The AUC Data Science Initiative partners with Mastercard to further drive impact through data science  


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The AUC Data Science Initiative partners with Mastercard to further drive impact through data science  

Through a $6.5M grant, Mastercard will support the expansion of data science education and research efforts across the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. 

Atlanta, GA – The Atlanta University Center (AUC) Data Science Initiative announced the launch of a new partnership with Mastercard at the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library October 18th. The event detailed the innovative partnership supported by a $6.5 million grant from Mastercard to drive the expansion of data science across the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to accelerate data science education and research to help further drive access to opportunity. 

The partnership with Mastercard advances the AUC Data Science Initiative’s work in building and strengthening data science capacity nationally across HBCUs by expanding industry-informed curriculum, supporting innovation in computer science programs, and building programs supporting student engagement in data science and career development. 

“The AUC Data Science Initiative has had great success engaging AUC students and faculty resulting in significant national impacts, primarily increasing the presence and employment of Black data scientists in the workforce,” said David Thomas, Ph.D., chair of the Atlanta University Center Consortium Board of Trustees and Morehouse College president. “This partnership with Mastercard will amplify these efforts by providing a resource to all HBCUs creating pathways of innovation in data science.” 

“As technology advancements in the field of data science impact both our local and global economic foundation, we need to ensure we are enabling the future workforce with pathways in data science knowledge that prioritize equitable access to opportunity for all,” said Salah Goss, senior vice president for social impact for the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. “The Center has prioritized supporting the expansion of the field of data science for social impact and our partnership with AUC is a great case point in how that work is progressing.” 

The partnership also seeks to develop new or reframed courses created across HBCUs guided by industry needs. New computer science faculty will be hired at an AUC institution and will work across HBCUs to strengthen data-specific curriculum and programming. This partnership will expand successful AUC Data Science Initiative programs such as the PreFreshman Experience summer program, career development, and placement efforts working in collaboration with HBCUs to support students gaining employment in data-intensive jobs. 

Dr. Talitha Washington, Ph.D., Director of the AUC Data Science Initiative, will lead collaboration with other HBCUs to create new innovations in curricula and research. “There is a growing workforce need for data scientists and other professionals who possess data science skills,” said Washington. “Data science impacts everything that we do, and we need all talent at all HBCUs to drive innovations.” 

The $6.5 million investment builds on and is informed by Mastercard’s previous work with HBCUs leveraging Mastercard’s unique expertise to create industry-informed programs to increase student placement in the workforce. This philanthropic funding, delivered by Mastercard Impact Fund, is part of Mastercard’s $500 million, five-year In Solidarity Commitment to advance racial equity and economic opportunities for Black Americans, to increase access and usage of appropriate financial services and to expand access to capital and resources for Black-owned businesses.   


About the Atlanta University Center Data Science Initiative 

The AUC Data Science Initiative is located in Atlanta, GA, and was established in 2019 through a UnitedHealth Group grant. The Initiative serves as a hub to catalyze data science education and research across all Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), stewarded by the AUC-member Institutions, Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Spelman College, as well as the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library.


About the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth 

The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth advances equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world. The center leverages the company’s core assets and competencies, including data insights, expertise and technology, while administering the philanthropic Mastercard Impact Fund, to produce independent research, scale global programs and empower a community of thinkers, leaders and doers on the front lines of inclusive growth. For more information and to receive its latest insights, follow the center on Twitter and LinkedIn and subscribe to its newsletter.  


About Mastercard (NYSE: MA) 

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all. 




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