ASU graduate combines his passions for policy and energy

January 3, 2018

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for fall 2017 commencement. See more graduates here.

Antonio Joan, a recent graduate from Arizona State University with a degree in political science, is far from your average student. Download Full Image

Joan originally went to college to study industrial engineering in Spain before withdrawing due to medical issues in his family. He aided his father with the family business, which involved logistics and transport, before being able to return to school.

However, Joan found that he didn’t wish to pursue a career in industrial engineering, and after discussing what he wanted to study with friends, he decided on political science. Having studied abroad in his high school years, Joan knew he wanted to study again in the United States, so he began searching online for universities.

“One day I was looking for universities and sending applications. You know that these websites once you start to look for something start to send you banners. So one day I saw one banner from ASU.”

After receiving an acceptance from ASU, Joan decided to move to the southwest for school. Once he arrived, he found that ASU was very different from what he had expected.

“My very first impression was that ASU, despite being in the West of the U.S., is very well connected to the world. It took me just a couple days of walking around campus to see students from everywhere.”

Since coming to ASU, Joan has found political science to be his passion.

“I realized in my first week [at ASU] that this is the place. I’m on the right track. All of my classes have been really interesting.”

While attending classes, Joan learned about the Capital Scholars program offered by the School of Politics and Global Studies. Thinking it would be a good opportunity to get ahead in his professional development, Joan applied and was accepted into the program.

Once in Washington, D.C., he worked for the National Defense University as a research assistant. There he used his two passions, policy and energy, to immediately get to work.

Joan remarked that not only was the experience incredibly rewarding, but that it also gave him many opportunities to explore, network, and grow. He remarked that networking with people in government that wanted to see students like him develop and flourish was amazing.

“[We] didn’t want to go home.”

Joan had some advice to offer those interested in enrolling in the program: “Do not assume you know everything. The world is much bigger and (more) complex than we think; therefore, any piece of information is a little treasure.”

Wishing to further his education, Joan is looking for programs that link his interests of foreign policy and energy.  It’s a combination he wouldn’t even have considered until he received mentorship within the Capital Scholars program.

“[ASU] is a vibrant place. It is a place that is growing. It hasn’t reached its full potential so it’s [rewarding] being a part of that. I will be a Sun Devil for the rest of my life.”

office assistant, School of Politics and Global Studies

ASU alumna advocates for others in her fulfilling career

January 4, 2018

It is rare to find a career based on one’s passion, yet Arizona State University alumna Sambo ‘Bo’ Dul has found exactly that in her job as an attorney at Perkins Coie LLP.

“I work on challenging, interesting issues that I care deeply about with colleagues that I admire and from whom I learn a great deal,” Dul said. Arizona State University alumna Sambo ‘Bo’ Dul ASU alumna Sambo ‘Bo’ Dul, from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, graduated with two Bachelor of Arts degrees in political science and Spanish and a Bachelor of Science degree in economics in 2005. Download Full Image

In 2005, Dul graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the School of Political and Global Studies, a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the School of International Letters and Cultures, and a Bachelor of Science in economics from the Department of Economics.

Her journey to graduation and success as an attorney wasn’t always easy. It started back when she was a baby and her family were refugees.

“When I was just a year old, my family fled Cambodia to the refugee camps along the Thai-Cambodian border,” Dul said. “There, we lived in makeshift shelters for four years before we were approved for resettlement in the United States.”

By the time her family arrived in Phoenix in 1988, they had endured more than 10 years of war and genocide. Yet through the trauma and sacrifices, including the loss of her father, Dul was inspired by her family’s immigrant experience.

“I had always wanted to be a doctor when I was younger, but my family had to deal with immigration-related issues when I was in high school. It made me realize how much law and policy can devastate normal people's lives,” Dul said. “This sparked my interest in law and politics and I quickly switched majors in my first year of college.”

Dul was an active student at ASU. She was part of Amnesty International, a grassroots organization that monitors and reports on human rights issues around the globe. She also started an organization to recruit and train students and community members to provide volunteer support services to recently resettled refugee families. During her studies, she spent a semester in Spain and another in Thailand through the ASU Study Abroad Office.

“I always say my time at ASU was some of the best years of my life,” Dul said. “It was when I first became socially and politically engaged and also when I really began to explore my family’s history and my place in and relationship to the world and the local community. I think my current career path flowed naturally from what I was learning and doing during college.”

After graduation, she worked in the refugee resettlement field with Community Outreach & Advocacy for Refugees in Phoenix. She later did a joint-degree program at New York University School of Law and Princeton University and received a JD and master’s degree in public affairs.

“Immediately after graduating from law and grad school, I worked at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, a law firm in New York City, for about two years before starting a one-year clerkship with Chief Judge Theodore McKee on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit,” Dul said. “After the clerkship, I moved back home to Arizona and joined Perkins Coie LLP, in the litigation department.”

Dul now focuses on voting rights and election-related litigation, anti-corruption compliance and investigations and general business litigation. In conjunction with her duties, she maintains an active pro bono practice and regularly advises on immigrant and refugee rights.

“I feel incredibly fortunate to have found the professional home I have at Perkins Coie,” Dul said. “I’ve benefited greatly from the support and encouragement of so many people, organizations and institutions throughout my life. I want to be able to pay it forward and to live a life of purpose, gratitude and joy.” 

Dul's persistence and dedication to her studies allowed her to make amazing strides. In the fashion of giving back and paying it forward, Dul has some valuable insight for current students at the university.

“Fill your days with work you care about and that interests you, surround yourself with people who inspire and encourage you, and try to find joy in small things. But most importantly, be kind, both to yourself and others.”

ASU students can participate in any of ASU’s more than 250 programs in more than 65 different countries through the ASU Study Abroad Office.

Rachel Bunning

Communications program coordinator, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies