Walsh University Receives Technology Grant

Sep 19, 2006

North Canton, Ohio (September 19, 2006) – Walsh University received a $120,000 grant from the networking division of Ohio Supercomputer Center on behalf of the Ohio Board of Regents for advancing the University’s technology. The funds will enable Walsh to secure an ultra-high-speed data network connection, enabling collaboration with other similarly-connected institutions on cutting edge research projects and participation in video-conferencing.

This funding will support the extension of OSCnet and promote its use to support inter-institutional collaboration. OARnet has developed a dedicated high-speed fiber-optic network linking Ohio colleges and universities with research facilities to promote research and economic development. Over 1,600 miles of fiber backbone connects colleges and universities, K-12 schools, and communities together.

Both Dr. Tom Freeland, Associate Professor of Biology and Director of Bioinformatics, and Don Boron, Director of Information Systems, played vital roles in securing the OARnet grant.

According to Freeland, this new high-speed connection from OARnet “allows fast sharing of large amounts of information, like the entire genomic sequence of humans or other organisms of interest.”  Freeland also stated that Walsh students and faculty will now be able to collaborate through video conferencing with students from Columbus, Athens, and Cincinnati while working on various cutting edge research projects.  “This means more information shared, more expertise available, more learning and research opportunities for Walsh University students and faculty,” Freeland said.

“Our data connection has the capability of being over 100 times faster than the current link, enabling much faster transfer of data bases, as well as facilitating collaboration of involved parties through video conferencing, key components of which are also part of this grant,” said Boron. “Although the grant for both the high speed data link and video conferencing equipment are primarily to assist Dr. Freeland in Bioinformatics endeavors, both facilities can also be leveraged in many other administrative, academic and student computing collaborations internal to Walsh University and with other Ohio and world-wide educational and research institutions.”

OARnet has been Walsh’s service provider since it first connected to the Internet more than a decade ago.

In addition to Walsh, five other Ohio universities received funding as part of the total OARnet grant, including: Capitol University, Mount Union College, Owens Community College, Stark State College of Technology, and the University of Findley.

Walsh University is an independent, co-educational Catholic liberal arts and sciences institution that promotes academic excellence and diversity and provides close faculty-student interaction. It is dedicated to teaching its nearly 2,500 students to become leaders in service to others through a values-based education with an international perspective in the Judeo-Christian tradition.