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CAHNRS Clubs Receive Grant to Enhance their Educational Experience

Posted by struscott | January 27, 2009

Thanks to a grant from the CougParents Program Fund, four student organizations in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences are redesigning and upgrading their student resource and study center in Johnson Hall. When the upgrade is completed, the renovated center will serve about 150 students.

Build it and they will come: Interior design associate professor Robert Krikac (L) meets with Susan Hodges and club advisor Marvin Kleene

The result of a collaborative application, the grant was awarded to the Crop and Soil Sciences, Agriculture and Technology Management, Agricultural Education, and Turfgrass Management clubs. The four clubs have a combined membership of 150 students.

The CougParents Program is funded by parents of current and former students who appreciate the importance and impact student groups have in enhancing students’ educational experience at WSU.

“I’m pleased that these four clubs have worked together on this project and have been rewarded,” said Marv Kleene, long-time Agricultural Education Club advisor. Kleene assisted with the clubs’ collaborative grant application. “I am very excited for them to get a high quality study area that’s both relaxing and inviting and will allow them to collaborate and network effectively.”

drawing by Robert Krikac
Proposed stdent center – drawing by Robert Krikac

The Department of Crop and Soil Sciences matched the grant and each club raised and contributed $250 for a total of $11,000. Additionally, the College of Agriculture, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences provided additional resources.

The goal of the project is to enhance community spirit among the students and provide a modern and comfortable space outfitted with state-of-the-art technology.

Club member Susan Hodges takes notes in a student resource center planning meeting.

The students enlisted the help of WSU campus interior design associate professor Robert Krikac to create a space that facilitates group interaction and teamwork.

“They’re hoping to create a space akin to WSU’s Student Recreation Center in terms of quality and aesthetics,” said Kleene.

Already home to a small library of educational materials and scientific journals, technology plans for the space include a digital media center for use in developing and reviewing electronic presentations, a large-screen high-definition television, and high-speed Internet.

If the clubs can find additional funding, they will add video-conferencing capabilities to the room. Video conferencing would enable students to gain additional depths of collaborative and education experience by connecting them with other groups, industry professionals and scientists across the state and the nation.

Greg Reilly, a senior majoring in Agricultural Education and Ag Ed club president, said “Our hope is to develop an atmosphere in which members of our clubs and the agricultural community at WSU can come together. Our main goal is to create a space that houses resources to make us more competitive when searching for jobs and preparing to enter into our chosen fields.”

Update: And here’s the completed student center!

by Deb Marsh, Crop and Soil Sciences

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