Technological Leadership graduate thrives in learner-centered classes

Jeffrey Cascarelli made the most of the leadership opportunities his coursework afforded him

Graduating senior Jeffrey Cascarelli thrived in the courses for his Technological Leadership BS degree thanks to the agency his classes afforded him.

In his Creative Futures Advanced Studio class, he and his classmates were empowered to design their own project. Their project was aimed at inspiring the next generation of learners. They designed an educational platform for local K-12 students to learn about different topics related to space. For a year and a half, Cascarelli co-lead and co-designed the project.

“I am proud of the opportunity I had to be a part of that team because it allowed me to develop new interests and skills. My team and I were able to take what was a concept and turn it into a reality.”

Technological Leadership is the undergraduate degree offered by the Interplanetary Initiative. The program recently introduced a minor for undergraduate students as well. Technological Leadership students let curiosity drive their classroom learning to align with their future goals. Students leave the degree with skills in interdisciplinary research, technology design and collaborative leadership.

We sat down with Cascarelli to get his perspective on his time in the Technological Leadership degree.

What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?

JC: Research. That was the main thing that I applied to nearly every class I took. Research was something I had not enjoyed, nor was I great at when I first came to ASU. It was something that I struggled with for a while until I switched my major to Technological Leadership, and then I began to properly utilize it. Now, applying research processes to my tasks or projects feels enjoyable, and I get to learn something new every time.

What course had the most impact on you?

JC: The course that had the most impact on me was HDA 496: Creative Futures Advanced Studio. This course allowed me to find many new interests in things such as design. My creativity and curiosity grew from taking this course. I was able to learn new skills like coding and communication, and I was able to make numerous friends out of it, too.

How did your internships set you up for success?

JC: My internships set me up to be further prepared for life after college. I was able to gain experience in fields that I had interests in and that allowed me to be a stronger candidate when applying to jobs. They gave me a glimpse into what life would be like after college as well, showing me what professional workflows look like and how people in teams work together to accomplish goals. 

My first internship was a remote position for the company GIANT Health. I was tasked with writing up the weekly newsletter which required me to do research each week on new health tech that was developed. In my second internship, I was tasked with creating a design collection of research about religion and space for the Interplanetary Initiative pilot project Religious Space. This internship gave me the opportunity to solidify my skills in research, while growing a passion for design.

What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

JC: Use and learn all the resources available to you. Not only is there software that students should utilize, but faculty and professors are great resources to have as well. There is no harm in getting to know your professors!

To learn more about the Technological Leadership major and minor, please visit

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