Donated lab equipment boon to WCC students
By Eloise Aguiar
Advertiser Windward O'ahu Writer
By Eloise Aguiar
KANE'OHE — Windward Community College students are getting hands-on experience with research-grade laboratory equipment, thanks to a donation from a Kane'ohe resident.
Anatomical models, virtual cadaver software, respiratory spirometers, hematology equipment and two PowerLab systems are giving students as close to a real-life situation as possible in their Human Anatomy & Physiology course. The students recently were able to thank their benefactor, Lucinda Jean Weaver.
The donation helps students receive superior training at an affordable cost, said Jessica Dole-Holzner, a WCC student.
"If (the college) had to charge enough money to pay for the instruments and the devices we use in this class, we probably wouldn't have one-third of the students taking it," Dole-Holzner said. "It would be just financially unavailable to most people in this area."
The hands-on learning, which includes performing experiments, gives students a visual and physical understanding that can't be explained through lectures and reading, she said.
"There isn't a lab where we don't use a piece of equipment that was purchased with her money," professor Ross Langston said. "It's been a tremendous boon to the class."
Langston said Weaver has twice made donations to the school to equip the lab for a total of about $25,000. The college otherwise would not be able to afford such equipment, Langston said.
Students can perform urine analysis, learn how to operate an ECG and look at heart rhythms, he said. The cadaver software allows students, on a computer, to strip away layer after layer of the human tissue. Yesterday, students studied the effects of noise and distraction on blood pressure, Langston said.
The Human Anatomy & Physiology course has been offered for a only couple of years and was spearheaded by professor Ed Bernauer — he solicited donations from Weaver, his mother-in-law, who has had a lifelong interest in education through her husband and now through her children. Weaver said she would have given to the school even if Bernauer wasn't a family member.
"I just thought this was probably the most productive thing I could do," Weaver said. "I knew he'd take care of the lecture part, but the laboratory needed computers and all sorts of mechanical devices, and it just fascinated me."
Weaver's husband was a professor of plant physiology at the University of California at Davis. Her younger daughter is a special education teacher, and her older daughter was an assistant dean at UC-Davis.
Weaver said she donates what she can to an organization every year and enjoyed visiting the lab and students.
"I just love to be in touch with what I'm giving," she said. "I just want to see it, and feel it and know this is helping."
Reach Eloise Aguiar at firstname.lastname@example.org.