Walton College Hosts Technology Awareness Program for Students

Students in the Technology Awareness Program visit Walmart headquarters in Bentonville.
Photo by Ryan Versey

Students in the Technology Awareness Program visit Walmart headquarters in Bentonville.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — High school juniors and seniors from Arkansas and Texas took part in a four-day camp at the University of Arkansas to introduce technology degrees and careers to underrepresented groups. A total of 13 students attended the 16th annual Technology Awareness Program, hosted by the Information Technology Research Institute, in partnership with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Department of Information Systems at the Sam M. Walton College of Business.

“The TAP program is designed to encourage women and minorities to seek out lucrative careers in the information technology industry,” said Eric Bradford, managing director of the Information Technology Research Institute. “Historically, the IT industry is made up of white males. While 57 percent of the 2013 bachelor degree recipients in the United States were women, only 14 percent of computer science bachelor degree recipients at major research universities were women. We need to change that.”

Walton College faculty and staff discussed professional technology roles and presented an overview of the camp’s team projects. To educate students about the role technology plays in careers, students toured Walmart headquarters in Bentonville to learn how program analysts, business intelligence managers, supply chain and logistics specialists, merchandisers, sourcing professionals, marketers, financial analysts, buyers, forecasters and strategists use technology on a day-to-day basis. The camp culminated with team presentations that simulated job responsibilities of these careers.

“We were thrilled to welcome high school juniors and seniors from Arkansas and Texas to the University of Arkansas campus,” said Barbara Lofton, director of Walton College’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. “These are bright scholars, who are college bound. We hope they explore technology for their careers and consider attending the University of Arkansas.”

To attend the camp, participants must hold a 3.0 GPA, submit three essays and be a high school junior or senior.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Eric T. Bradford, managing director
Information Technology Research Institute
479-575-5291, ebradford@walton.uark.edu

Barbara Lofton, director
Office of Diversity Programs
479-575-4557, blofton@walton.uark.edu


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