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Intel Putting $5M Toward Georgia Tech Diversity Push

Dr. Gary S. May is dean of Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering.Dr. Gary S. May is dean of Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering.

The Georgia Institute of Technology will receive $5 million over the next five years from Intel to increase the number of minorities and women going into engineering and computer science. Intel said that the program is expected to help retain 1,000 minority and female students in those fields at Georgia Tech.

Barbara McAllister, the deputy director of the Diversity In Technology Initiative, said that the company chose to partner with Georgia Tech for its proven track record with producing minority graduates in the STEM fields. “What I’ve experienced is that the focus [at Georgia Tech] is very much on the students,” she said. “They want to see the students succeed and want the students to be retained.”

The program will help expand Georgia Tech programs such as the Summer Engineering Institute, which brings high school juniors and seniors to campus for three weeks in the summer to learn about engineering and computer science. Dr. Gary S. May, dean of the College of Engineering, said that the program’s capacity will be able to grow to 48 students from 32.

As part of the agreement, Georgia Tech will recruit high school students from the Oakland Unified School District. Intel announced the start of a $5 million computer science program at the Oakland School District in May. “We’ll send a team out to Oakland this fall to identify some students who would be eligible and recruit them to participate in the summer program,” May said.

In addition, the Intel program will help Georgia Tech grow its Peer 2 Peer mentoring program and undergraduate summer research program. May said that the summer research program had been in existence for 25 years, but only had funding for 10 to 15 students each summer. The Intel program would expand capacity to more than 40.

For Georgia Tech, the partnership with Intel will help broaden Georgia Tech’s appeal. “Those students that we’re admitting have a lot of choices. They can get in to MIT, Carnegie Mellon and Stanford,” May said. The new partnership and the new opportunities it affords for students will help keep Georgia Tech competitive among its peer institutions.

Staff writer Catherine Morris can be reached at cmorris@diverseeducation.

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