The West Valley Symphony comes to ASU West campus

West Valley Symphony to Perform at ASU West“ASU’s West campus is the only venue where the West Valley Symphony performs, other than their home location in Surprise,” said Jeff Kennedy, the campus’ artistic director and a faculty member in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. “We are delighted to welcome them back to campus again this year and to offer Valley residents this opportunity to see these talented musicians perform.”

Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 for seniors and $5 for students. They may be purchased online or reserved by calling (602) 543-2787. Tickets also will be available at the door.

The campus is at 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix. There is no charge for visitor parking on weekends.

Information about this and other upcoming events to be held at ASU’s West campus may be found online on the campus events page.

From Plantation to Plate: Banana’s Commodity Chain in History Seminar

illumination-series-ccicsFor a fruit that can be a potent symbol of health, buffoonery (the banana peel), and sex, the banana has a surprisingly violent history.  Tracing bananas from farms in tropical countries to our homes and supermarkets in the United States (a process known as a commodity chain) helps us better understand this history. The banana commodity chain created hierarchical connections between participants usually unaware of such linkages, such as middle-class American housewives and the West Indian plantation workers. Such analysis provides important lessons about the food we eat today.

Ian Read is an Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies at Soka University of America. Relations between the United Fruit Company and the various departments of the US government were the basis of Dr. Read’s Master’s thesis and a book chapter. While Read maintains an interest in the history of the banana industry, he more recently published The Hierarchies of Slavery in Santos, Brazil, 1822-1888 (Stanford, 2012) about slavery in Brazil.

Dr. Ian Read
Location: FABS 331D, West Campus
Tuesday, October 29, 4:00-5:30

Free refreshments!

This event is sponsored by the Center for Critical Inquiry and Cultural Studies.

Women in STEM Series: ASU New College Student Excels Rebecca Halpin

ASU Women In STEM - Rebecca Halpin
Rebecca Halpin presenting her research at a Brown Bag Luncheon at ASU West campus.

Undergraduate student Rebecca Halpin a life sciences major had the opportunity to particpate at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) earlier this year.  Rebecca was able to present her research to hundreds of scientists at the conference in February.  She was even able to meet one of the research scientists that she referenced in her own research.

Chad Johnson an associate professor in New College’s School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences whose research focuses on animal behavior guided Rebecca through her research.  The New College Undergraduate Inquiry & Research Experiences (NCUIRE) program provided a stipend for Rebecca to conduct her undergraduate research.

Her undergraduate research knowledge paired with a valuable mentor has provided Rebecca with a wealth of knowledge and unique ASU experience.

Read more stories of Women in STEM a Tuesday blog series by ASU New College at the ASU West campus.


ASU New College Welcomes Jennifer Keahey

ASU Assistant Professor Jennifer Keahey

Dr. Jennifer Keahey, Assistant Professor of Sociology, studies globalization and development, inequality and social justice, and food, agriculture and environment. In recent years, her work has focused on alternative production and trade systems (including Fair Trade, organic, and local farming movements and networks).

Dr. Keahey is interested in strategies for achieving more sustainable forms of social, environmental, and economic development. She examines how social networks might promote sustainable environmental forms while also addressing challenges to success. Her teaching interests include Social Inequality, Environmental Sociology, Race-Ethnic Relations, Gender Roles in Society, and Social Movements, Globalization.

See a full listing of our innovative college degree programs at the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences and contact an SBS college advisor to start your future today!

#myNewCollege – Tag Your Pics/Videos and Tell Us Your Story

mynewcollege-campaign-resizedASU New College students tag your photos and/or videos with #myNewCollege and show us your New College experience*.  Your pictures or videos might get featured at the New College graduation 2014! Dean Marlene Tromp encourages you to participate and tag, tag, tag!

Follow Dean Tromp on Twitter @MarleneTromp for inspiration and insight on ASU leadership.

Don’t be surprised if your entry appears on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feeds!

*by participating with this hashtag you have given ASU consent to have your images/videos appear on ASU promotional materials such as this graduation video.

ASU New College offers 25 college degree programs through it’s three ASU schools at the ASU West campus.  Our college advisors are very willing to help you through mapping your college degree program.  Let us know how we can help!

Illumination Series

Illuminations 2013The Center for Critical Inquiry and Cultural Studies is hosting the Illumination Series with several events this fall.  View a listing below and visit the CCICS Facebook page for more info.

Wednesday, October 23, 13 at 4:30pm 

“Education After Auschwitz: Levinas’s Crisis of Humanism,” lecture by Claire Katz, Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies at Texas A&M University, speaking on Wed., Oct. 23, 2013, ASU-Tempe as part of the Harold and Jean Grossmann Lecture Series in Jewish Thought.”

Tuesday, October 29 at 4:00pm 

 “From Plantation to Plate: Banana’s Commodity Chain in History.” Dr. Ian Read is an Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies at Soka University of America. 4:00-5:30pm, FAB 331C.

Download a PDF of the event >> Illuminations 2013


Women In STEM Series: Omayra Ortega

ASU Professor Omayra Ortega

Omayra Ortega an Assistant Professor in the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences shared some thoughtful advice and experience from her career.

How did your interest in (STEM) begin?  Was there a person who influenced your career choice and/or who encouraged you to pursue your career? 

I have always been interested in STEM. From an early age I was talented at mathematics so I enjoyed any activity involving numbers. I even loved taking the standardized tests in elementary school! When I was very young I dreamed of becoming an astronaut or a nun, but I am glad I chose math instead. Some people who influenced my decision are my undergraduate mentors. Dr Ami Radunskaya, Dr Rick Elderkin (both from Pomona College), and ASU’s own Dr Carlos Castillo-Chavez were the most important influences on my decision to pursue a degree in mathematics and eventually become a professor of Applied Mathematics.

What advice would you give to young women pursuing a degree in the STEM path?

Make sure to chose a field that motivates you. If you are inspired by science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics, keep pursuing your dream and don’t EVER give up. Make sure to connect with great mentors. Mentors don’t necessarily need to be professors, professors can give great advice, but aspirant peers work also. You need to find people who have walked the path you want to pursue. Sometimes graduate students and advanced undergraduates can give you the best information on who to do research with, how to study best, or what classes to take and when. Also make sure to keep a thick skin. In particular in the sciences people tend to be very direct and may say things in a way that will hurt your feelings. It can be hard, but you have to try not to take the negative things personally but as constructive criticism to work from. I struggle with this issue myself.

Letter to my younger self: Things I wish I knew when I first started working…..(title taken from a workshop in Grace Hopper Conference)

What do I wish I could tell my younger self? Start your research early and check in on it often. Try to set aside a couple hours every day specifically for research. It is important to start this habit in grad school or even as an undergraduate because at that juncture in your life you have a mentor watching over you and teaching you the skills necessary to write a scholarly article. If you are lucky your advisor will also want to publish with you which will give you invaluable insight into the journal submission and publication process. If you can get into this habit while you are still beginning it will carry on through your career.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment thus far in your career?

My greatest accomplishment in my career thus far is the work that I have done with my research students. I direct the Mathematical Epidemiology Research Group (MERG) where I work with 2-3 undergraduate students per semester. These students have grown into
researchers and scientists. Most of my MERG students go on to graduate school in mathematics or computing while the remainder were fortunate to find jobs in such fields as aeronautics and actuarial sciences. I am very proud of all of them.

A personal add on statement

If you are in search of a mentor you should check out the Association for Women in Mathematics Mentor Match program. This program will match you with a mentor who is  a professional in your field of interest who may be located anywhere in the country. The two of you will communicate mostly over the phone and via email but often mentees do meet their mentor in person. The AWM Mentor Match program is a free service.

Thank you Omayra for your advice and sharing your valuable insights to all our readers.  Omayra also helps organize the ASU West – Sonia Kovalevsky High School Math Days that will take place April 5, 2013.  Save the date!  Read more about Women in STEM at ASU New College >>



Recap – 2013 ASU Homecoming Slideshow

We had an awesome time at the ASU Homecoming Block Party this week-end and ASU beat the Huskies 53-24!!! You can’t get any better than that! All 3 ASU New College schools participated in different activities/presentations. From “Blood to Black Widows,” “Great Gatsby: Write Your Own Story,” “Free Speech and Social Media,” and the Hispanic Honor Society students rocked it with their face painting and make your own pinata!  View our slideshow for a closer look:

Follow us on Twitter/Instagram @asunewcollege and Facebook for continued up-to-date events at ASU New College at the West campus.



ASU New College Welcomes Dr. Nicholas Duran

asu-professor-nicholas-duranDr. Nicholas Duran, Assistant Professor of Psychology in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) is interested in how complex cognitive processes are revealed in the continuous movements of the body, particularly at the level of “micro-behaviors.” As of late, his research has focused on a particular intersection of social, cognitive, and behavioral processes: the act of deception. He is interested in his findings on the nonverbal aspects of deception for real world contexts, such as negotiation and bargaining scenarios.

Dr. Duran explains that his interest in deception prompted him to consider more general questions about the ways in which social cues in an interaction influence language comprehension and production. He has published, and still pursuing, research on natural language processing, sentence processing, learning, and theory of mind.

His teaching interests include a variety of topics in the cognitive sciences, such as the psychology of language, sensation and perception, dynamical and complex systems, and statistics. He is interested in finding new ways to integrate theoretical findings in the cognitive sciences with pressing issues in the humanities and other academic disciplines.

If you are interested in a Psychology degree program (an Online Psychology Degree is available,too)  speak with a School of Social and Behavioral Sciences Advisor (*sidenote:  they are an awesome group of people!)  Follow SBS advisors online @SBSadvisingASU or Facebook:   SBS Advising Center

A Conversation About Culture and Power – ASU Border Studies

asu-border-studies-davilaJoin Arlene Davila on “A Conversation About Culture and Power” at ASU West campus today, Thursday, October 17 from 6-7pm in CLCC 256.  This public lecture is part of the Comparative Border Studies series.  Davila is a professor of Anthropology and American Studies at New York University.

See a full listing of our innovative college degree programs at the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences and contact an SBS college advisor to start your future today!