Run away to this learning space

By Katie Smith, A&E Editor

The Hangar is gone, but The Runway is open.

Over the summer, Newman eliminated the former computer lab called The Hangar and replaced it with an enhanced space called The Runway Learning Center.

It’s all still on the third floor of Sacred Heart, but the new center now also has all the features students previously could find in Student Support Services. This includes career services, counseling help, the testing center and drop-in tutoring.

The faculty members who work in the new Runway Learning Center say they are thrilled about the rebranding. Debbie Haslam, who is in charge of tutoring services, Project Care and counseling, said she can’t wait to see the impact this new set up will have on students.

“We are really hopeful that it’s going to provide them with more support and help them know that the support is there,” Haslam said. “The support has been there all along but I feel like a lot of students just didn't know, and creating a space that they’re comfortable with, that they know about, and that they want to be in, is going to help them get the support that they need to be better students.”

Senior Martina Viale, who is a student employee for the Runway Learning Center, said that the space has been transformed into a more welcoming and clean environment.

“I believe that the Runway Learning Center is better than The Hangar because before it was a closed off space. There was no interaction. It was dull, not really taken care of,” Viale said. “People walk in, we interact with them. There’s always a staff member inside the learning center ready to answer any question about career services or student support. Everything is connected to the one center.”

The center will also offer students access to career, tutoring, disability, advising and international services.

“We’ve tried to incorporate all of student support services in a more cohesive way in the Runway Learning Center,” Halsam said. “Our attempt is to make it more student-user friendly to provide all of their needs in one space. Hopefully this is a place where students want to go.”

Haslam said that the tutoring services in the Runway Learning Center will be offered at different times this year. A few tutors will be available a couple of times a week and will accept walk-ins needing help with any subject. One-on-one tutoring services also will still be offered.

The two testing rooms that used to be across the hallway from The Hangar are now offices, Halsam said, and the testing center has been moved into the Runway Learning Center.

PHOTO: Courtesy Photo. Murphy Obershaw.