Thunderbird alumnus Eric Bing to be spring 2022 convocation speaker

Thunderbird School to celebrate graduating class at Symphony Hall in downtown Phoenix

May 10, 2022

Eric Bing, Thunderbird alumnus, chancellor and CEO of The College of Health Care Professions (CHCP) has been named the spring 2022 convocation speaker for the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University.

Bing graduated from Thunderbird in 1994 and has devoted his entire career to expanding health care education, quality health care and workforce development opportunities for communities around the world. Portrait of Eric Bing, a 1994 graduate of the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Eric Bing, a 1994 graduate of the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University, will serve as the keynote speaker at the spring 2022 convocation ceremony on May 10. Download Full Image

Since 2015, he has led CHCP, the largest allied health care training provider in Texas, and has spearheaded the institution’s work to continuously raise graduation and employment outcomes. Under his leadership, CHCP developed and implemented a nationally recognized flexible and stackable pathway model to enable economic mobility for working adults and built a career-focused strategy in partnership with over 1,500 employers.

"Eric Bing is one of Thunderbird's many esteemed and accomplished alumni," said Sanjeev Khagram, director general and dean of the Thunderbird School of Global Management. "He has worked extensively in higher education, public health and global impact, and I believe he demonstrates a remarkable set of values that empower global leaders and managers to advance inclusive and sustainable prosperity worldwide. Thank you, Eric, my friend, for being an exemplar of a global mindset, maximizing the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and continuing to push Thunderbird forward.”

Prior to leading CHCP, Bing built a traveling nursing and therapy company, as well as a company that worked to address health care workforce shortages by training and placing highly qualified Filipino nurses in major U.S. hospital systems.

Earlier in his career, he was engaged in efforts to increase health care and delivery capacity in East Africa, expanding vaccine management and antiretroviral training while creating deeper integration with international HIV/AIDS epidemic relief efforts.

An active community service leader, Bing has chaired AmeriCorps for Texas, which deploys more than 4,300 volunteers for community service projects across Texas communities. He has served Thunderbird as a trustee, chairman of the Thunderbird Global Council and currently, as a member of the Thunderbird Global Alumni Network (TGAN) Advisory Council.

Bing holds a Master of Business Administration in international finance from the Thunderbird School of Management at Arizona State University, as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.

"Like many T-birds, Eric is an innovator in his field and has been responsible for educating thousands of young people who would otherwise not have had the opportunity to change their futures," said Patrick McDermott, chief engagement officer at the Thunderbird School of Global Management. “Students will be able to learn from Eric and see how his Thunderbird experience shaped him professionally and consequently positively impacted the lives of so many others.” 

The spring 2022 class

Thunderbird will recognize a record of 305 graduates during the spring 2022 convocation ceremony taking place on Tuesday, May 10, at Symphony Hall in downtown Phoenix.

"This is our largest graduating class in the last decade and is a testament to the incredible work of so many of our staff and faculty," Khagram said. "I continue to be inspired by our graduates and their dedication to helping build a more peaceful and prosperous global community. I look forward with eager anticipation to hearing what they will conquer next and how their degree from Thunderbird encouraged them to become global leaders maximizing the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for business, government, society and the environment.

One of Thunderbird's most time-honored traditions is the Parade of International Flags, started by students in 1977. Students carry flags from different nations and introduce themselves as they share their culture from their home countries. Graduating Thunderbird students represent more than 40 countries, including Afghanistan, Austria, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Georgia, Ghana, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nepal, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, The Republic of The Sudan, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America and Venezuela.

Notable graduates

Utilizing technology to connect cultures

Ashley Hernandez grew up in San Luis, Arizona, and Mexicali, Mexico. She chose to attend Arizona State University because of the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

“Thunderbird uses technology to make business and management more accessible than ever, especially on an international scale, and I want to take full advantage of this opportunity,” said the recipient of both the Obama Scholarship and Education Forward Arizona Scholarship. “My bicultural upbringing made me an individual who is eager for knowledge. This is why I decided to come to Thunderbird; I wanted to learn more about other cultures and business through a global lens.”

Gaining the competitive advantage with a 4+1 program

Frederick Rauner earned a Bachelor of Global Management and is continuing his education in a 4+1 program to earn his Master of Applied Leadership and Management with a concentration in global and public affairs.

“As part of the 4+1 program, I attended in-person sessions in the new F. Francis and Dionne Najafi Thunderbird Global Headquarters,” Rauner said. “The sessions helped create a bigger connection for me to Thunderbird and a better understanding of its history. One of my undergraduate career highlights is meeting one of my peers, Pat Kamara nee Sondai, a diplomat for Sierra Leone, during one of the in-person sessions. To me, two people from completely different worlds working together and creating a friendship is what Thunderbird is all about.”

Propelling a venture of serving communities in need

Ashraf A. Ismai, a native of Sudan, is passionate about using his Master of Global Management degree to further serve communities in need and provide quality education to refugees.

“I enrolled at Thunderbird after my childhood friend recommended it. He’s also an alumnus who always spoke greatly about his experience. He often describes his experience as life-changing. After having gone through the program, I can see what he means, because this school has truly changed my life,” Ismai said.

Learn more about a few of Thunderbird’s notable spring 2022 graduates:

Sustainable business opportunity fuels Thunderbird grad’s entrepreneurial pursuits

Thunderbird grad’s passion for travel connects her to the world

Thunderbird grad hopes to create change at intersection of business, social impact

Grad's global mindset influenced enrollment in Thunderbird program

Thunderbird graduate envisions a future where culture and language are at the forefront

Dasi Danzig

Senior Media Relations Officer, Thunderbird School of Global Management


'ASU became my home': First-gen grad finds community at West campus

May 10, 2022

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2022 graduates.

As a child and young adult, Yajaira Medina encountered countless obstacles when it came to pursuing her dream of being the first in her family to go to college.   This spring, Yajaira Medina will graduate from the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Download Full Image

Medina was born in Arizona and was raised in a small town in Mexico where she lived with her mother. At 13-years-old, she moved to another town in Mexico to live with her father, where she remained for one year. In order to make attending college more accessible, she then moved back to the U.S. to live with her godmother.

“I think everybody saw the dream in me but they felt they couldn't help me the way that they needed to,” Medina said.

Two years later, a 16-years-old Medina found herself in the most difficult situation she had ever experienced.

“I was working full time and I thought I could do it on my own,” she said. “However, because I wasn’t 18 I couldn’t rent an apartment by myself. I had nowhere to stay and I was homeless. I had no dad, mom or family here to help.”

Medina made it through high school with the help of friends and graduated with a 3.8 GPA. Because of her outstanding academic achievements in high school, she received a full-ride scholarship through the President Barack Obama Scholars Program. Having toured the West campus during her senior year of high school, she was eager to live on campus and finally have somewhere to call home.

“I didn't have a home before I came to ASU, and ASU became my home,” she said. “As soon as I started college I knew that I had nothing to worry about.”

This spring, Medina will graduate from the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Here, she shares more about her experiences at ASU and what’s next for her.

Question: What was your “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to study biology?

Answer: My first major at ASU was global management with a minor in German. Then, as I took a couple of classes, I learned that that is not where my passion lies. In my junior year of high school I had this environmental science class and we went to see a cadaver for the first time and everybody did not want to look at it or they were hesitant to go into the lab. But I was excited — I wanted to see the anatomy and I had so many questions. When I was trying to find out what I wanted to do long term, I realized that business was not my calling and my passion lay in health care and helping others. I found that biology would be the best option to learn about anatomy and take all the science classes that I need to get into that next step of pursuing a career as a pathologist assistant. 

Q: What’s the most important lesson you learned while at New College?

A: The most important lesson I learned at New College is that there's nothing that can limit you. ASU is here to help you and any hiccup that I had in my career here at ASU, there was always someone there to help me. If I was struggling with a class, I always had the Tutoring Center. New College was more than just my classes — it was like a community where I found people with the same interests as me and they were always there to help me get through those hard moments where I was questioning whether I was meant to be here or not or whether I was going to make it through graduation. There is always a helping hand.

Q: Why did you choose New College?

A: I chose New College because it's a smaller community where I felt integrated and I saw it as home. Being different was a good thing. I was able to integrate easily into the classes. With English being my second language, it was never a problem. Professors were always very helpful; even if they didn’t understand what I was trying to ask, they were always patient. The first time I came to the West campus, I was a senior in high school and I was participating in a DECA competition. I took a tour and knew this was where I wanted to be when I graduated. I like the community. You see a lot of international students here and diversity is included and not excluded.

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

A: I never thought microbiology would be my favorite class. But it became my favorite class, mainly because of the professor who taught it – Dean Sandrin. He taught me a lot of things and I remember having a lot of conversations during his office hours, not only about what I needed to understand in the class but also about life in general. At one point I had doubts about whether I wanted to apply for a master's program and how to do it or where to start. He was a guiding hand and was there to help me see that I can do it. He showed me that you can trust in yourself and then you can trust that everything is going to be OK.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: My plans after graduation are to apply to a master's program to become a pathologist assistant, which deals with finding answers when someone's passed away. We not only do autopsies but we also help patients in a hospital setting, helping diagnose patients and find out what they may have or how to treat or prevent diseases down the road.

Emily Balli

Multimedia specialist, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences