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ASU's Tooker House is designed for inquisitive engineering minds.
Want to know when your laundry is done? Yeah, there's an app for that.
August 11, 2017

Everything at cutting-edge Tempe residence hall designed to enhance what Ira A. Fulton students learn in classrooms and labs

When Arizona State University’s latest crop of engineering students move this weekend into the state-of-the-art residence hall built specifically for their discipline, they aren’t living in just any old dorm.

They are living totally immersed in an engineering education experience.

Everything about Tooker House, a brand-new 1,600-student community for engineering students, is designed to enhance and extend what they learn in classrooms and labs.

“Innovation has a new home address at Tooker House,” said Kyle Squires, dean of the Fulton Schools of Engineering. “This mixed-use living and learning facility sets a new standard in engineering education and reflects the breadth and depth of the student experience at the largest engineering school in the nation.”

Video by Ken Fagan/ASU Now

The fully Wi-Fi-accessible facility has enough bandwidth to accommodate four devices per resident. There are seven social lounges, seven study lounges and six academic success centers.

“Everything in here is built with the mind-set of engineers,” said Bradley Bolin, assistant director for residential life at the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. “If you look at the ceilings, they look like they’re unfinished, but this is the finished product. They know engineers want to see not just the surface, but what’s beyond the surface. Where does water run? Where is the electricity? What kind of materials did they use?

“If you walk down the hallway, you’ll see where the hot water line is and where the cold water line is. You’ll see where Internet is placed. Our electrical room is all glass on the hallway side. Students who are interested in that type of engineering can walk down to what is running our building and look through and see actual engineers using the space.”

Engineers love to know how things work, and how things are put together.

“To see the inner workings of a building kind of kick-starts peoples’ imaginations,” said Pedro Giorge, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering who lives in Tooker House. “It’s really cool to see an application of what we learn in school actually applied. When you’re in your books and you’re concentrating on your work and the theories behind really don’t make a connection until you actually see something like an electrical system or a mechanical system. It’s just really cool to see that at home for a lot of these students.”

The vast majority of Tooker House residents are first-year engineering students. (The first and second floors are dedicated to upper-division students.) They run the gamut: civil engineering, mechanical engineering, material management engineering.

“Any type of engineering taught at Fulton, they can live at Tooker House,” Bolin said.

Two makerspaces outfitted for engineers provide a collaborative environment where students can work on projects, develop new technologies and have access to tools like 3-D printers and laser cutters. The spaces are also equipped with video chat, adjustable tables, soundproofing and lockers for projects.

“Engineers go through a lot of classes, and they have to do a lot of group work,” Bolin said. “What’s awesome about Tooker House, there’s plenty of group spaces where students can come together and use the floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall white boards. They can write out their big equations like they do in the movies. We created spaces like that just for them to walk down the hall with their roommate or someone who is in the same class with them and utilize the space we have here for them to work on their projects together. And, with the academic success centers in Tooker House, they have direct access to tutors, who are sophomores, seniors and sometimes grad students.”

Other amenities in the residence hall include a full-service, 14,000-square-foot, 525-seat dining facility; recreation center with modern student lounges, billiards and ping-pong; a modern fitness center with cardio machines and strength equipment, and a convenience store.

It’s a gated community with 24-hour campus security and front-desk services; live-in residential staff; and a courtyard with a sun deck and outdoor gathering pavilions.

Suites are fully furnished apartments with adjoining bathrooms, hardwood-style flooring, solar blackout shades, USB outlets and ceiling fans.

On-site laundry facilities with Bluetooth washers and dryers notify students when cycles are complete. 

“We have 130 washers and dryers to accommodate (students),” Bolin said. “They are on the second, fourth and sixth floors. There’s a really cool app. If a student doesn’t want to get out of their room, they can check the app to see when a machine is available and when their laundry is done.”

The new residence hall is named for Diane and Gary Tooker. Diane Tooker is an alumnus of ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and a former business owner and elementary school teacher. Gary Tooker is an alumnus of the Fulton Schools of Engineering and a former CEO of Motorola.

Together, the couple has made contributions to ASU through the ASU Foundation for more than 30 years, including support for the university’s teaching and engineering programs and the endowed Diane and Gary Tooker Chair for Effective Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Gary Tooker’s contributions to fostering Arizona’s tech sector were recognized with a lifetime achievement award presented at the 2012 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation.

“Diane and Gary Tooker are not only longtime supporters of ASU, but of innovation and education. Tooker House epitomizes the best of both,” said Gretchen Buhlig, CEO of ASU Foundation. “We are grateful to them, and for the opportunity to bring new spaces and modes of learning to our Fulton Schools of Engineering students.”

 

Top photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Scott Seckel

Reporter , ASU Now

480-727-4502

 
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August 11, 2017

Six alumni, who graduated from the largest and most diverse college at Arizona State University, have joined forces to create a renewed sense of pride in their alma mater. 

“When I talk to alumni from ASU, they may not even know they were a part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,” said Steven Slugocki, a founding member of the Emerging Leaders program. “This program will engage recent graduates, increase awareness of the college and build alumni affinity.”

The Emerging Leaders program, a part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Council, was created to establish a network of talented young professionals who graduated 10 years ago or less from the college. These alumni will invest in the college, encourage alumni involvement and showcase how an education in liberal arts and sciences can make a difference in local, national and global communities.

“I want to make a difference in my community,” said Slugocki, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a history minor in 2007. “Not all of us can write a $10,000 check, but we can give back by staying involved with the college. You’ll get to know incredible people and make a huge impact.”

Slugocki works as a business sales consultant with Wells Fargo and serves as the chair of the Maricopa County Democratic Party. He’s the youngest chair of a major county party in the country.

“I hope to make the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as strong as possible,” said Slugocki. “It’s such a diverse college with so many schools and departments. I want to make it a source of pride for recent graduates and people who graduated long ago. They should be proud of their college.”

Amanda Ventura, another founding member of the program, has also been eager to help people feel connected to their college again. She believes it’s important to make sure alumni understand the college and university still have a range of resources to offer them — even after graduation.

“I want to see the foundation of our work give way to a growing network of young alumni who are empowering each other and themselves to make the most out of their careers,” said Ventura, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English (creative writing) in 2011. “I think professional networking with people who are finding practical applications from their university education is really important.” 

Ventura works with communication alumna Jennifer Kaplan, who graduated in the class of ’96 and started her own firm: Evolve Public Relations and Marketing. As a senior account manager, Ventura helps a handful of clients grow their brand through communication and marketing.

“Many alumni want to take their diploma and run,” said Ventura. “We want to reach out to those people and show them why it’s appealing to come back to the university. Our main focus is figuring out how to activate young alumni and bring them back into the support system of ASU.”

Ventura said it has been humbling to come back to campus and see how much the university has changed. She also enjoys working with the other founding members of the groups, especially Slugocki and Samantha Winter McAlpin. 

“I think as an alumna of a very large university, it’s easy to pretend there’s no need for me to get involved because there are thousands of other graduates who are most likely doing what needs to be done, but that’s never the case,” said Winter McAlpin, who received concurrent bachelor’s degrees in Spanish, English and history in 2008. “I’m so happy I’ve found a good way to re-involve myself.”

Winter McAlpin works at Sacks Tierney, a Scottsdale-based law firm, as an attorney who advises clients on estate and tax planning. She has been involved with the Emerging Leaders program since inception. She said she’s very appreciative for the education she received from the college and believes it’s time for the alumni to give back.

“Being a founding member of the program has been a remarkable experience,” Winter McAlpin said. “Our world is changing quickly, and I hope it’s valuable for the college to learn how more recent graduates feel their degree has served them.”

Paul Padegimas, Abraham Hamadeh and Jorge Coss Ortega — who just graduated in May 2017 — are the newest members of the Emerging Leaders program. They’re eager to get involved and connect with fellow alumni from the college. 

“I’ve been interested in getting a little more involved,” said Padegimas, who graduated from the university in 2011 with a master’s degree in geography.

Padegimas said he learned how to tackle complex problems from his degree program, which has been essential in his current career as a transportation consultant with Turner Engineering Corporation.

“I want to help people go further in their education than they otherwise could by helping the program secure funding for scholarships,” Padegimas said. “I also want to continue to help the college and university develop. Both have done a lot of big things and have a lot of great programs. Let’s keep pushing it in the same direction.”

In 2012, Hamadeh graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He went on to complete a law degree at University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law in 2016. Currently, Hamadeh is a Second Lieutenant of Military Intelligence in the United States Army Reserve and a board member for ASU’s Center for Political Thought and Leadership.

“I want to be an advocate and ambassador because I have a real sense of pride in ASU,” Hamadeh said. “I also believe in what Michael Crow stands for in education. It’s accessible to everybody and yet can be so personable. That’s why I thought it would be a good idea to give back.”

For more information about the Emerging Leaders program, please contact Lisa Roubal-Brown at 480-965-2617 or lisa.roubal-brown@asu.edu.

The Emerging Leaders program is a subdivision of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Council, an exclusive group of alumni who help shape the future of the college by staying committed to the highest standards of excellence and innovation in higher education. 

Amanda Stoneman

Copywriter , College of Liberal Arts and Sciences