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WTAMU Builds Community Partnerships Through Donations

May 26, 2017

CONTACT:    James Webb, 806-651-1246, jwebb@wtamu.edu
                      Stephen Crandall, 806-651-2811, scrandall@wtamu.edu
                      Randy Ray, 806-651-2807, rray@wtamu.edu

COPY BY:     Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, rmcdonald@wtamu.edu

WTAMU Builds Community Partnerships Through Donations


CANYON, Texas—It’s often all in the timing, and that is what helped everything fall into place for a community partnership between West Texas A&M University and two area schools.  

Beneficiaries of the community partnership are students at Tascosa High School (THS) and Pampa High School (PHS). A surplus of 25 iMac computers from WTAMU’s fine arts labs will be added to the inventory at Tascosa High School for digital art and photography classes, and a donation of everything from cameras to field equipment will be used in AV production classes at Pampa High School.Pampa donation

WTAMU's mass communication program donated cameras, lenses and more to Pampa High School.Pictured from left to right are Pampa High School's David Hall and Zachary Green with WTAMU's Randy Ray and Johnny Story.

Timing played a key element in making the partnership possible. Upgrades in the computer labs in the  left the University with a surplus of several computers. James Webb, WTAMU’s chief information officer, was faced with the dilemma of what to do with all of the old, but still very viable, computers

“I knew there was a lot of life left in these assets,” he said. “I visited with Dr. (Walter) Wendler (University president) about possibly donating them, and he thought it was a great idea and supported it.”

The surplus and the approval to donate them came on the heels of a request from a teacher at THS. June Gabel with the THS art department contacted Marcus Melton, WTAMU associate professor of art, about a need for extra computers for her classroom. Melton contacted his department head, Stephen Crandall, to see if a donation was possible.

“The interest in my digital art and photography classes has grown to the point that I have over twice as many students signed up as the number of computers in my lab,” Gabel said. “I asked Marcus if any iMac labs were being updated this year. If so, I explained that I was in desperate need of their used iMacs for my lab to accommodate the huge demand for next year.”

At the same time, Webb met with Jeff Roller, chief technology officer with the Amarillo School District, who offered to donate some items to WTAMU.

“He said AISD had just completed an upgrade and had all this equipment for servers and asked if WT was interested,” Webb said. “Some of it was new and still in boxes. We loaded it up and brought it back to WT. Then Stephen Crandall contacted me about the Tascosa High School request—it all just came together and provided a great opportunity for a partnership of helping each other.”

Mike Young, WTAMU IT Service Center manager, worked with his team of student workers to pull 25 iMac computers from surplus and prepare them for donation to THS. He and the students erased the hard drives and loaded new operating systems to give the high school an inventory of fresh, clean computers.

“This is a great intersection of need and opportunity,” Crandall said. “I’m so happy that WT and AISD can partner to help each other with much needed technology. It’s a win-win situation that fosters strong relationships and builds upon the overall mission of education in this community.”

Representatives from WTAMU delivered the 25 ‘new’ computers to Tascosa High School on Friday, May 26.

WTAMU also has established a partnership with Pampa High School. Zachary Green, audio visual and graphic design teacher, and David Hall, head of the career and technical education department at PHS, traveled to WTAMU Friday, May 19, to pick up a donation of cameras, lenses, tripods, recording decks and field equipment from the University’s mass communication program. Randy Ray, director of broadcast engineering, and Johnny Story, broadcast engineer, are both graduates of Pampa High School and helped facilitate the donation.

“When Johnny, several students and I accompanied Dr. Wendler on his Panhandle Tour to Pampa, we saw an opportunity to form a partnership between WT and PHS,” Ray said. “At that time, we were finishing the upgrade to our News One studio and I asked Dr. Windler what he thought about donating some of the old equipment to the media students in Pampa. He said he loved the idea.”

School officials at PHS were happy to receive the donation and have already put some of the equipment to good use.

“We are very excited to receive the donations from WTAMU,” Green said. “We’ve already utilized the tripods for graduation and are looking forward to using the cameras and equipment next year to film school events and in our Principles of AV, AV Production and Advanced AV Production classes.

“Our hope is to prepare some great minds for college broadcasting classes and hopefully many will choose WTAMU from this partnership.”

Timing helped it all work by bringing everything together at the same time for great community partnerships that benefit WTAMU as well as Tascosa High School and Pampa High School.




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