semester of my college career while holding leadership positions in multiple organizations and becoming a National Hispanic Scholar. I recently competed in the 2022 national Nike hacking competition, which took a lot of courage, and my first-place finish boosted my confidence in my chosen career path. As a result, I secured a job as a research fellow intern at ASU’s Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology. I get to advocate for female students of color in STEM and offer a setting that emphasizes empowerment. I’ve always made it a personal goal to defy the odds, and nothing will stop me now.

Q: How did you come upon the Lincoln Scholars Program, and what inspired you to join?

A: I found the Lincoln Scholars Program on the ASU scholarships page. My family was going through a rough time, and I was determined to find a way through it. The program gave me the opportunity to continue my education when I thought all hope was lost. I will forever be thankful for the day I found the Lincoln Scholars Program, and all that it has given me.

As a computer information systems major, I believe our lessons about the applied ethics of technology in today’s modern world will greatly benefit my decision-making throughout my career. I enjoy the diversity in the class and its openness to hearing statements from all sides of the debate.

Q: You have had various leadership experiences and are very active outside your school studies. What skills have you gained from that, and do you have any advice for other students looking to get more involved in their communities?

A: I have learned that being a leader is a quality that is earned, not given. During my freshman year, I joined my first club, which has changed who I am as a person in ways I couldn't have imagined. I have created so many memories and friendships due to this community of leaders. Every organization truly is impressive in its own way, and each club contains hardworking and kind-hearted students. I consider myself lucky to work with them. It has been an honor to have the opportunity to serve them as a member of the executive boards.

Good leadership is the key to achieving great things and executing new, creative ideas. It is important to set an example of what a leader should be like, and be an essential resource in case members come to me for help.

Q: What do you look forward to most about graduating in the spring?

A: I am looking forward to this next phase of my life, when I hopefully will get to be closer to my family again. Family is very important to me, but so is my education, so these past four years, I have had to live far away from those closest to me. My goal is to get a software development role that is either remote, based in Yuma, Arizona, or San Diego.

Karina Fitzgerald

Communications program coordinator , Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics


ASU student helps Hispanic engineers thrive by building community

September 23, 2022

Hispanic and Latino representation in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, fields wasn’t much of a thought for David Eduardo Flores-Prieto when he was an undergraduate student in Monterrey, Mexico. Nearly all of the students, faculty members and role models at his university were Hispanic like him.

Even when Flores-Prieto spent a year as a graduate student at University College London, half the student body was made up of international students who shared his experience. The university also had a well-established and close-knit group of Hispanic students who supported each other. A portrait of David Eduardo Flores-Prieto on a colorful graphic background. David Eduardo Flores-Prieto, a biomedical engineering doctoral student in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, saw a need for increased support for Hispanic and international graduate students at ASU, so he created new communities and has supported existing communities for diverse groups in science, technology, engineering and math fields, particularly biomedical engineering. Graphic by Dana Hernandez/ASU Download Full Image

Then he arrived in the United States for his doctoral studies at Arizona State University and immediately noticed a different landscape for Hispanic students in STEM.

In the U.S., according to 2020 statistics from the American Society for Engineering Education, 9% of master’s degrees and 7% of doctoral degrees in engineering fields are awarded to Hispanic graduates, and only 4% of faculty members in engineering-related fields are Hispanic — representation that lags behind the total Hispanic population in the country at approximately 20%.

Flores-Prieto found it difficult to identify role models and dedicated support networks tailored to the needs of Hispanic international graduate students like himself. So he decided it was time to take the lead and become an advocate for his community.

“It was important for me to realize that if the change is going to be done, I have to contribute,” says Flores-Prieto, who is now in his third year as a biomedical engineering doctoral student at the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU.

Since getting his start in advocacy, Flores-Prieto has worked diligently to help Hispanic and Latino students thrive in biomedical engineering and STEM, not only at ASU but across the U.S.

Daniel E. Rivera, a professor of chemical engineering in the Fulton Schools who identifies as Hispanic, sees increased Hispanic and Latino diversity — as well as diversity of all people — in engineering as something that strengthens society.

“We greatly benefit from sharing the skills, insights and distinct points of view that come from our Hispanic/Latinxgender neutral term sometimes preferred for a person from, or whose ancestors were from, a Spanish-speaking land or culture or from Latin America culture and heritage,” Rivera says. “Diversity makes the efforts of David Flores-Prieto that much more worthwhile and appreciated.”

Building a support system from scratch

Flores-Prieto was excited to start working on neurodegenerative disease and traumatic brain injury research with his advisor, Sarah Stabenfeldt, an associate professor of biomedical engineering in the Fulton Schools. However, the move to a new country to start his doctoral program came at an especially difficult time.

“I started my program in January 2020, and in March 2020, COVID started,” he says, “so straight away I was isolated and it was really tough the first year.”

When Flores-Prieto realized ASU didn’t have an established group for Hispanic international graduate students like the one he’d been a part of at University College London, he decided he needed to create one. Within months of the beginning of the pandemic, he collaborated with some of his peers from Mexico and founded the Mexican Graduate Association for International Students at ASU.

The organization helps international graduate students with resources for a smooth transition to life in the U.S. as well as peer mentorship, professional networking and cultural events.

After more than a year of interacting only online, the association was able to have its first in-person event last year — a proud moment for Flores-Prieto. Finally, the group’s members were able to meet and enjoy trivia games, food and a fun experience with other Mexican international graduate students at ASU.

“Just knowing that a community exists that can support you, that’s what we wanted to do, and I think we provided that,” says Flores-Prieto, who is thankful for the guidance he has gotten from the ASU Graduate College staff and the group’s faculty advisor, Professor Enrique R. Vivoni, to help fill this need for students like him.

Becoming part of a larger advocacy network

Flores-Prieto quickly expanded his advocacy work beyond ASU, joining a national, online organization called LatinXinBME. The group, founded by Brian Aguado and Ana María Porras, aims to diversify biomedical engineering in academia and industry through mentorship and a welcoming virtual community.

Flores-Prieto often serves as a mentor for undergraduate students in the LatinXinBME community who are thinking about graduate school — and in another mentorship program with undergraduate students at his alma mater in Mexico, the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education.

He finds that Hispanic international students may face cultural expectations and challenges specific to their communities. Through his mentorship role in LatinXinBME, Flores-Prieto had in-depth discussions on issues like supporting family back home on a graduate student salary — a topic many graduate students may have to confront when deciding to pursue advanced studies.

“Role models and mentors are extremely important, particularly for Hispanic and Latinx students who may choose careers in research and academia in STEM fields where multiple degrees are required and the ‘barriers to entry’ are high,” Rivera says. “Having an opportunity to talk to someone who can confirm that the challenges they face are not unique, battling ‘imposter syndrome’ or simply having someone who can pronounce your name properly can be very meaningful to a Hispanic or Latinx student.”

In addition to helping undergraduate students get to the next stage in their academic journeys as a mentor, Flores-Prieto also receives support from more experienced members of LatinXinBME who have gone through the same challenges he is now facing as a doctoral student.

“There are so many professionals at all levels. It’s a giant community that supports professional growth and helps get all its members where they want to be,” Flores-Prieto says. “There are several points in your training that you have these giant hurdles you have to go over and they just look so big sometimes that you don’t think there’s a way out. Just having people who went through that to talk it out helps.”

Leading diversity efforts on a national scale

Flores-Prieto recently earned another opportunity to help biomedical engineering students across the country when he was elected president of the National Student Chapter of the Society for Biomaterials. With the support of a strong team of student leaders, he is already planning many ways to make a difference and inspire future biomedical engineers from all backgrounds.

In this two-year role, Flores-Prieto manages Society for Biomaterials student chapters across the country and supports their operations and events, including Biomaterials Days like the one being hosted by the ASU chapter on October 10.

Events like these showcase how biomedical engineers make a difference in the world.

One of the speakers at the ASU event this year is ​​Edward A. Botchwey, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and current chair of the Society for Biomaterials Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Flores-Prieto previously heard Botchwey give a talk about his journey to address sickle cell disease, an underfunded issue that affects the Black community in the U.S. It was a pivotal moment for Flores-Prieto to see Botchwey, who is Black, take the lead on finding a solution for a problem affecting his community. It inspired him to work toward encouraging Hispanic scientists and engineers to do the same for issues in their communities.

Now Flores-Prieto is getting more involved in the Society for Biomaterials’ diversity, equity and inclusion activities. Based on the success of a past event for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, in which a panel of Black faculty members talked about biomedical engineering opportunities, Flores-Prieto is working to gather Hispanic faculty members for a panel aimed at Hispanic-Serving Institutions, a distinction ASU earned this year.

A grassroots effort to encourage Hispanic children’s interests in STEM

While many of Flores-Prieto’s efforts focus on helping Hispanic students already in college and earning advanced degrees, he believes it’s important for outreach efforts to start early.

Flores-Prieto himself has been immersed in science his whole life — both his parents are physicians and encouraged him to go into medicine as well. His exposure to engineering educational opportunities helped him find an exciting career path in biomedical engineering.

However, he recognizes many Hispanic children may not have the same level of access to or awareness of STEM opportunities.

To help fill that gap, Flores-Prieto regularly volunteers for an organization called Letters to a Pre-Scientist, which pairs volunteers with a K–12 student pen pal. They write “snail mail” letters back and forth in which Flores-Prieto shares his STEM journey and explains how his pen pal’s interests intersect with engineering fields.

Though the program isn’t aimed at Hispanic students, many of the organization’s partner schools are in California where there is a large Hispanic population.

“It’s an effort of humanizing the STEM professionals, (so students are) not just thinking about a person in a lab coat,” Flores-Prieto says. “We’re just people and these are the careers we chose.”

Being exposed to the possibilities of engineering careers is what set Flores-Prieto on the path to earning a doctoral degree in biomedical engineering. When he learned about the tissue engineering field from reading a research journal article during his undergraduate studies, he thought the idea of being an engineer and creating things like artificial organs sounded awesome and it got him hooked on research.

“STEM professionals are involved in a lot of fun stuff that kids just don’t know about,” Flores-Prieto says. “So we need to get them involved as early as possible.”

Monique Clement

Lead communications specialist, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering


First-gen ASU student becomes community mentor

Former Dorrance Scholar finds passion in helping new first-generation students go to college

September 22, 2022

According to the Center for First-Generation Student Success, a third of college students are the first in their families to pursue a bachelor’s degree, which is no small feat.

Statistically, these students are more likely to face financial challenges due to a lower parental incomeaccording to U.S. Department of Education data released in 2018 than continuing-generation students. They are also less likely to graduate in four years, owing to many reasons, from lacking additional support in successfully navigating college to the social isolation that can come with being educational pioneers in their families.

Portrait of Yazmin Reyes, a smiling young woman with dark hair and purple flowers in the background. Yazmin Reyes

It can be difficult not having the proper guidance from family members since they are not well-versed in the intricacies of the college experience.  

Sun Devil and first-generation graduate Yazmin Reyes knows exactly how this feels.

As a daughter of Mexican immigrants, Reyes has often felt “ni de aqui, ni de alla,” which means “neither from here nor from there.” Her family encouraged her to pursue higher education but to attend a university directly after high school graduation, additional funds through financial aid were needed.

With the help of the Dorrance Scholarship, which is designed specifically for first-generation students, and the ASU Leadership Scholarship Program, which is designed for students looking to make a difference in their communities, Reyes earned herself an open door to create her own sense of identity and purpose at Arizona State University.

While Reyes had wonderful scholarships and a loving family to get her through college, it still wasn’t easy feeling alone.

“In principle, it was great to know I had their moral support,” she said. “In practice, being a first-generation college student is extremely difficult because you don’t feel like you have people that can relate to what you’re going through.” 

Reyes pushed through, but it was “a group effort” full of the uncertainties that come with self-discovery. As someone passionate about helping young people succeed, she began as an education major but soon discovered that teaching wasn’t for her. After changing majors to family and human development at the suggestion of her scholarship coordinator, she never looked back. 

Not everyone understood her choice of major, however, because “it wasn’t a terminal degree in the way people who study engineering go on to become engineers,” she said. “But the beauty of that is this program teaches you transferable skills necessary to be successful in any profession.”

Related: Former Sun Devil makes strides against opioid epidemic

Several years after undergrad, Reyes earned her MEd in school counseling and is now the assistant director of recruitment for ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She spends every day using her personal experiences to help first-generation high school students see their own potential to pursue higher education. As a student who felt inspired by watching other people achieve their goals, she describes it as a “full-circle experience” with “endless opportunities to help others.”

Life as a first-generation student wasn’t easy, but Reyes made it through and has a fulfilling career. After graduation, she worked for ASU Admission Services, where she created first-of-its-kind programming designed to help prospective first-generation college students at ASU.

“Happenstance brought me into the recruitment world in higher education, but now I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I’m at the intersection of helping people explore what their professional dreams are, providing college-going support to underrepresented communities, and empowering people to pursue higher education,” she said.

The Sun Devil also leveraged her experience and talents when she was a participant of the Obama Foundation’s Community Leadership Corps, where she developed a high school achievement program called Soñadoras, in addition to previously being a volunteer mentor with Big Brothers, Big Sisters. 

“I truly have found my passion in life helping others,” Reyes said.

Jennifer Moore

Communications Specialist Associate, T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics

First-generation student uses prestigious scholarship awards to further education, 'tilt the arrow of justice forward'

September 22, 2022

First-generation college student Sami Al-Asady always envisioned a future with a higher education in political science. 

Arizona State University's Office of National Scholarships and Advisement proved to be an indispensable resource for him in that pursuit, allowing him to make networking a habit to absorb wisdom from professionals who were once in his shoes.  Portrait of ASU student Sami Al-Asady. Sami Al-Asady Download Full Image

“What I lack for in resources, I make up for in determination,” Al-Asady said. 

Spurred on by his desire for education, he gained admittance into selective programs. 

Al-Asady’s motivation helped him earn financial aid from the School of Politics and Global Studies Director’s Scholarship and the Ross R. Rice Award, both of which allowed him to leverage the resources of a world-class research university by living on campus. 

The scholarships afforded him the chance to engage with professors, attend evening lectures and have the space for thought and reflection. 

“I am grateful to (the school) and the Rice family for their meaningful investment in my academics,” Al-Asady said. 

The School of Politics and Global Studies laid a foundation for him to explore his academic interests as a student in Barrett, The Honors College studying political science and civic economic thought and leadership. His studies have led him to analyze issues from a multifaceted perspective with the understanding of social sciences and liberal education. 

“These converging academic experiences enable me to develop as a thinker, student and future leader,” Al-Asady said. 

Beyond his academic interests, he aims to gain hands-on experience in the professional world that help sharpen his skill set for post-graduation. 

As a board member of Secular AZ, Al-Asady advocates for the constitutional separation of church and state through public policy. His work mainly adheres to influencing public opinion in the media on topics including LGBTQ rights, gun reform and reproductive freedom. 

“As a first-generation American with First Amendment rights enshrined in the Constitution, I feel a moral responsibility to use my freedom of speech to tilt the arrow of justice forward,” Al-Asady said. 

“In this vein, writing holds a nearly sacred value, as a funnel through which my ideas can be communicated to the community at large.” 

As Al-Asady looks forward to the future, he hopes to be recognized not just for his accomplishments but also for his character. At 19 years old, he is proud of where his purpose has led him. 

“My successes are also the successes of my parents, teachers and mentors. Each person I have encountered has left, for better or for worse, an effect on me; it is the accumulation of these effects that have shaped the person I am today,” he said. 

Al-Asady acknowledges that mentorship and networking are vital to any industry, especially those in political science and international relations. He notes that hard work and perseverance will get you to your desired future. 

“University is an exciting time to explore your interests without having to commit to a single path. You are shaping the person you want to become, so please never lose sight of that when adversities manifest. We are stronger than we often realize,” Al-Asady said.

Student Journalist, School of Politics and Global Studies


ASU Edson College's alumni coordinator fulfills dream of becoming a nurse

September 19, 2022

As a senior in high school, Angie Haskovec’s future career plans centered around becoming a nurse. She grew up with parents who consistently role-modeled caring for others, and her aunt, someone who always inspired her, was a nurse. 

“I think it was always about helping people, and I thought, what better way to do that than through helping them at some of their most vulnerable and difficult times?” Haskovec said. Angie Haskovec smiles at the camera. She's wearing her maroon graduation gown and holding her decorated gold graduation cap. After years of working with Sun Devil alumni nurses, Angie Haskovec decided it was time to become one of them. Photo courtesy Angie Haskovec Download Full Image

But life took her in a different direction. Haskovec pursued a career in higher education, and along the way, she started a family. When she joined Arizona State University's Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation in 2016 as the alumni coordinator, the idea of recommitting to her goal of becoming a nurse started to take shape.

“I always felt rewarded in my career, but then when I came to Edson College I met so many people who are doing incredible things to make a difference in the world,” she said. “That was really the catalyst. The dream was always there, it just kind of had sparks added to it, and I decided the time is now.”

Haskovec started in the college’s concurrent enrollment program, a time-efficient and cost-effective option that enables students to earn an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree in nursing simultaneously. 

As a concurrent enrollment student, Haskovec took the required in-person coursework necessary to become a registered nurse at a community college. At the same time, she was taking classes online at Edson College.

Throughout the program, she knew exactly where she wanted to work in the hospital, the newborn intensive care unit, or NICU as it’s known. It’s a unit she was intimately familiar with. In 2015, her son was born at 24 weeks and spent 12 days in the NICU. 

“I had been impacted so deeply by the nurses who cared for me and my family that I wanted to be able to give back in a similar way to what they gave to me as a complete stranger,” Haskovec said.

In what she described as one of her favorite moments during her nursing education, Haskovec was able to bridge her personal, community college and Edson College experiences through her bachelor’s program capstone project. 

“I was able to create a training program for new nurses in the NICU on how to be a bereavement support person for families that my former OB instructor now shares in her class at the community college,” she said. “It felt like that was my full circle moment. Even though I’m just a new grad and I don’t know very much compared to more experienced nurses, I was still able to make a difference.”

This May, Haskovec turned her tassel, making her long-held dream a reality and joining the ranks of the alumni she’s worked with all these years. She’s always held health care workers in high regard but has gained even more respect for them during this process. 

Right now Haskovec is in the middle of orienting at a local hospital in their NICU while continuing her alumni coordinator role. In many ways, she says becoming a nurse has allowed her to connect on a new level with many alumni because now she knows firsthand what it’s like.

“I take what I learn in the hospital and bring it here and use it when I talk to alumni and even current students about what they’re going through. It allows me to encourage them along the way,” she said.

As for what the future holds, Haskovec is hopeful she’ll find a way to balance her nursing career and higher education career. In the meantime, she’s savoring the here and now and feeling proud of her accomplishments. 

“You only live once. I’m a proud mother of six and I want to be a source of inspiration for my children and demonstrate that it’s never too late to follow your dreams and achieve a goal,” she said.

Amanda Goodman

Senior communications specialist, Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation


ASU's Humanities Week returns for 2nd year with schedule of fun, thought-provoking events

September 13, 2022

This fall, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University will host a collection of inspiring and high-impact events to highlight the breadth of offerings in the humanities division.

Running Oct. 17–21, Humanities Week events will be both virtual and in person and will cover a wide range of subjects and interests. Students, staff, faculty and community members are invited to explore the offerings in subjects as diverse as history, culture, literature, social justice, climate change and much more. Flyer advertising ASU Humanities Week, which runs from Oct. 17-21. Download Full Image

Every day during the week there will be department open houses, classes, hands-on activities and public lectures. 

“We’re excited to host the second annual Humanities Week and look forward to sharing with students a taste of what the humanities division has to offer,” said Jeffrey Cohen, dean of humanities in The College. “We have even more compelling, inclusive and creative events and activities this year and hope that students will become curious about our division and compelled to become involved, whether by taking a class or becoming more aware of the world around us.”

The College's Marshall Distinguished Lecture will be a signature event of the week, featuring Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize winning American poet and essayist.

Other events include:

• An open house: The open house will feature tables from The College's three humanities academic units: the Department of English; the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies; and the School of International Letters and Cultures. Several humanities research centers will also be in attendance.

21st Century Voices: Graduate Student Creative Writers: Join the ASU Creative Writing program for a live reading of fiction and poetry that engages the issues of our time.

• Anime, Manga and Japanese Popular Culture: This panel is an interactive discussion of the global reception and history of two of Japan's most famous cultural exports: manga and anime.

• Vital Voices: Beyond Books: In this interactive outdoor exhibition, Project Humanities Founding Director Neal Lester explains how and why artifacts are important tools of social justice.

• The Dope: The Real History of the Mexican Drug Trade: Benjamin T. Smith, professor of Latin American history at the University of Warwick, will be speaking about his book and examining the importance of studying the drug trade and what it can tell us about society, politics and the future of Latin America.

• Why and How Religion Matters in the fight for Environmental Justice: At this virtual lecture, Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, director of Jewish studies, will show how the Bible harbors deep ecological wisdom that teaches ethics of care and responsibility for the well-being of the Earth and future generations.

• Humanities Hacks: Get advice on surviving the first semester at ASU and living The College lifestyle.

• Social Cohesion Dialogue with Anna Qu and Alaina Roberts: Join the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy as they put acclaimed authors and their inspiring books in conversation with ASU and audiences across and beyond Arizona.

• Humanities alumni panel: Join a panel of alumni from the humanities division at The College to hear stories of where their humanities degrees took them and how their studies have positively influenced their careers. Boxed lunch included for in-person attendees.

• "Chasing Coral" — Ecomedia Screening and Discussion: Film and media studies in the Department of English at ASU presents a screening of the hit Netflix documentary “Chasing Coral” (2017). In the wake of our current climate crisis, ecological filmmaking and mediamaking is a growing space for transformative storytelling and critical inquiry.

More events will be added soon. To stay up to date, visit the Humanities Week website.

Andrea Chatwood

Communications Specialist, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

ASU Capital Scholars Program sparks future endeavors for rising senior

September 12, 2022

Jameel Subhan was inspired to come to Arizona State University following the footsteps of his older sister after hearing about the opportunities the university provided her with.

Now, a rising senior studying political science, Subhan is prepping for his final year with the School of Politics and Global Studies ASU student Jameel Subhan wearing a suit and tie and smiling while standing in front of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Jameel Subhan at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy Jameel Subhan Download Full Image

I chose political science because I have always been interested in further understanding the interactions between people, politics and everything in between,” he said. 

Furthering his passion, Subhan had the experience to participate in the Capital Scholars Program this past summer in Washington, D.C., alongside his peers. 

During his time in D.C., Subhan worked 40 hours a week for a nonprofit organization called the Muslim Public Affairs Council, where he would attend meetings, watch congressional hearings and write memos. 

Subhan feels that the Capital Scholars Program broadened his perspective of the political world and the work life found in D.C. 

“Even if you are not working on the Hill, you definitely get a better understanding of how the U.S. political system works,” Subhan said. “Through different networking events, I was able to gain insight from mentors and find out what worked for them and what life as a political science major looks like after undergrad.” 

Taking the lessons he learned this summer and applying them to the fall semester, Subhan plans to appreciate the present. 

“Seeing what my life might look like after I graduate was very exciting, but at the same time, I realized that everything is temporary and to really bask in the moment and enjoy it,” he said. 

Subhan looks forward to his research fellowship this year with ASU’s Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, where he will work on a project about the city of Manbij, Syria, alongside the distinguished Anand Gopal, an assistant research professor within the School of Politics and Global Studies, the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict and the Center on the Future of War

As Subhan enjoys his senior year, he can see himself as a postgraduate working for a think-tank organization or a nonprofit in D.C. all while considering adding a master’s degree in political science or international affairs. 

Subhan advises his fellow political science majors to always be open to new opportunities and “know that there are stable careers that do not require a law degree.”

Student Journalist, School of Politics and Global Studies


ASU alum lands job as data analyst after 1-week search

September 9, 2022

Arizona State University political science alum Emiliano Galvan is content that his original post-grad plan looks different than he thought it once would. 

As a first-year student coming into the School of Politics and Global Studies, Galvan was set on attending law school after graduating. However, after spending years studying political science, earning both his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts, Galvan was encouraged to apply for PhD programs to further his education and passion.  Portrait of ASU alum Emiliano Galvan. Emiliano Galvan Download Full Image

After considering the financial weight of higher education, Galvan decided to reconsider graduate school down the line. 

“Emi was a part of our Early Start Program as an incoming first-year political science student, and he was successful during his time in college and now, post-graduation, because he was open-minded about different opportunities and paths when it came to his professional career,” said Gina Woodall, principal lecturer at ASU.

“He also realized building and maintaining relationships with faculty, peers and alum are crucial.” 

Thanks to the foundation Galvan received from ASU, it only took one week for him to land a job. 

At OH Predictive InsightsGalvan works as a political data analyst, writing scripts for Arizona and Nevada Political Climate Updates, modeling methodology and analyzing data for clients. 

“What makes OH Predictive Insights special is the fact that we take our time to tell our clients what the numbers mean and provide insights that help them improve and answer their questions,” Galvan said. 

Galvan enjoys working with a hands-on company that allows him to further his passion and skill set. 

There were many opportunities Galvan took advantage of during his time at ASU allowing him to build confidence and connections including the Arizona Legislative and Government Internship and working with Kim Fridkin, a Foundation Professor with the School of Politics and Global Studies, in the Experimental Lab

“Overall, I am just very grateful for all my mentors and teachers that watched out for me and helped me succeed. If it was not for the faculty at (the School of Politics and Global Studies), I would not be where I am today,” Galvan said. 

Galvan encourages current ASU students to truly connect with faculty, do as much as you can in four years and always remember to take care of yourself. 

“Ultimately, life happens and things change, but the best advice while you’re in college is to just become the best learner you can. It will allow you to adapt and build a resume while doing so,” Galvan said. 

Galvan says he uses his degree every single day, not just at work, but in life. 

“My degree has taught me how to think critically and enabled me to continue being a lifelong learner,” Galvan said. 

While his time at ASU has ended, Galvan is a proud alum of a community that will continue to last far beyond his college years. 

“There are fellow Sun Devils all over the world, and you never know when that could connect you with someone and the opportunities that could lead to,” Galvan said.

Student Journalist, School of Politics and Global Studies


ASU welcomes its first class of student space ambassadors

Students from across the university to serve as representatives for the Space@ASU program

September 9, 2022

Arizona State University has launched its first cohort of Space@ASU student ambassadors, welcoming 13 students from a variety of schools and colleges.

The program was started with the aim to bring together students from many disciplines across the university, who all have a passion for space, to serve as representatives of Space@ASU among their peers. Space@ASU student ambassadors Download Full Image

The ambassadors come from units such as The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, the School of Earth and Space Exploration, the School of Life Sciences, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the W. P. Carey School of Business. 

“My major is sports journalism but space is keeping this other door open for me," first-year student Ben Parris said. "It’s so exciting that I get to meet people I otherwise would have no opportunity to see. To be able to expand my ASU experience was something I really wanted to do."

The students will be afforded opportunities to develop their leadership skills by building professional relationships, attending conferences, sharpening their communication skills and networking with space industry professionals. Ambassadors meet periodically to develop goals, discuss opportunities and network with each other. 

“As a business student, it was really difficult getting into the space industry and finding opportunities for myself. There was nothing for someone who was not an engineering or robotics major. I wanted something that could reach not only business, but policy, arts and other majors,” said Kylie Wetnight, a third-year Space@ASU ambassador studying economics.

Space@ASU is a joint effort between the Interplanetary Initiative, NewSpace, the School of Earth and Space Exploration and 17 other groups.

“The future of the space industry is bright. This interdisciplinary Space@ASU student ambassador program gives students an opportunity to design what that future of work might look like," said Alicia Hayden, liaison between the space committee and students. "Students will not only network and build connections with industry professionals; they will also form relationships with each other that could have a lasting impact.” 

For more information on the program, email Hayden at

Sally Young

Senior Communications Specialist, Interplanetary Initiative