What are you most proud of achieving this past academic year?

An end of semester message to College of Global Futures Students

If you’re a student in ASU’s College of Global Futures (or even if you’re not), here’s a question for you: What are you most proud of achieving or being associated with from this past academic year? 

It may be acing a course, or getting the position you wanted. Or it could be passing a class you were struggling with, or helping someone else in a way only you knew about, or having the bravery to advocate for issues you believe in, or achieving what’s important to you despite a thousand and one challenge. Or even simply surviving for one more day.

Over the years I’ve spent working with students, I’ve come to deeply appreciate that the greatest acts of personal achievement and bravery are rarely the ones that many of us see. Yet these are the ones that often matter the most. And those that I do hear about make me realize just how privileged I am to work with such a resilient and awesome student community.

I mention this because next week is graduation week, and we will be publicly celebrating our graduating students in the College of Global Futures. 

I love graduation and the unique stories behind every degree conferred, as well as the unbelievable potential that each of our graduates represents. It’s something we should all be celebrating with them and their families and friends.

But graduation also reminds me how easy it is for us to celebrate the visible success stories (which are of course important), and how much harder it is to be inspired by and see the worth in the stories that aren’t so visible, and that don’t so readily grab your attention.

So as we wrap up this semester and celebrate our graduates, remember to ask yourself and others what you’re most proud of achieving this past year. And no matter what the answer is, celebrate it! Because only by recognizing and affirming the full diversity of who we are, and what we do and overcome, can we become effective co-creators of a better future.

At this point I should probably finish typing as I’ve already gone on longer than I should. But let me just end by saying that I’m going to miss you all next year!

I’ll be stepping down as Associate Dean for Student Success in the College of Global Futures this summer, as I go back to being a regular faculty member in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. But before I do, thank you so much for inspiring me, impressing me, and humbling me, over the past two years — you’ve been an amazing group of students to work with.

And wherever you find yourself next year, don’t forget to be awesome!


Andrew Maynard
Director, ASU Future of Being Human initiative

Andrew Maynard

Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society

[email protected]