Last weekend I had the honor of celebrating the achievements of the remarkable women and men who have completed their degrees at the University of Arizona. They include first-generation college students, international scholars, entrepreneurs, world-class dancers, and future physicians. Our Commencement speaker, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., gave an inspiring address that encouraged graduates to focus on what they can do to improve the world. To learn more about our amazing graduates, as well as the awards we presented to students, distinguished alumni, and others, I invite you to visit the Commencement website.
While many of our new alums already have secured jobs, we stand ready to support those who are still looking. The career services program at the UA Alumni Association helps alumni find jobs, advance in their careers, and build their professional networks. If you know of a Wildcat looking for a new career opportunity, or you are an alum looking to hire a Wildcat, please visit the Alumni Career Services website to learn more.
Finally, I am happy to share some news from the University of Arizona Cancer Center. Dr. Gregory Rogers – an associate professor in the UA Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, a member of the UA Cancer Center Cancer Biology Program, and an associate professor with the UA BIO5 Institute – has been awarded a five-year R01 NIH grant to study the formation of tumors. His research could lead to new drug targets to combat tumors, and this award is a well-deserved confirmation of the incredibly important work he and his colleagues at the UA are doing to advance cancer research.
To read more about other ways the University of Arizona is building future leaders and making life better for Arizona and beyond, please see the stories below.
More than 300 industry professionals joined about a hundred students for the UA's 19th annual Global Retailing Conference. Many presenters, including UA alumnus Terry J. Lundgren – chairman, president and CEO of Macy's – talked about the future of retail as a "digical" experience, a blend of the digital and physical. Other presenters included Margo Georgiadis, president of the Americas for Google, and representatives from MasterCard, REI, PetSmart, Whole Foods, The Container Store, eBay and Sephora.
Soybeans are a major ingredient in infant formulas, processed foods and livestock feed, but they have a significant flaw: they contain several allergenic and anti-nutritional proteins, which interfere with the absorption of nutrients. After a decade of research, two UA scientists have created a new variety of soybean with significantly reduced levels of the three key proteins that cause these effects. The new soybean can be grown organically or with pesticides.
A new ranking by the Brooking Institution confirms that the UA is producing graduates with great economic outlooks. The UA earned the highest scores among the state's three universities in three measures: graduates’ midcareer salaries, rates of student loan repayment, and what the report’s authors call occupational earnings power, which is the average salary of the college alumni’s occupations.