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ASU named most innovative university seven years running

The number seven is often associated with good fortune, but luck had nothing to do with ASU’s latest accomplishment: For the seventh year in a row, the university is ranked No. 1 in innovation by U.S. News & World Report, a feat borne of a long history of creative reimagining — along with a healthy dose of tenacity and resilience through a period filled with obstacles and uncertainty. “This past year and a half has been a time of great challenges. It has tested our creativity, our resilience and our humanity," ASU President Michael Crow said. “Through it all, the university community persevered and innovated in order to continue to be of service. As we have done and will continue to do, we pulled together in novel ways to keep our mission of access, excellence and impact moving forward. This recognition reflects that determination, which is emblematic of the Sun...

ASU ranks No. 1 in Sierra Club's 'coolest schools'

Arizona State University ranked No. 1 on Sierra magazine's 15th annual "coolest schools" competitive ranking of the most environmentally friendly colleges and universities in North America. This marks the first time the university attained this honor out of a record 328 institutions, rising from No. 4 previously, thanks to its comprehensive approach to sustainability that spans academia, campus operations, student life and endowment investments. This is the fifth year ASU has scored in the top 20 of the Sierra Club's national publication. "Sustainability at ASU is an enterprisewide effort," said Morgan Olsen , ASU executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer "It's not just recycling and energy conservation. It's integrating sustainability in everything we do: academic offerings, the research we conduct, the way we operate campus, student experiences, investments we make with our endowment and even the food we serve." ASU has been a leader in sustainability since 2006...

Downtown Phoenix campus turns 15

It was once a place where people cleared out after work, where most restaurants closed by 3 p.m., where only the occasional sports game or First Fridays art walk drew a younger crowd. Now Arizona State University students live and learn on the Downtown Phoenix campus, bringing an energy and presence that have helped inject new life into the area. It’s easy to forget that the Downtown Phoenix campus’ vibrant collection of new and renovated buildings, residence halls, entrepreneurship spaces and streetscapes were once vacant acreage, parking lots and neglected commercial space. Now it’s a place where students study health and nursing, journalism, public service and law; gather in open spaces for social events; and do outreach with various local communities. The campus marks its 15th anniversary this school year. “The ASU Downtown Phoenix campus represents the best of what is possible when a city joins forces with an innovative...

ASU ranked in top 8% of universities worldwide

Times Higher Education rankings released today place Arizona State University in the top 8% of worldwide universities, and among the top 50 in the United States. ASU tied for No. 132 out of 1,662 institutions across the globe, a jump from its 2020 ranking of No. 184 worldwide out of 1,527. The university also ranks in the top 25% of U.S. higher education institutions, coming in at No. 45 out of 183, ahead of Rice University, the University of Arizona, Northeastern University and the University of Notre Dame. “Arizona State University has sharpened its focus and used its creativity and resources to meet the challenges of the past year in a way that has advanced both our standards of excellence and our commitment to student access and success,” ASU President Michael Crow said. “The resiliency that has driven our progress will continue to provide the foundation for the way we...

APS to ASU: Thanks for keeping us going in early days of pandemic

When the pandemic hit last year, Arizona Public Service had no option other than to keep going. Arizona State University found a way to help make that happen. This week, the state’s largest utility thanked the state’s largest university with its inaugural APS Arizona Partner Award. Jeff Guldner, CEO of Pinnacle West Capital Corporation, APS’s parent corporation, pointed out how urgent their need was. They operate a nuclear plant, high-voltage transmission lines, an extensive distribution system that in a lot of cases is overhead, not underground, and very big, dangerous power plants. “This is an inherently risky business, and we do a tremendous job of managing that risk,” Guldner said. “When we had the opportunity last year to address a critical need around COVID, our teams stepped up together to quickly develop a COVID testing process that we were able to deploy in the first week of April to begin...

ASU to Congress: Help us win globally in tech

Climate, cotton, cattle, citrus and copper. Arizona’s five Cs have historically been the backbone of the state’s economy. That’s not going to cut it in the 21st century. For the Grand Canyon State to truly thrive, it will need to become the center of advanced microelectronics. That was the theme of discussion at the annual Congressional Conference on Aug. 20 at Arizona State University, themed “Growing Arizona’s Technology Future.” The event featured panels and attendees that included members of Congress, mayors and industry experts. University President Michael Crow opened the daylong event with a call to arms. “The economy of the future is going to be more computationally driven at every level than anyone can even imagine,” Crow said. “Everything is going to be moving into a hyper computational mode: autonomous vehicles, every system that you can imagine, not 12 billion transistors on the chip that's in your iPhone but...

Record number of students ready to launch fall 2021

Yoselin Flor Aguilar traveled 10 minutes from her home to start her journey at Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus this week. Sophomore Arya Lukka traveled nearly 1,500 miles from Seattle to finally take in-person classes on the Tempe campus. While the travel time is very different for the two students, their excitement is the same. They are among a record number of on-campus Sun Devils at ASU for the fall 2021 semester. And Aguilar is part of the largest class of first-year, on-campus students ever at ASU — more than 14,350, a 12% increase (and some 1,500 students) over fall 2020. Overall university enrollment will be at more than 134,500 undergraduate and graduate students when fall semester classes begin this Thursday, an increase of more than 7,000 students from fall 2020. ASU’s record total enrollment looks like this: Over 77,000 students are taking classes in person across ASU’s campuses...

School of Molecular Sciences announces Tijana Rajh as new director

Tijana Rajh has been announced as the new director of Arizona State University's School of Molecular Sciences. She comes to ASU from a 25-year career at Argonne National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary science and engineering research center of the U.S. Department of Energy. Energy research at Argonne, including artificial photosynthesis and semiconductors, has been a passion for Rajh, who is an Argonne Distinguished Fellow and former deputy division director. Rajh grew up in the former country of Yugoslavia, and she attended the University of Belgrade. Her professors, who came from around the world, instilled in her an interdisciplinary and multifaceted approach to team building and problem-solving. “In addition to teaching us facts and operability,” Rajh said, “our professors taught us how to think, extract important details of a problem, and come up with solutions. Importantly, they taught us that in order to truly understand a problem, you need to not only...

How the ASU Polytechnic campus' partnerships lift all boats

You’re an engineer who has just moved to southeast Mesa, maybe to work at the new $20 billion Intel plants or maybe one of the three Northrop Grumman plants in the East Valley. Good school districts for your kids, nice house for your family. And your commute sure beats that daily nightmare you had in California. Your partner gets their nails done by a woman who just opened her own salon. That cosmetologist graduated from a Mesa high school and learned the trade at the East Valley Institute of Technology. After a few years, she decided she wanted to own her own business, so she earned a business degree at Arizona State University. Both the cosmetologist and the engineer own pools, which need maintenance. They use the same pool technician, who buys parts and supplies from a store owned by another ASU grad with a business degree. That alum is...

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