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She's got a ticket to ride

From tinkering in the garage with dad to attending Fulton Schools: New freshman engineer to chase automotive design


Rebekah Wagen ASU freshman engineer
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August 17, 2018

Editor's note: This is part of a series of profiles of fall 2018 incoming ASU students.

Ever since Rebekah Wagen was a little girl, she worked with her father in his workshop on his 2000 Honda Civic SI. They took apart the engine, the door locks, the window actuators.

“Just working with him in the shop and on projects around the house,” Wagen said. “I’ve always wanted to be an engineer.”

And this fall she’ll begin to pursue that dream at Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus, working to earn a degree in automotive engineering. Wagen hopes to design cars for Ford or Tesla.

Question: What drew you to your major?

Answer: I love cars.

Q: What are you most excited to experience your first semester?

A: The culture at ASU. I’ve had older friends who have come here and they’ve been like, "Oh my gosh it’s so great." They come from such a small school and you know everyone, whereas coming to ASU you’re definitely not going to know anyone. Just getting to experience that and getting to meet new people every day pretty much.

Q: What do you like to brag about to friends about ASU?

A: All my friends coming to ASU are coming to the Tempe campus and I’m going to the Poly one, so we’re going to have a different environment. I’m not going to see them all the time. I get to brag about going to Poly and being different from them.

Q: What talents and skills are you bringing to the ASU community?

A: I’m very creative. I like to think of stuff on my own. I like to draw and do things whenever I want to, just build, get my hands dirty, get ready to work.

Q: What’s your favorite TV show right now?

A: It’s between either "The Flash" or "Arrow."

Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your college years?

A: I hope to get my degree. I hope to meet new people so I can form lifelong friendships. I know high school friendships a lot of the time don’t last, and I really hope they do, but I hope I can form some of those friendships in college too.  

Q: What’s one interesting fact about yourself that only your friends know?

A: I have unilateral hearing loss in my right ear. I can only hear at really low frequencies in my right ear. I can’t hear anything else. I wear a hearing aid, but I don’t wear it all the time. It helps me out sometimes.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem in our world, what would you choose?

A: Is it cheesy to say end world hunger? That’s what I would try for.

Q: What’s your prediction on the final score for this year’s Territorial Cup game?

A: No clue! (laughs)

Top photo: New freshman Rebekah Wagen plans to study automotive systems engineering on the Polytechnic campus, and would love to work as a designer for either Ford or Tesla. She is photographed with her Mini Cooper on the Tempe campus on Thursday, July 26, 2018. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

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