Leadership and staff

About / Our team / Leadership and staff

Leadership and staff at UI bring insight into university operations, community engagement and communication by pulling together a diverse set of expertise.

Jacqueline Smith

Jacqueline Smith

Associate Vice President and Executive Director
Advisor to the President for Social Embeddedness

Contact Jacqueline:

Jacqueline designs and launches university-wide initiatives that support Arizona State University’s charter and design aspirations. Jacqueline developed and now oversees over $60 million in grant-funded projects related to leadership development, student success, workforce innovation and online learning communities. To advance her portfolio, she has facilitated dozens of design charrettes and “action collabs” all over the world from Tempe, Arizona to Kampala, Uganda. She also cultivates early-career higher education professionals through an award-winning university innovation fellowship program. Jacqueline was a 2015 Cross Sector Leadership Fellow with the Presidio Institute and teaches an undergraduate course called Cross Sector Collaboration. In 2016, she co-authored an article published by the Roosevelt Institute titled Lifelong Learning in 2040 about the significance of lifelong learning in the new economy. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics and law degree from Georgetown University.


Bethany Weigele

Bethany Weigele

Senior Director of Lifelong Learning Initiatives
(Operating out of EdPlus)

Contact Bethany:

Bethany empowers learners to achieve their dreams in a world in which knowledge can be out-dated before it is published. Our fast-paced and ever-changing society requires lifelong learners who are adaptable and full of grit. As the Senior Director of Lifelong Learning Initiatives, she will work with The MasterCard Foundation to digitally connect the global network of Scholars — 15,000 young agents of change that hail from Sub-Saharan Africa. The platform will facilitate knowledge exchange, particularly around transformative leadership and entrepreneurship, and provide resources that enable Scholars to propel themselves into their careers and contribute to their communities.

Bethany began her ASU career as a University Innovation Fellow in the Office of University Initiatives. The Phoenix native was happy to return home after receiving a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Trinity University in San Antonio and a Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Lindsey Beagley

Lindsey Beagley

Director of Social Embeddedness

Contact Lindsey:

As the Director of Social Embeddedness in University Initiatives, Lindsey evaluates university-wide social embeddedness efforts and initiatives that are consistent with ASU's charter and design aspirations. In this role, Lindsey facilitates and amplifies collaborative partnerships across the university to further strengthen ASU's institutional culture and commitment to social impact. 

Lindsey is a native Phoenician with a lifelong passion for serving communities in Arizona and abroad. She earned her undergraduate degrees from ASU in Psychology (B.S. ’05) and Spanish (B.A. ’05) before serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras ('06-'08). It was there that she earned a deep respect for the complexities of community development work, as well as the importance of culture and context in all social projects. After returning stateside, she worked for 7 years in human services managing quality assurance, training, data analysis, and designing new service solutions for underserved populations utilizing government assistance programs. She returned to ASU in 2014 to earn her Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management and began her career at ASU as a University Innovation Fellow in 2015-2016.

Tunga Lodato

  Tunga Lodato

 Senior Director of University Initiatives

  Contact Tunga:

Driven by a lifelong passion for education and a steadfast commitment to public service, Tunga is excited to help build a more vibrant, sustainable and engaged community by advancing the mission of the New American University.

She earned a BA in Political Science from ASU and an MA in Journalism from Indiana University. Tunga has taught Special Education as a Teach For America corps member. Following her time as an educator, she served as a Senior Associate at a public affairs firm in Phoenix where she specialized in legislative affairs and strategic communications. She brings to the UI team a wide range of experience in the areas of public relations, campaign development and government relations on behalf of non-profits, corporations and government entities. At Indiana University, Tunga developed and implemented strategies for graduate student recruitment. Most of all, she enjoyed matching students with an array of resources that helped advance their education and career.

Andrew Nelson

  Andrew Nelson

  Program Manager, Strategic Network Advancement

  Contact Andrew:

Andrew is the Program Manager for Strategic Network Advancement in the Office of University Initiatives at Arizona State University. In this position, he designs and executes university and community-wide strategies to develop key networks, including the Alliance for the American Dream, an initiative of Schmidt Futures aimed at sourcing solutions to increase by 10% the net income of 10,000 local middle class households. Prior to his current role, Andrew was a University Innovation Fellow in UI, where he managed a diverse project portfolio primarily supporting the conceptualization, growth, and management of collaborative networks to facilitate university impact at scale.

Before joining ASU, Andrew consulted with more than 100 public schools in the American Southwest, supporting the implementation of evidence-based approaches to improve schools’ performance on academic, operational, and financial frameworks. As a 2010 Teach For America corps member, Andrew taught middle school science, leading his students to the largest year-over-year improvement on the state test of any grade or subject in Arizona. Andrew earned his doctorate in Educational Leadership and Innovation from the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University; his research focuses on improving educators’ capacity for the efficacious use of data to inform their decision-making.

Emilee Trieckel

Emilee Trieckel

Senior Strategic Research Specialist

Contact Emilee:

Emilee is Senior Research Specialist where she helps direct internal research projects that guide the design and implementation of ASU initiatives. With support from a team of student researchers, Emilee works with UI fellows and staff to identify new opportunities and analyze trends. Part of her portfolio includes overseeing the University and Global Initiatives Radar, as well as several internal news radars that cover topics of interest to UI. Emilee has a master’s degree in Social Technologies from ASU where she examined the use of social media tools for justice and the ethical implications of online vigilantism, including image-based sexual violence. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Justice Studies and Sociology also from ASU.

Alex Davis ASU

Alex Davis

Design and Communications Specialist

Contact Alex:

Alex Davis is passionate about implementing visual and strategic design solutions to simplify complex research and communication challenges. He entered UI in 2015 as a student researcher before being hired onto the research team full-time. As the need to communicate and visualize UI’s work to new audiences grew, Alex shifted into a design role full-time, and now leads visual design for strategic communication content including proposals, websites, reports and other publications. Alex graduated ASU in 2016 with a BS in Supply Chain Management and a Minor in Sustainability. He is currently attending ASU’s Design School in pursuit of a Masters of Science in Design (MSD) where he is exploring the effects of design solutions in motivating sustainable behaviors and habits.

Sharmaine Garcia ASU

Sharmaine Garcia

Business Operations Manager

Contact Sharmaine:

Sharmaine Garcia is excited by University Initiative’s innovative spirit and dedication to paving the way for seemingly impossible ideas. A Sun Devil through and through, she graduated with a BS in Accountancy from W. P. Carey School of Business and has worked for ASU in various capacities since 2008, most recently as a Business Operations Specialist at EdPlus. In her free time, Sharmaine combines her love for sports and spending time with family by playing on a co-rec softball team with her husband and closest friends.

Caitlyn Baker

Caitlyn Baker

Administrative Specialist

Contact Caitlyn:

Caitlyn earned her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, proudly graduating from ASU in 2017. For two years in the Midwest, she took on different administrative roles at large companies such as Southwire and Chore-Time Brock. She recently returned to her alma mater and now applies her acquired organizational talents to assisting the UI team. As an administrative specialist, Caitlyn is driven by the knowledge that she is part of something much greater than herself. When she is not in the office, Caitlyn can be found tending to her herb garden or painting.


About / Our team / Leadership and Staff