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7 reasons ASU is the 'Entrepreneurial University'

ASU's university-wide support of entrepreneurship honored by symposium.
At ASU, innovative thinking stretching across all disciplines and departments.
June 14, 2016

Deshpande Symposium award honors university's innovation-fostering culture

Editor's note: This story is being highlighted in ASU Now's year in review. To read more top stories from 2016, click here.

Arizona State University’s entrepreneurial spirit was honored Tuesday night at the annual Deshpande Symposium for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education.

At the symposium in Lowell, Massachusetts, ASU representative Ji Mi Choi, associate vice president of strategic partnerships and programs, was presented with the Entrepreneurial University Award, a recognition of ASU’s support of entrepreneurial programs and curriculum across the institution, from student startups to maker spaces to projects aimed at having an immediate impact on the world.

“It was the opinion of the Awards Committee that Arizona State University best exemplified a strong overall commitment to foster entrepreneurship across an institution by building both innovative educational courses and programs as well as student engagement at many levels,” wrote Raj Melville, executive director of the Deshpande Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to advancing entrepreneurship and innovation as catalysts for social change.

Here’s a look at seven activities that contributed to ASU’s newest honor:

A culture of startup support

This newest accolade builds ASU’s credibility as a forward-thinking institution that values new ideas: In 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked ASU as the “Most Innovative School,” ahead of Stanford, MIT, Duke, Harvard and Cornell.

In fiscal year 2015, ASU faculty were issued 62 U.S. patents, launched 12 new companies and submitted 270 invention disclosures to Arizona Technology Enterprises, which attracted more than $40 million in new external funding. ASU’s venture development activities have led to the formation and assistance of more than 80 companies; in Arizona, four of these companies alone represent more than 350 jobs created.

Recently launched ASU student-led startups have won numerous external and intercollegiate competitions. They include Let's Chat, a language-learning app; Neolight, a medical-device solution for babies with jaundice; and Epifinder, a tool that enables faster diagnosis and treatment for epileptic patients.

For Elizabeth Oviedo, a 2016 graduate of ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business’ MBA program, the recognitions reflect reality. She said that ASU is unparalleled in its support for student entrepreneurs because of the accessibility of its faculty and staff and their willingness to help student startups regardless of what department they were based in.

“As a New American University, ASU’s design aspirations guide its growth and transformation. Among these principles is a deep commitment to entrepreneurship in all forms,” said ASU Knowledge Enterprise Development Executive Vice President Sethuraman Panchanathan. “That means more than a class or a program: it is a mind-set woven into the university’s culture. Entrepreneurship radiates from the heart of ASU’s mission to produce innovations of the future and the master learners who will lead us there.”

The presenting of the Deshpande Symposium award.

Ji Mi Choi, associate vice president of strategic partnerships and programs, accepts ASU’s Outstanding Achievement as an Entrepreneurial University Award from Jack Wilson (left), president emeritus of the UMass system and UMass Lowell distinguished professor of higher education, emerging technologies and innovation, and entrepreneur Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande on Tuesday at the Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education in Lowell, Massachusetts. Photo by Tory Germann for UMass Lowell

Top photo: A journalism student poses for a portrait using the telepresence robot during Innovation Day at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication on Jan. 20. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now

Fulton engineering students gain hands-on experience in Ford college programs

Automaker's 'premier' ranking of ASU places it among top schools for recruitment for summer internship, graduate programs

June 15, 2016

Arizona State University was named a premier school this week by Ford Motor Company, which actively recruits from its top schools for its summer internship and Ford College Graduate (FCG) programs.

Ford specifically highlighted ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and W. P. Carey School of Business. Fulton Schools' Troy Bruh at Ford Motor Company for a summer Internship. Troy Buhr, an ASU mechanical engineering senior, is one of three Fulton Schools students participating in the Ford Motor Company Internship Program this summer. Photo courtesy of Troy Buhr Download Full Image

“One of the things that makes Fulton Schools such an attractive recruitment source is that students are so active in automotive engineering organizations,” said Ford electrical integration manager Armando C. Chacon, who received his Master of Science in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from ASU and who is part of the designated recruiting team for the university.

“Involvement with programs like Formula SAE gives students opportunities to work in teams and develop problem-solving and leadership skills. ASU’s programs are among the best in terms of recruitment.”

The new designation continues a tradition of Sun Devils being part of Ford’s internship and graduate programs.

Ford Summer Internship Program

The Ford Summer Internship Program provides students with hands-on, career-specific experience during summer break. Students are engaged in networking and educational activities throughout their internship to gain exposure to senior-level management.

Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering has three participants in Ford’s Summer Internship Program — Troy Buhr and Samuel Mokdad, who both will be mechanical engineering seniors this fall, and Michael Thompson, a mechanical engineering doctoral student spending his fourth consecutive summer at Ford operations in Dearborn, Michigan. Three students from ASU's W. P. Carey School of Business programs also are interning at Ford this summer.

Ford College Graduate Program

During the first several years of employment at Ford, FCG participants are rotated through a variety of job assignments designed to strengthen skills and provide rapid exposure to a range of departments. Upon completion of the program, a FCG participant “graduates” and is placed within his or her home department to continue building a career at Ford.

Nicolas Corrales, an ASU 2014 Distinguished Graduate in mechanical engineering who earned his mechanical engineering master’s last year, joined the Ford team in September. He started his rotations with a month on the assembly-line floor, which is standard for all FCG employees, according to Corrales. He is now on his second rotation, which is giving him an opportunity to work in computational fluid dynamics on HVAC systems, an assignment that matches his master’s program.

He’s enjoying his experience so much that he has joined the Ford recruiting team.

“I had a great experience at ASU,” Corrales said, “and see this as a way to continue my connections to the faculty and students.”

Terry Grant

Media Relations Officer, Media Relations and Strategic Communications