Eileen Langan Barber, co-founder of a Boise online fraud detection company, has donated $250,000 for a tutoring center in Boise State University’s computer science program, which is opening this fall in a new location in Downtown Boise.
The Kount Tutoring Center is named for the company that Barber, 47, helped start in 2008.
Boise State’s computer science program will begin classes this fall in the Clearwater Building on The Grove, located on Main Street near Capitol Boulevard.
Money will go toward furnishing the center, including computers. said Tim Andersen, Boise State University computer science department chairman.
The tutoring center is aimed at helping students with difficult introductory classes in computer science, where they must must learn computer language, Barber said. “You are learning a lot of new stuff all at once,” she said. “Learning a new language for anybody is intimidating.”
She also hopes her donation fosters more involvement in computer sciences among women and minorities.
“We are grateful for Eileen’s continued contributions and tireless dedication to underrepresented students in (science, technology, engineering and math) education and look forward to opening the new tutoring center for our growing community,” said Amy Moll, Boise State’s dean of engineering.
Barber’s donation comes as Boise State’s computer science department grows to meet demand from regional tech companies.
Five years ago, the department had seven instructors, about 280 students and was graduating 20 to 25 students a year.
Technology companies complained that Boise State couldn’t meet their demands.
But through grants and other help, the computer science department has now grown to about 700 students and last year graduated 69 students.