ASU grad learned she was up for the challenge

May 4, 2020

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2020 graduates.

While studying at Arizona State University, Socorro Chaidez Ramos learned she is always up for a challenge.  Socorro Chaidez Ramos Download Full Image

When she arrived at ASU, Chaidez Ramos struggled to find a major. In high school she was passionate about environmentalism and entrepenuriship, but couldn’t zero in on a career path in college — until she discovered the technological entrepreneurship and management degree program in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

The technological entrepreneurship and management program bridges the gap between business and engineering and is designed for students who are interested in technology-based businesses, nonprofit work and solving social and corporate problems. 

Chaidez Ramos says the Doran Community Scholars Program helped her succeed at ASU. Through the program, she found a community and learned skills that helped her grow in her academic career.  

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

A: It took a while. In high school I was passionate about environmentalism. I also noticed that I really enjoyed social entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship that has the purpose of benefiting the community, not just one that is profitable. When I first started at ASU, I switched my major a few times, because I was trying to find the right major that best fit the career that I wanted to have. During my sophomore year I switched my major to civil engineering, with a focus on environmental civil engineering. I wanted to stick to that. My scholarships only covered four years, and I soon learned that it was going to be really difficult to manage my studies, working part-time and living off campus. I decided to switch to technological entrepreneurship in order to graduate within four years, and figured that if I want to go back to school for civil engineering later, I could. I don’t feel like I quit, I just moved my plan around. 

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

A: I learned a lot of important things that I would have never thought of. There are many layers to business, and how we conduct it and how we behave with social media and how everyone responds to news. I realized how truly connected everything is. 

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: The main reason I chose ASU was the financial aid they rewarded me. I knew that if I wanted to go to a university I would have to pay for it myself. ASU gave me the best financial aid package out of all five schools I applied to. I got the New American University Scholarship as well.  

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

A: Aram Chomina-Chavez, a professor in the technological entrepreneurship and management program. We call him Señior Chavez. He incorporated current events into his lectures, which gave us a better understanding of how to actually use the concepts that he taught us. The way he teaches his classes is totally different from any class I have ever taken. He would teach us a concept, then as a class we would discuss it in a way that allowed everyone to express their opinion and understanding. It showed how each student was using the concepts from class. Everyone has different views, some that I might not agree with, but it allowed me to understand where they are coming from.  

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

A: Pursue what you're passionate about. Sometimes you do fail courses, or fail in ways that may seem like a sign that you shouldn’t be doing something. Or, it may seem like you're just not good at something — but I would say that maybe it isn't your niche. Some failures make it feel like you can't do what you’ve been planning on doing. Just learn from it and try harder.  

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

A: During my long days on campus I would always go to the Social Sciences Building, the one that has all the plants inside. I would eat lunch or do my homework there. It let me feel like I was still interacting with the world. 

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: Hopefully get a full time job, with everything going on right now it makes it iffy. I’ve been thinking about going to grad school. I want to refresh my memory by taking some classes at a community college and eventually pursue civil engineering. 

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

A: I would work on making renewable energy accessible for middle and lower class families. Urban communities have the largest population and they may not be able to have solar panels installed, because it costs so much money and there are many regulations in Arizona. If we have this tool that saves people so much money, we might as well have it available for those who would benefit the most.

Shayla Angeline Cunico

Student digital content specialist, ASU Enterprise Partners


Unstoppable: Anthony Robles discusses resiliency, how to overcome obstacles

May 4, 2020

On April 30, the Arizona State University Alumni Association and Sun Devil Athletics hosted a live webinar featuring NCAA wrestling champion and ASU alumnus Anthony Robles. 

The webinar was attended by more than 400 viewers live and was co-moderated by ASU wrestling head coach Zeke Jones and Madison Kerley, FOX Sports Southwest social media specialist and member of ASU’s 2017 NCAA Championship women’s golf team. Anthony Robles NCAA wrestling champion and ASU alum Anthony Robles joined the ASU Alumni Association and Sun Devil Athletics for a live webinar on April 30. Download Full Image

Robles, who was born with only one leg, is also an ESPN sports commentator, holder of a mark recognized by Guinness World Records, author of "Unstoppable" and motivational speaker. He spoke about resilience during difficult times and how he endures challenges with a positive outlook. 

So, what are his tips on how to develop resilience? First, Robles began by defining resilienceThe definition is cited from as “the ability to become strong, healthy or successful again after something bad happens.”

Tip 1: Dominate your brain with positive thinking. This started for Robles at an early age when he was 14, underweight in wrestling, working with coaches who had never coached someone with one leg before and learning how to wrestle for the first time. Many people would have given up, but he had a support system that taught him to shift his mindset and, as he calls it, focus on his 2 to 1 ratio. For every negative thought that enters your brain, you must replace it with two positive thoughts to begin changing your mindset.

Tip 2: Check your focus. There will always be things in life that you cannot control, so focus on what you can control, and remember your strengths.

Tip 3: Mind your health. This is important every day, but it is even more important now as many people are quarantined at home. By taking care of your body, you are also taking care of your mental health. This means focusing on eating better and exercising on a daily basis.

Tip 4: Get comfortable being uncomfortable. One of his favorite quotes is, “There’s no growth in a comfort zone and there’s no comfort in a growth zone.” Robles suggests writing down your goals and posting them in a spot where you will see them every day. By doing this, you will be reminded and hold yourself accountable to take action toward achieving your goals.

The webinar included live questions from viewers on an array of topics, from his go-to comfort food during quarantine to the next goals on which he is working. The insights shared by these three ASU NCAA champions — Robles, Jones and Kerley — made the webinar feel like listening to a group of friends connecting rather than an official interview.

Robles’s tips for resilience are a breath of fresh air during this challenging time, but also a good reminder for daily life moving forward in order to pursue your goals. 

View the webinar

Morgan Harrison

Director of strategic communications , ASU Alumni Association