Outstanding Graduate, Spring 2020
Mason Cole is an avatar of resilience. While working for the game design company that he co-founded and the university program in which he has been a student, Cole completed his degree with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.
He additionally served as an undergraduate teaching assistant, and as a senior research aide for a healthcare entrepreneurship lab. Simultaneously, he enthusiastically devoted himself to being a husband and the father of two very young children.
And if these efforts did not comprise a sufficient challenge, Cole fulfilled all of his degree requirements online from Orange County, California. In fact, the online aspect of his education proved particularly rewarding for him.
“When I enrolled at Arizona State University, I never imagined that so many opportunities would be available to online students,” he says. “But I was able to build real relationships with faculty, staff and my fellow students.”
Cole discovered that the door is open for online students at ASU to make the most of the entire range of university resources.
“You simply have to seek out the opportunities to create whatever experience you want,” he says. “And taking full advantage of what ASU has to offer proved to be my greatest achievement here.”
Among the many connections that have enriched Cole’s experience of ASU, he points to work with Fulton Schools Associate Professor Kevin Gary.
“Under Dr. Gary’s mentorship, I have been able to learn so much, work on meaningful research, and really push my limits,” Cole says. “I was delighted to be part of his team and to apply what I have been taught toward real projects that have shaped me into a better software engineer.”
After graduation, Cole plans to continue his online education, pursuing a master’s degree in computer science, and then hopefully a doctorate.
“I would love to continue my research and one day become a professor, making a difference in students’ lives like my professors here at ASU have done for me,” he says. “I want to explore ways to keep innovating how we use technology to learn, grow and improve quality of life.”