Orange Coast College’s tireless instructor Bill Saichek is well known among our Convergence College Network (CCN) for his assembling massive amounts of equipment for his classroom labs, usually without seeming to spend a dime out of his own budget. He has even presented on this topic “How to Build a Lab On $5 a Day” at one of our recent CCN meetings. Well, he is back at it again, this time receiving a donation of $200,000 of networking hardware from a very generous company who employs one of his former students.
Jason Gibson was working at U-Haul as a location manager when he decided to enroll in the Information and Communications Technology program at Orange Coast College. Just one year later, he was hired by Pakedge Device and Software Inc., a Cailfornia-based manufacturer of enterprise-level networking products.
After working with the company and moving up in the ranks, Jason wanted to find a way to give back to OCC and provide additional opportunities for future students looking to change careers just as he did. Working with executives at Pakedge, he arranged for the donation of 10 routers, 24 network switches, 12 power controllers, 181 access points and an access point controller. That comes to about $200,000 worth of equipment.
There are many ways in which Bill has arranged to get equipment for OCC’s lab over the years, but it is really nice to hear a story of a successful student like Jason reaching out to give back in such a meaningful way. This donation also illustrates how fostering relationships with local businesses can create unique opportunities for students.