Arizona State University's College of Integrative Sciences and Arts has kicked off the fall 2017 semester with almost 11 percent enrollment growth over last year, making it now the fourth-largest college at the university behind the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and the W. P. Carey School of Business.
Part of that growth has happened at ASU’s Polytechnic campus, where the college has seen a 32.6 percent increase in the number of students in its majors, and where students can now pursue innovative degrees such as integrative social science, applied physics, technical communication (user experience), and counseling and applied psychological science.
ASU junior Amy Crawford is one of the first students to declare the new major in user experience (UX).
“Very forward-thinking and a perfect fit for me,” is how Crawford describes the degree program, which the college developed and is offering in collaboration with the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.
“I’d noticed the new program fairly recently,” she explained about her decision to switch to the major, “and having already taken some required courses for it, I realized I could transition seamlessly, which was a plus. The fact that Human Systems Engineering classes may be taken as electives really sparked my interest.
"Overall, I like how versatile the program is because of its multidisciplinary approach,” said Crawford, who would love to pursue a career in technical writing but is also excited about avenues this degree may open into the UX or human-centered design fields.
More than 7,000 students are currently enrolled in the college’s integrative bachelor’s, master’s and exploratory tracks at ASU’s Tempe, Polytechnic, Downtown Phoenix campuses; through ASU Online; at the ASU Colleges at Lake Havasu City; and through the partnerships ASU@TheGilaValley, ASU@Yuma, and ASU@Pinal.
Another 15,000 students whose primary academic programs are in other ASU colleges are enrolled in CISA courses this fall, taking foundational science, math, social science and humanities courses for their majors based at the Downtown Phoenix and Polytechnic campuses, confirmed Hongxia Fu, management research analyst for the college.
“With our college on a healthy trajectory,” said Duane Roen, dean of the college, “several of our colleagues who have been longtime leaders of faculty groups decided this fall would be a good time to take a well-deserved step away from administrative work.
“Our students and ASU have benefitted much from the years of leadership that Ian Moulton, Bobbie Lafford, Chris Martin, and Gina Beyer have provided in growing quality academic programs and services to meet students’ needs,” Roen noted. “They will continue to contribute through their research, teaching, and service.”
Meet the new faculty leaders in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts:
Interim head of the Faculty of Science and Mathematics on the Polytechnic campus
A senior lecturer in mathematics in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts since 2016, Catherine Hart has taught at ASU since 2003, previously serving as a faculty associate and lecturer. She brings to the position expertise in best practices in teaching math for specific contexts and in incorporating relevant technologies and practical skills that will help students succeed in their courses and in the workforce.
“Part of my expectations for students is formed by 11 years as an engineer in the private sector,” she noted. “Engineers solve problems and problem-solving involves both analytical and creative skills.”
More than 440 students are enrolled in bachelor’s and master’s degrees in applied biological sciences, Hart said. “We’re excited about the new academic offerings established by our faculty group and now have students in the bachelor’s in applied math, applied physics, applied quantitative science. We’ll continue to promote the MS and the 4+1 BS/MS in applied biological sciences as well as the certificate program in wildlife management. The faculty will also be conducting a national search for a permanent chair.“
Jacqueline “Jackie” Martinez
Head of the Faculty of Languages and Cultures on the Downtown Phoenix campus
An ASU faculty member since 2000 and with the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts at the Downtown Phoenix campus since 2008, Martinez studies communication as it mediates the relationships among personal experience, social practices, and cultural histories, and how people create meaning in the immediacy of their communicative experience. An associate professor, she received an inaugural ASU Provost’s Humanities Fellow for emerging leaders in 2014-2015. Martinez is a member of ASU’s graduate faculty and also serves as an affiliate faculty member with ASU’s School of Social Transformation, and Hugh Downs School of Human Communication.
“We’re a faculty group known for innovative teaching and we’re excited to continue to grow opportunities for students that leverage the range of expertise and intellectual curiosity of our faculty, while tapping into the incredible possibilities for embedding students in applied learning in the greater Downtown Phoenix community,” Martinez said.
This faculty group hosts the annual ASU Humanities Lecture Series, coordinates the student-edited journal Write On, Downtown!, and oversees a new club for communication majors.
Interim director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy
A nationally recognized scholar on the rhetoric and songs of the U.S. civil rights movement, Keith Miller, professor of English in the Department of English, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has written books and essays on the speeches of Martin Luther King Jr. as well as essays about Malcolm X, Jackie Robinson, Frederick Douglass, C.L. Franklin, and Fannie Lou Hamer for scholarly collections and in leading journals across the fields of rhetoric and composition, English literature and American history. A former associate chair of ASU’s Department of English and former administrator of its Writing Program, he has also taught at Texas Christian University, The Ohio State University, and Chonbuk University in South Korea.
“I’m excited to be working with Deborah Cox and Sarah Herrera, two veteran and highly capable staff members at the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, as the center continues its work in increasing awareness and informed dialogue about topics related to race and democracy,” Miller said. “The center’s stimulating speakers, film discussions and other programs are appreciated by many people throughout the Valley. I hope to involve more ASU faculty in these programs, most of which take place out in the community, and also want to explore the possibility of adding a research component to the work of the center.”
Head of the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Humanities and Communication at the Polytechnic campus
Brooks Simpson, ASU Foundation Professor of History, joined ASU from Wofford College in 1990. Simpson studies American political and military history as well as the American presidency, specializing in the era of the Civil War and Reconstruction. He has written or edited close to 20 books and his book “Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph over Adversity, 1822-1865” was a New York Times Notable Book for 2000. A faculty member for Barrett, The Honors College, he served as interim associate dean for Barrett at the Downtown Phoenix campus in spring 2017.
“As a faculty we are going to invest in ways to make more courses available to more students across the academic year, remembering that our primary purpose is to serve the interests and needs of the students,” Simpson said of the group’s immediate goals. “We will define who we are and what we want to be while remembering where we are as we continue to provide quality opportunities that reflect our distinctive Polytechnic campus identity.”
This faculty group has recently added new bachelor’s degrees in the history of science, ideas and innovation, as well as degrees in psychology, political science, and a master’s in narrative studies.
University College, which shares a number of administrative staff and some faculty with the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, also welcomes new leadership to one of its programs.
Director of UNI Academic Success @ ASU in University College on all campuses
Corinne Corte comes to her new role having served as the course manager in charge of developing curriculum and learning outcomes for UNI Academic Success @ ASU for two years. Corte began teaching for the program in 2012, about the same time she was appointed director of learning in ASU’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, Office of Student-Athlete Development, where she had provided academic coaching and instructional support since 1998.
“I want to focus on professional development of our faculty, encouraging service on ASU committees as well as sharing research and pedagogy in publications and presentations,” Corte said. “As a faculty we’re excited to continue to grow the content and experience of the online version of UNI 220: Mindset Connections), expand availability of LEAD program project-based learning to all eligible freshmen, and further develop our cultural competency training for faculty.”