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Published 6/24/2005

Owens Community College and the United Way Provide Computers to Northwest Ohio Community Organizations

More than 185 computers await new homes and pick-up by several area non-profit organizations. Owens Community College, with assistance from United Way of Greater Toledo, is reaching out to Northwest Ohio community organizations by offering new educational opportunities in the form of more than 185 computers. Within the past few weeks, 28 non-profit groups picked up crates of Owens computers for the purpose of accessing information in a whole new way.

"Owens Community College is committed to offering students the latest in state-of-the-art technology as part of their academic curriculum," said Brian Paskvan, Owens chief technology officer. "The College is continually upgrading student laboratories with innovative computer equipment. As a result, certain equipment no longer supports our computer applications. Owens is proud to give hundreds of used computers new life by donating them to non-profit organizations throughout Northwest Ohio."

Paskvan added that the donation drive would not have been possible without United Way's help and support by identifying non-profit groups in need of computer technology. "Because of the United Way these computers are going to allow organizations to communicate in a wired world," he stated.

Owens students' (L to R) Charles Grindle and Rich Rager assist Randy McCullough from Lutheran Social Services with picking up his computers. Area non-profit organizations receiving Owens computers included Lutheran Social Services, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Northcoast Behavioral Healthcare System, the Northwest Ohio Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, the Fort Meigs YMCA Center, and the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, among others.

Bill Kitson, United Way president and CEO expressed his appreciation of Owens' community gift. "The key to building a strong community is to mobilize resources. Through Owens Community College's generosity and United Way's ability to marshal opportunities we've demonstrated the joint capability of improving community conditions and truly improving lives," stated Kitson.

According to Michelle Dernier, office manager for the Northwest Ohio Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, the significance of incorporating additional computer technology into our organization's operations is immeasurable. "The Arthritis Foundation is extremely grateful and excited about Owens Community College's involvement in assisting non-profit organizations," she said.

Dernier continued, "The idea of purchasing additional computer technology was never a thought due to the significant costs. And now because of Owens, the Arthritis Foundation plans to put the computers to good use through our volunteer staff and arthritis-related programs."

Both Rich Rager of Stoney Ridge and Charles Grindle of Toledo, take a short break to pose for a photo around the soon-to-be donated computers. The two Owens students, along with Kelly Hayward of Toledo, were instrumental in preparing the computers for the non-profit organizations. The Northwest Ohio Chapter for the Arthritis Foundation presently services a 19-county region and is a resource for more than 500,000 people affected with arthritis.

Owens continues to be at the forefront of developing innovative ways of offering higher education through technology. The College currently provides more than 160 distance learning courses through the eOwens program on the College's Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses. Among the program areas available to students are accounting, art, business, computer information systems, psychology and speech.

Since incorporating distance learning into its academic curriculum, Owens has seen a significant enrollment increase in this area. This past year alone more than 10,700 students chose to advance their studies through eOwens education. Additionally, Owens has 40 computer labs and more than 2,000 computers available for student use.

United Way helps people change their lives for the better and as a result, creates positive impact. Along with community partners, United Way works to eliminate the causes of serious problems that devastate people's lives and threaten our community's welfare.

Owens Community College is one of the fastest-growing higher educational institutions in Ohio. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 45,000 credit and non-credit students, making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, and Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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