ASU computer information systems grad inspired to build tech that makes a difference

ASU spring 2019 graduate Thomas Haver

Thomas Haver

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for spring 2019 commencement.

The moment that computer information sciences major Thomas Haver saw the Apple Watch, he knew he wanted to work on technology that makes an impact on society.

Driven by this will to make a difference and his love of tech, Haver decided to attend Arizona State University, a new and exciting place that wasn’t too far from his hometown of Tucson.

“Moving to a new city seemed exciting, but it was still comforting knowing that I was not too far from home,” he said. “I was attracted to the size of the Tempe campus and the diversity of the student population. Attending ASU makes for some interesting conversations when I visit my family back home in Tucson!”

Outside of his coursework, Haver has a creative outlet at the Sun Devil Fitness Complex, where he works as a marketing student coordinator, promoting wellness services with photographers, editors and social media managers.

“I really enjoy this job because of the creative freedom we’ve been given and for the contrast it brings to the work I normally do in my major,” he said.

Before he graduates in May, Haver spoke to ASU Now about his time as a Sun Devil and where he wants to go from here.

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?

Answer: The moment I realized I wanted to study CIS (computer information systems) was when Apple unveiled the original Apple Watch back in 2014.

I remember feeling so amazed with the incredibly small size of this technology and imagining how this tiny little fitness tracker would impact people’s lives. This solidified my desire to join the technology field and work on building things that can really make a difference to society.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you, that changed your perspective?

A: Something that really changed my perspective was reading the line in ASU’s Charter that says the university is “measured not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes.”

We so often hear the opposite in higher education, and knowing ASU’s different perspective really enforces this welcoming and open-armed mindset.

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: Gina Woodall. I took three of her courses for my political science minor. One of the best lessons I learned from her is the importance of representation.

Seeing someone similar to you in politics, television or your career field lets you know that your voice matters and that your dreams are attainable. I realized this through her Women in Politics course — my favorite class in my political science studies.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: I would let others know to always put your best effort into anything you do, even when you are scared or unsure of the outcome. Others will notice, and your efforts will pay off.

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: My favorite spot on campus was inside the original Hayden Library. Many students pass by the original building not knowing you can access this area. Once you get out of the underground area that most are familiar with, you enter a much quieter area, reminiscent of the late 1960s.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I will be staying in Phoenix and am currently on the hunt for a full-time job after graduation. I hope to work somewhere where I can improve the lives of others through technology-based solutions.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I would tackle the impacts of climate change. Although $40 million is not nearly enough, there are so many places the money could go to, from establishing new national parks to restoring coral reefs.

Written by Sun Devil Storyteller Logan Maro, EOSS Marketing

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