ASU's chief research and innovation officer named to Arizona Secretary of State advisory council


March 17, 2016

Arizona State University Chief Research and Innovation Officer and Executive Vice President Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan has been named to a newly formed advisory council that will provide strategic insight to the Arizona Secretary of State Office. 

Responsible for advancing research, innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development at ASU, Panchanathan joins other well-respected and diverse business leaders from across the state to provide feedback and strategic support for the secretary’s policy programs.  Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan is the chief research and innovation officer and executive vice president at Arizona State University. Download Full Image

Secretary of State Michele Reagan announced the formation of the Secretary’s Technology, Transparency and Commerce Council last month to assist her in better understanding the statewide business community throughout her term of service. 

“I’m delighted and honored to have such an amazing group of industry leaders, including Sethuraman Panchanathan, to help me identify and implement an agenda that will make government more efficient and accountable,” Reagan said. “With their expertise and commitment toward improving the state, I’m confident we’ll take great strides to upgrade our technologies, promote greater transparency and make it even easier to start and run a business in Arizona.”  

Drawing from a highly accomplished background, Panchathan said he is looking forward to contributing to the council based on ASU’s success as the New American University. 

“It is an honor to be part of Secretary Reagan’s prestigious Technology, Transparency and Commerce Council,” said Panchanathan. “ASU continues to advance its knowledge enterprise as well as foster the economic and social well-being of the communities around it. Therefore, the opportunity to be at the table with other statewide business and community leaders is key to helping us contribute further to the economic success of Arizona.”

Panchanathan serves on the National Science Board as President Barack Obama’s appointee. He has also been appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.  

In addition to his executive leadership role at ASU, Panchanathan is a Foundation Chair in computing and informatics and is the director of the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing (CUbiC) at ASU. He is also the founding director of the School of Computing and Informatics and was instrumental in founding ASU’s Biomedical Informatics Department. CUbiC’s flagship project iCARE, for individuals who are blind and visually impaired, won the Arizona Governor’s Innovator of the Year-Academia Award. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Society of Optical Engineering and a member of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

With their shared commitment to transparent, accountable and business-friendly government, the secretary’s Technology, Transparency and Commerce Council will meet quarterly at the Arizona State Capitol. Meetings with be open to the public.

Wattpad executive to present prestigious Aspire Award to ASU Cronkite student


March 17, 2016

The head of content at Wattpad, an innovative storytelling app creating new paths at the intersection of literature and technology, is the featured speaker of the annual Public Relations Lab Mentorship Lecture at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Ashleigh Gardner, Wattpad’s head of writer and publisher partnerships, will discuss the power of mentorship and present Cronkite senior Morgan Rath with the 2016 Aspire Award at 7 p.m. Monday, March 21, in the Cronkite School’s First Amendment Forum. Ashleigh Gardner, Wattpad Ashleigh Gardner, Wattpad’s head of writer and publisher partnerships, is the featured speaker at the Cronkite School's annual Public Relations Lab Mentorship Lecture. She will present the Aspire Award to ASU student Morgan Rath. Download Full Image

Established in honor of Enid R. Pansky by Scott Pansky, co-founder of the global public relations firm Allison+Partners, the PR Lab Mentorship Lecture and Aspire Award brings a nationally recognized communications thought leader to the Cronkite School to meet and mentor a senior-level PR student.  

“Morgan is a shining example of a student that has a vision for where digital communications is heading,” said Pansky. “My family and I are honored that ASU recognized how my mother motivated and mentored thousands of people in her career. This program embraces her heart and spirit, providing mentoring opportunities with public relations and marketing luminaries.”

Prior to the Mentorship Lecture, Rath will spend the day with Gardner, discussing career goals and her experiences at the Cronkite School as well as reviewing her portfolio. Gardner also will tour the campus.

“A lifetime lover of reading, I was ecstatic to hear that Ashleigh Gardner was selected to be my mentor,” Rath said. “As the head of content for a company on the forefront of digital publishing, Ashleigh is sure to have very interesting insights into the future of the industry. I am forever grateful to Scott Pansky and everyone at the Cronkite School for providing me with this phenomenal opportunity.”

Rath is working in the Cronkite School’s PR Lab, an immersive learning environment in which students plan and execute professional marketing and communication campaigns for clients that range from Fortune 500 companies to nonprofits. Students work under the guidance of Cronkite Associate Professor Fran Matera, the founding director of the PR Lab.

“The Lab’s innovative approach coupled with Scott’s support helps our students move further along their career path,” Matera said.

At Wattpad, Gardner works with publishers and writers to seize new engagement opportunities with the growing app and online platform. With 40 million users, Wattpad helps people around the globe discover new stories to read and offers writers the opportunity to share their work.

Previous PR Lab Mentorship Lectures have featured John J. Nicoletti, vice president for internal communications at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts; Gail Adams-Jackson, director of communications for the International Association of Geophysical Contractors; and Glen Broom, professor emeritus at San Diego State University. 

Communications manager, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

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