Welcome to the Office of University Initiatives Blog, an online journal that allows our office to share and reflect on our work at ASU.

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Climate Change

Submitted by Lukas Wenrick on February 14, 2018 - 12:00am

I was born and raised in a small rural community in Midwest Ohio. I had only left this small community a handful of times before going off to college -- also in Midwest Ohio. Over the years, my normal was represented by snow-covered winter mornings, humid summer days, and the trees growing their leaves only to have them fall to the ground several months later. When I moved to Boston, what I knew as normal didn’t change much.


Submitted by Regina Uribe on February 13, 2017 - 4:56pm

The other day I came across a book called Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate and Compete in the Knowledge Economy by Amy C. Edmondson. In the book, Edmondson describes “teaming” as “teamwork on the fly” (pg. 13). It is a set of mindsets and practices that allow groups of people to work together in a fluid environment. The pillars of teaming (pg. 52) include:

Curb Cut Thinking: An Argument for Universal Design

Submitted by Lindsey Beagley on January 4, 2017 - 12:00am
I sit at my desk staring at this cheeky big red button that reads, “To boldly go where everyone else has gone before” and marvel at the common themes that seem to weave through my career. I keep it pinned to my corkboard everywhere I go because, as a generalist and project manager-type professional, I often need to remind myself what principles and values guide my career path and thread together my seemingly disparate intellectual pursuits. Accessibility and equity are chief among them.

Fall 2016 Fellows Forum - Why ASU?

Submitted by Tamara Webb on December 30, 2016 - 12:00am

ASU University Innovation(UI) Fellows are early- and mid-career leaders from policy, STEM, education and other diverse backgrounds who have been recruited to help develop, incubate, and launch various university initiatives that continue the advancement of ASU as a New American University. Fellows Forum is a vital opportunity for UI Fellows and other select members of the President’s Office to converse and network with units across all sectors of the institution.

Public Radio Matters

Submitted by Tamara Webb on December 29, 2016 - 12:00am

Some are devout listeners. Some are just discovering it. Some listen in their cars. Some access it on an app. Some are aged under 20. Some are aged over 50. The undeniable constants are that public radio listeners, in the millions, consume one or more public radio products on a daily basis, and clearly represent a significant demographic of the general public. Further, in times of changing media options and interests, innovation in public radio must be proactive, dynamic, and reflective of the needs of diverse markets.

Serendipity and the UI Innovation Fellowship

Submitted by Tamara Webb on December 28, 2016 - 12:00am

While a formal welcome meeting with the university president is standard for all Fellows, there would be many occasions for additional unscheduled mini-forums – after all, we share a common building and the Office of University Initiatives is actually a unit within the Office of the President. I considered myself, “warned,” about the potential for random trivia to construct the basis of brief and chance encounters with President Dr. Professor Michael Crow (aka MMC).

Edmundo Hidalgo Visits UI

Submitted by Brittney Paulk on May 3, 2016 - 12:00am

During our most recent Fellows Forum event, the UI team had the opportunity to meet Edmundo Hidalgo, ASU’s Vice President of Outreach Partnerships. Prior to coming to ASU, Edmundo served many years with Chicanos por la Causa, Inc. becoming the organization’s COO in 1999 and CEO in 2008. As a result of his leadership and talent for building dynamic community partnerships, CPLC saw double-digit growth and became a highly visible advocate organization for the Arizona community.

ASU GSV 2016

Submitted by Ted Cross on April 26, 2016 - 12:00am

Last week I had the chance to attend the 2016 ASU GSV Summit in San Diego. The conference which has been called “the must attend event for education technology investors” by the New York Times, was sold out. Approximately 3,500 people crowded into the Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel for 3 days of key note speeches, panels, and presentations from the best minds in educational innovation.

Fishing 101

Submitted by Madison Sandy on February 12, 2016 - 12:00am

The concept of the master learner is at the forefront of many team members’ minds. ASU helps people become capable of learning anything. Such people can then be problem-solvers and community assets under any circumstances. A central question is: what makes a master learner? 

We the Persons

Submitted by Madison Sandy on February 7, 2016 - 12:00am

The age of averages is ending.

This shift is so fundamental that if you only read one book this year, it should be Todd Rose’s The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness. Rose explains how we invented the mental model of the “average person” and how we are steadily overcoming the inadequacies and errors of that model. The rise of individualism, or more accurately, the return to individualism, is entirely changing our approach to education, medicine, employment, and more.

The Faces of Access: Ethan's Story

Submitted by Lindsey Beagley on February 3, 2016 - 12:00am

On a particularly over-committed day in December, I rushed into a team meeting that had already begun, found an open seat, and got my things settled as I tuned into one of our undergraduate Student Research Analysts, Ethan, sharing his experience about coming to ASU. The question posed in the meeting was, “How can we best communicate the meaning of ASU’s charter to students?” I listened as Ethan shared how he almost didn’t go to college, and how there was a time when he thought college wasn’t for him.

Dr. Neal Lester of Project Humanities Visits UI

Submitted by Ted Cross on February 1, 2016 - 12:00am

Recently I was teaching a class. I held up my iPhone. Then I asked, “what’s the purpose of education when we can hold the world’s knowledge in our hands?” There were a few minutes of sputtering answers, but the students came up with important insights. They argued that education was more about learning to think critically and ask the right questions than recite back information. I agree, and I think Dr. Neal Lester would also agree. Education is often more about the process and less about the content. The Humanities embrace this concept.

Interim Dean Dr. Kyle Squires Visits UI

Submitted by Brittney Paulk on January 11, 2016 - 12:00am

During our most recent Fellows’ Forum event, the UI team had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Kyle Squires, Interim Dean for the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Dr. Squires has held a myriad of leadership positions at ASU. Prior to his appointment as Interim Dean, he served as the Director of the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy (SEMTE), chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and co-director of ASU’s former Security and Defense Systems Initiative.