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Federal grant funds JCSU Transportation Institute for high school students

CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 13, 2019 – Johnson C. Smith University’s Smith Tech Innovation Center was awarded a contract to host the Summer Transportation Institute. The North Carolina Department of Transportation manages the institute, funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration. 

The National Summer Transportation Institute at Johnson C. Smith University is a highly competitive program built to strengthen high-school students STEM Thinking skills, college and career-readiness, SAT test-taking skills and knowledge and interest in the transportation and logistics industry. The three-week program will take place from July 15, 2019 to August 2, 2019. 

“We are excited to be selected to further our K-12 outreach and to increase promising high school students’ interest in the rapidly evolving transportation industry. This will be a program like no other,” says Anthony Howard, K-12 Program Coordinator of the Smith Tech-Innovation Center and NSTI Project Director. 

Students will learn about various modes of transportation, supply chain and logistics in classroom setting and travel. During the duration of the program, students will visit the Port of Wilmington, NC State Institute for Transportation Research and Education, Wilmington Railroad Museum, NC Transportation Museum and many others. Students will also learn how to build software to fly drones. 

“The transportation and logistics industry is going through rapid transformation due to artificial intelligence; autonomous vehicles, block chain and drones, and our educational institutions need to ensure many underserved students are also innovators for that transformation. As an HBCU in an Intermodal Hub, this award helps to accelerate our ability to increase under-served students’ participation in the innovation economy and to further our engagement with the transportation and logistics industry,” says Terik Tidwell, Managing Director of the Smith Tech-Innovation Center. 

“I am excited for this wonderful award and for the experiences and opportunities the selected scholars will gain as a result. As a historian, I am truly pleased that the young scholars will continue to execute the vision of President Eisenhower, who foresaw the need for a robust transportation infrastructure across the nation and made that dream a reality with the National Interstate and Defense Highways of Act of 1956, which built our modern interstate highway system.  Working today with our partners at the state and national levels, JCSU’s College of STEM is eager to help prepare local high school students to forge the next generation of transportation needs for our changing country,” says Dr. Brian Jones, Acting Dean of College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). 

Participants in the program will receive a weekly stipend of $100 to offset any cost associated with attending the program. The deadline to apply is June 21st. To learn more about the program and apply visit Email questions to

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