Old Textbooks Get New Life Thanks to BC Faculty Drive

Old Textbooks Get New Life Thanks to BC Faculty Drive

When the Biology Department's offices were moved last year during the renovation of Higgins Hall, Adj. Asst. Prof. Arlene Wyman got to thinking about all the old science textbooks cluttering faculty shelves that would probably be tossed in transit.

When the Biology Department's offices were moved last year during the renovation of Higgins Hall, Adj. Asst. Prof. Arlene Wyman got to thinking about all the old science textbooks cluttering faculty shelves that would probably be tossed in transit.

"Why throw them away?" she recalled asking herself. "We have so much in this country, and when we're done with it, we just throw it away. I thought it wouldn't be so hard to collect these books and send them somewhere they were needed."

That's just what Wyman did. She sent a note to colleagues soliciting unwanted textbooks, then surfed the Internet looking for a worthy recipient. She came across the International Society of African Scientists, which has a campaign to collect educational materials for needy colleges in Africa and the Caribbean.

Thus, 16 moving boxes containing more than 300 textbooks on biology and mathematics were shipped in November to the University of Cape Coast in Ghana.

Kobina Yankson, dean of the science faculty at the University of Cape Coast (right), presents biology and mathematics books donated by BC faculty to UCC Vice-Chancellor S. K. Adjepong.

The consignment of books was the largest ever received by a department at the university from a single source, according to Kobina Yankson, dean of the science faculty at the University of Cape Coast.

"The books are current and will be extremely useful to us (both staff and students)," Yankson wrote in a letter expressing "sincere gratitude" for the donation. "I assure you that the books will be put to very good use."

Assisting in the project were Associate Academic Vice President Patricia DeLeeuw, who arranged funding to cover the shipping costs, and her husband, Assoc. Prof. Richard Jenson, and colleague Assoc. Prof. Charles Landraitis, who collected textbooks in the Mathematics Department.

Observed Assoc. Prof. William Petri (Biology): "It is a story of how good for others less fortunate can be done with some individual initiative and some support from BC."

Information on the International Society of African Scientists, a non-profit organization of scientists and engineers of African descent which channels technical expertise to developing nations in Africa and the Caribbean, is available at the society's World Wide Web site, www.dca.net/isas.

-Mark Sullivan

 

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