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Valley leaders unite to make Maricopa County more resilient

November 10, 2021

New council will advance solutions to short- and long-term stresses

Arizona State University today convened the inaugural meeting of the Council of Resilience Leaders, its latest effort to advance resilience-promoting strategies as communities in Arizona and around the world search for answers to complex issues from climate change to economic, health and social inequities.

The newly formed council comprises 14 influential and diverse leaders from the public, private, nonprofit and advocacy sectors. The group will work together to support ASU’s Knowledge Exchange for Resilience in its mission to leverage the university's intellectual resources and partners to build Maricopa County’s capacity to withstand future shocks and stresses.

Arizona is experiencing rapid changes in the demand for health care and education, economic expansion, and social and environmental evolution, and as 2020 showed us, we can’t wait around for answers,” ASU President Michael Crow said. “Now more than ever, we need to work together as leaders to address the multifaceted challenges confronting our state and find better ways to ensure the overall well-being and prosperity of the communities we serve.”

The city of Phoenix, Maricopa Association of Governments, Salt River Project, Arizona Public Service, AARP, Greater Phoenix Leadership, Chicanos Por La Causa, Black Chamber of Arizona, Wildfire, Intertribal Council of Arizona, State of Black Arizona, Children’s Action Alliance, The Arizona Republic and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce were among the organizations represented at today’s gathering at Mirabella at ASU in downtown Tempe. 

The council is one of several resilience-building initiatives supporting the Knowledge Exchange for Resilience, which launched in 2018 with a $15 million grant from the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. Other recent endeavors include the Resilience Fellows, who conduct individual and collaborative research on resilience themes, and the Recognition of Resilience, which honors local entities for their innovative and inspirational efforts to strengthen community resilience.

Additional information about the Knowledge Exchange for Resilience and the council’s membership is available at

ASU’s continued work to strengthen local resilience is another example of its ongoing, institutional commitment to take fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.

Top photo by Sean Pavone/iStock

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Matthew Hulver joins ASU as vice president of research

November 9, 2021

Advancing a major research enterprise dedicated to solving the world’s toughest challenges requires both visionary leadership and a solid understanding of the complex operations that keep labs safe, funds flowing and equipment humming. Matthew Hulver will bring both to Arizona State University when he joins the Knowledge Enterprise as vice president of research on Dec. 6.

Hulver is currently executive director of the Fralin Life Sciences Institute at Virginia Tech, which is dedicated to improving the human condition by supporting innovative environmental and life sciences research, education and outreach. He is also a professor in human nutrition, foods and exercise and a scientist who has studied the adaptation of human metabolism in response to changes in diet and physical activity.

Hulver says he chose to accept the position at ASU because its charter provides clarity of purpose and a call to action.

“ASU is focused on solving the world’s grand challenges and educating at scale — and doing it with excellence. It’s exciting to be part of it,” he said.

Hulver’s broad academic and leadership experience was a key factor in his selection. He has served as executive director of a major research institute, assistant dean, department head, animal care and use committee chair, graduate program director and tenured faculty member. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed publications, taught undergraduate- and graduate-level classes, and mentored dozens of student dissertations and theses.

“The diversity of Matt’s experience will allow him to excel in this role. He has real boots-on-the-ground experience both as a researcher and a leader,” said Sally C. Morton, executive vice president of ASU Knowledge Enterprise. “He is also an energetic, thoughtful intellect.”

As vice president of research, Hulver will be responsible for identifying and deploying strategies to grow and diversify ASU’s research enterprise, which is one of the fastest growing in the nation. He will collaborate closely with colleges, schools and departments to support their ongoing research and develop plans for the future. He will also hold a faculty appointment in the College of Health Solutions.

“There are a lot of processes that are necessary to run a research enterprise, from sponsored projects to regulatory compliance to core facilities,” Hulver said. “How can I help scale up this already robust organization to meet our ambitious goals for the future? I want to eliminate barriers so that our faculty and staff can focus on what they do best.” 

Neal Woodbury has been serving in both the vice president for research and chief science and technology officer roles.

“I am extraordinarily grateful to Neal for stepping up and taking on multiple roles,” Morton said. “The continued growth and impact of our research enterprise — even during a pandemic — is evidence of his inspiring and tireless leadership.”

Woodbury will focus on his role as chief science and technology officer, charting a long-term, pan-university vision for ASU research. He will work closely with Hulver and Morton to move the university toward its goal of expanding the research enterprise and its value to the communities it serves.

“We have a responsibility to our faculty, our students, our state and our global community to advance discovery that serves the public good,” Morton said. “We have an exemplary team to fulfill that responsibility, and I am excited to work together to accelerate our positive impact.”

Director , Knowledge Enterprise Development


ASU Biodesign Clinical Testing Laboratory receives coveted CAP accreditation

November 3, 2021

The Biodesign Clinical Testing Laboratory at Arizona State University has received accreditation from the College of American Pathologists (CAP), the nation’s largest organization of board-certified pathologists.

The CAP Accreditation Committee has awarded accreditation based on results of rigorous onsite inspection as part of the CAP’s accreditation programs. Scientists wearing personal protective equipment in the Biodesign Clinical Testing Laboratory at Arizona State University. Joshua LaBaer (front) pictured with colleagues from the Clinical Testing Laboratory. LaBaer is the director of the laboratory as well as executive director of the Biodesign Institute and director of the Biodesign Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics. Photo by Andy DeLisle. Download Full Image

Since the start of the pandemic, the Biodesign Institute at ASU has dedicated its specialized resources to mass testing for COVID-19 and sequencing genomes of the viral pathogen SARS CoV-2.

On Oct. 8, ASU announced the lab’s milestone of 1 million COVID-19 tests. The prestigious accreditation is the latest benchmark of excellence for the clinical testing lab, which has played a vital role in COVID-19 surveillance across the state, including in underserved communities.

Carolyn C. Compton, the facility’s director, was advised of this national recognition and congratulated the lab for the excellence of the services being provided.

“CAP accreditation is widely recognized as the highest bar for a clinical laboratory and signifies excellence on all levels. It is not easily attained for any laboratory,” Compton said. “I am especially proud that the (ASU Biodesign Clinical Testing Laboratory) was able to achieve this while under the duress of an international pandemic.”

Compton, board-certified in both anatomic and clinical pathology, is a professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences.

Carolyn C. Compton

The ASU Biodesign Clinical Testing Laboratory (ABCTL) is one of more than 8,000 CAP-accredited facilities worldwide. The U.S. government recognizes the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program, begun in the early 1960s, as being equal to or more stringent than the government’s own inspection program.

During the CAP accreditation process, designed to ensure the highest standard of care for all laboratory patients, inspectors examine the laboratory’s records and quality control of procedures for the preceding two years. CAP inspectors also examine laboratory staff qualifications, equipment, facilities, the lab’s safety program and record, and overall management.

“It is deeply gratifying to see the hard work and dedication of all involved in the clinical testing lab recognized with this important accreditation,” said Joshua LaBaer, executive director of the Biodesign Institute and director of the Biodesign Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics. “The accreditation helps us continue the outstanding services we provide in terms of statewide COVID-19 surveillance, as well as expand our laboratory operations to address other threats to public health.”

The Biodesign Clinical Testing Laboratory had already been certified by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, or CLIA, designed to ensure quality handling and testing of diagnostic samples. CLIA is administered through the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each agency plays a specific role in ensuring quality laboratory testing. The new CAP accreditation further solidifies the clinical lab’s standing as a facility of excellence.

The Biodesign Clinical Testing Laboratory was the first in the West and in the state of Arizona to offer saliva-based testing for COVID-19. This less invasive method provides highly accurate results, is less labor-intensive and requires fewer medical personnel.

The lab’s web-based portal and case tracking system has provided a streamlined system for COVID-19 monitoring, with extremely rapid turnaround times from sample submission to diagnosis, an essential requirement for the tracking of the rapidly evolving pandemic. 

Vel Murugan stands in front of the ASU Biodesign Clinical Testing Laboratory. Murugan is program and technical director of the Clinical Testing Lab and associate research professor at the Biodesign Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics. Photo by Andy DeLisle/ASU

“When we started ABCTL, our goal was to setup a CLIA laboratory that meets and exceeds CLIA regulatory requirements,” said Vel Murugan, associate director of research and an associate research professor at the Biodesign Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics. “Accreditation by CAP is an attestation to ABCTL’s quality laboratory practices and the integrity of the results that we generate. We aim to continuously demonstrate excellence in laboratory practices.”

The newly CAP-accredited clinical testing lab is the first of its kind at ASU and fulfills the university’s ambitions to apply leading-edge science in the service of the community and its well-being.

As the world's largest organization of board-certified pathologists and leading provider of laboratory accreditation and proficiency testing programs, CAP serves patients, pathologists and the public by fostering and advocating excellence in the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine worldwide. Find more information at 

Richard Harth

Science writer, Biodesign Institute at ASU


ASU joins Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning to better prepare future faculty

ASU graduate students and postdocs can access CIRTL certifications, online classes and workshops to improve their teaching skills

November 1, 2021

The ASU Graduate College has announced that Arizona State University is now a member institution of the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning Network. The CIRTL Network seeks to develop a national faculty by engaging graduate students committed to enhancing excellence in undergraduate education through effective teaching practices for diverse learners.

CIRTL was founded in 2003 as a National Science Foundation Center for Learning and Teaching in higher education. The core ideas of the network are to provide professional development graduate training through diversity, teaching as research, and learning communities. Download Full Image

ASU joins 42 other member research universities, including the University of Arizona, Yale, Stanford, UCLA, Penn State and Caltech, among others.

“The Graduate College shares CIRTL’s mission to support and better serve the professional development needs of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars,” said Elizabeth A. Wentz, vice provost and dean of the Graduate College. “We are excited about adding CIRTL offerings to our professional development resources for future faculty.”

All CIRTL Network member institutions collaborate to learn and share strategies for building local learning communities in support of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. 

“Universities don’t always do a great job of teaching graduate students and postdocs how to teach, which is often a crucial part of a successful career as a faculty member,” said Tamara Underiner, associate dean of professional development and engagement in the Graduate College. “We joined CIRTL precisely to help fill that gap.”

CIRTL offers a wide range of online programming. A variety of credit-bearing and non-credit-bearing classes are available for graduate students and postdocs, both via the national network and through offerings specific to the ASU community. Some of CIRTL’s core classes include: "Diversity in the College Classroom," "Teaching with Technology" and "Research Mentor Training."

CIRTL's workshops give graduate students and postdocs an opportunity to develop a specific material or set of materials to help advance their career development, such as writing a teaching philosophy or CV. Participants can also join online learning communities that cover a range of topics.

Get certified with CIRTL

All members of the ASU Community are welcome to participate in any of the free ASU/CIRTL offerings. Additionally, graduate students and postdocs wishing to become certified by CIRTL may do so at three tiered levels — associate, practitioner and scholar — representing certain benchmark achievements.

“Once you’re certified for any one of those levels and then apply for a job at another of the 42 CIRTL member institutions, they recognize that as a sign that you have given serious thought to pedagogy and teaching in your discipline,” Underiner said.

Learn more about CIRTL certifications.  

Get your CIRTL account

Through CIRTL membership, graduate students and postdocs have expanded opportunities for future faculty preparation, are able to connect with a national network of future and current faculty, and learn more about evidence-based research and teaching as research.

Interested ASU graduate students, postdocs and faculty should create a CIRTL Network account

The Graduate College will be offering information sessions for graduate students, postdocs and faculty in the spring.

Written by Jenna Nabors

ASU Foundation now accepting cryptocurrency gifts

November 1, 2021

The ASU Foundation for A New American University is now accepting cryptocurrency options as a philanthropic payment method.

The nonprofit fundraising arm of Arizona State University can accept more than 90 different cryptocurrencies from donors, which will enable them to connect with a broader range of donors. Image of five coins displaying Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin with red jagged chart behind them Stock image of Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin, three of the more than 90 cryptocurrencies the ASU Foundation will now accept as gifts.

"We recognize that millennials and Gen Zers, some of which are ASU alumni, want to be able to facilitate gifts in the form of cryptocurrency," said Samuel Michalove, director of investment strategy and portfolio management for ASU Enterprise Partners, parent organization to the ASU Foundation. "We're open for business and want to be able to engage in a new way with individuals and facilitate the ways they want to give."

ASU donors could already give through a variety of options beyond cash, including stocks, bonds, fine art, real estate, closely held companies and life insurance. The additional giving option enables the foundation to accept assets donors have and want to give.

“We have to be forward-thinking about alumni and new ways in which we can engage with them," said Jazmin Medina, ’09 BS, principal of NewView Capital and ASU Foundation's Next Generation Council member. "This is what we strive to do as members of the Next Gen Council — find meaningful ways to connect with alumni and to make their experience donating as seamless and easy as possible."

The Next Generation Council was instrumental in adding cryptocurrency options. Members are successful entrepreneurial alumni who graduated since 2002 and are looking to create ways for fellow alumni to engage in meaningful ways.

"Crypto has changed the world in so many ways since I bought my first Bitcoin a decade ago," said Daniel McAuley, ’09 BS, data scientist for Instagram and a member of the Next Generation Council. "Making it easy for alumni to donate their crypto wealth will help the ASU Foundation to continue that trend. I also think it's a strong signal to younger alumni that ASU sees where the world is going and can be entrusted to put their capital to work in shaping it."

When donors give cryptocurrency to the ASU Foundation to support ASU students, research and programs, the currency is transferred through Coinbase, a third party that facilitates the transfer on behalf of the foundation. The foundation acknowledges the currency and quantity of the currency that transferred.

Cryptocurrency is treated as a property asset under Internal Revenue Services tax code. There are some suggestions that it is like publicly traded stock, which is also property under the IRS guidelines; however, when it comes to tax deductions, it is more like real estate, art or privately held companies, said Brian Nielson, estate and planned gift adviser for the ASU Foundation.

"The amount and how and when it was acquired all affect the potential deduction and documentation requirements," he said. "Because it is a new type of asset, the laws and IRS forms haven’t fully caught up. The foundation can help navigate the requirements for donors who would want a charitable tax deduction."

Other benefits may include a reduction in capital gains taxes.

"Like publicly traded stock, donors can potentially avoid paying capital gains taxes if their cryptocurrency was acquired as an investment, has been held for more than a year and is donated as cryptocurrency directly to a charitable organization such as the ASU Foundation," Nielson said.

Cryptocurrency is not widely used for settling transactions that can be settled by other means, said Dragan Boscovic, ASU computer science professor and director of the Blockchain Research Lab.

"People are still very used to using credit cards, sending wires or just paying in cash. Nevertheless, there are certain benefits to paying by cryptocurrency," he said. "It's more instantaneous, you do not pay a high transaction fee and it's used globally so you don't have to exchange your dollars to make international payments."

Accepting cryptocurrency for philanthropy purposes may lead to other partnerships for ASU that would enable the university to participate in a blockchain network and receive utility tokens in exchange for participating in various network activities, Boscovic said.

Michelle Stermole

Director of communications, ASU Enterprise Partners


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ASU employees honored with President's Awards for social embeddedness, innovation

ASU honors employees' civic-education, pandemic-relief initiatives.
October 26, 2021

Civics education, pandemic-relief initiatives awarded

Arizona State University President Michael Crow honored staff and faculty members during the 2021 President’s Recognition Ceremony on Tuesday.

The annual event recognizes collaborative initiatives that have demonstrated excellence in advancing the university’s mission: the President's Award for Innovation, which went to two programs, and the President’s Medal for Social Embeddedness, which went to three programs this year.

Individual employees were also honored with Serving University Needs (SUN) Awards, which are decided by peers.

President’s Award for Innovation awardees

NatureMaker, a nature-based, applied-learning library created by the Biomimicry Center and the Library of ASU.

NatureMaker offers artifacts such as feathers, shells, skeletons, insects, dried plants and seeds, tools for visualizing natural phenomena — including microscopes, 3D scanners, binoculars, field kits and magnifying lenses — and books on topics such as biomechanics, natural history and up-close photography of objects drawn from nature. Crow said that libraries are vital to fighting the misinformation found on the internet.

“The fact that you’re able to take this and enhance our understanding of where we are in time and space is fantastic," he said. "What we need is curation and intellectual context, and that’s what you guys provide.”

Beetle collection

The bio-inspired NatureMaker space in the Biomimicry Center features scores of beetle samples. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

Study Hall, a YouTube channel that reached more than 1 million learners during its first year with entertaining concepts that prepare learners for college success. Students can learn how to navigate college, explore majors and get an early start on foundational knowledge. The initiative is a collaboration among many units, including Crash Course, developed by EdPlus with Hank and John Green.

Crow said: "This project is exemplary of the way ASU is going. Whatever barriers there were in the past to accessing the institution – we are moving those barriers, and this is a fabulous, scalable innovation.”

Illustration of person reading a chemistry book

Screenshot from a Study Hall video on YouTube.

President’s Medal for Social Embeddedness awardees

The Guadalupe COVID-19 Community Response Team, which provides culturally tailored health education and prevention to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The team spends one day a week on food distribution and two others helping coronavirus victims and reaching out to isolated individuals. Student volunteers assist with case investigations, contact tracing, delivering supplies and assessing needs.

The effort, which began after ASU researchers found high levels of the COVID-19 wastewater in the community, is a collaboration among ASU, the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, Native Health Inc., the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at ASU, the Student Outbreak Response Team, the town of Guadalupe and Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. Crow praised the effort as an effective way of leveraging the university’s resources at the community level.

“It was extremely difficult for us to find communities that were willing to work in a way that took the things we could build and turn them into real tools,” he said. “Your work helps lay the foundation to help us figure out how to work and be engaged with other communities.”

Megan Jehn at a Guadalupe food drive in August 2020

Associate Professor Megan Jehn helps distribute food at a community food drive in Guadalupe on Aug. 4, 2020. The weekly event is part of the Guadalupe COVID-19 Community Response Team's work supporting community health in the town. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

School Participatory Budgeting, a civic learning program implemented in 47 Arizona K–12 schools. The program teaches democracy by empowering students to develop proposals and vote on a proposal to implement on their campus. The program was created by the ASU Participatory Governance Initiative, the Center for the Future of Arizona, the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, the Arizona Development Disabilities Planning Council and several school districts.

Crow said: “This project is fantastic because it’s worked at multiple schools and created this opportunity to teach civics by doing it and making decisions by participating in the process and deciding how real resources are allocated.”

cover of Participatory Budgeting toolkit

The toolkit has been implemented in 47 Arizona K–12 schools.

Thrive in the 05, an initiative to develop community solutions to solve complex social problems through partnerships and research in Tucson. The initiative is named after the 85705 ZIP code, a 2.5-square-mile area near the city’s urban core that includes Tucson House, a public housing high-rise, and Old Pascua, a community of the Pascua Yaqui tribe. Thrive in the 05 pivoted during the pandemic to offer a helpline, care boxes of household and personal supplies and wellness checks of vulnerable residents.

The program is a collaboration among ASU’s Office of Community Health, Engagement and Resiliency; Chicanos Por La Causa; the city of Tucson; the Pascua Yaqui Tribe; Pima Community College; Pima County Health Department; the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at ASU and the Tucson House residence.

“You helped to build resilience capacity," Crow said. "You made it work during a very complex moment. This is not the last complex moment – this is the latest complex moment.”

Thrive in the 05, volunteers, care bags, drive through, distribution, ASU, School of Social Work

Volunteers for the School of Social Work's Thrive in the 05 initiative hand out care bags to Tucson residents. Photo courtesy of School of Social Work

SUN Award winners

Derek Keith, a senior coordinator with University Academic Success Programs at the Polytechnic campus, where he supervises tutors and staff in the writing center.

Crow said: “You have to master writing as your main form of expression to be a college graduate. Thank you for taking that on.”

Valerie Keim, a senior grant and contract officer in the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects Administration on the Tempe campus, who was honored for her diplomacy and resourcefulness when dealing with complicated contracts. Crow said her work in helping faculty to apply for proposals is vital, especially when there are missed deadlines.

“We ask our faculty to do so many things, and you put together a team to help them have an easy way to submit a proposal," Crow said "They’re putting their life’s work in that proposal.”

Maureen McCoy, a senior nutrition lecturer in the food and nutrition entrepreneurship degree program in the College of Health Solutions at the Downtown Phoenix campus, where she is the faculty adviser for the Pitchfork Pantry and researches food equity and insecurity.

Crow said the nutrition program “is one of the only ways we can get to equitable health outcomes.”

Jenna Graham, a senior management research analyst in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences on the West campus.

Crow said: “The New College is a tough assignment because it’s new and it’s different from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Finding a way to communicate that and find and keep students and make that college thrive is a tough assignment.”

cards with bios on them

Bios of the SUN Award winners and a President's Award for Innovation are on display at the 2021 President’s Recognition Ceremony in the Carson Ballroom in Old Main on the Tempe campus on Oct. 26.

Top photo: ASU President Michael Crow addresses members of NatureMaker, one of the winners of the President's Medal for Innovation, at the 2021 President’s Recognition Ceremony on Oct. 26. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

Mary Beth Faller

Reporter , ASU News


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Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences joins ASU's Global Futures Lab

October 26, 2021

Partnership will help researchers better understand ocean health; ASU now has two research centers devoted to monitoring Atlantic, Pacific oceans

In a major development in the bid to deepen the understanding of the role that the ocean plays in climate science, Arizona State University President Michael Crow announced today that ASU, a leading research university, has established a partnership with the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), one of the longest-serving research institutes dedicated to studying ocean processes in the Western Hemisphere.

Earth’s ocean is critical to the health of our planet. It covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface and acts as a temperature-regulating system by providing dynamic transport of warm waters poleward and bringing cooler waters to the tropics. It also plays a crucial role in absorbing carbon from the atmosphere and excess heat from global warming, mitigating some of the effects of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). 

But these natural ocean functions are weakening, their dynamics disrupted due to climate change. Understanding how the ocean operates and adjusts to increasing pressures are important factors in determining how the planet will respond to human-induced change. 

“Our partnership with BIOS points to the growing awareness of the critical role ocean health plays in Earth’s ability to cope with rising CO2 levels and other human impacts,” Crow said. “When you couple the science-based efforts at BIOS in the Atlantic to our Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science efforts led by Greg Asner in the Pacific, a clearer picture of the overall ocean dynamics and health will begin to come into full view. We expect that this new partnership will be a huge benefit to all Earth scientists seeking a clearer and more concise view of the ‘state of the planet.’”

Video by Stephen Filmer/ASU

BIOS, in St. George’s on the islands of Bermuda, is the premier deep-ocean observatory in the Western Hemisphere. ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory — described as a medical center for the planet Earth — has a wide range of dedicated scientists and scholars working to understand the current state of the planet and its inhabitants, and developing new ways of acquiring and analyzing data from all components of the Earth system and utilizing them to learn about Earth’s health. Together, BIOS and ASU will advance the understanding of the ocean’s contributions to Earth’s overall health and explore what is needed to secure these services into the future. 

BIOS anchors a unique part of the global ocean-observing system designed to monitor the real-time physical state of the Atlantic Ocean. The institute has several long-running ship-based monitoring programs and employs a fleet of gliders, or underwater “drones,” that are capable of continuously monitoring changes in the surrounding ocean.

ASU’s Global Futures Laboratory will amplify that work within its mission to “design options for sustained global habitability and improved well-being for all” that will be greatly enhanced by the strengths of BIOS. Together, the partnership will share expertise in ocean sciences to study the highly interlinked, complex problems related to the future of the planet and will put students on the cutting edge of ocean science.

“For BIOS, the merger with ASU provides an excellent growth opportunity by providing a stable career pathway for our scientists, a large pool of excellent undergraduate and graduate students and talented engineers for developing the sensors and robotic systems needed to monitor the inevitable changes in the ocean during the coming decades,” said BIOS President and CEO Bill Curry. “We couldn’t be more thrilled about this opportunity to join with ASU.”

Through this new collaboration, ASU and BIOS together will: 

  • Develop collaborative, transdisciplinary scientific research projects that span the full range of terrestrial and marine environments.
  • Advance new sensor and sampling systems to observe and measure changing Earth systems.
  • Apply modern data analytics and computational methods to real-time environmental data streams of critical scientific and societal relevance.
  • Provide experiential training and research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in global environmental and climate science.
  • Form collaborative, transdisciplinary socio-scientific groups that combine insights into physical, biogeochemical, socioeconomic and sociocultural knowledge domains to provide support for critical decisions we have to make to keep our planet healthy, such as climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity, ecosystem services or pollution.
  • Integrate the BIOS campus and Bermuda into all aspects of ASU’s efforts with respect to research and education.
A medium-size ships is seen in front of a campus of white buildings in the Bahamas

The R/V Atlantic Explorer — a UNOLS ocean-class vessel operated by the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences that provides scientists with a platform for conducting short- and long-term studies of the open ocean — is seen at the BIOS campus in St. George’s on the islands of Bermuda. Photo courtesy of BIOS

Eye on the Atlantic

For more than 100 years, BIOS researchers, visiting scientists and students have worked to explore the Atlantic Ocean and address the global and environmental issues it faces. It does this by operating several of the longest ocean-observing programs: Hydrostation “S”; the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study, or BATS; and the Oceanic Flux Program, or OFP; as well as through its coral reef research.

Hydrostation “S” began in 1954 and monitors ocean temperature and salinity biweekly to address fundamental questions about the physical state of the ocean. It provides the longest-running record of ocean property changes on the planet.

Since 1988 BIOS also has operated BATS, collecting a variety of physical, chemical and biological oceanographic data from the Atlantic Ocean on a monthly basis. Together, these records provide insights on how the ocean carbon cycle, ocean physics and biology are changing naturally and as a result of rising pressures from human activities, such as the increase of atmospheric CO2 over time.

“The multiple decades of data from BATS and Hydrostation ‘S’ provide us with an unparalleled perspective on regional and global ocean dynamics,” noted Nick Bates, BIOS senior scientist and lead BATS investigator. “These time-series programs have given the scientific community new insights into how the ocean responds to variations in Earth’s atmosphere, most recently demonstrating substantial decadal variation and acceleration of surface warming, salinification, loss of oxygen and increasing acidification.”

The monitoring in the Atlantic by BIOS will be paired with the work of an ASU hub in the Pacific Ocean, where a team of Hawaii-based researchers led by Asner are mapping the ocean and its coral reefs at unprecedented levels of detail. Asner’s Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science and the Allen Coral Atlas initiative are leading to important new understandings of how coral reefs weather ocean heat waves and measuring their resilience in a changing environment.  

“From ASU’s perspective, it is critical to add the study of the ocean to the expertise of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory so that we can explore possible future states of our planet in a holistic fashion,” said Peter Schlosser, ASU’s vice president and vice provost of the Global Futures Laboratory. “Given the central role the ocean plays in the dynamics of the Earth system, this is not possible without a strong ocean program – after all, Earth is the water planet. Our partnership with BIOS will expand our expertise in this critical area.”

Schlosser added that it is important to look at the ocean holistically to understand not only what it provides the planet in terms of temperature regulation and the uptake of heat and carbon, but to understand how it handles stressors such as global warming, ocean acidification and the dumping of plastics.

“Our partnership with BIOS will provide a vital link to peer into the ocean, assess its health to see how well it is handling these stressors and to explore what options we have to solve the problems we have already created and anticipate future pressures in order to avoid them altogether,” he said. “Adding a strong ocean program to our capacity in the Global Futures Laboratory will enhance our ability to see the planet more as an intimately interactive system, rather than a conglomeration of disparate parts.”  

About Global Futures Laboratory

The Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory at ASU represents the urgent belief that we can and must make a meaningful contribution to ensuring a habitable planet and a future in which well-being is attainable. The Global Futures Laboratory is the world’s first institution of its kind dedicated to the health of the planet and its inhabitants. It is built upon the deep expertise of ASU and leveraging an extensive network of partners for an ongoing and wide-ranging exchange across all knowledge domains to address the complex social, economic and scientific challenges spawned by the current and future threats from environmental degradation. This platform positions a new world headquarters for an international array of scientists, scholars and innovators and lays the foundation to anticipate and respond to existing and emerging challenges and use innovation to purposefully shape and inform our future. For more information, visit

About Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences

BIOS is an independent U.S. nonprofit scientific research and educational organization based in Bermuda and a Bermuda Registered Charity No. 116. For over 100 years, BIOS-based researchers and visiting scientists have worked to explore the ocean and address important local and global environmental issues. Ocean and atmospheric science research programs at BIOS provide a wealth of information that is used by government representatives, environmental resource managers and community leaders to inform their decision-making processes. R/V Atlantic Explorer is a U.S.-flagged UNOLS ocean-class vessel, operated by BIOS, that provides scientists with a platform for conducting short- and long-term studies of the open ocean, providing data to inform our understanding of global climate change, nutrient cycling and ocean-atmospheric dynamics. For more information, visit

Top image: Crew on the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences’ Atlantic Explorer retrieve the autonomous underwater vehicle Sentry, which was used as a platform to test a trio of oceanographic instruments aimed at improving the navigation of underwater robots deployed in long-term scientific investigations. ASU and BIOS have entered into a partnership that will lead to a better understanding of ocean health. Photo courtesy of BIOS

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ASU celebrates return of Homecoming festivities

October 20, 2021

A time-honored tradition at Arizona State University, Homecoming is back this fall after a pandemic pause, bringing together students, parents, alumni and the ASU community to celebrate their Sun Devil spirit.

The university will celebrate Homecoming this year with multiple events Oct. 24–30, culminating in a football game against Washington State at noon Oct. 30.

“During the seven days that mark Homecoming, students can expect a week full of celebrations on every campus,” said Sage Vu, student Homecoming director.

Vu says some of the week’s highlights for students include:

“After a year, (the Programming and Activities Board) is excited to be celebrating Homecoming once again,” Vu said. “It has been exciting to plan these events that will engage two full groups of students (first- and second-year students) that have never had the opportunity to participate in Homecoming before.”   

Learn more about some of this year’s signature activities:

Legends Luncheon

Friday, Oct. 29

ASU vs. Nebraska game Sept. 21, 1996

During the ASU vs. Nebraska game Sept. 21, 1996, the Sun Devils dominated the No. 1-ranked and two-time defending national champions Cornhuskers with a 19-0 shutout.

The ASU Alumni Association and the Sun Devil Club will celebrate the silver anniversary of the 1996–97 Sun Devil Football Pac-10 Champions at the Oct. 29 Legends Luncheon. Key players including Jake “The Snake” Plummer, Derrick Rodgers, Juan Roque and Keith Poole led the team to an 11-0 regular season and a trip to the Rose Bowl.

While the event is sold out, you can see these players in person as they lead the Homecoming Parade down University Drive. After the parade, stop by their booth on Old Main Lawn at the Homecoming Block Party as the players will be signing autographs for fans.

Sparky’s Pep Rally

4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29

zoom screen with four participants

Joe Healey and Rob Reyes host guests on Sparky's Pep Rally.

The day before the game, tune in online to Sparky’s Pep Rally. Hear commentary on the week’s opponent from Sun Devil advocates Joe Healey, “Speak of the Devils” co-host, and Rob Reyes, known as “Jedi ASU.” Other virtual festivities include guest appearances from former athletes and coaches, giveaways and special performances.

Lantern Walk

6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29

Sparky in front of a lit up A on A Mountain

Sparky celebrates as he lights the "A" of "A" Mountain during the Lantern Walk. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU News

Lantern Walk remains one of ASU's oldest and most treasured traditions. It was first celebrated in 1917. Each year students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends climb to the top of "A" Mountain carrying lanterns to light up Tempe, following in the footsteps of their Sun Devil ancestors.

Lantern Walk will take place on Oct. 29, and begins at the base of Tempe Butte (“A” Mountain) with a DJ at 6:30 p.m. The hike up “A” Mountain will begin at 7 p.m. Homecoming royalty will be crowned at the top of the mountain, where activities will also include brief remarks from student leaders and Sparky’s lighting up the “A.”

Sparky’s Touchdown Tailgate

9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 30 (continues all day)

family tailgating

Photo by ASU

Amp up for kickoff just steps from Sun Devil Stadium with the premier pregame experience for ASU fans. Show up for the live entertainment, food trucks, a beer garden, giveaways and a special appearance by Sparky. This event is free and open to the public. 

Homecoming Parade

9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 30

Child watching homecoming float in the parade

A child waves at parade participants during the 2018 ASU Homecoming Parade. Photo by Marcus Chormicle/ASU News

The ASU Homecoming Parade is one of the biggest and longest-running traditions. Student organization floats, the ASU Marching Band, colleges, departments, community organizations and local celebrities are all a part of this great tradition.

The parade takes place on University Drive between Forest Avenue and McAllister Avenue

Homecoming Block Party

9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 30

child holding a snake

Andrew Montalvo holds a gopher snake at the Department of Animal Care and Technologies booth during the 2018 Homecoming Block Party. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

The ASU Homecoming Block Party is a festival-type event that is free and open to the public. It boasts a 14-acre footprint with more than 100 tents from ASU’s colleges, units and departments featuring hands-on activities for the whole family, prizes and swag. It starts at 9 a.m. Oct. 30 and runs until game time (noon).

Football game

cheerleader at ASU Homecoming game

Sun Devil Spirit Squad member Tatum Buck cheers on the Devils at a 2015 ASU Homecoming football game. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

The biggest highlight is the Homecoming game, where the Sun Devils will take on the Washington State Cougars at Sun Devil Stadium at noon Oct. 30.

Purchase game tickets

Note: Homecoming events will follow all COVID-19 safety measures put forth by ASU. Learn more at

Top photo: Zakiya Reid flashes a pitchfork as she and her family watch the Homecoming Parade along University Drive in November 2018. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

Introducing XKits: Adobe Creative Cloud toolkits for ASU faculty

October 15, 2021

As an Adobe Creative Campus, Arizona State University is leading the way in imparting 21st-century digital literacy skills to students of all disciplines. Crucial to this work is using a suite of tools — packaged together under ASU’s Digital Backpack of “future-self” technologies — that are standard across numerous industries. 

Over the summer, a new course for ASU instructors approached the process of bringing Adobe Creative Cloud into an ever-increasing number of classes. The course brought together 15 ASU faculty members across five departments to design resources for fellow instructors to better incorporate Adobe’s suite of tools into their classroom. Download Full Image

Led by UTO’s Learning Experience Design team, the course is part of the group’s efforts to support faculty and students in leveraging technology toolsets to evolve teaching and learning. 

Breaking down the course

Digital Fluency Creative, or DFC, was a “12-week hybrid course focused on creating digital fluency champions across ASU,” explained Audra Carlisle, UTO Learning Experience Designer and the instructor of the course. 

The Adobe Creative Cloud, which is available to all students for free at ASU, is a suite of software tools geared towards the creativity of the digital world, such as photo, video and audio editing, graphic and web design and more.

Carlisle worked with the 15 ASU faculty members to teach the ropes of Adobe Creative Cloud, design new classroom strategies using the suite of tools, and publish open-source teaching materials in the form of Learning Experience Kits, also known as XKits.

During the course, instructors had to “rethink our pedagogy and the way we build assignments,” said Chelsie Schlesinger, a New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences instructor and DFC participant.  

XKits are now available for ASU faculty to create or modify their assignments to incorporate the various tools available in the Adobe Creative Cloud. 

The course brought together 15 ASU faculty members across five departments to design resources for fellow instructors to better incorporate Adobe’s suite of tools into their classroom.

XKits in action: ASU students use Adobe Audition to create podcasts

One approach to creating an XKit utilized Adobe Audition, an audio editing software. Schlesinger and Karla Murphy, a co-instructor in the School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies, redesigned an assignment that teaches students the rhetorical moves used in writing: invention, organization and revision — these same principles are used in podcast creation.

Students discovered very quickly that they have a place in a conversation ... and the technology allowed for that,” Murphy said, comparing the process to a typical essay format.

With the 10-minute requirement on the podcast, students found their transcriptions came out to be around 1,500 to 1,800 words, Murphy explained.

“Another essay on why you think something is important, or how you’re connected to it, is flat,” Schlesinger added. “But when you put them in a space (like a podcast) where they’re able to have a conversation, their ideas and competence grow.”

Murphy elaborated further.

“You can talk in class, that’s one thing, but to have that artifact (the podcast) afterwards, that became really powerful,” Murphy said.

The podcast assignment ideated by Schlesinger and Murphy was brought into an XKit, now accessible for all ASU instructors through Canvas Commons. 

“I know that some of the instructors in Karla and Chelsea’s department have seen the work that they’re doing and gone, ‘Oh, that looks really cool; I’m going to do that,’” Carlisle said. “That’s exactly what we want people to be doing: We want these teachers to be our champions for this sort of work.”

From design to deployment: XKits now available to all ASU faculty

Additional kits across a variety of tools and projects are available. From demonstrating the use of Adobe Spark to craft Public Service Announcements, to using Adobe Portfolio to pull together a diversity of voices for a website, to exploring InDesign to create lecture series posters and more, the XKits are available to help instructors better design exciting new learning opportunities.

And today, each of the participating instructors are using Adobe Creative Cloud in the classroom. Coupled with their 15 new XKits and reach through their courses, more than 500 students are now impacted by DFC. 

Instructors across all disciplines can search for XKits within Canvas Commons, a space within ASU’s Learning Management System Canvas. To find more resources and trainings from the learning experience team, visit You can also find more information on Adobe Creative Cloud at ASU on UTO’s site.

About UTO’s Learning Experience

The Learning Experience Design team is one of four groups housed within UTO’s Learning Experience (LX), which comprises Design, Environments, Spaces and Space Success. Today, LX has over 200 team members, employing a mix of staff and student workers. 

Editorial specialist, University Technology Office

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Barrett Honors College Dean Mark Jacobs retiring after nearly 20 years of service to ASU

October 15, 2021

As a university student, Mark Jacobs always hated descending into dark residence hall basements to do his laundry, but he liked mingling with and sharing conversations with fellow students and faculty in a central dining hall, and spending time out from studying in grassy outdoor spaces.

So when, as dean of Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University, he had the chance to contribute ideas to the design of the college’s residential complex on the ASU Tempe campus, he made sure to suggest laundry rooms be located on the upper floors of residence halls, and that there be outdoor courtyards and a dining hall with a refectory modeled on the one at New College Oxford in England.

Photo of Mark Jacobs

Dean Mark Jacobs

As dean, he was as committed to students’ intellectual growth as to their quality of life on campus, and he believed the new Barrett Honors College Tempe complex should reflect that.

In 2009, true to Jacobs’ vision, ASU’s four-year residential campus for honors students opened on nine acres at the southeast corner of the Tempe campus, with residence halls accommodating 1,700 students, classrooms, social lounges, a dining center, cafe, courtyards, an outdoor fireplace, an environmentally sustainable residence hall with a rooftop organic garden, offices for administrators, faculty and staff, and laundry rooms on the top floors of residence halls, next to lounges with natural light streaming through large windows.   

After 19 years of service as the dean of Barrett, The Honors College, Jacobs intends to retire at the end of the 2021–22 year. The Barrett Tempe complex is part of the legacy he will leave the university.

Jacobs came to ASU in the fall of 2003 from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, where he had held an endowed chair in biology and had been both chair of the Biology Department and associate provost of the college.

“Some people at ASU focus on the comma as the great differentiator of Barrett, The Honors College,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “What makes Barrett distinguishable isn’t the punctuation, it’s the people who have made this unique honors college what it is — one of the finest colleges for honors students in the country. Quality and excellence are as much a part of what makes ASU what it is as access, and it is people like Mark Jacobs who have made sure we establish the very highest standards in that regard.

"His work has carried Barrett from what was still a work in progress to what is now one of the great successes of the entire university. We are grateful for the work he has done to help establish what is today a truly remarkable college that he will hand off to its future leaders.” 

ASU Executive Vice President and University Provost Nancy Gonzales echoed those sentiments.   

“As the architect for ASU’s top-ranked honors college, Mark Jacobs brought a deep understanding of our students and what is required to create a community that would meet their needs on many levels — intellectually, socially and culturally. Barrett now attracts outstanding students from across the country, and the entire ASU community has benefited,” Gonzales said.

“We will immediately launch a national search for the next dean. We expect this opportunity will attract a visionary leader who understands Barrett’s unique position among honors colleges nationally and is prepared to lead its continuous evolution for future generations.” 

Craig Barrett, former Intel CEO, and Barbara Barrett, former U.S. secretary of the Air Force, said in a joint statement, “Under the steady hand of Dean Mark Jacobs for almost two decades, Barrett Honors College has inspired students, administration, faculty and alumni.

“Dean Jacobs designed an innovative residential and academic micro-campus, expanded student global exposure opportunities and modeled the best in honors college protocols. No wonder high-performing honors colleges everywhere study his pioneering vision. While we will miss his talents and charm, our greatest sentiment is gratitude for his steadfast leadership.”

In addition to the construction and opening of the Barrett Tempe complex, the honors college experienced significant milestones under Jacobs’ leadership.

In recent years, the honors college expanded into Barrett @ Vista del Sol — a complex covering more than 20 acres adjacent to Barrett Tempe and accommodating 1,800 sophomore, junior and senior students in an apartment-style living community with easy access to faculty and staff offices, classrooms, the dining center and other services.

The honors college has evolved with full honors facilities, including faculty and staff offices, community space and residence halls on all four ASU campuses, consistent with the New American University concept of one university in many places.

Honors course offerings, including signature classes called The Human Event and The History of Ideas, are supplemented by study abroad programs in such countries as Greece, Italy, England, Ireland, Scotland, Peru and Costa Rica. The college also has an honors domestic travel/study program called Great American Cities in which students visit such major cultural centers as New York City, Washington, D.C., New Orleans and San Francisco.

Other significant advances during Jacob’s tenure include the development of the Barrett Office of Global Initiatives, the T.W. Lewis Center for Personal Development and a Barrett Honors online presence.

In 2017, thanks to the generosity and advocacy of the Barretts, the Office of Global Initiatives was established, enabling honors students to enhance their education and increase their global impact through the Barrett Global Classroom, a Distinguished Global Leader speakers series, travel abroad and exchange opportunities, service learning programs like Global Resolve and a world-leader-in-residence program, the first of its kind in the country.

In 2019, the T.W. Lewis Center for Personal Development was established at Barrett, The Honors College. The center, which is supported by funding from the T.W. Lewis Foundation, provides innovative courses, workshops and a speaker series focused on self-awareness, personal values and character development, leadership and entrepreneurship, career planning, success and happiness.

More recently, with a mission to expand access, the honors college partnered with ASU's EdPlus to explore honors opportunities for ASU upper-division online students.

Barrett Vice Dean Kristen Hermann has worked with Jacobs since his arrival at ASU.

“I think Mark’s optimism is a driving force behind his leadership. He is open, genuine and approachable, and able to discern the greatest strengths of his colleagues, and help them to best use those strengths. He is unpretentious, self-aware and a confident visionary and decisive leader,” she said.  

Hermann said Jacobs “focused on reconceptualizing Barrett Honors College not as a peer of other honors colleges, but as a peer of the nation’s top private liberal arts schools like Amherst, Pomona, Williams and Swarthmore with a vision to build infrastructure, programs and a physical facility that would offer a new version of a great residential college.

“He has conceptualized and developed the honors college over the past two decades into what is widely recognized as the most evolved and resourced honors college in the nation and in the world. His most significant accomplishments include having the vision to see Barrett as a residential college that competes with the top private liberal arts schools in the country but offers so much more because of the diversity and choices of research and educational resources at a large public research university — in the nation’s fifth-largest city.” 

Tom Lewis, founder, owner and CEO of the T.W. Lewis Company, a Phoenix-based real estate investment firm, said Jacobs helped him envision the design of an honors college at his alma mater, the University of Kentucky.

“He’s not just the dean of Barrett Honors College, but an expert nationally known in the field of honors experiences. Because of Mark, Barrett is the gold standard for honors colleges in America. It’s one of the first (honors colleges) and to this day I think it’s the gold standard of honors colleges, and it couldn’t have happened without Mark.”

Susan Drescher-Mulzet, who, with her husband Mark Mulzet, established the Sol and Esther Drescher Endowed Development Fund to support research opportunities for Barrett Honors College faculty fellows, called Jacobs “a renaissance man.”

“Over the past two decades, Dean Mark Jacobs has steadily guided Barrett, The Honors College to its current position as the pinnacle of excellence," Drescher-Mulzet said. "We have thoroughly enjoyed sharing this journey with him, his staff and his students. In addition, we cherish our friendship and happy memories.”

Barrett, The Honors College by the numbers

In 2003–04, the total student population in Barrett was 2,696, with 231 National Merit and National Hispanic Scholars among them. In 2020–21, total student population in the honors college grew to 6,987, with 283 National Merit and National Hispanic Scholars.

In 2003–04, 110 students graduated ASU with honors from Barrett Honors College. In 2020–21, 1,200 students graduated ASU with honors.

There were nine honors faculty members in 2003–04; now there are 44. The number of staff has grown from 16 in 2003 to 82 today. In 2003, the honors college offered 128 honors courses and 1,260 honors contractsHonors contracts are the agreements students make with faculty to do coursework for honors credit.. In 2020–21, there are 672 honors courses and 4,874 honors contracts.

Barrett, The Honors College facilities grew from 198,132 square feet in 2003–04 to more than 1.7 million square feet currently.

Top photo: Barrett, The Honors College Dean Mark Jacobs addresses the crowd at college's spring 2019 convocation. Photo by Barrett, The Honors College

Nicole Greason

Public relations and publicity manager , Barrett, The Honors College