Illuminations Series – Spring 2014 Kicks-Off Tonight!

A Faculty and Student Week-Long Seminar with Bill Martin, Professor of Philosophy at DePaul University in Chicago


View the full week schedule:  events/117663835103048/

The week will include student discussion, presentation, faculty seminar, and a bass guitar music performance by Bill Martin.

“Is there politics in Buddhism? Human flourishing after the twentieth-century phases of Marxism and Capitalism.” Real Life Ethics Seminar (rsvp required)
Please book this event at the direct RSVP link: https://  jan-29-RLE
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
6-9 pm
La Sala

Martin Luther King Week Wrap-Up

As we approach the end of this week’s festivities commemorating the life and work of Martin Luther King we wanted to thank all the local 6th, 7th and 8th grade students who participated in this year’s March on West.  We took some video of the event that can be seen below.  Don’t forget to check the Beyond the Divide for more upcoming events such as a Peace Luncheon and the MLK Student Rally to be held today in Tempe.

View the videos on our Facebook page:

For up-to-date info on ASU New College follow us on the New College Facebook page or Twitter @ASUNewCollege.

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration 2014

Charles St. Clair, a Fine Arts Specialist in the School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies will be performing the annual speech reenactment of the “I have a dream” speech, Tuesday, at 11 a.m. View a full listing at the Unite Beyond the Divide website.

Martin Luther King Jr - March on ASU West campus

Join local 6th, 7th and 8th grade students and their teachers as they visit the West campus for the traditional “I Have a Dream” speech and historical March on Washington reenactment. Interactive educational presentations before and after the March on West will help students understand the significance of Martin Luther King’s impact on our nation’s history and in our lives.

For up-to-date info on ASU New College follow us on the New College Facebook page or Twitter @ASUNewCollege.

New College Faculty Spotlight

New College blog asked students to highlight faculty. Faith Hopkins, a Communication Studies major in the ASU School of Social and Behavioral Studies, highlights Dr. Doug Kelley:

Dr. Douglas Kelley wins over the hearts of students

ASU-Professor-Douglas-KelleyIt was my first semester at Arizona State University at the west campus as a junior transferring over from a community college. I had anxiety entering my first class because I wasn’t familiar with the instructor. When I walked into the already full classroom of over 100 seats, I found an open seat and waited for class to begin. A gentleman walked to the front of the classroom and said “I am the professor of this class. My name is Dr. Kelley and I am here to help you accomplish your goals”. At that point I realized that having the perfect Professor can make one feel at ease throughout the duration of the semester. I soon found out that one of those exceptional Professors is Dr. Doug Kelley.

Dr. Kelley is a Professor at Arizona State University’s west campus since 1994. He earned his bachelors in Religious Studies and decided to further his education by earning a master’s in Counseling and a doctorate in Communication Studies. He teaches a number of relationship classes with an emphasis on family communication, inner-city families, conflict and negotiation, forgiveness, and relational communication. He, along with Dr. Waldron[1], spent several months developing research about various forgiveness processes and they have published a book with their findings entitled “Communicating Forgiveness”; it has since led to many scholarly reviewed journal articles furthering the discussion. Dr. Kelley has also won several awards including The Centennial Professor Award; which is given by ASU’s undergraduate student government for excellence in teaching.

So why take a class instructed by Dr. Kelley? A previous student said of him,

“Dr. Kelly is an amazing professor. He is there to help anyone…. I would recommend his classes to anyone!”

He not only teaches the material, but he incorporates activities within the lessons so you can gain a deeper understanding.

ASU-Professor-Douglas-Kelley-2I personally have taken several classes by Dr. Kelley and I too can concur. Dr. Kelley is easy to understand because he takes his time explaining the material and he creates an atmosphere of interest and enjoyment by using personal examples. In the upcoming spring semester of 2014, he will be teaching inner-city families, introduction to communication and relational communication. If you have not taken a class by Dr. Kelley, I encourage you to do so before you graduate so you too can join in and say “Dr. Kelley was a tremendous help in furthering my education”.

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If you would like more information about Dr. Kelley or to enroll in one of his classes, please visit

[1] For more information about Dr. Vincent Waldron, visit

Communication Researchers Launch Crowdfunding Project

asu-forgiveness-tagA decade of research (and my own life experience) convinces me that fractured relationships can be healed when people know how to seek and grant forgiveness.  Forgiveness can be a constructive alternative to personal bitterness and revenge.  Our Forgiveness Tree Project teaches kids (and adults) why and how to forgive.  And it creates a supportive and empowering community event, the symbolic planting of a “forgiveness tree”, to facilitate the process.

Along with  Communication Program researchers Douglas Kelley and Dayna Kloeber I am seeking “seed funding” for this project which moves forgiveness education out of the classroom  and into local schools and communities.   Crowdfunding allows us to bypass the large  corporate and foundation funders.  It allows individual citizens to make small donations to support work that they care about.

Forgiveness isn’t always the right response to harmful behavior, but most people  recognize how it could be applied in their own lives.   They just don’t know how to do it.  That’s what our project is about.

To learn more, watch our brief video and read the summary at: or email Professor Vince Waldron at

A Family Affair – the Author Natasha Thomas Manson

ASU New College student Natasha Thomas Manson

One of the highlights of this blog is the pleasure to showcase ASU New College students and their research projects.  Natasha Thomas Manson a student studying Women’s Studies and Health along with the Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance degree program at ASU West campus.  We interviewed her to see who the person was behind the making of her short documentary, “A Family Affair,” highlighting ASU New College faculty, staff and students and how we all come together as a tight unit, a family.

 Tell us more about yourself:  My journey to come back to school started at a community college where right before my last semester I sustained injuries to the spine.   This unexpected accident turned my life upside down.  After a slow recovery from my injuries I decided to go back to school.  With help from a scholarship the AZ Academic Team Scholarship I became an ASU West campus student at New College.  My goal became to document women’s lives, and children and the impact we experience due to laws and poverty, the impact of politics in women’s lives, health and our right to work.

Why did you choose this topic for your NCUIRE project?   In talking with my mentor, Dr. Duku Anoyke I realized how strong there is a a sense of community and how faculty, staff, and students interact with each other as such.  She mentioned the NCUIRE program to me and I decided to apply.  The focus of my short documentary was inclusive of all the the faculty, staff and students from the three schools, School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies, the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, and the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences along with the four graduate degree programs offered by New College.

What advice would you give to students with the same background as you?  My mom used to say all the time “when one door closes another one opens” that was very true.  Get outside of yourself and willing to look for that window because sometimes the curtains are drawn and there’s no light and sometimes you have to feel around in the dark then you have to crawl out, even if you are going out on a ledge.”  When came back to school was still using a cane

Being able to stand on that ledge and there will be people to help. I’ve had amazing professors who are willing to listen and to see, who were positive.”

If you could describe the New College experience in one sentence what would it be?   It was enlightening,  I really enjoyed the experience.  Everything has it’s own department but we’re all connected.  You can see how mathematics fits in with English, and Science.  There’s a connectedness. Not just taking classes only in your area, but take that math class and see how it fits in with rest.  I took stat class and the concept of snowball statistics intrigued me – this means to gather data from several people creating a snowball effect of information.  So in return I did some paintings depicting this concept.

Thank you Natasha for sharing your thoughts with our readers.

A Family Affair

In Fletcher Library, on the upper floors of the building are showcases of artwork by ASU West students. Showcased among that artwork earlier this semester was a very unique project produced by NCUIRE student Natasha Thomas Manson.

Natasha Thomas Manson created an incredible film showcasing the small college feeling of New College. The film is called “It’s a Family Affair: Why New College” and it started as an NCUIRE project. The New College Undergraduate Inquiry & Research Experiences (NCUIRE, pronounced “Inquire”) Program engages New College undergraduates in meaningful research partnerships with faculty and other undergraduate scholars. Natasha worked with faculty advisor, Dr Duku Anokye, to plan and execute the filming of the video. Natasha interviewed many current students and alumni who graduated from New College for her film, as well as many staff and faculty. I thought it was pretty exciting to have a project supported by both current New College members (including students, staff, and faculty) AND New College alumni. As a graduate of New College, myself, I find the film pretty spot on.

The film features beautiful panoramic views of the West campus and student interviews inter-spliced among the landscape views. The interviews describe the New College IAP Program. IAP, short for Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance, offered by New College offers a wide array of classes in the visual and performing arts and a variety of faculty and students from the college degree programs ASU New College has to offer.

Natasha and I were able to meet so I could pick her brain about her video in the library where she told me about her artwork and the film. She said her biggest hurdle with filming was having a bulb burnout (if we could all be so lucky!). We laughed, we shared, we had a good time. This video is an incredible accomplishment!

(This article was contributed by ASU student Desiree Schluter)

Read more about the author of the video in tomorrow’s blog!