Along with her degree in construction management, she will arrive on the job as the first recipient of the Fulton Student Dedication and Excellence Award to acknowledge Fulton Schools students who have demonstrated exemplary performance in guiding new and continuing ASU engineering students while serving as a student employee, student paraprofessional or student mentor. 

Cassidy Hunter spent four semesters working 20 hours a week to help recruit students to ASU’s engineering programs.  

“She went above and beyond” what was expected of her, McBride said, adding that in the more than 25 years he has worked at ASU, “Cassidy is the best student worker I’ve seen.”

“She was awesome,” said Kaely Graham, a student recruitment senior coordinator who was Hunter’s supervisor.

McBride and Graham emphasized the range of tasks Hunter performed with notable competence — scheduling and managing visits and tours for prospective students and their parents, coordinating events, helping to manage inventory and billing and supporting joint efforts with the Fulton Schools K-12 education outreach operations.

McBride and Graham say Hunter was particularly effective in communicating with young students and addressing their apprehensions about what the college experience would be like.

“She was good at telling them about the challenges they would face, but also about the support they would get at ASU,” McBride said.

“You usually have student workers who just ask ‘What should I do?’ but Cassidy was always quick to figure out what our needs were and what those students needed and wanted to hear about,” he added.

Hunter exhibited similar initiative in the classroom.

Aaron Cohen, a faculty associate who teaches in the Del E. Webb School of Construction in the Fulton Schools, described Hunter as a student who was always attentive, eager to learn and asked good questions.

“She genuinely cared about subjects we were discussing, not because she was trying to earn a good a grade, but because she understood how the course material can one day influence her career,” Cohen said.

With all the energy Hunter put into the job, she managed to rack up other accomplishments beyond maintaining a high grade-point average in her studies.

Hunter completed three industry internships — first as an office assistant with California Constructors, then a construction intern with Camden Builders Inc., a multifamily housing and apartment developer.

Next, she was a project engineering intern for more than six months with Mortenson Construction, a leading multinational commercial builder and the company she will join early next year as a field engineer.

Hunter was also a member of the student organization Advancing Women in Construction serving a term as its secretary and then co-president this year.

She attributes her success in the internships and the student recruitment job to simple characteristics and goals.

“I’m talkative and outspoken,” Hunter said, which was an asset in her role in promoting the Fulton Schools to prospective students and their parents.

Of her work ethic and job performance, she said, “I just like to keep busy, and I want to be valuable to my employer.”

Those skills and others have now led Hunter to become the first in her family — parents, two brothers and four stepsiblings — to graduate college.

And, she pointed out, “I’m the youngest of all of them.”

All in the family

The Hunter family, however, is on track to have another ASU graduate in a few years.

Jake Hunter has been taking classes online in the Fulton Schools electrical engineering program in between missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa and Ireland.

He is planning to begin studies on campus after completing the Marine Officer Candidate School program early next year. That will enable him to become an active-duty, full-time college student with another mission — to earn a college degree.

Graduation will earn him an officer’s commission. He then intends to remain in the Marines until he reaches at least 20 years of service.

Jake Hunter said his father, Scott Hunter, who has worked in construction for almost four decades, influenced his and Cassidy Hunter’s choices of college majors by instilling in them the satisfaction of “creating and building things.”

Scott Hunter says his daughter’s accomplishments in college make him certain of her future career success as a construction professional.

When Cassidy left home for college and Jake went into the military, their mother, Shelby Hunter, said, “They were both searching for direction. Now they are mature, confident and determined. I’ve seen both of them blossom.”

Inspired by her work in the Fulton Schools student recruitment office, Cassidy Hunter sees herself staying involved in some form of education outreach as she pursues her professional goals of advancing into leadership roles as a director of construction operations and a construction industry executive.

Whatever career achievements lie ahead, she says, being presented an award from her brother for the memorable mark she made as a student worker at ASU will remain a point of pride in her career, “and one of the best surprises I’ll ever get.”

Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering