High-tech company W. L. Gore invested in ASU engineering students’ success

January 25, 2016

A great partnership is one that helps both parties to excel in their goals. The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and W. L. Gore & Associates have one specific goal in mind — to educate and employ world-class engineers who will move Arizona’s economy forward.

This partnership began more than a decade ago with a gift from Gore to the Fulton Schools of Engineering and remains vibrant today. Carolina Tostado, a biomedical engineering alumna and engineer at W. L. Gore & Associates, supports students and recruitment efforts by representing Gore at the Fulton Schools’ Career Exploration Night for Freshmen. Carolina Tostado, a biomedical engineering alumna and engineer at W. L. Gore & Associates, supports students and recruitment efforts by representing Gore at the Ira A. Fulton Schools’ Career Exploration Night for Freshmen. Photo by Jessica Hochreiter/ASU Download Full Image

Gore is a technology and science-based enterprise that has a reputation for creating innovative, technology-driven solutions. Health-care professionals and biomedical engineers respect their contributions in medical devices and implants, while outdoor enthusiasts and material scientists esteem them for producing high-performance Gore-Tex fabrics.

Co-developing a future workforce

Gore’s interest in supporting Fulton Schools’ students stems from its dependence on a highly skilled workforce in Arizona.

“Arizona is our home, and for us to stay and thrive we require world-class workers to come out of universities like ASU,” said Mike Vonesh, who offers leadership for the technical team in the Medical Products Division.

The company was founded in Delaware in 1958, and Flagstaff, Arizona, became the hub of Gore’s medical product division in the early 1970s. They recently expanded into northern Phoenix with new manufacturing facilities — making collaborations with ASU even more accessible.

Gore has an open dialogue with Fulton Schools about traits and experiences that the ideal engineering graduate should possess.

“We consider the Fulton Schools our partners. They hear our voice about what skills sets we’re looking for in graduating students and are willing to structure curriculum based on the industry’s needs,” said Vonesh, adding that ASU is uniquely receptive in this regard, which makes its graduates very desirable.

Vonesh serves as an industry representative on the board for the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, one of the six Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

“He offers the industry perspective in terms of the skill set that industries need from engineers and therefore what we should be implementing in our curriculum,” said Marco Santello, a biomedical engineering professor and the school’s director.

Gore also collaborates with the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University.

By investing in Arizona’s universities Gore is creating a strong workforce that helps their company to succeed and returns a dividend to the Arizona economy.

“We don’t look at these gifts as philanthropy, but rather as a trusted investment,” said Vonesh.

Supporting student success programs

Students in the Fulton Schools benefit from Gore’s collaboration through industry involvement in engineering research projects, and support for undergraduate scholarships, student organizations and programs that enhance the student experience.

Gore champions and supports the Fulton Schools Accelerated 4+1 program, which allows students to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in engineering in five years.

They also judge design reviews for the Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) Program. At these reviews students present their team’s project before an industry panel for technical feedback, allowing them to further improve the design and implementation of their engineering solutions.

“Gore supports many engineering programs that impact a number of our students,” said Margo Burdick, associate director of development in the Fulton Schools.

“Besides their philanthropic support they are very supportive with their time by attending many Fulton Schools’ events throughout the year,” added Burdick.

Gore has been particularly involved in supporting biomedical, chemical, mechanical, manufacturing electrical and materials science engineering programs, which are disciplines related to Gore’s technological focuses.

Many of Gore’s innovations stem from the use of proprietary technology with the versatile polymer polytetrafluoroethylene, which is used in fabrics, products for electronic signal transmission, medical implants, as well as filtration, sealant and fibers technologies for diverse industries.

Gore has been granted more than 2,000 patents worldwide and more than 40 million Gore Medical Devices have been implanted, saving and improving the quality of millions of lives around the world.

Alumni stay involved through partnership

Dozens of Fulton Schools’ students have gone on to work for Gore since the collaboration began. A handful of these students remain closely tied to ASU through recruitment and outreach efforts.

Biomedical engineering alumna Carolina Tostado, who graduated in 2012, supports new product development as a quality engineer and is also one of Gore’s College Champions for ASU. In this role, she serves as a recruiting liaison between college recruiting and technical associates at Gore and ASU.

“I focus on identifying areas where Gore can partner with the Fulton Schools to enhance the student experience such as funding and support for EPICS projects, undergraduate scholarships and particular research programs,” said Tostado.

Tostado regularly attends a variety of events at ASU including the biannual Fulton Schools of Engineering Career Fairs and Career Exploration Night for Freshmen, on-campus interview events, student organizations’ meetings, EPICS design reviews and industry panels.

She is joined by additional alumni and current Gore employees Annette Dunn, bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2011, Lindsey Jossund, bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 2005, and Daniel Dominguez, bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2015.

“In addition to recruiting efforts, we work to identify ways that Gore can connect with students and faculty. Our goal is to build relationships and participate in activities that benefit all three parties: engineering students, ASU and Gore,” said Jossund who works as a technical leader for one of Gore’s medical products.

“I am always energized by the innovative work from students on campus,” said Dunn who interned with Gore after her junior year. After two internships at Gore and some time in manufacturing engineering support, she currently works as an engineer in new product development.

“I think it’s important to build strong connections between industry and the university to continue to be inspired and help grow top talent,” added Dunn.

Dominguez began working for Gore in 2015 as a process engineer, but his familiarity with the company and their partnership with the Fulton Schools began as a student.

“I interacted with Gore as a student through information sessions, recruiting events, an internship and scholarship support,” said Dominguez.

He enjoys making campus visits on behalf of Gore because it is a way for him to help students that remind him of his student-self with professional mentorship and funding.

“Interactions like these are important to me because this is how I paid for school, participated in extracurricular activities and stayed focused on academics,” he said.

Tostado shares this commitment: “As someone who relied on mentors during college to shape my engineering career, I hope that I can provide some guidance and share opportunities with students that can help them be successful. This makes me feel like I am paying back to my community.”

Rose Gochnour Serago

Communications Program Coordinator, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

ASU professor wins Early Career Award for contributions to psychology-law

January 22, 2016

Dr. Tess Neal with Arizona State University’s School of Social and Behavioral Sciences won the Saleem Shah Award for Early Career Excellence in Psychology and Law, co-sponsored by the American Psychology-Law Society and the American Academy of Forensic Psychology.

Neal’s interdisciplinary research blends psychology, ethics and law to inform how people reach decisions in the legal system. The assistant professor focuses on how expert witnesses inform the decisions made by judges, lawyers and other members of the courts.  Through her work, she has analyzed how the biases of forensic experts shape legal decisions. A woman poses for a photo in a courtroom. Dr. Tess Neal’s interdisciplinary research blends psychology, ethics and law to inform how people reach decisions in the legal system. Download Full Image

She is the 20th recipient of the Saleem Shah Early Career Award.  The award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the interdisciplinary field of psychology-law within six years of completing their highest academic degree.

“I’m truly humbled to be honored by my peers and colleagues with the Saleem Shah Award,” said Neal. “This award helps highlight that my research so far has been meaningful and worthwhile, and it inspires me to think more broadly about how psychology and law can work together to improve the justice system.”

Neal plans to continue studying the biases of forensic experts, and what the legal system and experts themselves can do to minimize the effects of these biases.  She hopes her research can identify how our preconceptions shape decisions and the impact this has on the real world.

The School of Social and Behavioral Sciences is part of ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences on the West campus.

Media relations specialist, Media Relations and Strategic Communications


ASU global studies alum travels to Thailand to teach

January 22, 2016

Arizona State University's global studies major, within the School of Politics and Global Studies (SPGS), aims to address real-world problems and their solutions. For 2015 graduate Andrea Singer this means traveling abroad to teach English in Thailand.

During her time at ASU, Singer studied abroad in China and participated in the McCain Institute Policy and Design Program in Washington, D.C. While in the nation’s capital she also was able to intern with the U.S. Department of Defense at the National Defense University. Experiences like these gave her the assurance that she could pursue work abroad after graduation. Global Studies alumnus travels to Thailand to teach Download Full Image

“The School of Politics and Global Studies provided me with confidence and independence to try something new. I had no previous experience with Thailand before now, but I was able to utilize my heightened global awareness from my coursework and internships with SPGS to reassure myself that I could do it. In addition, SPGS provided me with enough career counseling and resources (i.e. resume and cover letter writing/editing, interview prep) that enabled me to land several different options after graduation.”

Working abroad can be challenging, especially when you don’t know the language but Singer’s relationship with her students makes it all worth it.

“Watching these kids improve and grow in their language skills has been the most rewarding part. I’ve become so close with some of them and I’ve come to realize that the student/teacher relationship can be so special. Those kids teach me way more than I could ever teach them.”

"The best advice I could give anyone who is looking to work abroad is to keep your mind open to any experience and do not underestimate yourself. Utilize the career resources and staff at SPGS — they can steer you in the right direction. Thailand was unexpected for me and I had no prior experience with it, but I wouldn’t trade my experience here for anything.”

After her time in Thailand, Andrea Singer plans on pursuing a master's in refugee studies and global security in order to aid in refugee asylum and resettlement. The School of Politics and Global Studies offers global experiences like this one every year through their Global Studies Internships.

Matt Oxford

Assistant Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications, College of Global Futures


ASU anthropologist heralded for exploring the science and social justice of mother’s milk

January 21, 2016

Arizona State University anthropologist Katie Hinde sees milk as more than food. For her, it is also personalized medicine and a carrier of information that affects immunity, brain function and metabolism in lasting ways.

Hinde was named to this year’s Grist 50 — a list of innovative individuals whose work points toward a better, more sustainable world — by Grist magazine. A scientist loads breast milk samples into a refrigerator ASU anthropologist Katie Hinde analyzes milk samples from across the globe, enhancing “precision nourishment” for the most fragile infants and children in neonatal and pediatric intensive-care units. Photo by Cary Allen-Blevins Download Full Image

“For a long time, we really took mother’s milk for granted,” Hinde said. “You can buy milk at the store. It just seems like a food item. That’s allowed this amazingly complex, fascinating adaptation — lactation — to hide in plain sight.

“Our nation does not mandate paid maternity leave, depriving many mothers from achieving their breastfeeding goals. This is a public health issue not only for infant health and well-being, but for maternal health and well-being. At the same time, for the babies who don’t have access to mother’s milk, there needs to be better artificial alternatives that reflect the state of the science.

“Some of the greatest global challenges — disease, childhood mortality and population growth — can be addressed, in part, through empowering women in their educational, economic and reproductive decisions,” she added. “Breast milk research is an integral aspect of this mission.”

Hinde, an associate professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a member of the Center for Evolution & Medicine, is currently analyzing milk samples from across the globe. Insights from different places and diverse people allows us to “decode” mother’s milk. Such research will enhance “precision nourishment” for the most fragile infants and children in neonatal and pediatric intensive-care units.

Hinde’s work is not only being heralded by scientists but is also heavily followed on social media, including her popular blog Mammals Suck… Milk!, which translates her and colleagues’ work into engaging and relatable posts.

Cronkite School lecture series brings leading journalists and communicators to ASU

January 21, 2016

Kevin Merida, the former Washington Post managing editor who is the editor-in-chief of ESPN’s new site “The Undefeated,” headlines a showcase of top-flight communications professionals speaking this spring at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Cronkite’s “Must See Mondays” speaker series will feature Merida, who leads ESPN’s new site focusing on the intersection of race, culture and sports, as well as USA Today’s media columnist, the former president of the world’s largest public-relations agency and two Pulitzer Prize winners. Kevin Merida ESPN's Kevin Merida headlines this semester's "Must See Mondays" lecture series at ASU's Cronkite School, featuring leading journalism and communications professionals from across the country. Download Full Image

The series starts Feb. 1 with a discussion on storytelling from the U.S.-Mexico border with Cronkite Borderlands Initiative Professors Alfredo Corchado and Angela Kocherga and concludes April 25 with National Geographic Society Fellow and photographer Chris Rainier, who will explore visual storytelling.

The spring 2016 semester marks the 16th series, which has included numerous Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters, national television correspondents, editors of major newspapers, journalism innovators and entrepreneurs and public-relations experts. More than 160 lecturers and panelists have participated in the series since 2008.

“ ‘Must See Mondays’ offers a rare opportunity for our students and the public to hear from leading journalists and communicators,” said Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan. “The lecture series has become an important part of our learning environment, and we are excited to welcome these tremendous speakers.”

The free public lectures start at 7 p.m. in the First Amendment Forum of the Cronkite School on the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus.

Spring 2016 'Must See Mondays' schedule

Feb. 1 (special 6 p.m. start): Southwest Borderlands Initiative Professors Alfredo Corchado, former Mexico City bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News, and Angela Kocherga, former border reporter for Gannett Co., will discuss “Borderlands: The New American Narrative” with moderator Richard Ruelas, reporter for The Arizona Republic and a Cronkite faculty associate.

Feb. 8: Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and best-selling author Thomas E. Ricks will present “Why I Fear We Will Lose Our Next War,” with an introduction from Daniel Rothenberg, co-director of the ASU Center on the Future of War, and Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan. The talk is part of the annual Paul J. Schatt Memorial Lecture.

Feb. 15: Former President and CEO of Edelman U.S. Mark Hass, senior adviser at Teneo Strategy, will explore “Strategic Communications and Reputation in a Digital Context.”

Feb. 22: USA Today media columnist Rem Rieder and Cronkite Innovation Chief Eric Newton will discuss “Safeguarding Quality Journalism in the Digital Age.”

Feb. 29: Carnegie-Knight News21 Executive Editor Jacquee Petchel and Weil Family Professor of Journalism Leonard Downie Jr., former executive editor of The Washington Post, along with News21 fellows, will present their investigation, “News21 Weed Rush.”

March 14: ESPN Senior Vice President Kevin Merida, editor-in-chief of “The Undefeated,” will examine “Race, Sports and Media” with ESPN baseball reporter Pedro Gomez. They will be introduced by Brett Kurland, Cronkite News–Phoenix Sports Bureau director.

March 21: The Cronkite Public Relations Lab will host the annual PR Lab Mentorship Lecture and Aspire Award presentation, established in honor of Enid R. Pansky. The event will feature Ashleigh Gardner, head of content at Wattpad, and include an introduction from Cronkite Associate Professor and Public Relations Lab Director Fran Matera.

March 28: Cronkite New Media Innovation and Entreprdeneurship Lab Director Retha Hill and students will present “Telling Stories With Virtual Reality.”

April 4: Benoit Wirz, director of venture investments at Knight Foundation, will explore “Investing in the Media Frontier,” with an introduction from Newton.

April 11: Southwest Borderlands Initiative Professor Rick Rodriguez and Cronkite students will discuss their multimedia reporting project, “Reporting Abroad: From Nicaragua to Europe.”

April 18: Cronkite Associate Professor Joseph Russomanno will present “Facebook and the First Amendment,” with an introduction from Ballard Spahr LLP Partner and Cronkite Endowment Board President David J. Bodney.

April 25: National Geographic Society Fellow and photographer Chris Rainier will present “Photographing the World in the 21st Century,” with an introduction from Cronkite Associate Dean Kristin Gilger.

Project App Maker Pro aims to increase high schoolers' interest in STEM fields

Their teachers learn about technology as well during software development in Design Villages

January 19, 2016

To address the national need for greater numbers of students to enter STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields, Project AMP at Arizona State University is conducting a three-year program that taps into the tech interests and talents of students grades 9-11 as a way to increase their interest in STEM.

Project AMP (App Maker Pro) — in which teams of students and teachers come up with software apps to address workplace and community needs — also aims to help high school STEM teachers enhance their technology expertise and knowledge of applications that will promote student learning. High school students and teachers work around a computer. High school students and teachers working collaboratively in the Power Track Design Village in the first Project AMP cohort. Download Full Image

In AMP Design Villages, teams of five (three students and two teachers) collaborate to develop software apps to address real-world needs — for example, in health care or city planning. Villages are led by university and industry scientists with STEM, software and programming expertise. Leaders are assisted by mentors who are computer science majors, who also serve as role models for the student participants.

After creating their own apps, Villagers will design and conduct — with mentorship from AMP staff — Mini-Design Villages for students, teachers and members of the community in their home schools or school districts.

All completed, tested and refined apps will be uploaded to a national database.

During the three years of the project, three cohorts of villagers (150 participants in all: 30 students and 20 teachers per cohort) will be served, along with the hundreds of students reached by the in-school and after-school programs offered by AMP participants.

Throughout the program, student and teacher activities are monitored, and content knowledge and interests assessed. Results will add to knowledge about motivation for student program selection and career choice, as well as for professional-development approaches that enhance teacher knowledge of STEM careers.

On Nov. 14, AMP Cohort 1 completed the first of its five consecutive project sessions. A session is a semester (six Saturday mornings) or a summer (two weeks). The last day of each session is dedicated to a Showcase Open House where each villager picks up the microphone, describes some aspect of the project that was explored, and answers questions from the audience — family, friends, members of the community.

The two Design Villages in Cohort 1 are: Health Tech, co-led by Dr. Rachel Rowe, neuroscientist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and Dr. Ashish Amresh, assistant professor of computer science at ASU. Mentors are Pragathi Gopal, Taruni Kancharla and Zach Moore. The Power Track Village is co-led by ASU faculty, Dr. Lina Karam, professor of electrical engineering, Dr. Timothy Lindquist, professor of computer science, and Dr. David Meltzer, associate professor of physics education. Mentors are Jason Luc, Yifan Tian and Shaojia Zhao.

Laura Gonzales-Macias, one of the parents of a participant, commented, “Riley (daughter), as part of this creative and talented team of students and faculty, has explored new technologies and strengthened her communication skills. I’m deeply grateful to the Project AMP staff."

Project AMP is directed by professor Carole Greenes and her PRIME Center staff, executive director Mary Cavanagh, project manager James Kim and project co-manager Javier Duarte. Project evaluator is Dr. Melissa Kovacs.

Project AMP participants hail from the school districts of Avondale, Bagdad, Chandler, Gilbert, Higley, Mesa, Phoenix, Tempe and Queen Creek, as well as the San Tan Charter School and the Arizona Virtual Academy. Session 2 begins on Jan. 23.

Contact: Carole Greenes, cgreenes@asu.edu and Mary Cavanagh, mcavanagh@asu.edu.

ASU Carillon Society opens competition for students

January 19, 2016

The ASU Carillon Society has opened its third annual Carillon Composition Competition and invites ASU students to submit new works for ASU's Symphonic Carillon.

The competition is named in honor of Scottsdale composer Robert X. La Pat, who wrote the first works for the carillon after it was restored to use in 2005. Download Full Image

Entries are due March 15. The prize is a $250 cash award, underwritten by Kenneth and Laurie Polasko of Scottsdale, and the debut performance of the award-winning work at a carillon concert.

For a list of official rules, facts about the carillon, and information about how to enter the contest, contact Carl Cross, co-chair of the ASU Carillon Society, at carl.cross@asu.edu, or (480) 675-7727. Or, contact Jody Rockmaker, associate professor of composition in the ASU School of Music, (480) 965-2534 or jody.rockmaker@asu.edu.

Robert X. La Pat received his bachelor of music degree in composition from the New England Conservatory of Music and his master of music degree in composition from Boston University. He was a winner in the Composer's Guild Composition Competition in 2012. In 2013 he produced five albums for the Extended Horizons label of midi realizations of selected compositions.

'Secret Life of Stars' premieres in 3-D at ASU

January 19, 2016

A new 3-D astronomy show, "The Secret Life of Stars," is premiering at Arizona State University's Marston Exploration Theater at the School of Earth and Space Exploration at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20.

The show takes audiences on a journey through the birth, life and death of stars, exploring white dwarfs, planetary nebulas, supernova explosions, neutron stars, pulsars, and the ultimate fate of massive stars, black holes. supernova explosion Simulation of a bipolar supernova explosion with color corresponding to density (top) and a composite image of the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant from the Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope, and Chandra X-ray Observatory (bottom). Image credits: Ellinger & Young, ASU (top) and NASA (bottom). Download Full Image

This live-narrated 3-D show will answer questions about where stars come from, how they form, what happens when they die and why humans are made of stardust.

“The Marston Exploration Theater is the next-generation planetarium,” said theater director Ric Alling. “It’s a state-of-the art, 3-D experience combined with live narration.”

The supernova images in the new show were developed by ASU associate professor Patrick Young and feature simulations of supernova explosions performed on the Saguaro supercomputer.

The supercomputer, located on the ASU Tempe campus, is capable of 50 trillion mathematical operations per second.

“ASU is at the cutting edge of simulating how supernovae explode,” Young said. “This is the only place where the public can see the raw data of our simulations and experience supernova explosions in an immersive 3-D environment. It’s pretty dramatic.”

The Marston Exploration Theater is in the school's Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 4 (ISTB4) on ASU's Tempe campus. This show will also be featured at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 23. Tickets are $7.50 for adults and $5.50 for students.

For more information about the show, tickets, location and parking, visit sese.asu.edu/public-engagement/3-d-astronomy.

Karin Valentine

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


Low-cost family counseling at ASU Clinical Psychology Center

January 19, 2016

The Family Check-Up, a highly successful family-counseling program, is currently being offered at a reduced cost to families with children between the ages 2 and 18 at the Arizona State University Clinical Psychology Center.

The Family Check-Up is a strengths-based family intervention that empowers parents to make positive changes in order to promote the well-being of their children and family.

Children of parents who participate in the program experience reduced problem behaviors, improved emotion regulation, reductions in substance use, and decreased risk for obesity. Positive outcomes of the program for children also include heightened self-esteem and positive coping, as well as improved academic performance.

Several studies and more than 30 years of evidence show that the Family Check-Up is effective in as few as three to six sessions. The data-driven, evidence-based program is proven to reduce children’s problem behaviors by improving parenting practices and strengthening family relationships.

Scheduled sessions will take place at the Arizona State University Clinical Psychology Center, located just east of Rural Road at 1100 E. University Drive, in Tempe, at days and times that are convenient for interested families.

To schedule a Family Check-Up, call the center at 480-965-7296.

ASU’s Clinical Psychology Center is a training site for doctoral students in clinical psychology. The mission of the center is to provide excellent training while providing outstanding service to the community.

For more information about the Family Check-Up or to schedule counseling, call the center at 480-965-7296.

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library

Political science graduate uses PhD with Auditor General office

January 19, 2016

Scott Swagerty, who recently graduated ASU with a PhD in Comparative Politics, Methodology, has taken a position with the office of the Arizona Auditor General.  Swagerty, who has three degrees from the School of Politics and Global Studies, says the graduate program at SPGS helped him be qualified for his position as a methodologist.

“My position requires a PhD, so without SPGS and its rigorous methods sequence, I wouldn't have been qualified to apply,” he said. “Additionally, since the PhD program is small, faculty devote a lot of time to individual students, which helped me persevere, even though there were certainly times I wasn't sure I'd make it to the finish line.” Download Full Image

Swagerty is the in-office research design and statistics expert with the office of the Arizona Auditor General. He provides guidance on measuring and evaluating the performances of state programs and agencies.

Staying local to Arizona was also key in Swagerty’s decision to pursue a non-academic career path.

“I was equally interested in academic and non-academic positions,” he said. “One of the difficulties with pursuing academic careers is that you don't typically have a lot of say in where you end up. I'm pleased to have ended up remaining a Phoenician.”

Looking back at his academic experience at the School of Politics and Global Studies, Swagerty said it was, “strong all around.”

“The faculty, the small class sizes, the course offerings, the opportunities to teach, the department's commitment to funding students for conferences and research. … I will say I'm very proud to be a product of SPGS.”

Matt Oxford

Assistant Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications, College of Global Futures