Undergraduate double major celebrates his time as a research assistant, legislative intern
Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable fall 2020 graduates.
Raised in Arizona, Dino Hadziahmetovic has balanced a lot while pursuing his undergraduate education. He enrolled at Arizona State University with the President’s Award after his acceptance to Barrett, The Honors College and decided to double major in philosophy and political science.
He signed up for the Undergraduate Research Experience program in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies where he was a research assistant for assistant professor of philosophy Maura Priest.
“The research area was child emotional abuse, and as a part of the project, I read and summarized over 100 academic articles involving ethical dilemmas associated with child emotional abuse and maltreatment,” said Hadziahmetovic. “I also analyzed state laws and court cases and brainstormed legal and policy solutions that increase the welfare of emotionally abused adolescents. The undergraduate research experience was a great opportunity for me to get exposure to real-world issues and develop research skills, which were extremely useful when I was writing my thesis.”
Along with writing his 95-page honors thesis titled, “In Defense of a Regulated Kidney Market,” Hadziahmetovic joined the Senate Page Program in January 2018. He began that program as a Senate page and was later promoted to constituent services specialist.
“Now I am currently the lead Senate page,” said Hadziahmetovic. “The Senate Page Program has been the greatest experience I’ve had during my undergraduate career. Working at the Senate was a great supplement to a political science degree. I would recommend the page program to any student who is interested in learning more about state government.”
Hadziahmetovic was on the Dean’s List for seven consecutive semesters and is a Friends of Philosophy Scholar, Spirit of Service Scholar and Don Lavoie Fellow. He is also the winner of the Moeur award.
Question: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?
Answer: I learned that most professors genuinely want you to succeed. Most professors will go out of their way to help you or provide guidance as long as you worked hard and showed a genuine interest in the class. Ultimately, I was surprised by how friendly, helpful and approachable most professors were.
Q: Why did you choose ASU?
A: I chose ASU for several reasons. First, ASU always seemed like a logical choice for me. I’ve lived in Arizona for practically my whole life, and I was raised in north Phoenix, about 25 miles away from ASU. Also, most of my friends were going to ASU and my older sister Una went to ASU. In addition, the cost of ASU was a significant factor. ASU was much more affordable than any out-of-state school, and I wasn’t really interested in going to University of Arizona or Northern Arizona University. Finally, Barrett was what attracted me to ASU the most. Barrett is arguably the best public honors college in the entire nation and I knew I was going to ASU once I was accepted to Barrett.
Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?
A: Throughout my time at ASU, I’ve had the privilege to work with so many intelligent and passionate professors. In particular, Dr. Thad Botham, Dr. Maura Priest, Professor Alberto Olivas, Dr. John Parker and Dr. Robert Niebuhr have taught me lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Most notably, these professors taught me to challenge my beliefs and approach situations from as many perspectives as possible. Overall, all of these professors have had a significant impact on me and my future career plans.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?
A: My best piece of advice is don’t be afraid of failure or making mistakes. As (the saying goes), “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Also, I would recommend that all students take advantage of the tremendous resources and opportunities available at ASU.
Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?
A: I haven’t been on campus all year because of COVID, but my favorite spot for power studying last year was Hayden Library! I loved the renovations at Hayden Library because of all the new study spots. No matter how packed the library was, there was always a cozy and quiet place in the library for me to get a few hours of studying in between classes.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: I was accepted into Harvard Law School last spring, but I deferred my admission for a year to complete my philosophy degree and continue working at the state capitol. After graduating from ASU, I will immediately transition to a full-time position at the Arizona State Senate. For this upcoming legislative session, I will be an assistant research analyst for the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. After the legislative session is over, I will move to Massachusetts and begin my legal education at Harvard Law School in the fall of 2021.
Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?
A: I would use the $40 million to develop Blockchain infrastructure in developing countries. I think that within the next decade, Blockchain technology will be an invaluable tool for enhancing economic development in emerging countries. By revolutionizing supply chains and international trade globally, blockchain technology will accelerate industrialization, economic growth and job creation in developing countries by providing greater access to global markets and more inclusion in global trade. Blockchains will transform global payment systems, allowing billions of dollars in new remittance to flow into the economies of poor countries. Moreover, Blockchain technology will make foreign aid more effective and increase the probability that assistance reaches the appropriate recipients and accomplishes its intended goals. Finally, digital ledger technology and transparent, immutable record keeping will lead to greater financial participation and entrepreneurship in developing countries. I’m a firm believer that Blockchain technology will enable developing countries to maximize their economic potential. I think developing countries that embrace blockchain applications will gain stability and become more competitive on the global stage. I think a $40 million investment will lead to billions of dollars in economic growth and development, which in turn would increase prosperity for millions of people.