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Desert Doghouse team wins President's Medal honor

April 15, 2010

A team of Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering faculty, staff and students who organized the first annual Desert Doghouse competition has won the Arizona State University President’s Medal for Social Embeddedness. The medal recognizes successful collaborations between university, industry, civic and education groups that benefit the community.

The October 2009 event increased awareness among Arizona high school students about opportunities at ASU, particularly in the area of sustainability studies. For the competition, teams from 10 high schools in the greater Phoenix area designed and constructed doghouses using sustainable and environmentally conscious building methods.

The high school team judged to have built the “greenest” doghouse had its work put on exhibit in November during the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo at the Phoenix Convention Center. Students on the winning Desert Doghouse team were provided the opportunity to attend the international event.

Associate professor Allan Chasey and program manager Lisa G. Hogle with the Del E. Webb School of Construction took leading roles in developing and staging the inaugural Desert Doghouse event.

“We wanted to provide high school students an opportunity to engage in Greenbuild 2009 and to experience first-hand opportunities available in sustainable engineering and construction,” Chasey said. The construction school is in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, a part of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

Emerging Green Builders, an ASU student organization affiliated with the U.S. Green Building Council, helped make the Desert Doghouse event a success.

Carly Pugliese, president of Emerging Green Builders, assisted in the project along with students Josephine Bierwagen, Leslie Guttierez, Cassandra Hudec, Brian Laspisa, Mariam Martinez and Bradley Shambaugh.

The Social Embeddedness medal recognizes the Desert Doghouse effort for demonstrating the positive impacts of green construction, as well as the work being done to develop skills of Arizona high school students by ASU and the state’s construction industry. More than two dozen organizations, including design and construction companies, were involved with ASU students, staff and faculty in presenting the competition.

Six scholarships of $500 each were awarded to the winning high school team. The scholarships can be used by students who enroll to study in the construction management program at ASU.

Chasey and his team were nominated for the award by Paul Westerhoff, director of the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment.

“The project got a great reception from K-12 schools and from the people who put on the national Greenbuild Expo” Westerhoff said.

The President’s Medal for Social Embeddedness recognizes ASU departmental, interdepartmental or multidisciplinary teams that have developed partnerships with Arizona communities to address community needs and implement successful solutions.

A second President’s Meda for Social Embeddedness was given to the Building Educator Support Teams (BEST) program, from the ASU College of Teacher Education and Leadership. The BEST program provides a professional development model for teachers to utilize throughout their career to maximize teacher quality and student achievement.

See an earlier article about the Desert Doghouse Project 

Team members:
Allan Chasey, Del E. Webb School of Construction
Lisa Hogle, Del E. Webb School of Construction
Giovanna De Luca, Del E. Webb School of Construction
Brad Shambaugh, ASU student
Cassandra Hudec, ASU student
Josephine Bierwagen, ASU student
Mariam Martinez, ASU student
Leslie Gutierrez, ASU student

Written by Jessica Graham