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ASU's year in review 2018

New partnerships, breakthrough discoveries and student success made it a year to remember

biodesign c
December 14, 2018

Arizona State University took great strides forward in 2018, cementing partnerships to further student access and success, facilitating groundbreaking scientific research and earning prestigious awards and grant funding. The university snagged its fourth-straight "No. 1 in Innovation" title. It cut the ribbon on Biodesign C. It even renamed a college.

And above all, Sun Devil students, faculty and staff remained committed to serving their community. Here's a look back at the top stories of 2018.


ASU researchers and their teams pushed knowledge forward this year, publishing work in many fields, including microplastic pollution, nanomedicine, the gig economy and man's best friend.

Arizona Impact

From the 100th anniversary of an infamous Arizona shootout to the groundbreaking of an innovative new concept in intergenerational living, ASU is embedded in both Arizona's past and future. This year saw the expansion of ASU Prep, an initiative for resilient cities and powerful steps forward in how we educate our young people. 

ASU News

It was a year of change for the university — though that No. 1 in innovation ranking stayed the same. ASU unveiled the newly renamed Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, introduced Sanjeev Khagram as the new dean and director-general of the Thunderbird School of Global Management and inked a partnership to extend student access to Uber's top drivers.

Sun Devil Life

Campus life at ASU saw a lot of exciting changes in 2018, among them a complex of brand-new living and working spaces for Greek Life members on the Tempe campus, a unified home for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the introduction of Dutch, ASU Police's new puppy who will grow to be a comfort animal for crime victims.


How do online biology students get lab experience? Solved. How does a classic car enthusiast keep his Thunderbird from overheating? Solved. Finding answers to problems facing our community and the world remains a strong focus for ASU's scholars and students.

Global Engagement

Between a stacked lineup of Fulbright and Cambridge scholarship winners, the opening of the Ambassador Barbara Barrett & Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Washington Center at ASU and visits from world-renowned journalists and philosophers, it's no wonder ASU was also named the top choice among public universities for international students this year.


Poetry. Art. Needlework? Sun Devils find creative expression in many forms. This year they found it in music therapy for a senior center, making customized T-shirts at Innovation Day and, for one professor and poet, in a MacArthur "genius" grant.


The entrepreneurial spirit of ASU was off the charts this year: Startups crushed it at Demo Day and the Innovation Open, the university moved up in the global patent rankings and scores of students made full use of ASU resources to launch their products and businesses.

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