ASU Alumni Association honors Grimm and other world-changing innovators

Feb. 17, 2010/Tempe, Ariz.- The Arizona State University Alumni Association will honor faculty members and alumni involved in solving challenges with world-changing consequences.

Nancy Grim

School of Sustainability affiliated faculty member Nancy Grimm, who is principal investigator and co-director of the multi-million dollar Central Arizona–Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research project (CAP LTER), will receive a Faculty Achievement Award for Research.

The Founders' Day Awards Dinner is set for 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 24 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, 2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix. The award ceremony has been a signature event for the university for decades, and it honors individuals who exemplify the spirit of the founders of the Territorial Normal School of Arizona, ASU’s predecessor institution, who received their charter from the Thirteenth Territorial Legislature on March 7, 1885.

"We will continue our partnership with the ASU Foundation at the 2010 Founders' Day festivities related to the Challenges Project at ASU," said Christine K. Wilkinson, ASU Alumni Association president. "The faculty, staff, alumni and ASU supporters we will be honoring are immersed in resolving the most pressing issues of our time—sustainability, education, economic security, and much more."

The following individuals will be honored at the Founders’ Day event.

Faculty Achievement Awards

Faculty Achievement Research Award

Honoree: Nancy Grimm '80 M.S., '85 Ph.D., professor, School of Life Sciences, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Grimm is being honored for her contributions to the emerging field of urban ecology, which brings together earth, life and social sciences to study human-dominated ecosystems. With her research collaborators, Grimm has sought to establish a conceptual basis for including human choice and action in theories of urban ecosystem dynamics.

Grimm was instrumental in the development of the Central Arizona–Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research (CAP LTER) program at ASU, which has been the nexus for more than 290 research projects over the past decade.

Faculty Achievement Service Award

Honoree: Scott Ridley, assistant dean and associate professor, Office of Innovation and Partnerships, College of Teacher Education & Leadership

Ridley is being honored for his efforts to prepare new teachers and principals and support existing educators, particularly in high-poverty urban and rural school districts. He is the principal investigator and project manager for a five-year, $33.8 million Teacher Quality Partnership grant.

Faculty Achievement Teaching Award

Honoree: Miles Orchinik, associate professor, School of Life Sciences, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Orchinik is being honored for his work teaching undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Life Sciences. An authority in the field of stress research, his research has helped promote an integrated understanding of how stress alters brain function.

Staff Achievement Award

Honoree: Gerald Snyder '76 M.B.A., Senior Advisor

Snyder is being honored for his work as the senior associate vice president for finance and the university's deputy treasurer during a period of unprecedented growth for the university. Units under his supervision have received an ASU Presidential Citation and the Governor's Recognition Award for superior performance. Snyder retired from university employment in December and currently is serving ASU as a senior advisor.

James W. Creasman Award of Excellence

About the award: The Creasman award is presented to an individual or group whose contributions to the Alumni Association, the university, and the community illustrate qualities exemplified by James W. Creasman, a key contributor to the success of the ASU Alumni Association over his six decades of service to Arizona State.

Honoree: Craig Weatherup '67 B.S., former CEO/chairman, PepsiCo

Craig Weatherup is being honored for his leadership and his philanthropic service to Arizona State University.
Weatherup spent 24 years in leadership positions with PepsiCo, Inc., including four years as the company's CEO and chairman of the board. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Federated Department Stores, Starbucks Coffee Company and The Arizona Nature Conservancy.

Weatherup has contributed to the university in many capacities. He served for five years as the chairman of the board of directors for the ASU Foundation, and stepped into the role of interim president/CEO of the foundation to ensure continuity of leadership.

His philanthropic focus at ASU has included revitalizing the university's athletic infrastructure. He and his wife Connie led the Sun Devil Legacy Campaign and provided a $5 million lead gift to create the Weatherup Center, a state-of-the-art indoor practice facility and training center for the men's and women's basketball teams.

Philanthropist of the Year

About the award: Making its debut at the 2010 Founders' Day celebration, the ASU Foundation's Philanthropist of the Year Award gives the foundation and the university the opportunity to thank community-minded citizens who make a difference by providing support to community organizations and institutions. Those recognized by this prestigious honor are shining examples of how individuals can have a major impact on people's lives and on social issues.

Honorees: Gregory and Emma Melikian

Gregory and Emma Melikian are Phoenix civic leaders whose commitment to urban development, historic preservation, culture and the arts has made a profound impact upon the quality of life in Arizona. They represent the values of civic engagement and excellence that rest at the heart of the New American University.

The Melikians moved to Phoenix during a period of unprecedented development for the metro area. Mr. Melikian, who worked for the commercial real estate firm Great Western Realty, was integral to the restoration of more than a dozen historic properties in the state during the 1960s, including the landmark Hotel San Carlos in downtown Phoenix.

The couple has four children—Robert, Richard, James, and Ramona—all of whom attended Arizona State University. Beginning in the 1970s, the Melikian family began a pattern of support for ASU that includes endowment of the Melikian Center and its Critical Languages Institute, one of the nation's leading international research and training centers for regional study of Russia, Eurasia and Eastern Europe.

Alumni Achievement Award

Honoree: His Excellency Sultan Saeed Nasser Al Mansoori '88 B.S.E.

Currently Minister of Economy for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), H.E. Al Mansoori is being honored for his work advancing Arizona State University's mission and goals at the highest levels.
H.E. Al Mansoori was appointed to the UAE's federal government in 2004, and served as the Minister of Development for Government Sector and as Minister of

Communications before assuming his present position in 2008. Prior to his work for the federal government, H.E. Al Mansoori was employed for many years in the fields of commerce and banking in the Emirate of Dubai. He is chairman and founder of the Al Mansoori Group of Companies.

Since graduating from ASU in 1988 with a degree in industrial engineering and management systems, H.E. Al Mansoori has pursued a number of initiatives with ASU, including the ASU SkySong Innovation Alliance, the Global Decision Network and the Education Technology Platform project.

Young Alumni Achievement Award

Honoree: Cody Friesen '00 B.S.E., associate professor, School of Mechanical, Aerospace, Chemical and Materials Engineering, and co-founder, Fluidic Energy

Friesen—alumnus, faculty member and entrepreneur—is rapidly making his mark in the world of energy research. Friesen recently was selected to receive a $5.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to explore advances in battery technology. His research centers on the development of ultra-high-energy metal-air batteries that use advanced ionic fluids. He is the co-founder of a company, Fluidic Energy, dedicated to developing commercial applications based on this research.