Mississippi HBCU STEM Programs Reach $2.5 Million with Nissan’s Support

June 11th, 2024 by

Photo credit: Nissan 

Nissan is donating $250,000 to Mississippi’s seven historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in order to advance STEM education, carrying on its longstanding support of HBCUs. Nissan has committed a total of $2.5 million since the inception of the Mississippi HBCU STEM Initiative in 2014 to foster and support the creation of creative programs that benefit Mississippi HBCU students and contribute to the future workforce in technology.

“It’s our privilege to support Mississippi’s HBCUs as they prepare a new generation to take on the STEM challenges and opportunities of tomorrow,” said Chandra Vasser, vice president and chief diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) officer, Nissan Americas, and an HBCU alumnus. “Many of Nissan’s Canton employees are graduates of a Mississippi HBCU and are helping to shape the future of our business. We’re proud to support the schools that have prepared them to make a positive impact, not only within our company but within the communities we serve.”

Alcorn State University, Coahoma Community College, Hinds Community College – Utica Campus, Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Rust College, and Tougaloo College are the seven HBCUs that will be receiving a Nissan contribution. These are a few of the funded projects.

The two-part project, Alcorn State University Applied Sciences Programs and Robotics and Automation Technology Enhancements, offers middle and high school students STEM learning opportunities, such as robotics competitions and STEM camps, that foster interest and aptitude in technical career pathways and advancements to robotics laboratories. 

Students can participate in robotics and emerging technology-related activities in the specialized Jackson State University Student Robotics Lab and Program. The lab supports student inventions, competition preparation, and senior design projects. 

The goal of the Tougaloo College STEM Pipeline Project is to develop a curriculum that will enhance the knowledge of advanced technology and innovation among pre-college and college students. A research conference, a STEM workshop, and a summer science and engineering program are some of the main events.

“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.”

Employees at Nissan Canton have been assembling superior, multi-award winning cars for 20 years. With the plant’s opening in 2003, Mississippi saw the introduction of automobile manufacturing, which has subsequently aided in the growth of the state’s economy. Building on its rich past, Nissan Canton is changing to become a hub for EV production in the United States, bringing brand-new all-electric cars to the market. Nissan Canton has established itself as a major player in Mississippi, generating over 25,000 employment around the state, donating over $20 million to regional nonprofits, and accumulating over 12,000 volunteer hours to support the development of stronger communities. The Nissan Altima, Frontier, and Titan are now produced in the plant, which has over 5,000 workers.

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