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The Power of Teamwork


By Marvin Gonzalez

These recent gifts show how together, our potential is limitless.


A blighted neighborhood is transforming into a community hub, complete with a vegetable garden tended by refugee families, thanks in part to a $2,500 gift from Mortenson Construction to ASU’s School of Sustainability. Working with the humanitarian organization International Rescue Committee, ASU students and residents cultivate produce in an aquaponics greenhouse at 1616 West Camelback Road, a low-income neighborhood in Central Phoenix that has limited nutritional options.

"Through careful and intensive design, this project could become a place for the refugee community to call home and feel integrated into the neighborhood," says Josh Greene, a senior in architectural studies.

Students used their work with the IRC to win an additional $1,500 grant from ASU’s Changemaker Challenge, a program that helps students execute ideas for social change.

The team, called CamelBackyard, is continuing its work by forging new partnerships with the conservation groups the Nature Conservatory and the Watershed Management Group.asu-impact4-recent-volunteers


A team led by Patrick Young, an astrophysicist in ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, is making shock waves with its 3-D simulations of supernovas.

The team achieved preliminary results from its work by raising $2,000 through PitchFunder, ASU’s platform for crowdfunding. Those results led to a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.


icon-handshakeANGELS ALL AROUND:

Scholarship donor Pamela Hebrank, of Monkton, Maryland, is witnessing the impact of her generosity firsthand through the Sun Devil Family Association Angel Program, which provides opportunities for donors and recipients to stay in touch.

Hebrank’s $5,000 gift supports Ellie Kim, ’17, a first-generation student, who says the gift allows her to focus on her studies. Hebrank appreciates being able to follow Kim’s progress. "Through scholar letters, I can actually see the impact the scholarships make," she says.

icon-familyALL IN THE FAMILY:

A family foundation begun by ASU alumni is advancing the work of professor Julie Patock-Peckham, whose psychology laboratory, in part, examines psychological issues surrounding alcohol abuse. The Burton Family Foundation—Daryl “D. J.” Burton, BS ’15, and his mother, Christy Burton, BS ’82, MPA ’85, public administration—gave a $47,563 gift to fund Patock-Peckham’s research.


An anonymous gift of $5 million will fund endowments across ASU. One-quarter of the gift will fund an athletics endowment, providing scholarships for student-athletes. Another quarter will fund an endowed professorship in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Half of the gift will support the Endowed Presidential Faculty Support Fund.

For more information on recent gifts, visit

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