Accomplishments in academics, research, community service earn ASU graduate Impact Award

May 1, 2023

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2023 graduates.

A fascination with satellites and space exploration technology lured Leslie Miller into engineering — specifically, she said, “the vast opportunities electrical engineering has to offer.” Fulton Schools of Engineering Impact Award winner Leslie MIller Spring 2023 Leslie Miller. Photo courtesy Leslie Miller Download Full Image

Climate and the campus atmosphere drew her to Arizona State University to study in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

“I loved the warm weather,” Miller said, adding that Palm Walk on the Tempe campus “was also a major selling point.”

But she began her college studies with some trepidation.

“In high school I struggled academically in some courses,” Miller said. “At times, I felt uncertain about my ability to succeed in a rigorous engineering program. But since coming to ASU, I have had a transformative experience in the Fulton Schools, which has helped me overcome significant challenges and develop a passion for engineering that I never thought possible.”

That transformation came largely by getting involved in a variety of ventures beyond her coursework.

Miller received an undergraduare Impact Award from the Fulton Schools. 

She has also served as an undergraduate teaching assistant, coauthored research papers and completed a National Science Foundation-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates program in the Fulton Schools’ Sensor Signal and Information Processing , or SenSIP, Center, in which she coauthored a patent pre-disclosure.

In addition to her academic performance in Barrett, The Honors College, Miller had leading roles in student organizations. She served on committees of the ASU chapter of the Society of Women Engineers and joined in a Fulton Schools Engineering Projects in Community Service effort to design housing for low-income families.

She was also president of the ASU student chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers honor society, Eta Kappa Nu, and helped to establish an outreach event to benefit the nonprofit Feed My Starving Children. Outside of ASU activities, she was a volunteer for the Foundation for Blind Children.

She was also awarded several scholarships, including the U.S. Department of Defense SMART Scholarship for Service, the Society of Women Engineers Phoenix Section Scholarship and the GE Award scholarship.

Miller said these experiences prepared her for summer internships she completed with the U.S. Space Force. She worked with the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch team and the L3Harris vision technology project to develop a hosted payload interface unit.

After graduation, Miller will remain at ASU to expand her education through the Fulton Schools accelerated master’s degree in electrical engineering program. After completing those studies, she plans to move to Los Angeles to work as an engineer for the Space Force.

Miller attributed much of her future success to what she learned from Andreas Spanias, a Fulton Schools professor of electrical engineering and the director of SenSIP.

“Professor Spanias played a vital role in developing my research and presentation skills and my self-confidence,” she said. “He has been an incredible role model. I would not have earned this Impact Award without him.”

She is also grateful for the guidance provided by Fulton Schools electrical engineering doctoral student Glen Uehara, her SenSIP mentor.

“Glen helped me grow as an engineer and an individual,” Miller said. “He helped me develop into a leader.”

Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering


USA Today editor-in-chief Nicole Carroll joins ASU Media Enterprise

Pulitzer Prize board member to lead local journalism initiative

May 1, 2023

USA Today editor-in-chief Nicole Carroll is joining the ASU Media Enterprise on May 1 as executive director of a new initiative focused on reimagining local journalism.

As the head of the initiative, Carroll will work with Arizona State University's Media Enterprise team, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and other university departments to develop new strategies for reporting on local communities, as well as innovations and business models to help local news operations thrive. Carroll brings more than three decades of journalism experience and a track record of success in leading newsrooms at some of the nation's top publications. Headshot of Nicole Carroll. Nicole Carroll Download Full Image

"Nicole is a true champion of democracy and a leader in our industry. We are thrilled to welcome her to the ASU Media Enterprise," said Mi-Ai Parrish, managing director of the enterprise. "Her passion for high-quality, community-focused journalism aligns perfectly with our mission, and we look forward to working with her to create impactful and innovative reporting that serves our communities."

ASU Media Enterprise is a nonprofit, nonpartisan collection of media outlets that empowers, engages and educates. The organization’s public service mission seeks to share stories that enlighten and enrich communities and focus on topics ranging from science and technology to the arts and social change. 

As editor of The Arizona Republic, where she spent almost 20 years, Carroll led a project on the proposed U.S. border wall that won a 2018 Pulitzer Prize. In addition, she led breaking news coverage recognized as a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2012 and 2014. Carroll was named editor-in-chief at USA Today in 2018. That same year, she was named the Benjamin C. Bradlee Editor of the Year by the National Press Foundation.

USA Today and The Arizona Republic are owned by Gannett, Co., for which Carroll also served as president of news. Her departure from USA Today was announced on April 17.

Carroll also will be a professor of practice at the Cronkite School. She is an alumna of the school and an inductee to its Hall of Fame.  

“Cronkite Nation is proud of Nicole’s many career accomplishments," said Battinto Batts Jr., dean and professor of the Cronkite School. "We are excited to welcome Nicole back to the university and look forward to her contributions.”

A member of the Pulitzer Prize board and a four-time juror of the prestigious journalism prize, Carroll said ASU's dedication to excellence, community and global engagement drew her to the new role.

“We must create and embrace disruptive solutions to engage and empower people with the news and information they need to strengthen our communities and democracy,” Carroll said. “I’m thrilled to take on this work with ASU, renowned for its innovation and commitment to developing solutions to the biggest challenges of our times.”

Suzanne Wilson

Sr. Media Relations Officer, ASU Media Enterprise