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ASU names new crop of faculty to highest honor

February 3, 2016

7 professors join rank of Regents' Professors

There are many bright stars in Arizona State University's universe, and a handful of the brightest will be honored Thursday, Feb. 4, at the 2016 Regents' Professors Induction Ceremony in Tempe.

Regents’ Professor is the highest faculty honor and goes to full professors from one of the three Arizona public universities whose exceptional achievements have brought them national or international distinction. With the latest additions, ASU has a total of 83 Regents’ Professors.

The seven newest will be recognized at a ceremony at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Evelyn Smith Music Theater on the Tempe campus. Here is a glimpse into their fields, passions and expertise.

Stephen Bokenkamp 

Stephen R. Bokenkamp, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Stephen Bokenkamp was a pacifist during the height of the Vietnam War, so he lobbied with recruiters to serve in a capacity that didn't involve combat. The result made him a spy and set him on a path to become an expert of Chinese culture.

Bokenkamp said he has enjoyed his eight years at ASU, which have challenged him intellectually and professionally. He recently won a Guggenheim award for translation work on his new book, “Zhen’gao” or “Declarations of the Perfected,” a sixth-century Chinese book of celestially revealed material.

“When I came to this university, President Crow said I’d be doing things I’d never done before, and he was right,” Bokenkamp said. “This has been a stimulating place to be.”

portrait of ASU professor Janet Franklin

Janet Franklin, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Janet Franklin, a professor in the ASU School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, fuses disciplines of geography and biology by studying the climate and topographical changes.

She said the honor of being named Regents' Professor has left her “flattered, honored, surprised and humbled.”

“This has been a big year,” Franklin said. “I’m the kind of scientist who has been quietly doing my work for three decades. I never expected this kind of recognition. It feels pretty nice.”

A woman with long hair poses for a portrait.

Petra Fromme, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Petra Fromme, a world expert on proteins, has been a pioneer in using new technology to research their molecular structure. As director of the new Center for Applied Structural Discovery at the Biodesign Institute, she leads 12 faculty and their students from different disciplines studying the structure and dynamics of proteins, potentially leading to improved manmade technologies. 

She feels her appointment as Regents’ Professor will boost the center’s profile.

“I think it will increase the visibility of the center and attract students who would otherwise do their PhD at Harvard or Yale,” she said.

Geotechnical engineer Edward Kavazanjian

Edward Kavazanjian Jr., Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

Engineering professor Edward Kavazanjian has excelled as a teacher, researcher and leader among professional colleagues — and he’s still striving to make major contributions to his field.

In nominating Kavazanjian for the designation, fellow ASU engineering Regents’ Professor Bruce Rittmann noted Kavanzanjian’s ability to “engage, challenge and excite graduate and undergraduate students, while providing national and international leadership at the forefront of geotechnical engineering.”

“Bringing new insights to students and seeing how that opens up their perspective on the important work they could do as engineers is why I love teaching,” Kavazanjian said. “Nothing has been as personally rewarding as seeing some of my former students succeed professionally and become my professional colleagues and closest friends.”

portrait of Flavio Marsiglia

Flavio F. Marsiglia, College of Public Service and Community Solutions

Flavio Marsiglia's work on diversity, substance use and youth development is regarded to be among the best and most influential in the field, and it's why he was named as a Regents' Professor.

“Flavio is doing research that is exceptional in every sense,” said Jonathan Koppell, dean of the College of Public Service and Community Solutions. “He is an internationally recognized expert on health disparities and minority health research who has not only brought innovative ideas to the forefront, he has brought communities together to enact solutions.”

“Most kids do not use alcohol or other drugs, and we as a society tend to focus on the ones who do,” Marsiglia said. “We do, however, need to educate and equip all youth with tools for prevention. Above all else, I want to be an advocate for prevention.”

Robert Page

Robert Page, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Robert Page, an expert in honeybee genetics, was the founding director of the School of Life Sciences and is the former provost. Page calls the Regents' Professor honor “icing on the cake” and is proud of the recognition of his research.

Through the decades of administration, Page has maintained his work with the honeybees. In 2013, he released the book “The Spirit of the Hive: The Mechanisms of Social Evolution,” summarizing his lifetime of research.

“I teach the students fundamental biology and behavior of bees and how we take that knowledge and change their behavior to benefit us, so we can profit from their honey and the pollination services they provide," Page said.

“I’ve turned a lot of kids on to bees.”

BL Turner II

B.L. Turner II, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

It doesn’t take long to figure out why B.L. Turner II is a pioneer in the field of sustainability science or why ASU has recently named him a Regents’ Professor. His work has changed the way communities and countries are thinking about the environment and climate change.

Turner was instrumental in founding ASU’s interdisciplinary School of Sustainability, was one of the first researchers to use data to better understand how humans affect the landscape and the implications for the environment.

"I’m very satisfied with what I do and I love what I do. So if you can do what you love doing, people will recognize that what you did is very valuable to you," Turner said. "I enjoy and deeply appreciate the recognition comes along with being a Regents’ Professor."

Pulitzer-winning journalist Thomas E. Ricks to give Schatt Memorial Lecture at ASU

February 3, 2016

Thomas E. Ricks, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, best-selling author and national security expert, is the featured speaker of the 10th annual Paul J. Schatt Memorial Lecture at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Ricks, who spent more than 25 years between the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post covering the U.S. military, will present “Why I Fear We Will Lose Our Next Big War” during a free public lecture at 7 p.m. Feb. 8 on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus. Thomas E. Ricks Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Thomas E. Ricks headlines the annual Schatt Memorial Lecture at the Cronkite School. Download Full Image

A senior adviser for national security at the New America Foundation and a contributing editor of Foreign Policy magazine, Ricks will explore the future of war and the type of military leadership necessary in the 21st century.

“Thomas Ricks is one of the country’s leading voices on the U.S. military,” said Christopher Callahan, dean of the Cronkite School. “His news coverage and books have significantly contributed to our national discourse. We are excited for him to share his thoughts and experiences as a journalist and author with our students and the community.”  

At the Washington Post, Ricks was part of a reporting team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting for coverage on America’s war on terrorism. He also was part of a team at the Wall Street Journal that won the same award in 2000 for coverage of U.S. defense spending and military deployment in the post-Cold War era.

Ricks has reported on U.S. military activities around the globe and is the author of numerous books, including New York Times best-seller and Pulitzer Prize finalist “Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq.” His most recent book is “The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today.”

This year’s Schatt Lecture also is part of ASU’s Center on the Future of War Spring Speakers Series and includes an introduction by Daniel Rothenberg, co-director of the center, which explores the social, political, economic and cultural implications of the changing nature of war and conflict. Ricks also is an ASU Future of War Senior Fellow at New America.

The Cronkite School established the Schatt lecture series in 2007 in honor of longtime Arizona Republic reporter, editor and columnist Paul J. Schatt, who was an adjunct faculty member at the Cronkite School for more than 30 years. The series is supported by an annual gift from the Arizona Republic and an endowment created in Schatt’s memory by his widow, Laura Schatt-Thede.

Previous speakers have included former Washington Post National Political Editor Steven Ginsberg, New York Times Deputy Editorial Page Editor Carla Robbins, CNN Senior Media Correspondent Brian Stelter and award-winning investigative journalist and author Mitchell Zuckoff.

ASU community art exhibit explores the idea of home

February 2, 2016

We each have our own idea of what makes a home: a place of shelter, protection, refuge, comfort, family and respite. Other living things create and build habitats for sanctuary, safety and nourishment. Home often means security and belonging, and it can form feelings and memories of comfort as well as discomfort.

This is the essence of “House, Habitat, Home: A Community Art Exhibition,” now open in the University Center on Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus. Organized by the College of Public Service and Community Solutions, the exhibit provides individuals, schools and community organizations the opportunity to share their art with thousands of people in the downtown ASU community, placing art created by working professionals alongside emerging artists of all ages. This is Home, Polka Dot Suite and Mist Cycle “House, Habitat, Home: A Community Art Exhibition,” is now open in the University Center on Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus. Download Full Image

The exhibition, which runs through May 4, is displayed on the first, second and third floors of the University Center, 411 N. Central Ave, Phoenix, and features more than 160 works of art submitted for display in a response to a community-wide call to artists. Included are works of various media such as paintings, collages, pencil drawings, sculpture — all created out of a desire to celebrate the meaning of home.

Beverly K. Brandt, Professor Emerita with the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, provides a calming image of home in her watercolor, "Earth, Air, Water: At Home by the Bay." In cool greens and blues, homes along the water are depicted in a manner that is harmonious with the nature in which they are situated.

“My favorite medium is watercolor. It is so difficult to work with; yet, the results can be breathtaking if done right,” she said.

Brandt, who has only recently become familiar with the community arts program, added, “What a great opportunity to attract work from all ages, all backgrounds, diverse media, diverse visions. The ASU Downtown campus is having a profound effect on Phoenix, and a community arts program seems like a great way to celebrate the changes that have come about since ASU began showing a greater presence in the downtown area."

Carson Bilger, a teacher at Madison Simis in Phoenix, has had his art students participate in three community art exhibitions at the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus. This year, the students chose to create colorful and imaginative homes by using paint, Styrofoam, paper and other three-dimensional materials.

Bilger stated, “I use it as an opportunity for students who are excelling and interested in the arts to create collaborative pieces. ... Having an end goal, like displaying at ASU, is a great motivating factor for the students to create high-quality pieces and work their hardest. “

In one of her submitted works, "Agave," ASU art student Amanda Johnson feels that she was able to discover and reflect on her newfound love of the desert and desert botanicals. Johnson decided to participate in the exhibition because the title grabbed her attention.

“It’s amazing how one word can evoke so many different emotions,” she said. “I think it is important to have an arts community that ties all of the campuses together ... to see how we all influence each other and come together to make things happen.”

James Lowman, an artist in a group called Art Challenge, encouraged the group’s nine members to submit works of art.

“[We] had just completed a series of pieces with the topic ‘Show Me Where You Live.’ This seemed to match with the ‘House, Habitat, Home’ theme,” he said. 

The group submitted paintings, prints, drawings, collages and works in other media. Art Challenge had been involved with the downtown art scene through First Fridays and was intrigued and excited about the locale of ASU’s downtown art exhibition.

Lowman stated, “Art lovers, passersby, and the general public are exposed to art that is often home grown, yet is amazingly expressive. Seeing a show of this nature is a real opportunity to experience a cross-section of our identity as a community. “

Through this exhibition, the college hoped to encourage artists to observe the world that we live in and to consider its wonder. The exhibition shares the explorations of ideas of home and habitat seen through artists’ eyes.

One of those artists is Rosemarie Dombrowski, lecturer at the Downtown Phoenix campus.

“I’m primarily a writer, so if I’m venturing away from pure text, I tend to gravitate towards mixed-media. I like to incorporate verse fragments into pieces that have an ‘arts and crafts’ aesthetic with an emphasis on sustainability,” she said. “I love being involved with projects that foster collaboration between ASU students, faculty, staff and the greater downtown community. This campus for me, represents the epicenter of that type of engagement.”

The Action, Advocacy, Arts program is part of an ongoing community exhibition series held each semester in University Center at the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus. The gallery is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except for holidays. Guided tours may be arranged by contacting Carrie Tovar, curator of art, at

Student-led projects focused on making a change in communities

16 ASU projects awarded Woodside Community Action Grants

February 2, 2016

Community and urban gardens, refugee outreach and wind-turbine-powered lights are just a few of the 16 Arizona State University student-led projects awarded up to $1,500 through the Woodside Community Action Grant for the 2015-2016 school year.

The Woodside Community Action Grant is a seed-funding competition for ASU students and student groups who are committed and passionate about service. Students applied during the fall 2015 semester and are set to implement their projects in spring 2016. Students make a presentation about a pollinator garden. Download Full Image

The 16 service-focused projects are community-driven and solutions-focused with a long-term impact.

“The Peace Corps club is so appreciative of the support we’ve received through Woodside Community Action Grants,” said Breanne Lott, Peace Corps campus recruiter and Peace Corps at ASU club adviser. “With the $1,500 our organization has been awarded, we are implementing a community-strengthening project at International Rescue Committee’s New Roots Garden. We plan to paint murals and create a community-resource bulletin board in the already existing garden space where refugees can come together, get to know their neighbors, and grow food either to eat or sell for income.

“We look forward to supporting Phoenix’s refugee population, to expanding a long-standing partnership with the IRC, and to providing another opportunity for ASU students to be engaged in the global community.”

Opportunities such as these create a hands-on, real-world learning environment while helping to make an impact in the local community. Students have the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom and, at times, be a positive influence to local youth aspiring to continue their educational path through college.

Changemaker Central @ ASU is a community of students leading social change in the local and global community across the university’s campus locations.

The projects

Greenlight Solutions

Student lead: Jake Savona.

Project overview: Greenlight Solutions is a student-led venture at ASU whose focus is on sustainability education. They would like to implement a new sustainability project a local elementary school, Shaw Montessori. The project’s first phase focuses on the school courtyard, transforming it into a shaded, water-efficient living laboratory, which will empower learning through exploration, natural landscape manipulation and sustainable education. It will include a pollinator garden of desert-adapted vegetation that will serve as an opportunity to learn how to maintain a garden and how urban heat island effects can be mitigated, which is a serious issue currently experienced on the Shaw campus. Phase 1 also includes the implementation of a succulent wall, a bug hotel and a butterfly terrarium to teach about biodiversity and sustainability.

Funding: $1,250.

New Look for New Roots

Student lead: Breanna Gonzalez.

Project overview: This project is supported by the Peace Corps at ASU club, whose focus is on the refugee population in Phoenix. The students are active volunteers and partners with the IRC (International Rescue Committee) and their New Roots Program. New Roots is a community garden where refugees grow food to feed their families and even sell produce for a profit. At first sight the New Roots garden appears to be a large lot with a humble shed and a few rows of crops but lacks a strong sense of community. The students would be using their Woodside funding to revive this community garden, a key source of income for many refugees. Their additional plans include: painting inspirational murals, installing shaded seating areas as a conversational space to share experiences, and installing a community bulletin board to feature families, share gardening tips and promote IRC services.

Funding: $1,500.

First Gen Scientists

Student lead: Eugene Chung.

Project overview: First Gen Scientists (FGS) is a multidisciplinary initiative to broadly promote awareness of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields to local at-risk and underprivileged youth. FGS, an ASU student organization, forms partnerships with local schools and provides an opportunity for students in grades 6-8 to explore a wide-range of STEM fields through an interactive and mentor-based, after-school program. FGS ultimately plans to develop a three-year program that can be implemented in new sites across Arizona. The students would like to use the funding to develop an after-school curriculum and purchase materials for activity testing to use in local schools. After initial implementation, quality of the curriculum will be evaluated using retrospective pre-post surveys and grouped data including attendance, grades and benchmark scores.

Funding: $1,500.

Healthy Urban Gardens

Student lead: Nari Miller.

Project overview: The applicant is a doctoral student in geological sciences who studies toxic metals and pollutants. The project focuses on the spread of urban gardening in Phoenix, and how it has put people in close proximity with soil potentially contaminated by toxic metals and pollutants. The project funds would go towards soil quality and toxin (lead, heavy metals) testing of local soils to help urban communities choose healthy soils, to provide a strong foundation for future urban gardens. This group will network via local urban gardens (Clark Park, Tempe) and offer to test soils from homes as well. This project provides people with the power to grow their own healthy food with the assurance that the soil it is being grown in is safe. Knowing the levels of pollutants in the soils may dispel fears of those who assume city soils are toxic, and may prevent damaging neurological and health effects from overexposure. This project could help Clark Park and other urban gardens continue, and also help instigate more shared gardens. The project will include gardening lessons for school-age children, after-school opportunities for teens and volunteer (and harvesting) activities for families and seniors. Gardens are not exclusive — often the issue is providing the impetus to bring people there.

Funding: $1,500.

Refugee Youth Summer Program

Student lead: Lindsay Dusard.

Project overview: This student project focuses on working with refugee children in Phoenix during the summer 2016 months. Summer offers a vital opportunity for refugee students to develop their social, emotional and academic skills. However, due to lack of funding and priority, these summer months have often gone to waste in the past. The student will be partnering with two refugee resettlement agencies in Phoenix, the International Rescue Committee and Refugee Focus, to provide a summer program at Serrano Village Apartment Complex, which houses newly arriving refugee families. The student lead, who is a current active volunteer in this community, will use funding to purchase supplies for fun and interactive programs (games, books, arts and crafts supplies, etc.). Additionally, the student will also be conducting her undergraduate honors thesis research based on this project.

Funding: $1,500.

Arizona Living Classrooms

Student lead: Virginia Coco.

Project overview: This project supports the implementation of an experiential and adventure learning program that teaches academic and life skills to 80 fourth- and fifth-grade students in an urban public elementary school. There are four stages of project implementation. In Stage 1, the Newbery honor book, My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George, and the Pocket Guide to the Outdoors, by the same author, will be presented with an accompanying curriculum to teachers in fourth- and fifth-grade classes to increase the students’ awareness of community assets, understanding of the environment, and the use of books to embark on adventure. Stages 2 and 3 of the project focus on facilitating service learning opportunities. Students will complete four service projects, and each will allow the students to apply a theme that they have learned about in the classroom. The projects are: “Keep the Community Clean,” where students will clean up the school grounds and surrounding area; “Be Responsible,” where students will put in a day of service at an animal rescue; “Show Appreciation,” where students will make valentines and visit a senior center; and “Good Stewardship,” where students will help with a forest service project. The students will then complete a project to show what they have learned from the unit as a whole. The students will vote for each other’s projects, and the 30 with the most votes and highest grades on the unit will then be selected to go to Camp Colley, an experiential learning camp in Happy Jack, Arizona, for three days.

Funding: $1,500.

Light Up the Garden

Student lead: Stephen Annor-Wiafe.

Project overview: ASU’s Polytechnic campus has an on-campus community garden, where students frequently volunteer. Polytechnic students, via GlobalResolve, would like to set up a wind turbine to power lights for the community garden at night. GlobalResolve is a program in the Ira. A Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU that would be overseeing the project. Their goal is to make community gardening at the Polytechnic campus easy and possible at any time of the day, since intense heat during the day can prevent people from wanting to spend time in the garden. The project implementation would occur over nine working weeks between Nov. 30, 2015, and March 7. Each of the weeks would have a specific goal to be achieved, ranging from constraints and criteria identification to product testing. At the conclusion of this period, the turbine would be installed and functional. Periodic monitoring would be carried out after installation to ensure its safety and functionality.

Funding: $1,350.

Recycling Inspired Murals

Student lead: Trinity England.

Project overview: The student would like to have a large mural painted in the trash and recycling room at Native American Connections' Devine Legacy affordable-housing complex. The colorful mural will create a greater sense of place, educate and encourage the residents to recycle. This mural project aims to strengthen community connectedness and overall sense of place. Murals will be painted by community members at three Native American Connections complexes using the grant money to buy the supplies. Educational posters regarding recycling will also be present in the rooms.

Funding: $1,000.

Life Renewed

Student lead: John McCrea.

Project overview: The project focuses on the adult refugee needs in the Phoenix-area community, primarily those who are experiencing culture shock. The student plans to purchase necessary supplies to coordinate lessons and seminars to help these people start a new life. This would include writing supplies, hygiene supplies, reading education books and other supplemental educational materials.

Funding: $400.

TigerMountain Foundation

Student lead: Maryam Dehghan.

Project overview: TigerMountain Foundation (TMF) was legally established in 2005 to help underprivileged youth and adults, particularly former prisoners, in south Phoenix gain job experiences in gardening and landscaping. TMF currently maintains three large community gardens on formerly vacant lots where it grows vegetables without the use of chemicals. With Woodside funding, TigerMountain’s team of student interns and staff would like to carry out a beautification project. The Garden of Tomorrow Beautification project will consist of painting and hanging murals around their tool storage container, turning it into a piece of artwork. They will also be installing multiple murals around the exterior of the garden to draw more attention to the presence of the garden in the community.

Funding: $1,500.

Designing Micro Air Vehicles

Project overview: The Micro Air Vehicle club at ASU will oversee this project, which involves 3-D-designing, building, testing and analyzing mechanical flapping birds and Arduino robotic cars in a six-week engineering outreach program for middle and high school students. The project connects local youth with ASU engineering students. The students will be exposed to ASU student organizations (Micro Air Vehicle club, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, etc.) and engineering alumni. The intent of the program is to spark imagination through hands-on learning by using the principles of flight, physics and engineering concepts. The project’s focus will be on engaging youth in high-need Hispanic communities.

Funding: $1,500.


Student lead: Abigail Graham.

Project overview: ASUPHS'I is a part of the Project Humanities program at ASU. ASUPHS’I is hoping to continue the “Building Bridges Film Series” with three veteran-focused films, with the goal of fostering community conversations between selected veterans groups and the ASU community. The group hopes to promote awareness around the struggles veterans often face, such as transitioning back to civilian life after service, homelessness and mental health care. The film series’ aim is to create a safe space where veterans can discuss and possibly propose solutions regarding these issues.

Funding: $1,000.

Local Community Renovation Project

Student lead: Audrey Elms.

Project overview: Audrey Elms was a 2014-2015 Woodside recipient who would like to continue her sustainability training with elementary school-age students. This project will be a continuation of the community garden project she began last year at Nevitt Elementary. Nevitt is an underserved elementary school that does not have funding for extensive science programing. Over the past year, students have renovated their school's garden and planted a variety of vegetables. Throughout this program, the students were able to learn more about plants and how to create a sustainable garden. Elms plans to use these funds to further expand and maintain the vegetable garden, fund sustainability programming and continue the role-model program with ASU students.

Funding: $1,200.

Iron City Magazine

Student lead: Natalie Volin.

Project overview: Iron City Magazine is a literary journal devoted to writing and art from the prison world. This group of ASU students would like to establish themselves as a non-profit organization, collect submissions and design a magazine, all with content from incarcerated individuals. To do this, they have recruited an editorial board of two undergraduate students, two graduate students and two professors. The publication date is projected for March 1.

Funding: $1,500.

Partners in Empowerment

Student lead: Sierra Morris.

Project overview: Partners in Empowerment is a new organization at ASU with goals to develop a mentoring program and curriculum to help at-risk community youth, raise awareness of exploited and trafficked children, and improve the health programming and nutritional quality of the food that group homes, shelters and other organizations deliver. The goal of its Greener Futures project is to promote sustainability, agriculture and the importance of proper nutrition to at-risk youth. The group will build a greenhouse and planter boxes at Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development in Phoenix, which provides a safe place to live for homeless or runaway youth. They will teach the residents of the facility (males, ages 13-17) about the importance of nutrition and sustainable gardening. ASU students will come every other week to help with upkeep of the greenhouse. The food produced will be used in the kitchen at the facility.

Funding: $1,400.

Worldly Kids

Student lead: Nicholas Stevenson.

Project overview: Worldly Kids is a nonprofit founded by an ASU student to provide resources and support to underserved K-12 children in Title 1 schools. The Woodside project is a beautification project at PT Coe Elementary. The west Phoenix school is currently rather dismal-looking, and the applicants are committed to making school a more enjoyable experience for the students by addressing some of the aesthetic issues on the campus. Members of the group will do interior and exterior painting on the school campus, including three playgrounds, 49 classroom doors and walls that have completely faded in color; as well as working on a community flower garden. The focus of Beautification Project for PT Coe is to help incentivize students to appreciate and actively engage in their learning environment. The applicant is leading a team of students to PT Coe on one of Changemaker’s Service Days to clean up trash around the campus, sweep and rake, sanitize classrooms and playgrounds, and power-wash exterior walls and walkways, and would use the Woodside Grant to purchase supplies to further these beautification efforts.

Funding: $1,200.

ASU satellite selected for NASA Space Launch System’s first flight

February 2, 2016

The first flight of NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), will carry 13 low-cost CubeSats, including one from Arizona State University, to test innovative ideas along with an uncrewed Orion spacecraft in 2018.

These small satellite secondary payloads will carry science and technology investigations to help pave the way for future human exploration in deep space, including the Journey to Mars. SLS’ first flight, referred to as Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), provides the rare opportunity for these small experiments to reach deep-space destinations, as most launch opportunities for CubeSats are limited to low-Earth orbit.  LunaH-Map CubeSat The LunaH-Map CubeSat, to be designed and built at Arizona State University, is shown in an artist rendition by Sean Amidan. Download Full Image

Included in these secondary payloads is ASU’s Lunar Polar Hydrogen Mapper (LunaH-Map) CubeSat, headed by planetary geologist Craig Hardgrove and co-investigator, astronomer and planetary scientist Jim Bell of the School of Earth and Space Exploration.

"The first launch of SLS and the selection of the LunaH-Map mission provides a fantastic opportunity for ASU to demonstrate the scientific capabilities of tiny, low-cost spacecraft in interplanetary space,” Hardgrove said.

The LunaH-Map satellite will produce a detailed map of the Moon’s water deposits, helping NASA understand how much water might be available, which will guide NASA’s strategy for sending humans farther into the solar system.

“The 13 CubeSats that will fly to deep space as secondary payloads aboard SLS on EM-1showcase the intersection of science and technology, and advance our journey to Mars,” said NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman. 

The secondary payloads were selected through a series of announcements of flight opportunities, a NASA challenge and negotiations with NASA’s international partners. The full list is:

• Skyfire — Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Denver, will develop a CubeSat to perform a lunar flyby of the moon, taking infrared sensor data during the flyby to enhance our knowledge of the lunar surface.

• Lunar IceCube — Morehead State University, Kentucky, will build a CubeSat to search for water ice and other resources at a low orbit of only 62 miles above the surface of the moon.

• Near-Earth Asteroid Scout, or NEA Scout will perform reconnaissance of an asteroid, take pictures and observe its position in space.

• BioSentinel will use yeast to detect, measure and compare the impact of deep-space radiation on living organisms over long durations in deep space.

• Lunar Flashlight will look for ice deposits and identify locations where resources may be extracted from the lunar surface.

• CuSP — a “space weather station” to measure particles and magnetic fields in space, testing practicality for a network of stations to monitor space weather.

• LunaH-Map will map hydrogen within craters and other permanently shadowed regions throughout the moon’s south pole.

Three additional payloads will be determined, and NASA has also reserved three slots for payloads from international partners. Advanced discussions to fly those three additional payloads are ongoing, and they will be announced at a later time.

Karin Valentine

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


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Iowa has spoken: What's next in the primary campaign?

Wondering what's next after Iowa? ASU prof. Kim Fridkin has some ideas.
Hawkeye State caucus-goers picked Cruz and Clinton. What about New Hampshire?
February 1, 2016

ASU political science professor Kim Fridkin on what the Hawkeye State results mean

The first contest of the 2016 presidential election is in the books as the Iowa caucuses closed late Monday night. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) won the Republican side. And in an incredibly close race on the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) ended the night in a virtual tie.

On both sides, the campaign thus far has been marked by energy and excitement on the far edges of the parties with less interest in more moderate candidates. As the race continues, Republicans are likely to look for one "establishment" candidate to challenge Cruz, and the Democratic race may be a close contest for longer than many would have expected — much as the Democratic primary in 2008 was.

Kim Fridkin, a professor in ASU's School of Politics and Global StudiesThe School of Politics and Global Studies is an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. , spoke to ASU Now about what these results in Iowa mean and what we might see next week during the New Hampshire primary.

Question: After several weeks of big crowds and energy for Bernie Sanders, is Hillary Clinton back to being in the driver’s seat for the Democratic nomination?
Answer: The campaign between Clinton and Sanders was incredibly close in Iowa. Sanders is likely to win New Hampshire — because he is almost a native son. But, then the campaign will move to places less favorable to Sanders, such as South Carolina and Nevada. In both states, there are more minority voters than in New Hampshire or Iowa and, at least at the moment, Clinton is more popular with minorities.
Q: Sanders unabashedly calls himself a socialist, which as recently as 2012 was a dirty word in politics. That seems like a remarkable turnaround. How has he managed something like that?
A: I would say that it is surprising that such a liberal candidate did so well in Iowa, although Democratic primary and caucus voters are more liberal than the general-election electorate. I think the reason that being a socialist is not a problem for Sanders is because the bulk of Sanders' votes are among young people and the fear of socialism has faded from the collective memory of Democratic voters in the U.S.

Q: The Republican side has been fascinating. If you had been asked a year ago today whether Ted Cruz and businessman Donald Trump were going to end up one and two in Iowa, what would you have said?
A: I definitely would not have predicted that Donald Trump would be among the top 3 vote getters in Iowa. Ted Cruz’s victory is not quite as surprising since Iowa Republicans have a history of nominating conservative Christian candidates like Rick Santorum in 2012 and Mike Huckabee in 2008. In the Republican primary, you see unhappiness with the Washington establishment. More than 60 percent of the Republican voters caucused for outsider candidates: Cruz, Trump and Dr. Ben Carson. While Sen. Marco Rubio is not viewed as much as an outsider, he is definitely more of an outsider than former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Q: Donald Trump has been the story of this campaign, and that story took an interesting turn at the end of last week when he decided not to participate in the final debate before the caucuses. Do you think that cost him a first-place finish in Iowa?
A: I think not participating in the debate didn’t help Trump. Not participating in the debate perhaps indicated to some Republican voters that Trump did not want to deal with the critiques that would be offered by his opponents and by the moderators.

Q: The third-place finish by Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio makes him the best-performing “establishment” candidate. Do you think others will drop out and rally around Rubio as an alternative to Cruz and Trump?
A: I think the other establishment candidates will stick through New Hampshire, since New Hampshire is more congenial to these candidates than Iowa. But, if the candidates don’t do well, I do think the mainstream Republican voters will rally around Rubio.

Q: How important is Iowa? The media put a lot of emphasis on it because it is first, but is it representative of who ends up winning the nomination? The White House?

A: Iowa is very important because it is the first contest. But it is definitely not representative of the Democratic or Republican base.  
Q: Are you willing to make a prediction for New Hampshire?

A: Sanders wins on the Democratic side and, going out on a limb, I say Rubio wins the Republican race.

ASU speech team sweeps national tournament

February 1, 2016

On Jan. 14-15, six Arizona State University Forensics (speech) Team students competed on the University of Texas-Austin campus at the 17th annual "Hell Froze Over" Tournament and brought home top-place awards.

ASU's team received Overall Team sweepstakes awards, taking third place out of 42 schools competing that Saturday and third place out of 38 schools competing on Sunday. The team finished in third place for combined results.  group photo of ASU students Back row from left: ASU Forensics Team members James Qian and Paxton Norwood Attridge. Front row from left: Frankie Marchi, Abbey Toye, Annie Mazzarella and Ben Steele. Download Full Image

The tournament was hosted by the University of Texas at Austin and Bradley University and is one of the largest tournaments in the nation.

“The 'Hell Froze Over' tournament is one of two regular-season national tournaments that is attended by the top speech programs from around the country. It is seen as the last major tournament before teams compete at the AFA and NFA national tournaments in April,” said Forensics Team director Adam Symonds.

Speech tournaments are typically two tournaments in one weekend so the placement and awards are determined for each day separately, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Each tournament at “Hell Froze Over” offered all 11 AFA-NIET events. The events are divided into three categories: Impromptu and Extemporaneous Speaking (limited preparation events), Persuasive, Informative, Communication Analysis and After Dinner Speaking (public platform addresses), and Poetry, Prose, Dramatic, Duo and Programmed Oral Interpretation (interpretive events).

The Arizona State speech team consisted of six students, three of which are graduating seniors and have been on the Forensics Team for all four years while attending ASU. James Qian is a computer information systems major, Paxton Attridge is an English lterature major, and Frankie Marchi is a communication major.

The highlight of both tournaments was the outstanding performance by all three seniors on the team in the individual awards categories.

James Qian
Tournament Champion — 1st in Individual Sweepstakes, Saturday (out of over 200 students)
2nd place in Individual Sweeps, Sunday
Tournament Champion - 1st in Individual Sweeps combined
Extemporaneous Speaking: 1st place (out of 71 students), Saturday; 1st place (out of 77 students), Sunday
Impromptu Speaking: 4th place, Saturday; 1st place (out of 98 students), Sunday 
Communication Analysis: 4th place, Saturday; 4th place, Sunday
After Dinner Speaking: 5th place, Saturday

Paxton Attridge
Impromptu Speaking: Tournament Champion — 1st place (out of 92 students), Saturday; Semifinals (7th-12th place), Sunday
After Dinner Speaking: 4th place, Sunday
Duo Interpretation (with Frankie Marchi): Semifinals, Saturday; Semifinals, Sunday

​Frankie Marchi
Poetry Interpretation: Semifinals, Saturday
Duo Interpretation (with Paxton Attridge): Semifinals (7th-12th place), Saturday; Semifinals, Sunday​

​The speech team previously competed in two tournaments this past fall with team members placing in the top ranks at both, Bradley University’s 68th annual LE Norton Memorial Tournament and the Ohio State Frolic.

The LE Norton Memorial at Bradley University was held on Nov. 7-8 in Peoria, Illinois. ASU senior James Qian placed third in Varsity Impromptu Speaking and fourth in Varsity Extemporaneous Speaking. Junior Kohi Gill placed sixth in Varsity Extemporaneous Speaking.

At the Ohio State Frolic on Dec. 4-5 in Columbus, Ohio, senior Frankie Marchi took second place in Poetry Interpretation and fourth place in Program Oral Interpretation.

This year’s speech team is positioned for championship performances at the American Forensics Association and the National Forensics Association national tournaments being held in April and surpass last year’s success at both.

Cronkite 'Hooked' heroin documentary to make national broadcast premiere

February 1, 2016

“Hooked: Tracking Heroin’s Hold on Arizona,” a duPont Award-winning investigative report by students at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is making its national television debut this week.

The 30-minute Cronkite News documentary will air Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on Link TV, a leading independent national satellite network that reaches 34 million households on DirecTV, DISH Network and streaming platforms. ASU Hooked Heroin Documentary “Hooked: Tracking Heroin’s Hold on Arizona” makes its national television debut Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on Link TV. Download Full Image

“Hooked,” produced in association with the Arizona Broadcasters Association (ABA), examines the rise and impact of heroin use in Arizona. The documentary reached more than 1 million Arizonans during its premiere last year and recently won an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, which has recognized the very best in broadcast journalism for more than 70 years.

“As a continued effort to raise awareness of critical issues, Link TV chose to present the documentary to expose a national audience to an epidemic that has spread well beyond Arizona,” said Link TV co-founder Kim Spencer. “Link TV is dedicated to providing viewers unfiltered programming with a different viewpoint than mainstream media, and the stories and subjects featured in ‘Hooked’ present a balanced look at the heroin epidemic. The goal in broadcasting ‘Hooked’ to a nationwide audience is to inspire viewers to take action against the heroin addiction crisis.”

The commercial-free documentary, the final product of more than 70 student journalists led by Cronkite professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jacquee Petchel, premiered in Arizona in January 2015 on all 33 broadcast television stations in English and Spanish and 93 radio stations, drawing nearly half of the Phoenix viewing audience of the 2014 Super Bowl.

Since its airing, “Hooked” has made history in several journalism contests. With the duPont Award, the win marked just the third time in the history of the contest that a Phoenix-based news operation has received the honor. The documentary has received two of the region’s top professional honors at the Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards, an Emmy in the category of “Societal Concerns – Program/Special” and the Governors’ Award. It also took first place in video storytelling at the Arizona Press Club Awards.

“In the past year, ‘Hooked’ has made a tremendous impact by shining a light on a terrible epidemic that extends beyond the borders of Arizona,” said Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan. “We are thrilled for a nationwide audience to have the opportunity to see the amazing reporting of our students.”

Link TV can be watched on DirecTV channel 375 and DISH Network channel 9410. It also is available to stream on Roku.

Field science goes to extremes at ASU Earth and Space Open House

February 1, 2016

Himalayan geoscience and Antarctic astronomy are both on the program at the next Earth and Space Open House at Arizona State University, the first of the spring semester. Join ASU Foundation Professor Kip Hodges and School of Earth and Space Exploration postdoctoral researcher Sean Bryan as they talk about ASU research in the Himalayas, and launching balloon experiments in Antarctica.

Kip Hodges' talk is titled "Working in Extremes: Field Geology on Earth and Beyond," and Sean Bryan's is titled "From Texas to Space, and Antarctica in Between." On Feb. 5, the first Earth and Space Open House of 2016 will take you across the globe and into space in the spirit of exploration. Download Full Image

Find out what's it's all about, from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, at the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV (ISTB 4) on ASU’s Tempe campus.

The evening's events are all free.

7:15 p.m. First 3-D planetarium show (Marston Exploration Theater).

7:30 p.m. Panel discussion on "Earth & Space Exploration in the Field" (ISTB4, Room 240).

8:15 p.m. Keynote lectures by Kip Hodges and Sean Bryan (Marston Exploration Theater).

9:15 p.m. Second 3-D planetarium show (Marston Exploration Theater).

All seating in the Marston Exploration Theater is on a first-come, first-seated basis, and the theater will be cleared after each event.

As usual, there will be telescope sky viewing outdoors next to the James Turrell Skyscape art installation from 8 to 10 p.m. (weather permitting). There will also be several exciting demonstrations and activities in the state-of-the-art ISTB4 Gallery of Scientific Exploration by experts in astrobiology, geology, cosmology and planetary science. Stop by the Ron Greeley Center for Planetary Studies table for your free New Horizons poster of Pluto.

The open house can be accessed through the main entrance of ISTB 4, on the building’s north side.

The monthly open house is sponsored by the School of Earth and Space Exploration, GeoClub, AstroDevils: ASU Astronomy Club, Icarus Rocketry, Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, the Center for Meteorite Studies and many others.

For more information, visit or visit the school's Facebook event page. The next open house will be April 8 on the topic of "Cosmic Catastrophes."

The School of Earth and Space Exploration is an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Robert Burnham

Science writer, School of Earth and Space Exploration


Arizona PBS celebrates Black History Month on-air, online

January 29, 2016

Arizona PBS honors Black History Month with a collection of new commemorative programs and digital content highlighting the impact African-Americans have made on U.S. history, beginning Feb. 1.

As part of its yearlong commitment to diverse programming, Arizona PBS presents a monthlong lineup of programs in February emphasizing the struggles, victories and contributions African-Americans have made to modern culture, and the inspiring evolution of African-American society, through stirring documentaries and in-depth explorations of the lives and legacies of celebrated African-American leaders. Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution Independent Lens' "Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution" is one of many documentaries and profiles featured on-air and online on Arizona PBS in honor of Black History Month 2016. Download Full Image

Highlights of this year’s programming include “Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,” which tells the story behind a key component of the revolutionary culture within the civil rights movement, and “B.B. King: The Life of Riley,” which celebrates the enduring legacy of the late musician and the lasting effects his work has had on the music scene.

“This year’s Black History Month lineup features a rich collection of programs that emphasize the many ways African-Americans have helped shape modern American culture,” said Nancy Southgate, associate general manager of content at Arizona PBS. “We’re pleased to shine a spotlight on these individuals and organizations whose inspiring and enlightening stories created such a meaningful impact on society.”

The Black History Month programming lineup on Arizona PBS includes:

Independent Lens | A Ballerina’s Tale (new)
11:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8

Misty Copeland made history by becoming the first African-American principal dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, considered the pinnacle of ballet in the U.S. This documentary provides an intimate look at this groundbreaking artist as she shatters barriers and transcends her art.

American Masters | B.B. King: The Life of Riley (new)
8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12

Explore B.B. King’s challenging life and career through candid interviews with the “King of the Blues,” filmed shortly before his death, and fellow music stars, including Bono, Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, John Mayer and Ringo Starr.

Independent Lens | The Powerbroker: Whitney Young's Fight for Civil Rights
11:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 15

Whitney Young was one of the most powerful, controversial and largely forgotten leaders of the civil rights movement, who took the fight directly to the powerful white elite, gaining allies in business and government, including three presidents.

Independent Lens | Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (new)
8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16

Revisit the turbulent 1960s, when a revolutionary culture emerged with the Black Panther Party at its vanguard. Stanley Nelson tells the vibrant story of a pivotal movement that feels timely all over again.

In Performance at the White House | The Smithsonian Salutes Ray Charles (new)
8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26

In an all-star tribute, the Smithsonian pays tribute to the life and career of beloved musician Ray Charles live from the White House.

American Masters | Fats Domino and the Birth of Rock ’n’ Roll (new)
9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26

Discover how Fats Domino’s brand of New Orleans rhythm and blues became rock and roll. As popular in the 1950s as Elvis Presley, Domino suffered degradations in the pre-civil-rights South and aided integration through his influential music.

The Lost Years of Zora Neale Hurston 
11:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19

Explore the life, work and philosophies of Zora Neale Hurston, a celebrated figure of the Harlem Renaissance who is remembered for her 1937 masterwork, “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” This special concentrates on her very productive, but often overlooked, final decade. Interviews with Hurston experts and colleagues, letters from Hurston, and archival photographs piece together this fascinating chapter in the life of an American literary icon.

On Arizona PBS World 8.3:

Eyes on the Prize: World Channel Special “Ain’t Scared of Your Jails”
8 a.m. Monday, Feb. 1 and 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2

This series tells the definitive story of the civil rights era from the point of view of the ordinary men and women whose extraordinary actions launched a movement. Winner of numerous Emmy Awards, a George Foster Peabody Award, an International Documentary Award, and a Television Critics Association Award, it is the most critically acclaimed documentary on civil rights in America. 

Independent Lens | American Denial
11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 1 and  6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2

Follow the story of Swedish researcher Gunnar Myrdal whose landmark 1944 study, “An American Dilemma,” probed deep into the racial psyche of the U.S. The film weaves a narrative that exposes some of the potential underlying causes of racial biases still rooted in America’s systems and institutions today.

First Peoples | Africa 
9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4 and 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 5

Examine research that suggests we humans are a patchwork species of hybrids. Around 200,000 years ago, a new species, Homo sapiens, appeared on the African landscape. DNA from a 19th-century African-American slave is forcing geneticists to re-think the origins of our species. The theory is that our ancestors met, mated and hybridized with other human types in Africa — creating ever greater diversity within our species.

Ghosts of Amistad
8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5

This documentary explores the impact of the Amistad mutiny and the repatriation of Africans to their homes in Sierra Leone. Renowned Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. calls the film “of great interest to any student of slavery and the slave trade.”

American Masters | August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand
8 pm. Saturday, Feb. 6

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Wilson’s birth, the 10th anniversary of his death and Black History Month, Arizona PBS offers unprecedented access to Wilson’s theatrical archives, rarely seen interviews and new dramatic readings ofhis seminal 10-play cycle chronicling a century of African-American life.

AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange
8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8

Hear the enlightening story of Tchinda, a woman from a small Cape Verdean island off the west coast of Africa, whose life changed forever when she came out as transgender in her town’s local newspaper. Explore her struggles and triumphs as she navigates discrimination and finds acceptance.

The Black Kung Fu Experience 
10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10

Meet kung fu’s black pioneers who helped bridge the gap between African-American and Asian cultures and gave birth to the rise of black kung fu artists. Discover how these pioneers broke down racial barriers and became respected masters in a subculture primarily dominated by Chinese and white men.

Independent Lens |  The Powerbroker: Whitney Young's Fight for Civil Rights
4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18

Whitney Young was one of the most powerful, controversial and largely forgotten leaders of the civil rights movement, who took the fight directly to the powerful white elite, gaining allies in business and government, including three presidents.

In Their Own Words | Muhammad Ali
9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19

Watch the highlights of boxing legend Muhammad Ali’s life and career, from his boyhood in Louisville, Kentucky to his stunning upset of Sonny Liston, his exile from boxing for refusing induction into the U.S. Army to his epic, triumphant comeback.

Additional programming information and airtimes can be found on the Arizona PBS online schedule at

The following is a sample of the more than 30 programs available for online streaming on the PBS Black Culture Connection in February:

• The African-Americans : Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates Jr.
• The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights (Independent Lens)
• Spies of Mississippi (Independent Lens)
• The Trials of Muhammad Ali (Independent Lens)
• American Promise (POV)
• Underground Railroad: The William Still Story
• The March
• Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson
• Daisy Bates, Black Power Mixtape, Soul Food Junkies (Independent Lens)
• Memories of the March
• Bill T. Jones: A Good Man (American Masters)
• Cab Calloway: Sketches (American Masters)
• Dreams of Obama (Frontline)
• Endgame: AIDS in Black America (Frontline)
• Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr.
• Freedom Riders (American Experience)
• Interrupters (Frontline)
• Jimi Hendrix — Hear My Train A-Comin’ (American Masters)
• Jesse Owens (American Experience)
• “Roots” Special (Pioneers of Television “Miniseries”)
• Not in Our Town: Class Actions
• Slavery by Another Name
• Too Important to Fail (Tavis Smiley)
• Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll (American Masters)
• Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth (American Masters)
• Black Male Achievement documentary special series: Teaching Fatherhood, The Jazz Ticket, The Algebra Ceiling (POV)

Other series offering programming to commemorate Black History Month include “PBS NewsHour,” “Tavis Smiley” and “Washington Week with Gwen Ifill.”

Arizona PBS also invites educators, parents and students to visit the PBS LearningMedia website, which offers a range of curriculum-targeted resources that support lessons on black history and spotlight the leaders, thinkers and innovators who helped shape our nation’s history. Searchable by standard and keyword, PBS LearningMedia helps teachers to promote inquiry in their classrooms and strengthen students’ personal connection to black history and culture through discussion questions, worksheets, videos and digitized primary sources.

For more information on PBS LearningMedia, including how to integrate these resources in your school, contact Kimberly Flack at, 602-496-3764 or visit