Outstanding Naturespace students honored by ASU Library

Published Dec. 21, 2023
Updated Feb. 09, 2024

The ASU Library recently announced the fall 2023 semester recipients of the Tomalee Doan LibAid for Student Success award. First place was awarded to Suhrud Parag Joglekar and second place to Kailey Kruse, both student employees in Naturespace

Portrait of student in Naturespace smiling with animal specimens on display in the background
Suhrud Parag Joglekar

Located at Hayden Library, Naturespace is a dedicated interdisciplinary space for finding inspiration from nature. The center includes a natural history collection of diverse specimens that allows visitors to interact with specimens or receive help with a creative project or research. 

Sharing the joy of the natural world

Suhrud Parag Joglekar is enrolled in the master’s program in robotics and autonomous systems and has worked at Naturespace since 2022. 

“Suhrud is the first to volunteer and help out with many new projects and has helped the space become more known,” said Christina Sullivan, ASU Library’s coordinator for Naturespace. “He has always gone above and beyond by educating himself on all tasks before he takes them on.”

Working in Naturespace has been a meaningful experience for Joglekar. “In this unique role, I bridge the gap between the natural world, education, and innovation, sharing the beauty and inspiration of the natural world with the ASU community,” said Joglekar. “It's a place to closely observe nature's textures, structures, and forms, inspiring creative projects and research. Whether engaging with students, tending to the seed library, or conducting a workshop on nature-related topics, every aspect of this space gives me immense joy and energy and constitutes a truly rewarding experience.”

Student holds a taxidermy mallard and a 3D printed stand
Joglekar holds a mallard and a custom 3D-printed stand he designed for the specimen.

His time working at the library has directly impacted his research and projects. “As a roboticist, Naturespace has not only enriched my understanding of nature but also directly shaped my degree's culminating project, which involves creating a bio-inspired joint for an exoskeleton, drawing inspiration from the strength and complexity of beetles' underactuated joints,” Joglekar said. 

Contributing to a welcoming and inclusive environment at the library is an important part of the work. “The library, beyond being a repository of information, plays a pivotal role as a welcoming sanctuary for newcomers as well as for long-time campus dwellers, offering a home away from home and ensuring a sense of belonging,” said Joglekar. 

Joglekar works to stay up-to-date with technologies, ideas and innovations in robotics and he will pursue a Ph.D. after graduation. With this award, Joglekar will now have the opportunity to attend conferences and access technologies and services that are critical for his research and academic endeavors.

Helping build a supportive community in Naturespace

Kailey Kruse is an environmental design major with a sustainability minor and a biomimicry certificate. She has worked at Hayden Library’s Naturespace since 2022. 

Portrait of student in Naturespace smiling
Kailey Kruse

“[Kailey] helped jump-start the Naturespace in its new home at Hayden Library last fall by assisting me in creating programming, outreach, and displays,” said Sullivan. “As a student worker, she has been valuable due to her willingness to brainstorm projects and ideas to help the space thrive. Kailey has made valuable connections with ASU staff and faculty by helping with Naturespace outreach.” 

Kruse helps to foster an interdisciplinary and creative environment that welcomes people from across the university to visit the space. 

“At Naturespace, I have had the opportunity to introduce an interactive environment that showcases a diverse collection of specimens from around the world,” said Kruse. “Through this library space, I have been able to aid in projects, workshops, and open hours that facilitate environmental appreciation, awareness, and exploration for everyone and anyone.”

Having Naturespace within the library only adds to how meaningful the space is. “This supportive community has taught me countless lessons inside and outside the library, which has not only helped the development of my academic and professional career, but my personal development as well,” said Kruse. “I am thankful to say that working within my library has been a remarkable experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”

Person holding a monarch buttery specimen contained in a box
Kruse holds one of her favorite specimens in Naturespace.

For Kruse, this award will help to relieve financial pressures and stress, allowing her to focus on maintaining academic success and completing her degree.

Your gift can help support student success

Student employees across all library locations greet patrons, teach new skills and build a supportive community for ASU students, faculty and staff. To help students like Suhrud and Kailey, please consider donating to the Tomalee Doan LibAid for Student Success. You can make a difference for student workers in the ASU Library.