Education

Senators Announce $110,000 in Federal Funding for Garrett College 

Last Updated on Jul 12, 2018 at 12:54pm | Education

Article courtesy of NCWV Media - The Republican. Staff Writer: Joseph Hauger.
 
 
U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen have announced $110,543 in federal funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission to Garrett College.
 
This investment will provide $60,543 for the college to purchase state-of-the-art STEM equipment and $50,000 to improve internet access and IT infrastructure.
 
“I would like to thank Sens. Cardin and Van Hollen for their strong support of our Appalachian Regional Commission grant proposals, and Bill Atkinson’s guidance and assistance through ARC’s proposal process,” said Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College’s president. “The STEM grant is permitting us to purchase much-needed equipment, such as the convertible anatomage table for which ARC matched state funding.
 
“This virtual dissection table, which is being adopted by four-year universities and medical schools, is a 3-D human anatomy system that will bring biology and anatomy alive to our students. The college greatly appreciates the commitment to state-of-the-art STEM technology this grant represents,” he added.
 
Midcap said the IT infrastructure grant will help the college’s whole range of students.
 
“Internet speed, access, security and reliability are expectations of both students and college employees,” Midcap said. “The IT grant will help ensure that the college has the infrastructure necessary to meet those expectations.”
 
Cardin, D-Md., said ARC has been a crucial federal partner in supporting growth and development in Western Maryland.
 
“This grant will help Garrett College prepare its students to compete in the 21st century workforce and industries that are the success of our national and state economies,” said Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Committee. “Investments into STEM education are the first step in securing a bright future for our students and our state.”
 
Van Hollen, also D-Md., said the effort to secure the funding was worth the outcome.
 
“A strong economy in Garrett County and across the state starts with a strong education,” said Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations committees. “This funding achieves two important goals. It will allow Garrett College to better serve its students and the community through upgraded technology and IT infrastructure, and it will ensure access to STEM education that will put our students on the path to high-paying, in-demand careers.
 
“We fought hard to secure full funding for ARC in the Appropriations Committee, and I was proud to support these specific requests for funding. I will continue to work for federal investments to benefit our local communities,” Van Hollen said.
 
Garrett College’s new STEM building is scheduled to open in September. This new facility will bring together STEM equipment and programming to serve more than 700 students in the first three years alone. The new training equipment will not only serve Garrett College students, but will also allow regional and local hospitals, including the Western Maryland Health System, Garrett Regional Medical Center, and Potomac Valley Hospital, to train and retrain their health professionals.
 
The $50,000 investment will allow Garrett College to upgrade its IT equipment to improve internet speed, access, security, and reliability across campus. The project will focus on expanding wireless coverage for students and community members who use the campus to host community events. The project is expected to serve 5,700 students and 500 community members annually.
 
ARC is a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state, and local government. Established by Congress in 1965, ARC is comprised of the governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a federal co-chair, who is appointed by the president. Local participation is provided through multi-county local development districts.
 
Cardin and Van Hollen advocated and secured funding for the program in the FY 2018 Omnibus, despite ARC’s funding being eliminated in the FY18 presidential budget.