The Collaboratory lab was meant to be an open and safe place for students to receive tutoring, but even before the lab had its April 6 grand opening, it had already become something more.
“I had no place to study,” lab assistant Victoria Gonzales said. “I walked up here and now this is like my second home.”
Students who frequently visit know that walking in, they’ll be met by a team of their peers, ready to help.
Jerry Young (from left), Richard Trongson, Michael Martinez, Juan Chavez, Victoria Gonzales and Brian Hill socialize at the Collaboratory lab’s grand opening.
“I’m an employee and a student here. Up here, you’re surrounded by tutors. It’s a very relaxing and inviting atmosphere,” said Jerry Young, who gave a speech to the guests of the grand opening. “It’s definitely benefited my college education.”
By incorporating student help as a resource, the lab not only offers technology and assistance to those who visit, but it enriches the school lives of those who work there.
“I’ve helped students before in Austin. (When this lab opened) I heard Jennifer (Gonzales, lab coordinator) was looking for somebody to tutor and my math adviser said to go for it,” said Sam Falahati, a tutor. “I like to work with the students here. I’m more involved now.”
Despite opening in the middle of October, the lab just had its grand opening complete with faculty speeches, student testimonies and interviews all around.
Upon seeing the buzzing crowd, Gonzales, who also serves as the Title V STEM coordinator, was pleased with the high attendance and general excitement that the opening brought.
“We had a better turnout than I could’ve imagined,” Gonzales said. “I’m glad (the attendees) could see the center and I hope they encourage other students to come use our services.”
The Collaboratory is located in Room 310 of the Venters building and is open Monday through Friday.