More Than 150 UCSD Freshmen to Benefit from $700,000 Grant of Fujitsu Computer Technology

August 03, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
Marco Estrada “couldn’t believe it” when he learned recently that he and other incoming freshmen participating in the Summer Bridge academic support and leadership development program at the University of California, San Diego would be receiving a brand new tablet laptop computer, printer and accessories to use during the time they are enrolled as UCSD students, thanks to a $700,000 grant of Fujitsu technology products and services.

“I was absolutely amazed, since I had never heard of this type of gift being offered by a university – let alone to incoming freshmen,” says Estrada, a Long Beach, CA resident who will enter UCSD this fall majoring in International Studies with an emphasis in Economics.

More than 150 students in the Summer Bridge Program – a four-week academic and residential experience designed to prepare incoming freshmen, primarily from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds, to successfully transition to UCSD – will benefit
from the Fujitsu equipment, which is part of the computer leader’s participation in a national independently managed technology grant program.

Joseph Watson, UCSD vice chancellor of Student Affairs, notes, “Through this grant of computer technology and services, Fujitsu Computer Products of America, Inc. and UCSD have joined in a unique partnership of helping students succeed in their university studies, their individual careers and in life.”

UC San Diego and UC Irvine were the only two universities in the UC system selected to be recipients of the grant program, which involves the donation of $30 million worth of Fujitsu products and services to community-based and nonprofit organizations nationwide in education, healthcare, arts and environmental sectors. The $700,000 gift to UCSD contributes to the $1 billion fundraising goal of The Campaign for UCSD: Imagine What’s Next.

“We are excited to assist the UCSD Summer Bridge program with their objective of helping students achieve their academic goals,” said Lorne Wilson, senior vice president, sales and marketing, Fujitsu Computer Products of America. “This is a terrific opportunity to gain insight into exactly how technology can benefit diverse communities and markets.”

UCSD Summer Bridge is an intensive four-week experience conducted each August by the university’s Office of Academic Support & Instructional Services (OASIS) to help incoming UCSD freshmen acclimate successfully to academic, social and cultural life at the university, especially during their critical first year. Summer Bridge has earned national recognition as a program whose students enjoy considerable academic success and often assumer leadership positions on the UCSD campus.

Students will use the Fujitsu equipment for note-taking, essay writing and revisions, collaborative learning, networking with peers and instructors through email and blogs, and performing research on the Internet. In the process, they will develop and hone their computer skills to meet the demands of college life.

Adds Patrick Velasquez, director of OASIS, “This grant will significantly help Summer Bridge students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college and therefore may not have adequate means to buy or even access a computer for academic work. These students will be equipped with leading-edge technology, giving them a distinct advantage toward academic achievement, effective integration into university life and enjoyment of the college experience.”

UCSD’s exceptional academic support of students through such programs as Summer Bridge was a primary factor for the campus being chosen as a grant recipient, in addition to the university’s creative use of computer technology in outreach endeavors.

Fujitsu representatives will formally present the laptop computers and accessories to Summer Bridge students in a special ceremony for participants and their parents on Saturday, August 5 from 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. at UCSD’s Plaza Café on the Revelle College campus.

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