ASU alumnus and teacher receive Evolution 2021 education award

23 November 2021

When Herbert Roskind and his wife, Laura, moved to Arizona from Massachusetts in 1997 after his retirement, they were looking for a way to get involved in their new community. The Roskinds therefore began taking courses at Arizona State University for adult learners, where he met professors in a wide range of fields.

Seeing the impact the university was having on its students and the community at large, Roskind knew he wanted to be a part of the ASU family as well.

Sparky and Herb Roskind.
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“Starting here, I predicted ASU was really going to go somewhere,” he said. “We believe ASU has adopted us, and we are happy to be adopted.”

Thanks to the courses he was taking, Roskind met Roger adelson, now professor emeritus at the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies. Adelson suggested that Roskind use her long career experience in the chemicals business to teach a course at ASU.

Shortly after his conversation with Adelson, Roskind received a call from David Jacobson, the founding director of the School of Global Studies, which would eventually merge with the School of Politics and Global Studies. Jacobson thought the potential course would be an ideal match for Global Studies students given Roskind’s global experience.

Although unsure at first, Roskind agreed to work with the faculty to form a program for his Negotiating Global Trade course, now known as Global trade in real time.

He has been teaching his class for over a decade at ASU as a faculty associate. Mindful of cultural differences, the Supply Chain Management course emphasizes negotiations, which Roskind says is the most important skill a global studies student can acquire.

He hopes that through his course, students at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences can gain business knowledge and be inspired by how they could use their degree in their careers.

An English graduate from Dartmouth, Roskind himself was a student in a liberal arts program. After his first year, he changed his chemistry major because he found it too stereotypical.

“I need something that doesn’t have a formula,” Roskind said. “They taught me the basics, and the basics bored me.”

English was a perfect fit for Roskind, who enjoys digging deeper into topics and asking questions to find under-exploited opportunities.

“A good education makes you look at a piece of paper and say to yourself, what’s going on? “

Roskind, having graduated from English, was determined to see the world. He started his career walking down Wall Street and in the Cunard Building.

“I knew they had big ships,” Roskind said. “I literally knocked on doors until I found one very receptive. You couldn’t do that today.

It made its debut in the Associated Metals and Minerals shipping room. He then set up his own chemicals trading business, along with a series of other chemicals businesses, taking him to places around the world like China, Japan and Europe. Roskind eventually launched five companies: HoltraChem Inc., CalChor Inc., Carolina Nitrogen Inc., General Plastics Inc., and Technin Inc.

Problem solving and relationship building have been the keys to her success – skills Roskind aims to teach in her course at ASU.

Learning goes beyond the classroom, according to Roskind, who encourages students to bond with classmates or get involved in sports or clubs. Networking, he says, is a skill of life, not just in business.

“I learn as much from our students or maybe more than they do from me,” Roskind said. “So much is possible and it makes no difference what you study. “

Throughout her teaching, Roskind has forged lasting relationships with a number of students, many of whom have become entrepreneurs themselves. He shared that he was happy that some of his students wanted to continue their mutual education.

Beyond teaching, Roskind and his wife sit on many boards, including School of Politics and Global Studies, the Institute of Human Origins and much more.

He joined the newly formed School of Politics and Global Studies Advisory Board because for Roskind, politics makes a big difference – it takes place on a global scale and is extremely complex.

“What we do in this school is focus them on the problems to be solved and how they are going to be solved,” Roskind said. “This is the reason why this school is so important.”

Whether through relationships, service, education, or financial giving, Roskind makes an impact on ASU students and alumni.

“Values ​​are the way you live your life,” said Roskind. “So many people identify with their profession. It should, in my opinion, be identified with values. This is who you really are.


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