Faculty from the West Library discussed the new TxWes Makers Lab at Tuesday’s 2020 Town Hall Meeting.
Library Director Elizabeth Howard gave a slide presentation about the new space and how it can be utilized by Wesleyan students, faculty and staff.
“It is a space where you can be inventive and be a maker of goods, not just a consumer,” Howard said. “It is where you can learn and innovate.”
The TxWes Makers Lab includes two 3D printers, a Padcaster (a portable video studio) and a 3D scanner.
“We could scan Fred, and we could have the first ever Texas Wesleyan president scanned, and we can take a make a little statue,” Howard said, referring to Wesleyan President Frederick Slabach.
The lab also includes a laser printer and engraver; Howard said people can engrave and personalize different items such as laptops or cell phones.
“You can make gifts and you can pretty much do anything you imagine,” she said.
The technology in the lab is available to everyone, but those wishing to use it must complete a training, which can be scheduled by appointment.
During the meeting, Corporate Relations Manager from United Way Tarrant County Chris Stolarzyk spoke about the VITA program the organization has with Texas Wesleyan and asked for faculty and staff to make monthly payroll donations.
“One of the great ways that Texas Wesleyan has partnered with United Way is through the VITA program that is housed out of accounting,” Stolarzyk said. “What they do is, we have 20 Texas Wesleyan students this year that are going to basically learn from certified IRS volunteers, but do tax returns for free for anybody that makes $55,000 or less.”
People can get their taxes filed and receive full returns without the fees charged by different tax organizations, he said.
United Way is not looking for a $10,000 donation, Stolarzyk said, but if every faculty and staff member made a $5 donation every month, that would come to about $60,000, which would make a huge impact.
At every town hall meeting, Slabach awards the Staff Hero Award to someone from a designated office. This month’s award was chosen by Provost and Senior Vice President Allen Henderson to someone who works in the provost office.
“He cheated, and he picked two people instead of one,” Slabach said.
The first award went to Director of Academic Advising and Student Success Operations Kelly Anderson.
“Kelly is recognized as a staff hero due to her consistent outstanding service to the students seeking advising, tutoring and help with course scheduling,” Slabach said.
The second Staff Hero Award was given to Certification Officer Julia Tidwell.
“She is being recognized as a staff hero because of her outstanding service to all the students that are teaching, and trying to obtain a teacher certification designation,” Slabach said. “She does a fabulous job.”
The meeting also included a presentation from the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning about the best ways a professor can use Blackboard. CETL Director Natalie Parker gave the presentation, which included a tour of an online class.
“The 2020 Vision says that 80 percent of the courses will be web-assisted, which means for us we will be using Blackboard,” Parker said.
Slabach ended the meeting with several campus updates, including that the main suspect in the recent burglary of motor vehicles around campus has been arrested.
“That is really good news,” Slabach said.
Slabach also announced that Ben’s Triple B: Biscuits, Burgers and Brews is expected to open in four weeks on 3016 E. Rosedale St.
The next 2020 Town Hall Meeting will be 12:15 p.m. April 9 in the Baker Building.