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Grants Totaling $654,744
To Enhance Campus Technology

Two Big Checks
From left, James Van Roekel, James F. Gaertner and Ann Holder happily display two "big checks" totaling $654,774 for use in improving Sam Houston State University technology.

Sam Houston State University has received two grants totaling $654,774 from the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Board of Texas for use in the areas of Academic Instructional Technology and Distance Learning and in the Newton Gresham Library.

"This is exciting news, which will continue changes in the way our library operates, the way our faculty members teach, and the way our students receive instruction and do research," said James F. Gaertner, SHSU president. "We thank the Texas Legislature and Infrastructure Fund for the grants and our administrators who have the vision to request and implement them."

One grant totals $362,636, to enable SHSU to purchase equipment such as wireless access points, digital video cameras and laptops to be used to educate faculty and students in instructional technology and assist in developing content for distance learning programs.

"We are very excited that we are receiving this grant," said James Van Roekel, director of Academic Instructional Technology and Distance Learning. "We want our students to have an edge by gaining anytime, anywhere, immediate access to information at their fingertips."

Ann Holder, interim director of the Gresham Library, received $292,138 which she said will be provide a new interlibrary loan module, equipment to transmit files of articles electronically to computers on campus, to enhance workstations for people with special needs and to enhance government document workstations.

The library will make available a self-checkout process, and laptops connected wirelessly to modems, which will enable their use throughout the building. A student who cannot get into a computer lab could do the same work from the library.

"It's going to give the students a lot more flexibility," said Holder. "Those labs get really crowded. By the end of this year we'll see lots of changes."

Since its creation in 1995, the Infrastructure Fund has awarded approximately $700 million to school districts and charter schools, two and four-year colleges and universities, public libraries and branches, public and not-for-profit healthcare facilities, innovative Discovery collaboratives, and community network collaboratives.

The fund receives more than $150 million a year from telecommunications assessments to disburse over a 10-year period, said Sam Tessen, the fund's executive director.

- END -

SHSU Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
Oct. 1, 2001
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