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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...

2 from ASU elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Two members of the Arizona State University community are named in the new membership rolls of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences announced on April 22. ASU President Michael Crow and Regents Professor of English Ayanna Thompson are among those newly elected to the prestigious academy, one of the oldest learned societies in the United States. Others elected this year include former Starbucks CEO Howard D. Schultz, Oprah Winfrey, former U.S. Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis, journalist Maria Hinojosa, activist Angela Y. Davis and neurosurgeon and medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta. Members are recognized for their outstanding achievements in academia, the arts, business, government and public affairs. Their charge is to conduct policy studies and nonpartisan public policy advocacy. The academy was founded in 1780 and included George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in its first membership cohort. Over 1,300 nominations are considered each year; in 2020, around 270 members...

The best time to expand online education? Right now

Just do it. That was Arizona State University President Michael Crow’s message to 13 university presidents from around the world who are seeking to put their education online. “The moment is here,” Crow said. “The technology is viable. The partners are here. The outcomes are measurable. It’s time to plug one’s nose and jump into the water. The only way to do this stuff is to do it. If you sit around in the normal academic world and discuss it, it will take years.” Crow’s interview was part of the launch of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program e-Learning Initiative, which aims to recreate the online learning accomplished at ASU overseas. “Our degrees for online students don’t say online,” Crow said. “There’s no difference. … We will graduate 12,000 students this (fiscal) year from our online activities.” ASU offers more than 200 degrees online, from anthropology to user experience. “I wish...

Leading-edge tech company plants flag at ASU Polytechnic campus

An advanced technology lab has moved its headquarters to the Innovation Zone at Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus in Mesa. MECHnano, a manufacturer of advanced chemistry and materials that improve the performance of 3D-printing ingredients, is the first company to move to the district, one of seven ASU Innovation Zones across the Valley. MECHnano CEO Steve Lowder said the move was locked in by the opportunity to work closely with students and the university. “When I saw the plans for the innovation district I became extremely excited,” Lowder said. “It's something that I've thought about for a long time with respect to industry and education working together. … One of my startups was based out of the U.K. We were right there with universities in the U.K. … I've seen the benefits that come out of it and that's what we were looking for.” MECHnano’s co-founder and chairman Steve Lowder...

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