Carnegie Mellon Information Systems Program
Receives Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant
The Two-Year Award Will Continue Summer Program for Visiting Students from HBCUs
PITTSBURGH—The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has granted Carnegie Mellon University's Information Systems (IS) program $206,000 over the next two years to continue its "Information Systems in the Community" summer program. The program brings students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to Carnegie Mellon for an intensive, six-week session in which they learn software development best practices, project management and teamwork. The program, derived from the highly successful IS major within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, started six years ago with an initial grant from the Mellon Foundation.
Students who participate in the IS summer program are mentored by IS professors and spend six weeks working on a project for a community non-profit or charitable organization. The 2009 session brought together six students who delivered a custom software system to manage the mentoring program at Light of Life Rescue Mission, a Pittsburgh-based non-profit that provides food, shelter and recovery programs.
"Information Systems in the Community enables students to master technical skills that they otherwise wouldn't have been exposed to at this point," said Randy Weinberg, professor and head of the Information Systems program. "And, the projects they work on give local charities a made-to-order software solution that fills a business need that they otherwise couldn't afford. It's a win-win situation."
With the new grant, Weinberg will be able to accommodate 16 HBCU students during the next two years, and he is committed to making the program even more beneficial for the students and local non-profits.
"Through this program, we've been able to reach diverse students who don't always have the opportunity to learn these skills," Weinberg said. "The students' responses have been great, and the experience has introduced a new career path for many of them. Ten of our summer program students have been accepted into Carnegie Mellon master's degree programs — all with full scholarship support. I'm pleased that the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has partnered with us to support and sustain this important program."
For more information about the Carnegie Mellon Information Systems program, visit http://www.cmu.edu/information-systems/.