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A collaborative approach to community health issues

October 10, 2022

ASU College of Health Solutions celebrates 10 years of health innovation, looks forward

Sometimes a good idea doesn’t have to be sold, it just needs the chance to be heard.

That’s how the idea behind Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions revealed itself to Dorothy Sears, the college’s executive director of clinical and community translational science and professor of nutrition.

As the College of Health Solutions celebrates its 10th anniversary, faculty, staff and alumni are reflecting on the history of the school while looking forward to what’s next. 

The college was formed in 2012 when a group of separate academic units located across three campuses were brought together under one umbrella to offer students a comprehensive education in health.

In 2017, the new leader of the College of Health Solutions, Deborah Helitzer, was asked by ASU President Michael Crow to reimagine how those separate units could be better aligned to address the ASU Charter. That charter says that ASU must assume, among other things, fundamental responsibility for the overall health of the communities it serves.

With that charge, and a courageous changemaker at the helm, a collaborative process began to better align the college’s mission and structure with the university’s charter.

That idea appealed to Sears, who had a taste of a similar collaborative effort while working on a grant from the National Institutes of Health at a previous institution. The only problem was once that grant ran out, so did the spirit of collaboration.

But a chance meeting with College of Health Solutions Associate Dean and Professor Carol Johnston while Sears was on her way to a scientific conference in Mexico gave her an idea where she could find that collaborative spirit again.

Sears said, “While we flew down together, we just talked, talked and talked waiting for the plane and in line at customs and waiting to get bags. We had so much in common.”

Johnston later invited Sears to come to ASU to give a talk and she fell in love with the place.

“I was seeing the beautiful new facilities, that was the initial attraction; I wasn’t even considering leaving my (previous) institution at that point,” Sears said. “Then meeting (College of Health Solutions) Dean Deborah Helitzer was amazing. I felt like I had landed on another planet.

“Learning how the dean had led a process that resulted in eliminating all the departments in the college, I was like, wooo! This is awesome!”

ASU College of Health Solutions Dean Deborah Helitzer stands at the front of a large auditorium, behind a lectern, next to a presentation slide that reads "Visioning Exercise #1."

College of Health Solutions Dean Deborah Helitzer (at podium) leads a visioning exercise shortly after arriving at Arizona State University in 2017.

A new approach to educating health leaders

The evolution of the College of Health Solutions was well underway by the time Sears came on board in 2018.

In 2012, Dr. Keith Lindor, former dean of the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, was named executive vice provost and founding dean of a newly formed College of Health Solutions. Lindor worked to create a new school for the science of health care delivery and strengthen the university’s partnership with Mayo Clinic.

The new health college also included previously existing academic units such as:

  • School of Nutrition and Health Promotion.

  • Department of Biomedical Informatics.

  • School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering.

  • Center for Health Innovation and Clinical Trials.

  • Center for Health Information and Research.

  • Center for World Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.

  • Health Care Delivery and Policy Program.

  • Healthcare Transformation Institute.

Those early years saw the college as a collection of health-related units and faculty with significant domain expertise who were spread out across three ASU campuses. Bringing that collection together to form a unified, integrated college would require significant change – change that might not be popular with everyone.

Julie Liss, now an associate dean and professor in the College of Health Solutions, came to ASU in 2013 as a professor in the former Department of Speech and Hearing Science, said that while some adapted to the change reluctantly, others embraced it.

“Other people were saying, ‘Wow, I’m meeting more people than I’ve ever known in the college, I’m able to do things I had never been able to do before,’” Liss said.

She said that accelerated when Helitzer was named dean of the College of Health Solutions in 2017.

“There were two eras,” Liss said. “The Dean Lindor era was getting all of our building blocks in place. The Dean Helitzer era was figuring out how those blocks could build something bigger, synergistically.”

Accelerating a rocket of change

Helitzer came to ASU from the University of New Mexico where she was the founding dean of the College of Population Health. While there, she led the development and implementation of the country’s first undergraduate degree in population health.

Her innovative work there caught the attention of ASU President Michael Crow. She was charged with leading the process of reimagining how the college could be positioned to best address major health issues in the community.

And she was asked to do it quickly.

Portrait of ASU College of Health Solutions Dean .

Deborah Helitzer

“When President Crow introduced me to the faculty he said, ‘I told her I’m going to put her on a rocket and I’m expecting fast change,’” Helitzer said. “I said, ‘Well, President Crow, if you give me the fuel...' Everyone laughed and said, ‘We’re going to have to watch out for her.’”

In the fall of 2017 Helitzer assembled and led an executive visioning team working to reimagine what the college would become. That visioning project included ideas and input from 300 faculty, staff, administrators, community members and health system representatives. A new vision and structure emerged and Helitzer began leading the implementation of that vision, knocking down barriers to collaboration.

“There was no understanding of each other, no knowledge of each other,” Helitzer said. “The faculty were in the same physical building but didn’t know each other or talk to each other. We’ve worked to create structures to address that and we’re still working on it, but I’ve tried to put us on the path.”

One big idea that came out of the visioning effort is the formation of translational teams. 

A unique approach to health solutions

Translational teams, a component of the new college structure, bring together researchers, teaching faculty, clinical and community partners, industry innovators and students with different skills and perspectives. By bringing all kinds of people together, translational teams aim to better understand the different layers of the problem they are trying to solve from the ground up. This translational approach takes advantage of the school’s work to break down barriers that have traditionally stopped faculty and students from different disciplines from working together.

It’s a holistic approach to solving the problems facing health care professionals and the essence of understanding the whole person, rather than specific diseases.

“You can look at the molecular level of a disease or condition,” Johnston said. “Then you can look at the dietary and exercise components. And then you can see how (that solution) can be introduced into a community to promote population health. You have all those fields going on. The translational piece is unique. I never heard of it until we started doing it.”

Translational teams at the College of Health Solutions are working on health problems including:

  • Autism spectrum disorder.

  • Cancer prevention and control.

  • COVID-19.

  • Metabolic health.

  • Substance abuse.

They are studying the health needs of specific populations, such as women, children and those with significant health disparities, because those groups have special needs that are not experienced by other populations.

In addition to the creation of translational teams, the revisioning process also resulted in a charter for the College of Health Solutions.

That charter reads:

"The College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University is committed to translating scientific health research and discovery into practice. We prepare students to address the challenges facing our populations to stay healthy, improve their health and manage chronic disease. We bring people together to improve the health of the communities we serve, reaching them where they live, learn, work and play throughout the lifespan."

That statement helps to provide direction and focus, as well as some insight into the future of the College of Health Solutions. The college’s charter is directly aligned with the ASU Charter, specifically the last phrase, which mentions community health.

In the coming years, Helitzer sees the college being recognized as leading innovation in the field of health education, just as the university as a whole is recognized for innovation.

She would also like to see the college as having played an integral role in addressing the health needs of the community.

“It is critical that we work with the community to solve their problems, not what we see as their problems, but what they see as their problems,” Helitzer said. “That means our faculty must be nimble and will change or tweak what they’re doing to fit the needs of the community.”

Helitzer related that goal with something she experienced while working on malaria prevention in Africa. She said her group was talking to people about taking steps such as using bed nets and screens and ridding the area of standing water to control mosquitos.

“I remember going to one village and saying we want to help you with this,” she said. “They said, ‘First you get us running water and then we’ll be happy to talk with you about that.’ We worked on getting running water in the area and then they trusted us because that was what they needed. Then we could talk about malaria, which was also a problem for them, but it wasn’t the primary problem.”

Another outcome Helitzer would like to see as a result of the collaborative structure is for the students to gain a broader understanding of what the college has to offer and the many ways they can learn to make an impact.

“I’ve been saying we should have the first-year students have a course, or two semesters, to learn about all of the programs in the college and how we work together,” Helitzer said. “Then they could choose a major, knowing what role it plays in solving health problems.”

Helping students achieve their goals

Students are attracted to the forward-thinking, innovative nature of the College of Health Solutions, offering them a unique path toward meaningful change in health.

Vivienne Gellert, BS medical studies ’17, said her personal experience with health care shaped her views of the system and inspired her to take action. She said her education at the College of Health Solutions helped her reach those goals.

Gellert was badly injured in an automobile accident while she was in high school and saw first hand how frustrating and inefficient the system could be.

“You can ask anyone and they’ll tell you the health care system is broken,” Gellert said. “It’s easy to say that and get super frustrated with it, but at the end of the day, what are you going to do about it? In order to do something about it, we have to do something different and (the College of Health Solutions) prepared me to do just that.”

Gellert’s solution started with putting an argument she used in debate class into action. Her idea was based on connecting with people who are experiencing homeless in downtown Phoenix. The title of that speech was “Give a man your jacket, not your dollar.”

That led to the creation of a nonprofit organization called BakPak while Gellert was still in college. It was designed to directly connect people experiencing homelessness to resources and became the basis for a nonprofit, Elaine, and a company she has since founded named Gellert Health.

She said her education in medical studies helped her carry out her vision. And she said the College of Health Solutions will help countless others achieve their goals as well.

“If you look at some of the graduates of the College of Health Solutions I’ve met, they’re incredible,” Gellert said. “They are going to medical school. They are starting their own companies. They are going to work for companies that are directly touching patients' lives and they’re bringing new knowledge from their education to implement change.

“In the spirit of the 10th anniversary, I think we should take a minute to look at the contributions that the College of Health Solutions has already made to our community. They should feel honored they’re there every day with these students. It’s working.”

The College of Health Solutions will celebrate its 10th anniversary in collaboration with the community at Celebration of Health on Wednessday, Oct. 19, at El Chorro in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Sponsorships and tickets are available and all donations will directly support students through the college’s Student Scholarship Fund.

Top photo: ASU nutrition students make a low-sodium, diabetic-friendly Tuscan vegetable soup at the ASU Kitchen Café in the College of Health Solutions in downtown Phoenix. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

Weldon B. Johnson

Communications Specialist , College of Health Solutions

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ASU named a top university for community, national service

October 10, 2022

Washington Monthly rankings put ASU ahead of Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill and Johns Hopkins

Washington Monthly announced Arizona State University as a top 10 university in the country for its dedication to community and national service, outranking Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill and Johns Hopkins.

For overall rankings, ASU comes in at No. 50 – ahead of more than 1,500 public, private, nonprofit and for-profit colleges nationwide.

Compiled from the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) enrollment and Pell Grant recipient data, the annual report ranks liberal arts colleges and four-year institutions based on their contribution to the public good in three equally-weighted categories: social mobility, research and promoting public service.

ASU ranks No. 9 in the country for community service, and Cindy Parnell, chief of public service for Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, said this honor is a true example of the university's service-first charter. 

“This is a recognition for the entire ASU community and the partners we work with,” she said. “It gives an amazing credit to our students, faculty and our staff.” 

In her role, Parnell leads the Public Service Academy, which is a character-driven leadership program designed to connect students across public, private and nonprofit sectors to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges — including education, national security, health care, socioeconomic disparity, hunger and homelessness. Parnell added that this type of interdisciplinary learning program makes the Public Service Academy one of the first programs of its kind. 

“(ASU) President (Michael) Crow and the university made this program a priority because of our commitment to the community and to developing these types of leaders,” she said. “It's the only place that existed until now and it is expanding. There are 14 other universities that are now picking up this model and starting their own.” 

ASU’s Washington Monthly service score also represents the university's commitment to AmeriCorps and Peace Corps students. This score accounts for students who received a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, which may be used by AmeriCorps participants to repay qualified student loans and to cover current educational expenses. 

Kimberly L. Baldwin is program director of the Next Generation Service Corps, which is part of the Public Service Academy within Watts College. She said that access to quality education is just one of the key components this group of student leaders focus on improving for next generations.

“Our students care about the community and are passionate about very complex social issues, and we don't specify which ones they have to focus on as part of NGSC,” she said “It could be anything: climate change, veterans, health care, homelessness — whatever issue they are passionate about, they want to impact change in a positive way.”

The study also measured college’s affordability for students from lower- to middle-income familiesAverage net prices paid by first-time, full-time, in-state students with annual family incomes below $75,000.. ASU’s average price of attendance for students in this category is $9,652. 

Finally, the service score accounted for the size of each college’s Air Force, Army and Navy ROTC programs, and the percentage of federal work-study grant money spent on community service projects based on data provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service. 

Baldwin is proud that students dedicated to local, national and global service are being recognized.

“This ranking really does show ASU’s commitment to public service and scaling that mission across the university,” she said. 

View Washington Monthly’s full data set and ranking methodology.

Top photo: AmeriCorps member Skyler Anselmo discusses customizable housing designs, for the Gila River Indian Community, in a collaboration between members of the community and ASU graduate students in 2018. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

Krista Hinz

Copy Writer , ASU Media Relations

Winners of the 16th annual Barlett & Steele Awards announced

American Public Media, Salt Lake Tribune, KUER public radio and StarTribune take home top prizes

October 10, 2022

A podcast series on abuse at Utah’s homes for troubled teens produced by a multiple-media team of journalists and the Minnesota StarTribune’s revelations of court-aided exploitation of accident victims have taken top honors in the 16th Annual Barlett & Steele Awards for the Best in Investigative Business Journalism.

The Barlett & Steele Awards are administered by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The awards are named for the illustrious investigative business journalist team of Don Barlett and Jim Steele, who have worked together for more than four decades, receiving two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Magazine awards and a long list of other journalism awards. Awards made of glass and metal on a table in front of a sign that reads "Donald W. Reynolds National Cente for Business Journalism." The Barlett & Steele Awards have been given annually for the best in investigative business journalism since 2007. Download Full Image

“This year’s winners are in the finest tradition of what these awards have come to represent — great reporting, fine writing and expert data analysis,” Steele said. “The winners are a testament to the value of in-depth reporting and how it benefits the public.”

The inaugural award for Outstanding Young Journalist was claimed by Neil Bedi of ProPublica for an investigation into faulty mechanical heart pumps.

In addition to the first-ever Young Journalist award, this year marks the first time the Barlett & Steele Awards have recognized publications across two categories — Global/National and Regional/Local — to honor more of the outstanding business journalism being produced throughout the U.S.

Each category features a gold, silver and bronze award. These awards come with cash prizes of $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000 respectively. The Young Journalist award features a cash prize of $3,000.

The cold award in the Global/National category was won by a collaboration among American Public Media, Salt Lake Tribune and KUER public radio, for their investigative work into the Utah government’s lackluster oversight of facilities housing troubled teenagers, resulting in widespread abuse. Their work resulted in a seven-part podcast series titled “Sent Away.”

Rounding out the Global/National category, the silver award went to the Wall Street Journal for its investigation into federal judges’ hidden conflicts of interest. The bronze was awarded to a team of reporters from Bloomberg for their revelations about questionable practices at a telemedicine startup.

In the Regional/Local category, the StarTribune won the gold award for documenting how accident victims in several states were convinced to transfer their court-ordered compensation to other parties for a fraction of its value. In one case, the StarTribune said, a mentally impaired car accident victim sold more than half a million dollars in future payments for $12,001.

The silver award in the Regional/Local category went to a duo from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for a series on dangerous dwellings, while a team of reporters from the Palm Beach Post and ProPublica won the bronze award for documenting harmful pollution by the sugar industry.

“This addition of more awards this year has allowed us to recognize more groundbreaking investigative business journalism in the U.S.," said Jeffrey Timmermans, director of the Reynolds Center. "While the industry continues to face many challenges, the fact that there is so much outstanding work being done at news organizations throughout the country — from Utah to Florida — is cause for optimism.”

View more about the winners at

The Reynolds Center will spotlight the recipients of the top prizes at an event at 6 p.m., Arizona time, on Nov. 9 in the First Amendment Forum at the Cronkite School in Downtown Phoenix. Check out the Reynolds Center event page for updates on the live event.

Julianne Culey

Communications Specialist, Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology


McCain Institute executive director discusses character-driven leadership with ASU students

October 7, 2022

Evelyn Farkas, a trailblazer for national security and foreign policy in the U.S., has spent the past three decades standing up for democracy. 

“Democracy to me means freedom,” Farkas said. “The freedom to express yourself politically, the freedom to express yourself economically, and it was something that my parents didn’t have when they were born.”  Woman standing at the front of a classroom speaking to people seated at tables. Evelyn Farkas, executive director at the McCain Institute for International Leadership, speaking at the “Leading Now” event, where she discussed the idea of what character-driven leadership means with ASU students. Download Full Image

Arizona State University's School of Politics and Global Studies recently hosted Farkas, executive director at the McCain Institute for International Leadership at ASU, for the event “Leading Now,” to discuss the idea of what character-driven leadership means in collaboration with running for office.

Not only did Farkas’ qualifications lead her to run to represent New York’s 17th Congressional District in the House of Representatives in 2020, but also her upbringing.

Farkas’ parents fled Hungary in 1956 while it was under the influence of the Communist system and the Soviet Union in hopes of finding the freedom to achieve. She said that even as a child, she felt strongly about being in America as opposed to anywhere else. 

“That has motivated me throughout my entire life and probably also determined the fact that I would get involved in international affairs, foreign policy and work for the U.S. government,” Farkas said.

During the 2020 election cycle, Farkas was moved to get involved politically. 

A month later, long-term U.S. Rep Nita Lowey announced her resignation and Farkas went headfirst into campaigning. She would ultimately earn 15.6% of the electoral vote, coming in third during the Democratic primaries. 

Reflecting on her campaign, Farkas shared a few lessons that she learned with students and faculty. 

Farkas revealed that running for office was unlike any other job that you interview for or try to obtain. She emphasized the importance of being organized, raising money and having someone on the campaign who has your back. 

“Campaigning and politics can be really draining, and you don’t oftentimes know who’s giving you good advice, and you need someone to confide in, someone to pick you up,” Farkas said. 

For the remainder of the event, Gina Woodall, principal lecturer at ASU, moderated a discussion and questions from the audience. 

Woodall and Farkas discussed various topics, such as gender stereotypes or double standards during her time campaigning. According to Farkas, she had an easier time as a female candidate because of her prior experience working in male-dominated fields. She acknowledged that she was encouraged by male community leaders to run for office. 

“Bottom line is if you stick to your values, you're always going to feel good, even if you’re losing,” Farkas said. 

Even if her efforts ended in a congressional defeat, Farkas revealed that character-driven leadership while running for such a position was one way to stick up for democracy. 

“I knew that there are many ways to contribute to society and I had already done a lot of them,” Farkas said. “I’d already had lots of jobs, so I knew, ‘Look, if I don’t win, it’s going to be okay. I’ll find some other way to defend democracy.’”

Farkas advised students that to have an attitude of being OK if one thing doesn’t work out and being motivated to do something else is a helpful way to approach life. 

The floor was then opened for participants to engage in conversation with Farkas. 

Students in the audience would ask Farkas questions ranging from how overturning Roe v. Wade might impact midterms to her thoughts on identity politics.

As the event came to a close, Farkas reflected on how the lessons she learned running for office helped form her experience at the McCain Institute.

“I learned to be true to myself when I was running for Congress. In campaigns, you learn about having empathy and leading by example. I think that you learn through your experiences, but you get strengthened by the good decisions you make,” she said.

Student Journalist, School of Politics and Global Studies


Former UN high commissioner for human rights to be honored with 2022 O'Connor Justice Prize

October 6, 2022

The Honorable Louise Arbour, former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and high commissioner for human rights for the United Nations, has been named the eighth recipient of the O'Connor Justice Prize.

The award, administered by the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, was established in 2014 to honor the legacy of the school’s namesake, retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. It recognizes those who have made extraordinary efforts to advance rule of law, justice and human rights. Portrait of Louise Arbour. The Honorable Louise Arbour, recipient of the 2022 O'Connor Justice Prize Download Full Image

“I'm extremely honored to receive this accolade. I think there's nothing like recognition by your peers,” Arbour said. “I think it's very significant, and the association with one of the greatest jurists in the United States, a woman for whom I have a lot of admiration. I feel very humbled and very honored.”

Arbour was appointed by the security council of the U.N. as chief prosecutor for the international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda in 1996. In this role, she secured the first conviction for genocide — in response to the 1994 Rwandan Civil War — since the 1948 Genocide Convention and the first indictment for war crimes by a sitting European head of state, Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.

“Since the Nuremberg trials, there had never been any other effort or opportunity to set up an international criminal mechanism of accountability for heads of states or military-political leaders involved in severe violations of international humanitarian law, the laws of war, genocide, crimes against humanity,” Arbour said.

In 1999, she resigned to take up the prestigious appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada, serving until 2004 when she was asked to return to the U.N. as the high commissioner for human rights.

During her service for the U.N., Arbour has worked to expand the understanding and application of international criminal law, human rights and accountability.

Most notably under her leadership, the Commission on Human Rights transformed into the Human Rights Council, creating a mechanism for accountability called Universal Periodic Review, which places each member state of the U.N. under scrutiny for its actions.

Arbour will be presented with the O’Connor Justice Prize in a ceremony in early 2023.

Previous recipients of the O’Connor Justice Prize include:

  • Inaugural recipient Navanethem Pillay of South Africa, the former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, honored for her fight against apartheid, as well as her championing of international human rights.
  • Ana Palacio, honored as the first woman to serve as the foreign affairs minister of Spain, member of the Council of State of Spain and former senior vice president and general counsel of the World Bank Group.
  • Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States, honored for his humanitarian work since leaving office. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his efforts to find peaceful solutions to conflicts, to advance democracy and to promote economic and social development.
  • Anson Chan, the former chief secretary of Hong Kong, known as “Hong Kong’s conscience,” honored for her decades of devotion to social justice and democracy. She helped oversee Hong Kong’s transition from British control in 1997.
  • Frederik Willem de Klerk, the former South African president, honored for leading the effort to dismantle that country’s apartheid system and co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela in 1993.
  • Nadia Murad, the acclaimed Yazidi human rights activist, honored for founding a global initiative to advocate for survivors of violence and genocide, becoming the first Iraqi and Yazidi to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, which she received in 2018.
  • Judge Elizabeth Odio Benito, president of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, honored for her work in creating the modern framework for international justice and decades of teaching, research and leadership around international human rights and, more specifically, women’s rights.

Executive Director, Marketing and Communications, ASU Law


Students can create their own path with new ASU Online biology degree

October 6, 2022

This fall, more students will have the opportunity to advance their science degree.

ASU Online launched a Master of Science in biology, offered by The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, expanding its roster of graduate online biology classes for those seeking an alternative to on-campus education.  A hand holding a textbook open to a page with highlighted text. Download Full Image

The new degree offering enables students to deepen their knowledge about the life sciences and encompasses a broad range of applications, from addressing public health challenges to climate change.

The flexibility the program offers, both in pace and content, meets learners where they are geographically and in their professional careers. 

“This degree is applicable to a broad audience,” said Stephen Pratt, professor in the School of Life Sciences. “Courses in this program do not focus on laboratory skills or techniques, but instead on building strong conceptual foundations in frontier areas of modern biology.”

Students are prepared to fill roles in the medical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields, as well as pursue teaching roles at various levels, and the program equips students with problem-solving and critical thinking skills, transferable to any profession. 

“Secondary school teachers reaching for a higher level of education, biotechnicians who want to add conceptual depth or analytical abilities to their laboratory skills, or writers who want to expand their scientific expertise — all can elevate their expertise with this degree,” he said.

Interdisciplinary in nature, students can tailor their biology degree, exploring the intersection of their interest areas and creating a unique educational experience. The program offers students a variety of courses for many biological science passion areas, including evolutionary medicine, genetics and genomics, and biotechnology. 

“Students can craft a course sequence that meets their particular educational needs. The program has only a handful of core classes, with the rest of the curriculum free for the student to assemble from available courses,” he said. 

Students can complete the degree in one to two years, as it was designed with working professionals in mind. Students can study at a pace that fits their lifestyle and their personal and professional responsibilities.

“We are delighted to offer (the school's) strengths in graduate training to a broader audience,” Pratt said. “Our charter is about who we include and how they succeed, and this program is a great step in continuing to support student success and enabling them to advance their career at any stage of their life.”

Meenah Rincon

Public Relations Manager, ASU Online

ASU Orchestras announces 2022–23 season of imagination, inclusion, collaboration

September 29, 2022

The 2022–23 ASU Orchestras season shows what a contemporary symphony orchestra can include within its programming aesthetic, said Jeffery Meyer, director of orchestras and associate professor in the School of Music, Dance and Theatre.

“Our season is full of breadth, imagination, inclusion and collaboration with our guest artists,” Meyer said. Orchestra playing on a stage. ASU Symphony Orchestra Download Full Image

The ASU Orchestras include the Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, Chamber Orchestra and Studio Orchestra.

Meyer said each season’s guest artists are chosen on a variety of levels, from highlighting the school’s music faculty to upcoming and well-known guest artists and composers.

Highlights of this season include an October collaboration with the Symphony Orchestra and ASU piano faculty Cathal Breslin performing the epic Rachmaninoff "Piano Concerto No. 2" and Stravinsky’s “The Rites of Spring.” Later in the month, the symphony will perform “The Rites of Spring” in a concert with composer and MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Vijay Iyer as soloist on his own piano piece called “Radhe Radhe.”

Meyer said that “Radhe Radhe,” which was called “a surprising burst of visual and aural color — a romantically wrapped love letter to a people and their traditions” by Downbeat Magazine, is a stunning companion for “The Rites of Spring” and features the interplay of live music and film documenting the Hindu ritual of Holi. Themes of rebirth and celebration, of love and life, emerge in both concerts commemorating "The Rites of Spring."

In November, the symphony will collaborate with the Sun Devil Marching Band, the ASU Gospel Choir and ASU Gammage in a show featuring Gus Farwell, the former ASU quarterback-turned-tenor who received international recognition for singing from the balcony of his home in Barcelona while the world battled a global pandemic.

Next is a collaboration between the ASU Symphony Orchestra and ASU Philharmonia performing works by Bernstein and Brahms and featuring two world premieres by emerging young composers.

Following is a concert with the Chamber Orchestra highlighting graduate student emerging artists Tzu-I Yang on bass and Leon Jin on bassoon and three DMA conducting students.

In spring, a Black History Month collaboration with the Chamber Orchestra and Associate Professor and composer Daniel Bernard Roumain’s DBR lab features music alumna and popular music faculty Yophi Adia Bost along with theater and dance students.

In the first large-scale collaboration with the Visiting String Quartet Residency Program, the symphony performs with this year’s resident artists Brooklyn Rider for a concert centered around musical selections exploring major issues facing a global, interconnected society on a warming planet. As featured soloists, Brooklyn Rider will perform a powerful piece called “Contested Eden,” about the recent and historic forest fires in California.

The season closes with the ASU Choirs and music voice faculty performing one of the masterpieces of Western art music, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and a new commissioned piece, “Fate Now Conquers,” by composer Carlos Simon, which was written as a companion piece for the Beethoven symphony. Simon, past winner of the ASU Gammage and former ASU School of Music Composition Competition, is a frequent commissioned composer for previous concerts, including “Towards a More Perfect Union” and “Graffiti.”

The ASU Philharmonia’s eclectic concert season, conducted by music director Julie Desbordes, aims to expand its audience with its diverse and exciting repertoire. It opens with honoring the string sections of the orchestra and a collaboration with the Tempe High School String Ensemble, with pieces from classical standards to those inspired by folk and even heavy metal. Next is a collaboration between the Philharmonia and the ASU Symphony Orchestra followed by a collaboration with the ASU Maroon and Gold Band. The final concert features the Phoenix Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, 2021–22 ASU composition competition winner Deanna Rusnock and ASU piano faculty and Professor Andrew Campbell.

“This season, Philharmonia students and community members will grow a depth of knowledge about a wide range of repertoire and musical inspirations while celebrating teamwork and collaborative efforts,” Desbordes said.

“My goal with the orchestras is to always reach our fingers into as many different pools of repertoire and composers as possible and also keep reinvigorating the canonical works and put them in new contexts and new lights,” Meyer said.

2022–23 Orchestras Season

ASU Philharmonia
7 p.m., Sept. 30
Tempe High School

ASU Symphony Orchestra
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 and Stravinsky’s "Rites of Spring"
3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 2
Mesa Arts Center, Ikeda Theatre       
Tickets: $12 and $20. Purchase tickets.   

ASU Symphony Orchestra with Vijay Iyer
"Radhe Radhe" and Stravinsky’s "Rites of Spring"
7:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 15
ASU Gammage
Tickets $12. Purchase tickets.       

ASU Studio Orchestra
Mozart Symphony No. 40 and other masterworks
7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 26
Katzin Concert Hall 
Free admission

Gridiron to ASU Gammage: A Musical Celebration of the Sun Devil Spirit featuring Gus Farwell
7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 4
ASU Gammage 
Free admission. Reserve tickets.

ASU Symphony Orchestra and ASU Philharmonia
"The Power of Youth"
7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 10
ASU Gammage
Tickets: $12. Purchase tickets.

ASU Chamber Orchestra
Concerto Competition Prize Winners
7:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 1
ASU Gammage
Tickets $12. Purchase tickets.

ASU Symphony Orchestra
Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Boulanger
3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 12
Yavapai College Performing Arts Center
7:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 13
ASU Gammage. Purchase tickets.
Tickets $12 

ASU Maroon & Gold Band and Philharmonia
7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 14
ASU Gammage
Tickets: $12. Purchase tickets.

ASU Chamber Orchestra Strings
"Reflections of Hope and Home” in collaboration with DBR Lab
7:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 27
Organ Hall
Free admission

ASU Symphony Orchestra and Brooklyn Rider
7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 5
ASU Gammage 
Tickets $12. Purchase tickets

ASU Studio Orchestra
Petrushka and Pagliacci
7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 20
Katzin Concert Hall
Free admission        

ASU Philharmonia: "Blossom"
7:30 p.m., Monday, April 24
ASU Gammage
Tickets: $12. Purchase tickets.

ASU Symphony Orchestra and ASU Choirs
Beethoven Symphony No. 9
7:30 p.m., Friday, April 28
ASU Gammage
Tickets: $12. Purchase tickets.

For ASU Gammage ticketed events, tickets are available for $12 at the ASU Gammage Box Office or can be purchased online at Ticketmaster (fees apply). All students with ASU, college or school ID receive one complimentary ticket and all HIDA faculty and staff receive two complimentary tickets. Complimentary tickets can be picked up at the box office prior to the event and during all normal business hours.

All Herberger Institute students, faculty and staff and Mirabella residents are eligible for complimentary tickets to most events ticketed through the Herberger Institute box office. Click buy tickets to obtain your complimentary tickets using your 10-digit ASU ID as the promo code.

Lynne MacDonald

communications specialist, School of Music


Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rita Dove to speak at ASU lecture

September 28, 2022

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University will host the annual Jonathan and Maxine Marshall Distinguished Lecture Series with Rita Dove, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and essayist who is currently a Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

The lecture, “An evening with Rita Dove,” will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18, on ASU’s Tempe campus in Roskind Great Hall. Portrait of Pulitzer-Prize winning poet and essayist Rita Dove. Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and essayist. Download Full Image

The lecture will be the signature event of The College’s second annual Humanities Week — a collection of special events from Oct. 17–21 that highlight the ways in which students and faculty are exploring the human adventure across time, culture and place. 

Dove is the author of "Thomas and Beulah," a collection of 44 connected, narrative poems that won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Her Collected Poems 1974–2004,” released in 2016, includes three decades of her work and multiple books of poetry, showcasing the diversity in her work. Her most recent book of poetry, "Playlist for the Apocalypse," was published by W. W. Norton in 2021.

In addition to poetry, Dove has published a book of short stories, the novel "Through the Ivory Gate" and numerous essays. She also edited "The Best American Poetry 2000," "The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry" and The New York Times Magazine’s weekly poetry column from 2018 to 2019.

From 1993 to 1995, Dove served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She was the youngest person and the first African American to have been appointed to this position since it was created by an act of Congress in 1986.

Dove’s numerous honors include Lifetime Achievement Medals from the Library of Virginia and the Fulbright Association, the 2014 Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize, the 2019 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets and the 2021 Gold Medal for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as the 16th (and third female and first African American) poet in the Medal’s 110-year history.

She also received the National Humanities Medal from President Clinton in 1997 and, in 2011, the National Medal of Arts from President Obama — making her the only poet ever to receive both medals.

Dove has attended Miami University of Ohio, Universität Tübingen in Germany and the University of Iowa, where she earned her creative writing MFA. From 1981 to 1989, Dove taught creative writing in the Department of English at ASU.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Visitor parking is available in several lots and parking garages near the venue. Learn more and RSVP at

About the Marshall Distinguished Lecture Series

The Jonathan and Maxine Marshall Distinguished Lecture Series brings nationally-known scholars concerned with promoting culture through the humanities and a better understanding of the problems of democracy to ASU. This annual free public lecture is funded with a gift from Jonathan and Maxine Marshall.

Alek Bustamante Valdez

Marketing assistant, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Workshop series exposes students to personal finance concepts

September 28, 2022

“We’re lifelong learners” is a saying that Arizona State University students are used to hearing. It is three simple words that the university abides by, but it is also a quote from Kim Kiyosaki, one of the featured speakers at a speaker series event hosted by the T.W. Lewis Center for Personal Development in Barrett, The Honors College at ASU. The seminar, the first in a five-session series, featured special guests and Barrett supporters Robert and Kim Kiyosaki. There will be four more sessions of the series, each focusing on various topics relating to finance and financial education.

Robert Kiyosaki was born and raised in Hawaii. After graduating college in New York, he joined the United States Marine Corps, serving in Vietnam as an officer and helicopter gunship pilot. Now, he is an American businessman, entrepreneur and author of more than 26 books, including the No. 1 personal finance book "Rich Dad Poor Dad." Portrait of Robert and Kim Kiyosaki. Robert and Kim Kiyosaki shared their knowledge of personal finance with students through a seminar series presented by the T.W. Lewis Center for Personal Development at Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University. Download Full Image

Kim Kiyosaki is a successful real estate investor, entrepreneur, speaker and author who is passionate about financial education. She has built her brand upon the international success of her books "Rich Woman" and "It’s Rising Time."

In 1996, the Kiyosakis created and launched the CASHFLOW board game, which was made to teach people about money, real estate and investing, as well as building a business and challenging perceptions of how to generate and sustain wealth, in a way that was fun and entertaining. Robert Kiyosaki said the purpose the board game was to change one’s internal dialogue, explaining, “If you don’t change your internal dialogue, your life doesn’t change.”

In 1997, they founded The Rich Dad Company with the mission “to elevate the financial well-being of humanity,” Robert said. It is centered on providing a financial education based on thinking like the rich.

The same year that the Kiyosakis started their company, Robert wrote his book "Rich Dad Poor Dad."

“'Rich Dad Poor Dad' started when I was 9 years old,” Robert said. “When I was 9, I asked my teacher when we would learn about money and she was shocked.” His teacher responded to his question by telling him to ask his father.

Robert’s father, whom he alluded to as "poor dad," was brilliant and had a successful career. His father worked his entire life, set money aside for retirement, but never accumulated any wealth. After speaking to his father about money, Robert said his father told him to “ask my rich friend’s dad; he’s an entrepreneur.”

The friend’s dad, whom Robert called "rich dad," understood the difference between an asset and a liability, and that assets put money in your pocket. Robert’s "rich dad" taught him how to become financially free by taking risks, using debt, buying assets and creating cash flow.

These two very different ways of thinking inspired Robert to write "Rich Dad Poor Dad" to teach financial education that is necessary in order to think like "rich dad." Robert and Kim aimed to impart some of these lessons to Barrett students who were present at the speaker series, in hopes of teaching financial education to the next generation.

Ann Atkinson, executive director of the T.W. Lewis Center, said one of her favorite takeaways from the seminar is Robert’s coin flip concept, in which he explained there is no such thing as a two-sided coin, and it’s the reason why there will always be disagreements. “All coins have three sides: Heads, tails and the edge,” he explained. “Intelligence is standing on the edge; not taking a side.”

Katie Alcaraz Reyes, a Barrett Honors College junior majoring in forensic psychology, said she attended the seminar to learn more about finance.

"I am not interested in working a 9-to-5 job after college, but I still want to make money,” she said.

The lesson from the Kiyosakis’ presentation that most stood out to Reyes was “if you don’t change your internal thinking, your life won’t change.”

“I feel like a lot of people struggle with that,” Reyes said.

Photo of students playing CASHFLOW

Students in Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University play the CASHFLOW board game to learn financial concepts during a workshop with Robert and Kim Kiyosaki, presented recently by the T.W. Lewis Center. Photo courtesy the T.W. Lewis Center

Isabella Meadows, a Barrett Honors College junior majoring in accounting and finance with a minor in real estate, said she attended this workshop series because she has looked up to Robert her whole life.

“He has been one of my biggest role models,” she said. “I admire his mindset and I want to be surrounded by and soak in his mentality, the mentality that sees the good in life and the abundance in life and the power to shape your reality through learning and mindset changes,” Meadows said.

“My experience from the lecture part of the workshop gave me the chills. Chills of inspiration, of empowerment, of life,” added Meadows, who has read Robert’s books and played the CASHFLOW board game as a kid.

“To hear Mr. Kiyosaki speak words of life and of truth right in front of me... (it) stirred something in my soul,” she said. “If I had to describe my experience in one word, I would say ‘magic.’”

Following the Kiyosakis’ presentation, students played the CASHFLOW board game, with the winner of each game receiving the board game as a prize.

“Playing CASHFLOW, I learned that sometimes you need to have patience and not take the first deal that comes your way,” Meadows said. “When you say ‘yes’ immediately to something, you are saying ‘no’ to something else, and that ‘no’ might actually have been 10 times more valuable than the fastest option to present itself.”

Shivani Naik, a Barrett Honors College sophomore majoring in finance and human systems, called the first seminar session a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn the keys to achieving financial freedom.”

“I learned something that I could immediately apply to my daily life. I learned that there is no such thing as a rich person or a poor person. Rather, there are people with a rich mindset and those with a poor mindset, and that mindset determines the ultimate financial situation of their lives,” she said

“I had an incredible experience throughout the first session of the Cash Flow Workshop Program,” Naik added. “The lessons I learned are such valuable lessons that I will never forget and that I am sure will provide endless benefits for me in the future.”

Along with the continuation of this speaker series, the T.W. Lewis Center will have many more events like this throughout this academic year.

“If there’s anything I recommend in this world, it is that students attend the T.W. Lewis Center programs,” Shivani said. “There is infinite value in the T.W. Lewis Center’s mission of personal development, and no matter what type of student attends the center’s events, every single person benefits in some way.”

Story by Barrett Honors College student Alex Marie Solomon.

ASU, Golden West College partnership allows student to pursue dream of business degree

MyPath2ASU collaboration makes for smooth, successful transfer process

September 21, 2022

Ever since participating in a business competition in high school, Cameron Prohaska knew he wanted a career in the field. He also knew that he would need to pursue higher education to meet that goal, but didn’t feel quite ready for college straight out of high school.

After taking some time off to develop his interests and launch a small business selling clothes, Prohaska enrolled in Golden West College in Huntington Beach, California, where he focused on economics and completed his associate’s degree. Collage of ASU logo and Golden West College logo. Download Full Image

Around that time, he learned of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan at Arizona State University, which provides 100% tuition coverage for eligible U.S. partnersStarbucks refers to its employees as partners.. That was all Prohaska needed to convince him ASU was the place to pursue his bachelor’s degree.

The icing on the cake was learning that Golden West College had formed an alliance with ASU to provide students a seamless transfer experience through the MyPath2ASU program.

MyPath2ASU is a set of customized tools available to transfer students from accredited, U.S. regional institutions. These tools ensure a smooth transition to ASU after earning credits or an associate degree from a U.S. community college or university, and also shorten the time to degree completion.

“The ASU pathway program helped me through seeing what tasks I needed to get done next. I was able to remain organized and focused by staying on track and being in contact with my ASU counselor on a semi-weekly basis,” Prohaska said.

Through the MyPath2ASU partnership, students have access to personalized benefits to help them navigate the transfer experience, including:

  • End-to-end learner navigation through 400 course-by-course guided pathways into on-campus, local and ASU Online degree programs.
  • Insurance of course applicability through assistance with selecting courses that apply to their associate and ASU bachelor’s degree.
  • Guaranteed general admission to ASU and admission into MyPath2ASU major choice if all requirements are satisfied. (Some majors have additional or higher admission requirements.)
  • Self-service, degree progress tracking through My Transfer Guide to minimize loss of credit.
  • Connected experience through personalized ASU communications to prepare academically and build a connection to ASU.

“At Golden West College, we care about our students not only while they take classes with us, but also when they move on to transfer institutions,” said Meridith Randall, vice president of instruction. “Our partnership with ASU is an integral step in ensuring a seamless transition for students to the next step in their higher education journey.”

Here, Prohaska shares more about his journey from community college to the accountancy BS program in the W. P. Carey School of Business, as well as some advice for other transfer students.

Portrait of ASU transfer student .

Cameron Prohaska

Question: Why did you choose ASU?

Answer: I chose ASU because of the professors and classes. I have friends that are ASU alumni and they have always told me great things about how smooth the courses run each session. Working at Starbucks and being aware of the ASU SCAPStarbucks College Achievement Plan program, I began to act on transferring to the university as soon as I became eligible.

Q: What have you enjoyed most about your ASU experience so far?

A: I have really enjoyed the classes. Each class online is very structured and organized, which makes it easier as a student to follow and keep up with. One of my strengths is following instruction, and I like that the classes are set up to help me stay on task by keeping up to date with my calendar for deadlines and due dates.

Q: What are your plans after you graduate with your bachelor's degree?

A: My plan is to work for a company where I can do accounting, but I also want to get my master's and find more information on earning that so I can strengthen my experience and resume.

Q: What do you do in your spare time to advance your goals?

A: I enjoy buying and selling clothes in my spare time when I can afford to. Learning about the market for secondhand clothes as well as brand new clothing items to sell for profit actually got me interested in accounting. I was able to learn a lot more about gross profit and how I wanted to grow in the future if I want to start up my own business someday.

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to a new transfer student?

A: One piece of advice I would give to a new transfer student is to find out the school's student support number. This helped me get in contact with an ASU success coach and made my transfer process way easier on me. I was able to quickly set up an appointment easily, and they were available pretty quickly. The success coach also answered all of my questions that I needed help answering and finding solutions to.

Watch Prohaska share his story below: