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Highly Anticipated Community Space Opens Doors in Fall 2023

This Fall quarter, graduate students and faculty will have access to the long-awaited lounge and meeting areas. Located in the Technological Institute, these rooms offer state-of-the-art equipment to promote scientific discourse, social interactions, and a sense of community.

I am grateful that the graduate students advocated for community space – and that we are finally able to offer beautiful space in a central part of the Department where folks can gather for casual or technical meetings. The more social-oriented space was designed with reconfigurable furniture to offer the greatest flexibility for those who will use the space for different purposes. - Teri Odom

lounge space photo

The idea for this project originated in 2018 with the graduate student organizations in chemistry looking for a meeting area exclusive to the Department. The groups advocated for a community hub that would enable them to meet, talk about science, and engage socially. In order to complete this exciting project, the Department needed to find a space that could provide the components we needed. As a result, the original staff supply room was swapped for the K126 conference space. Since the supply room contained plenty of natural light and ample space for seating areas and the conference room at that time lacked capacity and openness for community gatherings, it became a clear decision to switch the two areas when the project was undertaken.

The project was launched by Department Chair Teri Odom and Executive Director Richard Dodd. Northwestern Facilities took on the project planning (Julia Winter) and project management (Elena Guadalupe Romero-Jensen), with construction carried out by Capital Facilities Workgroup.

To ensure graduate student needs were represented, members of the Graduate Liaison Committee were directly involved in the design process. The involvement included attending design meetings and contributing significant input to all the spaces' functionality. Paige Brown and Brayley Gattis were the GLC representatives who participated in finalizing this project.

student photo

We really had the first years in mind as we developed ideas for this space. First years have to take classes, TA classes, and join groups all in the first quarter of graduate school, so it’s important they have a space where they can come work together as they are navigating all of that.

- Brayley Gattis, GLC Representative

As the Department shows its commitment to enhancing graduate student experiences, these meeting and lounge spaces mark a significant milestone. Members of the Department are welcome to use these stunning spaces, which will hopefully foster better collaboration among chemists.

These three new spaces will enhance the graduate student experience by providing:

K146 provides comfortable seating and good lighting to facilitate social interaction among graduate community members. The technology features include Solstice Mersive connectivity to a wall-mounted monitor, wall-sized glass whiteboards, table space for up to 15-person work groups, and a lounge for community interaction.

K144 is an innovative Zoom room with an instant connection to scheduled meetings, a boardroom table for 12, and integrated Microsoft Teams features.

GG40 is a smaller lounge and workgroup area that seats 15 people and has Solstice Mersive connections for connecting monitors, full-sized whiteboards, and tables for small group projects. Located on the ground floor, this room offers a quieter workspace.

Room Access:

K146 and GG44 are open for social use and accessed via your Wildcard

K144 can be reserved by members of the chemistry community by sending an email to the Chemistry Main Office (


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