Engineering chair makes special delivery to online students’ homes

Ryan Arbogast, Reporter

When spring break ended with virtual classes in March, the department chair for AACC’s engineering program loaded circuit boards, robot, and tools into her car and drove them to students’ homes. 

Professor Elizabeth Baran delivered the 30-pound toolboxes that the students of MEC-140 –Introduction to Roboticsrequired to do their schoolwork from home. 

Professor Baran definitely went above and beyond the call of duty,” Ryan Mahon, a first-year engineering transfer student, said. “As an engineering student, I am excited about what is to come with a professor and program that is so invested with us, the students.” 

Former MEC-140 student Andy Nguyen agreed. 

For her actions, I believe she cared for the safety and health of the students and made the trip out to all of the students homes in order for the class to move smoothly,” he said. “Of course, I appreciate it very much.” 

Baran said the students were happy to get the special delivery. 

I was so appreciative of our students of how they followed instructions, and how they all seem to be very happy about getting this lab stuff,” she said, “because I don’t think our students were happy about doing things just online and simulation. 

Baran said the engineering faculty had “vital discussions” about which materials they could safely give to students, as working on lab projects in a bedroom or living room is not as controlled as when doing the same task in a lab.  

Another discussion involved safety precautions and lab rules, Baran said, as it’s not easy for professors to enforce those when students work remotely. 

Chemistry students who had not taken on-campus labs in the past needed special instructions, Baran said. 

“You haven’t had any hands-on stuff in chemistry class, you have not had the pleasure of smelling a chemistry lab,” Baran said. “And so that’s what we’re trying to minimize, is not having any hands-on time, so burn a candle or something when you’re doing a chemistry lab so you can get the lab smell.”