Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering alumnus Ryan Kanto and wife, Sarah, showed their Wildcat “spirit” this year, committing to a five-year financial gift to support collaborative teaching and active learning in the College of Engineering.
“The fact that the UA provided me with so many opportunities makes me feel somewhat obligated,” said Ryan, a former VP of operations at Rice Energy and co-founder with Sarah of Quantum Spirits distillery. “Sarah and I both want to pay it forward and try to improve the outcomes for students in the future.”
Ryan’s parents are also donors to the university, and his sister, Kara, earned both a graphic design degree from the UA in 2007 and a chemical engineering degree in 2017 -- the second after her brother got her hooked on thermodynamics.
The Kantos’ gift will fund measures like remodeling classrooms so students can work together at circular tables, and training faculty to teach in these new environments and use new technologies to increase engagement.