Larry Boateng Asante ’17 is a problem solver, although that’s not his official job title.
Asante took a job as a web assistant in the Office of Communications at Grinnell shortly after he arrived in September 2013 as a first-year student.
That was right before the College launched a new website. “The site wouldn’t have launched without the help of Larry and the other students,” says Sarah Anderson ’98, director of interactive communications.
Since then, including through the summer, Asante’s been handling campus requests for content changes. That includes entire pages of content down to a single word. He updates faculty biographies, changes photos, and posts documents. Asante also monitors a tool to fix broken links, misspellings, and accessibility issues.
“Students in this position learn the concepts behind a content management system, especially Drupal,” Anderson says. They also learn customer service skills and the ins and outs of the College. “A computer science major is not required,” she adds.
Nevertheless, Asante intends to major in computer science. “It’s a useful tool for being a problem solver,” he says.
Last year during winter break he learned HTML, which isn’t required knowledge for the web assistant position, but he’s found it helpful.
“I get to use my technical skills,” Asante says. He enjoys solving technical problems and having the resources at hand to do so. “It’s given me a broader perspective on thinking.”
The work itself gives Asante a great deal of satisfaction. “It gives me a sense of responsibility. I have an expectation I must meet,” he says.
The work requests come through a web form and sometimes require a good deal of back and forth discussion with the person who submitted the ticket. “It’s challenging communicating this way,” he says. “People try to explain what’s wrong, but I have to figure out how to fix it.”
In addition to his job in Communications, over the summer Asante worked with Jerod Weinman, assistant professor of computer science, on a research project to improve the recognition and visualization of place names on old maps. "I learned a lot of things, academic and non-academic, from it," Asante says. Such as managing his time well, a skill that will be useful during the school year too.
Larry Boateng Asante ’17 is from Accra, Ghana. He’s currently undeclared but intends computer science.
Grinnell, IA - The Grinnell College Board of Trustees recently approved the promotion of faculty members to new ranks for the 2013-14 academic year.
Awarded tenure: Jeffrey Jonkman (associate professor of mathematics and statistics).
Since its founding in 1846, Grinnell has become one of the nation's premier liberal arts colleges, enrolling 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries. Grinnell's rigorous academic program emphasizes excellence in education for students in the liberal arts; the college offers the B.A. degree in a range of departments across the humanities, arts and sciences. Grinnell has a strong tradition of social responsibility and action, and self-governance and personal responsibility are key components of campus life. More information about Grinnell College is available at www.grinnell.edu.
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