ASU College of Health Solutions welcomes 22 new faculty

Diverse group of scholars expand research, teaching capabilities to prepare future health care workforce

September 12, 2022

Twenty-two new faculty members are joining the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University for the 2022–23 academic year, bringing an infusion of new talent, energy and ideas.

The new faculty offer significant experience that will help the college prepare its future health care leaders and advance its mission to improve health outcomes for individuals and communities. ASU College of Health Solutions new faculty 2022 ASU's College of Health Solutions welcomes 22 new faculty members for the 2022–23 year. Pictured are: (top row from left) Danny Hughes, Mindy McEntee, Adewale Oyeyemi and Susan Racette; (second row from left) Joseph Roberts, Taichi Suzuki, Niko Verdecias and Joshua Anbar; (third row from left) Liz Harrell, Jessica Hogan, Rajendra Karkee and Hugh Lamont; (fourth row from left) Mallory Mushaben, Rollin Medcalf, Ileana Ratiu and Travis Schlappi. (Not pictured: Jade Culbertson, Charles Leddon, Jennifer Ratigan, Norma Rodriguez, Indigo Young and Robert Zwarich.) Download Full Image

“We are so pleased to welcome these impressive faculty to the College of Health Solutions,” Vice Dean Michael Yudell said. “Our new faculty bring diverse experience and credentials to the college, adding to our teaching and research expertise across a wide range of areas, including nutrition, population health, global health, health care systems, biomedical diagnostics, movement science, and speech and hearing science. They are well-prepared to contribute to our collaborative approach to addressing health issues.”

The new faculty come at an exciting time as the College of Health Solutions is celebrating its 10th anniversary and expanding its research and programs to meet the demand for health care professionals. The college has a unique structure that blends several diverse yet related health disciplines to help the community meet its many health challenges.

Tenured and tenure-track faculty

New tenured and tenure-track faculty bring significant depth of academic knowledge, research and scholarship to the College of Health Solutions:

  • Danny Hughes, a professor of health care systems, starts in January 2023. Hughes comes to the college from the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Economics, where he served as director of the health economics and analytics lab and master’s degree program. He also served as executive director and senior research fellow at the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute. He holds a PhD in economics from University of Georgia and a BS in economics from Georgia Institute of Technology. 

  • Mindy McEntee is an assistant professor in population health. McEntee has taught numerous classes in the college as a postdoctoral scholar in the past year. She holds a PhD in clinical psychology and a master’s degree in psychology from University of New Mexico, a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Towson University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from University of Nebraska.

  • Adewale Oyeyemi is an associate professor of population health, starting in January 2023. Prior to ASU, Oyeyemi was a professor of community physiotherapy and health promotion at the University of Maiduguri in Nigeria. He holds a PhD in social health sciences from Ghent University in Belgium, a master’s degree in physiotherapy from University of Ibadan in Nigeria and a bachelor’s of medical rehabilitation science degree from Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria.

  • Susan Racette is a professor in movement sciences. Racette previously served as a professor of physical therapy in the School of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. Racette earned her PhD in nutritional biology from the University of Chicago and a bachelor of science in biology (with a minor in biochemistry) from Bucknell University.

  • Joseph Roberts is an incoming assistant professor in nutrition who holds a PhD in nutrition and health sciences from Emory University, a master’s degree in nutrition and health sciences from the University of Nebraska and a bachelor of science in nutrition science from North Carolina State University. Recent teaching experience includes positions at Georgia State University, Emory University and Morehouse College in Atlanta.

  • Taichi Suzuki will begin in January 2023 as an assistant professor of nutrition/biodesign. Suzuki’s educational background includes a PhD in integrative biology from University of California-Berkeley, a PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology from University of Arizona, a master of science in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona, and a bachelor of science in animal science and resources from Nihon University in Japan. Most recently, he served as a postdoctoral research associate with the Department of Microbiome Sciences at Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Germany. 

  • Niko Verdecias, an assistant professor of population health, comes to the College of Health Solutions after a postdoctoral fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis. While at Washington, Verdecias was a co-investigator for three COVID-19 information, vaccination and health communication grants. Verdecias holds a doctorate in public health (with a concentration on community health and prevention) from Drexel University, a master’s degree in public health from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, and a BS in psychology from Syracuse University.

Career-track faculty

These new faculty bring excellence in teaching, clinical experience and service in their fields to their new roles as career-track faculty at the College of Health Solutions: 

  • Joshua Anbar, lecturer in health care systems, previously served as a faculty associate in the College of Health Solutions. Anbar earned a doctor of public health degree from the University of Arizona in 2020.

  • Jade Culbertson is a lecturer in population health. Culbertson, who has a master’s degree in exercise physiology from the University of Utah, was most recently a fitness and community wellness coordinator at the Northeast Community Center in Portland.

  • Liz Harrell began as a clinical associate professor in health care systems in May. Harrell holds a doctor of nursing practice degree from Arizona State University.

  • Jessica Hogan joins as a lecturer in population health. Hogan, who earned a doctor of behavioral health degree from ASU, was most recently an adjunct professor in psychology and business at Grand Canyon University.

  • Rajendra Karkee will be a lecturer in population health starting in January after having served as an associate professor of public health at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Dharan, Nepal.

  • Hugh Lamont will start in January 2023 as a clinical assistant professor in movement sciences after having served as an assistant professor in kinesiology at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina.

  • Charles Leddon, lecturer in movement sciences, was previously the director of sports science initiatives for the Cincinnati Reds Major League Baseball team.

  • Rollin Medcalf, lecturer in health sciences and medical studies, was most recently adjunct faculty at the University of New Mexico in Taos. Medcalf holds a doctor of medicine degree from Autonomous University of Guadalajara School of Medicine.

  • Mallory Mushaben brings experience as a respiratory therapist to her role as a lecturer in health sciences and medical studies. Mushaben worked at the Mayo Clinic Hospital since 2020.

  • Jennifer Ratigan, clinical associate professor in speech and hearing science, started at the college in January. Ratigan, who did an audiology residency with Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine and earned a doctorate in audiology from Gallaudet University,  brings clinical and classroom experience to the position.    

  • Ileana Ratiu joins as a clinical associate professor in speech and hearing science. Ratiu, who earned a doctorate in speech and hearing science at ASU, most recently taught at Midwestern University.

  • Norma Rodriguez is a lecturer in speech and hearing science. Rodriguez brings a wealth of speech-language pathology experience to the position from her many years running a clinical practice.

  • Travis Schlappi will start as a lecturer in biomedical diagnostics in January 2023. Schlappi, who holds a doctorate degree in chemical engineering, has served as an assistant professor of medical diagnostics at Keck Graduate Institute in Claremont, California.

  • Indigo Young joins the college as a clinical associate professor in speech and hearing science. Young has been a clinical instructor at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston since 2017.

  •  Robert Zwarich serves as a lecturer in health care systems. Most recently, Zwarich was a teaching assistant at Texas Tech University.

Weldon B. Johnson

Communications Specialist, College of Health Solutions

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ASU named No. 1 in innovation for eighth straight year

September 11, 2022

US News & World Report annual ranking also highlights engineering, business and nursing undergraduate programs

For the eighth year in a row, Arizona State University is No. 1 in innovation in the newly released annual Best Colleges rankings by U.S. News & World Report.

Over the past 20 years, ASU has grown from a regional desert university to a world-renowned public research institution of tremendous societal impact, an accomplishment reflected by its unchallenged designation as the most innovative university — ahead of MIT and Stanford — every year since the inception of the category.

“For two decades, Arizona State University has been designing, building and reinventing itself as a leader in innovation,” ASU President Michael M. Crow said. “We have tested and implemented new ways to teach, learn, discover and serve at all levels of the institution — all with the goal of demonstrating our commitment to excellence, access and impact — and I am deeply thankful to all who have contributed to our evolution.

“Innovation has the power to create better lives for all, and our collective future holds limitless potential, opportunity and inspiration to manifest a healthy, equitable and just tomorrow. ASU welcomes the chance to dream with others and to work together to make those dreams a reality.”

Institutions were nominated in the innovation category by college presidents, provosts and admissions deans from across the country. Schools are chosen based on who is determined to be making the most innovative improvements toward curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology and facilities.

In the past year alone, the university has implemented the LIFT Initiative to address inequities in academia, reinvented online education for students in the sciences and helped launch the New Economy Initiative to bring new, high-wage jobs to Arizona and increase the state's economic output.

In previous years, advancements that contributed to ASU’s No. 1 ranking included the introduction of the immersive virtual reality-based curriculum of Dreamscape Learn, achievement of carbon neutrality and the One Square Mile Initiative urban revitalization project. 

“By keeping innovation at the forefront of everything we do, we continue to change the way the world solves problems,” said Sally C. Morton, executive vice president of ASU’s Knowledge Enterprise. “ASU is breaking the mold for what is possible in our collective future by pioneering solutions that positively impact our students, our university, our communities and the world in far-reaching ways.”

Among other U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges categories, ASU ranked: 

  • No. 23 in Best Undergraduate Business: The W. P. Carey School of Business came in ahead of the University of Arizona, Purdue University and Boston College. Among the school’s programs that ranked in the top 10 are supply chain management (No. 2), analytics (No. 8) and management information systems (No. 10).
  • No. 29 in Best Undergraduate Nursing: The Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation had a 10-way tie in the category with such schools as the University of Miami, the University of Rochester and the University of Utah.
  • No. 33 in Best Undergraduate Engineering: Up nine spots in the last two years (and tied with Yale University, the University of Notre Dame and North Carolina State University), the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering counted six undergraduate programs in the top 25: civil engineering (No. 18), electrical engineering (No. 20), cybersecurity (tied with Northeastern and Texas A&M for No. 20), environmental engineering (tied with UCLA for No. 21), computer engineering (No. 23), mechanical engineering (No. 23).
  • Other highlights: ASU tied with Harvard for No. 18 in Best Undergraduate Teaching, ahead of Yale and Stanford; ranked No. 16 for Best Senior Capstone, ahead of Harvard, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Bryn Mawr College; No. 23 for First-Year Experiences, ahead of Harvard, Notre Dame and Vanderbilt; and No. 32 for Undergraduate Research, ahead of Columbia University and tied with UCLA and the University of Chicago.

A complete list of rankings, data and methodologies can be found on the U.S. News College Compass website.

Learn more about the 2021–22 stories highlighted in our video:

Emma Greguska

Editor , ASU News

(480) 965-9657

ASU nursing college earns top 30 ranking for BSN program

September 11, 2022

An expansion of programs leading to increased capacity and robust academic-practice partnerships are just a few of the elements that helped Arizona State University’s Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation secure the No. 29 spot on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings of undergraduate nursing programs.

“We’ve been working strategically and diligently at Edson College over the last few years to increase capacity in our Bachelor of Science nursing programs by developing strong academic-practice partnerships in order to meet the demands of the nursing workforce,” Edson College Dean Judith Karshmer said. “It’s rewarding to see these efforts paying off with this type of national acknowledgment from our peer institutions.” Nursing students look on as an instructor demonstrates at an IV pump next to a manikin. The students are wearing maroon scrubs and surgical masks Between program expansion and innovative clinical approaches, ASU's Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation is consistently working to prepare the best nurses possible. Download Full Image

In 2021, the college saw its largest BSN graduating class to date, with 794 students earning a Bachelor of Science in nursing between the prelicensure and post-licensure nursing programs.

Most recently, Edson College once again started offering the BSN program on the West campus. In 2021, the college also launched its first-ever program at ASU Lake Havasu with the goal of helping to address the nursing shortage in rural communities. The first Havasu cohort graduated this summer.

In addition to seeking out opportunities to grow the nursing programs, college leadership has embarked on a new approach to the ever-important clinical experience for nursing majors. With the introduction of the “teams model,” students now spend the majority of their clinical time at the same health care organization. 

In describing the advantages of the teams model, Salina Bednarek, senior director of prelicensure nursing programs and a clinical assistant professor at Edson College, called it a win-win. 

“The benefit of this model is that the facilities get to know them as students, the students get to know the facilities, and they’re able to focus more on learning the concepts that we’re trying to instill in them,” she said.

The college has successfully partnered with health care organizations to meet their workforce needs in cohort models that are now reflected in the teams model. The first was the establishment of the Mayo Clinic cohort in 2002 and then later with the launch of the dedicated education unit with Phoenix Children’s. However, this is the first time this model has been instituted program-wide.

Ultimately, the teams model seeks to create a stronger workforce pipeline and cut down on some of the time it takes for new nurses to transition from student to new graduate registered nurses at their first job. So far, academic-practice partner facilities like Dignity Health and Banner have embraced the innovative approach and are seeing the benefits up close. 

“For physicians and staff, they get to know the students very well,” said Alexis Warren, education specialist at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. “They get very comfortable. There’s this really well-oiled relationship. And it just all ultimately creates a better, safer environment for our patients.”

Seeking out partnerships and opportunities to grow the BSN program while providing the best evidence-based education possible is a top priority for leadership, adding to the college’s legacy of care and future of discovery.

“This ranking is certainly a recognition of the hard work of our program leadership, faculty and staff and the innovative approaches we’ve implemented to prepare the best nurses possible while maintaining our rigorous curriculum,” said Katherine Kenny, associate dean of academic affairs. “It’s also a reflection of our graduates practicing around the country and representing Sun Devil nurses through their high level of care.”

This is the second year that U.S. News & World Report have ranked undergraduate nursing programs in the Best Colleges rankings. In the first year that rankings were provided, Edson College came in at No. 76. 

Amanda Goodman

Senior communications specialist, Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation


ASU undergraduate business program holds No. 23 spot in latest US News & World Report rankings

September 11, 2022

The newest U.S. News & World Report rankings are out, and the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University kept its No. 23 ranking in the country for undergraduate business programs, ahead of University of Arizona, Purdue University, and Boston College.

In addition, the school has 10 undergraduate disciplines or departments ranked in the top 20. Exterior of the W. P. Carey School of Business building on Arizona State University's Tempe campus. Download Full Image

“The last several years have been brimming with change in higher education. These rankings show that W. P. Carey continues to lead that change and prepare students for success in a similarly changing business landscape,” said Michele Pfund, senior associate dean of undergraduate programs at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “It’s an honor to be recognized by our peers across the country.”

The 10 undergraduate disciplines or departments ranked in the top 20:

• Accounting, No. 13.

• Analytics, No. 8.

• Finance, No. 16.

• Management information systems, No. 10.

• International, No. 18.

• Entrepreneurship, No. 17.

• Management, No. 13.

• Marketing, No. 15.

• Production operations, No. 11.

• Supply chain management, No. 2.

In spring and early summer, U.S. News asked deans and senior faculty members at the 516 undergraduate business programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business to rate the quality of all programs. Average peer assessment scores were used to calculate the rankings.

“The new U.S. News rankings demonstrate that W. P. Carey delivers something unique in business education,” said Ohad Kadan, Charles J. Robel Dean and W. P. Carey Distinguished Chair. “As the largest business school in the country, we provide expansive access for students across Arizona, the United States and the world — all while delivering truly excellent education.”

In March, U.S. News also released the latest graduate school rankings. The school is ranked No. 13 nationwide for executive MBA programs and No. 18 for part-time MBA programs, while the school's full-time MBA ranks in the top 30. In total, U.S. News ranks 31 W. P. Carey programs and disciplines among the top 25, the most of any business school in the country.

See the school’s full list of rankings at

Emily Beach

Communications Manager, W. P. Carey School of Business

(602) 543-3296

Fulton Schools of Engineering jumps 9 spots in 2 years in US News rankings

The nation's largest engineering school places 6 undergraduate areas of focus in the top 25

September 11, 2022

No engineering school in the top 50 of U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of undergraduate programs had a more substantial gain in the last two years than the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University (tied with the University of Notre Dame).

Out of 212 universities included in the survey, the Fulton Schools of Engineering now ranks No. 33 overall, and No. 19 among public universities, across undergraduate engineering programs. ASU’s engineering school is up three spots from last year’s ranking (from No. 36) and has risen nine spots from two years ago (No. 42). Undergraduate studies in civil engineering, computer engineering, cybersecurity, electrical engineering, environmental engineering and mechanical engineering in ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering are among the nation’s best according to U.S. News & World Report. Download Full Image

“Engineering and computer science are foundational to not only technology innovation but to advancing quality of life,” says Kyle Squires, ASU’s vice provost of engineering, computing and technology and dean of the Fulton Schools of Engineering. “Consequently, the need for talented engineers is only increasing in our society. In the Fulton Schools, our faculty begins preparing students for these critical roles from their first day, creating a commitment to excellence and impact that becomes deeply ingrained, as reflected in these rankings.”

Six areas of study in the Fulton Schools of Engineering now rank among the top 25 undergraduate engineering areas in the nation, according to U.S. News. ASU’s undergraduate areas in civil engineering, computer engineering, cybersecurity, electrical engineering, environmental engineering and mechanical engineering are rated among the best nationally.

• No. 18 in civil engineering.
• No. 20 in cybersecurity.
• No. 20 in electrical engineering.
• No. 21 in environmental engineering.
• No. 23 in computer engineering.
• No. 23 in mechanical engineering.

U.S. News & World Report also ranked the undergraduate computer science program, which is part of the Fulton Schools of Engineering, at No. 46 (up eight spots) among more than 530 undergraduate computer science programs that were included in the survey.

The engine powering the Fulton Schools of Engineering’s continued recognition on the national stage is its world-class faculty. With a clear focus on preparing the next generation of leaders and innovators, ASU’s engineering faculty is committed to conducting use-inspired research and advancing entrepreneurship to address the great challenges of our time and transform society for the better. This academic year, more than 50 new faculty members are joining the Fulton Schools of Engineering, bringing skills and insights from top universities, leading laboratories and pioneering industry sectors from around the world.

The Fulton Schools of Engineering’s reputation for accelerating innovation continues with the launch of the university’s newest engineering school — the School of Manufacturing Systems and Networks. With the goal of playing a significant role in supplying the talent needed to support U.S. leadership in advanced manufacturing, the School of Manufacturing and Systems Networks is building on the Fulton Schools of Engineering’s foundation of comprehensive engineering, computer and technology programs to create a unique educational enterprise that will be a model for preparing students for the jobs of the future and to make an impact in their communities and around the world.

See the complete list of rankings for the 2022–23 Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs on the U.S. News & World Report website.

Arizona Association of Realtors, W. P. Carey School partner to mentor next generation of Realtors

September 7, 2022

The Arizona Association of Realtors, the largest trade association in Arizona representing more than 57,000 of the state's Realtors, has teamed up with Arizona State University's W. P. Carey School of Business and its Division of Real Estate to launch the ASU/Arizona Association of Realtors Professional Salesperson Mentoring Program.

This first-of-its-kind program will help ASU students who are pursuing a minor in real estate or a Master of Real Estate Development (MRED) learn more about the licensed real estate profession by increasing their professional skills while advancing their careers in real estate. Made up of two components, classroom education and mentoring, the program will support the professional development of students by providing them with advice, assistance and guidance during the 2022–23 school year. Portrait of Michelle Lind, legal counsel for Arizona Association of REALTORS “Mentorship is an important part of growth in the real estate field, and our Realtor professionals are dedicated to providing ASU students with the tools and experience for success,” says Michelle Lind, legal counsel for the Arizona Association of Realtors. “We are thrilled to work with ASU on this professional development program and to support our future leaders.” Download Full Image

“Mentorship is an important part of growth in the real estate field, and our Realtor professionals are dedicated to providing ASU students with the tools and experience for success,” says Michelle Lind, legal counsel for the Arizona Association of Realtors. “We are thrilled to work with ASU on this professional development program and to support our future leaders.”

Starting Sept. 12, students will be able to participate in 90-minute monthly educational sessions hosted by members of the association. Topics will include: market research and local area knowledge; ethics and legal framework when representing clients; presentation skills; and professional conduct and negotiation skills.

In addition, each student will pair with an experienced Realtor mentor who will help them identify career interests and provide valuable mentoring activities, such as practice interviews, job shadowing, resume review and more. Both mentors and students must adhere to a list of responsibilities and expectations to ensure a successful professional relationship.

According to Mark Stapp, the Fred E. Taylor Professor in Real Estate and director of the MRED program, the ASU/Arizona Association of Realtors Professional Salesperson Mentoring Program is a non-degree, non-credit curriculum maintained by ASU.

“The program’s primary mission is to supplement ASU’s successful real estate programs and to expand upon the (Arizona Association of Realtors') existing programs for its members,” he said. “In addition to providing learning and career opportunities for our students, the program will foster dialogue between industry professionals, academics and students wanting to advance their knowledge and expertise about real estate.”

Communications assistant, W. P. Carey School of Business

ASU professor awarded fellowship at Harvard's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy

September 7, 2022

Audrey Comstock, an assistant professor at Arizona State University’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, has dedicated her career to researching, teaching, understanding and exploring human rights issues.

This month, she joins a community of global human rights scholars, researchers, students and practitioners as a 2022–23 fellow with the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Portrait of ASU Assistant Professor Audrey Comstock. Audrey Comstock Download Full Image

“I am humbled and thrilled to be selected by Harvard University for this opportunity,” Comstock said. “I grew up in a rural, poor area in upstate New York where a fellowship like this at Harvard was certainly not the expectation, nor was going to college or graduate school … The Carr Center is a leader in the study of human rights … I’m really excited to be part of this intellectual community.”

Founded in 1999, the Carr Center’s mission is to educate students and the next generation of leaders from around the world in human rights policy and practice, and to convene and provide policy-relevant knowledge to international organizations, governments, policymakers and business.

Through the fellowship, scholars have the opportunity to conduct research at Harvard University, share experiences with students and explore critical human rights issues with a distinguished group of peers.

Comstock, who has been with ASU since 2017, teaches and researches political science and human rights in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. She is also the associate director of the Global Human Rights Hub, a senior sustainability scientist at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and is affiliated with the Center on the Future of War

“Professor Comstock is a highly valued member of the Global Human Rights Hub executive committee. As associate director of the hub, her research exemplifies our commitment to transform rigorous, cutting-edge research into policy-relevant recommendations,” said Heather Smith-Cannoy, associate professor in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences and director of the Global Human Rights Hub. 

“Her work on sexual abuse and U.N. peacekeeping missions, which she will be working on in conjunction with this fellowship, is sure to break new ground in this incredibly important area of study.”

Comstock’s research focuses on the intersection of political science, international relations and international law, exploring international human rights law, the United Nations, global women’s and LGBT rights and peacekeeping. She uses quantitative and qualitative methods to study how states negotiate international human rights law, the role of non-binding commitment and how sexual exploitation and abuse is punished within U.N. peacekeeping missions. 

Her recent book, “Committed to Rights: UN Human Rights Treaties and Legal Paths for Commitment and Compliance,” was published by Cambridge University Press in 2021. Comstock received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University at Albany and PhD and master’s degrees in government from Cornell University.

During her year as a Carr Center Fellow, she plans to develop her second book, “Punishing Peacekeepers,” which will examine civilians who were sexually exploited and abused by U.N. peacekeepers during missions.  

“In the book, I explore when and how the U.N. and home countries hold peacekeepers accountable after harming the people they’ve been tasked to protect,” Comstock said. “This project involves quantitative analysis of abuse and punishment, interviews with U.N. and nongovernmental organization workers and with archival research into past mission behavior.”

Comstock will also be mentored by Kathryn Sikkink, a pioneer in the academic study of human rights and renowned scholar who works on international norms and institutions, transnational advocacy networks, the impact of human rights law and policies, transitional justice and the laws of war.

The fellowship term began Sept. 1, 2022 and will run until June 30, 2023. During the fall semester, Comstock will participate in the fellowship remotely, and in the spring she will travel to Harvard to participate in a number of events and activities in person.

Emily Balli

Multimedia specialist, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

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ASU English boasts record numbers, welcomes new faculty

September 6, 2022

In its 2022 “List of Public R1 Universities Graduating the Most English Majors,” education and career data service Steppingblocks puts Arizona State University at No. 4 in the Western U.S.

The news that the Department of English at ASU has among the nation’s largest number of graduates is hardly surprising; enrollment in this humanities unit of The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Tempe has continued to grow, even during the pandemic.

To borrow a misquoted phrase from Mark Twain, reports of the death of the English major “are greatly exaggerated” — at least at ASU. As of fall 2022, the department boasts 2,273 majors, a total that includes English as well as film and media studies majors, both on-campus and online.

Composed of six distinct areas of study — creative writing; film and media studies; linguistics and applied linguistics; literature; secondary English education; and writing, rhetorics and literacies  — the Department of English also administers the university’s Writing Programs, which delivers writing instruction available to all ASU undergraduates. This fall alone, that equals nearly 12,000 students and over 500 sections of courses. Growth is projected into the spring semester.

To meet burgeoning university enrollment of both its own majors and the students it serves from across ASU, the department has again added another new crop of highly credentialed, award-winning faculty. Recent recruits include experts in rhetoric, in poetry and translation, and in creative nonfiction, among other specialties. Let’s meet Shersta Chabot, Denise Hill, Eunsong Kim, William Kruger, Muriel Leung, Vincent Oliveri, Laura Turchi, Sarah Viren and Kyle Wilson.

Collage of ASU English Department faculty portraits.

Top row, from left: Shersta Chabot, Denise Hill, Eunsong Kim. Middle row, from left: William Kruger, Muriel Leung, Vincent Oliveri. Bottom row, from left: Laura Turchi, Sarah Viren, Kyle Wilson.

Shersta Chabot, lecturer (Writing Programs)

Chabot’s appointment as a lecturer for ASU Writing Programs marks her 10th year teaching at ASU. This fall, she is instructing first-year composition courses informed by her work in cultural rhetorics. A passion for education and her early experiences with the injustices of intersectional discrimination are the twin guideposts of Chabot’s academic career. Her current research interests include cultural and digital rhetorics, gender studies and public memory. 

Chabot earned both her Master of Arts and PhD in English (writing, rhetorics and literacies) at ASU. Her dissertation examined the cultural battle being fought over building a National Women’s History Museum in Washington, D.C. — it is currently a digital museum — and the current material reality of gender representation in the National Museum of American History.

Denise Hill, lecturer (Writing Programs)

Hill began her career in secondary education teaching high school English in the Phoenix area. She then moved to college-level instruction at the University of Nevada, Reno, and the University of Arizona before coming to ASU. She has taught courses in introductory and advanced composition, writing center pedagogy, literature and new media studies. Hill's scholarly interests include rhetorics of motherhood and inclusive pedagogy. She is committed to creating inclusive learning spaces for all students, especially those with neurodifferences. She volunteers her time with Spectrum Spaces, a group that helps community members and teachers create spaces that take into account the sensory needs of people on the autism spectrum.

Hill holds a PhD in rhetoric, composition and the teaching of English from the University of Arizona and a Master of Arts in literature (19th-century British and American) from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Eunsong Kim, associate professor (creative writing / Center for Imagination in the Borderlands)

Kim is an associate professor in the Department of English and associate director of the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands at ASU. Working in poetry, translation, visual culture and critical race studies, she is author of the poetry collection “Gospel of Regicide” (2017) and co-translator from Korean of Kim Eon Hee’s “Have You Been Feeling Blue These Days?” (2019). Her monograph, “The Politics of Collecting: Property and Race in Aesthetic Formation,” is forthcoming from Duke University Press. Her writings have appeared in: Lateral: Journal of the Cultural Studies Association, Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies and in the anthologies “Poetics of Social Engagement” and “Reading Modernism with Machines.”

She has received the Ford Foundation Fellowship, Yale's Poynter Fellowship and a grant from the Andy Warhol Art Writers Program. In 2021 she co-founded offshoot, an arts space for transnational activist conversations. Kim holds a PhD in literature and critical gender studies from the University of California, San Diego and an Master of Fine Arts in writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

William Kruger, lecturer (Writing Programs)

Kruger teaches a variety of courses in Writing Programs and in the Department of English, specializing in persuasive writing, rhetorical theory and research methods in first-year and advanced composition. He also occasionally teaches graduate courses for the master’s degree in linguistics and applied linguistics, focusing on introductory linguistics, the history of English and grammar instruction for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

As a researcher, Kruger studies linguistics and language variation, and he has published a number of articles analyzing varieties of English — both historical and modern-day — as well as on theoretical syntax and phonology, and on early English manuscript studies. Kruger holds a PhD in linguistics and applied linguistics and a Master of Arts in English, both from ASU.

Muriel Leung, visiting writer (creative writing / Center for Imagination in the Borderlands)

Leung is a visiting writer with the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands and the Department of English. She is author of the award-winning poetry collections “Imagine Us, The Swarm” (2021) and “Bone Confetti” (2016), as well as a collaborative poetry-photography book with visual artist Kristine Thompson, “Images Seen to Images Felt” (2018). Her writing appears in The Baffler, Cream City Review, Gulf Coast, The Collagist, Fairy Tale Review and elsewhere. She has received fellowships to Kundiman and VONA/Voices Workshop.

Leung earned a PhD in creative writing from the University of Southern California, where she was an Andrew W. Mellon Humanities in a Digital World fellow. She also holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Louisiana State University. She is the poetry co-editor of Apogee Journal and a publicist for Kaya Press.

Vincent Oliveri, lecturer (Writing Programs)

Oliveri is another newly minted lecturer in ASU Writing Programs. His research interests include persuasion, motivated reason, deliberative democracy, political judgment formation and validity in qualitative research. He particularly enjoys teaching discipline-specific writing — primarily in biology — where students learn writing from a specific audience or usage perspective. This approach, known as “writing in the disciplines,” is a sibling to another strategy that Oliveri teaches: “writing across the curriculum,” which gives students opportunity to write in many contexts and for many purposes (not just in their composition classes).

Oliveri earned a PhD in English language and literature (emphasis in rhetoric and composition) from the University of Washington and a Master of Arts in English literature from Claremont Graduate University.

Laura Turchi, clinical professor (Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies)

Turchi rejoined ASU last academic year: She was on the faculty in the English education program and director of the Teaching Foundations Project before moving to Houston. Turchi is now working primarily for the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies as the curriculum director for the center’s multimillion-dollar Mellon Foundation project, RaceB4Race: Sustaining, Building, Innovating. The initiative creates resources in premodern literature, history and culture, offering innovative curricula, course materials and pedagogical approaches. Turchi is also teaching the discovery seminar LIA 194: Why I Hate Shakespeare, exploring the Bard’s ubiquitous presence on social media. A specialist in curriculum theory and methods for English language arts teaching, Turchi previously collaborated with Regents Professor Ayanna Thompson on "Teaching Shakespeare with Purpose: A Student-Centered Approach” (2016) and is most recently a co-editor of the volume “Cross-Disciplinary, Cross-Institutional Collaboration in Teacher Education” (2021).

Her book "Teaching Shakespeare with Interactive Digital Editions" is forthcoming in the Cambridge University Press’s Elements series. A Fulbright Scholar and education specialist, Turchi holds an EdD from Appalachian State University and an MEd from National Louis University.

Sarah Viren, assistant professor (creative writing)

Viren is an assistant professor in the Department of English, formerly with ASU's College of Integrative Sciences and Arts. She is author of the award-winning essay collection “Mine” (2018) and translator from Spanish of the novella “Córdoba Skies” (2016) by Argentine author Federico Falco. She was a finalist for the National Magazine Award for her essay "The Accusation," published in The New York Times Magazine in 2020. Her memoir, “To Name the Bigger Lie,” is forthcoming from Scribner, and her co-edited essay anthology “The Great American Essay” is forthcoming from Mad Creek Books. This fall, Viren is teaching ENG 288, a beginning fiction workshop for ASU Online students, and a special topics course ENG 394: “The Art of True Crime” on the Tempe campus. 

Viren’s work has been supported by a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Kerouac House residency and a Fulbright Student Grant to Colombia. She earned a PhD in English literature and comparative literature from Texas Tech University and a Master of Fine Arts in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa.

Kyle Grant Wilson, lecturer (Writing Programs)

Wilson is Diné (Navajo) from Fort Defiance, Arizona. This is his 23rd year teaching at the university, most recently as an instructional professional in English. Wilson’s appointment as a lecturer will enable him to focus more fully on his role as Indigenous rhetoric coordinator for Writing Programs, a role he relishes. Indigenous rhetoric sections of first-year composition (ENG 101/102) are a fusion of American Indian studies and writing instruction, traversing topics such as Indigenous decolonization, self-identification, acculturation and voices from the periphery for empowerment. Wilson founded and directs Project Communal Effort at ASU, a student-run group that organizes fundraisers to benefit local Indigenous families facing disparities.

Wilson publishes on the themes of Indigenous identities and decolonization, and his poems have been published in Rattle, Arizona Highways, The Arizona Republic, Red Ink and more. He serves on The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council on equity, diversity and inclusion and is honors faculty in Barrett, The Honors College at ASU. He is a poet and earned his Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at ASU.

Top photo: Students at The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences maroon convocation in 2019. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU

College of Global Futures welcomes new leaders, faculty

September 6, 2022

Arizona State University’s College of Global Futures has added to its ranks with a variety of experts who will help drive its vision for a vibrant future on a thriving, healthy planet.

The new leaders and faculty are bringing an array of experience in areas such as digital technologies, entrepreneurship, human-environment interaction and equity. Together, they will broaden the college’s ability to prepare students and faculty with a holistic understanding of their relationship with the planet and build a better future for all of its inhabitants. Person looking at a globe. Download Full Image

“The new leaders and faculty in the College of Global Futures add expertise in a variety of fields that, taken together, enhance the college’s ability to uncover mechanisms that will improve the world today and especially the world tomorrow,” says Peter Schlosser, vice president and vice provost of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory and dean of the College of Global Futures.

“Collectively, their expertise will further the development of pathways toward a world with opportunities for coming generations. Immediately, these appointments will add new knowledge areas where the burgeoning generation — our students — will gain access to views and concepts that inform a more comprehensive education,” he says.

Portrait of Miki Kittilson, ASU professor.

Miki Caul Kittilson 

Kittilson is the college’s newly appointed vice dean and brings her experiences in leadership and in equity and inclusion to the role.

She is the principal investigator of the ASU ADVANCE Institutional Transformation project, which works to support inclusion and success for the university’s faculty in accordance with the ASU Charter.

The program’s goal is to increase the number, visibility and success of women and faculty of color in STEM fields at all levels of the university.

Kittilson’s research centers on inclusion in democracy, with an emphasis on gender justice and women’s representation in governments worldwide.

Sharon Hall

Hall will serve as the associate dean of student success for the college. An ecosystem scientist, she researches the ways that humans and the environment affect each other, from the biodiversity of cities and wildlife at home to urban air pollution and communities’ ability to adapt to rapid environmental change.

Susanne Neuer

Neuer is the first director of the newly established School of Ocean Futures. She is a biological oceanographer and marine ecologist who studies the role of ocean life in the carbon cycle and in sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide. Her group has also studied sea ice organisms in the Arctic, the role of microorganisms in colonizing microplastic pollution in the ocean, and harmful algal blooms in our local reservoirs.

Neuer has been active in advancing women in science and academia; she has served on the national board of the Association for Women in Science and as president of ASU’s Faculty Women’s Association, where she is still active on the executive board.

Eusebio Scornavacca

Scornavacca begins his role as the interim director of the college’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society this fall. He is concurrently a professor in the school and in the Thunderbird School of Global Management. His research — spanning multiple industries and drawing from collaborators worldwide — focuses on innovation, entrepreneurship and ecosystems in the digital space, as well as information and communications technology for development and innovation policy.

Portrait of Michael Dorsey, ASU professor.

Michael Dorsey 

Dorsey has been named the Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Service Chair and is a professor of practice in the College of Global Futures.

He is a globally recognized expert on sustainable finance, renewable energy and the environment. He has collaborated with the United Nations for over two decades and was a previous appointee on the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Advisory Committee. 

Dorsey is a member of the Club of Rome, a nonprofit that brings thought and business leaders together to discuss global issues, and sits on the board of the Sierra Club, an environmental organization with chapters in all 50 states.

 Six additional faculty members join the college this fall. The School for the Future of Innovation in Society welcomes Professor Itty Abraham, Associate Professor Annette Lee, Assistant Professor Faheem Hussain and Associate Professor Lauren Ruffin (who is also part of the School of Arts, Media and Engineering). The School of Complex Adaptive Systems welcomes Associate Research Professor Michael Simeone. The School of Sustainability welcomes Assistant Professor Andrea Rissing.

Mikala Kass

Communications Specialist, ASU Knowledge Enterprise


ASU grad working in property development, keeping busy with community service

September 6, 2022

Arizona State University alumna Patrice Marcolla believes in the power of positive thinking. It’s what she credits with helping her get through college, pass challenging licensure exams and get into a profession in which she’s thriving.

And it’s the basis of advice she gives to others. Portrait of ASU alum Patrice Marcolla. Patrice Marcolla graduated magna cum laude in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in interior design from the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, a minor in business from the W. P. Carey School of Business and honors from Barrett, The Honors College. Download Full Image

“Believe in the power of a positive mindset, which seems like a simple concept but is a challenging practice to adopt,” she said.

Marcolla graduated from ASU magna cum laude in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in interior design from the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, a minor in business from the W. P. Carey School of Business and honors from Barrett, The Honors College.

“I put my energy into believing in myself, and it has changed the way I approach challenges. When I act with confidence, it results in a stronger performance. I credit this approach to helping me pass my three national interior design licensure exams (NCIDQ) shortly after I graduated," Marcolla said. "There is a high exam-failure rate on the first attempt, but I made up my mind to pass and I succeeded on my first try. Speak your goals into existence!”

After receiving her licensure, she worked as an interior designer for master-planned and multifamily communities across the United States for several years, taking on account executive, sales and marketing roles to expand business into new markets with development groups.

She transitioned into development and construction with IDM Companies in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she works in the pre-construction department, strengthening connections among ownership, development, construction and property management teams. 

She is active in the Urban Land Institute’s Young Leaders Group and Partnership Forum as a mentee group leader and serves as the committee chair for the local ULI2D council. She also is a member of the Multifamily/Affordable/Senior Housing (MASH) Local Product Council.

Working with Artlink, a Phoenix-based arts and culture organization, she represented the ULI2D program as a project manager for a mural installation at Arizona Public Service’s Evans Churchill Substation in downtown Phoenix.

She also designed and managed the Mahurin Room bar renovation for the 63rd Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, near Glendale, Arizona, in cooperation with Fighter Country Foundation's Luke Forward campaign. She volunteers with Barrett Honors College’s alumni group and the Sharp Construction and Girl Scouts of America's Girls Can Build initiative.

We caught up with Marcolla to get her thoughts on her experience at ASU and where she is now. Here’s what she had to say:

Question: Where did you grow up, and what brought you to ASU and Barrett, The Honors College?

Answer: I grew up in New Jersey and was looking for a new adventure for college. I applied to ASU for its renowned interior design program, within the context of a much bigger school and the opportunity for a well-rounded college experience (and escape from the cold winters back East). I was invited to apply to Barrett after applying to ASU and being the self-improvement junkie I am, loved the idea of getting a more robust education within the honors program.

Q: What are some of your favorite Barrett memories?

A: Naturally, the dining hallThe dining hall within the Barrett Honors College Tempe complex has a refectory that is referred to as the Harry Potter Room. was definitely a favorite part of my Barrett experience. I’m a Harry Potter nerd, too, so that space was a fun inspirational retreat from the classroom settings. I also just love how the honors campus feels like its own little world.

Q: Tell us about your career path. Did Barrett play a role in your development?

A: After working over five years as an interior designer, I transitioned into a career in commercial real estate development and construction. I credit Barrett for keeping me on an upward trajectory by maintaining a strong work ethic, pushing myself and provoking my competitive nature, and shaping me into a lifelong learner. The added responsibility of Barrett Honors, and the desire to prove to myself that I deserved the honors distinction, was a huge motivator in keeping me focused during college.

Q: What is on the horizon for you now?

A: I’m focused on my personal and professional growth. I’m learning as much as I can from my mentors and peers, and getting involved and taking on responsibilities to build my experience and grow my network. This means pushing the boundaries of my current role and gaining a greater perspective of the entire development process. Outside of my company, I’m involved in a number of professional organizations at different levels — leading community-oriented programs and participating in others. My long-term focus is on becoming an effective and influential leader.

Q: What advice do you have for ASU and Barrett alumni?

A: There’s nothing more valuable than human connection. I use the word “network” loosely because it was a daunting concept to me a few years back. But building relationships, creating space for vulnerability and belonging among people of different backgrounds, disciplines, career paths, etc. is the key to finding success and happiness.

Written by Alexandra Aragon, director of academic planning and retention at Barrett, The Honors College at ASU