Impact Award, Spring 2023
Naysan Sahba was initially attracted to Arizona State University by the desert Southwest’s beautiful landscapes. An avid backpacker, he had multiple trips in mind he wanted to take in the region.
Receiving an ASU Next Generation Service Corps scholarship, which aims to train future leaders in a variety of disciplines to solve pressing global problems, cemented Sahba’s decision to come to ASU.
After exploring his options that could use his passion for math and problem-solving, he decided to choose electrical engineering as his major due to its variety of potential applications. Sahba knew he had found the right career track after wiring a metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor, or MOSFET, device wrong with his lab partner for a circuits class.
“The whole thing blew up,” he says. “It was so cool.”
While he enjoyed the technical side of his engineering education, Sahba also embraced the service aspects required to maintain his scholarship. He held leadership positions in ASU’s Engineering Projects in Community Service program and the university’s student chapter of Engineers Without Borders.
“I loved building relationships with people in each of these positions,” he says.
Sahba also built relationships in his neighborhood and became a leader making positive impacts in his community. This role involved mentoring children in studying, playing sports, doing art and performing service projects. Inspired by his Baha’i Faith beliefs, Sahba’s goal for these activities is to build qualities such as love, patience and kindness.
Through this program, Sahba wanted to reduce social ills in surrounding communities such as crime and violence.
“It is clear that social transformation occurs when communities come together,” he says. “We are seeing families come together to tackle societal challenges and address them.”
Sahba names electrical engineering Assistant Professor Mike Ranjram as an inspiration to him. He enjoyed going to office hours for both classes he took under Ranjram, and Sahba and his senior capstone project team chose Ranjram to mentor their project.
While he accomplished a lot during his time at ASU, one of Sahba’s favorite memories comes from an Engineers Without Borders project he led.
“Everyone was so tired from digging, lifting and troubleshooting while installing solar technology in the Navajo Nation,” he says. “One of the community leaders pulled up in his truck, started unloading ingredients and cooking Navajo tacos. We all just sat down in the dirt and slammed down some amazing food.”
While Sahba is still considering where his engineering future will take him next, he first plans to backpack around the Middle East and Europe after graduation.