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North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and Corning Incorporated recently announced a  five-year partnership. More than 50 new Corning Scholars and Fellows were introduced during the day-long campus event.

According to N.C. A&T, Corning employs nearly 5,000 people in North Carolina and has a long history of advanced manufacturing in optical communications and life sciences facilities across the state.

The inaugural cohort of Corning Scholars and Fellows includes students majoring in bioengineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer science, computer engineering, data science and engineering, information technology, industrial systems engineering, mechanical engineering, and more.

The partnership is the result of a $5.5 million gift from Corning, which was announced in January, and is designed to prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and graduate more teachers from minority communities.

“This partnership addresses a critical need to diversify the STEM workforce by investing in an entire education ecosystem,” said Paula Groves Price, dean of A&T’s College of Education and president of the American Educational Studies Association, in a statement. “While many corporations might invest only in scholarships to recruit STEM graduates, Corning’s approach is much impactful for current and future A&T students. They are invested in not only supporting the diversification of the teaching profession but also improving access and experiences for students in communities across the state.”

During the event, N.C. A&T and Corning leaders met and shared lunch with 30 of the Corning Scholars and Fellows.

“This is a proud day for Corning as we celebrate these young scholars at North Carolina A&T State University who inspire us with their hard work, intellectual curiosity, and enormous potential,” said Michael A. Bell, senior vice president, and general manager of Corning’s Optical Communications business. “The first class of Corning Scholars and Fellows represent some of the bright young minds that will help fuel Corning with the diverse talent we need to continue our record of life-changing innovation for another 170 years.”

Following the luncheon, Corning representatives visited the College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Science and Technology, and the Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics. The day concluded with a reception, during which recruiting staff were available to talk about careers at Corning.

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