Amazon donates to university STEM center

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Amazon donates to university STEM center

By Dan Berthiaume - 05/13/2019
Amazon is making a major collegiate STEM donation that will aid women and minorities.

The Seattle-based e-tail giant is acting locally with a $3 million gift to the Center for Science and Innovation at Seattle University. The state-of-the-art, 111,000-sq.-ft. building will be the new home of the departments of biology, chemistry, and computer science.

The new center will be designed to provide space to allow more students from all backgrounds to develop advanced technical skills, increasing enrollment in computer science and data science by 50%, from 400 to 600 undergraduate and graduate students by 2025. Seattle University historically educates women and underrepresented minorities in science and engineering. Women comprise half the members of the leadership team in the College of Science and Engineering, 41% of the college’s full-time faculty, and 44% of its students.

“With this donation, a bridge has been built between Amazon and Seattle U. Students will get more opportunities to be exposed to new mentorship, and career and enrichment opportunities at Amazon,” said Roshanak Roshandel, PhD, associate professor and chair of computer science at Seattle University.

Amazon is making a $50 million investment in computer science/STEM education. This commitment includes last month’s announcement that Amazon Future Engineer robotics grants will be given to 100 schools across 21 states, as well as a February announcement that the e-tailer will fund full-year computer science courses in high schools in underprivileged, underrepresented and underserved communities across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.