Letter from the Director: Uncertain times leading to uncertainty for students

In these unprecedented times, Arizona State University’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning has remained steady in our service to our students. Our classes have seamlessly moved online. Our advisors are readily available to talk students through their questions. Our faculty remain committed to serving our students as they find new ways to connect and educate, including having students use their skills to map critical medical facilities across the globe and adapting coursework to allow students to apply their growing geographic knowledge to study the pandemic from a spatial perspective by tracking patterns of spread. Read more about our current efforts.

Unfortunately, several aspects of our student experience have become out of our control. One such critical component is our internship program.

In the classroom, we work to build theory, knowledge and a growing skill set for our students to prepare them to become world-class geographers and urban planners. With our disciplines being dependent upon the real world, those real-world experiences are critical to our students putting theory into practice. Because internships are vital to the learning experience for students, our school has worked diligently over the years to create relationships with private, nonprofit and government agencies so that our students can participate in meaningful internship opportunities. 

Due to the current health crisis, many employers have moved operations remotely and others have ceased operations or hiring entirely ⁠— all of which has created an uncertain reality for our students.

While we understand the need for the changes being made by our partners, we also understand the need our students have for meaningful internship experiences and funding opportunities.

To meet the needs of our students, we are asking for your support of emergency funding to allow us to create new internship opportunities. We are looking to build these opportunities both within our school and university, as well as with community organizations who may not normally have the capacity to fund internships but are in need of the help our students can provide.

Your support is critical in ensuring our students are able to continue to build their skills in a meaningful fashion.

Donate Now


Trisalyn Nelson
Foundation Professor and Director
School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning
Arizona State University

Your gift may be considered a charitable contribution. Please consult your tax advisor regarding the deductibility of charitable contributions. Gifts in support of ASU are subject to foundation policies and fees. All funds will be deposited with the ASU Foundation for A New American University, a non-profit organization that exists to support Arizona State University (ASU).