The University received a $740,000 Microsoft/Thurgood Marshall Software Grant to provide software upgrades across campus on Jan. 31, and students may have the opportunity to receive free software.
A software grant initiative proposal written by directors Ronald Henry and Angela Moss on Nov. 24, 2006 earned the award for the School of Business and Industry and the College of Arts and Sciences.
“In the proposal we specified the areas we wanted to enhance, however the Board of Directors for the project will determine classrooms and labs that are in need,” said Angela Moss, director of enterprise information services.
The grant was established in February 2003 as a part of the Thurgood Marshall fund to make technology an integral part of the education at HBCUs and to ensure graduates had the skills needed to succeed in today’s information-based economy.
Tiki Suarez, board of directors’ chairwoman and associate professor, said the University is excited to be selected as the recipient of the initiative.
“We are so excited about this grant initiative and how it will serve to enhance FAMU’s student experience and learning environment,” Suarez said.
In addition, this grant will build a model from the division of health information management, the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering and the computer and information sciences department, to be expanded to other departments at the University. “We want to use this program to increase enrollment and get more students interested in the programs,” Suarez said.
The grant will provide reliable access to current technology and information to the schools and department targeted in the grant proposal.
“It is imperative that our FAMU students, staff and faculty have access to the best in class computing and (are) digitally competent to utilize next generation technology solutions to accelerate their college and/or professional careers,” said an April 9 SBI press release.
Software course enhancements include providing advertising materials for the student-run SBI companies; training to effectively plan projects, create technical diagrams and communicate ideas and design processes; and systems to provide both students and faculty the opportunity to design, create and manage websites.
“The technology upgrade is needed and students will take advantage of it ,” said Reginald Wesley, 25, a graduate business student from Louisville, Ky.
Students in SBI and the College of Arts and Sciences can participate in a lottery to receive free software through the program.
“The lottery is for all students in either school to receive free Microsoft Office products,” Suarez said.
The first lottery will take place in the summer, although a date has not been determined. Only full-time students will be eligible to take part in the first lottery. Moss said there will be another lottery for students in the fall once the guidelines are established.