The Coca-Cola Company and SAP Announce a Partnership with the Atlanta University Center Data Science Initiative to Impact 9,000 Students

The Coca-Cola Company and SAP announce a partnership that will feature a virtual computer lab and offer internships in a multi-year phased approach. The Initiative is housed in the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Consortium, Inc.

Atlanta, GA, September 24, 2021 --( The Coca-Cola Company and SAP announce a partnership that will feature a virtual computer lab and offer internships in a multi-year phased approach. The Initiative is housed in the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Consortium, Inc. This joint program will engage with the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library to develop the AUC Virtual Computer Lab that will be available to all students, faculty, and researchers at AUC member institutions that are historically black colleges and universities: Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine and Spelman College.

The AUC Data Science Initiative aims to become the largest producer of African American graduates with expertise and credentials in data science. The Initiative is also centered around leading national efforts to address race, gender and social justice aspects of data science. Student and faculty access to technology is imperative to achieve these formidable goals. The COVID-19 pandemic and campus closures for safety have highlighted the need for increased access to technology for students and faculty. This partnership will expand opportunities by investing in digital learning tools that will support student success and faculty research during the pandemic and beyond. The AUC Virtual Computer Lab is the cornerstone of data science across the AUC member institutions allowing students access to software, technology and the learning tools they need to become leading data scientists from anywhere, and on any device.

During the pilot phase in summer of 2021, the AUC Virtual Computer Lab was used to support data science research experiences for undergraduates as well as faculty training workshops. Moving forward, students will have the potential opportunity to intern at The Coca-Cola Company or SAP that will involve engagements and other career assignments that leverage the relationships between the two companies. Interns will collaborate with The Coca-Cola Company and SAP to improve business processes and community relations, with the potential opportunity to work directly for both companies in the future.

“In line with our purpose to refresh the world and make a difference, The Coca-Cola Company is proud to partner with SAP in support of the AUC Data Initiative,” said Barry Simpson, Senior Vice President and Chief Platform Services Officer for The Coca-Cola Company. “As data science continues to drive business growth, investing in the next generation of business leaders’ ability to access and apply data tools and real-world business experience through internships, benefits both Atlanta’s largest consortium of colleges and universities and the local talent pipeline of The Coca-Cola Company.”

In addition to the internships, the partnership will enable students to serve as Brand Ambassadors for the respective companies, influencing talent and ongoing campus support, and the organizational partnerships will continue to engage with the AUC Data Science Initiative in stewarding the new Virtual Computer Lab that is available to all AUC students, faculty, and researchers to accelerate learning across multiple technology disciplines.

By providing virtual access and resources to data science tools and offering internships, this transformational partnership will impact more than 9,000 students and 3,000 faculty and re-searchers. The partnership will disseminate SAP system knowledge and critical tech access in to-day’s growing virtual environment.

The AUC Data Science Initiative will also have a virtual platform to launch and host new courses for students with interests in data science. The Director of the AUC Data Science Initiative, Talitha Washington, Ph.D., has been heavily involved in the partnership and has been a key contributor to its success.

“The AUC Data Science Initiative is deeply appreciative to be a part of this partnership with The Coca-Cola Company and SAP because of the access to data science technology it pro-vides our students and faculty,” said Dr. Washington. “This investment further demonstrates The Coca-Cola Company and SAP’s commitment to diversify the talent pipeline into the data science workforce. We look forward to continuing our partnership.”

“This lab will mark the first step in establishing an ongoing partnership between The Co-ca-Cola Company, SAP and the AUC Data Science Initiative,” said Dr. Washington. The parties will expand other aspects of the partnership in 2021 and beyond, including an internship program and other programs to increase data science opportunities for students.

The Coca-Cola and SAP will be in attendance at the inaugural AUC Student Data Science Symposium on September 24, 2021 where AUC students will present their data science research and HBCU students from across the country will have an opportunity to connect around data science. Students, sponsors, exhibitors, and general attendees can access and learn more about this event by registering online.
AUC Data Science Initiative
Tommy Taylor Jr.