Forbes names ASU one of Best Large Employers in US

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Originally published on ASUNews

February 15, 2023

On Feb. 15, Forbes listed Arizona State University as one of America’s Best Large Employers for 2023.

In partnership with Statista, a global provider of rankings and large-scale polling, Forbes surveyed approximately 45,000 U.S. employees at companies with more than 1,000 workers.

Five hundred U.S. employers across 25 industry sectors were recognized and evaluated based on respondents’ willingness to recommend their employer to friends and family.

Michael G. Latsko, ASU’s vice president and chief human resources officer, said the Best Large Employer title reinforces ASU’s reputation as a company that provides excellent employment opportunities on a national level.

“This honor, especially because it results from employee feedback, is a meaningful testament to ASU’s position as a national destination for top talent,” Latsko said.

“At ASU, we are focused on nurturing our unique, inclusive culture of belonging where employees feel valued, can thrive in their careers and support genuine societal impact. Our culture and people make ASU one of the best places to work in higher education and the country.”

ASU was also named one of America’s Best Employers By State for 2022 by Forbes in August.

Forbes and Statista collected direct recommendations from employees as well as indirect recommendations from workers in the industry. Since the employee experience can vary greatly depending on an organization’s size and the individual worker, the final list ranks the 500 large employers that received the most recommendations. Beginning in 2015 with America’s Best Employers, Forbes and Statista have since expanded the coverage to include those employers considered best for diversity, women and new graduates.

Black History Month Murals Serve to Inspire Students

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Originally published on Author Jade Cunninham

Local school brings inspiration to students through art during Black History Month

PHOENIX — Walk down the halls at ASU Preparatory Academy Phoenix Downtown Campus, and you will see multiple, life-sized faces including Barack Obama, Maya Angelou and Kobe Bryant. 

The murals are part of the school’s Black History Month celebration, where all month long students can look at the images and learn about who’s being shown and why.

For students like Ajok Ajak, it’s neat to see.

“A lot of times when people think of Black History Month they’re saying good job to Black people and what they’ve done,” she said. “But a lot of times people don’t think about how they were pioneers. There were people risking their lives doing so many things so that we now can live in a world where we’re a lot more accepted.”

The school’s principal, Junius Yates, said they are meant to inspire students.

“We just kind of picked legendary figures if you will,” Yates said. “The point of the mural is to have a motivational, inspirational type pictures in the hallways that kids walk past every day. We just kind of walk past them and gaze up at them and take a moment to think about who that individual is and what their contribution to society is/was.”

The portraits, with bright, yellow backgrounds take up entire hallways. They catch the eyes of anyone who walks by them, including senior, Samuel Apodaca. He said the image that speaks the most to him is the one of Kobe Bryant.

“I liked his effort he put into his craft,” he said. “I feel like he had a lot of passion for that and I feel like he was a good example of what people should have in their career. I hope to have that same passion for something in my future.”

“I just really have a passion for people who pursue things they love,” said Ajak.

Ajak is also a senior at the school. She said she was surprised when she saw the murals go up and appreciates the school honoring these individuals and this month.

“Kids can see these and say, ‘Oh! It doesn’t matter what my background is, what my skin is, if these diverse people can do it so can I,” she said. “So I think they’re trying to show all opportunities are available to everyone.”

Ajak spoke with 12News while standing in front of a large portrait of poet and activist, Amanda Gorman. Ajak said she always feels inspired when she walks by and sees this particular picture.

“I can relate to her because she’s an African American and I’m an African American,” she said. “Amanda Gorman, you know, youngest inaugural poet in the history of the United States that’s a really big title to have. And to think that a woman like her who shares the same skin as me, we probably come from different backgrounds but we can relate in certain things. The fact she’s able to achieve something of this length it’s just really inspiring.”

The pictures also show Simone Biles, Nelson Mandela, Ketanji Brown Jackson and Dr. Mae Jemison. All people who’ve achieved big dreams, broken barriers and have made an impact on this world.

“Going to college is next,” said Apodaca. “I’m going to NAU for Mechanical Engineering so I hope to do something as great as one of them.”

Yates said it’s the first time the school has done this project and plans to continue it for years to come so students can be reminded of the people before them, and who they can grow up to be.

“I’m really inspired by it,” Ajak said. “I was really happy to see they weren’t just showing the regular faces that people can know by name but showing people who come from all different walks of life and showing how they contributed to their field and what it is they’re passionate about.”

ASU Prep Academy South Phoenix Celebrates Día De Los Muertos with Community

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In celebration of Día De Los Muertos, ASU Prep South Phoenix hosted a free community-wide event on November 4.

Día De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a time to gather to remember and celebrate the lives of family and friends who have passed on. It is believed that on this day the souls of the dead awaken and return to the living to reconnect with their loved ones for a celebration.

ASU Prep South Phoenix invited families to celebrate the Day of the Dead holiday with them at the school’s 7-12 campus. Guests enjoyed interactive sugar skull and paper flower arts and craft stations, face painting, authentic Mexican food, a live Mariachi band, folklorico dancers, as well as guided tours of the campus. Students also showcased their projects and were excited to see how the community came together.

For more information on ASU Prep and the communities it serves, visit

Wanted: Your Old Uniforms

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Have you outgrown your clothes and need more room in your closet? Consider donating your old uniform polos, pants, and skirts to our loaner uniform closet. Please contact a member of the health office team at 602-496-3105 to learn more. 

ASU Preparatory Academy South Phoenix Art Inspires Students

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ASU Preparatory Academy South Phoenix students returned from fall break to find some unexpected inspiration on campus—new artistic murals of diverse and notable figures. The murals include Maya Angelou, Dolores Huerta, Frida Kahlo, Nelson Mandela, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Principal Patrick Gibbs said they installed the beautiful art celebrating different cultures because, “we really wanted to build something positive, uplifting, and something the students can relate to.”

The 220 students at the South Phoenix high school campus come from various backgrounds as well. The murals and messages provide a way to express the beauty and uniqueness of their culture.  

Mahkaylah Hopkins, student body president, said: “I honestly think that the murals are going to do a great job with promoting diversity and letting people know it’s okay to be different, no matter who you are, your background, or where you come from.”

Watch Fox 10 News Report LINK

Welcome Michael Hernandez

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7-12 Principal at ASU Prep Phoenix 

ASU Preparatory Academy is pleased to welcome Michael Hernandez to the team. Hernandez began his career in the United States Marine Corps, where he served with focus and purpose for nine years. While his educational journey did not start until 2004, Hernandez found a similar mission, finding individual purpose in a collective cause. He is passionate about working together to ensure a safe, challenging, and innovative learning experience.

“I have been fortunate to have had so many mentors and role models along the way,” said Hernandez. As Principal, he stands ready to maintain the high standards of student safety and conduct, and will assume responsibility for the management and operation of the school.

Hernandez is currently working to complete his PhD with the University of Arizona.

In his spare time away from work and school, he enjoys spending time with his two daughters. Swimming, watching movies, being creative, laughing, and going on road trips are among their favorite pastimes.   

Principal Michael Hernandez can be reached at: