The Arkansas Tech community did more than host a 24 hour bone marrow registry drive last Tuesday — it saved lives.
The event was spearheaded by Julie Mikles-Schluterman, associate professor of sociology, and Jason Warnick, associate professor of psychology. According to the Arkansas Tech News website, the drive succeeded in adding 1,696 people to the national bone marrow registry list.
Going into the event, Mikles-Schluterman and Warnick pushed to break the world record and register 3,000 people from the Tech community. According to the Guinness Book of World Records website, the world record for most bone marrow donors recruited in a 24-hour period is 2,976 people.
“At the end of the event, we had 1,696 people from the Russellville campus and 100 people at the Ozark Campus registered,” Warnick said. “We had almost 1,800 people sign up.”
That’s three lives that were saved.
Not only was it a goal to break the 24 hour record, but it was a goal to break the first hour record.
“I knew that to save a life, statistically, it was going to take about 540 people to sign up,” said Jeff Woods, dean of the college of arts and humanities. “And we reached 540 people in the second hour of the event. From that point on I thought that was great. In a very real way, we were going to be able to save someone’s life from this.”
The 24-hour event hosted several events to spur student, faculty and community involvement, including selfies with the president, donuts with the mayor and pie a professor. All of the events garnered attendance from a little over 1,000 students, Mikles-Schluterman said.
Although student participation was important, it wouldn’t be possible without assistance from the community.
“From the board of trustees down to faculty down to students, everybody helped,” Warnick said. “It showed that this place was special. I don’t think you would see an event like this anywhere else.”
Despite the fact the world record wasn’t broken, Warnick and Schluterman said they’re not upset with the tally of newly registered bone marrow donors.
“The idea behind ‘let’s break a world record’ was not let’s break a world record, it was let’s motivate people, and it worked,” said Mikles-Schluterman.