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October 4, 2012     Cheney Free Press
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October 4, 2012
 

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:~: !i~ i:, i!'~! ~ Page 2 Free Press Thursday, October 4, 2012 EWU's Learning Commons lets students to tailor their environment By JOHN McCALLUM Editor It may say JFK Li- brary on the outside, but on the inside East- ern Washington Uni- versity's main research and studying facility has become something new and different. University board trustees, staff, faculty, students and commu- nity members opened the Learning Com- mons at a ribbon cut- ting ceremony last Fri- day morning, launch- ing a "collaborative- learning area" officials hope will enhance students' educational success. The commons is a "communal area" that combines tradi- tional library func- tions with relocated student support ser- vices providing assis- tance in writing, tech- nology, peer services and the opportunity to learn individually or in groups to best fit students' needs. " The Learning Com- mons will give stu- dents from different disciplines and fields of study the opportu- nity to enhance their skills and bolster their learning experiences," EWU President Dr. Ro- dolfo Ar~valo said in a news release. "Students will be able to work together m ways they never could before on campus" University interim vice president of under- graduate affairs Colin Ormsby put it a differ- ent way. "We're trying to provide a heteroge- neous learning environ- ment where students can work in an envi- ronment that's best for them, but in a quiet space," he said. "This "Students wiil be able to work together in ways they never could before on cam- pus." Rodolfo Ar6valo, EWU President is not your traditional library." Ormsby said the commons concept stems from Ar6valo's charge to faculty and staff to increase stu- dent success while also thinking outside the box. Last spring groups of students and faculty began meeting with ad- ministration officials on ways to do that. Even- tually over 160 students and faculty took part in the process, combing the Internet for ideas with some taking trips to the University of Washington and Seattle University to look at similar library facilities at those institutions. "We took ideas from them and brought them back here," Ormsby said. The concept in- volved moving several student support ser- vices to space on the first floor of JFK. The Multimedia Commons (formerly the MARS Lab) and the PLUS group tutorial services were relocated from Monroe Hall and the Writers' Center was brought in from Pence Union Building. Students picked out many of the new fea- tures. Media stations allow them to bring in their own laptops and plug into services, while mobile white- board tables enable in- dividuals or groups to Photo by John McCallum Eastern Washington University information technology specialist Carl Combs shows an exam pie of students' work using the Learning Commons' multimedia lab equipment to university board trustee Jo Ann Kaufman and vice provost for graduate education Ron Dalla. study and work in a collaborative process. The price tag for the Learning Commons, ac- cording to information from the university's business and finance department, runs ap- proximately $600,000, paid for out of reserve funds. Ormsby said the space combines not only new equipment, mostly in technology, but also the existing equipment and fur- nishings brought over from the three centers and within the library itself. The facility that opened last Friday is the first phase, with additional phases add- ing other services and groups. An additional benefit to students comes from the com- mons' hours of opera- tion, which will match those of the library instead of the former Monday through Fri- Photo by John McCallum University faculty, staff, students and community members check out the new Learning Commons at JFK Library. day; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. time slot of the indi- vidual services. The success of the commons will be as- sessed in several ways, Ormsby said. Student surveys will provide feedback as will en- hanced tracking of Local women educators sorority celebrates anniversary By BECKY THOMAS Staff Reporter "We're all here Alpha Nu, the for the same pur- Cheney-Medical Lake Carr and Glea Trulove said they have devel- oped relationships with many regional organizations that help the less fortunate over the local chapter's 47 years in existence. The group mostly gives of themselves; they meet monthly, bringing do- nated goods from their own homes or from friends and families. Different projects to benefit regional orga- nizations are the focus for each meeting. Al- pha Nu also finances scholarships for local students annually. Carr and Trulove stressed the impor- tance of the group's unique makeup: both current and retired teachers are invited to be members. While retirees have more time to volunteer during the weekday, active teach- ers keep the rest of the group up-to-date on needs in the schools and in the commu- nity. Ultimately, "more gets done," Trulo- ve said, adding that monthly meetings and weekend projects that bring many members together helps develop a sense of camaraderie between the older and younger members. "We're all here for the same purpose, and it brings people to- gether," Carr said. Becky Thom- as can be reached at becky@cheneyfreepress. COm. chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa, is celebrating through the month of October as the interna- tional sorority of wom- en educators marks its 65th anniversary. Cheney Mayor Tom Trulove will deliver a proclamation at next week's City Council meeting declaring October Alpha Delta Kappa month, and the local chapter is prepar- ing to host a "Found- er's Day" meeting Oct. 20, where they will remember the soror- ity's roots and talk about current goals. The meeting will host chapters from across THE COFFEE CONNECTION "Life begins after coffee" I IServing Spokane For Over 60 Years I Complete Collision Repair Foreign & Domestic I Gary Hustad I 3104 N. Monroe _ Ph: (509) 325-9797 I Spokane, WA 99205 uwner Fax: (509) 324-9077 I gary@custombody.com www.custombody.com I pose, and it brings people together." Linda Cart, Alpha Nu co-president the Eastern Washing- ton region as well as the president of the state association. Alpha Delta Kap- pa's work is based on altruism with a mission to serve their commu- nities both localty and nationally. The local chapter donates to a different cause, select- ed by the national or- ganization, each year, but most of their work is done locally. Co-presidents Linda OCTOBER 6 7 AM-7 PM ,UI~ ~![~iU Free Samples Spin to Win & Other Prizes (Dessert Pal's Location~ 1831 First Street, Cheney, WA 509-710-7469 Bruce & Jennifer Tyson (owners) coffeeconnectionco@facebook.com ~ how services are used through the expanded hours and what the students leave behind, such as how the white- boards are moved about and used. These assessments will determine future enhancements for the Learning Commons. "What it looks like today may not be what it looks like a year from now," Ormsby said. John McCal- lum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress.com. 245 W. 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