Fulton Schools outstanding grad plugs into engineering and helping others in a big way


May 18, 2020

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2020 graduates.

Brielle Januszewski says that she never understood what an engineer was or what an engineer could do, so she never considered engineering as a possibility for her. When she applied to colleges, she decided to major in sustainability. Brielle Januszewski Brielle Januszewski is a triple major and Barrett, The Honors College, student graduating with degrees in environmental engineering, biological sciences (conservation biology and ecology) and political science along with a minor in French and a certificate in international studies. Download Full Image

“After some research, I realized that the type of work I want to do is better suited to an engineering degree, so I switched my major,” says Januszewski, whose hometown is Phoenix. “Now that I am in an engineering program, I know that it is the perfect major for me and I do not want to do anything else.”

She was a member of Fulton Ambassadors for three and a half years, during which she volunteered to teach high school students about ASU engineering through campus tours, special events and shadow days.

“As a Fulton ambassador, I could reach out to younger students and inform them of the opportunities and benefits of engineering that I was never aware of,” says Januszewski. “I wanted to impact the lives of all the students who came to ambassador events and let them know that the Fulton Schools can help them on their path towards a successful and meaningful degree.”

In terms of work with peers, Januszewski managed an ASU team of more than 20 civil engineering students to design and construct a lightweight concrete canoe to compete against 17 regional schools in the Regional Pacific Southwest Conference of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

“The concrete canoe was the most memorable project I worked on,” she says. “It was a yearlong effort on which I worked for 20-40 hours a week with my best friends. It was great because it was challenging, but once we were able to compete it was so rewarding to see all of my hard work — something that was fun, competitive and truly impressive.”

Januszewski is a triple major and Barrett, The Honors College, student graduating with degrees in environmental engineering, biological sciences (conservation biology and ecology) and political science along with a minor in French and a certificate in international studies.

In addition to her roles with Fulton Ambassadors and ASCE, she was the external affairs officer of Tau Beta Pi, she led an Engineering Projects in Community Service program project, she participated in two semesters of the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative, was in the Grand Challenges Scholar Program and served as an undergraduate teaching assistant for five semesters. She also is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Chi Epsilon and SSEBE Ambassadors, and she received NASA Space Grant research funding.

She was selected as the Outstanding Graduate in the civil engineering program and was named ASU's Outstanding Graduate from the Fulton Schools. Januszewski also is a recipient of the IMPACT Award from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering for her leadership, volunteer and service roles that have positively impacted the community. 

Januszewski, who is also a recipient of a 2020 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program award, encourages women to have the confidence in their own abilities to chase the opportunities represented by an engineering degree.

“Women generate ideas that are just as innovative and valuable as anyone’s,” says Januszewski. “So, being a woman in engineering is important because it benefits everyone when we can apply our skills and pursue our interests.”

Erik Wirtanen

Web content comm administrator, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

480-727-1957

ASU alum utilizes mapping education to connect community with mural artists

Murals of Phoenix gives artists a platform to share their work


May 18, 2020

Julian Sodari’s love for public art was sparked at a young age. Unable to visit art galleries as a child, Sodari said his neighborhood murals and graffiti served as his own personal art gallery.

In 2013, Sodari graduated from Arizona State University with his master’s degree in geographic information systems and his bachelor’s degree in urban planning from the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. As a first-generation college student, Julian Sodari said the importance of education was instilled in him early on by his parents, both Mexican immigrants. Because of his dad’s background in construction, he initially considered pursuing a degree in architecture at ASU, but ultimately decided that urban planning was more aligned with his interests. Download Full Image

A year later, he combined his love for street art with his technical expertise in mapping, urban planning and geographic information systems and founded Murals of Phoenix — an organization that supports and promotes Phoenix artists by providing them a platform to share their work.

As a first-generation college student, Sodari said the importance of education was instilled in him early on by his parents, both Mexican immigrants. Because of his dad’s background in construction, he initially considered pursuing a degree in architecture at ASU, but ultimately decided that urban planning was more aligned with his interests.  

The idea for Murals of Phoenix originated when Sodari met Sam Gomez, the owner of the Sagrado Galleria in south Phoenix. As a gallery owner, Gomez was often asked questions about murals in Phoenix, including where they were located or which artists created them. This inspired Gomez and Sodari to create a mural mapping application that would help interested individuals find murals and learn more about them.

“For a couple months we were developing the web map with location points for all the murals in the Valley. We would photograph them and then add personal artist stories about each piece, and that’s kind of how it all started,” Sodari said. “It’s become a priority for us to give back to these artists. Murals are free art — someone pays for it, but we all get to enjoy it. By providing services to the artists, we want to ensure they get paid so they can make a living doing what they love.”

Over time Murals of Phoenix evolved from a mapping application into an organization that plans and hosts events to benefit artists as well as a resource that helps connect artists with those who are looking to commission a mural. The organization has become established in the arts community, with a large following on Instagram where it showcases recent work by local artists.

“What Julian’s organization does is incredibly important to the mural community,” local artist Isaac Caruso said. “By showcasing Phoenix talent to a large audience on Instagram, our abilities and styles gain notoriety. These good people who catalog the murals, promote talent and facilitate some things on the administrative side are a crucial part of our city’s thriving art community.”

Along with running Murals of Phoenix, Sodari also works full time at EASi, a local utility engineering firm. Sodari said that The College equipped him with the tools he needed to succeed in the real world.

“My program provided me with a good foundation that I was able to build upon, evolve and apply to my current work,” he said. “My master’s really prepared me the most by giving me the knowledge I needed to think analytically about using geography as a tool.”

Although a recent Murals of Phoenix event was canceled due to the coronavirus, Sodari has found new ways to continue to connect the community with artists through livestreams and virtual events.

Learn more about Murals of Phoenix at muralsofphoenix.com or on Instagram @MuralsofPhoenix.

Emily Balli

Communications Specialist and Lead Writer, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences