STEM workshop set to advance women, minorities

December 8, 2010

Winter graduation deadlines have spurred a flurry of doctoral thesis defenses in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). However, for many women and students from underrepresented minorities, the academic pathway from thesis defense to postdoctoral fellowship to faculty appointment in STEM is one of attrition, regardless of scientific aptitude.

Seeking to combat the loss of diversity in STEM fields, a team from Arizona State University led by Page Baluch, the manager of the W.M. Keck Bioimaging Facility in ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has developed a ">">“Forward to Professorship” workshop, to be held at ASU’s Memorial Union on the Tempe campus, January 21-22, 2011. Download Full Image

The two-day workshop is intended to provide a range of individuals, most especially women and minorities, access to training, resources and network support to bolster success in obtaining and reaching tenure in STEM academic faculty positions. The deadline for applications">">applications is Jan. 1.

“Even in fields such as biomedicine, where enrollment in graduate schools approaches 55 percent, you’ll find the number of women reaching full professorship is commonly less than 20 percent,” says Baluch. “This says nothing about those fields where enrollment of women and minorities in advanced degree programs starts out substantially lower. We want to help reverse this trend.”  

Baluch, who is also a board member of the Central Arizona Chapter of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS), says that those who could benefit most from this workshop are postdoctoral fellows searching for positions, individuals in academic contract positions, individuals in industry interested in entering academia and doctoral students nearing completion of their Ph.D. or searching for positions. Seats are limited, so she encourages applicants to apply soon.

The workshop’s speakers include an array of educational leaders and researchers, including ASU’s President Michael Crow, Duane Roen, assistant vice provost for University Academic Success Programs; Tamara Deuser, assistant vice president, Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development; Robert Page, dean of the School of Life Sciences; Bianca Bernstein, a professor with the School of Letters and Sciences and creator of the CareerWISE and ASU Regents’ Professor Jane Maienschein, director of the Center for Biology and Society and CASE and Carnegie Institute’s Arizona Professor of the Year for 2010.

Guest speakers featured are Elizabeth Gould, professor of psychology, Princeton University; Joan Herbers, president of the national AWIS and professor, University of Ohio; Stephen Lee, program director, U.S. Army Research Office; and Elizabeth Pennisi, reporter and editor with Science magazine. These experts, along with other accomplished ASU scientists and educators, will focus on topics such as funding, teaching, laboratory management, negotiation, writing and effective communication. (Download a PDF of the tentative program:">">

The Forward to Professorship program is sponsored by the Central Arizona Chapter of AWIS, Arizona State University and the Forward to Professorship team at George Washington, Gallaudet and Ottawa Universities, funded by a National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant. More information: page.baluch">">,480-727-0725

Margaret Coulombe

Director, Executive Communications, Office of the University Provost


Herb Ely to receive 2011 MLK Servant-Leadership Award

December 8, 2010

Herb Ely, longtime Phoenix attorney who is known as a tenacious fighter for the underdog, will receive the 2011 Martin Luther King Servant-Leadership Award from ASU on Jan. 20. The honor will be presented at the university’s annual MLK celebration breakfast in Tempe by President Michael Crow and the ASU MLK committee.

In more than 50 years as a practicing trial lawyer in Arizona, he has stood up for the rights of individuals who lack money or power to pursue issues of social and human justice. His deep sense of fairness is legendary.

Ely, who is with the firm of Ely, Bettini, Ulman and Rosenblatt, continues to represent citizens in all walks of life, both within his law firm and on a pro bono basis. His passion for advancing equality spans race, age, religion and life circumstance.

When Ely arrived in Phoenix in 1958 he immediately joined the Phoenix Council for Civic Unity, which worked to eliminate discrimination, and he became legal counsel and vice president for the local NAACP.  Soon he was providing counsel to black youths who participated in sit-in demonstrations, and he often joined them on picket lines.

Ely drafted Arizona’s civil rights bill that was signed into law on April 1, 1965, prohibiting discrimination in voting, employment, labor union membership and places of public accommodation.

He was active in the Phoenix Anti-Defamation League, launching a successful fight to eradicate restrictions against Jews at Arizona resorts. He participated in boycotts, pickets and strikes with Cesar Chavez and others in the struggle to improve working conditions and pay for farm workers in Arizona.  

Ely also won the case that established that Native Americans could use peyote in religious ceremonies. He has successfully fought for the rights of nursing home patients, veterans and the mentally ill. The list goes on and on.

His legacy in Arizona was cemented in 1974, when he co-founded the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest, the most successful non-profit public interest firm in the United States. For this and for his other service to the public, he received the American Bar Foundation’s first Pro Bono Award.

Most recently he received the American Jewish Committee’s 2009 Judge Learned Hand Community Service Award, for his sustained contributions to the advancement of equality and democratic principles. Download Full Image

College opened doors of opportunity for first-generation student

December 8, 2010

For some students, higher education opens doors that they didn’t even know were there. This is a fact that Victor Robles, a first-generation college student, knows firsthand.

Robles, who is graduating from ASU this month with a major in electrical engineering, comes from the small Arizona border town of Douglas, where he continually “flew under the radar” in high school. While not a bad student, he was not in the top 20 percent of his class.

“In Douglas, most people choose to either work for the U.S. Border Patrol, customs, or the state prison when they graduate from high school,” explains Robles. “I didn’t want to do any of those, so I decided to try community college.”

At Cochise Community College, Robles quickly learned that he had a strong affinity for math and science. He chose to major in physics, and soon discovered the possibilities within the field of engineering.

“My counselor at CCC was extremely encouraging. She made me feel like it’d be possible for me to take my education even further,” says Robles. “And as I progressed at CCC, my classes started to get smaller and smaller. I couldn’t fly under the radar anymore. In my Calculus III class, I was one of only three students. The professor literally taught us in the faculty lounge. While other teachers were in there making copies and drinking coffee, we were having class.”

As he prepared to graduate from CCC, Robles toured both ASU and the University of Arizona. “ASU was extremely welcoming, and I immediately wanted to become a part of this engineering community,” he explains.

Once at ASU, Robles became involved with the university’s Motivating Engineering Transfer Students (METS) center, especially since it was one of the things that drew him here in the first place. Anita Grierson, the METS center director, has become a great mentor for Robles, and he now works for the METS center as an outreach coordinator.

At METS, Robles stays busy planning presentations and recruitment activities for students at area community colleges and high schools—including his alma mater, Douglas High.

Grierson is quick to praise Robles and his hard work. “Victor is a role model for other students at the METS center and is giving other students some of that encouragement that was so essential to him,” she says. “He’s a great example for other students about what is possible and is a wonderful reminder to our broader ASU community about the value of giving students advice and encouragement along the way.”

Robles also joined the Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists (MAES) and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), both groups that have given him numerous opportunities to conduct research and present at conferences. In addition, he has worked with Professor Mary Anderson-Rowland on the National Science Foundation funded research and student support program. In that program, students are strongly encouraged to seek REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) summer positions.

Just in his time at ASU, Robles has researched and presented on a variety of topics, including wind generator simulations and laser direct-write fabrication of optical waveguides. Last summer, he participated in a photonics research program through REU called “Hooked on Photonics,” where he was able to spend long hours in the lab and really focus on his research.

Following graduation this semester, Robles will continue as a graduate student at ASU and is already looking ahead towards getting his PhD. He has become the vice-president of MAES at ASU and is excited to do more research and presenting as a graduate student.

“I’m very interested in optical engineering and telecommuncations, and plan to do more research into signal processing for holographic applications and medical imaging,” he says.

“Dr. Anderson-Rowland, Anita Grierson, and all the other professors I’ve been able to work with at ASU have showed me how many opportunities there are in engineering,” says Robles. “I’ve already come further than I ever could have imagined and I’m ready to take education to the highest level I can.”

Contributed by Jeanne Schaser Download Full Image

ASU faculty win engineering education awards

December 8, 2010

For a second straight year, a top award at a leading national engineering education conference has gone to Arizona State University faculty members and researchers.

The Benjamin J. Dasher Award recognizes the best research paper/presentation at the Frontiers in Education Conference, an annual gathering organized by the Education Society and the Computer Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the Education Research and Methods Division of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

At this year’s conference, the Dasher Award went to presentation of a research paper authored by post doctoral associate Glenda Stump and associate professor Jenefer Husman in the School of Social and Family Dynamics, part of ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, along with Wen-Ting Chung, a graduate student in ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and Aaron Done, an undergraduate participating in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates, a National Science Foundation program.
Last year the award went to a paper presented at the conference by Stephen Krause, a professor in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

Krause’s co-authors are College of Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty Robert Culbertson, associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and professor Marilyn Carlson and associate professor Michael Oehrtman, both in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

The paper by Stump and Husman’s team examined students’ beliefs about the nature of intelligence and the impact those beliefs had on their learning behaviors. The team found that differences in students’ approaches to learning can be determined to a large extent by whether they believe one’s level of intelligence is a fixed state or that one’s intelligence can be increased with effort.

“These beliefs affect how much effort students will put into learning and how willing they are to persist after failure,” Husman explains. “It’s an especially acute factor in learning rigorous subjects such as engineering.”

The results of the research, she says, can give educators a better understanding of the diverse ways people learn and help teachers be more effective in motivating students.

The research was supported by the National Science Foundation through a Career Award received by Husman in 2006. Career Awards recognize scientists and engineers seen as emerging leaders in their fields of research and teaching.

Krause’s project was also supported by the NSF as part of its Project Pathways: Opening Routes to Math and Science Success for All Students.

The goals of his team’s research involved devising programs to help high school teachers in four Phoenix school districts to more effectively integrate math and science concepts into their classroom lessons.

The project is providing teachers more effective ways to demonstrate to young students how knowledge of chemistry, biology, geology, physics, engineering and related subjects are critical to real-world endeavors.

 “The exciting thing about this project was that it really had a significant impact,” Krause says. ”The high school teachers learned to design hands-on classroom experiments that demonstrated to students the applicability of basic science and math concepts. The kids were able to understand the connections between the experiments and the class lessons and the science and math principles, and they thoroughly learned the material.”

That outcome “is not something you can measure precisely,” Krause says, “but it's real progress in changing the educational culture.” Download Full Image

Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering


Teachers College faculty recognized at national conference

December 7, 2010

Margarita Jimenez-Silva, an assistant professor in Arizona State University’s Mary">">Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, was honored in October with the Higher Education Distinguished Teacher Award from the National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE). The award was presented at the organization’s annual conference in Savannah, Ga.

The award, one of the most prominent presented by NCGE, focuses on teachers who “have made extraordinary commitments to the teaching and learning of geography at the post-secondary level.” Download Full Image

“I consider teaching to be the most important work I do, so to be honored with such a teaching award is especially meaningful to me,” said Jimenez-Silva, who weaves geoliteracy – the integration of geography content and language arts – into the courses she teaches that prepare tomorrow’s teachers to work with a diverse audience of students, including English language learners. “I love being able to provide teachers with resources that will not only develop English learners’ language skills, but also develop their understanding about the world they live in.”

Jimenez-Silva came to ASU’s West campus in 2005 after earning her M.Ed. and Ed.D. degrees in human development and psychology from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. She now teaches at ASU’s West, Polytechnic and Tempe campuses. As a middle school teacher in California, she had taught math and science in a newcomer program for recent immigrants. With classrooms of young students who spoke little English, she found that geography provided a means to develop their content knowledge and English skills.

“The themes of geography – location, human-environment interaction, movement, place, regions – had personal meaning to my students and allowed me to use what they already knew as a starting point; it was a natural bridge between the knowledge they brought into the classroom and what they needed to learn.”

At ASU, Jimenez-Silva, a recipient of the West campus Environment Team’s (CET) Excellence in Diversity award in 2009, leads the effort to adapt classroom lessons for English language learners, providing her with an opportunity to turn back to geography as an effective teaching tool.

“The lessons that focused on the GeoLiteracy program have been very successful. In fact, a study conducted by several of my colleagues and me found that the reading lessons were effective in helping our diverse learners’ reading comprehension,” she said. “The integration of language arts and geography, along with the resources and adaptations we made to the lessons proved effective.”

An advisor to Kappa Delta Pi at the West, Polytechnic and Tempe campuses – a community service and honors academic organization dedicated to educational excellence – Jimenez-Silva has a simple philosophy when it comes to using geography as a classroom tool.

“It is important to me that my students learn the content we are covering and make it personally meaningful,” she said.

“If students don’t understand why it is important, then they won’t apply the ideas, the strategies and concepts to their own teaching. I want my students to care about their future students and see how vital their role as teachers is and how everyday interactions with their students can make a world of difference.

“The most important lesson I try to impart to my students is that each of them can be that individual who changes the course of a child’s life. Our role as teachers gives us great power to affect how a child sees himself or herself, positively or negatively.”

Jimenez-Silva is also part of the ASU team that was recognized by the NCGE in Savannah last month for the creation of an online virtual workshop that provides educators an opportunity to learn about teaching geography without leaving their computers. Jimenez-Silva, Professor Ron Dorn (School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning/College of Liberal Arts and Sciences), Associate Professor Elizabeth Hinde (Teachers College), Assistant Professor Sharon Osborn Popp (Teachers College) and Gale Ekiss, co-coordinator of the Arizona Geographic Alliance were awarded Geography Excellence in Media honors for their program, “GeoLiteracy with ELL Adaptations: A Program for Integrating Tested Language Arts Skills and Geography Content for Grades K-8.”

The virtual workshop is modeled after Arizona Geographic Alliance actual workshops and offers 10 strategies that have proven effective in the teaching of geography to diverse learners. Each segment begins with a short strategy introduction by Hinde and is followed by Jimenez-Silva, who relates the educational research that confirms the use of the strategy.  Next, Ekiss demonstrates one of the 85 GeoLiteracy lessons as an example of how to apply the strategy in teaching geography. The final portion of the workshop features an Internet link to the lesson plan and any auxiliary materials need to teach the lesson.

“GeoLiteracy is a curriculum comprised of 85 lesson plans for kindergarten through 8th grade that teach geography while reinforcing reading and writing skills,” said Hinde, who also serves as the Teachers College coordinator at ASU’s Polytechnic campus. “Geography is not simply about capitals of states and countries or maps and globes. Geography is about understanding place in the world, including cultures and physical features of the earth.

“To be recognized by the NCGE for our GeoLiteracy program is humbling and rewarding. Many people are doing great things in schools and in social studies in particular; so, when my peers, who are doing incredible things themselves, are recognized, it is just very rewarding. Geography is and always has been a crucial element of schools.”

Steve Des Georges

Doctoral student from South Africa surmounts culture shock to succeed

December 7, 2010

When Precious Biyela arrived at ASU in 2005 as a doctoral student, she faced a double dose of culture shock. Coming from her native South Africa, where she had been a lecturer at the University of Zululand, she was all alone, without friends and family. She also was switching fields, from microbiology to engineering, at an advanced level.

“During my first year at ASU I had a rough time trying to figure things out,” says Biyela. “What helped me most was the encouragement and guidance I received from my adviser, Dr. Bruce Rittmann, and the assistance I knew I could always count on from my coworkers at the Center for Environmental Biotechnology. Once I found my footing, it was a lot easier to progress towards the completion of my degree.”

Biyela persevered and succeeded in all ways, according to Rittmann. She became an expert in mathematical modeling, which was the foundation of her dissertation. She won the respect of her colleagues, assisting them in their research. On Dec. 16 she will receive her Ph.D. in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment.

Biyela’s doctoral research was in water quality deterioration inside distribution systems. She used a mathematical model and field data to track, interpret and forecast changes that might occur in the chemical and biological quality of treated drinking water as it moves from the treatment plant to the point of use.   

“At ASU she managed a large field-based research program looking for the pathogenic protozoan Naeglaria fowleri in drinking-water distribution systems,” says Rittmann. “Her dissertation became the tool for compiling and interpreting all the results from the field study. It was a lot of work by Precious, and it made the entire team ‘look good.’”

She also was able to apply her expertise to help refine a device that could be used in biofuel research. She led her ASU colleagues in an investigation of a newly designed photobioreactor, an incubator for growing large amounts of photosynthetic organisms to produce biodiesel.

Biyela says her love of science goes back to primary school, when she wanted to become a physician. Her mother urged all six of her children to work hard in school and to never let their circumstances limit their dreams. She also received encouragement from her professors at the University of Zululand, though she attended college just a few years after the end of apartheid.

She came to ASU on a Fulbright Fellowship. She also received the prestigious Fulbright-Amy Biehl Award for being the top candidate in the student category in South Africa.

Biyela plans to attend ASU commencement, though currently she is a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University in Quebec, Canada, in the department of civil engineering and applied mechanics.

Her professional goal is to be able to advance public health through the reduction of source water pollution and the treatment of water and wastewater. She plans to remain in academia, to educate the next generation of water professionals and engineers, including women and particularly women of color. Download Full Image

Computer club offers students more job skills

December 6, 2010

Arizona State University students who want to enhance their opportunities in the job market by learning advanced computer skills are joining the Software Developer’s Association (SoDA).

The student club’s membership has swelled to more than 600 in the past few years, attracting those interested in learning to use the latest computing technologies and collaborating on team projects.

SoDA is drawing more than computer science and engineering students. History, finance and English and art majors are among its members.
Yinong Chen, a lecturer in ASU’s School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering, is the group’s faculty advisor.

Chen says students are drawn to SoDA’s hands-on learning approach and access to advanced software systems that most university computing classes are usually not equipped to provide.
For example, the club has a C++ practicum component. C++ software provides the capability to do both low-level and high-level computer programming, which software programs such as Java and C# (sharp) cannot.

Many information technology corporations want employers who know C++,    but because of time constraints in the classroom professors are not able to teach about it extensively, says SoDA president Travis Sein, a computer science major.

SoDa members are also learning about mobile device programming. One of the club’s projects using mobile device programs is a computer game called “Cruising at ASU.”

The game allows players to choose a “kart” – for example, a bicycle, scooter or skateboard.   Each kart has various capabilities.  The game is based on timed tracks. A player has to traverse from building to building in a designated time period.

 In the future, students hope to learn to add game accessories, such as multiplayer capability and story-based game-play.

“The game is largely focused on teaching incoming freshman the names and locations of various buildings on campus to help them get from one class to another,” Sein says.

The game allows students to input their class schedules, and provides them a map to the buildings they need to go to for each day’s classes. The club hopes ASU will be able to use the game as part of its freshman orientation program.
Club members are also working on projects involving Android, iPhone, game, web and C++ development.

All of this “will make students more employable, especially in the part of the information technology industry that involves the ubiquitous computing devices that are dominating the market,” Chen says.

SoDA vice president Jeremy Barr, emphasizes that club is valuable to students with a range of interests in various fields and careers.
“Computer technology has a growing role in everyday life, and it’s become more important for everyone to know about computer software development,” Barr says.
Sein says the club offers “a very friendly learning environment” and teaches students about computer software used by industry, as well as programming languages and concepts that not everyone will learn extensively in computer science and engineering classes.
“We really want to emphasize teaching students how to be leaders and team players,” Sein says, “and how to beef up their resume for when they start pursuing a career.”

SoDa meetings are Wednesdays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Brickyard Building, at Seventh Street and Mill Avenue, in room 210.

For more information, visit the SoDA website:"> />
Written by Amy Lukau Download Full Image

Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering


Student develops successful alternative to parent-teacher conference

December 2, 2010

“I have made it my professional mission to ensure that parents understand how crucial their role is in meeting the aspirations they have for their children.”

– Maria C. Paredes, ASU Teachers College, doctoral candidate, director of community education at Creighton Elementary School District in Phoenix Download Full Image

Maria Paredes is on a mission, and the mission is showing signs of success and growth. A doctoral student in ASU's" target="_blank">Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Paredes has developed the Academic Parent Teacher Team (APTT) model that is being successfully practiced in the Phoenix-based Creighton Elementary School District where she has served as director of community education since 1998. The program is so innovative that it was featured at the Harvard Family Research Project’s recent National Policy Forum for Family, School & Community Engagement in Washington, D.C.

“Maria’s model of parent engagement touches the essence of what will be most effective in accelerating student academic performance,” said Charlotte Boyle, who is in her ninth year as superintendent of the Creighton district in Phoenix and presented Paredes’ model at the Harvard forum. “The Harvard Family Research Project is committed to true parent engagement, rather than participation. Maria’s model addresses the project’s concept of shared responsibility, strength-based collaboration, systemic breadth of work connected to learning, ownership and continuous and sustained improvement.”

The APTT model is an alternative to the traditional parent-teacher conference. The concept was introduced by Paredes during the 2009-2010 school year when 12 teachers in the Creighton district agreed to test the new model. In three group meetings throughout the year, teachers share with parents aggregate and individual student performance data. Each parent receives a folder with his or her child’s data and learns how to interpret individual benchmark assessment data and quarterly assessments, understand the child’s standing in relation to the entire class, and set academic goals to be attained by their child. Additionally, teachers model reading and math skills, which parents are able to practice before applying them at home. Parents also participate in one individual parent-teacher meeting to review performance data.

According to Paredes, although teachers were at first hesitant to coach parents, they now welcome their new teaching partners. The 12-classroom pilot has grown to 79 classrooms across all nine Creighton schools in 2010-2011, representing 1,732 students and families. Parent attendance averages 92 percent, significantly higher than in traditional parent-teacher conferences.

“In low-income communities, parent involvement in education is the key to student success,” said Paredes, who expects to receive her target="_blank">doctorate in leadership and innovation, with an emphasis on policy and administration, in May. “The APTT model of parent involvement, when implemented to its fullest by parents and teachers, ensures that parents have all the relevant information, coaching and materials they need to help their children go from aspirations to attainment.

“This takes the place of traditional parent-teacher conferences,” she added. “The idea is to have a system in place that provides both families and teachers a way to work together, increase the quality of communication and collaboration, share the responsibility of student learning in the form of academic goals, and set high expectations for achievement.”

Superintendent Boyle noted that the model was well received by the National Policy Forum and that interest among the 150-plus people who attended was high.

“This model of student/parent/teacher engagement necessitates a well-designed plan where components have been addressed,” said Boyle, who has served the Creighton district for more than two decades as teacher, school principal and assistant superintendent. “It takes a dedicated, committed adult with the idea, the design, the attention to all the details, and the ability to explain and support the program. Maria Paredes is that person. She has built a community of trust in her dealings with parents for the last decade, just as she has supported families’ educational needs in our community education department.”

Paredes was born and raised in Venezuela. She moved to the United States as a 16-year-old and attended high school near Lansing, Mich. She received her bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1991 and moved to the Valley in 1993. She earned her master’s in curriculum and instruction from ASU in 2003.

“There are many rewarding aspects to the implementation of APTT,” she said. “Parents are finally receiving the relevant information they need to be academically involved with their children, and they are learning to use and request data from teachers to make decisions about their involvement with academics. Also, parents and children are spending more time together working on achieving academic goals, which leads to closer relationships and a more positive attitude about learning by the students.

“Another rewarding aspect is that teachers are positively changing their opinions about parents in minority communities; they are now realizing that parents in low-income communities want the best for their children and will do whatever it takes to help them be successful. They just lacked the pertinent information to take action.”

Paredes said the inspiration for the model came from years of interaction with teachers, parents and administrators in education. She said the model is successful, in part, because teachers are not using additional time to implement it, as the parent-teacher team model replaces the traditional parent-teacher conference. The increased quality and quantity of time spent between parents and teachers develops deeper relationships, trust and motivation, according to Paredes.

Another factor in the inspiration for the model and the early success it has shown, is the parallel between her Teachers College studies and her passion in the field of parent involvement in education.

“My doctoral studies in Teachers College have been a perfect complement to my passion in the field of parent involvement in education,” said Paredes. I have grown a great deal as a researcher, professional and, as an educational administrator, I have brought together the researcher and the practitioner. I have an aerial view of the important people that play a key role in the life and potential success of children.”

“The Ed.D. in leadership and innovation is designed to equip educators with the knowledge, skills and dispositions to resolve problems of practice and improve local situations,” said David Moore, Teachers college professor of education who specializes in adolescent literacy and coordinates educational leadership and innovation doctoral program. “Maria’s success with the APTT model is a terrific example of what this program aims to accomplish.”

For Ray Buss, a Teachers College associate professor of educational psychology who serves as Paredes’ adviser in the doctoral program and chairs her dissertation committee, said that his doctoral student reflects the college’s reputation for producing scholarly and influential practitioners.

“Maria has outstanding analytical skills,” said Buss, who teaches research and methodology courses in the master's degree and doctoral programs at ASU’s West campus. “She has taken a complex problem, taken away all the window dressing and gotten right to the heart of the matter. Her elegant plan to enlist teachers and parents to work together by sharing information, setting achievement goals for students, providing parent training on how to help their child learn skills to attain the goal, and following up on student progress has the potential to lead to substantial gains for students.

“We encourage our students to attack a problem from their workplace setting by considering the previous research in the area and then developing their own innovation or intervention to deal with the problem. Maria has certainly done this with the creation of her APTT model and its successful introduction to the school district.”

Steve Des Georges

Smithsonian museum director to speak at ASU

November 30, 2010

7 p.m. Dec. 1, Old Main, Carson Ballroom

The founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture — the Smithsonian’s 19th museum — is tasked with building a special place to help Americans remember its history.  Lonnie Bunch Download Full Image

“In many ways, there are few things as powerful and as important as a people, as a nation that is steeped in its history,” said director Lonnie Bunch, in a vision statement about the new museum, which is scheduled to open in 2015 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. 

Bunch, a public historian, author, curator and educator, will discuss the challenge of creating a national museum at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 at Arizona State University, Old Main, Carson Ballroom, on the Tempe campus. Presented by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, the lecture is free and open to the public. Seating is first-come, first-served; more information is at ">">

In discussing the new museum, Bunch notes it “is not a museum that celebrates black history solely for black Americans. Rather, we see this history as America’s history. The museum will use African American history and culture as a lens into what it means to be an American.” 

Bunch is a highly accredited historian and scholar who has spent 30 years in the museum field where he is regarded as a leading figure in the cultural-historical community. He was named one of the 100 most influential museum professionals in the 20th century by the American Association of Museums. Last year, he was named one of the 150 most influential African Americans by Ebony magazine. 

A former Smithsonian curator, Bunch was selected in 2005 by the Smithsonian Institution to establish this new museum. 

“Lonnie Bunch, one of the nation’s leading public historians, is making history by helping give life to, and directing, what will become the preeminent African American museum and cultural center in the United States,” said ASU’s associate professor of history Matthew C. Whitaker. 

As its director, Bunch is working to set the museum’s mission, organize the fundraising and membership, create the collections, and oversee the design and construction of the museum, which is set to be built on a five-acre site on the National Mall between the Washington Monument and the National Museum of American History. To bring attention to the museum before its completion, Bunch is working on traveling exhibitions and public events involving panel discussions, seminars and workshops. 

“We are most fortunate to have Lonnie Bunch, the intellectual architect of one of the nation’s newest museums, visiting ASU,” said Quentin Wheeler, ASU vice president and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Museums play a vital and unique role in society. They serve as a collective memory of our heritage and preserve physical evidence of historical events that have made us who we are and that have contributed to our modern world. They are necessary centers of scholarship, research and learning.” 

In addition to the public lecture, Bunch will visit with classes and faculty while at ASU. 

“Lonnie Bunch provides students with a stellar example in response to the question we are most often asked: What one can do with a degree in African American Studies? Our faculty and students are looking forward to the opportunity to meet with him to learn more about the new Smithsonian museum and about the career of museum curator,” said Professor Stanlie James, faculty head for African and African American Studies in ASU’s School of Social Transformation. 

Myles Lynk, a professor in ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, believes Bunch has a challenging task ahead of him as founding director of a new Smithsonian museum. “I am delighted that he has chosen to visit ASU and share with us his vision for this new museum, his appreciation of the heritage it will celebrate, and that African-American history is indisputably American history,” Lynk said. 

Bunch was president of the Chicago Historical Society, one of the oldest historical museums in the country, when he was selected to be the founding director of this new Smithsonian museum. While working for the Chicago Historical Society, he led a successful campaign to transform the institution in celebration of its 150th anniversary. 

Previously, Bunch served in a number of positions at the Smithsonian, including associate director for curatorial affairs at the National Museum of American History where he managed a staff of nearly 200 and led the team that created the permanent exhibition, “American Presidency: A Glorious Burden.” He also was an education specialist at the Smithsonian’s national Air and Space Museum. 

Bunch is a published author who has written about topics as varied as museum management, the impact of funding and politics on American museums, black towns in America, blacks in the military and the American presidency. 

As an educator, Bunch has taught at the American University in Washington, D.C., University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth, and George Washington University. He received graduate and undergraduate degrees in African American and American history from the American University.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture was established by an Act of Congress in 2003. During the pre-building phase, the museum is producing publications, hosting public programs and assembling collections. It is presenting exhibitions at other museums across the country and at its own gallery at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. An array of interactive programs and educational resources is available on the museum’s Web site at">">


Carol Hughes,">">


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Lecture: Women, Power and Peacemaking in Africa

November 29, 2010

The School of Social Transformation’s African and African American Studies faculty invites the ASU community to a lecture by Aili">">Aili Mari Tripp, vice president and president-elect of the African Studies Association and former vice president of the American Political Science Association. Tripp is professor of political science and gender & women's studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she directs the Center for Research on Gender and Women. Her talk, titled "Women, Power and Peacemaking in Africa," will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Nov. 29, in West Hall 135 on ASU's Tempe campus.

Tripp's remarks will draw on comparative research across Africa as well as fieldwork in Uganda, Liberia, Congo-Kinshasa and Angola to explore why post-conflict countries in Africa had double the rates of female legislative representation compared with countries that have not undergone conflict. She’ll also address why these countries tend to have been more open to passing legislation and making constitutional changes relating to women's rights.   Aili Mari Tripp Download Full Image

Tripp is the author of "Museveni's"> Uganda: Paradoxes of Power in a Hybrid Regime" (2010) and is working on a book titled "Gender, Power and Peacemaking in Africa." She co-authored "African"> Women's Movements Transforming Political Landscapes" (2009) and is the author of "Women and Politics in Uganda" (2000) and "Changing the Rules: The Politics of Liberalization and the Urban Informal Economy in Tanzania" (1997).

She has written widely on women’s movements and global feminism, civil society in Africa, gender and politics in Africa, women in post-conflict African countries, and on democratization and semi-authoritarianism in Africa. She has served as an expert consultant for many world agencies, including UNESCO, the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, the World Bank, USAID, and the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council on violence against women.

The event is free and open to the public. Online parking maps for ASU’s Tempe campus are available at">"> For additional information about the event, contact Shannon">">Shannon Eason, 480-965-0476.

Maureen Roen

Director of Communications, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts