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ASU announces new medical school, AAU membership and top sustainability ranking

June 2, 2023

Who said university campuses go quiet over summer break? Not Arizona State University President Michael Crow.

It’s been a big week at America’s most innovative university. ASU’s design as a New American University was in full display in the week following Memorial Day. In the past holiday-shortened week, ASU has:

  • Launched a new medical school — one that integrates clinical medicine, biomedical science and engineering.
  • Earned the distinction of being selected to join the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), which comprises the nation’s most elite research universities.
  • Retained its No. 1 spot in the U.S. and top 10 spot globally in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals ranking by internationally respected Times Higher Education Impact Rankings.

A new 'learning health ecosystem'

The new medical school is intended to address the growing need for health care professionals in Arizona and is the result of the university’s own intentions and a request from the Arizona Board of Regents to expand medical education in Arizona. 

ASU’s School of Medicine and Advanced Medical Engineering headlines ASU Health, a “learning health ecosystem” being created by the university to accelerate and focus its health-related efforts to tackle the state’s urgent health care needs, now and into the future. It is the first in a series of steps that the new ASU Health effort will take to drive transformational change at the state level and is the result of more than a year of working with national industry leaders who examined the needs in public health technology.

ASU will continue to work closely with health care partners across Maricopa County and across the country to bring top talent, technology and research to the effort to improve health outcomes in Arizona.

Read more about ASU's new medical school here.

ASU joins AAU

On June 1, the AAU added ASU into its membership, applauding the university’s academic and research strength and acknowledging its place as a leader in higher education. There are now 71 universities in the association, which was established in 1900.

Members of AAU, including stalwart private universities like Harvard, Stanford, MIT and Johns Hopkins and leading public universities like UCLA, the University of Washington, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Michigan, collectively help shape policy for higher education, science and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of leading research universities to American society.

“From deep space to deep in the oceans, we are a university designed for discovery, interdisciplinary research and innovation,” ASU President Michael Crow said. “As one of the fastest-growing research enterprises in the United States, we are focused on solving society’s greatest challenges, and we are excited to become part of the AAU.”

Read more about the AAU membership here.

ASU ranks high for sustainability efforts

On a global front, this week the internationally respected Times Higher Education Impact Rankings recognized ASU as the No. 1 institution in the United States and sixth in the world for addressing the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, a reflection of the university’s continued investment in high-impact research that tackles global needs and challenges.

The annual publication of university rankings looks at impacts made addressing 17 specific goals aimed at achieving a better world by 2030. Adopted by all 193 United Nations member states in 2015, these goals provide "a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future."

The ranking was driven by the university’s efforts on issues surrounding poverty and hunger, clean water and air, gender equality and climate change. ASU also made huge strides in water issues ranging from water security to marine biodiversity. The ranking shines a bright spotlight on the university and is also strongly influenced by partnerships across the university and beyond.

Read more about ASU’s Times Higher Education Impact Ranking here.

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ASU joins prestigious Association of American Universities

June 2, 2023

Association comprises 71 elite research universities, including Harvard, Stanford, MIT and UCLA

Arizona State University on June 1 was selected to join the prestigious Association of American Universities, which comprises the nation’s elite research universities.

The AAU added Arizona State into its membership, applauding the university’s academic and research strength and acknowledging its place as a leader in higher education. There now are 71 universities — including two from Canada — in the association, which was established in 1900. 

“From deep space to deep in the oceans, we are a university designed for discovery, interdisciplinary research and innovation,” ASU President Michael Crow said. “As one of the fastest-growing research enterprises in the United States, we are focused on solving society’s greatest challenges, and we are excited to become part of the AAU.”

Members of AAU, including stalwart private universities like Harvard, Stanford, MIT and Johns Hopkins and leading public universities like UCLA, the University of Washington, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Michigan, collectively help shape policy for higher education, science and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of leading research universities to American society.

As a group they earn a majority of competitively awarded federal funding for research that improves public health, addresses national challenges and contributes significantly to the nation’s economic strength, while educating and training visionary leaders and innovators.

ASU’s rapid growth in research

During the past two decades, ASU has increased the scale and scope of its research activity nearly six times over. The university has become an innovation powerhouse of leading researchers and transdisciplinary schools making an impact on local and global communities.

With $677.7 million in expenditures in fiscal year 2021, ASU ranked sixth among 750 institutions without a medical school, according to the National Science Foundation’s annual Higher Education Research and Development rankings. ASU also ranked sixth in spending of NASA funding, according to the HERD report

This year, for the eighth year in a row, U.S. News & World Report named ASU the most innovative school in the U.S. ASU also ranks in the top 15 worldwide for U.S. utility patents issued in 2022, and more than 200 companies have been launched based on ASU innovations, attracting more than $1.2 billion in external funding.

In the research labs across ASU’s campuses one can access images coming back from space, one can study the latest data on the health of coral reefs, one can find researchers who quickly pivoted their work to develop a widely used saliva-based COVID-19 test, or one can meet scientists who are working to pull carbon dioxide from the air.

“ASU has achieved a true continuum of research across the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, engineering and technology. From Early Career NSF award winners to pan-university transdisciplinary approaches, we are tackling problems from all dimensions,” said Sally C. Morton, executive vice president of Knowledge Enterprise at ASU. “What these successes all have in common is the discovery of use-inspired solutions to the most pressing issues of the day, issues that meet the needs of our community.”

Students play a key role in this research, directly involved as part of teams that work on developing and building instruments for space missions or exploring the new scientific approaches that recently helped land a $90 million NSF grant to build the first compact X-ray free electron laser. 

The impact of joining AAU

AAU membership signals that ASU is a national leader in research and academics. Membership is by invitation only based on an extensive set of quantitative indicators that assess the breadth and quality of a university’s research and education. 

ASU focuses on egalitarian access to higher education, measured not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes and how they succeed. It also is notable that ASU joins the AAU as a Hispanic-Serving Institution.

“We are particularly proud that two of our new members — Arizona State and UC-Riverside — are designated as Hispanic-Serving Institutions because significant shares of their student bodies are composed of individuals from Hispanic backgrounds,” AAU President Barbara Snyder said. She added that the association looks forward to working with the new members “to continue advancing higher education and laying the scientific foundation that helps keep our economy strong and our nation healthy and safe.”

“This is an important day for Arizona State University,” Crow said, “and for the maturation of our university.” 

Top photo: Researchers work in the ASU Biodesign COVID-19 Testing Lab on the ASU Tempe campus on Dec .16, 2020. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU

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ASU retains No. 1 in US and top 10 spot globally in UN Sustainable Development Goals ranking

June 1, 2023

Times Higher Education's Impact Rankings recognize university's work across variety of initiatives

As a demonstration of Arizona State University’s continued investment in high-impact research that tackles our global needs and challenges, the internationally respected Times Higher Education Impact Rankings recognized the university as the No. 1 institution in the United States and sixth in the world for addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The annual publication of university rankings looks at impacts made addressing 17 specific goals aimed at achieving a better world by 2030. Adopted by all 193 United Nations member states in 2015, these goals provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.

“In a world of exponential change, unparalleled technological advancement and persistent inequality, institutions dedicated to knowledge creation have a critical responsibility to help forge a better future,” ASU President Michael M. Crow said. “ASU’s design and priorities demonstrate our determination to master global challenges, and the Impact Rankings serve as an important gauge of our progress — and a fuel for our aspirations.”

Video by Knowledge Enterprise Marketing and Communications

For 2023, ASU’s score of 96.5 out of 100 points put it at No. 1 in the U.S., coming ahead of Michigan State University, Penn State and MIT. It’s the fourth year in a row that ASU has held the top national spot. ASU also placed No. 6 in the world out of 1,600 institutions, coming in ahead of Monash University in Australia, the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and the University of Toronto.

The ranking was driven by the university’s efforts on issues surrounding poverty and hunger, clean water and air, gender equality and climate change. ASU also made huge strides in water issues ranging from water security to marine biodiversity. The university ranked highest worldwide in the following areas: Life Below Water (No. 4 globally), Life on Land (No. 5 globally), Climate Action (No. 6 globally) and Clean Water and Sanitation (No. 7 globally).

ASU is No. 1 in the U.S for eight of the 17 SDGs:

  • SDG 1: No Poverty, ahead of the University of South Florida, Michigan State and American University.
  • SDG 4: Quality Education, ahead of the University of Georgia, American University and Michigan State University.
  • SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, ahead of Iowa State University, North Carolina State and Virginia Tech.
  • SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, ahead of American University and Virginia Tech.
  • SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities, ahead of MIT, Virginia Tech and North Carolina State.
  • SDG 13: Climate Action, ahead of the University at Buffalo, New York University and Virginia Tech.
  • SDG 15: Life on Land, ahead of Michigan State University, Penn State and Virginia Tech.
  • SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, ahead of American University, Michigan State University and Indiana University.

“This recognition reflects ASU’s commitment to impact by engaging in discovery, learning and problem-solving to advance evidence-based decision-making,” said Peter Schlosser, vice president and vice provost of Global Futures at ASU. “To illustrate this, consider the breadth of ASU’s commitment to addressing issues around oceans and their future, the availability and quality of water on land, and justice and peace among others as we confront an ever more divided world.”

While the ranking continues to shine a bright spotlight on the university, it is partnerships across the university and beyond that influences ASU’s position at the top national spot four years in a row.

“Simply put, ASU cannot do this work alone,” said Amanda Ellis, former UN Ambassador and co-chair of ASU’s SDG & Beyond Task Force. “As the lead for Global Partnerships and Networks in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory, we know that climate change and its impacts create 'problems without passports' that fundamentally require multi-institutional partnerships to reach the speed and scale necessary for solutions. I am proud to see ASU’s transformative work once again reflected in the Times Higher Education’s Impact Ranking.”

Here's a look at some of those partnerships, programs and collaborations:

Global Futures Conference: The Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory, in partnership with the Earth League, hosted the inaugural Global Futures Conference on Sept. 20–22, 2022, in New York City. Each day included presentations, working sessions and forums for participants to engage in rigorous and lively discussions on "must-have" outcomes and "must-do" actions so life may thrive on a healthy planet. A comprehensive report outlining the must-haves and must-do's is now available for public review.

Arizona Water Innovation Initiative: The state of Arizona tapped ASU to lead the multiyear Arizona Water Innovation Initiative to provide solutions to ensure that the state will continue to thrive with a secure and resilient future water supply. The university is working with industrial, municipal, agricultural, tribal and international partners to accelerate and deploy new approaches and technology for water conservation, augmentation, desalination, efficiency, infrastructure and reuse.

ASU Starbucks Center for the Future of People and the Planet: The center led the Borrow A Cup program, part of Starbucks 100% reusables test, launched at ASU stores in summer 2023. The program replaces the single-use cups sold in store with reusable cups that customers will be encouraged to return. Rooted in shared aspirational commitments to the betterment of people, the planet and our global communities, the center continues to advance the Starbucks transformative agenda and 2030 targets by leveraging ASU’s applied research, networks and expert faculty.

Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS): Located in St. George’s on the islands of Bermuda, BIOS is the premier deep-ocean observatory in the Western Hemisphere. BIOS anchors a unique part of the global ocean-observing system designed to monitor the real-time physical state of the Atlantic Ocean. This institute has several long-running, ship-based monitoring programs and employs a fleet of gliders, or underwater “drones,” that are capable of continuously monitoring changes in the surrounding ocean. BIOS-based researchers and students are advancing the understanding of the ocean’s contributions to Earth’s overall health and are exploring what is needed to secure these services into the future.

ASU California Center: This university location pulls together impact research that tie into multiple SDGs. It also convenes solution-finders at a variety of events. In October 2022, ASU marked its expansion in California with a weeklong series of events at the ASU California Center, located at the historic Herald Examiner Building in downtown Los Angeles. It was an opportune time for the university to discuss its sustainability goals. In an Oct. 7 panel discussion titled “Global and Local Sustainability: SDGs, ESG and Climate Action and Beyond,” the Thunderbird School of Global Management led a dialogue on how cities can align to develop policies that ensure sustainable and equitable futures for their communities. 

Planet: Since 2016, ASU has collaborated with Planet, a team of rocket scientists, software engineers, creatives, business strategists and researchers. Together they have worked on significant sustainability programs including the Planet Incubator Program within ASU’s Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science, the development of the Allen Coral Atlas, as well as being two of the founding partners in the creation of the Carbon Mapper mission. In early 2019, ASU became Planet’s first campuswide university partner, and since then, over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles have been published by ASU using Planet’s data products.

Jane Goodall Institute: In 2021, the Jane Goodall Institute forged a new partnership with the Institute of Human Origins at ASU. The partnership included the physical archive of over 60 years of observations of wild chimpanzees in Gombe National Park, initiated by Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and U.N. messenger of peace. The archive — which is providing new comparative data with individual primates still alive today — is composed of hundreds of thousands of handwritten notes by hundreds of researchers. Its new home is ASU’s state-of-the-art research building, the Walton Center for Planetary Health, which Goodall visited in 2023.

Mayo Clinic: The 150,000-square-foot Health Futures Center, which opened in May 2021 next to Mayo Clinic's Phoenix campus, houses researchers from several ASU schools and colleges, including researchers and faculty members of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory. Researchers there collaborate on the some of the latest health and well-being work. 

Reporter , ASU News


Decorated investigative journalist Mark Greenblatt named new executive editor at ASU's Howard Center

June 1, 2023

Mark Greenblatt, an award-winning investigative journalist for Scripps News, will take over as executive editor of the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Greenblatt succeeds Maud Beelman, the former Associated Press investigations editor who has served as the Howard Center’s founding executive editor since 2019. Mark Greenblatt Mark Greenblatt Download Full Image

“The Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at ASU has achieved a great deal under the leadership of Maud Beelman. We are now ready to write the next chapters in the history of this wonderful program,” said Battinto L. Batts Jr., dean of the Cronkite School. “Mark Greenblatt is an accomplished investigative journalist, who is committed to the craft and has a passion for developing future leaders. We are excited that Mark is joining Cronkite Nation and look forward to where he will take the Howard Center.”

Named in honor of news pioneer and media executive Roy W. Howard, the Howard Center produces investigative projects that have been published by The Associated Press, USA Today, PBS NewsHour, The Houston Chronicle, The Arizona Republic, Inside Climate News and others.

The Howard Center’s training and education provides a groundbreaking, hands-on experience, in which students learn how to produce deeply researched watchdog journalism that professional partners want to share with their audiences. The student-produced journalism has won major awards, including prizes from Investigative Reporters & Editors and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Through his investigative reporting, Greenblatt has garnered multiple awards and promoted changes in laws and institutional reforms while serving as the senior national investigative correspondent and coordinator of specialized reporting at Scripps News, based in Washington, D.C.

He has won three Peabody awards, the duPont-Columbia Award, the IRE Medal, the Livingston Award, multiple national Edward R. Murrow Awards and the national Emmy for investigative reporting and has twice been named a finalist for Harvard’s Goldsmith Prize.

“Over the last decade, Mark has led multiple award-winning projects for Scripps. His reports have led to changes in laws at many levels of government,” said Kate O’Brian, president of Scripps News. “We value the work Mark has done at Scripps and are looking forward to collaborating with him and his team in this new role at the Cronkite School of Journalism.”

Greenblatt previously served as a national correspondent for ABC News and in investigative reporter roles for KHOU in Houston, WBBH in Fort Myers and Naples, Florida, and KOAA in Pueblo and Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“I am deeply honored to join the Howard Center, which Cronkite’s world-class faculty built into an energized and leading incubator for investigative journalism’s future leaders,” Greenblatt said. “My incredible mission every day will be to create new and inspired opportunities for students seeking to reveal injustice and bring light to the world through fair, accurate and impactful accountability journalism that honors Roy Howard’s legacy.”

The Howard Centers for Investigative Journalism at the Cronkite School and at the University of Maryland are made possible by the Scripps Howard Fund, which supports philanthropic causes important to The E.W. Scripps Company and the communities it serves, with a special emphasis on excellence in journalism.

Jamar Younger

Associate Editor, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Dr. Manuel Barrera Jr. Memorial Scholarship honors professor, helps 1st-generation students

June 1, 2023

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University is offering a new scholarship for first-generation graduate students in the natural sciences division.

The Dr. Manuel Barrera Jr. Memorial Scholarship honors the ASU professor, who dedicated decades to research and educating students in the Department of Psychology at The College. Headshot of Manual Barrrera in black and white. Manuel Barrera Jr. was an associate professor of clinical psychology at ASU from 1977 to 2017. Photo courtesy Barrera family Download Full Image

“Dr. Manuel Barrera Jr. was an associate professor of clinical psychology at ASU from August 1977 to May 2017. In his 40-year career with the Department of Psychology, his areas of interest and research were community psychology and social support networks. He received various honors and awards during his career, including ASU Graduate Mentor of the Year and Psychology Department Professor of the Year,” according to a statement from the Barrera family.

“He advocated for underrepresented communities in public education and their inclusion in institutions of higher learning. To honor his legacy, his wife, Aurelia, and his daughter, Lea, established this scholarship. In partnership with the ASU Foundation, the scholarship seeks to open doors, create opportunities and celebrate the abilities of everyone.”

The scholarship will support students registered with the Student Accessibility and Inclusive Learning Services office who demonstrate an interest in service to the community.

About Barrera Jr.

Barrera, a Racine, Wisconsin, native, developed a love for writing and science at an early age. 

He learned to incorporate his passions into scientific studies and research in psychology at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in psychology in 1971.

Barrera then attended the University of Oregon and received his master’s degree in 1975 and his doctorate in 1977. That same year, he was offered a job as a professor of clinical psychology at ASU.

As a professor, Barrera researched prevention and behavioral treatments for Type 2 diabetes, social support and behavioral health interventions for Latino families.

He also served in various roles with the Hispanic Research Center, the Office of Hispanic Research and other university-wide initiatives.

Barrera strived to expand diversity and inclusion in public education, stressing the importance of access to higher learning.

“(Manuel) was committed to providing higher education to everyone,” Aurelia Barrera said. “Especially those in public school, since both of us grew up in the public school system and he used that education and support to achieve everything he did academically.”

During his tenure, he was recognized for his contributions, including the ASU Psi Chi Outstanding Undergraduate Instructor Award, the ASU Outstanding Mentoring Award and the Psychology Department Faculty of the Year Award.

Barrera was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1987. However, he was determined not to be defined by his medical condition but by his contributions at ASU.

He retired in June 2017 and passed away in March 2020 at 70 years old.

“Dr. Manuel Barrera Jr. was a beloved, respected and admired member of the ASU community. We are proud to have the Dr. Manuel Barrera Jr. Memorial Scholarship to honor his legacy at ASU,” said Marisol Perez, the associate dean of graduate initiatives at The College. “This award contributes to creating a strong foundation for supporting graduate students’ educational aspirations and reduces financial burden, allowing students to focus more time and energy on their research and studies. As a recipient of a first-generation student scholarship, I can attest that the impact of this award on graduate students can be life-changing and perpetuated.”

Marketing and Communications Coordinator, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

ASU Thunderbird’s 100 Million Learners Global Initiative honored for excellence in inclusion, community building

May 31, 2023

The Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University was recently awarded the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA) 2023 Inclusion Award for Community Building for its Francis and Dionne Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative.

“This prestigious recognition celebrates an initiative that bridged learners from all corners of the world with access to a world-class education and deepened a sense of connection within the community,” said Sanjeev Khagram, director general and dean of Thunderbird. “The Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative's emphasis on technology, entrepreneurship and a global mindset also aligns with the skills APSIA aims to develop in students. The opportunity to showcase the synergies between Thunderbird and APSIA was one of the highlights of our year.” Dionne Najafi, Sanjeev Khagram and F. Francis Najafi posing for a photo underneath a 100 Million Learners banner. Left to right: Dionne Najafi, Sanjeev Khagram and F. Francis Najafi. The Najafis sponsor the 100 Million Learners Global Initiative through the ASU Thunderbird School of Global Management. Download Full Image

Earlier this month, APSIA announced its 2023 award recipients in the categories of Impact, Inclusion for Community Building, Innovation for Professional Development Programming, and Intersection for Linking Theory and Practice.

“We are incredibly proud to receive this honor for the Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative, which endeavors to eliminate the barriers to equal access to education and lifelong learning, all while advancing APSIA's mission by promoting the development of 21st century skills in learners across the globe,” Khagram said. “By providing access to high-quality education at no cost, the Global Initiative can serve as a valuable partner and resource for APSIA member schools as they seek to prepare students for the complex challenges and opportunities of the globalized world."

The initiative offers online, global education in 40 different languages, at no cost to the learner. There are three learning pathways and courses — Foundational, Intermediate and Advanced — available to learners of all educational levels. Women will account for 70% of the 100 million learners the program plans to reach worldwide. 

Learners who enroll in the Foundational program can choose to work through the Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation Bootcamp course in any of the current 20 languages. There are plans to expand up to 40 languages or more.

Once learners complete the courses in the Intermediate and Advanced programs, they will have the opportunity to pursue lifelong learning options and alternative educational pathways through Thunderbird, ASU or the academic institution of their choice.

“Based on the skill sets learners will acquire through the 100 Million Learner Global Initiative, they will be ready to improve their lives by accessing better jobs, launching new enterprises, and further impacting their communities and beyond in a positive way,” Khagram said.

Other nominees included Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy; Hertie School; IE University School of Politics, Economics and Global Affairs; National Chengchi University College of International Affairs; Sciences Po Paris School of International Affairs; Texas A&M University Bush School of Government and Public Service; University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy; University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs; University of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs; and the University of Trento School of International Studies.

Dasi Danzig

Senior Media Relations Officer, Thunderbird School of Global Management


ASU anthropology students, graduate to study abroad with Fulbrights

May 30, 2023

Three students with the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University were honored with Fulbright awards this year. 

The students will spend a year in Africa, the Philippines and a small island off the coast of China, where they will learn about other cultures, conduct research and teach English.  Patrick Fahey sitting down holding a pencil and writing in a notebook while looking at the camera. Patrick Fahey Download Full Image

Fulbright creates connections in a complex and changing world,” according to the informational website. “In partnership with more than 140 countries worldwide, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers unparalleled opportunities in all academic disciplines to passionate and accomplished graduating college seniors, graduate students and young professionals from all backgrounds.”

Patrick Fahey

Patrick Fahey is a graduate student at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change and affiliated with the Institute for Human Origins (IHO) through his advisor, Curtis Marean, an ASU Foundation Professor and research scientist. Fahey’s research is focused on paleoanthropology and zooarchaeology.

Fahey received a 2023–24 Fulbright to travel to South Africa and research the faunal (animal) remains from Pinnacle Point 5-6N (PP5-6N).

“I’ll be working in the South African Paleoclimate, Paleoenviroment, Paleoecology, and Paleoanthropology (SACP4) laboratory at the Diaz Museum in Mossel Bay and will form the basis of my PhD dissertation,” Fahey said.

PP5-6N is a Middle Stone Age rock-shelter site with well-preserved evidence of human occupations spanning the Late Pleistocene, around 90,000 to 50,000 years ago, during a time of cyclical and dramatic climate change.

“The humans who occupied this site during the transition from the interglacial phase where warm conditions similar to today prevailed, to the cold and arid glacial phase MIS 4, left records of how they adapted to the changing environment around the Cape region,” Fahey said. “They left innovative new tool forms, including potentially the earliest evidence of projectile hunting weapons and the earliest proliferation of symbolic material culture known. My research explores changes in human subsistence by reconstructing the types of animals humans hunted and how changes to environments and material culture affected the prey they pursued.”

Fahey, a skilled illustrator and artist, will also be helping to create a museum exhibit in the newly built Point Discovery Centre in Mossel Bay with information graphics that highlight the knowledge gained through research at Pinnacle Point, helping visitors better understand the evolution of modern human behaviors.

David Gowey

David Gowey

David Gowey is a graduate student at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change with a focus on sociocultural anthropology. 

This was Gowey’s second application for a Fulbright. He said he was grateful for the feedback he received from the Lorraine W. Frank Office of National Scholarships Advisement and felt more confident applying in 2023. 

Gowey received the Open Study/Research Award to work with schools in the central Philippines, in the town of Calinog.

Culture schools in the area teach members of the community, mostly children, traditional performing arts and crafts. Gowey’s research will focus on Panay Bukidnon epic chanting, known as “sugidanon.”

“The epic chants are stories about heroes and heroines with magical powers going on sailing voyages, fighting monsters and demigods, and finding spouses,” Gowey said. 

“Each sugidanon epic can take several days to chant in full, and traditionally they're performed as bedtime stories. The students at the culture schools learn to perform them at contests and festivals for tourists. I want to study how the students learn these epics, what they get out of learning them and how they use them to represent themselves as Panay Bukidnon people.”

Gowey will use different components including Photovoice for his research. He will ask community members to record short videos explaining what they want others to know about their cultural practices. His hope is that the collection of stories can be used later on in the cultural schools. 

The research he does during his Fulbright award will also go towards his dissertation research. 

Along with the Fulbright, Gowey was awarded a paid summer internship at the National Museum of Natural History. For four weeks, he will get hands-on experience in museum methods, theory and working in discussion groups. 

Quinn Hardt

Quinn Hardt graduated from Arizona State University in spring 2023 with a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and a minor in Asian languages with a focus on Chinese.

Hardt received an English Teaching Assistant Award from Fulbright to teach and live in Kinmen.  

“It is a small island approximately 6 kilometers from the coast of Fujian, China,” Hardt said. 

While studying archaeology, Hardt said he felt supported by faculty and his advisor at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change.

Hardt completed an internship at ASU's Center for Archaeology and Society and was hired as a student worker at the Tonto National Forest. He took a graduate-level course from Associate Professor Matthew Peeples and participated in a research apprenticeship program with graduate student Britt Davis. 

“Our project was constructing a plausible trade network spanning roughly the Belize Valley during the Preclassic Mayan period, looking into the formation of hierarchies and inequality by comparing frequencies of ceramic types in assemblages at a wide spread of sites dating to that period,” Hardt said. “Davis did most of the heavy lifting but was kind enough to credit me on the resulting poster, which was presented at the Society for American Archaeology.”

Hardt is also grateful for mentor Kathryn Ranhorn, assistant professor at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, and Jiangnan Li, a teaching assistant of Chinese at the School of International Letters and Cultures.

“I got into archaeology because it's cool and the work itself is rewarding,” Hardt said. “I like looking at ancient stuff and trying to connect the pieces in plausible ways. I like constructing networks based on available data and then analyzing the structures.”

Written by Julie Russ and Nicole Pomerantz.

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Herberger Institute Professor Liz Lerman honored as 2023 Guggenheim Fellow

May 30, 2023

Arizona State University Herberger Institute Professor — and legendary choreographer, artist and author — Liz Lerman was recently selected as a 2023 Guggenheim Fellow. This annual award honors scientists, writers, scholars and artists across 48 fields who are selected by a rigorous application and peer review process.

Throughout her career, Lerman has sought to connect disciplines and domains, and expand where dance lives in our society. She has cultivated generations of dance makers focused on dance as an agent for social change through community engagement, and her vision and artistry have shaped the dance field and the ways in which dance is utilized to communicate complex issues in our world.

Lerman is the author of several books, including “Teaching Dance to Senior Adults” and “Hiking the Horizontal.” Her most recent co-authored book, “Critique is Creative,” with John Borstel, won the Silver Nautilus Book Award. “Critique is Creative” details Lerman’s pioneering Critical Response Process in detail, discusses its origins and principles, and includes essays from a number of practitioners who have used the process in the contexts of art, education and community life. 

A former fellow of the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, Lerman is currently a senior fellow at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) and a fellow at the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at ASU.

Installation brought new challenge

Lerman said she looks forward to continuing the work she developed during her three-year residency at YBCA. The culminating installation, created in collaboration with visual artist and residency fellow Brett Cook, is titled “Reflection and Action.” It's a semi-retrospective that examines the role of artists in the world. Lerman said although she has worked in museums, including the ASU Art Museum, before, this was the first time she created work intended for installation.

“It was a challenge, taking my work and putting it in the context of a museum installation in two large rooms and an atrium and working with people in a manner in which I have not worked before,” Lerman said.

“I've been thinking about it for years, this idea of how exhibitions or installations play out and what movement artists can bring to installations,” she said. “This experience was different, and it was very moving to me.”

Lerman has been expanding the idea with her ASU students in the Atlas of Creative Tools class this year. The students made installations that included an object, a visual image, movement of some kind and documentation of their research. It all had to live in an installation that could be put up in 10–15 minutes and later taken down.

“They were spectacular,” Lerman said. “It was just fantastic to see how they went to work on this. I just loved how they approached it. I feel like we cracked open some habitual ways of thinking about how dance gets made.”

Lerman will be further developing the museum idea while she is on a yearlong sabbatical. She will also be using this time to write a follow-up to “Hiking the Horizontal,” which she said uses her version of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.

“If you measure the shape of something, you will miss the momentum. But if you measure the momentum, you cannot see the shape,” she said. “I was drawn to this as a choreographic puzzle but also as a solution. That is, you need both but each requires different capacities and techniques. And when you think about this as a metaphor for change, you can see that most of our institutions hold their shapes too long. They and we become afraid to move into the flow for fear of losing our shape, even though to be relevant one must. It’s a perfect example of why choreographic knowledge is of use to a world in constant motion and change. This book I am working on will explain why and how this works.”

'A sense of the person I was becoming'

Lerman’s advice to young artists? Give yourself time. 

“Sometimes it happens in a flash, but even all the build-up to get that flash could be years in the making. You do get a flash, but a lot of times it's just practice, practice, practice,” she said. “So, my advice would be about practice, finding a laboratory and knowing there’s time.”

Lerman speaks from experience. She has been applying for the fellowship for years.

“The first time I applied for the Guggenheim was in 1978, so I have been very persistent,” she said. “I applied many, many, many times.”

The application process involves writing a personal biography, describing the work you’re doing and getting four recommendation letters. She said looking back at her applications over the years almost felt like an autobiography. 

“You get a sense of the person I was becoming all through the applications. I also love that you have an opportunity to let four people in on what you're doing, and then they support you,” Lerman said. “Seeing the list of people supporting me was pretty powerful. That is its own special honor and right.”

Lerman said this felt like the right year.

“I'm taking a sabbatical, I was turning 75, so it was a particularly good year,” she said. “I just thought, ‘Let's do it again.’”

Lerman has several projects on the horizon that she’s excited about, including partnerships and a project she’s calling “Legacy Unboxed.”

“A lot of times you get to my age and everyone expects, ‘She's going to tie everything up in a neat little bow,’ and that is just not my experience. Life is way more wild than that,” Lerman said. “‘Legacy Unboxed’ is kind of a framework to hold the rest of what's happening, and it includes this particular period of life. I'm so lucky to be in such an environment with such incredible colleagues and amazing students.”

Lacy Chaffee

Media and communications coordinator , School of Music, Dance and Theatre


ASU Cronkite School staff member inducted into Rhode Island Journalism Hall of Fame

May 26, 2023

Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication staff member Karen Bordeleau has been inducted into the Rhode Island Journalism Hall of Fame in recognition of a career that has spanned more than four decades and six New England states, particularly benefiting the journalism profession in her native “Ocean State.”

The Rhode Island Journalism Hall of Fame was established in 1985 by the Rhode Island Press Association to honor journalists who have been influential in their profession. Bordeleau, who is currently director of career and professional development and a former director of communications at Cronkite, is the retired executive editor and senior vice president of The Providence Journal and the first woman in its 194-year history to hold the top editor’s position. Headshot of Karen Bordeleau Karen Bordeleau, director of career and professional development at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Download Full Image

She joined Cronkite in 2018 as the Edith Kinney Gaylord Visiting Professor in Journalism Ethics. She was also the Reynolds Visiting Professor of Journalism from 2019 to 2020, during which time she helped design and teach the master’s in investigative journalism bootcamp.

“Karen has been an integral part of the Cronkite School since her arrival. Countless students, staff and faculty have benefited from her leadership and wealth of experience,” said Cronkite School Dean Battinto L. Batts Jr. “We are proud of Karen for this wonderful achievement.”

At the beginning of her journalism career, Bordeleau served as editor at The Kent County Daily Times in West Warwick, Rhode Island. After, she joined the public relations department at the University of Rhode Island and earned a master's degree in political science. 

Bordeleau then became the editor at The Call, a daily newspaper in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, where she redesigned the paper, earning it The New England Press Association’s Better Newspaper Award.

In 1996, she moved to The Journal, where she worked for almost 20 years, mostly in a newsroom leadership role. According to the Rhode Island Journalism Hall of Fame, Bordeleau’s “enthusiasm energized Rhode Island’s largest news staff, and together they produced many prize-winning series (and) redesigned the newspaper to better serve women and other underrepresented groups.” Bordeleau was credited with launching the award-winning Publick Occurrences forums, which brought together industry experts and government leaders to civilly discuss highly controversial topics in front of packed auditoriums. 

The news organization also produced a number of prize-winning investigative and explanatory series under Bordeleau’s leadership. She was an editor for “The Station Fire” series, which was a Pulitzer finalist in the Public Service category in 2004.

Bordeleau has also been involved in journalism higher education for more than 25 years, teaching everything from advanced reporting and feature writing to journalism ethics and newsroom management. In addition to teaching at the University of Rhode Island, Emerson College and Northeastern University (Boston), Bordeleau has taught journalism workshops in Pakistan and Kenya. She was also instrumental in organizing and implementing exchange programs with Russian and Iranian journalists.

“It’s an honor to have a place among the great journalists who have made their mark in Rhode Island,” Bordeleau said. “But I learned from the best. There are literally scores of journalists who mentored and encouraged me and taught me about the awesome responsibility of this important profession. I just want to acknowledge them and thank them for letting me stand on their very broad shoulders.”

Bordeleau is a past president of the New England First Amendment Coalition, the New England Associated Press News Executives Association and the New England Society of News Editors. She served twice as a Pulitzer Prize juror. In 2014, she was inducted into the New England Academy of Journalists, the highest honor given to any journalist in the six-state region to recognize life-time achievement in the journalism profession. In 2016, she was awarded the Judith Vance Weld Brown Spirit of Journalism Award, the highest honor given to a woman journalist in New England.

Jamar Younger

Associate Editor, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

ASU alumna, Spanish faculty honored for substantial contributions to humanities

May 26, 2023

Arizona Humanities has named Anita Huizar-Hernandez, associate professor of Spanich in Arizona State University's School of International Letters and Cultures as this year's Humanities Public Scholar.

The honor was given as part of the association's annual Hands-On Humanities Awards — four different awards, all of which celebrate “individuals who have advanced the humanities in Arizona through their scholarship, leadership, support and advocacy.” Headshot portrait of Anita Huizar-Hernandez. Anita Huizar-Hernandez Download Full Image

Arizona Humanities is the Arizona affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent federal agency and one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. The agency's mission is to strengthen the nation “by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans.” 

The Arizona organization developed this award to recognize “a distinguished humanities scholar who enhances public understanding of the humanities, transforms lives, and strengthens communities through civil discourse and community engagement,” according to its website. 

The organization cites Huizar-Hernandez's accomplishments as “a leader in opening access to the humanities through collaborative and innovative digital projects that tell the stories of the people of the borderlands," specifically her work on the project Detained: Voices from the Migrant Incarceration System

“Anita is doing truly outstanding work, and it is only fitting that she should be recognized for its impact on Arizona and its people. The school’s faculty are no strangers to their work being recognized by this organization,” said Michael Tueller interim director of the school. “This is just part of the picture of the great work that we're doing.

"The School of International Letters and Cultures outdoes itself with regards to winning recognition from the Arizona Humanities. David Foster, late Regent’s Professor of Spanish, also won this same award in 2014, and Almira Poudrier won the Friend of the Humanities Award in 2018.”

Huizar-Hernandez’s field of expertise focuses on how art in various forms either maintains or challenges myths about Arizona, the West and U.S. borderlands. As a proud ASU alumna — she earned undergraduate degrees both in Spanish and in English literature — and Arizona native, she truly has a passion for shedding light on the reality of these topics in the state. Even so, the scholar did not initially set out to be an expert in these issues. 

This path revealed itself while she was pursuing a PhD at the University of California, San Diego. At the time, she saw Arizona was receiving much less attention than other states regarding media coverage of the borderlands. The exception was SB1070, which was making headlines at the time. However, with the discourse around the bill and issues pertaining to it, there was “a lot of misunderstanding outside of the state and a lot of stereotypes.”

As an Arizona native, she felt compelled to fill this information gap to show how things really are and bring more attention to the state. 

The Detained: Voices from the Migrant Incarceration System project, which the Arizona Humanities specifically cites as one of her most impressive contributions, is an online archiveThe archive was originally started by David Taylor, Francisco Cantú and Daniel Hernandez and includes Susan Biante, Aems Emswiler, David Blanco Gaitan, Greer Millard and Astrid Riley as contributors. of testimonials from former detainees that document their experiences through written, visual and voice recordings.

Artifacts include artwork, personal items, letters and interview recordings from detained individuals. The archive sheds light on their experiences and the poignant reality of being detained in a way that shares their personal experiences on an intimate level. 

Arizona Humanities also references her contributions as a professor and a mentor to her students. According to Huizar-Hernandez, it is important to work closely with students in a way that they are learning from each other and the students are shaping the projects. She incorporates collaborative, creative projects in the classroom and even co-creates the syllabus with students so they learn what they want to. 

When asked about receiving the award, she said that she is grateful to be named and even more grateful to everyone she has worked with, and recognized her partners in collaborative projects, those who gave feedback on her book, the community of people in academia who her work is informed by and in conversation with and many more.

Communications specialist, School of International Letters and Cultures