Stevenson Students Build Computer Lab for Under-Resourced New Orleans Elementary School
More than 30 students from Stevenson University took time out of their winter breaks to provide valuable service to an under-resourced school in New Orleans. The students, led by faculty advisers Romas Laskauskas and Art Fifer of the Brown School of Business & Leadership, cleaned, programmed, loaded, shipped, unloaded, and installed 60 computers in two computer labs for elementary school students at St. Mary’s Academy in New Orleans. Students also renovated and painted the school’s science lab and front office.
“Even though it’s been 10 years since Hurricane Katrina hit, these are still people who are suffering in so many different aspects,” said senior Ian Hughes, a Criminal Justice major. “It feels really good to go help this community and the children within it. I’m grateful that Stevenson afforded me the opportunity to work on an initiative like this.”
The project enabled students to take what they have learned in the classroom—as well as tasks they figured out on the fly—and apply it to an experiential environment. Tasks completed in the setup of the labs included: reorganizing desks to support electrical cabling, managing wires to make the labs safe for student use, installing Windows 7 on all computers, establishing network access, and creating a print server.
Sophomore Claudia Lohr, an Early Childhood Education major, jumped at the opportunity to interact with students and contribute to a worthy cause.
“The chance to be able to see the kids down there and how grateful they were for our helping them out was amazing,” Lohr said. “The students and teachers, whenever we’d see them, they would always say, ‘thank you.’ We understood how much it meant to them.”
Stevenson University, known for its distinctive career focus, is the third-largest independent undergraduate university in Maryland with more than 4,400 students pursuing bachelor’s, master’s, and adult bachelor’s programs at locations in Stevenson and Owings Mills.