Batavia, New York - Students in the Computer Repair Club at Genesee Community College embraced the dual meaning of the term “network” this past semester. Through an orchestrated network of several different professional organizations, the donation of 86 used, but then carefully refurbished laptop computers will soon be on route to students in Jamaica.
Buffalo Jamaica Innovation Enterprise (BJIE) is an arm of the Jamaican and American Association of Buffalo (JAAB). The main goal of BJIE is to foster socio-economic ties between Western New York and Jamaica. BJIE is collaborating with Western NY STEM Hub, SUNY (University of Buffalo, Downstate Medical and now, Genesee Community College), and University of the West Indies (Jamaica campus). Through the ongoing involvement of these committed partners, a shared advocacy for STEM education in economic development and an exchange of best practices and strategies is underway. Joining the regional efforts of WNY with the “in-country” effort in Jamaica and the Caribbean region is also promoting a cultural exchange that in turn creates new learning opportunities, including a workforce pipeline that integrates global health sciences programs to create jobs for the next generation, in both WNY and the Caribbean.
Eighty six used laptops were donated to BJIE in support of the collaboration. They were all in need of refurbishing and readied for use by students at designated STEM education programs in Jamaica. While the donor did not have the resources to take on the refurbishing project, Oliver Miller, a JAAB member and instructor of Information Technology at GCC recognized an opportunity for his students. He knew GCC’s Computer Repair Club could refurbish the laptops, install the proper software and help prepare the systems for final distribution in Jamaica.
“GCC’s Computer Repair Club students were excited to put their skills to work, especially when they learned that these laptops would be delivered to students who need them to pursue education in the STEM field,” Miller said. “Beyond being impressed with the skills the students have demonstrated in doing the work, I am in awe of the comradery I’ve witnessed. Our more experienced technicians are teaching the newest club members enabling them to install an operating system they have not yet learned about. No doubt, this hands-on experience will serve these students well in the future.”
In all, members of GCC’s Computer Repair Club have logged over 80 hours in preparing these laptops that will be used in years of collaborative medical and pharmacology research and opportunities.
“I am proud to belong to a college where students and their instructors are engaged in the greater good, and passionate about putting their skills to the test in an effort to make a difference. This was no small task for our Computer Repair Program students to take on and they did so without hesitation,” GCC’s President James M. Sunser said. “Genesee Community College is proud and honored to do our part to help support these important SUNY initiatives and collaborations.”
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GCC’s Computer Repair Club members: (back row, left to right) David Basara, Carter Neuman, Jared Wise and Zachery Falta, (seated left to right) Albert Cohen, Charles Borngraber and Andrew Mignano.
A photograph of GCC’s Computer Repair Club working on the laptops, courtesy of GCC, is available at:
A photograph of Oliver Miller, courtesy of GCC, is available at: