Atlanta University Center Consortium

Nzinga Tull

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Nzinga Tull was born to be an engineer. After all, engineering is the family business. Tull’s father, Knox W. Tull Jr., a civil and structural engineer, co-founded Seabrook, Maryland-based, Jackson and Tull, a full-service technology company that provides services in aerospace, manufacturing, national security, robotics, civil engineering, and information systems. A 1997 dual degree engineering program graduate of Spelman College and Georgia Institute of Technology, Tull could only see benefits in making a five-year commitment to have degrees from two of the best institutions in the nation.

“I enrolled in DDEP because I wanted to attend Spelman College but also wanted to get an engineering degree, and I had no problem with the five-year commitment. It made sense given the curriculum and the fact that I would be finishing with two degrees at the end of the five years,” said the aerospace systems engineer and education advocate. “DDEP is important because it allows students to have the best of both worlds: a well-rounded and top-notch undergraduate education with the rich cultural grounding and unparalleled network of AUC institutions as well as access to a top engineering school education and resources.”

Created to increase the number of minorities entering engineering and technology, the program was first established in 1969 when Morehouse College entered a dual-degree relationship with Georgia Tech. The following year in 1970, Clark College, Morris Brown College, and Spelman College entered the agreement entered the Atlanta University Center-Georgia Tech Dual Degree Program in Engineering. Currently, the program is comprised of AUC Consortium institutions, Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Spelman College.

Today, approximately 1,500 engineering students have graduated through AUC DDEP’s 3+2 curriculum (three years matriculation at an Atlanta University Center institution and two years at a partnering engineering institution). The partnership has expanded from Georgia Tech to now include Auburn University, Clarkson University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Missouri University of Science and Technology, North Carolina A&T State University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Alabama in Huntsville, University of Florida, University of Michigan, and University of Notre Dame.

Annually, for years, the top-producing baccalaureate engineering degrees for African-Americans have come from two AUCC feeder institutions – North Carolina A&T State University and Georgia Tech.

“The significance of this program is validated every year by feedback from our corporate sponsors and engineering school partners who state the value of our program,” said Denise Holmes, director of DDEP and Career Planning and Placement Service for AUCC. “The holistic student development that takes place at the Consortium schools uniquely prepares our students for the global marketplace in a way that is unparalleled at majority institutions.”

The ebb and flow of dual degree majors in the AUCC program reflects an overall trend in the industry, with numbers for African-Americans really taking a dive from 2005 to 2011, according to an “Engineering by the Numbers” report done by the American Society for Engineering Education. The exception was Hispanics whose numbers have steadily increased over the years.

Mayor Reed Announces Atlanta’s West Side Received $30 Million Grant for Improvements

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ATLANTA –  The historic west side, including the Atlanta University Center, is a great source of pride for most ATL urban sophisticates, particularly those who lived and/or were the beneficiary of great education there. This is what makes this latest federal grant very apropos and important.

Mayor Kasim Reed and Secretary Julián Castro announced today that the City of Atlanta has been selected to receive $30 million through the 2014-2015 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant. Mayor Reed and Secretary Castro made the announcement at a press event at The Oasis at Scholar’s Landing, a senior residence in the Atlanta University Center neighborhood.

With the $30 million award, the City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Housing Authority will work with private and public sector partners to revitalize portions of west Atlanta, including Vine City, Ashview Heights and the Atlanta University Center neighborhood.

“Our historic Westside neighborhoods produced leaders and institutions which helped change the course of America’s history,” said Mayor Reed. “Winning the Choice Neighborhoods grant provides us with the resources needed to bring about unprecedented change. We leaned on each other and worked together to secure this grant, and we will lean on each other as we transform and renew these communities.”

Revitalization efforts will address local challenges identified during the Choice grant planning process. The City of Atlanta received a $250,000 grant to support this planning process in 2010.

“The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is responsible for transforming what were once vacant lots, crumbling parks and storefronts and distressed housing into vibrant communities,” said Secretary Castro. “It has become one of our nation’s most important tools in the fight to ensure that every family – no matter where they live – has the resources and strong foundation to succeed.”

The City of Atlanta, through the Department of Planning and Community Development, and the Atlanta Housing Authority jointly applied for the Choice Neighborhood grant.

“With receipt of this grant, the Atlanta Housing Authority, the City of Atlanta and our many partners will immediately begin implementation of the neighborhood transformation,” said Joy Fitzgerald, executive director of the Atlanta Housing Authority. “The transformation, which was developed with extensive community engagement, will include the continued redevelopment of the former University Homes site, development of affordable housing in the neighborhood, strategies to remove blight and stabilize the community, and services to enable families and children to reach their full potential.”

Daniel Halpern, board chair of the Atlanta Housing Authority, added, “I’d like to congratulate the staffs at the Atlanta Housing Authority, the City of Atlanta, Invest Atlanta and our private-sector partners who worked so hard to make this a reality. Their teamwork and diligence shows what can happen when we come together to help those most in need.”

Invest Atlanta, the United Way of Greater Atlanta, and MBS-Integral, LLC will play key roles in the implementation of the Choice Neighborhood grant. The groups also participated in the planning process.

During his Administration, Mayor Kasim Reed has worked to bring new public and private resources to support economic and civic development in the Westside communities. The City of Atlanta has pledged $20 million in new infrastructure, parks and green space, and Mayor Reed has announced his intention to make the Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive corridor one of the most attractive streets in the country.

As part of the coordinated effort to revitalize the Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive corridor and surrounding neighborhoods of the new Atlanta stadium, Mayor Reed partnered with Atlanta business leaders to establish the Westside Future Fund. The Fund will serve as a catalyst for philanthropic and corporate support to accelerate improvements in the health, education and welfare of current residents, address equity and social justice issues associated with new residential and commercial development, and attract new investment, new jobs and new residents.

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has committed $15 million in private funds to invest in projects that ignite positive change and improve the quality of life in the English Avenue, Vine City, Castleberry Hill and other contiguous neighborhoods. Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development agency, has committed an additional $15 million in tax allocation district dollars for economic development projects that would leverage private sector and philanthropic investment in the English Avenue, Vine City and Castleberry Hill communities.

Invest Atlanta partnered with the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to open Westside Works, a long-term initiative focused on creating employment opportunities and fostering job success through skill building for residents of the Westside communities.

Photo: Kristian Weatherspoon via marketplace.org

Story reprinted from the Atlanta Daily World.

Providing a Perfect Platform for Hiring and Employment

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It is a perfect scenario – students are in the market for jobs, and companies are in the market for hiring. At the annual AUCC Career Fair, hosted by the Atlanta University Center Consortium, more than 1,300 students from partner institutions Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College came out for a chance at career opportunities and internships. From high-tech to high schools and profit to nonprofit, 184 of the nation’s top companies were on hand to recruit from the fair, accounting for a nearly 30 percent increase in recruiters from the 2014 fair.

“The AUCC Career Fair provides the perfect platform to find the pool of diverse and talented students we are seeking for opportunities not only in Atlanta, but across the United States,” said Luis Abarca, Southeast regional manager for INROADS Inc. An organization that develops and places underserved young professionals in business and industry to prepare them for corporate and community leadership. “We look forward to a continued collaboration with the AUCC and to propel the careers of the students the Consortium serves.”

According to Denise Holmes, AUCC director of the Office of Academic and Career Services, corporation participation has increased since the economy has improved. At the 2014 fair, 148 companies were represented.

“As an aspiring aerospace engineer, I talked with companies like Boeing, NASA, FAA, and so forth,” said junior Frank Adams, a physics/aerospace Dual Degree Engineering Program student attending CAU. “I have a possible internship with Lockheed Martin Corp. lined up for the summer.”

Another DDEP student, Melvin Hill, a Morehouse senior majoring in applied physics spoke with eight companies that had an interest in him.

“I was very impressed with the amount of companies for engineering majors,” said Hill, who will attend Auburn University in the spring to complete his degree in civil engineering.

Baylis stated that by the year 2018, there will be over 2 million STEM-related jobs available and a need to close the diversity/gender gap. Therefore, the increase of recruiters to the AUCC is expected to continue to grow.

“It’s very important for us, … and the nation, to understand that [historically Black colleges and universities] are a tremendous resource,” said Tony Baylis, assistant department manager for the Computing Applications and Research Department in the Computation Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California. “It is important for young people to understand that the AUC offers the foundation to get a good education and matriculate into these great opportunities that are so abundant.”

See images from the AUCC Career Fair.

 

 

 

‘Freedom Expressions ATL’ Comes to AUC Woodruff Library

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Library partners with ArtWorks for Freedom and IHTI to promote awareness of human trafficking through photography and film

From November 11-17, 2015, at the Atlanta University Center Woodruff Library, ArtWorks for Freedom in collaboration with the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and the International Human Trafficking Institute  present “Freedom Expressions ATL,” a multifaceted, arts-based awareness campaign to fight human trafficking and modern slavery. The program includes an outdoor photographic exhibit, which is being staged in partnership with Clark Atlanta University along the CAU Pedestrian Promenade near the intersection of James P. Brawley Drive and Parsons Street. Related film screenings are also scheduled in the Virginia Lacy Jones Exhibition Hall of the Library.

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