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Voorhees College is part of SC Relentless Grant to support Minorities in Cyber Security & Computer Science

Denmark, S.C. – Voorhees College is part of the 2022 South Carolina (SC) Relentless Challenge grant program-Expanding SC Underrepresented Minorities Footprint in the Cyber Security and Computer Science Workforce. The $150,000 grant was recently awarded to SC Advance Technology International (ATI) by the South Carolina Department of Commerce. 

By way of a nine-month virtual mentor relationship, a one-week immersion-style internship, and a hackathon, students will grow as computer scientists and as professionals, increasing their interest in the field, expanding their skill sets, and gaining valuable real-world experience. This initiative will address the lack of skilled software programmers and engineers in South Carolina by building activities that support students in gaining experience in the computer science and cyber security industry. It also will connect organizations with local talent to meet their long-term workforce demands and help instill a passion for the field. 

Zhabiz Golkar, associate professor and dean of the School of Science, Technology, Health and Human Services, will lead the effort at Voorhees. She will serve on the advisory council board with ATI. Xiaohua Jin, assistant professor of computer science, is the point of contact and will assist with the student nomination and selection process.  

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students and faculty to benefit from exposure to cutting edge technology, networking, experience and future connections and provided internship to our students. We are excited to implement the SC Computer Science and Cyber Security mentorship here at Voorhees,” Golkar said.

Funding will be used to assemble a group of 16 underrepresented students from the eight South Carolina historically black colleges and universities and from Trident Technical College to gain firsthand insight into the computer science field through a guided program with the South Carolina-based cyber and information security industry. 

University and college participants include Allen University, Benedict College, Claflin University, Clinton College, Denmark Technical College, Morris College, South Carolina State University and Trident Technical College, along with Voorhees. 

Industry and SC-participants are Charleston Defense Contractors Association, the SC Commission of Minority Affairs, SC Council on Competitiveness Initiative, SC Tech, National Science Engineering Alliance and Naval Information Warfare Center–Atlantic.

The grant to SC Advanced Technology International is among 10 grant awards totaling $500,000.

About Voorhees University

Voorhees University, founded by Elizabeth Evelyn Wright in 1897, is a private, coeducational institution affiliated with the Episcopal Church and the United Negro College Fund. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and graduate degrees. Its mission is to produce highly qualified graduates who coalesce intellect and faith in pursuit of life-long learning, healthy living, the betterment of society, and an abiding faith in God. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Voorhees as a #1 best value, #3 in social mobility and #33 among regional colleges in the south in 2022-2023; and #26 among Historically Black Colleges and Universities, nationally. Additional information about Voorhees University can be found at


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