Luke Gosnell stayed very busy during the COVID-19 shutdown. In addition to completing his required coursework at Ranken Technical College Wentzville, he voluntarily helped the St Charles County Veterans Museum in their efforts to honor local veterans who served in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf Wars and the War in Afghanistan.
For the past several months, Gosnell spent many days and nights collaborating with museum officials and modernizing their website (http://stcharlescountyveteransmuseum.org/) to better tell the story of these heroes. He also helped the museum with preparations that will accommodate future touchscreen applications, and is in the process of creating an Android app that visitors can download to get more detailed museum and hero information.
Gosnell was in his final semester of Ranken’s two-year Associate of Technology degree program during the pandemic. He took classes and worked on the website remotely at his home while sheltering in place. He has completed his graduation requirements and is awaiting the arrival of his diploma.
Officials from the museum, which is located at 410 East Elm Street in O’Fallon, initially contacted Ranken via a letter that asked for help with their outdated website in February. The letter was forwarded to Jeff Scott, an IT instructor at Ranken’s Wentzville campus who teaches in the Application and Website Development (AWD) Program. After meeting with officials, Scott asked Gosnell if he would consider working pro bono on the project. (Gosnell had taken the AWD1000 – Web Development Technologies course during his first year at Ranken.) Gosnell enthusiastically agreed to help.
In March, just as Gosnell was beginning the project, the shelter-in-place order went into effect. However, that did not deter him from continuing to confer with museum representatives and working on the project, which he finished in the first week of May.
“We are so appreciative of Luke’s contributions to our organization,” said Jim Higgins, Executive Board, Operations Chairman, of the St. Charles County Veterans Museum. “His generosity and talents have tremendously helped improve and modernize our website, and add new features for the years ahead. With his help, we can better honor the memories of these veterans.”
This type of volunteerism is typical of Gosnell, according to Scott. “Students like Luke inspire me as a teacher,” he said. “Luke has been a hard-working diligent student whose work ethic is excellent. He has become an excellent programmer and website developer who also found time to tutor first-year students.”
“It’s been a real pleasure to help such an important establishment to the community,” said Gosnell. “As the grandson of a Vietnam veteran, I deeply appreciate the efforts of the museum’s staff to honor St. Charles County’s great heroes. I look forward to seeing this project through to the end.”
The museum has been closed during the COVID-19 shutdown but has plans to re-open on May 14. More information about the museum and its hours of operation can be found at stcharlescountyveteransmuseum.org
Ranken Technical College is a private, non-profit, degree-granting institution of higher learning whose primary mission is to provide the comprehensive education and training necessary to prepare students for employment and advancement in a variety of technical fields. More information can be found at ranken.edu.