Baseball fans shift focus

April 3, 2012

Column by Nick Prete, ASU News

Some might call this year for the Sun Devil's baseball team a wash. With no hope for a playoff birth, so far a less than satisfactory season and a recent drop in the NCAA polls losing their No. 14 seed, many say that this just isn't their year. With a current record of 16 and 11 and an eighth place ranking in the Pac-12, all hopes may be gone for a happy ending to the season. This looks to be the second time in 10 years, and the first time in Coach Esmay's run as head coach, that the Devils have had less than 40 wins in a season. In order for the Devils to reach 40 they have to win 24 of their next 28 games which include some pretty stout opponents like No. 5 Arizona, No. 16 Stanford, and their opponent this weekend No. 23 Oregon State. The Sun Devils have a tough road ahead of them as a team. That's why fans should turn their focus towards individual performances of the players. Download Full Image

There are many players on this year's team who stand out. Mainly, Abe Ruiz, Joey DeMichele, Deven Marrero and Brady Rodgers. The core to this year's team, these players have accolades that fans can get behind. Ruiz, DeMichele and Rodgers have won Pac-12 player of the week awards so far this year. DeMichele, Marrero, and Rodgers are all on the watch list for the 2012 Golden Spikes Award, and the Devils are tied with Stanford for most players on the watch list in the Pac-12. Scouts rank Rodgers' control as the best in his draft class. DeMichele has been called one of the best batters in the Pac-12. Marrero… let's just face it, he's pretty darn good. Meaning that all three of them have a fairly good chance to make the semi-finals if not the finals if their performances keep up. The list will be shortened down to the 30 player semi-final on May 29th. This is also the day when fans can begin voting for the 3 Golden Spikes finalists.

Make sure to mark May 29th down on the calendar and then once the semi-finalists are announced be sure to get voting (for Sun Devils of course)! In the mean time, fans can't give up on the team. Their record may not be quite what everyone expected it to be, but we still have a "Most Fans in the Pac-12" title to defend, as well as some spectacular athletes to cheer on. This is when the team needs its fans more than ever. Sun Devil fans come out no matter what the score board says, and no matter what our record is. Besides, who doesn't want to sit outside and watch a little baseball?

Tech pioneer named Executive of the Year

April 3, 2012

On April 19, Irwin Jacobs, founding chairman and CEO emeritus of Qualcomm Incorporated, will be honored for his incredible accomplishments that vaulted us all forward in the technology we use to communicate.

Qualcomm is a leading developer and innovator of advanced wireless technologies, products and services. The company’s portfolio includes thousands of U.S. and international patents on many of the most important inventions and innovations in wireless and related technologies. Dr. Irwin Jacobs Download Full Image

“We’re proud to honor Dr. Jacobs for his amazing achievements that link us together through technology and communication,” says Robert Mittelstaedt, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. “He is a visionary, who was a key player in satellite communications as far back as the 1960s, but his greatest impact began when he met with colleagues in his den in the 1980s to talk about forming a new company. Today, that company, Qualcomm, is one of the greatest American technology stories – and a publicly traded, Fortune 500 firm.”

Jacobs will become the 29th Executive of the Year chosen annually by the Dean’s Council of 100, a national group of prominent executives who advise the W. P. Carey School of Business. At the awards luncheon, he’ll speak to a Valley audience about his legacy – moving from a professor to an entrepreneur and greatly influencing a world that now has more than 6 billion cellular connections.

In addition to his immense success at Qualcomm, where Jacobs served as chairman and chief executive officer for 20 years, he is also known for his generous contributions to education, the arts and the environment. He and his wife, Joan, took the “Giving Pledge” – along with billionaires Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and others -- to give away more than half of their fortune to philanthropy. He has also been involved in global efforts to support small business growth and better health care in emerging economies.

Jacobs taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of California, San Diego. He received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University and master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from MIT, plus honorary degrees from seven other universities. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received many industry, education and business accolades, including the National Medal of Technology, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Alexander Graham Bell Medal, the Financial Times Lifetime Achievement Award for 25 years in telecommunications, the IEEE and Royal Society of Edinburgh James Clerk Maxwell Award, and the Marconi Society Prize. He currently chairs the National Academy of Engineering and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

The event to honor Jacobs will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., April 19 at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort in Scottsdale, Ariz.. The W. P. Carey School of Business Dean’s Council of 100 chose Jacobs to follow previous winners, including Michael Dell, chairman and chief executive officer of Dell Inc.; Howard Schultz, chairman and chief executive officer of Starbucks Coffee Company; and Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company.

The event is part of the Economic Club of Phoenix speaker series. For more information about the club or to reserve seats, call (480) 965-6568, e-mail or visit