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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...

The Global Education Office: Expanding opportunities for students beyond study abroad

With an ever-globalizing world, the realm of study abroad has shifted. Students can gain a global perspective beyond a typical semester in the classroom of a foreign country. In order to better reflect these expanding opportunities for students, the former ASU Study Abroad Office changed its name to the Global Education Office, or ASU GEO, on July 1. This new name reflects the variety of program options — internships, service learning, online global learning and domestic programs as well as traditional study abroad programs — students can participate in through the Global Education Office. Noah Rost , the director of the Global Education Office, explained the difference between a global education and study abroad. “Study abroad is a narrower term that suggests a traditional kind of experience where students are traveling overseas and taking courses with students from another university,” Rost said. “Global education encompasses a much broader and richer...

Sweet Sun Devil success

Overnight success doesn’t happen overnight. But it sure helps if you have a degree from Arizona State University. The university on June 17 celebrated grads who have gone out in the world and crushed it, entrepreneurially speaking. They call them the Sun Devil 100 . This year, the ASU Alumni Association honored 132 alumni representing 146 degrees — the largest cohort ever. The top spot went to Anthony Sarandrea, who graduated in 2013 with a business management degree. Sarandrea is the president, managing partner, owner, founder and CEO of Pocket Your Dollars , a customer-centric company targeting debt-ridden and struggling Americans with debt relief solutions, credit score fixes, help with navigating insurance options and a host of other money-saving tips. Pocket Your Dollars has had 1,650% growth over the past three years. Sarandrea started in sales, including door-to-door and cold calling. His advice for future entrepreneurs? Be “addicted to failure...

4 exciting new things coming to the Polytechnic campus this fall

Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus approaches its 25th birthday this fall, celebrating a quarter of a century of making, doing, cooperating and creating. Sometimes called the maker campus, it’s a hive of robots, student pilots, souped-up vehicles, 3D printers, gardeners and algae farmers. Books from the ASU Library are stored there in a chilly "Raiders of the Lost Ark" warehouse, along with archives of state history that include photos you’ll never see in Arizona Highways. At the Polytechnic campus, the future is a way of life and learning. In that spirit, here’s a look at four new things coming to the campus. 1. Fulton Schools expansion A new school with a new building is on the horizon for the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. The new School of Manufacturing Systems and Networks will focus on the future of work, industry 4.0, human-machine teaming and systems engineering. Classes are set...

ASU moves up nearly 30 spots in QS World University Rankings’ list of top US institutions

QS World University Rankings has released its list of more than 300 of the top universities in the United States, with Arizona State University moving up nearly 30 spots to No. 62 from last year’s position at No. 91. ASU also ranked No. 1 in the state, ahead of both Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona. QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) is a leading provider of services, analytics and insight to the global higher education sector. The QS World University Rankings portfolio launched in 2004 and has since grown to become one of the world’s most popular sources of comparative data about university performance. This is the second year for its U.S.-focused rankings, which are based on a methodology that looks at four key indicators: research, learning experience, employability, and diversity and internationalization. “On behalf of the academic enterprise at ASU, I am proud of our students and faculty, whose...

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