SCC awarded grant for new AI lab through AI Incubator Network


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Lincoln, NE (July 12, 2022) – Southeast Community College was awarded a $40,000 grant from the American Association of Community Colleges, Dell Technologies and Intel, as part of the Artificial Intelligence Incubator Network Initiative. The funds will go toward building a hybridized AI incubator in both virtual and on-campus scenarios for greater access to AI computing power, tools and resources, aiming to foster the skills needed for future jobs. Fifteen colleges were selected based on criteria determined by AACC, Dell Technologies and Intel.
“SCC is the first community college in the state of Nebraska to join the AI Incubator Network, and we are looking forward to the opportunity to help better support the future needs of industry while also providing increased access to AI pathways in our 15-county service area,” said Caleb Herwick, Dean of Construction, Manufacturing, Electronics & Technology at SCC.
In January 2022, AACC, Dell Technologies and Intel announced a joint commitment to grow Intel’s AI for Workforce Program from 18 states to 50 by 2023. In addition to receiving the grant, SCC has also joined the AI Incubator Network to connect with community colleges across the nation on strategic economic development opportunities, participate in discussions about learning pathways, strategize on student engagement in AI programs, and gather best practices from each other and industry leaders.
“Today’s students will enter a technology workforce where every organization will focus in some capacity on applying AI to solving problems and creating value for organizations,” said Carlos Contreras, Senior Director of AI and Digital Readiness at Intel. “Intel is excited to partner with the AACC and Dell Technologies to democratize AI technology and enable students to enter that workforce with AI experience.”
SCC is preparing to break ground on the Sandhills Global Technology Center, a state-of-the-art technology facility on the Lincoln Campus.
“Our goal for this new building is for it to be a destination for learners of all types to come and experiment, learn and really just get excited about the amazing technology related opportunities that are out there, and we feel like this AI initiative is just the first step toward accomplishing that goal,” Herwick said.
Once the AI lab is completed, students are encouraged to contact Kim Waswick for more information at 402-437-2490 or kwaswick@southeast.edu. There is no prior tech or coding knowledge needed, only foundational math skills.
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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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