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Top ASU stories you might have missed over summer break


Student sitting in a hammock on ASU's Tempe campus working on a laptop.
August 15, 2023

While summer is a time of rest and relaxation for many students, not everything slows down at Arizona State University over the summer break.

As we welcome new and returning students to ASU for the fall semester, here are some of the top stories you might have missed this summer.

1. Introducing the world to the first outdoor sweating, breathing and walking manikin

On the far northeast corner of ASU’s Tempe campus lives ANDI, the world’s first indoor-outdoor breathing, sweating and walking thermal manikin. ANDI can mimic the thermal functions of the human body and has 35 different surface areas that are all individually controlled with temperature sensors, heat flux sensors and pores that bead sweat. His purpose? Measuring the effects of extreme heat on human health. 

ANDI has also been featured on multiple news organizations this summer, like AZCentral, Popular Science and Good Morning America.

2. ASU announces launch of new medical school, ASU Health initiative

Students in lab coats, medical masks and gloves point at a chart

The Arizona Board of Regents has asked ASU to expand medical education in Arizona by launching a new medical school. The new ASU School of Medicine and Advanced Medical Engineering will integrate clinical medicine, biomedical science and engineering.

The new school headlines ASU Health, a “learning health ecosystem” being created by the university to accelerate and focus its health-related efforts to tackle the state’s urgent health care needs, now and into the future. Dr. Sherine Gabriel — whose resume includes an extensive list of leadership positions in medicine and academia — will lead ASU Health as its executive vice president.

3. ASU retains No. 1 US spot in Times Higher Education ranking

Hand grabbing water sample from lake

The internationally respected Times Higher Education Impact Rankings recognized the university as the No. 1 institution in the United States and sixth in the world for addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs.

The annual publication of university rankings looks at the impacts of 17 specific goals aimed at achieving a better world by 2030. 

4. ASU joins prestigious Association of American Universities

Two researchers working in COVID saliva lab

This June, the university was selected to join the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), which comprises the nation’s elite research universities.

Members of AAU, including stalwart private universities like Harvard, Stanford, MIT and Johns Hopkins, as well as leading public universities like UCLA, the University of Washington, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Michigan, collectively help shape policy for higher education, science and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of leading research universities to American society.

5. Study shows social companionship improves your dog’s health

Two dogs lying on lawn

The largest survey and data compilation of its kind, which includes more than 21,000 owners, has revealed the social determinants that may be tied to healthier aging for pet dogs. Among them, the dog’s social support network proved to have the greatest influence on better health outcomes.

“This does show that, like many social animals — including humans — having more social companions can be really important for the dog’s health,” said PhD student Bri McCoy, who worked on the study.

6. Jacob Moore moves to new executive post

Jacob Moore sitting at a table with a bright blue and brown tribal design.

Jacob Moore, the former associate vice president of tribal relations in the Office of Government and Community Affairs, is the new vice president and special advisor to the president on American Indian affairs.

Moore’s goal is to build upon the university’s previous work to make higher education more accessible for American Indian/Indigenous students and strengthen the university’s engagement with tribal nations and communities.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to be of service to ASU and to Indigenous students and communities,” said Moore, who is Lakota, Dakota, Akimel O’odham and Tohono O’odham.

7. ASU to play important role in new Starbucks Costa Rica lab

Coffee farm in Costa Rica

Arizona State University will work with Starbucks as early as this fall to offer educational programming for select ASU students and Starbucks partners at a new sustainability learning and innovation lab at Hacienda Alsacia — the company’s global agronomy headquarters for research and development located in Costa Rica.

The first wave at the farm will include study abroad opportunities for students tied to existing ASU degree programs such as sustainability, sustainable food systems, global agribusiness and environmental and resource management.

8. ASU, Applied Materials to create Materials-to-Fab Center at ASU Research Park

A large piece of equipment sits in a lab.

More than $270 million in corporate and state investment will create a world-class shared research, development and prototyping facility — the Materials-to-Fab (MTF) Center — in the university’s MacroTechnology Works building at ASU Research Park.

The center will be designed to accelerate the transfer of innovations from ideation to fab prototype by bringing Applied Materials’ state-of-the-art semiconductor manufacturing equipment into a collaborative environment where ASU and Applied Materials can work with industry partners, startups, government entities and academic institutions. 

9. ASU's Léon Marchand swimming toward Olympic gold

Portrait of college male resting in pool with elbows propped up on deck

Léon Marchand, who at 18 years old was already a world-class swimmer and had competed in the 2020 Olympics, came to ASU so he could be coached by Bob Bowman — the man who coached Michael Phelps.

This summer he participated in the 2023 World Aquatics Championships, where he broke a record set by Phelps, and when the 2024 Summer Olympics are held in Paris (Marchand’s home country) he could become the face of the games.

Learn more about Marchand, who is known among his friends for his humility just as much as his swimming prowess.

10. Sun Devil Athletics partners with Mountain America Credit Union, will join Big 12 Conference

ASU's football stadium during use for a football game and packed with fans

ASU and Sun Devil Athletics have entered a a multiyear naming-rights partnership with Mountain America Credit Union to form one of the most dynamic naming-rights deals in college athletics. The 15-year partnership — the most significant in the athletics department's history — includes ASU’s football stadium, which now will be called Mountain America Stadium, Home of the ASU Sun Devils.

In other sports news, it was also announced that Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and the University of Utah will join the Big 12 Conference in 2024, positioning the universities and their student-athletes for increased stability and success. The move will be effective on Aug. 2, 2024.  

Top photo: Biomedical sciences student Tori Morgan studies from her hammock on the Tempe campus. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

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