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5 outstanding ASU alumni honored as The College Leaders of 2023

Sign on a brick wall that reads "The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences."

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October 24, 2023

On Oct. 27, five outstanding alumni from The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University will be recognized and celebrated for their accomplishments with an induction into The College Leaders.

Since 1997, The College Leaders program has recognized over 75 outstanding alumni from across The College's humanities, natural sciences and social sciences divisions for their business, research and community service achievements.

These impressive leaders share a passion for education, an appreciation for the arts and sciences and a record of remarkable achievements.

Every year, The College adds new members to its growing network of ASU alumni who have continuously demonstrated excellence and learned to thrive. 

This year’s leaders — Amylou Dueck, Rabih Gholam, Jesse Jones, Jodi Low and Grace O’Sullivan — have made an impact on health care, minority representation in STEM, leadership development and more.

They will join a distinguished group of individuals who showcase extraordinary leadership skills while driving positive change locally and nationally.

Meet The College Leaders of 2023:

Amylou Dueck received multiple degrees from ASU, including an MS and PhD in statistics.

Now, Dueck is the vice chair of quantitative health sciences at Mayo Clinic, working in the design and statistical analysis of clinical trials in cancer. Her expertise helps increase the number of safe treatment options and enhance the information available for making treatment decisions for patients with cancer.

She credits ASU for establishing her love for research and statistics to design and test effective clinical trials to impact patients' lives.

“I developed a passion for statistics at ASU. At Mayo Clinic, I've been fortunate to utilize this expertise, collaborating with dedicated colleagues to design and analyze research studies that directly impact patients' lives,” she said.

“I learned how to explain complex concepts that many find challenging. I've applied this skill in my everyday work to effectively communicate about clinical trial designs and data interpretations with my collaborators.”

Rabih Gholam received a Bachelor of Arts in history from ASU in 1996. In his early years in the entertainment industry, he worked in late-night television, moving next to produce a string of successfully groundbreaking reality shows.

Today, he heads the alternative and unscripted department at Innovation Artists Agency and represents showrunners, directors, digital producers and more. His comedy and unique ability to home in on a character led to a quick rise through the ranks of unscripted work.

Gholam has helped produce popular shows such as “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” “Vanderpump Rules” and “The Hills,” and he has sold projects to Netflix, Bravo, A&E, TLC and E! News. His vision and experience helped transform the production company 51 Minds into an industry powerhouse responsible for hundreds of hours of television programming across major networks.

ASU played a pivotal role in Gholam’s career development because he was not limited in learning and experiences.

“My experiences at ASU shaped my work ethic and decision-making processes that have stayed with me my entire career. Because my professors and peers allowed me to fail, I learned that a growth mindset was the only way forward — if you're not making mistakes, you're not trying hard enough,” Gholam said. “The possibilities were endless at ASU, from the intramural fields to the classrooms to the extracurriculars. It's truly the place where if you make the most of it, the sky's the limit."

Jesse Jones received the first PhD in chemistry from ASU in 1963.

A dedicated professor, Jones spent his professional career helping to increase the number of minority students who went on to graduate or medical school.

While pursuing his PhD at ASU, Jones studied the chemistry of purines, an exciting area of organic chemistry at the time. After graduating, he moved to Tyler, Texas, and taught chemistry to undergraduate students at Texas College, a historically Black college.

“The success of my students is the highlight of my career because they would go on and transform their communities,” Jones told ASU News earlier this year.

Jones and his wife had seven children, and dedication to education was a constant in their lives. Six of his children went to college and majored in chemistry; two are physicians; two are college professors; one works for Exxon Mobil; and one went into psychology. The seventh child also has a successful career in real estate.

“Whatever success I’ve enjoyed is because I was given strong mentors throughout my career,” Jones said. “They set an example for me early in my career, nurtured me and saw hope and promise. Students today need the same. They need someone they can look up to and admire.”

Jodi Low received her bachelor’s degree in communication and a minor in family studies from ASU in 1994.

An accomplished corporate trainer, Low is the founder and CEO of the award-winning leadership development company U & Improved.

Low’s leadership and expertise allow her to create effective strategies and classes that help businesses master a mindset of success and achieve their desired lifestyle through heart-fueled leadership.

Low and her business have received numerous awards and recognitions, including the 2021 Torch Award for Ethics by the Better Business Bureau and a Sterling Award from the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce. She has also been honored as one of the Sun Devil 100 award winners four times.

In addition to her business, Low is also heavily involved in giving back to the community through her teen leadership program, U the Teen Leader, and the nonprofit U & Improved Leadership Foundation.

Along with her daughters, Low regularly volunteers with charitable organizations throughout the Valley, including Feed My Starving Children, Hospice of the Valley and Valley of the Sun United Way.

Low looks back at her days as a Sun Devil with gratitude because her experiences shaped and finetuned all the skills she needs now as a leader.

“My years at ASU allowed me to uncover and thus pursue my greatest passion, developing people, through all of my coursework in interpersonal, intercultural and organizational communication, as well as public speaking,” she said. “I developed the framework to understand how and why we interact in the ways we do. This became the solid bedrock upon which I built my company.

“I am so grateful for my years at ASU, the professors I learned from and worked beside, and the incredible people-centered tools I still use within my business today.”

Grace O'Sullivan received multiple degrees from ASU, including a Bachelor of Science in justice studies in 2005 and an MBA in business in 2010. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, she started working with Knowledge Enterprise at ASU.

Now, she is the vice president for corporate and economic development, creating public-private partnerships and focusing on some of ASU’s flagship health partners.

A native Phoenician, O’Sullivan is a prominent voice in community relations and partnerships, and has helped lead collaborations between the private sector and ASU.

Outside of her work at the university, she is involved with the community and has worked for numerous nonprofit organizations in education, civil rights and animal welfare. O’Sullivan also serves as a board member with the Partnership for Economic Innovation and Terros Health.

She credits ASU for setting her up with a strong foundation that broadened her mind and taught her valuable life skills she uses daily in her professional career.

"Majoring in justice studies set me up with a robust intellectual foundation, paving the way for a dynamic career journey. The diverse curriculum fostered my adaptability and curiosity; most importantly, it taught me to be empathetic and critical,” O’Sullivan said. “As vice president for corporate and economic development at ASU, I use my skills daily to evaluate decisions that impact my organization, partners and community from multiple viewpoints.”

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