'Wildcat Charging Station' Makes Successful Debut in Campus Center

Published 10.25.2013


Demo unit allows Commuter Lounge patrons to "recharge."Selection of connection cables ensures compatibility with a variety of devices and manufacturers.The Wildcat Charging Station, a convenient site for rejuvenation of rundown wireless devices, has been installed in the Bush Campus Center's first-floor Commuter Lounge. Depending on the popularity of the demonstration unit (which seems beyond dispute), Information Technology Services plans to deploy additional ones in other campus locations. Mike Cunningham, vice president for information technology/chief information officer, said the equipment has its roots in Penn College's summer orientation program. "When I started attending the Connections parents' sessions ... I would see a few at just about every session recharging their cellphones," he said. "Made me think of all the times I have been 'out and about' and my cell battery died on me. So I started looking around for what may be on the market." While drinking coffee in the Hetzel Union Building during a trip with his daughter to Penn State's University Park campus, Cunningham saw the solution he'd been looking for: A wall-mounted unit, with a tray and an attractive logo. When he returned to work, he contacted acquaintances in Penn State's ITS department and eventually obtained the necessary vendor information. Cunningham affirmed  the feasibility of his idea by talking with students in Penn College's Off-Campus Housing Organization, all of whom approved. "Contacted the vendor, got pricing, worked with Park (Williams, coordinator of digital publishing in College Information and Community Relations) on the design, placed the order," said Cunningham, adding that he has already heard positive reaction – and suggestions for future locations. The cables at the Wildcat Charging Station are compatible with Apple, Android, Blackberry and Windows, and fit most mobile devices (phones, tablets, MP3 players and e-readers).
Photo by Marc T. Kaylor, student photographer