About PI

We design and deliver equitable learning opportunities for all learners, preparing them to be innovative and ethical contributors to the future of education, their communities and a thriving civil society.

Principled Innovation is one of nine design aspirations that guides the ongoing evolution of ASU as a New American University. Practicing Principled Innovation at ASU ensures we place character and values at the center of decisions and actions.

The Principled Innovation Framework originated in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College where it was co-created by faculty, staff, students, and community partners. A generous gift from the Kern Family Foundation in 2017 supported the development of the framework, tools and resources and the college’s efforts to integrate Principled Innovation into the systems of teacher and leader preparation. The Kern Family Foundation continues to support Principled Innovation through another investment to catalyze Principled Innovation across Arizona State University.

Four hands, all different colors.
The work centered around Principled Innovation is supported by a generous gift from the Kern Family Foundation.

Our story

A collage of note sheets.

Year one | Defining character

A retreat was hosted in October 2017 for the core planning team members to work alongside Larry Nucci, Marvin Berkowitz, and members of the Kern Family Foundation to continue discussions about the development of the MLFTC definitions and framework for character education.

Hands writing on large sheets of paper.

Year one | Exploring character through storytelling

Throughout our continuous exploration of character and what it means to us at the Teachers College, the theme of storytelling kept surfacing as a way to understand others’ experiences and situations with navigating the development of character. In May 2018, college faculty and staff were invited to a workshop to learn more about our initiative and “test” the new framework through storytelling.

PI people collaborating

Year one | Rethinking educator preparation

Key faculty and staff members participated in two one-week long discussions in May and June 2018 about rethinking the way educators are prepared using a lens of character education and intrapreneurship. Participants asked themselves questions about what educators of today and the future need to know and intentionally designing our curriculum to meet those student needs.

PI people collaborating with students

Year two | Engaging our students

Character Initiatives’ program coordinators presented to the TEL 101 Peer Leaders about the character work being completed at the college as well as facilitated an activity related to character to begin fostering a deeper understanding of our work and the character education framework.

PI people meeting

Year two | Collaborating to advance character

In September 2018, the Character Initiatives Steering Committee had the opportunity to meet with visitors from Central College who were currently on a planning grant of their own to infuse character into their college. Meetings occurred throughout the day to share insights and discuss the character work between both colleges.

A large meeting

Year two | Context matters

The afternoon events on the first day of a three-day internal conference included a facilitated and interactive panel discussion for about 120 faculty and staff. The panel addressed the importance of context in work around character and made connections between the four character assets and the panel members’ individual work and research.

A large meeting with Dean Basile speaking on stage

Year two | Sharing with partner districts

The following week of June 10-14, 2019, principals and lead teachers from partner school districts around the valley underwent a week long training that was framed around the idea of Principled Innovation. Participants were provided with both the condensed and shortened definition of Principled Innovation. Throughout the week as teams discussed models and what different aspects of the reimagined teacher prep program looked like, the reflection prompts included how the changes within the college reflected principled innovation.

Staff members draw diagram in meeting activity.

Year three | Celebrating in community

The Principled Innovation Steering Committee met in December 2019 to connect and reflect on the celebrations and work of the past year and begin looking forward to intentionally connect the work happening throughout the college using the practices of Principled Innovation. This included facilitated experiences and activities from Ron Beghetto and the MLFTC Design Initiatives team.

Two men having a conversation at a conference.

Year three | Leading towards the future

A collaborative event, Principled Innovation: Leadership for Today, Tomorrow, and the Future, hosted by both the Learning Futures and Principled Innovation teams was held in late February 2020 for educational leaders. Attendees represented ASU faculty and staff as well as aspiring and current leaders from 18 Arizona districts, charter schools, and the Arizona Department of Education.

People smiling and clapping on grid of virtual meeting.

Year three | Navigating uncertainty

Due to COVID-19, the remaining spring sessions for the PI Staff Catalysts shifted and evolved to provide virtual learning sessions. Since this unforeseen challenge presented its own challenges and uncertainty, catalyst design projects adapted, transformed, and remain ongoing within the college. A closing session was held as a culmination of this inaugural experience to provide catalysts the chance to share takeaways, reflections, and feedback. Those details along with much more can be found in the year one report deck.

A man points at a drawing on a large sheet of paper held up by a woman.

Years four and five | Commemorating the work

On October 24-25, 2022, the PI team hosted its Fall Convening at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, AZ. The event was attended by MLFTC staff, faculty and students, ASU partners, Kern Family Foundation partners and external partners focused on character work. This convening commemorated a culmination of six years of work around Principled Innovation to share our success and challenges in addition to looking towards the future.

Our Team

Nice to meet you!

Cristy Guleserian
Cristy Guleserian
Executive Director, Principled Innovation
Ted Cross
Ted Cross
Executive Director, Office of University Affairs
Kaley Bontrager headshot image.
Kaley Bontrager
Project Manager, Principled Innovation Events and Operations
Enrique Borges
Enrique Borges
Program Manager, Principled Innovation Community Learning
Megan K. Hennessy
Megan K. Hennessy
Research Project Manager
Hannah Jennewein headshot image.
Hannah Jennewein
Program Manager, Principled Innovation Professional Learning

Principled Innovation College Catalysts

Bailey Borman
Bailey Borman
Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions
Jared Byrne
Jared Byrne
W. P. Carey School of Business
Medha Dalal
Medha Dalal
Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
Tyler DesRoches
Tyler DesRoches
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Antonio Duran
Antonio Duran
Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
Teresa Foulger
Teresa Foulger
Professor, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
Madeline Gombis
Madeline Gombis
Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
Daniel Gruber
Dan Gruber
W. P. Carey School of Business
Liz Lerman
Liz Lerman
Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
Beza Merid
Beza Merid
College of Global Futures
Kurt Paterson
Kurt Paterson
Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
Justin Stritch
Justin Stritch
Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions
Becky Tsang
Becky Tsang
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Marcos Voss
Marcos Voss
Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

Principled Innovation Program Managers

Dominique Hayes
Dominique Hayes
Dreamscape Learn
Gulnora Isaeva
Gulnora Isaeva
Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
Mina Jafarpoor
Mina Jafarpoor
University College
Lisa Manning
Lisa Manning
Dreamscape Learn
Lisa Molloy
Lisa Molloy
ASU Prep Digital
Jaron Neal
Jaron Neal
Educational Outreach and Student Services
Amy Pate
Amy Pate
Director of Learning Technology, Office of University Provost
Jessica Wu
Jessica Wu
University Design Institute

Connect with us

Email: pi@asu.edu

Phone: (480) 727-1047