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New Data Shows Arizonans Dissatisfied with Legislature, On Edge about Jobs and Quality of Life

Posted on July 31st, 2009 under Transform Society

Two-thirds of Arizonans who participated in the latest Arizona Indicators Panel are dissatisfied with how the Arizona Legislature is dealing with the state budget and tax issues. And of those respondents who keep close tabs on current news about the Arizona state budget, 80% disapproved of the legislature’s handling of the situation.

These new data are among the findings from a statewide panel of a representative sample of Arizonans. These and other results have just been released in a new AZ Views briefing “Arizonans on Edge…So Why Not Involved?” The panel survey tracks how Arizonans are thinking and feeling over time. AZ Views reports the data and analysis from the survey. The panel is part of Arizona Indicators, which is a project of Morrison Institute. These latest findings look at how attitudes have changed about a range of issues in the past year.

Compared with June 2008 when AZ Views reported that “Arizonans have a strong sense of job security, despite the national economic slump and the state’s budget crisis,” opinions have changed. Data from June 2009 shows that not only are Arizonans feeling insecure about their jobs, but in the past 12 months, those who said they feel “very secure” about keeping their jobs or keeping their businesses open declined by almost a third.

In addition, most panelists continue to rate the quality of life where they live as “good” or “excellent,” but they report a marked decline “in the last few years.” In 2008, more panelists reported an improved quality of life than those who said it had declined. In 2009, panelists who said “declining” outnumbered “improving” by 30%. Among those reporting the highest decline in quality of life are those who represent minority groups, are ages 45-59, or make $30,000 or less.

Yet despite concerns about declining quality of life and economic security, fewer than half of the respondents are keeping tabs on current public policy processes, including the state budget process.

Read the full version of “Arizonans On Edge” at

For more on the facts and figures behind the issues covered in AZ Views, visit Arizona Indicators at

Morrison Institute is an independent and non-partisan public policy research organization at Arizona State University.

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Carlton Yoshioka

Posted on July 28th, 2009 under Transform Society, Value Entrepreneurship, Videos

Carlton Yoshioka discusses why he’s energized about guiding nonprofit organizations and professionals.

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“Truth and Consequences: Gambling, Shifting, and Hoping in Arizona Health Care”

Report Reveals the High Cost of Arizonans Living Without Health Insurance

“I have a lot of friends who don’t have it (health insurance). I think they’re dealing with it like I am: Hoping we don’t get sick.”

Those are the words of Josh, 47, who suffers from hypertension and unemployment.

His story and many others are told in Truth and Consequences: Gambling, Shifting, and Hoping in Arizona Health Care, a new report by Morrison Institute for Public Policy, St. Luke’s Health Initiatives, and the L. William Seidman Research Institute at the W.P. Carey School of Business.

The report, released today, examines the true costs of so many Arizonans – nearly one in five – living without health insurance.

“Health care is expensive, but the costs of poor health can be enormous,” said Arizona State University economist Kent Hill, who contributed to the report.

Treatment costs alone for chronic disease in Arizona are estimated to be $4.2 billion, or 2.3% of the gross state product. By 2023, projected costs for major chronic diseases are $99 billion, of which more than $25 billion could be avoidable.

But without health insurance, the personal stories of so many Arizonans will continue to paint a gloomy picture of lost dollars, lost potential, and lost opportunity:

·         “At a public health clinic, you have to go wait in line. I try to avoid going because of cost.”

·         “What if I got hurt? What’s going to happen to my daughter?”

·         “It’s very frustrating. Especially when you know you’re sick but you can’t get anything done about it.”

Truth and Consequences seeks to change that portrait by presenting recommendations to Arizona’s policymakers that could help the state fare better in the future so that Arizona can stop taking risks on residents’ health and health care.

Read the full report at and

Morrison Institute is an independent and non-partisan public policy research organization based at Arizona State University as part of the College of Public Programs.

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Jacquie Scott

Jacquie Scott, faculty chair of the Barrett Honors College, talks about The Human Event, being open to new ideas, and what it means to be passionate about learning.

Jacquelyn Scott Lynch joined the faculty of the Barrett Honors College at ASU in 2001. She holds a B.A. in Economics and English from Kalamazoo College and a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Arizona State University. Her scholarship focuses on Darwinian literary criticism, Irish and African American literature, and social and biological theories of race. In April 2007, she received the college’s Faculty Award for Outstanding Academic Service, and she was honored with ASU’s inaugural Faculty Achievement Award in Teaching Performance.

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Entrepreneurship: It may not be what you think

President Obama recently revealed plans to host a summit on entrepreneurship for business leaders, foundations and social entrepreneurs sometime within the next year.  This announcement comes only a month after requesting a $50 million Social Innovation Fund from congress in the FY2010 budget, which emphasizes the president’s position on the potential social entrepreneurship has to transform our society.

Social Entrepreneurship—only one of a number of new terms gaining ground in a field that is expanding at an exponential rate.  Traditionally a business term, entrepreneurship has transformed itself to include such diverse areas as health, education, law, engineering, the social sciences, and many more.  With this evolution the vocabulary of entrepreneurship itself is changing.  Capital gains might now be measured in societal impact.  Investment opportunities now include such innovative ideas as micro-financing.  And wealth is no longer quantified in strict monetary forms, but now encompasses the social, cultural, and emotional riches of our local and global communities.

The evolved form of entrepreneurship focuses on new and better ways to solve old problems.  It challenges the status quo for the purpose of exploring new possibilities leading innovative solutions.  Entrepreneurship is a powerful tool that can be used in a variety of ways, but at its heart, entrepreneurship might be viewed as simply a way of amplifying personal goals to achieve maximum impact.


ASU is responding to the changing characteristics of entrepreneurship with the creation of new coursework, funding opportunities, and an array of new certificates in entrepreneurship.  The social entrepreneur project GlobalResolve is improving the quality of life for rural communities around the world.  And many more initiatives redefining entrepreneurship are springing up everywhere at ASU—from the creation of the new Master of Health Innovation program beginning this fall, to the digital media-based ventures coming out of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, to the partnership created between the College of Teacher Education and Leadership and University Public Schools Inc. that has now created two charter schools backed by the immense resources of ASU.

But the opportunity to reach more students, more faculty, and more future entrepreneurs who will help to reshape our world is the task set out before all of us.  It is not enough to merely support those who already exhibit the traits of an entrepreneur.  We must find a way nurture entrepreneurial thinking in the minds of all who wish to pursue the work of bettering our world for future generations.

Doing this requires empowerment.  The entrepreneur does not exist in a vacuum; he or she operates best surrounded by others who share their thinking.  So the questions are many: how can we spark this entrepreneurial spirit in everyone?  And once sparked, how can we then support our entrepreneurs?  How do we educate them?  How do we justify the need for entrepreneurial skills to those working in such fields as history, biology, or literature?  And what exactly are the transferable and teachable skills of an entrepreneur?  How can we make sure all students, in every program, across all campuses have the opportunity to acquire these skills?

Your thoughts on this continuing conversation are both welcome and necessary.

Posted by: Samantha L. Miller, University Innovation Fellow

Office of University Initiatives

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Using Light to Solve Societal Challenges: ASU’s “Lightworks”

The power of the sun is never more apparent than during these scorching summer months of June, July and August in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Whether dashing from our home to our car, or from our car to the grocery store (and lingering in the freezer aisle), for those brave souls who wave goodbye to the snowbirds and tough out this skin-blistering time, there is no reason to doubt the ancients’ quivering reverence to the sun god.

The sun’s power is bursting with the potential to transform our society and improve the quality of our lives. And this is exactly what we’re doing at ASU with an initiative called “Lightworks.” By harnessing the power of the sun, Lightworks is developing a biofuel compatible with diesel and jet fuel production, creating sustainable-friendly plastics, researching ways to mimic antibodies for better and less expensive cures and working on a range of other innovative projects including studying the process of photosynthesis as a way of generating energy for our planet.

For more information regarding these exciting projects contact:
R.F. “Rick” Shangraw, Jr.
Vice President for Research and Economic Affairs

(Posted by Samantha L. Miller)

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The Economic Value of Peace

Posted on June 4th, 2009 under Be Socially Embedded, Engage Globally, Transform Society


2009 Global Peace Index

The 2009 Global Peace Index (GPI), a study that ranks countries of the world in terms of their relative “peacefulness” has arrived to the usual ripple of controversy, but whether you feel a better indicator of peace is something like “gun-related deaths” rather than “gun sales,” the fact remains—the United States places low on the list, year after year. But really, should we be that concerned? With everything else going on in the world these days, with all of the impossibly distressful issues we read and hear and worry about on a daily basis, including a world-wide economic crisis, (and did someone say swine flu?) who has time to add “world peace” to the list?

But the case can certainly be made not only for acknowledging the philosophical ideal of peace, but for recognizing its pragmatic side as well. Many would argue, in fact, that it is the economic value of peace that is of most importance to today’s ever-growing troubles.

“Because they can work better with others, peaceful countries can constructively work together on solving some of our most pressing economic, social and environmental problems,” says Clyde McConaghy, co-developer of the GPI, in a recent Washington Times article. “Indeed, peace is the prerequisite to helping solve today’s major challenges, such as food and water scarcity, decreasing biodiversity or climate change.”

With the 2009 GPI results showing that the world has, overall, become a less safe place in the last year (due in large part to the aforementioned economic recession and the ensuing issues it created such as food shortage) the need for productive collaboration in addressing these issues has never been more urgent. ASU’s Challenges Project is taking  this task head-on by helping to identify the most pressing local and global issues we face as global citizens and then asking people to contribute to the solution.

“Most people don’t have any understanding of what they, as individuals, can do right now,” says Terri Shafer, a member of the project committee, in a recent ASU Magazine article. “The Challenges Project establishes big goals, bringing resources together to reach the goals.”

If you haven’t heard of this exciting new initiative check out the video and become a part of the project yourself, here.

(Posted by Samantha L. Miller)

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First Cohort of Nonprofit Leadership Academy Completes Training

The inaugural class of the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation’s Generation Next Nonprofit Leadership Academy (Gen Next) graduated from its 9-month training on May 8 at the Disability Empowerment Center in Phoenix. Funded by a generous contribution from American Express, Gen Next is a cohort of the Valley’s top emerging nonprofit leaders, chosen to participate in training that provides them with the knowledge and tools needed to take on leadership roles within the nonprofit community.

“Through Gen Next I have learned a lot about my own leadership style and under what circumstances I work most effectively,” says Chela Sullivan, recent graduate of ASU’s Master of Nonprofit Studies program and current Helping Hands Housing Services staff member. “I have also learned that as a manager, I can bring out other people’s strengths by recognizing their leadership styles as well.”
Jany Deng, another member of the inaugural class, was a recipient of nonprofit assistance 10 years ago when he came to the United States as a refugee from Sudan.  He graduates this year from the Gen Next program on his road to being a leader in the nonprofit sector.
“As a recipient of services in the past, I have seen how important organization and leadership are in a nonprofit,” says Deng. “Through Gen Next, I learned areas that I need to improve on and I also learned areas that are my strengths. This knowledge will help me to be a better co-worker and to provide better services to my clients.”
Amy Schwabenlender, a Valley of the Sun United Way Gen Next participant, says her favorite part of Gen Next was the connections she made with other members.
“The opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals who have similar career desires in the nonprofit sector was of great use to me,” says Schwabenlender. “It has been not only fun, but beneficial to my work to meet and get to know my classmates. Several of us have found ways to collaborate and share information that was not previously occurring between our organizations.”
Applications for the second Gen Next cohort will be available in June.
The ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation (formerly the ASU Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Management), is recognized as a national leader in undergraduate and graduate nonprofit education, research and technical assistance. For more information, please visit:

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A State and Nation in Thirds

Posted on May 26th, 2009 under Conduct Use-Inspired Research, Transform Society

Submitted by Nicholas Zevely:

It is commonplace to describe the nation as being divided in two, a nation of haves and have-nots, black and white, red states and blue states. But what if a more accurate description was a society in thirds: a lower, middle, and upper class, with education as the defining influence.

At UI, we were presented with this vision and have constructed a picture of what the state of Arizona looks like when split in thirds. The results are significant. Nearly 50% of all non U.S. citizens in the state are in the lower income third. Children in the upper income third are twice as likely to be in a married couple, family household than children in the lower income group, where single mother households outnumber married couple, family households. The Arizona Hispanic population, which makes up nearly a third of all residents, account for less than 10% of all Bachelor’s degrees or higher attained.

Education is a proven ticket to economic and social mobility. But inequalities in the system can prevent those in most need of increased education from getting the same chance.

Click here to view the full presentation.

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New study aims to help adults of Mexican ethnicity receive care for diabetes

The New American University pursues applied research that contributes to the public good, assuming major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the community that surrounds it.

Improving the health status and health care of people in our community is a central part of this mission. People of Mexican background — a large segment of the population in Maricopa County, Ariz., for example — have a high prevalence of diabetes and experience an undue burden of diabetes-related complications.

To help address this health problem, Dr. Luis E. Zayas, ASU Assistant Professor of Social Work, will conduct a pilot study this summer to investigate how adults of Mexican ethnicity in Maricopa County — who recently were screened and diagnosed with T2 diabetes mellitus — seek health care for, manage, and cope with their diabetes in the community, given their access to health care, socio-economic resources, and cultural practices.

The goal is to better understand and learn from their experiences in order to develop culturally informed, community-based strategies to facilitate prompt medical care and proper self-management of diabetes for recently diagnosed adults in this population.

The pilot will involve semi-structured and structured interviews with adults of Mexican ethnicity in Maricopa County who have been diagnosed with diabetes in the past 3-12 months.

Results from this study will inform the development of health care interventions to be tested, in collaboration with various community stakeholders.

Corey Schubert
Manager of Media Communications
ASU College of Public Programs
602.496.0406 office

Follow the College of Public Programs on Twitter!  @coppasu