What an exciting time of year here at the University of Arizona! In one week, we will begin the fall semester and welcome both new and continuing students to campus.
Many of you know that the UA and other higher education institutions choose to celebrate graduation at a commencement ceremony, so called because we see the completion of a degree as not an end to learning, but as a beginning of the life's work students prepared for while attending the UA. Less well known is the convocation ceremony we hold for freshmen. At this event, new students learn about the history and traditions of the University, and what it means to be a Wildcat. This year, the Class of 2020 will experience a revamped version, which is now called Bigger. Better. Bash!
This fall also brings the launch of a new service for all students, SOS (Support Opportunity and Success), which promises to find answers, within 24 hours, to any question a student has – whether it's about applying for financial aid, getting help with classes, or connecting with resources to make the transition to college a little easier.
We also have exciting changes in leadership. At the UA Health Sciences, we welcome two new deans: Dr. Rick G. Schnellman at the College of Pharmacy and Dr. Charles Cairns at the College of Medicine – Tucson. We also welcome back alumnus Chad Shoopman, a UA grad who has returned to his alma mater to direct the Pride of Arizona marching band.
Finally, I would like to share a few news items from the past month that illustrate the UA's excellence in teaching, research, and outreach.
The Center for World University Rankings has ranked the UA No. 73 in the world and No. 46 in the U.S.
Banner – University Medical Center Tucson has been rated the best hospital in Tucson and the third best in Arizona by U.S. News & World Report.
Two events held last month underscored the UA's commitment to improving science education for Arizona youth:
During the 10th annual KEYS (Keep Engaging Youth in Science) internship program, students took part in intense laboratory and science literacy training under the tutelage of UA researchers.
A record number of high school teachers attended workshops that prepared them to teach ENGR 102 High School, which introduces high school seniors to engineering and gives them a head start on a UA engineering degree.
For more stories about the many ways the UA is serving the state of Arizona and the U.S. Southwest, please take a moment to read the items below.
As always, thank you for your support of the University of Arizona.
Tech Launch Arizona has marked another record-setting year. For the fiscal year ending in June, TLA reported 250 invention disclosures, 278 patents filed and 14 startups licensing UA technologies. As the UA's technology commercialization office, TLA helps identify and pursue commercial opportunities for UA discoveries and research findings through partnerships that connect researchers with alumni experts, investors, and other allies along the pathway to commercialization.
The UA has released an app to help growers meet FDA requirements aimed at ensuring that water being used to grow produce is safe. Designed by the UA in collaboration with the University of California, Davis, the Ag Water app helps growers assess the quality of multiple water sources and offers real-time irrigation advice based on current water sampling conditions. In addition to simplifying the complex calculations involved in water testing, the app can predict the quality of a water source.
With a renewal of its status as a Comprehensive Cancer Center, the UA Cancer Center will continue to give patients throughout Arizona and the Southwest access to the most comprehensive, research-driven care and treatments. The renewal comes with a $17.6 million grant, which will bolster the center's efforts to better understand the genetic basis of cancer, and to prevent and cure cancer through the discovery of novel treatments.