N.C. A&T Deese College Professor Johnson Receives Boeing TMCF HBCU Capacity Grant

By East L Dockery / 11/29/2023 Employees, College of Business and Economics, Transportation and Supply Chain

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Nov. 29, 2023) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University professor Laquanda Johnson, Ph.D., has been awarded the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) Boeing HBCU Capacity Grant.

Johnson, an associate professor of supply chain management in the Willie E. Deese College of Business and Economics, will use her grant to support her Data Analytics Navigation Camp Experience for Women in Transportation at HBCUs (D.A.N.C.E W.I.T.H.).

“The focus for this grant is to equip undergraduate women with data analytics tools,” Johnson said. “We aim to increase their marketability when they enter the supply chain and transportation sector.

“We are looking at how to prepare the students to have skills in Tableau software and other data analytics tools, data visualization tools particularly to build a pipeline,” she said. “We want to build a pipeline of women with data analytics skills who can pursue not just roles in supply chain management and transportation but help them with their career advancement as well.”

TMCF developed an initiative in partnership with The Boeing Co. to build capacity within STEM and business-related functions at its partner historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

To reach this goal, TMCF will award up to $50,000 in capacity-building grants to its priority HBCUs for projects that build a pipeline of talented students pursuing and persisting in STEM and business fields through Boeing-aligned research and professional development.

“We are proud to partner with Boeing to support our faculty at some of our member schools to assist them with their research,” said Tamara Thompson, TMCF’s interim chief programs officer. “This is another example of Boeing’s commitment and intentionality of its investment in continuing the work of Justice Thurgood Marshall by increasing equity and diversity within corporate America.” 

D.A.N.C.E. W.I.T.H. will operate as an eight-week virtual data analytics camp for women in their junior and senior year majoring in supply chain management.

“The data analytics camp will involve covering the Tableau platform as well as other tools that we feel will be beneficial so that they can essentially learn how to transform large amounts of data into actionable insights,” said Johnson. “Boeing is one of the many companies that has utilized Tableau and they’re committed to identifying best practices for Tableau implementation across their business. We want to make sure that our students have the skills necessary to utilize the software and be proficient when using it.”

Students will also be provided with the opportunity to take a desktop specialist certification exam. Each student who successfully passes her exam will receive a certification of completion as well as a $250 award check.

“Our expected outcomes and benefits of the project are to increase the number of women who are better prepared to enter corporate positions,” said Johnson. “We want to enhance the interest in data analytics and its application to supply chain and transportation and expand the number of women who are majoring in supply chain management and provide them opportunities to advance their analytical skill set.”

“We are grateful for the leadership of Noel Walker, senior program manager, in leading the Boeing and TMCF partnership,” said Thompson. “With our faculty being provided these excellent resources with these grants, they are, in turn, able to research what they are passionate about, which helps students continue to grow, gain experience and enhance their skills that allow them to be competitive in the workforce after college.”

Media Contact Information: eldockery@ncat.edu

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