ASU student becomes a language professional at School of International Letters and Cultures

February 27, 2018

Arizona State University's School of International Letters and Cultures (SILC) not only draws people passionate about global life, but gives those people a chance to begin their global careers. Ralph Stage, a French major, has taken on many of these opportunities.

“I am a SILC ambassador intern,” Stage said. “My job is to help find academic internships and opportunities through the community, the Phoenix metro area, to help promote foreign language study and multicultural exposure.” Ralph Stage Ralph Stage brought French skills to ASU and learned how leverage his language abilities. Download Full Image

In addition to working for the school directly, Stage is also president of the French Club, helping other students improve their own language proficiency. Stage works as the treasurer of the SILC Attachés and helps organize SILC Café, supporting the weekly get-together for students of different language and culture studies to share what they’re doing.

For Stage, his interest in global studies came from his mother, who learned French in the Peace Corps. In high school, Stage would also study Spanish, but French was in the family. Between his French-speaking babysitter and a bilingual elementary school, he developed a strong language background, enabling him to maximize his time at SILC.

“I did the study abroad program in Quebec, Canada, I’ve been to Mexico, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Guadalupe, Burkina Faso, Italy, France, London,” Stage said.

“It was really cool to go around the world and see how other people lived, how they interacted with each other,” Stage said. “When I was in Burkina Faso, Africa, I got to speak French with some of the people there … in Quebec it was a full immersion program, so it helped my language skills quite a lot.”

Across nations, Stage found that his ability to communicate directly gave him deeper experiences day to day. Whether it was better restaurants, better exploring or better local friendships, speaking the language let him “interact with the community in a way that you couldn’t get from a tourist brochure.”

Back in Phoenix, Stage’s improved language skills are increasingly useful. Stage plans to get involved in refugee resettlement and prepare to teach abroad, opportunities he’s learned more and more about through SILC. He has immersed himself in an intricate and diverse multilingual community.

“You’d be surprised what you’re missing out on by sticking to just English,” Stage said. “It’s a big world out there, with a lot of great things to check out … you’ll probably find out you love it.”

Gabriel Sandler

ASU to lead MedTech workforce development with investment from Maricopa County Industrial Development Authority

February 27, 2018

Today the Arizona State University Foundation will accept a $2 million grant from the Maricopa County Industrial Development Authority (MCIDA) to fund a new workforce development project to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship in Maricopa County. ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering will lead the project to prepare existing, emerging and future members of Maricopa County’s workforce for jobs in the growing fields of medical electronic technology (MedTech) and additive manufacturing.

“This investment will help us bring together experts from academic, industrial and entrepreneurial settings to spur workforce development on a grand scale,” said Kyle Squires, dean of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. “This cross-disciplinary training program shares the Fulton Schools’ expertise, infrastructure and resources while promoting economic growth in Maricopa County.” group of 5 people holding giant check From left: Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Steve Chucri, District 2, ASU President Michael Crow, MCIDA Executive Director Shelby L Scharbach, MCIDA Board Member Jeremy Stawiecki, and Maricopa County Industrial Development Authority Business Development Officer Gregg Ghelfi exchange an MCIDA check for $2 million to kick off a medical technology workforce development initiative. Download Full Image

The new workforce development program will prepare job seekers and displaced workers from microelectronics and other high-tech industries to excel in MedTech and additive manufacturing — both areas of expertise in the Fulton Schools. 

Wearable electronics and handheld portable devices that provide on-demand diagnostic information for patients and their health-care providers represent only the beginning of what is possible using these technologies, and why it’s important to have a highly skilled workforce that can meet these growing demands.

“The medical technology industry is uniquely suited to grow here in Maricopa County, thanks to existing hospitals, industry pioneers such as MedTronic, and the minds of a world-class university in ASU,” said Steve Chucri, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors chairman, District 2. “This grant from the IDA is an example of a public-private partnership that can help grow and diversify our economy and bring jobs that improve the quality of life in Maricopa County.”

MedTech combines biotechnology, nano/micro-technology, information technology and cognitive sciences to deliver health-care solutions that have a profound positive impact on individual and public health. Additive manufacturing, the process by which many of these health-care solutions will come to life, is particularly useful for rapid prototyping and low-volume parts manufacturing.

Participants in the program will have access to a MedTech entrepreneurism course taught by ASU faculty and industry and entrepreneurial subject-matter experts; hands-on, high-tech training at ASU’s Flexible Electronics and Display Center; internships and apprenticeships at companies like Medtronic and Gore; and connections with MedTech startups. ASU will also work with the Maricopa County Community College District and other local educational institutions to develop training certification programs that meet industrial needs and improve the capacity of entrepreneurs and subject-matter experts to commercialize new MedTech products.

Several elements of the program will be available to participants starting summer 2018, with all program elements available in the fall. ASU is working with MCIDA to ensure that students, engagements and academic program cycles coordinate with the funding goals of the program.

“We want to fund programs and organizations that have a real shot at making a difference in people’s lives, whether that’s helping vulnerable populations or bringing high-tech, high-wage jobs to the region,” said Steven Bales Jr., president of MCIDA. “The MedTech program at ASU is a perfect fit with our mission, and we’re optimistic that our initial investment will help boost Maricopa County’s position as a leader and innovator in the field.”

MCIDA’s $2 million investment over a two-year period will jump-start the development of the program.