Watson Chronicle


Support for Educators in the Field

Brian Powell Coordinates Donation of Computers to Chinquapin Elementary

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

On February 15, Brian Powell delivered 23 computers to Chinquapin Elementary School in Duplin County. The delivery marked the culmination of a four-month effort to help the school by donating surplus UNCW computers to replace technology equipment lost during Hurricane Florence.

Powell is a technology support analyst in the Educational Technology Unit in the Watson College. He lives down the street from Chinquapin Elementary, and was shocked to see the structural and water damage the school suffered in the storm. Powell took community service leave from UNCW to work as a volunteer helping the school recover, but wanted to do more.

“The school lost a large portion of their technology equipment in the hurricane,” he said. “Working in IT, I knew that UNCW often surpluses computers that are newer than those used in many schools. I thought there might be a way to use some of the university’s surplus computers to replace losses at Chinquapin.”

Powell contacted Phillip Knowles and Tammy Mansur in ITS, and Chinquapin’s principal Marketa Hargrove and media coordinator Nina Gail Lanier to discuss the idea. Knowles is surplus property coordinator in UNCW’s warehouse and Mansur is IT manager of Technology Support in UNCW’s Information Technology Services.

Surplus computers are usually sold at public auction, but together the team was able to obtain state approval for a direct transfer of technology assets to the school because Duplin County was declared a disaster area after the hurricane.

“The process took a while, but everyone really wanted to help the school.” Powell said. “In the end it felt great to make a tangible contribution to their hurricane recovery efforts.”