Clark Atlanta University Unveils New Student Innovation Lounge for Hybrid Learning

10/10/2021

ATLANTA, GA – Oct.6, 2021 – Today, Clark Atlanta University (CAU) has partnered with Dell Technologies and The Home Depot to develop an Innovation Lounge for current students to pursue entrepreneurial, academic and career opportunities. On Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021, at 11 a.m., Clark Atlanta University will hold a virtual unveiling of the space.
 
Located in the Carl and Mary Ware Building on CAU’s campus, the Innovation Lounge will be a space for students to collaborate, complete projects, access job opportunities, participate in the technology curriculum and relax in between classes. The lounge is accessible as a hybrid learning environment, with an online portal and remote programming.
 
Events, workshops and speaker series will be hosted throughout the year in the Innovation Lounge, scheduled within the online portal. These resources will be provided by Dell Technologies, The Home Depot, and multiple other companies, to help students develop skills in areas including sales engineering, supply chain, cybersecurity and data science, preparing them for their future careers.
 
Clark Atlanta University's School of Business will also host its first Professional Development Series for the fall semester of the 2021-22 academic year featuring two leaders in the social impact and innovation industry: Jasmine Crowe, Founder and CEO, Goodr., and Joey Womack, Founder and CEO, Goodie Nation. The first series will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, at 6 p.m.
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Dell Technologies has been providing in-classroom curriculum and instruction to CAU students since 2019 as part of its overall engagement with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs). To date, more than 600 HBCU, HSI and MSI students have been exposed to Dell’s science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) educational curriculum. The company provided the computers and technology for the Innovation Lounge and skilled students in technical support with its Dell Tech Direct Hardware certification. Certified students will gain IT experience by providing technical assistance to peers, reducing learning lag time. Volunteers from Dell Technologies will engage with students in the Innovation Lounge about emerging technologies, including cybersecurity, data science as well as career fields like sales engineering, which involves using technical expertise to solve customer business problems with customized IT solutions. Dell volunteers will also provide career opportunities to equip CAU students with the personal and professional skills they need to succeed in the data era.
 
For over a decade, The Home Depot has committed to giving back to HBCUs and the pivotal role they play in our higher education system. For the CAU Innovation Lounge, The Home Depot designed the modern, creative layout, as well as provided the furniture, light fixtures,
building materials and additional amenities that will provide students with state-of-the-art resources to collaborate and learn. Through its long-running Retool Your School program, The Home Depot provides grants to support HCBU campus improvement projects, doubling its annual commitment in 2021 by contributing $1 million in grants. Most recently, the company invested $10 million in venture capital funds that promote diversity, technology and entrepreneurship, including one with the Base10 Advancement Initiative, which creates financial aid for 100,000 HBCU students. To date, The Home Depot and The Home Depot foundation have committed more than $45 million since 2017 in organizations working to improve social equity.
 
“The Innovation Lounge will give our scholars direct access to tools that will equip them with the knowledge and hands-on experience they need to enter the technology world, ready and prepared to compete for full-time opportunities,” said President George T. French, Jr., Ph.D. “Our scholars come first at CAU, and we appreciate the outstanding support from major companies such as Dell and The Home Depot.”
 
“We are committed to advancing education for all and firmly believe that everyone should have access to the resources they need to succeed,” says Kelie Charles, senior director, diversity, equity and inclusion at The Home Depot. “We hope that students will use this lounge as a source for innovation, inspiration, and an appreciation for technology to help shape their future careers.”
 
“I am so thrilled to see the Innovation Lounge come to life. I had the honor of participating in a roundtable discussion with Dell Technologies last year on how to better equip HBCU students with the right tools and curriculum to succeed. I suggested bringing a dedicated innovation lounge to life and here we are,” said Jasmine Crowe, founder of Goodr.  “As an HBCU alumna, I applaud the efforts of Dell to bring access and opportunities to Clark Atlanta University.”
 
“Technology is the ticket to the best future jobs,” said Vanice Hayes, chief culture, diversity and inclusion officer at Dell Technologies. “After years of working with the students and faculty of Clark Atlanta, we are excited to introduce the Innovation Lounge to advance education in emerging technology disciplines. Our goal is to open pathways to successful careers and close the technology skills gap.”
 
About Clark Atlanta University
Established in 1988 by the historic consolidation of Atlanta University (1865) and Clark College (1869). Clark Atlanta University continues a 150-year legacy rooted in African-American tradition and focused on the future. Through global innovation, transformative educational experiences, and high-value engagement. CAU cultivates lifted lives that transform the world. Notable alumni include James Weldon Johnson, American civil rights activist, poet, and songwriter (Lift Every Voice and Sing “The Black National Anthem”; Ralph David Abernathy Sr., American civil rights activist; Congressman Hank Johnson, GA District 4; Kenya Barris, American award-winning television and movie producer. Learn more about CAU at www.cau.edu.
 
Read Dell Technologies' Progress Made Real 2021 ESG Report here.
Read The Home Depot’s 2021 ESG Report here.
 
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