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N.C. A&T Sociology Department Receives Laptops From FEI Systems

By Jackie Torok / 12/18/2019 College of Health and Human Sciences,

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Dec. 18, 2019) – The North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Bachelor of Sociology Program recently accepted the donation of 15 laptop computers from FEI Systems.

The Dell Latitude E6540 laptops will be used to enhance student learning, said Tobin N. Walton, Ph.D., assistant professor and director of the sociology program in the North Carolina A&T College of Health and Human Sciences.

Walton and fellow assistant sociology professors Stephanie Teixiera-Poit, Ph.D., and Jeannette Wade, Ph.D., worked to secure the donation from FEI Systems, a Maryland-based business that has provided health information technology for 20 years to federal, state and local governments and managed care organizations.

The sociology program had received a grant to be used for offering a statistics course, but that grant did not cover the cost of new computers. All majors in the department are required to take courses in statistics, sociology, sociological theory and research, Walton said, noting the subject matter of sociology ranges from poverty and inequality to wealth and privilege, for example.

Hilary Viehe, human resources director for FEI Systems, said FEI Systems was “more than happy” to help.

“We believe in investing in the future and hope that our contribution will assist N.C. A&T’s students,” Viehe said.

Through the study of sociology and social work, students gain access to concrete skills relevant to a broad range of careers, said Dr. Arnold Barnes, chair of N.C. A&T’s social work and sociology department. These skills enhance students’ ability to assess new and unfamiliar situations, to select and apply qualitative and quantitative techniques in solving practical problems in creative ways, and to communicate effectively.

Walton said the donated computers will help close the digital divide on campus, where some students use their cell phones in lieu of laptops to complete their coursework. While the College of Health and Human Sciences has a lab with 12 computers students can use, it serves about 400 social work and sociology majors.

“We expect this donation to impact several hundred students over many semesters,” Walton said.

Media Contact Information: jtoroki@ncat.edu

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