Impact Award, Fall 2020
When Sean Keller was ready for college, he wasn’t sure where he wanted to go. But with Arizona State University in his backyard, a family history of electrical engineers and a natural talent for math, he decided to try the electrical engineering program in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.
“I realized I was on the right engineering path when I took EEE 120: Digital Design Fundamentals with Lecturer Alicia Baumann,” Keller says. “This was the first engineering course that I connected with.”
As an exceptional academic, Keller earned a top spot in ASU’s Barrett, The Honors College. Alongside other honors students, he served on the St. Lucia Global Resolve project. The service program introduces students to the global needs of rural communities and it gave Keller insight on how his degree can help improve conditions around the globe.
Keller also used the knowledge he gained in the classroom and his newfound electrical engineering passion on an EPICS service project. The group project for the Phoenix Zoo developed behavioral enrichment toys designed to allow guests to play with small cats.
“I have always believed that the lives we touch can initiate a chain reaction of events that can lead to meaningful change in the world,” says Keller. “In being a part of these organizations, I hope I can be the spark that lights the match and starts this chain reaction.”
Keller says one of his most meaningful experiences at ASU was finding his mentor in former Professor Seth Abraham. They first met in the fall of 2019 in Abraham’s hardware design languages and programmable logic class.
Keller would visit Abraham’s office hours to clarify complex concepts, but over time their conversations changed from purely class content to a range of topics that included advice on Keller’s academic path and career.
“Professor Abraham impacted me both inside and outside the classroom,” says Keller. “He is someone I could rely on. He provided insightful answers to my questions no matter the subject.”
After graduation, Keller plans to attend law school and pursue a career in international patent law.
“I hope that I can help some of the next generations of leaders in innovation unleash their full potential.”
Keller leaves the Fulton Schools with enlightenment both academically and personally.
“Engineering has helped me realize the extent to which we can impact peoples’ lives,” says Keller. “As leading innovators, we can create a better future for ourselves and others.”