Social impact


Solving challenges at the global, national and local levels

WIth curriculum based in creative thinking and interdisciplinary collaboration woven throughout their learning journey, students leave ASU prepared to excel in the future that follows.

#1 in the U.S
For global impact

Times Higher Education


#5 in the world
For global impact

Times Higher Education

Meet a few of ASU’s students making an impact throughout the world



Jessica T., interior architecture

Jessica helped design and build a play structure called Pause + Play for schoolchildren. She and fellow interior architecture students collaborated with 70 sixth graders to learn what kids want in a play experience and then brought it to life.


lake sunset

Jesse Senko, Assistant Research Professor and Senior Sustainability Scientist at ASU Ph.D. in biology from Arizona State University

Jesse is now a marine biologist and conservation scientist at Arizona State University. Most scientists spend their careers working on one problem, or part of a problem, or a tiny part of a problem. Senko is working on about 10 problems at once. Saving sea turtles is job one, but that’s related to sustainable fishing, which ties into resilient coastal communities. Engineering transformative fishing gear and reducing plastic trash in the oceans are other parts of his puzzle.


Kara Goldin

Kara Goldin, ’89 BA in communication

Founder and CEO of Hint Inc., a flavored water brand founded in 2005. She started her company to help her family and other people drink more water and get healthier, and her business now employs nearly 250 people. The company has expanded into other markets with an oxybenzone and paraben-free sunscreen, and a plant-based, aluminum-free deodorant. Goldin has donated to scholarships at ASU and volunteered to help mentor student entrepreneurs.



Vivek Kopparthi Bioengineering, MS (2016) 

In the summer of 2014, Kopparthi and three other ASU students began work on NeoLight, a medical startup aimed at eradicating deaths from infant jaundice. Now known as Skylife, the device uses LED-based phototherapy to treat infant jaundice in both hospitals and homes thus making it a viable option for developing countries that lack access to electricity or medical supplies, and addressing the tens of thousands of infants that die or develop brain damage each year from untreated jaundice. 

To date, the company has raised around $7.5 million from investors, including NFL quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and has developed a partnership with Phoenix-based HonorHealth to further study the device. 



Shantel Marekera,  Justice studies, MS (2018)

Determined to help girls in her native Zimbabwe community attend school, Marekera tapped into her entrepreneurial spirit and created the Little Dreamers Foundation. It provides tuition, meals and scholastic materials to students for less than $30 per month. The preschool opened in August 2018 with a ratio of one boy to three girls. Marekera hopes to introduce a new branch of the preschool each year in a different part of Harare and ultimately open a primary school. 


33 buckets

Mark Huerta, PhD, Engineering Education Systems & Design

As a student at ASU, Mark and a team of engineering students founded 33 Buckets, a water purification and distribution system for use in developing countries. By providing clean drinking water, they are saving lives and helping more than 12,000 people in Bangladesh, Peru and the Dominican Republic.