Blog Archives

Downtown Phoenix artwork goes up next week; see it on webcam

[Source: Corey Schubert, ASU and Joyce Valdez, City of Phoenix] — ASU’s College of Public Programs has reactivated its live webcam to share a “dean’s-eye view” of the installation of artist Janet Echelman’s floating net sculpture at the Downtown Civic Space Park.  The sculpture, titled “Her secret is patience,” is set to be installed March 9 to 12.  The design of the sculpture was inspired by Arizona’s distinctive monsoon cloud formations, and by saguaro flowers and boots (which form inside the cactus).  Its title comes from a quote by poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.”

The webcam view from the sixth floor of the college, located next to the park in downtown Phoenix, overlooks the two giant steel rings which will help support the sculpture.  The webcam can be accessed online here.  It is housed in the offices of Debra Friedman, university vice president and dean of the College of Public Programs at the Downtown Phoenix campus.

The flexible netting will be suspended 38 feet above the ground on a framework of steel rings, cables and poles.  The artwork will rise to an overall height of 100 feet and be about 100 feet wide at the top.  Special lighting will make the sculpture visible as a landmark at night.  The structure that will support the art sculpture was a complicated feat of engineering that was recognized with the Excellence in Structural Engineering Award from the Arizona Structural Engineers Association.

When opened next month, the 2.77-acre Downtown Civic Space Park will include several large grassy areas, spaces with game tables, an interactive water feature, public seating and hardscape where student organizations can network, much like they do outside ASU’s Memorial Union in Tempe, and Phoenicians and visitors can mingle.  [Note: To read the ASU Web Devil’s coverage of the event, click here.  For more information, click on Fact Sheet, FAQ, and Press Release.]

ASU report highlights human services needs for metro Phoenix

Cover of Greater Phoenix Forward report[Source: Arizona State University] — Maricopa County has experienced remarkable population growth for decades, and will continue to do so.  But while expanding metro areas tend to pay close attention to physical infrastructure — diligently budgeting for roads, sewers, schools, and the like — there is often a relative lack of attention to meeting the future demands for human services.

Greater Phoenix Forward, a new report by Arizona State University’s College of Public Programs and the Morrison Institute for Public Policy, aims to help fill that gap.  It offers community and policy leaders and human services practitioners the latest data and new perspectives for understanding the Valley’s human services infrastructure and a “big picture” of future needs.  “The number of Greater Phoenix residents who will need various human services is very likely to grow faster than the workforce and fiscal resources — and maybe the political will — needed to serve them,” said Debra Friedman, University Vice President and Dean of the College of Public Programs.

Part one of a three-phase project, Greater Phoenix Forward seeks to help guide public policy decisions based on sound research, objective analyses, and public discourse.  It contains:

  • Data describing human services structures and functions in Maricopa County
  • Trends for the populations who provide and use these services
  • Analyses of how to sustain the present level and quality of human services
  • A glimpse of how current service trends could play out by 2012
  • A presentation of critical policy challenges for the future

Phase two will include discussions between authors of the report and Arizona policy makers, executives of human services-providing organizations, leading human services practitioners, and community leaders.  In the third phase, the authors and College administrators will become resources to public, nonprofit, and private sector leaders as they shape and implement plans and investments to address the challenges that lie ahead.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.}

Downtown Phoenix dorms deter ASU dropout dilemma?

David Wallace/The Arizona Republic, Students at downtown campus[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — This week, hundreds of downtown Phoenix students will kick back in Arizona State University’s latest weapon to prevent college dropouts: new dorms.

ASU is trying to lift the university’s 78 percent freshman-retention rate to 90 percent, said Debra Friedman, vice president of the downtown Phoenix campus.

The battle to keep students, especially freshman, is being waged in some form on all ASU campuses. On Wednesday, students began moving into Taylor Place, a $150 million dorm complex at 120 E. Taylor St. in downtown Phoenix.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

“Town & gown” work together to benefit ASU Downtown Phoenix students

A two-year effort to create access from local downtown businesses and cultural interests to ASU’s downtown Phoenix campus achieved its first positive step on Wednesday, August 13.  A team of volunteers and business owners spent three hours at Roosevelt Commons at a “stuffing party” to make over 1,500 “Welcome Bags” of information and special savings for faculty, staff, and incoming ASU downtown campus dorm residents and commuting students.

The effort was a culmination of a meeting with ASU Downtown’s Associate Dean of the College of Public Programs Deb Gullett; Local First Arizona Executive Director Kimber Lanning; Grand Avenue business owner Anna Marie Gutierrez; and Downtown Voices Coalition Steering Committee Chair Steve Weiss.  The discussion focused on the limited ability for local business to interact with the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus.  The traditional “flier rack” information kiosks and bulletin boards normally found on college campuses have for two years been left out of the downtown campus, and the meeting was held to discuss options.

It was Ms. Gullett who suggested the info bag giveaway, and the three local participants rallied downtown troops to create the overflowing Welcome Bag with Artlink First Friday, Local First Arizona’s Small Wonders brochure, and Roosevelt Row maps as well as fliers for downtown and midtown restaurants, service providers, and entertainments.  Also included among others were cultural centers such as Phoenix Art Museum and Heard Museum and Urban Affairs publication, “You Are Here.”  Bags were obtained by Eric Gudiño, ASU Downtown’s Director of Community Relations/Office of Public Affairs, from both the ASU Bookstore and Downtown Phoenix Partnership.  DPP donated their soon-to-be-replaced “Copper Square” branded bags, and extra packages were filled using Devious Wig’s tote-bags.

The promise from ASU Downtown’s representatives is that this is the first of many coming innovations, including access to the electronic “bulletin boards” of the Taylor Place dorms and a flier rack for printed materials in the Administrative Building and other locations.  Upcoming meetings with ASU Downtown Dean Debra Friedman and Community Engagement Liaison Malissa Geer will focus on these and other efforts for the campus and the downtown to commingle.  Stay tuned.

Webcam offers “dean’s-eye view” of downtown Civic Space

[Source: Arizona State University] — ASU’s College of Public Programs, located at 411 N. Central Avenue, now offers a live webcam that shows a “dean’s-eye view” of construction at the Downtown Civic Space Park from the sixth floor of the college, located next to the park.  This week, workers are installing three giant steel beams and two large steel rings to support the floating net sculpture, designed by artist Janet Echelman, that will be a prominent feature of the park. 

The webcam is visible by clicking here (but NOT viewable using Microsoft IE).  It’s housed in the office of Debra Friedman, University VP and Dean of the College of Public Programs.

More than 900 downtown ASU students to graduate

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — More than 900 Arizona State University students from the downtown Phoenix campus will take part in graduation ceremonies this week.  The College of Public Programs will graduate 286 students at the Phoenix Convention Center in downtown Phoenix on Thursday.  The college of nursing will graduate 243 students at the convention center on Friday, and the University College will graduate 450 students on Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe.  Graduation and several other signs show that the 2-year-old Phoenix campus is growing stronger, said Debra Friedman, vice president of the downtown campus.

This year, the campus established a College of Letters and Sciences and two centers: one focused on philanthropy and a second on executive leadership, she said.  The campus also received a regional McGrath Award, which recognized the university-city partnership that helped to establish the campus.  “We have celebrated many milestones this year at the ASU downtown Phoenix campus,” Friedman said.  “Increasingly, students are embracing the urban university experience.” [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

ASU’s downtown campus poised to have new leader

Debra Friedman, ASU[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — Arizona State University is tapping a new leader for a powerful post within its high-profile downtown Phoenix campus.  Debra Friedman, 52, the dean of the College of Public Programs, is likely to become the new public face for the downtown campus.  The Arizona Board of Regents could vote on the change as early as March, Friedman said.  If regents approve the change, Friedman will become the vice president of the campus and an influential figure in downtown Phoenix development.  ASU’s downtown campus, bankrolled by $220 million from taxpayers, is a critical anchor for the revitalization of Phoenix’s core.  [Note: Read the full article here.]