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Temple Grandin to receive honorary degree at spring commencement

Temple Grandin
February 24, 2012

Editor's Note: Read about Temple Grandin's academic career at ASU – and how it launched her into the field of animal science – here.

Temple Grandin, professor of animal science and autism advocate, will receive an honorary degree from Arizona State University at the spring commencement in May.

Commencement speaker and journalist Tom Brokaw, neuroscientist Eric Kandel and chairman of A*STAR Lim Chuan Poh will also receive honorary degrees at the ceremony. Nelson Broms, vice president of iQ NetSolutions, Inc. and senior advisor at UtiliCorp United, will be awarded the prestigious University Medal of Excellence.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Grandin was diagnosed with autism at the age of two,  and has worked tirelessly as an advocate of early intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders. Grandin’s willingness to share and articulate her own experiences with autism has provided valuable insights to researchers and families connected with the disorder. Her many books related to autism, a film based on her life and her speaking engagements continue to inspire others.

As an animal scientist, Grandin is a world leader in the design of livestock handling facilities. Half of the cattle in the United States and Canada are handled in equipment she has designed for meat plants. She serves as consultant to many large companies and to ranches and trains auditors regarding animal care at processing plants. Other professional activities include developing animal welfare guidelines for the meat industry and consulting with McDonalds, Wendy’s International, Burger King, and other companies on animal welfare.

Grandin has contributed to many industry publications, including book chapters and technical papers on animal handling, plus 63 refereed journal articles in addition to ten books. Her book “Animals in Translation” became a New York Times Best-Seller.

Her numerous awards include the Meritorious Achievement Award from the Livestock Conservation Institute, a Lifetime Achievement Award from The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and an honorary doctorate from McGill University. She was also honored in Time Magazine’s 2010 list of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World.”

In 2010 HBO premiered the hit movie Temple Grandin in recognition of her hard work and dedication to activism. In total the movie received seven Emmy awards, a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award.