ASU Professor Ron Broglio named new director of Institute for Humanities Research

January 4, 2023

Ron Broglio, a renowned educator, leader and scholar, has been appointed as Arizona State University’s new director of the Institute for Humanities Research.

Broglio, who previously served as the associate director of the institute, is a professor of English and senior scholar in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at ASU. He is also the director of the institute's Desert Humanities Initiative, where he is engaged in several long-term experiments in the deserts of the American Southwest. Broglio has been teaching at ASU since 2009. Headshot of Ron Broglio ASU Professor Ron Broglio. Download Full Image

“We are pleased to have Ron Broglio accept the position of director at the IHR,” said Jeffrey Cohen, dean of humanities at The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “The IHR’s vision has always been to advance and support vital humanities scholarship that makes a difference in the world. Ron brings extraordinary vision and solid leadership to the IHR and will continue to grow this mission.”

“I am thrilled to embark on this new chapter at the IHR,” Broglio said. “Since its inception 17 years ago, the IHR has served as a site of interdisciplinary conversation fostering new humanities projects and research. In the coming year, we will continue to advance the institute's mission to fund fellowships and research and booster the institute’s impact with deeper community engagement.”

Broglio, who holds a bachelor’s degree in English/philosophy, a post-baccalaureate in world religions, a master’s degree in British literature and a doctoral degree in romanticism and literary theory, writes books and essays on nonhuman phenomenology and animal studies, curating and producing contemporary environmental art exhibitions and environmental experiences.

An accomplished author, his books include “Animal Revolution” (University of Minnesota Press 2022) and “Surface Encounters: Thinking with Animals and Art” (University of Minnesota Press 2011), among other books and edited collections, including “Beasts of Burden: Biopolitics, Labor, and Animal Life in British Romanticism" (SUNY 2017) and “Technologies of the Picturesque: British Art, Poetry, and Instruments 1750–1830” (Bucknell 2008). 

He also co-edits the Desert Humanities book series for Texas Tech University Press. Currently, he is working on desert phenomenology experiments with the arts, designers and science collaborators in an art book series called “Strata.”

The Institute for Humanities Research generates and supports transformative, transdisciplinary, collaborative and socially engaged humanities scholarship that contributes to the analysis and resolution of the world’s many challenges. Institute scholars explore such issues and concepts as sustainability, human origins, immigration and natural disasters, and utilize historical, philosophical and creative perspectives to achieve a deeper understanding of their causes, effects and cultural meanings. 

The institute encourages transdisciplinary research that contributes to ASU's initiatives and promotes outreach and involvement with arts and other kinds of institutions in the greater community. 

Mina Lajevardi

Marketing and Communications Specialist, Sr., Institute for Humanities Research


ASU professor receives prestigious ASCAP and American Musicological Society awards

December 28, 2022

Peter Schmelz, professor of musicology in Arizona State University's School of Music, Dance and Theatre, was recently awarded the 2022 American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Foundation's Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award in the concert music field for his most recent book “Sonic Overload: Alfred Schnittke, Valentin Silvestrov, and Polystylism in the Late USSR" (Oxford University Press, 2020).

Considered an expert in 20th- and 21st-century music, and more specifically Ukrainian, Russian and Soviet music, Schmelz has received three awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
Portrait of ASU Professor Peter Schmelz. Peter Schmelz. Photo courtesy American Academy Download Full Image

In addition, Schmelz’s “Sonic Overload” received the American Musicological Society’s 2022 Otto Kinkeldey Award as a “musicological book of exceptional merit that provides a genuinely fresh perspective on the music of Schnittke and Silvestrov as well as its broader significance. … The book brings the music, the era and its attendant ambivalences and confusions alive.”

Schmelz said the inspiration for writing “Sonic Overload” grew directly from his first book, “Such Freedom, If Only Musical: Unofficial Soviet Music During the Thaw,” which discussed the sociocultural meanings of avant-garde music composed during the Soviet 1960s. Schmelz said that after finishing the book, he felt more could be said about two of the composers, Schnittke and Silvestrov.

“I had long been interested in Schnittke’s music, but I had grown increasingly captivated by Silvestrov’s,” said Schmelz. “As I started kicking around ideas for the second book, I realized that polystylism would be an ideal way to tie the two composers to one another and to larger cultural currents in the Soviet Union.”

The entire project, from his initial ideas to the published book, took a little over a decade. Schmelz’s first archival research in mid-2010 at the Paul Sacher Stiftung in Basel, Switzerland, was supported by a generous grant from that archive. He completed the manuscript during the first months of the pandemic in early 2020.      

While he was researching and writing "Sonic Overload," Schmelz also completed “Alfred Schnittke’s Concerto Grosso no. 1” (Oxford University Press), a shorter book published in 2019 that focuses on one of Schnittke's best-known and most compelling works.

Schmelz also received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and completed the “Sonic Overload” project as a Guggenheim Fellow.

“I hope that readers come away from 'Sonic Overload’ with a better sense of its direct topics — the mature polystylistic music of Alfred Schnittke and Valentin Silvestrov and its importance within the late USSR,” said Schmelz. “I also hope that I demonstrate their connections to larger global trends related to collage, quotation and information overload. They are two crucial composers from the late 20th century who tell us about what it meant to be alive during this period of great upheaval and technological change and how identities were (and are) negotiated by filtering the informational torrent of the constant, unrelenting exposure to new sounds, images and ideas. And how music can act as a consistent yet transitory personal archive and shield against that torrent.”

Schmelz said that because of Russia’s war in Ukraine, Silvestrov’s music has begun to appear with great frequency on concert programs around the world. He noted that in a New York Times interview with Silvestrov after the war started and the composer evacuated from his home in Kyiv to Berlin, the composer stated, “Does music not have any value in and of itself without any kind of war?”

“The award from the American Musicological Society was especially gratifying because it is an award from other musicologists,” said Schmelz. “It suggests that 'Sonic Overload’ has had resonance within the field beyond readers in its immediate subject areas, which was always my hope. I think that the example of polystylism and information overabundance in the late USSR has much to tell us about our own lives and times, as we continue to grapple with an ever-increasing amount of sounds, ideas and images.”

Lynne MacDonald

communications specialist, School of Music


ASU School of Music, Dance and Theatre to host international piano competition

43 competitors to perform in biennial contest Jan. 3–8 in Tempe

December 27, 2022

Arizona State University's School of Music, Dance and Theatre will host the 10th Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition on Jan. 3–8.

Recognized as among the leading international piano competitions, this year’s competition attracted 295 pianists from 24 different countries, according Baruch Meir, artistic director of the competition and associate professor of piano in the School of Music, Dance and Theatre. Of those, 43 applicants were selected to perform in the semifinal and final rounds.   Download Full Image

Prizes include more than $50,000 in cash awards, performance opportunities and recording contracts for the top winners. All performances will be in the Katzin Concert Hall on the Tempe campus.

New to the competition this year is access to information about the event through the ASU Special Events app. Both the app and website provide details about the competitions, competitors, schedule of performances, jury, tickets, parking, prizes and more.

Meir created the first competition in January 2006, and it was held annually through 2009. In 2011 it became a biennial competition. After that, the only year the competition was postponed was 2021, due to COVID-19.

Meir, who grew up in Israel, said his inspiration for the competition began when he was a young boy and would watch the pianists in the Arthur Rubenstein International Competition, one of the world’s top contests. Throughout the years, the organizer and founder of the Rubinstein competition, Yasha Bistritzky, noticed Meir's dedication and invited him to become the competitors’ coordinator in 1992.

“It was an incredible experience as people came from all over the world to participate and watch,” Meir said. “Experiencing the excitement, listening to the talented pianists and creating personal contacts was amazing.”

In 1994, Meir came to ASU to earn a Doctor of Musical Arts degree and was invited back to work with the Rubenstein competition in 1995.

“It was then that I decided that one day I would start a competition,” Meir said.

In 2003, Meir was named a Bösendorfer Concert Artist and met the directors and CEO of the Bösendorfer piano company during his recognition recital in Vienna, Austria. The CEO liked his playing, so Meir said he took the opportunity and proposed that a Bösendorfer competition should be created.

“It was something I was passionate about, and I persuaded the CEO of Bösendorfer with my passion,” Meir said.

Bösendorfer partnered with Schimmel on the competition through 2011. In 2013, Bösendorfer was bought by the Yamaha Corporation, and the competition was renamed the Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition.

Meir said the main benefit for students who compete is recognition and exposure.

“We, as artists, need a stage and recognition,” Meir said. “Winning a top competition helps you develop yourself as an artist and your professional career if you have a title of laureate on your resume.”

According to Meir, this year’s Bösendorfer-Yamaha competition has the second largest pool of competitors in the history of the competition. This year, the competition is also offering a new award for a best performance of a piece composed by a BIPOCBlack, Indigenous or people of color. or female composer.

Daily and weekly passes are available in advance for purchase online or by calling ASU Purplepass at 480-965-6447. The winners’ recital on Jan. 8 requires a separate ticket from the daily or weekly pass.

Lynne MacDonald

communications specialist, School of Music


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State-of-the-art facilities highlight new upgrades to ASU campuses

December 21, 2022

MIX Center in downtown Mesa and Mullett Arena in Tempe show growing ASU landscapes

Arizona State University completed more than 120 projects totaling more than $40 million during the summer and fall 2022 semesters.

Facilities Development and Management and its collaborators upgraded all ASU campuses and concluded work on two cutting-edge facilities. A new educational centerpiece in downtown Mesa, a mid-size arena for athletics and several Tempe campus additions highlight the new development.

“These projects showcase our investment in students, faculty, staff and Valley communities to provide welcoming environments for all to use,” said Alex Kohnen, Facilities Development and Management vice president. “The new facilities will support the ASU community for many years to come and contribute to the growth and success of their surrounding areas.”

Learn more about the recently completed construction projects:

Media and Immersive eXperience Center

Outside of ASU MIX Center building featuring a large screen

The outside of the MIX Center features a bright 100-foot screen. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

A joint project between ASU and the city of Mesa, the MIX Center enhances innovation infrastructure with greater access to higher-education programs for local residents and increased activity in downtown Mesa. 

The nearly 118,000-square-foot building provides large program areas, including:

  • 280-seat screening theater.
  • 80-seat screening room.
  • Four sound stages.
  • Enhanced immersion studio.

The building also contains high-tech sound-recording studios, control rooms, display areas, editing rooms, classrooms and office-support spaces. A 100-foot-wide high-resolution display on the building’s exterior faces the plaza with an event lawn for film screenings, sporting events and other community outings.

Located next to the MIX Center, the Studios at Mesa City Center are open to the public and provide support spaces for residents with entrepreneurial or business ideas.

The MIX Center houses academic units from the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, including The Sidney Poitier New American Film School. It also includes top-ranked digital media technology, worldbuilding, experience design and gaming programs from The Design School and the School of Arts, Media and Engineering, as well as from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and the College of Global Futures.

Mullett Arena

ASU hockey jerseys hang on glass wall at arena

Mullett Arena will be the home of ASU hockey and wrestling, the women’s gymnastics team and the temporary home of the Arizona Coyotes. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

Officially named in August and opened to the public in October, Mullett Arena is the new home for ASU hockey, wrestling and various community and entertainment events. The arena can accommodate concerts, lectures and large-scale meetings throughout the year.

Located in the center of the Novus Innovation Corridor, the 5,000-seat, state-of-the-art arena includes:

  • 8,000 square feet for ASU’s locker room, weight room, players’ lounge and coaches’ offices.
  • 20 luxury suites.
  • Two ice sheets.
  • Club lounge.
  • Premium club seats.

“This arena will be an attractor as we bring together the university and our knowledge assets with the private sector,” said Morgan R. Olsen, ASU executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer.

The attached Mountain America Community Iceplex is accessible to students and serves the community with a practice and competition location for regional youth and adult hockey clubs.

Mullett Arena will host Arizona Coyotes home games for the 2022, 2023 and 2024 NHL seasons while the team develops its proposed new arena and entertainment district.

The construction of a two-story, approximately 15,000-square-foot annex adjacent to the arena accommodates NHL-quality home and away teams with:

  • Dressing rooms.
  • Fitness rooms.
  • Nutrition stations.
  • Training areas.

Demolition work

Recent demolitions on the west side of the Tempe campus pave the way for new academic and parking space development.

The demolition of Wilson Hall, constructed as a residence hall in 1956 along Orange Mall, will allow for a new five-story facility housing classroom, collaboration, instructional and office spaces to support academic programs’ growth and student success. The new building is the first section of a new academic district in the heart of campus, adding 19 state-of-the-art classrooms.

The Tempe Center and Tempe Center Annex buildings, acquired by the university in 1983, were demolished this summer. New developments in the area will include a parking structure, a future academic building with retail on Mill Avenue and a residence hall. The Mill Avenue Parking Structure, scheduled to be completed next summer, will add 1,205 parking spaces on six levels for the new Omni Tempe Hotel at ASU and the surrounding area.

Additional capital projects

The Engineering Center G Wing’s south exterior stairs were renovated, including an updated concrete infrastructure. Workers also installed new handrails and guardrails to meet current safety codes while matching the original handrail’s look.

On the Downtown Phoenix campus, workers installed 98 efficient water-source heat pumps in Health South.

In addition to many capital projects, Facilities Management completed numerous infrastructure projects — electrical, paint and maintenance — across all ASU campuses.

These projects are only part of existing ASU capital projects currently in planning, design or construction phases, including:

Learn more about ASU’s past, present and future construction projects and follow Facilities Development and Management on Twitter at ASUfacilities.

Top photo: The MIX Center in downtown Mesa contains high-tech sound-recording studios, control rooms, display areas, editing rooms, classrooms and office-support spaces. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

Communications program coordinator , Facilities Development and Management


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Top stories from The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2022

December 20, 2022

In 2022, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University made headlines across ASU News and beyond. But there were a few stories that readers really gravitated towards. 

Check out The College’s top 10 countdown for most viewed ASU News stories published in 2022, from online dating to Black representation in film to simulated animal combat. 

"Soylent Green" screenshot of green cards scattered across a black table.

No.10: Did 'Soylent Green' get 2022 right?

A 1973 film, which takes place in 2022, portrays a world being devastated by climate change, its oceans polluted with waste. Overpopulation and overuse of resources lead to shortages of food and water, and housing prices skyrocket to the point where only the elite can afford apartments.

ASU professors, including Joni Adamson, President’s Professor of environmental humanities in the Department of English, discussed what “Soylent Green” got right.

An ancient village covered in snow.

No. 9: Returning to the historical treasure of Chaco Canyon

Chaco Canyon was the center of the ancestral Puebloan world, home to immense great houses as high as five stories tall and containing as many as 800 rooms, cavernous kivas built so that dancers appeared to rise out of fires during ceremonies, engineered roads, a prehistoric observatory and systems for communication.

Matt Peeples, an associate professor of anthropology and the director of the Center for Archaeology and Society in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, shared what he has learned as part of an NSF-funded team seeking to unravel the mysteries of Chaco Canyon.

A student exploring an Alien Zoo through virtual reality.

No. 8: VR biology lab experience leads to student success

ASU students are learning biology in a unique virtual reality experience, hurtling through space to interact with creatures in an intergalactic wildlife sanctuary the size of a small city and to solve the mystery of why the creatures are dying.

A new study on the Dreamscape Learn biology course showed that this method of learning is not only unique, but also effective:

  • Overall, students in the Dreamscape Learn course had higher lab grades than those in the conventional course — 9% higher overall. The median lab grade for students in Dreamscape Learn was 96%, compared with 87% for the other group.

  • Students enjoyed the experience. The average rating on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being excellent) was 4.4.

A smart phone on a table with a heart icon in the center of the screen.

No. 7: Online dating is booming, changing in pandemic era

Online dating is the No. 1 way to meet a romantic partner in the U.S., says Liesel Sharabi, assistant professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication and director of the Relationships and Technology Lab at Arizona State University.

Sharabi shared her findings about finding companionship online and how dating has evolved through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Azmat Khan leaning against a cement wall.

No. 6: ASU professor wins Pulitzer Prize

Azmat Khan, a professor of practice in the School of Politics and Global Studies and a mentor in the Center on the Future of War, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for her work on The New York Times series “The Civilian Casualty Files.”

According to the Pulitzer committee, the series “exposed the vast civilian toll of U.S.-led airstrikes, challenging official accounts of American military engagements in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan." Khan met with ASU News about the Pulitzer award and the reporting process from the six-year investigation.

Kiera Charley looks at darkening clouds on a butte at the Charley land outside Many Farms, Arizona.

No. 5: A student’s journey toward the stars

Astrophysics major Kiera Charley shared her journey through her first year at ASU — from leaving her home on the Navajo Nation to making new friends on campus. 

A Student’s Journey Toward the Stars” catalogs milestones and memories throughout Charley’s transition to college — and how higher education is changing to better serve the needs of Native American students.

Microscopic purple ovals and blue circles of monkeypox particles.

No. 4: ASU epidemiologist answers questions about monkeypox

On July 29, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 4,638 cases of monkeypox in the United States, with 41 cases in Arizona, and the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a “public health emergency of international concern.” 

Megan Jehn, an infectious disease epidemiologist and associate professor at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, cleared up some misinformation about monkeypox and answered some other questions about the disease.

A Black film producer works behind the camera to examine a scene of four individuals conversing.

No. 3: Black representation in film, TV still needed behind the scenes

Recent studies show that Black actors comprise 12.9% of leading roles in cable-scripted shows (proportionately reflecting the overall Black population of 13.4%). The numbers behind the scenes aren't as encouraging, though. Only 6% of the writers, directors and producers of U.S.-produced films are Black.

ASU News spoke to Aviva Dove-Viebahn, an assistant professor in the film and media studies program in the Department of English, about those numbers and how Black representation in film and TV is still needed behind the scenes.

A Falcon 9 rocket launches into the clear blue sky.

No. 2: US Space Force selects ASU as newest university partner

The U.S. Space Force and ASU signed an agreement making ASU the newest member of the service's University Partnership Program, and beginning efforts at ASU to assemble partnerships and models to collaborate with the Space Force on research and education.

“We are certainly no stranger to space,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “ASU is a leader in exploring the universe, from planets to asteroids and from the Milky Way to the most distant galaxies. We are excited to work with Space Force to continue on this path toward discovery and insight.”

Illustrated images of a squirrel, skunk and moose.

No. 1: A look inside the 10th Annual March Mammal Madness tournament

The annual March Mammal Madness tournament celebrated its 10th anniversary of combining science, storytelling and simulated animal combat to teach students about animals.

This year’s March Madness-style bracket included the following four divisions: Mammal Collectives; Wild North America; Queens of the Sea and Sky; and Why Not Both? Going beyond just mammals, the tournament featured an Arctic tern and Macaroni penguin, as well as orcas and swordfish. 

In the championship match, a "grandma" orca faced a pride of lionesses in an epic animal battle of land and sea. View the official Rodent Recap video of the championship round.

Top image: This year's top story celebrated the 10th anniversary of March Mammal Madness, which combines science, storytelling and simulated animal combat to teach students about animals.

Lauren Whitby

Digital Marketing Manager , The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


ASU Thunderbird ranked No. 1 by QS International Trade Rankings

December 19, 2022

In the first-ever rankings of their kind, the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University was recently named No. 1 in the world in international trade by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), the premier global higher education analyst organization.

This top ranking places Thunderbird ahead of Harvard, MIT and Stanford, domestically, and Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, internationally.  Dean Khagram speaking in Thunderbird's Haas Digital Global Forum Dean Sanjeev Khagram presenting in Thunderbird's Haas Digital Global Forum. Photo courtesy of ASU Thunderbird Download Full Image

In partnership with the Hinrich Foundation, QS selected Thunderbird’s Master of Global Management degree program as the “world’s best international trade programme,” according to a recent press release announcing the 2023 QS International Trade Rankings.

The Master of Global Management — Thunderbird's flagship graduate program — is an innovative leadership and entrepreneurship degree for professionals seeking careers across global private, public and nonprofit sectors. The program builds on a foundation of global management courses and adds 21st century skills such as digital transformation, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and more. 

Thunderbird was ranked among the top 200 universities and business schools across the globe that offer graduate programs in the field of trade study.

“For more than 75 years since our founding in 1946, Thunderbird has advanced a powerful belief that ‘borders frequented by trade seldom need soldiers,’” said Sanjeev Khagram, director general and dean of Thunderbird. “With this No. 1 ranking, we honor this deep tradition and re-establish our global leadership of international trade education for the next 75 years and beyond.”

According to QS, these rankings provide insights for aspiring professionals, employers, universities and business schools into the world’s best international trade master’s programs. The first edition assessed 200 courses in 43 countries and territories based on their performance across seven key lenses, including course content, graduate outcomes, industry networks, teaching methods and research.

“These rankings highlight what great master’s trade programs look like and how they’re producing graduates that can advance the industry,” said Kathryn Dioth, chief executive officer of Hinrich Foundation. “Through the rankings, the Hinrich Foundation supports students to identify programs that will secure them employment and accelerate their trade careers, enables companies to hire work-ready talent, and provides universities with comparability, recognition and the means to enhance their global trade programs.”

With a unique vision to advance inclusive and sustainable prosperity worldwide, Thunderbird has been a top-ranked international management school for more than 75 years.

This recognition proceeds Thunderbird’s top ranking in the Times Higher Education/The Wall Street Journal Business Schools Report in 2019. Since then, Thunderbird’s Master of Global Management has been ranked No. 1 in the world.

"With deep gratitude, I thank our faculty, students, staff and our partners across ASU, who make Thunderbird a truly remarkable institution of higher learning. We are honored to have ranked No. 1 among top institutions worldwide in this inaugural edition of the QS International Trade Rankings," Khagram said. "This recognition demonstrates our commitment to a global and digital curriculum and delivery innovation.”

Dasi Danzig

Senior Media Relations Officer, Thunderbird School of Global Management


ASU faculty, students earn top honors at national communication conference

December 14, 2022

Five faculty members from Arizona State University's Hugh Downs School of Human Communication received honors of distinction at the National Communication Association’s 108th annual convention in New Orleans on Nov. 17–20. 

The NCA is the largest national academic organization that focuses on communication. More than 7,000 communication researchers, practitioners, faculty and students are members of the NCA, and more than 4,000 attended the convention.  human communication Download Full Image

The late ASU Associate Professor Daniel Brouwer, who passed away in May 2021, received the Golden Anniversary Monograph Award, along with Charles E. Morris III of Syracuse University, for the article “Decentering whiteness and AIDS memory: Indigent rhetorical criticism and the dead of Hart Island,” published in the Quarterly Journal of Speech in 2021.

In a letter nominating the two scholars for the award, Assistant Professor E. Cram from the University of Iowa wrote, “This essay is a theoretically sophisticated model for criticism at the intersection of racial rhetorical criticism, public memory and space/place that simultaneously offer important correctives to much of our disciplines’ approach towards the raced and classed politics of AIDS.”

Hugh Downs School Director and Professor Sarah J. Tracy, a friend and associate of Brouwer’s for more than 20 years, reflected on the award and its meaning for the discipline.

“Dan dedicated his scholarly career to marginalized communities, and by doing so, fundamentally transformed the field of rhetorical criticism as we know it. As an intellectual leader in counterpublic theory and public memory, his final essay will have a lasting impact on the field, and his foundational legacy will live on in perpetuity. The field is forever indebted to his innovative ideas and his thoughtful scholarship,” she said. 

Associate Professor Sarah Amira de la Garza was awarded the Legacy Award from the Ethnography Division and the Córdova-Puchot Scholar of the Year Award from the Latina/o Communication Studies Division. 

In a letter nominating de la Garza for the Córdova-Puchot Scholar of the Year Award, one scholar wrote, “Her teaching is inspirational, innovative and empowering. She has demonstrated her longstanding passion and commitment to mentoring Latinx students and colleagues across the U.S. The high impact of her Latinx postcolonial scholarship and performance-based dissemination efforts cannot go unrecognized. Overall, with her outstanding teaching, mentorship, research and service, she has become a sought-after and well-respected role model for Latinx students and scholars, and she is highly worthy of this award.”

In a nomination letter for the Ethnography Division Legacy Scholar Award, Tracy wrote, “From my years of working with and talking with Amira, I know that she was writing critical ethnography about personal experience and creative writing as cultural ethnographic expression long before it became the dominant form of autoethnography that many practice in communication and other fields. She calls her form of writing 'chicanography,' a term she coined and has been developing as a distinct genre of Chicana critical creative writing.” 

Accepting the awards, de la Garza said, “Both of these awards mean an incredible amount to me as they recognize the work that has always been the most meaningful to me during my career. They reinforce my commitment to continue doing what I do no matter where I am. I am grateful to ASU for providing the interdisciplinary community to support my work over three decades."

Assistant Professor Loretta LeMaster was awarded Book of the Year by the GLBTQ Communication Studies Division for "Gender futurity, intersectional autoethnography: Embodied theorizing from the margins," co-authored by Amber Johnson. 

That division also awarded LeMaster Monograph of the Year, for "'It’s a ... [inaudible blood-curdling screams, chaos]!’: Gender reveal party fails as ideological rupture" published in Peitho, a peer-reviewed jounral of the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition.

In response to the awards, LeMaster said, “The Book of the Year and Monograph of the Year awards instantiate the importance of transgender cultural performance and rhetorics to the discipline's future. I am both honored and humbled to win these awards (one of which I share with Dr. Amber Johnson). I am honored to be included among fellow GLBTQ scholars whose award-winning work has helped to shape and enrich the discipline, including developing my own thinking.

"And I am humbled to win these awards in light of the recent Club Q tragedy in Colorado Springs ... in which five people were murdered in a queer club, including two transgender workers. More than recognition, these awards help to normalize trans presence in and beyond the discipline. I dedicate this award to my fellow trans and gender-expansive community.”

Assistant professors Liesel Sharabi and Jenna N. Hanchey.

Assistant Professor Jenna N. Hanchey received a New Investigator Award from both the Critical and Cultural Studies Division and the Rhetoric and Theory Communication Division.

She also received an Outstanding Article Award from the Critical and Cultural Studies Division for “African communication studies: a provocation and invitation,” co-authored with Godfried A. Asante.

In her nomination letter for Critical and Cultural Division’s New Investigator Award, one scholar wrote, “I believe that critical future studies will animate the next wave of groundbreaking scholarship in the field, and Hanchey is poised to lead that work through her careful and nuanced attention to the rhetorical dimensions of Africanfuturism.”

In a nomination letter for her New Investigator Award from the Rhetoric and Communication Theory Division, one scholar wrote, “She is a star and I believe she will have a distinguished career. Her early career accomplishments are astounding. I am in awe of how much she has contributed to the field and beyond. She asks big questions and is not afraid to transgress disciplinary or methodological boundaries to find the answers.”

Accepting these awards, Hanchey said, “That I have been honored with these three awards this year is demonstrative of the growing recognition of African communication studies as a subdiscipline, and the community of African scholars being built in the discipline. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude to Godfried Asante, Joëlle M. Cruz, C. Nthemba Mutua-Mambo and Gloria Nziba Pindi for their conversations and collaborations — without their support and feedback, the research honored by these awards would not have been possible.

"I'm so excited that the field of communication studies is starting to recognize and celebrate scholarship that centers on African epistemologies. I'm particularly proud of the Critical and Cultural Studies Division Outstanding Article Award, as it honors the introductory essay to the double issue of Review of Communication that Godfried Asante and I co-edited. I hope these awards bring more attention to African scholars in the discipline and their brilliant work!”

Assistant Professor Liesel Sharabi received the Early Career Award from the Interpersonal Division.

In a nominating letter, ASU Professor Laura Guerrero wrote, “Dr. Sharabi is a rising star in the area of interpersonal communication who is not only contributing to the academic literature but also giving interpersonal communication a place at the larger table of public discussion about relationships in the 21st century.”

Accepting the award, Sharabi said, “I’m honored to receive this award and grateful to my colleague, Laura Guerrero, for her nomination. It means a lot to have my work recognized by my peers and by the interpersonal communication discipline at large.”

In addition to the faculty awards, several other Hugh Downs School faculty and graduate students were honored at the conference with Top Paper awards:

Doctoral student Marco Denhert and Professor Paul Mongeau

Outstanding Article Award in Human Communication and Technology

"Persuasion in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (AI): Theories and Complications of AI-based Persuasion" by Paul Mongeau and Marco Dehnart.

Top Paper in Communication and Sport

“Finding Belonging in Sport: Narrative Turning-points among Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming Athlete Identities” by Alaina Zanin, Lore/tta LeMaster, Lucy Niess and Haley Lucero.

Top Paper in Spiritual Communication

“‘Religiously Unproductive’: Asexual-Spectrum Mormons and Navigating Rhetorics of Allonormativity” by Ben Brandley.

Top Paper in GLBTQ Communication 

“Ace Awakening: Communication Sources that Lead to Affirming Asexual-Spectrum Identities” by Ben Brandley. 

Top Paper in Critical Cultural Studies

“Surviving the Temporal Drag of the Classroom: A Collective Autoethnographic Exploration of the Mundane*” by Sarah Keeton and Ashlee Lambert.

 Top Student Paper in Performance Studies

 “Loss Shapes Itself” by Angela Labador.

 Top Paper in Ethnography

“Dancing with Data: A Collaborative and Critical Qualitative Inquiry” by Ana Isabel Terminel Iberri.

 See the full list of NCA presentations from the Hugh Downs School.

Manager, Marketing and Communication, Hugh Downs School of Human Communication


Interplanetary Initiative pilot project researcher presents at American Geophysical Union conference

Lauren Gold received the grand prize for her work on JMARS XR

December 14, 2022

Interplanetary Initiative project member and Arizona State University's School of Arts, Media and Engineering doctoral student Lauren Goldadvised by Associate Professor Robert LiKamWa, is presenting her research at the American Geophysical Union fall meeting Dec. 12–16. 

She submitted her research on JMARS XR to AGU's Student Visualization Research competition and received the grand prize, allowing her to present at the conference. Lauren Gold presents at AGU Interplanetary Initiative project member and School of Arts, Media and Engineering doctoral student Lauren Gold presents her research at the American Geophysical Union fall meeting Dec. 12–16. Download Full Image

Gold's project has been sponsored by the Interplanetary Initiative over multiple years as part of the five senses in space pilot project.

She will give a talk and help the JMARS team host their booth on the exhibit floor with live demos of the project. Last year, there were 26,000 scientists in attendance at the AGU fall meeting. This year, Gold gets to help carry the ASU flag as a winner of this competition and broadcast the potential impact of this technology.

Lauren worked with subject-matter expert collaborators Kathryn Powell and Jonathon Hill to create an immersive experience using real data and real stories. She attributes her ability to meet and work with them to Interplanetary Initiative support.

“Interplanetary has empowered me (an AME student) to collaborate with experts from planetary science disciplines, which in turn increases the impact that our JMARS XR technology could have,” Gold says.

The JMARS XR platform allows multiple researchers, educators and learners to collaboratively configure and view planetary terrain dataset fusions. The project is integrated into VR headsets, AR smartphones and desktop and/or laptop computers so users can explore in whatever form they're most comfortable with. It’s also integrated into Dreamscape in both seated and walkable formats.

The project is the continuation of a rich collaboration between Phil Christensen's JMARS team of the Mars Space Flight Facility at ASU and Meteor Studio. Lauren and her team of undergraduate assistants continue to work extensively with JMARS engineers Scott Dickenshied, Ken Rios, Saadat Anwar and others on software and network integration. In preparation for this AGU submission, she also pursued heavy consultation with planetary scientists Hill and Powell, contextualizing the work in legible terminology for her storyboard.

Written by Robert LiKamWa, Interplanetary Initiative pilot project lead.

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2022 President’s Awards honor ASU employees

December 13, 2022

Sustainability, civic engagement projects awarded for local, global impact

Arizona State University President Michael Crow honored staff and faculty members during the 2022 President’s Awards ceremony, held Dec. 8 in the Ventana Ballroom of the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus.

The annual event recognizes collaborative initiatives that have demonstrated excellence in advancing the university’s mission. The categories include: the President's Award for Global Engagement, the President's Award for Innovation, the President's Award for Sustainability and the President’s Medal for Social Embeddedness.

Four employees were also nominated by peers to be honored with a Serving University Needs (SUN) Award.

Submissions for the 2023 President's Awards will be open from Jan. 11–Feb. 17. Next year's awards cycle will include a new award, the President’s Award for Transdisciplinary CollaborationThis award seeks to recognize multidisciplinary project teams undertaking exemplary collaboration with participants from different sectors — academia, business and industry, government laboratories and agencies, and organizations in civil society — to address a complex societally relevant issue. 

Here's a look at the 2022 winners:

President’s Award for Global Engagement

Pamela DeLargy

Added as a new category this year, the President’s Award for Global Engagement went to Pamela DeLargy, professor of practice within the School of Politics and Global Studies and a senior global futures scholar.

As the executive director of Education for Humanity, DeLargy and her team work to bring higher education to camp-based and urban refugees in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Jordan, Uganda and Ethiopia.

DeLargy was introduced by Nasiba Hakimi, one of 64 Afghan women who sought refuge in Arizona and began attending ASU last spring.

“It was hard to leave our family, friends and our country, but we had no choice,” Hakimi said. “Ms. Pam knows that we are committed to our education. She works side-by-side with us and is an amazing example of humanity.”

Hakimi also added that DeLargy is an inspiration for giving back.

“Ms. Pam is a real model for me. I'm inspired to help other people, whether it is with the Afghan community or others,” she said.

Woman holding award with student posing next to her

Pamala DeLargy (left) poses with the President’s Award for Global Engagement alongside student Nasiba Hakimi.

President’s Award for Innovation

This award recognizes ASU personnel who demonstrate the university's commitment to higher education through the development and execution of innovative projects, programs, initiatives, services and techniques. Solutions may be motivated by social, economic, artistic or intellectual challenges, while creating value for the university and the broader community. Two projects were awarded this year.

ASU Clean Indoor Air Project

The project is a public health initiative to bring cleaner indoor air to K–12 schools across Arizona, in an effort to slow COVID-19 transmission. The Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology (AIDE) team within the School of Human Evolution and Social Change created an innovative DIY solution using four filters and a box fan, called the Corsi-Rosenthal (CR) box

Led by infectious disease epidemiologist and Associate Professor Megan Jehn, the team deployed this solution to more than 300 K–12 classrooms across Arizona.

“About 90% of our local schools are under-ventilated,” Jehn said. “CR boxes have been shown to work as effectively as portable commercial HEPA filters at a fraction of the cost. Another goal of the project is to increase awareness about the importance of indoor air quality, and we’re doing it in a fun, engaging way in our classrooms.” 

“This is a simple, hands-on public health intervention that has an immediate impact on the health of our local community," President Crow said during the ceremony. "What an ASU thing to come up with a solution that then also becomes an instructional opportunity.”

ASU President Michael Crow speaks at event while two people stand with award behind him

ASU President Michael Crow speaks about the ASU Clean Indoor Air Project, which won a President’s Award for Innovation.

The Map and Geospatial Hub 3D Explorer

The ASU Library's customized web application allows users to virtually tour library spaces while digitally discovering and accessing library resources. Users can conduct text and location-based searches for all sorts of geographic information resources, such as maps and aerial photography. 

The Map and Geospatial Hub 3D Explorer allows learners of all abilities to gain knowledge anywhere in the world, which Crow said upholds ASU's fundamental principle of accessibility.

“This is an online tool for scaling the accessibility of ASU's learning and research resources for its increasingly global community,” Crow said. “By literally mapping the ASU Library map collection, the tool innovatively empowers all ASU affiliates and the general global public to access the library's robust research resources, fortifying the university's status as the leader in 21st century information access.”

WATCH: Intro to the Map and Geospatial Hub

trio posing with award

Matthew Toro (center), director of maps, imagery and geospatial services at ASU Library, and his team accept the President's Award for Innovation.

President’s Award for Sustainability

This year's winner was the Garden Commons, a community garden at the ASU Polytechnic campus, which educates students about a holistic food system and connects them to the land through hands-on learning opportunities.

Students grow and harvest their own crops all while learning about sustainable food systems and how to reestablish our relationship with food and where it comes from. The garden is home to 18 raised, organic garden beds, more than a dozen citrus trees, a pavilion and a small outdoor event space.

Susan Norton, assistant director of Sustainability Practices and founder of the Garden Commons said the garden attracts students from all disciplines, even robotics majors.

“The garden provides classes and student engagement events that focus on food system themes, sustainability, environmental awareness and wellness,” she said. “More than education, we also harvest food for the farm stand and donate to surrounding food banks.”

The Garden Commons Farm Stand offers fresh produce to students at no cost and to staff at a nominal cost, as well as surrounding food banks.

“It's really a fun place where people come together and then they talk about it with their peers," said Melissa Kruz-Peeples, program coordinator in Sustainability Practices. "There's exposure to new things and foods.”

WATCH: ASU Garden Commons

Group of people on stage posing with award

ASU President Michael Crow (right) honored Susan Norton (second from right) and her team with the President's Award for Sustainability for the Garden Commons on the Polytechnic campus.

President’s Medal for Social Embeddedness

Launched in 2021, the social embeddedness award honors employees and projects that exemplify excellence in collaborating with the community to develop and implement mutually beneficial solutions and outcomes. This year, five teams were honored with an award for this category.

ASU Bridging Success

Since 2015, this universitywide, campus-based program, housed in the School of Social Work within Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, has served more than 500 students who've experienced foster care. In addition to outreach support services like navigating the college application process, peer interactions, mental health assistance, and academic and financial support, Bridging Success offers foster care alumni an early start program, which allows students to arrive on campus prior to the start of school to learn about the classes and meet with other students.

Justine Cheung, senior program coordinator, said that while she and her team are honored to receive this award, it’s truly a collaborative effort that makes the difference in the lives of so many children and adults who’ve been through the foster system.

“Today is specifically focused on the joint advisory council that we run with Maricopa Community College Districts,” Cheung said. “I love that I'm at a university that takes the time to recognize social embeddedness and that our charter says that we take responsibility for the fundamental health of our communities. I don't know any other universities that do that, and therefore, I'd be at no other place.”

“We're going to figure out how to help every student that arrives from whatever background that they come from, whatever life circumstance that they have,” Crow said.

Woman taking picture of group with award

Justine Cheung (center) and her team have their photo taken after winning a President's Award for Social Embeddedness.

Libraries as Community Hubs for Citizen Science

In partnership with science-based organizations and hundreds of public libraries nationwide, a team from the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, within the College of Global Futures, is designing and facilitating a new model for university community collaboration.

The Libraries as Community Hubs for Citizen Science project uses libraries to crowdsource information for scientific questions that cannot be answered by one single source.

Darlene Cavalier, professor of practice and senior global futures scholar, said she sees science as a way to engage as many people as possible in things that they are curious or concerned about.

“Sometimes this also happens to advance and answer scientific questions,” she said. “These are ways for regular people, no matter what their background is, to find answers for themselves and others.”

Group of people standing on stage with award

President Crow (right) honors Darlene Cavalier (second from right) and her team with a President's Award for Social Embeddedness.

Project Cities

Established in 2017, Project Cities connects higher education with the local community creating a combination of knowledge, resources and collaborative solutions to better the future. Over the past five years, Project Cities has partnered with core communities in Arizona to facilitate 75 initiatives led by 35 faculty across eight ASU colleges, and has directly engaged more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Crow said Project Cities is a prime example of social embeddedness as it is a collaboration among the creativity and minds of students, faculty and partners across the state, nation and globe. 

“You might notice, we have no physical walls around this institution. We have no ivory towers, we have no walls of ivy, and that's all by design,” he said. “This project takes on a major global challenge, which is how do you take the energy of our students and the problems in different cities. The learning experiences are fantastic, the solutions are fantastic. The outcomes are fantastic. Any of that is the process of being socially embedded, being real, being engaged and not being behind some kind of wall.”

Group of people on stage with award

The Project Cities team pose with their President's Award for Social Embeddedness.

STEM and Social Capital: Advancing Families through Learning and Doing

Connecting the work of seven ASU colleges and schools, STEM and Social Capital focuses on developing STEM career aspirations of students in grades seven through 12 with refugee backgrounds.

Project activities include families participating in a college knowledge program, visiting ASU campuses on STEM-focused field trips and discussing videos that feature STEM professionals who were refugees. Students in the program also connect with STEM mentors drawn from their own communities.

Crow told the audience that Phoenix and Arizona is home to a very high population of refugees from all over the world and said this project enhances all of our collective learning and experiences.

“You all have found a way again, in the spirit of social embeddedness, to link the institution and an important set of subject areas. This is further evidence of our way in which the richness and the abundance of the university is almost without limit,” he said.

Large group standing on stage with award

The STEM and Social Capital program, which connects the work of seven colleges and schools to bring STEM education to refugees, received a President's Award for Social Embeddedness.

ASU Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program

The ASU Inside-Out Prison Exchange is a community-based learning program through a partnership between the ASU Center for Correctional Solutions and the Arizona Department of Corrections that focuses on rehabilitation and reentry. During the semester, 10 ASU students visit with 10 incarcerated students with the ultimate goal of breaking down the walls between the classroom and prison.

Kevin Wright, associate professor and director of the Center for Correctional Solutions within the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, said another important goal is to empower students to impact their communities positively

“I love being in Watts because this work actually lifts people up. It's not just stuff we can do and give lip service to, and the work is amazing,” Wright said.

The program has facilitated nine Inside-Out classes at three prisons, with more than 175 inside and outside students identifying as alumni.

Large group of people on stage with award

ASU President Crow (right) honored Associate Professor Kevin Wright (second from right) and his team from the Inside-Out Prison Exchange program with a President's Award in Social Embeddedness.

Top SUN Award recipients

The following employees were also recognized as top SUN Awards recipients:

  • Keriann Espersen, assistant manager, global curriculum solutions, University Office of the Provost.
  • Westin McDonald, project manager, communications and web services, Print and Imaging Lab.
  • Norma Peru-Ray, senior program coordinator, math and natural sciences divison.
  • Danielle Winhold, academic success advisor, Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.
Three people posing for photo in front of large screen

Sun Award recipients (from left to right) Keriann Espersen, Westin McDonald and Danielle Winhold. Not pictured: Norma Peru-Ray.

Top photo: President's Awards trophies sit on a table before the start of the 2022 ceremony on Dec. 8. All photos by Tim Trumble

Krista Hinz

Copy Writer , ASU Media Relations

Father's illness helped put a career in medicine in focus for medical studies grad

December 12, 2022

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable fall 2022 graduates.

When asked for advice for those still in school, Arizona State University College of Health Solutions graduate Darrel Wang said, “The end is nothing, the road is all.”
College of Health Solutions graduate Darrel Wang jogging on an outdoor trail. College of Health Solutions graduate Darrel Wang, an Air Force veteran and former track and field athlete, is planning to attend medical school. Photo courtesy Darrel Wang Download Full Image

Those are appropriate sentiments from someone who has served in the U.S. Air Force, been a professional track and field athlete, co-founded a scholarship fund and started his own business — all while in his 20s. Wang is looking forward to the next phase as he has earned a Bachelor of Science in medical studies.

He said he knew he wanted to be a physician since he was a child, but didn’t focus on how he would get there until his father became ill.

“I lived a very exciting life, having spent time as a professional athlete and a military operator,” Wang said. “The skills I developed while on those pursuits were able to contribute to my work ethic and, ultimately, my academic performance.”

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?

Answer: There was no "aha" moment in my life. I knew since I was a child that becoming a physician was going to be my journey — what I didn't know was how I was going to get there... However, the moment that I decided that I needed to drop it all was during the passing of my father. He had a long, hard fight with lymphoma, and ultimately succumbed to the illness. It was in the moments, while holding his hand in the ICU, where I decided that the time had come where I needed to start my journey to medicine.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?

A: I learned that the instructors, professors and instructional aids are coming from all walks of life. The diversity in education values and instructional techniques span a worldwide demographic —  something that is crucial to consider (and learn from) when walking into a career that will be abundant in diversity.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: I chose ASU because of the College of Health Solutions. Too often, schools focus on the concept of basic sciences and students are ill-equipped to handle the rigors of interpersonal connection in health care. The college addresses these issues by mandating courses in leadership, health care policy and additional ancillary courses that open up the scope of medicine. You see, I believe the goal of the (College of Health Solutions) isn't to solely develop scientists and physicians — it's a school that is interested in the evolution of health care, rather than its stagnancy.

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: Dr. (Marjon) Forouzeshyetka taught me the utility of my pursuit. She honored and guided my curiosity to not only my interest in science, but my fascination in humankind. She fostered an environment where I was able to explore myself, my interests and my commitment. There's no way to pay somebody back for something like that. I'll try, though.

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: I very much enjoy sitting at a coffee shop and getting most of my work done. Something about the ambience stimulates my motivation to learn. I also enjoy seeing the familiar faces that come through those same coffee shops and knowing that there is some sort of unspoken commitment that we'll be suffering/learning alongside each other, in silence.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I hope to start an MD/MPH program in the fall, in an attempt to address several crises in health care. The main mission of my life is to expand access to care for the underserved and underprivileged.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: $40 million dollars, while not enough, would be a great start point for tackling the legislative issues for lack of access to health care. I would use it to create a team of knowledgeable public policy/public health specialists that are willing to go beyond the call of medicine and into the role of advocacy.

Weldon B. Johnson

Communications Specialist, College of Health Solutions