Phil Hooker

Phil Hooker
Smart Classrooms Coordinator

Phil Hooker

For Phil Hooker, it's the students that keep him coming back.

"The students are young and energetic," says Phil, Smart Classroom Coordinator for Information Technology Services. "They have a bright perspective on the world and a lot of ambition."Phil, who has been at Humboldt State for nine years, helps students and faculty better understand the technology available on campus. His job's two primary duties are technology integration and training. That means the beginning of the school year is when Phil is busiest, showing professors and students how to utilize equipment and make the most of high-tech classrooms and related facilities.

Recently, Phil has been working on two large projects: integrating student response systems or "clickers" into the classroom experience and improving video conferencing capabilities on campus. The clickers, Phil says, allow students to offer immediate feedback to professors on the material being discussed, which helps professors alter their teaching in real time. Improvements in video conferencing will enable a professor's lecture to be broadcast to another classroom via the Internet, granting access to a greater number of students.Phil grew up in McKinleyville during the 1950s and '60s and has seen the region go through substantial economic and cultural change. In fact, he can remember seeing what he calls the "first Humboldt real, true hippie" in 1967. It was a young man named Scoshee who had fringe moccasins boots, a paisley shirt, beads and long hair. He also has fond memories of The Kinkajou, a beatnik-style coffee shop located at the current site of Tomo's Japanese Restaurant, which was a happening place in Arcata during the '60s.

When he's not introducing new technology to the campus or conducting trainings, Phil enjoys working around his picturesque 30-acre property near McKinleyville, examining rocks and minerals as an amateur mineralogist, and serving as president of HumBugs, Humboldt County's Air Cooled Volkswagen club. But what's with all the pink flamingoes and Hawaiian shirts?"I love Hawaiian shirts," he says. "Will White, my peer from San Marcos, came up to visit us and he said: ‘Phil, you have some of the most beautiful Hawaiian shirts I've ever seen, but you don't have any with pink flamingoes—we're going to fix that!' So he sent me some material and my wife made a shirt out of it, and now everybody gives me pink flamingo stuff."

As for Hawaii itself… "Never been there," he says. "I've just always liked Hawaiian shirts, they're something I've always worn."