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First-year student has a passion for global health

August 4, 2023

Farhan Babur brings his experience as an ambassador and fundraiser to ASU

Editor's note: ASU News is highlighting some of its notable incoming students for fall 2023.

Farhan Babur brings a lot to Arizona State University. And the incoming first-year student plans to get a lot out of ASU as well. 

The BASIS Scottsdale graduate founded a tutoring organization that has raised thousands of dollars for the International Rescue Committee, and he interned at the Harvard Undergraduate Foreign Policy Initiative.

And the taekwondo pro packs a mean martial-arts-style punch.

Babur will be attending Barrett, The Honors College and studying biological sciences in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He hopes to explore a career in health care and get involved with global health equity — specifically health education, capacity building and epidemiology. 

Raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, Babur is the first of three siblings to attend college.

"I am the test dummy,” he jokes.

Here he talks about attending ASU this fall. 

Question: When you think about embarking on a new life at ASU, what concerns run through your mind?

Answer: I am excited, but I don’t know what to expect. There is a huge sense of mystery, because I am moving out into the unknown. 

It will be the first time I will be living on my own. It will be an adjustment balancing academics, work, making new friends and adjusting to college. I’m unsure about how that is going to happen. 

Q: What made you decide to come to ASU?

A: I come from a pretty small school, so the size of ASU is something that has always amazed me. However, that size can also be a bit daunting, so Barrett’s smaller community provides a place to fall back on. That ... combined with the fact that I have been on campus countless times already made ASU incredibly inviting.

Q: You will be studying neurobiology and physiology at ASU. What drew you to these subjects?

A: The brain and nervous system have always fascinated me. Part of the reason for that fascination is the fact that we still have so much to learn. It is in many ways the new frontier of biology, and so when I chose a major I jumped at the chance to study this system formally. However, I also have an immense interest in microbiology and global health, and I hope to pursue these through minors and electives.

Q: You already have an impressive resume with countless accomplishments under your belt. What do you plan to add to that in the next four years?

A: I wouldn’t say my plans are super lofty, but I have a couple of short term goals. I want to work in a lab, ideally working in microbiology or neurobiology. Additionally, I want to be a part of volunteering initiatives where I can make a direct impact, like hospice care for example. I am also hoping to get involved in student government. Ultimately, I’m excited to make new friends and see where the college experience takes me.

Q: What other hobbies or skills are you bringing to the ASU community?

A: Taekwondo had a huge place in my life growing up and I hope to continue this at ASU. 

Additionally, I love to write fiction, particularly short stories, and that is another thing I intend to keep doing at ASU.

Q: What inspires you?

A: My greatest inspiration comes from the people I grew up with. I was able to mature around friends who were incredibly driven, funny and kind; and work with physicians and civic leaders who aimed to make an actual impact in their fields. 

These experiences continue to inspire me to keep shooting for the stars. I am also amazed by the natural world — from the complexity of viruses and their mechanisms to the crazy stories that evolution tells us. The living world is awe-inspiring.

Q: How would some of your friends describe you?

A: I think one thing my friends have told me is that, for better or worse, I see the best in people and situations.

Top photo by Brent Whiting, courtesy Farhan Babur.

Dolores Tropiano

Reporter , ASU News

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Incoming students bring talent to the table, are ready for success at ASU

August 4, 2023

A look at some notable new Sun Devils for fall 2023

From mechanics to fashionistas, there's a wide pool of talent joining the Sun Devil community this fall as incoming students.

Get to know some of them, as they share their backgrounds and hopes for the future as they pursue their education at ASU. 

Young woman sitting in front of classic car

Claire Gunderson

Incoming student plans to build a future — and cars — with ASU

Claire Gunderson, a National Indigenous Recognition Scholar who graduated high school with a 3.81 GPA, has come to ASU this fall to study mechanical engineering in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

She said she chose ASU because of “the boundless opportunities,” including the hope of eventually becoming a member of Fulton’s Formula SAE program.

“ASU has so much to offer with their mechanical engineering program, automotive engineering program and Native American support services on campus, more so than other universities," Gunderson said. 

High school student playing beach volleyball

Rylen Bourguet

Student follows in family's footsteps to become next Sun Devil athlete

The name Bourguet is not unfamiliar at ASU for Sun Devil Football fans. Trenton Bourguet is a redshirt senior quarterback for ASU, and younger brother, Coben, is a redshirt sophomore wide receiver.

Now you can add a third Bourguet to the mix: accomplished athlete and 4.0 student Rylen Bourguet, who will major in business and play for ASU's beach volleyball team.

"My brothers and my parents kind of set the tone early on," Rylen said. "I had no other choice but to continue that after them. I have my own journey for course, but I hold myself to high expectations just like they do."

Student in graduation cap

Katie Bell

16-year-old ready to tackle career goals at ASU Local – Lake Havasu

Taking online classes is nothing new for Katie Bell, who was able to get her diploma early because she earned credits from an online high school starting in eighth grade. Now she's a first-year student at ASU Local – Lake Havasu majoring in preveterinary medicine.

“I took all my junior classes my sophomore year, and I decided to graduate early because I had all the credits,” Bell said. 

ASU Local is an innovative hybrid college program that pairs in-person coaching and mentorship with the flexibility of accessing all coursework online, 24/7, through ASU Online.

“I can get tutored if I need to, and I can bring my classes with me anywhere,” Bell said.

Portrait of young man in front of map

Farhan Babur

First-year student has a passion for global health

Incoming Sun Devil Farhan Babur brings a lot to ASU. He founded a tutoring organization that has raised thousands of dollars for the International Rescue Committee, and is now interning at the Harvard Undergraduate Foreign Policy Initiative.

At ASU, he hopes to explore a career in health care and get involved with global health equity.

"I want to work in a lab, ideally working in microbiology or neurobiology," Babur said.

But his student goals don't end there.

"Additionally, I want to be a part of volunteering initiatives where I can make a direct impact, like hospice care for example. I am also hoping to get involved in student government."

Woman smiling behind lectern

Ysenia Mora

Dreams of becoming a Sun Devil finally come true for adult learner

At 47, Ysenia Mora will be attending her first semester at Arizona State University this fall — and to her, the timing is perfect.

After suffering in an abusive marriage for 25 years, Mora is now is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology, with plans to become a licensed professional counselor to support other women facing similar struggles.

"I can help others because I have the empathy and the understanding,” Mora said. "My goal is to serve and inspire women."

Man sitting in recreated Van Gogh bedroom

Jared Wall

Fashion aficionado ready to expand horizons at ASU FIDM in downtown LA

Jared Wall had been taking general education and art classes in his hometown of Rocklin, California, when he heard about ASU's expansion with the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in downtown Los Angeles.

Wall ended up being the first student to be registered in the new ASU FIDM program. He starts this fall, majoring in fashion design.

“I knew ASU was a credible school and I know some people who go there. But I didn’t even know ASU had a fashion program and I looked it up and didn’t know it’s a huge thing. That was really cool,” he said.

Through ASU FIDM, Wall will be able to connect with some of the world’s most recognizable brands and companies in the fashion industries.

Young woman sitting in an oversized red wooden chair

Genevieve Hook

First-time Sun Devil finds resilience, purpose in writing

It was originally Genevieve Hook's dream to pursue a career in music, but in high school, Hook was diagnosed with hyperacusis, a hearing condition that reduces tolerance to sound, which resulted in moderate hearing loss.

Hook buried herself in writing poems, songs and journaling. Now, in literature, she has found a new way to connect with people.

This fall, through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, Hook will be pursuing an English degree through ASU Online that will allow her to expand on that connection through her writing.

 “Learn about yourself and who you are and take a deep look at what you love," she said. "There is always an outlet for your fun hobbies that can turn into a career.”

Top photo: Students flash the fork during the annual Sun Devil Welcome event, which recognizes incoming students for the fall semester. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News