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Improving business with philosophy

Tom Fournier had a successful career in engineering and business management and after co-founding and selling a company that measured automotive pollution for governments, he was able to retire early at 55 years old. The following two years were spent dabbling in hobbies as a private pilot and a skydiver and volunteering at Tucson’s Community Food Bank and Literacy Connects. Despite keeping himself busy, Fournier felt something was missing. “It was a lack of challenge, or maybe lack of personal growth,” Fournier said. “I began wondering whether 57 years old was too old to go back to school and found myself leafing through the community college catalog for courses unrelated to my prior degrees in engineering and business administration.” Fournier found himself hooked on philosophy just two weeks into a course in introductory logic and philosophy. After a few more beginning courses, he transferred to the University of Arizona for...

ASU ranked top in US, 5th in world pursuit of UN sustainability goals

Editor’s note: This story is being highlighted in ASU Now’s year in review. Read more top stories from 2020. In 2015, world leaders agreed to establish 17 objectives aimed at achieving a better world by 2030: among them, an end to poverty and hunger, clean water and energy, gender equality and decent work. Together, they are called the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It was announced Wednesday that Arizona State University ranks top in the U.S. and fifth in the world out of 766 institutions in achieving those goals, beating out the University of British Columbia in Canada and the United Kingdom's University of Manchester and King's College London. The global ranking is a jump from last year’s 35th place. In the annual rankings published by Times Higher Education magazine, ASU scored 96.3 out of 100 points. It was the top American university in the rankings . Only three American...

Creating a healthy planet, one sustainable investment at a time

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the resource-raising entity operating for the benefit of Arizona State University sheds light on its dedication to investing money where its values lie: to build a more sustainable and resilient future. “The university has made an institutional commitment to a more sustainable and resilient future, addressing the world’s most pressing challenges not only through its pioneering sustainability education and research but also its operations and practices,” said Jeff Mindlin, the chief investment officer at ASU Enterprise Partners. “Sustainability considerations are being embedded into the full scope of university activities, including how we invest capital in the endowment.” ASU Enterprise Partners operates as a parent organization of five nonprofits that identify new revenue-generating opportunities for the advancement of ASU’s mission. The ASU Foundation for A New American University, one of its five subsidiaries, has recently tried to align with the university’s climate-positive...

Celebrating 15 years of Julie Ann Wrigley’s commitment to sustainability

Since 2004, Julie Ann Wrigley ’s impact on Arizona State University and its sustainability education and research endeavors has been profound. But for her, the important thing isn’t what has been done over the past 15 years — it’s what lies ahead. “I recognize the need to continuously engage to stay ahead of the game,” Wrigley said. “We need to continue to think outside the box. No one is in a position to start getting comfortable with the old — even with the accomplishments of the last 15 years.” But to illustrate Wrigley’s commitment, we need to rewind. Fifteen years ago, her world collided with ASU President Michael Crow’s. From this meeting of the minds came what’s now known as the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability — the hub of sustainability research and solutions at ASU, and the birthplace of the nation’s first comprehensive School of Sustainability ...

ASU’s Committee for Campus Inclusion honored with city of Tempe’s diversity award

On Jan. 17, Arizona State University’s Committee for Campus Inclusion will be honored for its commitment to diversity in the city of Tempe. The Tempe Human Relations Commission will award the committee the 2020 MLK Diversity Award in the category of educational organization. The annual recognition is given to individuals, businesses or community groups that help achieve the goal of making the city a better place. It’s the first time the committee will be receiving this award, after being nominated by a university employee. “It’s wonderful to be in an institution that knows that inclusion is important,” said Cassandra Aska , associate vice president and dean of students and university chair of the Committee for Campus Inclusion. “To see that there’s a role that we can play to support the university and the people in the university, and then to have that work that we do be recognized for an...

ASU students go to town on sustainability

Apache Junction, Arizona — a city of approximately 42,000 residents on the eastern outskirts of the metro Phoenix area — has a complicated relationship with its 125 mobile home and RV parks. These parks represent more than 60% of the city’s housing stock and are a highly affordable option for people living on low or fixed incomes. Many of these parks are attractive and well managed, but a large number of them are run-down and unsightly and don’t conform to contemporary city codes. Many of the city’s mobile home parks were built well before Apache Junction was incorporated in 1978, so their property owners hold “rights of lawful nonconformance.” These rights allow owners to operate the parks as-is, but bars them from redeveloping in any way that doesn’t comply with current city codes. Revamping the parks to comply is cost-prohibitive to most owners, so many parks have fallen into a...

Future Tense: How a simple observation led to ASU's partnership with New America and Slate

Honored for a fifth consecutive year in 2019 as America’s most innovative university, one of Arizona State University President Michael Crow’s remarks was to explain it this way: “‘The tremendously creative minds and efforts of our students, faculty and staff elevate who we are.’” That’s not an accident. At ASU, ideation plays a major role in the university’s success, as demonstrated by a now decade-long partnership that began with a simple observation. In 2010, Joel Garreau joined ASU as a research professor, but he was also part of the fellowship program at New America, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C. He approached Andres Martinez, the program’s leader at the time, after recognizing that New America and ASU viewed innovation and technology similarly. Coincidentally, an opportunity for collaboration easily presented itself since New America was already in conversations with Slate magazine about a potential partnership. Eventually, a partnership between ASU,...

Two new President’s Professors named

Two Arizona State University faculty members have been named President’s Professors, adding to the growing list since 2006 — the first year the designation was given out. The new honorees are Michael Angilletta , a professor in the School of Life Sciences and the associate director of undergraduate programs, and Joni Adamson , professor of environmental humanities in the Department of English and director of the Environmental Humanities Initiative at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability . The recognition is given to faculty who have made substantial contributions to undergraduate education, and to faculty who have the ability to inspire original, creative works in their fields. “We are proud of our colleagues’ outstanding work and dedication to achieve the vision of the New American University,” said Mark Searle, executive vice president and university provost. “The professors’ efforts have cultivated original thinkers who inspire beyond the classroom and contribute...

ASU alumni recognized for their vision, gifts to transform stadium

The vision and gifts of three Arizona State University alumni is coming to fruition after five years. Steve Butterfield, Bill Kent and Jack Furst spearheaded the reinvention of and fundraising for Sun Devil Stadium, transforming it into a year-round, multiuse complex called ASU 365 Community Union . During Saturday’s ASU football game the three men and their families were honored with the renaming of the student-athlete facility . The Butterfield, Kent, Furst Student-Athlete Facility, located on the north side of the stadium, houses the team locker room, medical facilities, coaches' offices, meeting space and a training table. Kent, along with his wife, Julie, and their son, Buck, and Furst and his wife, Debra, attended the game and naming ceremony. Butterfield, who passed away in 2017, was represented by his sons, Brooks and Steve Jr., Steve’s wife, Mary, and their children, Joey, George and Stevie. “The efforts and dedication by the...

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