ASU student pursues leadership opportunities


ASU student Nicolas Khonaysser wearing a suit and smiling.

Nicolas Khonaysser at the Interfraternity Council elections.

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Always eager to be involved, Nicolas Khonaysser stays busy as a double major working toward a bachelor’s degree in political science and communications from the The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University. 

As a current junior, he possesses the experience and dedication that allow him to get the most out of his college experience. 

“Being an immigrant who came to this country at 8 years old, with parents from two different countries, gave me an admiration for international affairs and politics,” Khonaysser said. 

“I want my future endeavors to be focused around international affairs and politics, and a bachelor's degree in political science was a great place to start.” 

ASU was the right fit for Khonaysser because of the opportunities available to students. He acknowledged that the School of Politics and Global Studies has opened more doors than he could have imagined.

Khonaysser expresses his admiration for the ASU faculty and how they’ve helped him gain insight and create connections that he can use long into his professional career. 

One of many individuals who have inspired Khonaysser is Cassandra Aska, deputy vice president and dean of students at the Tempe campus. He began working with Aska more closely once appointed president of the Interfraternity Council

“I watched the way she addressed students and leaders at a town hall meeting and I was in awe of her public speaking skills and responses,” Khonaysser said.

When Khonaysser spoke with Aska, he discovered they share the same French mother language, sparking an immediate connection.

“We had much in common, and it made me quite emotional to connect with a faculty member so closely,” Khonaysser said. “Her feedback and insight on how to move forward with my goals on the Tempe campus have been key in problem-solving and solutions.” 

As president of the Interfraternity Council, Khonaysser oversees and ensures the safety of all fraternity chapters at ASU while working with the university to find ways that Greek life can continue to impact students and the community in a positive way. 

“The feedback I have been able to receive as president from deans, mayors, police, faculty and teachers has been key in making me the student I am. The skills and leadership traits that I have taken from the leaders I communicate with every day help me in every endeavor I take on, small to large,” Khonaysser said. 

With ASU’s support, Khonaysser has pursued many career development opportunities that will prepare him for his journey ahead. 

At Kellogg Brown and Root, Khonaysser was one of five quality inspectors assessing, testing and reporting on the work of about 30 to 40 engineers in the facility who specialize in satellite control modules and wiring. 

Being the youngest inspector in the facility at the time, Khonaysser said, “The endeavor helped me gain insight on how to give proper feedback and collaborate with people in a field that was not my own.”

The position gave him the chance to work outside of his comfort zone and learn new skills that he can implement in his future work. 

After working in the defense sector field for a while at Kellogg Brown and Root, Khonaysser joined Vector Solutions to lead their drone sales team. Working under an Air Force colonel, he distributed and maintained contracts in law enforcement, military, and health and safety in many parts of Arizona and California. 

Khonaysser looks to implement the leadership, communication and business skills that he has learned at ASU in his future. This fall, he will be pursuing a Master of Arts in international affairs and leadership, an ASU Online degree with the School of Politics and Global Studies that is a partnership with the Leadership, Diplomacy and National Security Lab.

Due to his positive experience at ASU so far, Khonaysser looks forward to the rest of his education and is appreciative of all the opportunities and support he has received. 

“There is something to learn from everyone,” Khonaysser said. 

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