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Hampton University Selected by Oculus for Nationwide Virtual Reality Project

HAMPTON, Va. (April 2, 2019) – Oculus has selected Hampton University to participate in a national project to expose students attending HBCUs to emerging technology in the area of virtual reality (VR). Using immersive technology to showcase the rich legacy, academic programs and vibrant culture of HBCUs, Oculus hopes to demonstrate the power of these technologies and to bridge access and information gaps for students of color. Through this project, it also hopes to provide technology exposure to students. Oculus will introduce a cohort of 12 Hampton students to VR technology, coaching them in how to plan, direct, film and edit their own campus tour videos using the technology.

“This technology is immersive, and viewers of the end products of our students’ efforts will see excellent filmmaking. Viewers also will have the exciting opportunity to step onto our campus and experience what the students have elected to showcase. We are so thrilled that Oculus chose Hampton from among the nation’s top HBCUs for this project,” said B. DaVida Plummer, Dean of the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

A special cohort of 12 students from three academic schools at Hampton – Journalism and Communications (Dean Plummer), Liberal Arts and Education (Dean Linda Malone-Colon), and Engineering and Technology (Dean Joyce Shirazi) – have been selected to participate.

Student participants include:

  1. Jordan Nobles, Computer Engineering (FR)
  2. Kristopher Smalls, Electrical Engineering (SO)
  3. Ciera Russell, English Creative Writing Major and Film Studies Minor (JR)
  4. Jordan Sharps, English Major /Film Studies Concentration (SR)

Oculus is eager to bring emerging technology to students of color, noted a representative working with the firm. Erika West said, “This project will teach students not only how to use the technology, highlighting best practices, but will also introduce them to career paths available to those who enjoy working in this medium. The students’ videos will showcase their technological skills and creative talents, as well as the rich legacies, strong academic programs, and distinct qualities and cultures of their HBCUs.”

The ultimate goal of the effort is to engage HBCU-connected Members of Congress and other policy stakeholders; plan and execute public facing promotion of the project; and ensure maximum benefit for participating schools and students.

Other participants include Jackson State University, Howard University, Prairie View A&M University, South Carolina State University, Xavier University of Louisiana, Lincoln University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and NC A&T State University.