ASU: Advanced Technologies Department receives donation from Nissan

Alcorn State University’s Advanced Technologies Department received a donation from Nissan to support its engineering technology-focused academic and outreach activities.

Nissan awarded the department $45,000 to assist with improving its robotics laboratories and continuing its STEM outreach activities to middle and high school students from the local community.

According to Nissan, since launching the Mississippi HBCU STEM Initiative in 2014, it has invested $2.5 million to support and encourage innovative program development that serves Mississippi HBCU students, helping to build the tech workforce of the future.

“We are extremely grateful to Nissan for their ten-year investment and partnership in Alcorn State University as we work to expose hundreds of central and southwest Mississippi middle and high school students to STEM learning opportunities, camps, and robotics competitions,” said Dr. Marcus Ward, vice president of Institutional Advancement and executive director of the ASU Foundation. “The immense impact of Nissan’s support over the years has helped us to inspire future generations of Alcornites to explore our campus and learn in our robotics laboratories while building interest and skills for the high-value career pathways of the future.”

Nissan is one of the key partners supporting the Alcorn Department of Advanced Technologies programs — robotics and automation, applied sciences (electro-mechanical engineering technology), and the departmental STEM outreach programs.

Dr. Jermiah Billa, chairperson of Department of Advanced Technologies, thanked Nissan for its support to the programs. He added, “Nissan is one of our major industrial partners that helped with capacity building; internships and externships for our students; and more importantly hiring our students after graduation. We continue to grow this academia-industry relationship which can impact student enrollment; students’ professional development; and prepare students to gain industrial experience so that they can have sustainable careers in engineering and technology.”

“As an alumnus of Alcorn State University, I am especially proud to be a Nissan employee today,” said Victor Taylor, vice president, Manufacturing, Nissan Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant. “I was well prepared by my alma mater to take on a STEM career in the automotive industry and to advance Nissan’s vehicle electrification endeavors. HBCUs are a major pipeline of talent for us, and we’re thrilled to support the STEM learning opportunities they offer their student body.”