Message from the Dean

The Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions embodies a commitment to service, dedication to research and learning that addresses social problems, and deep engagement in the community that allows us to be a part of the solution.

Jonathan Koppell
Whether the focus is on public safety, social welfare, public administration or community development, the diverse academic programs and research initiatives of the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions offer a multifaceted approach to solving society’s shared challenges. Through our four schools and multiple centers, we help build stronger, more resilient, more dynamic communities.

To do so, we discover and implement innovative solutions. The Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center’s keepin’ it REAL program, a culturally grounded drug prevention program, has proven so effective in reducing drug use it has been adopted across the U.S., Mexico and South America. The Lodestar Center’s American Express Leadership Academy and Public Allies Arizona programs train nonprofit leaders working in sectors that affect every aspect of our lives. The annual financial markets conference organized by the School of Public Affairs gives local government officials cutting-edge tools to work effectively in partnership with the private sector to invest in infrastructure and build stronger municipalities.

And, as a result, our faculty members are sought out for their insight. In one of the top news stories this year, Michael White, from the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, has emerged as a leading national expert on the use of police uniform-mounted video cameras. The School of Social Work's Dominique Roe-Sepowitz is leading several collaborations aimed at preventing human trafficking in Arizona and beyond. Similarly, Dave White from the School of Community Resources and Development is prompting evidence-based discussions on water policy and the challenges facing Arizona and the Southwest. These will support our new Kyl Center on Water Policy in the Morrison Institute.

Generations of our graduates embody the ideals of public service through their work in Arizona’s communities as city managers, victims’ advocates, social entrepreneurs, and on and on. The public servants emerging from the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions represent the full diversity of our state. We are home to ASU’s highest percentages of underrepresented minority students, first-generation college students, transfer students and veterans. Many of our students will tell you that they chose public service because they have personally benefitted from the work of those that came before them; now they see problems and want to be a part of the solution.

Never has there been a greater need for public service leaders not only prepared but passionate about effecting change in our communities. The Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions is empowering our students, staff and faculty to be agents of change today. I invite you to join us in this important work.

Jonathan Koppell
Dean, Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions