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JCSU opens self-serve kiosk to allow students access to technology

JCSU is first HBCU in the country to offer this device

Photo of ribbon cutting

Charlotte, N.C. / April 8, 2022 - President Clarence D. Armbrister, Hornets President and Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield and Barings Chairman and CEO Mike Freno cut the ribbon to unveil a new self-service kiosk to allow students greater access to technology on campus. 

The kiosk, located in the James B. Duke Memorial Library, is the second Hornets TECHLAB initiative. Investment firm Barings partnered with the Hornets and Johnson C. Smith University to bring the project to life. 

“We are pleased to team with our partners at Barings to bring this self-service kiosk to Johnson C. Smith University that will offer students access to a laptop at any time they need it, helping alleviate a potential barrier to technology at our city’s HBCU,” said Whitfield.

The device, located on the library's first floor, holds 12 laptops and 12 iPads, devices donated by the Hornets and Barings. Students will be able to “check out” devices from the machine with their student IDs at their convenience. JCSU is the first HBCU to have a device like this, which was installed and manufactured by D-Tech International USA. 

“More than ever, technology is a key enabler, whether in business or education. And being connected – through technology, can make a pivotal difference in a student’s academic experience. The TECHLAB is a step in helping to bridge that Digital Divide,” said Freno. 

Following the ceremony, JCSU students listened to a speakers panel with executives from Hornets Sports & Entertainment and Barings, all of whom had attended HBCUs. The panel offered personal insights to students from their careers, and they spoke about digital literacy and the significance of technology.

“We are grateful to the Charlotte Hornets and Barings for the self-service TECHLAB kiosk, and we are proud to be the first HBCU in the nation to have this important asset,” said Armbrister. “This investment will help ensure our students have access to the technology they need to be successful in completing course work, conducting research, planning co-curricular enrichment activities as well as preparing for career and graduate school interviews. This gift also helps close the digital gap on campus by providing students, who have older devices or no laptop computer, the opportunity to utilize state-of-the-art tech equipment.”

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