ASU student startup named College Entrepreneur of the Year

December 20, 2011

The founders of an ASU student startup, called G3Box, have been named "College Entrepreneurs of the Year for 2011" by Entrepreneur Magazine.

" The College Entrepreneur of the Year" award is one of three awards bestowed by the magazine on the nation’s top entrepreneurs of the last year. The magazine received thousands of entries for the competition and then selected the top five entries in each award category as finalists. The finalists were then announced to the general public who voted for their top picks for each award. G3Box received votes from all over the world, including Ireland and Russia. A judging panel made the final decision. Download Full Image

“It was an amazing feeling knowing that our friends, families, associates, and complete strangers from around the world, believed in and supported our idea,” said Gabby Palermo, co-founder of G3Box. “I think all of us are humbled and grateful for the award and we can't wait to see where this takes us.”

Members of the G3Box team were challenged in one of their courses to determine a way to repurpose the numerous shipping containers that have been discarded at ports around the world. They immediately began to think of ways to turn the containers into something that would help people. The ASU team came up with the idea of turning the containers into portable maternity clinics that could be shipped to countries that had extremely high maternal mortality rates.

The team (which includes Palermo, a junior studying biomedical engineering; Billy Walters, a senior mechanical engineering major; and Susanna Young and Clay Tyler, both graduate students pursuing master's degrees in mechanical engineering) began plans to refurbish the containers, adding ventilation, insulation, power, and potable water. From these plans, G3Box, a more-than-profit company aimed at generating global good, was formed.

“We knew that we had the ability to change the world when we started this project,” said Young. "G3Box started from a desire to reduce drastically high maternal death rates in the developing world.  It is about the medicine and the clinics, yes, but it is also about creating jobs, developing economies, and improving the lives of people all over the world.”

G3Box is currently a part of ASU’s Edson student accelerator based in ASU SkySong, Scottsdale’s Innovation Center. The Edson accelerator provides funding, mentoring, and office space that enables students to advance their ventures.

Two of the other four finalists for Entrepreneur Magazine's "College Entrepreneur of the Year" came out of the Edson Accelerator. Jeremy Ellens and Christian Stewart were also selected as finalists in this year’s competition. Ellens is the founder of Ellens Technologies, a company that creates diagnostic reference tools and mobile applications (for iOS and Android platforms) for veterinarians and students to use to reduce diagnostic time and potential human error. Stewart is the founder of Boson Inc., a provider of Stereoscopic 3D software/hardware systems and high-fashion eye ware.

“We are very proud of the companies in the Edson program,” said Gordon McConnell, director of venture acceleration at ASU SkySong. “The companies coming out of the student startup accelerator are doing amazing work, generating revenue, and gaining international exposure.”

ASU in top tier in social sciences world rankings

December 21, 2011

Arizona State University is ranked 23rd in the world when it comes to social sciences, according to the Center for World-Class Universities, a ranking compiled by Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

In the social sciences category, ASU is flanked by Pennsylvania State University, at no. 22, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, at no. 24. The top three universities in social sciences are Harvard, University of Chicago and MIT. Download Full Image

Overall, ASU ranked 78th in the Academic Rankings of World Universities (ARWU) by Shanghai Jiao Tong University. A subset of that ranking is devoted to the social sciences.

As opposed to other lists that predominantly measure average SAT scores of incoming freshmen, selectivity, average faculty compensation or student to faculty ratio, the ARWU rankings measure outcomes – the achievements of alumni and faculty.

In the social sciences, ARWU uses several objective indicators to rank world universities, including the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes in economics; number of highly cited researchers in the categories of social sciences in general, and in economics and business; number of articles indexed in the social science citation index; and the number of papers published in the top 20 percent of journals covering the social sciences fields.

Arizona State has consistently ranked high in the social sciences by ARWU. This is due in part to the structural changes instituted by ASU to make its educational and research entities more relevant to today’s students and to society in general.

For social sciences, these changes include breaking down the traditional walls between departments and reforming them into transdisciplinary schools focused on the challenges of our times. New entities, such as the School of Social and Family Dynamics, the School of Politics and Social Studies, and the School of Social Transformation have been established.

“ASU’s social sciences leadership team within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences takes a transdisciplinary approach to decision making,” said Linda Lederman, ASU dean of social sciences. “We are committed to the belief that the best decisions emerge from collaborating with one another, sharing our strengths and experiences, and working together to address the complex questions that face us as leaders.”

The schools are complemented by several new cross-disciplinary institutes and centers focusing on current social challenges, said Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, ASU senior vice president for Knowledge Enterprise Development.

“For example, the Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity leverages the emerging field of complex systems to foster interdisciplinary research on fundamental questions of societal life, and the Center for Nanotechnology in Society studies the societal implications of an emerging scientific field,” he explained.

In addition to this ranking of the social sciences, ASU has bolstered its efforts to attract research funding for the social sciences. A survey by the National Science Foundation listed ASU in the top 20 for federal research dollars attracted by non-science and engineering programs. In FY2009, for example, ASU ranked 17th by this measure, with $30 million for non-S&E related research.

Director, Media Relations and Strategic Communications