Zoom Video Communications Inc. and Claflin University have announced a commitment to a five-year strategic partnership.
The video communications provider and historically Black university have developed a multifaceted foundational program that represents $1.2 million in educational and financial investments. Program components include:
- Internships: Paid internships during the school year, and paid internships as part of Zoom’s summer internship program.
- Scholarships: Merit- and need-based scholarships for selected students.
- Curricula partnership.
- Zoom-led virtual engagements focused on technical skill, career path and interview development topics with students throughout the academic year.
- A member of Zoom’s product and technology leadership team will join the Claflin Computer Science and Mathematics Professional Advisory Board.
- Inclusion of meaningful Zoom-focused projects within Claflin University’s capstone project program.
- Co-authoring of case studies to be embedded into the classroom for teaching purposes.
- Board of Trustees: Aparna Bawa, Zoom COO, will join Claflin’s Board of Trustees.
- Faculty and student advisory: Zoom will partner with Claflin University to identify tailored opportunities to obtain feedback and guidance from faculty and students towards making Zoom’s product more accessible and inclusive to its customers.
- General operating fund and alumni engagement: Zoom will provide financial support to Claflin’s general operating plans and will also engage its alumni community in career development- and hiring-related efforts.
Congressman James E. Clyburn, an HBCU graduate who represents Claflin University in Congress, said, “I want to thank my colleague Congressman Ro Khanna, whose relationship with Silicon Valley tech companies in his district and interest in supporting minority-serving institutions led to this exciting partnership between Zoom and Claflin University.
"In 2018, he joined me in South Carolina on a tour of HBCUs to learn more about their untapped talent and unmet financial needs. The resulting partnership between Claflin and Zoom will demonstrate the mutual benefits of corporate investments in minority-serving institutions and the profound impacts it can have on the students and the companies that help empower them. My hope is that this will be the start of more successful partnerships."
“I want to thank Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn for his leadership in helping bring tech opportunities across the country and to South Carolina. I saw his passion for this firsthand when he took me on a tour of his congressional district. Together we toured Claflin University," Khana said.
"I’m so proud to see Zoom announce a $1.2 million partnership over the next five years with Claflin. This is not just a one-time donation from Zoom; they will provide paid internships, scholarships, and real-world experience for students at Claflin. We need structural change and Zoom's partnership is the model of a substantive partnership that others should follow."
“This partnership strengthens Claflin University’s commitment to student success and our STEM agenda by providing scholarships, internships and other career-development initiatives,” said Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack, Claflin University president. “Zoom’s innovative technology has revolutionized video communications in industries and organizations across the globe. We are extremely grateful that Zoom selected Claflin for its first-ever partnership with a college or university and we welcome Aparna Bawa, chief operation officer at Zoom, as the newest member of our board of trustees.
"We also express our highest appreciation to Congressman James Clyburn. His persistent support for Claflin and programs that enhance access to technology throughout South Carolina was critical in establishing this partnership.”
“I am proud of this powerful new partnership between Zoom and Claflin University, and humbled to join the Claflin Board of Trustees,” Bawa said. “Zoom understands the historical, present and future importance of historically Black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions across the U.S. We are committed to supporting these institutions via innovative partnerships that are relevant, holistic and sustainable.
"Claflin University is the perfect place to begin. The university’s leadership has a broad and inspiring vision for how it should educate the leaders of tomorrow, is committed to embracing technology as a means to deliver and enhance education, and is dedicated to working with Zoom to help us build a service that addresses the needs of our diverse customer base.”
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