June 9, 2021
In other news, it was our pleasure to share this year's ASU EPICS Community Catalyst Award with our friends at the Town of Clarkdale. Over the years, the Project Cities team has arranged several projects with the innovative students in ASU EPICS, a program, of the Ira A Fulton Schools of Engineering. This particular project was a multi-team, multi-semester project assessing needs and strategies to help the Town of Clarkdale upgrade their digital infrastructure. The teams addressed some acute needs for better internet service for the community's students, as well as planning for longer-term needs, developing plans to incorporate strong public wifi and smart PA systems into planned park upgrades.
Several groups and students were recognized in this year's EPICS Generator Awards. Check out the full article at: https://fullcircle.asu.edu/students/epics-generator-awards-honor-projects-serving-global-communities/
And here's an excerpt from the article about the Smart Towns projects with Clarkdale:
Recognizing EPICS community involvement
In addition to recognizing students who are making an impact in communities around the world, the EPICS Generator Awards also acknowledge community partners and mentors who help the students reach their goals.
The Community Catalyst Award is given to a community partner that displays an exceptional level of involvement and goes above and beyond to support their EPICS project and student team. The community partners are the reason EPICS students become passionate about their projects as they are the principal customers of the program.
This year the award was given to ASU Project Cities, a team that over the last two years has worked with ASU students on five different EPICS projects. The award is shared by Steven Russell, program manager of Project Cities, and Tracie Hlavinka, town manager of Clarkdale, Arizona.
Russell collaborates with ASU faculty working with EPICS programs and provides numerous resources. The student teams that work with Project Cities ultimately get their project written up in an ASU Project Cities report that is published and presented to town managers, city managers and city leaders throughout the state for consideration for implementation.
Hlavinka and her staff meet with the students on Clarkdale teams on a regular basis.
“One of the Project Cities teams has researched and analyzed the lack of broadband (internet access) in Clarkdale,” said Hlavinka. “Because of their work, we are able to give good reliable information to our Regional Broadband Action team to apply for state and federal funding for broadband infrastructure.”
One of the biggest accomplishments that the ASU students have had so far in Clarkdale is their work in the downtown business district.
“The Project Cities students have drafted design standards for the downtown area of Clarkdale,” said Hlavinka. “These standards were developed after the ASU students held a thorough public-input meeting. The document was so well written that the design standards will be included in the town of Clarkdale’s upcoming 2022 general plan. The town of Clarkdale values the work and time that each of the facilitators, faculty members and students contribute to the program and the success of Clarkdale.”