West campus hosts AGUILA Leadership Symposium

July 14, 2010

For the third year in a row, Arizona State University’s West campus will host the AGUILA Leadership Symposium, a four-day experience designed to provide opportunities for Latino/Latina students entering grades 9-12 to better understand the university process.

The symposium, an integral part of the year-long AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute, takes place July 28-31 and will attract more than 200 students. Download Full Image

This year’s symposium theme is “Creating a Masterpiece.”  The total-immersion event, which includes participating students living in Las Casas, the campus apartment-style residences, will feature prominent artists, scholars, professors and learning activities.  Mock 30-minute classes will introduce students to university-quality lectures and discussions that focus on popular college majors.  A workshop that helps students see themselves as community leaders will culminate in a “Leaders Networking Mixer,” and a college fair will provide information on registration, scholarship opportunities, student life and more.

“Applications continue to grow each year,” says Rosemary Ybarra-Hernandez, founder and CEO of the institute.  “This year is no different; our record numbers will most likely exceed 200 students from across the state.

“We are determined to make the symposium an even greater success in 2010 and have designed the event to provide our students with an unforgettable experience, one that will help them to make connections in the development of a plan for college.  Most importantly, we want to help the students develop a plan for participating in a world that values their minds and their hearts.”

Among ASU faculty who will participate in the symposium is Gloria Cuadraz, an associate professor of sociology in the New">http://newcollege.asu.edu/">New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.  A fixture on the West campus since 1994, Cuadraz will deliver two mock lectures about her award-winning oral history research in the West Valley community – one focusing on the history of oral histories, another on the theoretical concepts she works with while interpreting data.

“This kind of event accomplishes the important task of introducing these students to college life, academic standards, the culture of the university, and it provides them with the ever-critical ‘heads up’ about the next stage of their lives,” says Cuadraz, who received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and was awarded “Best of the West” honors from WESTMARC in 2006 for her oral history project, “Mexican Americans of Litchfield Park.”  “It also allows them to meet other students who are college-bound and to bask in the excitement of like others.”

Ybarra-Hernandez says the West campus location is an ideal fit for the event.

“We have a great fondness for the West campus,” she says.  “It is the jewel in the West Valley and provides this community with incredible opportunities.  The campus offers such a strong academic environment and a state-of-the-art facility with a variety of educational opportunities for our students, as well as their parents, who are considering college.
“There is a sense of community at the West campus that mirrors our mission in service to our students.”

Cuadraz points to ASU’s focus on community service and meaningful engagement as she prepares for the symposium.

“Hosting this event personifies one of our strengths – that of social embeddedness and involvement with the community,” says Cuadraz, who co-founded and directed the New College bachelor’s degree program in ethnicity, race, and first nations studies for six years.  “The fact that several ASU faculty are participating in the symposium speaks to the qualities and values of our faculty.  We are a part of the community; only by building those connections with the incoming populations of students can we hope to achieve the promises of the New American University.”

The associate professor is also impressed with the AGUILA students.

“The eagerness and enthusiasm of these students is heartwarming,” she says.  “I have never met a more determined group of students.  The knowledge they have gathered from their participation in AGUILA will carry them to whichever institution of higher education they attend.  Of course, we prefer they attend ASU, but I look forward to hearing about their achievements and the leadership roles they will surely come to possess.”

For more information about the AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute and the upcoming Leadership Symposium, visit http://aguilayouth.org.">http://aguilayouth.org">http://aguilayouth.org.

Steve Des Georges

ASU ranks at top for graduate degrees to minorities

July 13, 2010

Arizona State University has soared in the number of master’s and doctoral degrees awarded to minority students, according to figures just published in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. The magazine’s annual rankings of “The Top 100 Graduate Degree Producers” were published in its July 8 issue and are based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

For the first time, ASU ranks first in the nation for doctoral degrees awarded to Native Americans, as well as ninth in master’s degrees awarded. Download Full Image

Among Hispanic students, ASU ranks fifth in doctorates awarded and 19th in master’s degrees. These rankings are substantial increases from 2009, when ASU ranked 12th in doctorates and 36th in number of master’s degrees.

ASU ranks 54 nationally for doctorates awarded to African Americans, an improvement over the previous year in which ASU did not place in the top 100. The total number of doctorates awarded to African Americans increased by 200 percent.

These rankings reflect total number of degrees awarded in all disciplines combined. Within specific programs of study, ASU rankings include:

• Doctorates awarded to Native Americans in education rank No. 1

• Doctorates awarded to Hispanics in education rank No. 3, in engineering No. 4 and in physical sciences No. 5

• Doctorates awarded to Asian Americans in education rank No. 14, in psychology No. 15 and in engineering No. 19.

• For Hispanics, master’s degrees awarded in mathematics and statistics rank No. 1, and business and management rank No. 25.

• For Native Americans, master’s degrees awarded for business and education both rank No. 12

• Law degrees awarded to Native Americans rank No. 8

Ethnic minority students who are underrepresented in graduate studies are aspiring to advanced degrees in greater numbers, said Maria T. Allison, vice-provost and dean of the Graduate College. Of the more than 13,000 graduate students attending ASU, nearly 19 percent are from underrepresented or minority ethnic groups. Five years ago, minority students represented only about 15 percent of total graduate student enrollment.

“We are very committed to creating an environment in which all students can thrive and reach their fullest potential,” Allison said. “ASU offers a wide range of social and academic support, which can be particularly important for ethnic minorities and first-generation students.”

Services and support for graduate students include SHADES, a peer-to-peer multicultural mentoring program; Social and Academic Mentoring (SAM); Diversity Across the Curriculum (DAC) seminar series; and the Gates Millennium Scholars Organization (GMSO).

Among the many ASU resources for minority undergraduate and graduate students is Multicultural Student Services, the Native American Achievement Program, the Hispanic Business Students Association, the One Nation Club at the Polytechnic campus, the Hispanic Mother-Daughter Program, and American Indian Student Support Services.

Editor Associate, University Provost

ASU In the News

ASU mentoring program promotes diversity

<p>Articles about a youth mentoring program started by professor <a href="http://apps.law.asu.edu/Apps/Faculty/Faculty.aspx?individual_id=138">Cha... Calleros</a> and an award from the State Bar of Arizona he recently received as a result of that work were published in the June 26 edition of <em>The Arizona Republic</em>.</p><p>In “ASU mentoring program promotes diversity in legal profession,” reporter Luci Scott wrote about the benefits middle school, high school and college students receive from spending time with law students and attorneys in the community. Recently, a group of students attended a mock-trial program at the College of Law, learning the basics of law from 3L Chaz Ball.</p><p>The diversity-pipeline mentoring program is a partnership of the law school and the Hispanic National Bar Association. Calleros wants all the students to pursue education, if not come all the way to law school.</p><p>To read the article click <a href="http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2010/06/25/20100625asu-mentoring-... other article, “State Bar honors ASU professor for role in mentoring program,” was about Calleros receiving an annual award from the State Bar of Arizona Committee on Minorities and Women in the Law. The award recognized him for professional excellence and efforts on behalf of minorities and women in the legal field.</p><p>Calleros shared the honor with others, saying, “I am just one person out of many who makes this whole thing work.”</p><p>Click <a href="http://www.azcentral.com/community/ahwatukee/articles/2010/06/25/2010062... to read the article.<br /><br /><span style="font-family: Tahoma; color: black; font-size: 9pt;" lang="EN">Janie Magruder, </span><a href="mailto:Jane.Magruder@asu.edu">Jane.Magruder@asu.edu</a><span style="font-family: Tahoma; color: black; font-size: 9pt;" lang="EN"><br />(480) 727-9052<br />Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law</span></p>

Article Source: Arizona Republic
Lisa Robbins

Assistant Director, Media Relations and Strategic Communications


Heart research gets international recognition

June 4, 2010

Two students in Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering have won an international award for a poster exhibiting their heart disease research.

Doctoral student Haithem Babiker and undergraduate Jonathan Plasencia, both bioengineering majors, earned the 2010 Mimics Innovation Award for the poster detailing research into congenital heart disease. Download Full Image

The Mimics award is given by Materialise Inc., based in Belgium, an industrial and medical technology company, to promote innovation in medical procedures and computer-aided engineering.

Each year the international competition assembles a panel of judges from industry and academia to examine bioengineering research studies from around the world. Judges take into account the potential economic and social impact of new ideas, as well as the degree of innovation and the quality of research.

The students' poster presents a new method to aid surgeons in repairing anatomical abnormalities known as tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart defect that limits a patient’s ability to oxygenate blood.

The method involves the use of pre-operative cardiac computerized-tomography images and computational fluid dynamic simulations to aid in preparation for surgery.

Babiker said this method has the potential to improve pre-operative planning, decrease stress on the surgeon, limit surgical time, lower surgical costs and significantly improve the chances of successful surgeries.

Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering


'Excellence in Diversity' winners at West campus are announced

June 2, 2010

The Campus">http://www.west.asu.edu/cet/index.html">Campus Environment Team (CET) at Arizona State University’s West campus has announced its 2010 “Excellence in Diversity” award winners in the categories of faculty, staff, student and group.

Earning recognition in the 15th year of the program are Charles St. Clair (academic professional/faculty), Lucy Berchini (classified staff/service professional/administrator), Spencer Packer (student) and Teachers of the Future (group). Download Full Image

“These awards and recognition are an important way we can honor those who put a priority on cultural diversity on this campus,” said Sharon Smith, CET chair and director of the TRiO">http://www.west.asu.edu/sa/trio/">TRiO Academic Achievement Center at the West campus.  “Diversity is in our fabric; bringing multiple perspectives, different voices, to the table brings out the best in us.  The people we honor with these awards are those who are living and promoting cultural diversity daily.”

The awards were created in 1996 when West campus social worker Professor Clay Dix was the first honoree.  “Excellence in Diversity” recognition is awarded those who promote a campus-wide appreciation of diversity and respect for all individuals.  Each of ASU’s four campuses has a Campus Environment Team that “promotes a positive, harmonious campus environment that celebrates individual and group diversity, promotes individualism, provides information to the campus community and resolves issues in such a manner as to respect all persons and their dignity."

St. Clair is a regular on West campus cultural committees and activities.  An Emmy Award-winning actor and director, he is a faculty member in the Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies in the New">http://newcollege.asu.edu/">New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.  He is well known for his stirring rendition of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered each year on the steps of Fletcher Library during the campus celebration of MLK Day.  On one nomination form, the author noted of St. Clair, “Through his various activities, Charles has demonstrated a solid commitment to cultural diversity.  His continuous commitment is a tremendous asset to the university and the cultural programming activities provided for the campus and surrounding community.  His involvement adds value to the university community and to the diverse communities we serve.”

“I have been so blessed in my life,” said St. Clair.  “I am so lucky to be able to educate and inspire students to realize that they can change the world, and provide them with opportunities to do so.  There is no better feeling than knowing you’ve made a positive impact on another person’s life.

“I believe it is our responsibility, due to all of the privileges we have been given, to help build a stronger community, whether on campus, in your neighborhood, state or country.  Service to each other is a way of leaving your mark on the world that enhances your mind and spirit.”

Berchini came to ASU’s West campus in as an administrative assistant in the New College freshman composition program in 2004.  Since that time, she has worked diligently to spread the word across the greater Phoenix community about West campus courses, programs and events, meeting with statespersons, clubs, organizations and Puerto Rican, Cuban and Mexican nationals.  She has chaired the campus Hispanic Heritage Committee the past two years and recently served on the Campus Cultural Advisory Committee that staged the inaugural West CultureFest.  Monica Casper, director of Division">http://newcollege.asu.edu/harcs">Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies, noted in her nomination of Berchini, “All of the activities with which Lucy Berchini is involved benefit from her sense of equity, excellence and fairness.  She truly promotes cultural diversity in every aspect of her life and the life of the campus.”

“My parents always told me to pick my friends, not by their race, ethnicity or gender, but by the people themselves, and that it would enrich my life,” said Berchini.  “It is important to recognize diversity on this campus because we must come to understand our individual differences.  It is that acceptance of racial, ethnic, gender and sexual orientation that helps us move beyond intolerance.

“A campus such as ours permits us to embrace diversity and realize the benefits to our campus and community.”

Packer, who just completed his junior year, is a New College life sciences major who hopes to attend dental school in the future.  He grew up in a multi-cultural home and had the opportunity as a child to travel throughout South America, absorbing the different cultures and lifestyles.  As a 19-year-old, he turned his earlier experiences into a two-year church mission working with Latino-American communities in Florida and Alabama.  At ASU he has continued his community involvement and was recently awarded a Community Leader Scholarship by the university.  In her nomination on Packer’s behalf, Gina Galindo, a fellow New College life sciences student, wrote, “Spencer has always shown great concern and sincere care for all and any of those around him on and off campus.  In short, Spencer is just one of those people who genuinely loves everyone and, most importantly, he loves them simply for who they are.”

“My childhood taught me not only tolerance, but moreover, a love for all things different and diverse,” says Packer.  “There’s something extremely gratifying about doing things for other people just because it is the right thing to do, and you know they need your help and that you are making a difference in their life.

“Diversity to me is the richness of life.  Our composite diversity at this campus allows for a setting in which we can learn from one another – learn and hopefully cultivate different core beliefs and values that will enrich our lives as well as our character.”

Teachers of the Future, made up mainly of students from the Mary">http://teach.asu.edu/">Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, has been active in a wide variety of charitable drives serving the less fortunate across the Valley.  Among their most recent efforts have been the Christmas Angels, School Supply and Fairy Godmothers drives.  The club has also taken “field trips” to participate in different cultural activities outside the West campus, attending workshops at the Heard Museum, Challenger Space Center, Arizona Science Center and the Art Museum of Phoenix.  This is the second year in succession the club has been honored by CET.

“Teachers of the Future fully commits itself to enhancing the ideals of ASU by encouraging students from all majors and walks of life to come together to support educations,” said club president Irene Arguello.  “We involve students with the community, increase their knowledge of and experience in the education field, and foster a positive environment for personal growth and lifelong friendships.”

The West campus CET is chaired by Smith and includes Tracy Chandler, Facilities Development and Management; Heidi Maxwell, Public Affairs; Meg McConnaughy, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences; Leslee Shell, Fletcher Library; and Jenni Thomas, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

Steve Des Georges

Doctoral student honored as outstanding school principal

May 27, 2010

Juan Medrano, who is pursuing his doctoral degree in leadership and innovation through Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, is a 2010 recipient of the Outstanding Principal Award from the Arizona Hispanic School Administrators Association (AHSAA).

Medrano, a native of Tolleson, Ariz., serves as principal at Porfirio H. Gonzales Elementary School, which he attended as a child. Download Full Image

“This award is a great honor,” Medrano said. “It recognizes the dedication that we have as a school to continuously improving our practice as educators to facilitate high levels of learning for our students.”

Teachers College faculty members who work with Medrano were not surprised to see him honored for his achievements.

“Juan is a top-notch student. He is disciplined, thorough, contemplative and caring,” said Teresa Foulger, associate professor in the division of teacher preparation on ASU’s West campus.


His students are benefiting from a remarkable role model who is furthering his professional competencies through doctoral studies,” Foulger said. “In just two more years Juan will be Dr. Medrano, an indicator of how focused he is on educating the finest.”

Added Debby Zambo, associate professor in the division of educational leadership and innovation, “Juan has displayed a strong interest in raising teachers’ efficacy. His action research during the spring semester focused on helping his teachers align their assignments and create meaningful assessments.”

Medrano, a 1991 graduate of Tolleson Union High School, spent five years as a math teacher and one year as an assistant principal in the Tolleson Elementary School District (TESD). He has served as principal at P.H. Gonzales for the past four years.

Last year P.H. Gonzales earned a “performing plus” label. In nominating Medrano for the AHSAA award, the TESD leadership team noted, “Mr. Medrano has a focus and determination to see his students succeed that is unwavering.” According to Superintendent Bill Christensen, “Mr. Medrano is a true instructional leader whom you will find in classrooms working side by side with staff.”


My motivation to become an educator came from my family,” Medrano said. “My grandfather was a catechism teacher and worked in the tire business for more than 35 years. He always emphasized the importance of education to me and my siblings as a way to expand our life opportunities. My father has also been a career educator and athletic coach throughout my upbringing.”

The influence of family also inspired Medrano to pursue his Ed.D. degree, he said. “The emphasis of the importance of education and service to my community from my family has resonated with me throughout my life. Their encouragement inspired me to pursue education formally and informally throughout my life.  From my experience in the Ed.D. program I hope to continue to grow professionally and apply my learning from the program to improve collaboration with my colleagues at P.H. Gonzales Elementary School.”

The Ed.D. program in leadership and innovation, offered on ASU’s West campus by the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, is a three-year cohort program that prepares educational researchers who are interested in working as educational leaders in K-12, higher education, or business environments. The program focuses on action research projects that begin in the first year of study and culminate with the dissertation. Students engage in multiple on-site research cycles to implement change and study the results. Details about the program are available at http://teach.asu.edu/doctoral_ed.  

AHSAA">http://teach.asu.edu/doctoral_ed">http://teach.asu.edu/doctoral_ed.&..., which recognized Medrano with its Outstanding Principal Award, works to create and provide professional development and support programs for Hispanic educational leaders. More information about the organization may be found at http://azhsaa.org/.">http://azhsaa.org/">http://azhsaa.org/.

Engineering alums earn prestigious fellowship

May 24, 2010

Two Arizona State University alumni who earned degrees in engineering are among recipients of prestigious teaching fellowships designed to foster innovation in teaching and in the education of teachers.

Moira McSpadden and Shamar Thomas are among 80 new Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellows – considered the “Rhodes Scholars” of teaching. Download Full Image

They will each receive a $30,000 stipend and enrollment in a master’s degree program for intensive clinical preparation for teaching math and science in urban and rural high schools most in need of strong teachers.

McSpadden, now a resident of Garland, Texas, graduated from ASU in the early 1980s, studying industrial technology and microelectronics engineering technology, and earning two undergraduate degrees. She later earned a master’s degree in information systems from Northeastern University.

She has been employed as a business analyst in the areas of process engineering and quality assurance. She will pursue her master’s degree in education through the fellowship program at Purdue University.

Thomas, now a resident of Louisville, Ky., graduated from ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering in 2008 with a bachelor’s of science degree in aerospace engineering.

He as has interned with Honeywell and US Airways/America West Airlines, and was in Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps.

Through the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship, Thomas will pursue a dual certification in engineering technology and computer education as well as special education at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The Indiana Fellowship is part of a national Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship initiative. Plans are for the program to expand to possibly all 50 states in coming years.

Among other goals, the program seeks to bring the strongest candidates into teaching, and attract well-educated teachers to high schools, especially to bolster math and science programs.

The two ASU alumni are among “truly stellar teacher candidates who will make a real difference in students’ lives,” said Constance K. Bond, vice president for Teaching Fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.

To learn more, see the foundation’s press">http://www.woodrow.org/news/news_items/WW_INTeachingFellows_2010.php">press release.

Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering


Native American students learn 'their' literature

May 17, 2010

You’re a high school student of European descent, and it’s the first day of your senior lit class.

Your teacher passes out the reading list for the semester: Leslie Marmon Silko’s “Ceremony.” Louise Erdrich’s “The Plague of Doves,” and N. Scott Momaday’s “House Made of Dawn.”
Download Full Image

Wait a minute. What happened to Shakespeare, Steinbeck and Melville? The books on this list are all by Native American authors!

David, a student at Westwood High School in Mesa, was ready to drop out of school at the end of his junior year. He didn’t need those boring senior classes.

But then David, a Pima/Ute, heard that teacher Andi Box planned to offer a class in Native American literature in the spring, and he quickly changed his mind.

“He was the first one to sign up. “Midway through the semester he told me, ‘I come to school for this class. I deal with the other ones,’” Box said.

Box’s class, a pilot project created with the help of ASU English faculty members James Blasingame and Simon Ortiz, is the first literature class in the Mesa Public Schools (MPS) to focus entirely on Native American authors and texts.

It grew out of the Beta Project, part of ASU’s Educational Partnerships initiative, whose goal is to provide a continually increasing Web-based “treasure of resources for the teaching of English language arts,” said Blasingame.

After the Beta Project was launched, Cliff Moon, MPS’s director of diversity, asked Blasingame if ASU could help create a Native American curriculum, since there are a good number of Native American students in the district.

“Westwood High School has the highest native population, so we took the grants there,” Blasingame said. “We had some money to buy books so we bought Sherman Alexie’s book, ‘The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian,’ and Andi did a pilot project on his book. Alexie went to Westwood, where he spoke to a standing-room-only crowd of students.”

About that time, Ortiz, a nationally known poet and member of the Acoma tribe, joined the ASU English faculty, and Blasingame asked him to chair a consortium to put together a course.

“I became aware that the Phoenix area had many Native Americans when I moved here in 2006,” Ortiz said. “I was curious about the curriculum in Mesa Public Schools. I was involved in a public school curriculum project in Portland, Ore., in 1989-90, so I knew it was possible to do it in other places.”

Planning for the first course took several years and included librarians from the Pima-Salt River, McDowell and Gila reservations, ASU faculty and graduate students, tribal leaders and administrators from MPS.

The pilot class focused on regional Native American literature of the Southwest, and included material from books such as “Rising Voices,” by Beverly Singer, a collection of poems and essays by young Native Americans about their identity, rituals and the harsh realities of their lives; “Code Talkers,” a novel for young adults by Joseph Bruchac (which the students didn’t want to put down, Box said), and Alexie’s novel, as well as films such as “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.”

Class units have included “Finding Our Warriors, Finding Our Beliefs”; “Finding Our Inner Poetry”; “Finding True Education”; “Finding Frustration: The Rise in Indian Activism”; and “Finding Our Future.”

The class brought tears and laughter to the students, as well as anger and pride.

There were 36 students in the class (and only 34 desks but no student wanted to drop out), of which 12 were Native American, from the Apache, O'odham, Ute, Pima-Maricopa, Navajo, Hopi, Creek, Tewa and Zuni.

Box started by having each student read a 13-page packet about Native American historical events that have seldom been talked about in history or literature classes. “From that information, they then had to choose what they thought were the top 20 most important historical events that all high school students should know about before they graduate.

“When we talked about the 1864 massacre at Sand Creek, for example, they were shocked,” Box said. “They asked, ‘Why has our history been whitewashed?’”

The students created 12-foot-long timelines, using their “top-20 events,” which they displayed around the school.

“I had many teachers and students come to my classroom and say ‘Thank you for teaching the truth,’” Box said.

The students also made posters, brought in Native dishes to share, created pictures to symbolize themselves, and wrote stories or poems about themselves. Box said she focused on both the positive and negative sides of Native American history.

For some of the Native American students, it was the first time they had read or seen an outsider’s view of their history.

“The students said they like the class because they got to hear how people were reacting to their history,” Box said.
“One student commented, ‘Every time we watch something in here it shocks me.’ A Hispanic student told me that she had cried three times in the class.”

The pilot class gave Box an idea of what should be included in the curriculum – and also what is needed as a foundation for the class.

“We have to learn some history first, before studying literature,” she explained, “such as how many tribes there are in the United States, and in Arizona.”

That Box is excited about the first class and others to come is evident by her e-mail notes, which are filled with exclamation points.

“There is too much to learn and not enough time!” she said. “I think next year I am going to have this class as a full year, with the senior writing class folded into it. Yay!

“We are all learning from each other, and it is such a joyous experience!”

Box wanted the initial class to be offered for senior students “due to the level of content and critical thinking I am expecting of my students,” she said, but Gary Loutzenheiser, acting education division director for the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, suggested that senior year might be too late for some students.

“Among Native American communities, we have a lot of kids who don’t make it to the sophomore and junior years. They don’t have a chance to jump in and understand their heritage,” he said. “Such a class would bolster their pride, help them feel better about themselves – and stay in school.”

For Box and the consortium, the work will begin again in June.

“We’ll start the whole process over again with a social studies class,” said Blasingame. “The long-range plans are to develop appropriate curriculum for all ages so that Native American history and culture are infused into classes for younger students, as well as older ones.”

The hard work will pay off when every student in Arizona routinely learns about the Native communities around them, Blasingame added.

“Eventually, we hope to follow in the footsteps of the Montana Office of Public Instruction and make Native American curriculum a part of the state standards.”

It was a close call for David, but, thanks to the Beta Project and Box’s enthusiasm, he made it to graduation – and into boot camp for the Air Force.

Udall Foundation selects student for intern program

May 11, 2010

The Udall Foundation has selected Nicholet Deschine, a graduate student from ASU’s College of Public Programs, as a 2010 Native American Congressional Intern.

Deschine is one of a dozen students selected for the highly regarded internship program in Washington D.C., which places Native students in competitive positions in Senate and House offices, committees, Cabinet departments and the White House, where they are able to observe government decision-making processes first-hand. She was selected by an independent review committee of nationally recognized Native American educators and tribal policy leaders on the basis of demonstrated commitment to careers in tribal public policy and academic achievement. Download Full Image

“Being a Native American and a minority, there is a need for representation in the political field,” Deschine said. “I think this internship will offer me an opportunity to get a foot in the door for advancement.”

The Foundation awards approximately 12 internships every summer on the basis of merit to Native Americans and Alaska Natives who are college juniors or seniors, recent graduates from tribal or four-year colleges, or graduate or law students who have demonstrated an interest in fields related to tribal public policy, such as tribal governance, tribal law, Native American education, Native American health, Native American justice, natural resource protection, cultural preservation and revitalization, and Native American economic development.

Deschine will complete an intensive, 10-week internship starting May 26. Special enrichment activities will provide opportunities to meet with key decision-makers. Since its inception in 1996, 162 Native American/Alaska Native students from 86 tribes have participated in the program.

Deschine is a citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North and South Dakota, and will graduate in May 2010 with a master’s degree in Social Work, concentrating in Planning, Administration and Community Practice. Deschine’s career interests include tribal policy analysis, public programs administration, tribal economic development and sustainable energy and continued education. She will work in the office of New Mexico Senator Tom Udall.

About the Udall Foundation

The Udall Foundation is an independent federal agency that was established by Congress in 1992 to provide federally funded scholarships for college students intended to pursue careers related to the environment, as well as to Native American students pursuing tribal policy or health care careers.

Reporter , ASU News


Student's experience opens world of opportunities

April 19, 2010

Sean Jules is a young man with options, and he’s comfortable with the territory, because he’s travelled the road before.

Upon graduating as a member of the  National Honor Society and in the top one percentile of his Phoenix Thunderbird High School class in 2006, Jules entertained academic scholarship offers from such standout institutions as Harvard, Loyola, USC, the University of Arizona and Arizona State University. Download Full Image

He chose ASU and its New">http://newcollege.asu.edu/">New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and has never looked back.

“ASU’s academic and interdisciplinary reputation was a big factor for me,” says Jules, who will graduate with a B.S. in psychology this May.  “The presence of Barrett">http://barretthonors.asu.edu/home/">Barrett, the Honors College, the proximity of the West campus to my home, and the specialization in psychology I found in New College also played a role in my decision.”

He also received a gentle nudge.  “Several longtime family friends have attended ASU, and they encouraged me to continue what they called their ‘tradition.’”

As he eyes his pending graduation, with summa cum laude honors from Barrett, he has more options to consider, thanks in part to his four-year experience at ASU’s West campus where his undergraduate research opportunities have opened a number of career doors.

“I was delighted to learn that I could work in a research lab here at ASU as an undergraduate, and I constantly see notifications going out about career workshops, internships, graduate school learning sessions and other helpful opportunities.  ASU’s support of academic research and career preparation is very much appreciated.”

The research he is conducting takes place in the Legal">http://newcollege.asu.edu/research/legal/">Legal Psychology Research Laboratory directed by New College Associate Professor Dawn McQuiston.  Jules and other students are examining how mock jurors interpret and understand different forms of evidence: forensic evidence, expert testimony, confessions and more.  Additionally, he is exploring whether or not differing courtroom presentations of the same type of evidence could result in differing juror interpretations.

His Barrett Honors thesis is an examination of how theories or trends in social psychology can predict how mock jurors will respond to eyewitness testimony.

“My academic experience at ASU has been highlighted by my time in Dr. McQuiston’s lab,” says Jules.  “The work is meaningful and she is an excellent mentor in every conceivable way.  She has given me great advice concerning research opportunities, graduate school and pursuing a career in academia.  I have gained invaluable experimental research and leadership experience during my time as a research assistant and lab manager.”

With that experience and his active participation in the West campus chapter of the Psi Chi international honors society, Jules is currently eyeing three different career opportunities while concurrently planning a continuation of his higher education through a master’s degree and an eventual doctorate.

“I plan to get my Ph.D. in social psychology,” he says.  “Then, I will look at a career as a tenure-track professor at a research-driven university like ASU, or a government position researching social psychology phenomena that affect public policy, or even a private research position examining the influences of various marketing strategies.

“My decision to attend ASU and New College was the right decision.  It has opened so many doors, and the emphasis on academics is real and makes a real difference in your personal career preparation.”

Steve Des Georges