Nathaniel Archie, a junior information science and computer technology major at Harris-Stowe State University, was one of 150 students selected to attend the 6th Annual UNCF (United Negro College Fund) HBCU Innovation Summit in Silicon Valley that took place October 13-18, 2018. Founded in 2014, the UNCF HBCU Innovation Summit is a “national movement to drive innovation, entrepreneurship, and access for African American communities in the worlds of tech and science.”
The Innovation Summit engages HBCU students majoring in computer science, information technology, and computer engineering, and is designed to connect HBCU students, faculty and staff to Silicon Valley’s prominent tech community. During the all-expense paid, four-day long event, students visited some of the world’s leading technology companies including Adobe, Google, and eBay.
The annual summit also provides scholars with internship and job opportunities, peer-to-peer networking and a wealth of information to help chart their career paths in the tech industry. Participants are selected based on their area of study, grade point average and demonstrated leadership. Archie was invited to last year’s conference as well.
“Being able to attend the UNCF HBCU Innovation Summit two years in a row was so rewarding,” said Nathaniel. “Getting exposure to different major tech companies was life-changing and well-needed experience. The summit opened my eyes to what I really wanted to do in life and how to make that dream a reality. The cybersecurity company, Symantec, stood out to me the most because I want to start my own cybersecurity business, specializing in securing personal information. Overall, both summits had a significant impact on my life, and I am forever grateful”.
Archie is a member of the student organization, Coder Hornets, and currently working alongside Harris-Stowe faculty on two research projects: one involving GIS (geographical information systems) and the other focused on cybersecurity.
The UNCF HBCU Innovation Conference has proven to be successful with nearly a third of 2015 and 2016 participants interning or working full time at technology companies (uncf.org). Students interested in applying to become a summit candidate should contact Dr. Fara Zakery, Dean of the Anheuser-Busch School of Business. Students must be enrolled in the Information Science and Computer Technology program at Harris-Stowe to be eligible. For the full criteria, visit the United Negro College Fund website.