Paying it Forward: Friendship, Generosity, and a Sculpture Bring Improved Internet Services to Carmen Pampa

When a sculpture by Bolivian artist and Boston-based Carmen Pampa Fund Board Member Pablo Eduardo caught the eye of his friend and Carmen Pampa Fund donor Joan Mullen, a series of “pay it forward” moments was set into motion.

Joan was so intrigued by Pablo’s piece that he decided to give it to her. Insisting that she compensate him for his work, Pablo suggested that Joan make a donation to Carmen Pampa Fund or do something to support the College in some capacity.

That’s when Joan started thinking about how she could best honor Pablo’s generous gift. Mindful that the College has an ongoing need for reliable internet access for students and instructors, Joan learned that the UAC-CP had been using the same server for many years. Not surprisingly, the HP Proliant ML350 g4, which was only designed to support minor administrative activities with no more than 20 users at a time, was not highly functioning. Considering the nearly 1,000 students, staff, faculty, and visitors who require internet access on campus, the server was severely inadequate and needed to be replaced.

That’s when, Joan, a Managing Partner at Griffin Scientific, orchestrated the donation of a Dell PowerEdge 2900 internet server that her company had just replaced. Mano a Mano International, a St. Paul, Minnesota-based NGO that ships medical supplies to Bolivia, offered to include the server in their cargo shipment. The server, and new routers, arrive to the College this month.

Once installed, the College’s IT Coordinator Israel Quisbert says the equipment will ensure better internet speed and access, as well as provide web hosting and backup functionality that was not previously sufficient. Overall, it will allow for more comprehensive research for coursework and theses projects, as well as new opportunities to facilitate improved remote learning.

The procurement of the server and routers completes the first phase of the College’s work to improve technology on campus. Carmen Pampa Fund is now working on the next phase, which includes securing funds for updating computers for students, faculty, and staff.

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