How the United States’ most innovative university is moving forward under COVID-19

Arizona State University and its students, faculty and staff have risen to the challenge at a time when the world faces unique challenges from the coronavirus pandemic

Arizona State University


ASU develops state’s first saliva-based COVID-19 test

In an effort to make COVID-19 diagnostic testing easier and more readily available to Arizonans, researchers at ASU have developed the state’s first saliva-based test. The simplicity of the new kits makes the supply chain easier to maintain, but could also help bring the cost of testing down. “This new saliva-based test will be a real game-changer for those individuals who want to know whether or not they have an active COVID-19 infection,” said ASU Biodesign Institute Executive Director Joshua LaBaer, who leads ASU COVID-19 research efforts.

Law program makes new students feel welcome as Sun Devils

Mindful Minutes matter as ASU enters hybrid modalities

The University Technology Office shares practices being implemented to reduce stress and to feel connected.

‘Ask A Biologist’ website answers community’s coronavirus questions

How can viruses be destroyed? Why do vaccines take a long time to make? Questions like these have been filling the inbox of one of ASU’s most popular scientific resources: Ask A Biologist.

Girls Who Code: Better pizza through technology

When the Girls Who Code club at ASU Preparatory Academy had to suddenly shift from in-person meetings to virtual ones, it wasn’t entirely clear how their projects would continue. But UTO’s volunteer educators took to Zoom to continue the lessons and work with the girls on variables, functions, loops and other coding principles. Even while remote, these Girls Who Code students were able to continue working on one of life’s biggest questions.

Online shopping for good: ASU student’s nonprofit lets donors buy in-demand items for shelters

ShelterShare is an online platform that connects members of a community to local shelters and allows them to buy specific items of need.

ASU journalism students receive encouragement from prominent journalists during virtual ceremony

Twenty-seven journalists and communication professionals, including former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, ESPN host and commentator Michael Wilbon, PBS NewsHour anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff, former “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer and CNN chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour, addressed Cronkite School graduates through video messages.

Professor creates lab at home to support health care workers

Michael Kozicki, professor of electrical engineering at the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, took the initiative to help out in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. With decades of experience in microcontamination management, Kozicki went above and beyond, building a lab at home to create systems for ozone reconditioning of N95 masks and other surgical gear.

ASU Law deans share special message on social media

Watts College celebrates its 2020 graduates with ‘Live!’

ASU Art Museum offers a wealth of engaging family activities

During its temporary hiatus, the ASU Art Museum is finding innovative and exciting ways to virtually connect with its audience and bring the museum experience to the community. The museum has guides to educational art-making activities that can be done at home, with supplies that you already have.

Into the unknown: Parents’ journeys in a remote modality

Being a parent during the pandemic has been an interesting experience. Check out firsthand stories of what it’s like to run a household and balance your ASU life.

You Asked: Connecting with professors while learning remotely

UTO Student Project Showcase highlights learner innovation

Six exceptional interns demonstrated to UTO leaders and peers the innovative potential of ASU learners and workers.

How Joe Connolly is remotely training ASU’s players

Joe Connolly isn’t certain about much these days. But he’s very confident that when all gets back to normal, he’ll be able to get his team back into shape. ASU’s head coach of sports performance has to design workouts not knowing if athletes have access to a gym or not.

Sun Devil Nation volunteers, donors show up for Navajo Nation

With less than three weeks to organize, a trio of ASU alumni loaded a 21-foot moving truck on May 7 and delivered emergency supplies for the people of the Navajo Nation beleaguered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coloring book gives parents tools to help minimize kids’ anxiety

Parents often struggle to explain certain things to their children. Assistant Professor Paige Safyer of the School of Social Work and her collaborators used experience in clinical psychology to create “Georgie & the Germ,” which helps parents explain COVID-19 to their children.

Expanded online tutoring services available for summer

University Academic Success Programs offers group tutoring sessions, one-on-one writing coaching and supplemental instruction, all accessible digitally.

ASU costume shop creates, donates hundreds of masks

When the COVID-19 pandemic made its way to the U.S., ASU’s School of Film, Dance and Theatre costume shop was hard at work, with designers, stitchers, cutters and drapers making costumes for the school’s production of “The Crucible,” originally set to premiere in March 2020. With the virus forcing the shop to close its doors and the show now canceled, the nearly completed costumes for the production were moved into storage. So they started making PPE instead of costumes.

Podcast gives perspective on crisis through works of literature

Professors Trevor Shelley and Luke Perez have begun a multipart discussion of Albert Camus’ Nobel Prize-winning novel “The Plague” in the new “Pandemic Dialogues.” Written in the 1940s, Camus’ novel reflects his view of medical disease as an analogue for understanding the decline of political order.

Films find their way to audiences for a good cause

The Association of Filmmakers at ASU recently held its student film festival on Twitch. The group had up to 350 viewers at once and raised over $1,200 for Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The grand prize of $15,000 went to Mingxuan Lin, who directed “Bond Across the Ocean.”

Salesforce team enables student success with peer coach texting

The ASU First-Year Success Center worked to find their team a way to engage students in their preferred modality of communication, two-way texting. “Our university’s unexpected sudden transition to remote instruction and service delivery then made the need for texting dire,” said Kevin Correa, director of the First-Year Success Center.

ASU alumni and brothers: ‘We can make a difference’

Alumni and brothers Marcos and Ruy Garcia Acosta have been working with Open Source COVID-19 Medical Supplies and ASU’s PPE Response Network to bring together makers and health care organizations in need of supplies.

Graduating ASU seniors publish children’s science book

The Scientist in Me,” a children’s “scientific notebook,” explores the lives of five scientists from historically underrepresented backgrounds.

The soul of the Phoenix art scene lives on(line)

When social distancing measures imposed an unwelcome degree of solitude on everyone this spring, ASU Principal Lecturer of English Rosemarie Dombrowski knew she had to act to help keep the artistic soul of downtown Phoenix alive. After 13 years of existing as a strictly print publication, the annual literary journal Write On, Downtown went digital this month.

Herberger Institute harnesses design, arts tools for community

Cultural Innovation Tools is a site that brings content together for the community to understand how arts and culture at ASU are responding to the moment.

Cultivating love and healing in anxious times

Education is not just about facts and figures; it can also cultivate kindness and healing. To that end, Amanda Tachine of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and her colleagues from other universities curated a syllabus with readings, music and meditations, which has grown into an iCourse for Session B this summer: Love and Healing in Higher Education.

Students find creative solutions in defending theses via Zoom

Kathleen Casey, a senior Barrett student studying kinesiology, said her defense went well in a remote modality, with family and friends still able to attend virtually via Zoom.

Sun Devil Athletics staff and coaches lend a hand

More than 30 SDA staff members joined St. Mary’s Food Bank to distribute food boxes to families in need on April 30.

Watts College reaches out to students personally

The Watts Care Calling Campaign aims to find out how students are faring amid challenges wrought by COVID-19.

Arizona PBS gets help from telepresence robot

For the past month, as the COVID-19 pandemic sent most ASU staff home to work, a telepresence robot nicknamed Scotty has been key to keeping the public television station up and running. The Beam robot, made by Suitable Technologies, looks like it was built by stacking an iPad on stilts and mounting the whole thing on a hover board. Equipped with two cameras, speakers and a microphone, it is the next best thing to having a person on site, said Ian MacSpadden, chief technology officer for Cronkite and Arizona PBS.

Birds of a feather flock together for remote ornithology field trips

For Associate Professor Heather Bateman, taking a collaborative and agile approach with her Applied Ornithology class was easier than anticipated.

Take a virtual dive into Jane Austen’s ‘Sense and Sensibility’

Professor Devoney Looser is the first author to create a Penguin Classics “Crash Course” (not to be confused with ASU’s Crash Courses partnership with Complexly). In an Instagram video, ASU’s resident Jane Austen expert takes viewers through the finer points of the novel and explains the literary importance of the sisters Dashwood.

Developing resources, research to help the community

The College of Health Solutions has developed myriad ways to help communities work together toward recovery during the ongoing health crisis.

ASU Library staff offer message to students: ‘We’re here for you’

Need help finding an e-book, exploring an archive collection or working with data analytics? Library staff is ready to help.

LEAD Showcase shows off first-year students’ creativity, growth

Through University College, first-year students have worked in teams all year to define a problem and design a solution. These culminating projects highlight the many skills these students have developed over the course of their first year in college. Check out the online showcase, featuring ideas such as student sleeping pods and a campus produce market.

Robin Roberts praises Cronkite School student’s resilience

Frankie McLister connected with the “Good Morning America” host through a National Press Club graduate profile.

Grad students stay connected via online gaming platform

ASU School of Life Sciences graduate students created “The Fellowship of Glitch,” an online space for gaming and connections.

Fighting health care worker burnout with Facebook

Add a global pandemic to the daily stresses that health care workers normally face and you’ve got the ingredients for widespread exhaustion among the very workforce we’re relying on most at this time. Knowing that, Jasmine Bhatti, a graduate student and teaching assistant at ASU’s Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation, created a Facebook group where health care personnel can go to compare notes, de-stress and commiserate.

Journalism students interview for internships via Zoom

Fifty-six students from the Cronkite School recently participated in the school’s first virtual internship day.

New resource from Sun Devil Athletics: Sun Devils at Home

Want the Territorial Cup as your Zoom background? Looking for help on an at-home workout? SDA has you covered.

Tips for putting your best face forward in the virtual workplace

Andy DeLisle, a photographer and multimedia producer for the ASU Knowledge Enterprise, has laid out his best practices for looking good on Zoom.

Sun Devils keep sense of community alive with Support Circles

Devils 4 Devils at ASU works to improve the social and emotional well-being of students through a unique model of peer-to-peer outreach and engagement. Now, the program has launched Devils 4 Devils Support Circles, a series of virtual, peer-led Zoom sessions covering a wide range of topics that are available multiple times per day, Monday through Saturday, allowing students to continue making meaningful connections.

University Technology Office takes ‘Girls Who Code’ online

Supported through the volunteers of UTO Giving Back, third-, fourth- and fifth-grade coders are tackling several projects and learning valuable professional skills.

ASU SpringDanceFest moves from the stage to Zoom

In an unwavering effort to continue to bring the arts to the community, students and faculty in the School of Film, Dance and Theatre will come together to present SpringDanceFest virtually at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 25.

ASU center recreates art for Getty Museum Challenge

The Getty Museum is challenging people to recreate classic works of art with things they have at home. While some people have gotten creative with pets, food and household objects for the #GettyMuseumChallenge, the ASU Center for Child Well-Being decided to stretch its creative muscle by re-creating the art pieces using only children’s toys.

Young Adult Writing Program to be offered as online workshop

The summer program, now offered digitally, provides young writers a non-evaluative environment in which to explore the power of creative writing.

Former ASU women’s basketball player on front lines treating coronavirus patients

Dr. Michelle Tom is a former ASU women’s basketball player from the late ’90s who is now treating COVID-19 patients in Winslow.

Reimagining career support with the stroke of a key

A firm handshake, a direct look in the eye and an engaged demeanor are staples of successful job interviews. But a move toward the virtual world, courtesy of COVID-19, is changing all that. Luckily for the ASU community, Career and Professional Development Services has made the successful transition to remote support and mentoring.

ASU Law embraces new realities, opportunities in remote teaching

ASU Law faculty has quickly converted an entire law school to a remote teaching operation. Over 170 classes were moved online with 154 instructors mobilized.

‘The Imagination Desk’ podcast from the Center for Science and the Imagination

Listen to chats with artists, scholars, scientists and technologists about what inspires them and how they define and use imagination in their work.

ASU Wind Bands go ‘silent’ with a virtual collaboration

Composer John Cage believed any sound could be considered music.

The ASU Wind Bands’ first remote project was a mash-up by the ASU Wind Ensemble inspired by American experimental composer John Cage. “Since we are no longer able to come together to make music, I wanted to create a virtual community where everyone involved could contribute to something in some small way,” said Jason Caslor, associate professor and director of wind ensembles in the School of Music.

Fulton Engineering FURI/MORE Symposium goes virtual

Approximately 180 graduate and undergraduate students presented their semester research projects on Friday, April 24, from 1 to 2 p.m.

‘A’ Mountain goes blue for a good cause

Once in a blue moon: A group of volunteers including Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell (far right) took to “A” Mountain on April 16 to paint the traditionally ASU-gold “A” blue as part of Gov. Doug Ducey’s “Light AZ Blue” initiative. The governor asked businesses, municipalities and organizations across the state to turn on blue lights to honor health care workers and first responders on the front line of the COVID-19 crisis. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

UTO family gathers online for Mindful Minutes

The twice-weekly, 15-minute sessions are designed to alleviate and address the problems we are all facing.

ASU Department of Psychology goes online for teaching, and therapy

Virtual labs, journal clubs and research conferences are just a few of the adjustments made by the department in response to the pandemic. The ASU Clinical Psychology Center also now offers psychotherapy through video conferencing.

What does Emily Zarka have packed in her apocalypse bag?

The “Monstrum” host humorously explains what’s packed in her “go bag,” you know, in case of a zombie apocalypse.

ASU graduate student feeds community members affected by COVID-19

ASU graduate student Hanna Layton’s plan for her master’s degree in sustainability solutions culminating experience was to reduce food waste and food insecurity by providing a sustainability-based template for startup nonprofits intent on feeding hungry people. But due to the COVID-19 crisis, she pivoted to directly help those in need.

Thought Huddle: Time for caring at home and on the front lines

In this time of pandemic, how do we best care for others and ourselves? And how do nurses in particular manage? The latest episode of the Thought Huddle podcast provides some context and answers.

Arizona Legal Center steps up in time of crisis

Since its establishment in 2016, the Arizona Legal Center has been serving as a legal lifeline for underserved members of the community. During typical times, the not-for-profit organization assists thousands of people per year. But these are not typical times.

Voice actors needed for movie of ‘Viral Attack’ comic book

Your kids looking for something creative to do? Have them audition to be one of the voices in the movie version of “Viral Attack,” a comic book by ASU’s Ask a Biologist that teaches how the immune system works. No acting experience required! Applications are due by May 11.

Virtual visits take students into the field digitally

It’s a beautiful day at the ancient city of Teotihuacan. The Avenue of the Dead isn’t too crowded, you see from where you stand on top of the Pyramid of the Moon. On your left lies one of the city’s resident dogs, enjoying the sun. It’s going to be a great day. And it will all happen on your laptop, thanks to ASU’s Center for Education Through eXploration.

ASU counselors offer tips and coping mechanisms for managing mental health

“Anxiety, depression and grief seem to get rolled into a ball of emotion that people, most often, push away or try to ‘power through.’ These emotions, however — grief in particular — can create a space for people to slow down, reflect, reassess and adapt to their changing circumstances.”

Jennifer Pereira ,
Clinical associate professor, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts

COVID-19 engineering design challenge open to all

Devils Invent, a design-challenge within the Fulton Schools, is partnering with Banner Health and Entrepreneurship and Innovation to host a virtual design-challenge April 17–19 to tackle problems related to COVID-19.

Donors to ASU’s Bridging Success program help students overcome food insecurity

Yaritza Hernandez Gil was working two jobs to cover college expenses until the coronavirus crisis forced her managers to cut her hours. Fortunately, ASU donors have stepped in.

Tips for living well at home from ASU wellness experts

While ASU students, faculty and staff are working and studying remotely, Live Well at ASU is providing a host of virtual resources and a schedule of live-streamed wellness offerings on everything from fitness to nutrition to sober programming to help keep the ASU community on track.

ASU campus visits, new-student orientations pivot to virtual setup

Nearly 1,500 students have already gone through virtual programs as teams fine-tune features for what students and families most need.

Bringing astronaut skills down to Earth to handle isolation

Retired astronaut Cady Coleman, ASU’s Global Explorer in Residence, doles out advice for staying active, productive and mentally healthy while social distancing.

Newly admitted law school students get a leg-up online

The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law holds Admitted Students events to begin immersing them in the ASU experience. The most recent went completely virtual.

Clive goes live!

Professor Clive Wynne, the founding director of the Canine Science Collaboratory, and Future Tense Fellow Kathryn Bowers were joined by a furry friend during their #SocialDistancingSocials discussion on Zoom this week. Wynne and Bowers talked about what we can learn from our pets while we’re stuck at home during social distancing.

COVID-19 could help our children’s children be more resilient

COVID-19 is not the end of the world, and that’s what we should be telling our children, said two ASU lecturers with the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics. ASU Now spoke to Denise Bodman and Bethany Van Vleet about how COVID-19 can be a tool in helping children to become adaptable, resilient and better able to deal with stress in times of crisis.

#PandemicPivot for coffee group collaborators

Rock on! Meteorite fun for the family

The Center for Meteorite Studies has a number of resources for parents with K-12 kids — from hands-on activities to a roundup of video presentations to a list of educator guides. Learn about asteroid mining, crater making and the difference between meteors, asteroids and comets; maybe you’ll spot a meteorite on a family walk around the neighborhood!

Dissecting the source and power of hope in troubled times

The COVID-19 virus has turned our lives upside down and to many it feels like the sky is falling down. ASU Professor Rick Miller said despite what’s occurring now, humans are lucky because we’re the only species who understand the concept of hope. And that’s extremely important.

ASU’s Peoria Forward steps up to help small businesses during crisis

Peoria Forward, an entrepreneurship initiative at ASU, was able to quickly jump into action recently to help small-business owners whose livelihoods were threatened by the COVID-19 crisis. The team helped distribute 200 banners to independent restaurants advertising that they offered pickup or delivery to customers during the shutdown.

Trouble sleeping in the midst of COVID-19?

Megan E. Petrov is an assistant professor with the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation at ASU and specializes in sleep research. She says there are things you can do even in isolation in order to get back on schedule when it comes to a good night’s rest.

Streamed Concerts

More than 700 concerts and recitals are offered in the ASU School of Music annually. Experience them on YouTube!

Events, learning continue — virtually

I was on the @Cronkite_ASU events page and the amount of creative, new events we can join with Zoom have honestly impressed me so much. I love this school. Remote learning has nothing on weakening our community.

Autriya Maneshni, Barrett, The Honors College and Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication student

Failure not an option in transition to virtual simulation

Edson College associate dean and clinical professor Katherine Kenny blogs about the transition to virtual patient simulations for nursing students.

Half a world away, a Sun Devil provides reprieve in face of tumult

Sun Devil Football alum Gus Farwell brightens Barcelona balconies with impromptu “Quarantine Concerts.”

ASU helping first-gen students rely on the resilience that got them to college

First-generation students sometimes come to college with both challenges and coping skills — both of which are coming into play during the current pandemic crisis. ASU has been able to pivot its support for these students to connect them to services and provide virtual peer coaching during the transition to online.

How to thrive in self-quarantine

With stay-at-home guidelines extending through April, an ASU professor shares tips to stay sane in a charmingly illustrated video.

Sun Devil Learning Labs: A crisis response with long-term value

A “high-tech barn raising” lets Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College teacher candidates provide lessons for pre-K–12 students whose schools are closed.

ASU Gammage helps families stay entertained, educated during times of social distancing

At a time of uncertainty, and at least a month more of social distancing, families are looking for ways to stay busy and entertained by revamping everyday activities through digital platforms. Like many programs at Arizona State University, ASU Gammage is focusing on online content to help families cope.

ASU passes milestone of 100,000 Zoom sessions in March

University community members are finding their way to success in the transition to remote learning, teaching and working.

Campus remains open for students

Baritone and ASU sophomore Teddy Ladley warms up with scales in a practice room in the Music Building on the Tempe campus before having an online lesson on Thursday, March 19. Though classes have moved to distance learning in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, students still have access to certain campus facilities — while maintaining safe physical distances.

ASU scholars explore how trying times influence creative minds

Ed Finn, director of the Center for Science and the Imagination, and Torie Bosch, editor of Future Tense, hosted a webinar titled “When Crises Unleash Your Imagination” as part of a new, biweekly series of interactive conversations via Zoom, called Social Distancing Socials.

ASU engineering schools find success in a new digital environment

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Arizona State University transitioned all in-person classes, advising and other services and activities online. Faculty and staff in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU have found engaging and effective ways to carry on these activities remotely.

Project Humanities: Talking, listening and connecting from a distance

COVID-19 has turned our lives upside down. But does that mean we should unlearn what’s important, including how we show our humanity to each other at such a crucial time? For answers, ASU Now turned to Neal A. Lester, the founding director of Project Humanities.

ASU’s Department of Physics goes virtual to showcase undergraduate research

Finding creative ways to keep the learning going while social distancing is no problem for the innovators at Arizona State University. Now, ASU’s Department of Physics has announced that its 17th annual Undergraduate Research Symposium will be held as a virtual event.

College of Health Solutions prof shouts out stellar student

Get your culture on with ASU Art Museum #virtualvisits

Ready to #museumfromhome with the ASU Art Museum? Follow it on social media, where every day staff are sharing #virtualvisits so you don’t miss out on your culture fix. Find your favorite spot on the couch, relax and enjoy!

ASU staffer shares Hayden Library-inspired knitting pattern

Hayden Library, which reopened in January after a $90 million renovation, was scheduled to have its grand opening on March 25. Alas, as with so many events in the age of COVID-19, that celebration has been postponed. But we can still pay tribute from our couches with a knitting pattern inspired by the midcentury panels on the library’s exterior.

ASU for You offers resources to ensure the learning doesn’t stop

ASU for You offers a wide array of content, much of it at no cost, for all learners — from elementary school students to adults — as well as resources for teachers and parents who are navigating teaching and learning at home. The site, launched March 20, has 16 areas of content, with more to come.

Battling burnout and finding your ‘core genius’ at work

Given current social distancing guidelines, workers might feel added pressure in the weeks to come. Fortunately, an ASU expert offers ways to fight the burnout.

Cronkite Sports Now posts first remote sports broadcast

ASU team archives the effect of COVID-19 on everyday lives

A team of ASU historians have created a digital repository of COVID-19-related material to which anyone can contribute. Find out how you can add to this history.

How to combat misinformation when you need the truth the most

Nadya Bliss is the executive director of Arizona State University’s Global Security Initiative. The unit works on researching and cracking security challenges that are global in scale, borderless by nature, interdependent and often have no clear solutions — exactly the type of problem the world is under assault by now. Here’s how to protect yourself.

ASU child care staffers hold virtual storytime with kids who are at home

Christina Carrasquilla’s class finds Zoom smooth and enjoyable

Carrasquilla teaches graphic information technology for the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering — online as well as on-campus classes. “My experience teaching online was very helpful in switching to remote teaching,” she said. “So far, transitioning to remote teaching has been seamless and my students have found it enjoyable.” Read more about Remote Resilience from the University Technology Office.

ASU alumni at Someburros delivering food to first responders

Someburros president and co-owner and proud Sun Devil Tim Vasquez decided that each location of the family-owned chain of fast casual Mexican restaurants would send food to local hospitals and fire stations. Read more on

ASU resources in use across the country

Dean Jeffrey Cohen’s class is loving their Zoom community

Cronkite News still reporting — just from a distance

At ASU’s Cronkite School, deans and IT staff monitor dozens of classes that have moved online, watching as professors and students discussed everything from TV news reporting to best practices for photographing football games. See how the journalism school is keeping the reporting going.

How to act cooperatively in the face of a pandemic

Cooperation is essential during a pandemic. As societies deal with the rise of disease in different ways, a consistent theme is that knowing how diseases spread and evolve can put you in a much better position to evaluate what is or isn’t a real threat. ASU’s resident expert on cooperation, Athena Aktipis, and some of her collaborators talk about how to encourage cooperation during a pandemic.



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