By Courtney Westlake
As part of an ongoing partnership, UIS was awarded a generous financial gift of $50,000 from State Farm Insurance on Monday afternoon, January 26.
UIS has had a relationship with State Farm through the university's computer science program, chaired by Dr. Ted Mims. UIS is one of 18 target schools across the nation for State Farm, and State Farm recruits students from these schools for internships and full-time positions.
"It's a lot of fun to come in and mark some of the work we have done together over the last few years with this gift," said Bob Clary, a State Farm representative who is also a graduate of UIS. "We have a lot of good opportunities for people to join us. The program is focused on recruitment, but there is more to it than recruitment; we're also building a partnership."
The money will be used to purchase equipment that will be housed in the department's computer lab, provide remote on- and off-campus access to students for technology-based classes and expand active problem-based online learning, Mims said.
"This is a great opportunity for us to get our foot in the door and get our students experience," he said. "Having this partnership has done a lot for us, not just to get the benefits of students getting jobs and the benefits of funding and investment in our program, but we're able to use this to build partnerships with other groups and get grant funding from other projects."
Several other UIS computer science graduates who now work for State Farm were also on hand to celebrate the new step in the partnership between UIS and State Farm.
"This has been a very rewarding relationship, and the gift now takes us to a new level in our relationship," said UIS Provost Harry Berman. "We're very pleased and honored to be the recipient of this award."