Walmart Executives Visit Campus, Meet Students as Part of Equity in Education Initiative

By Amber Adams / 12/12/2023 University Advancement, College of Business and Economics, College of Engineering

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Dec. 12, 2023) – Executives from Walmart Inc. visited North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University to meet with groups of students who are benefiting from the Equity in Education Initiative (E²I), established at the university in 2020 and supported by a $5 million investment from the company.

E²I aims to increase the number of African American college graduates securing careers in fields critical to the nation’s workforce. It provides tailored support and resources for undergraduate students as they pursue degrees in business, engineering and other professional disciplines.

The Walmart contingent consisted of Kelvin L. Buncum, executive vice president of neighborhood markets; Tim Cooper Sr., senior vice president for supply chain grocery distribution centers; Antionette Nash, vice president of merchandising operations; Jocelyn Caldwell, president of workforce strategy and organizational growth; Marvin Deshommes Sr., vice president of partnerships; Larry Jackson II, director of the national foundation and corporate affairs; Joe Daniels, director of zero emission mobility and energy transformation; and Kamira Carter and Da’Naeja Porter, associate merchants.

“Walmart’s luncheon event was an inspiring gathering that not only celebrated the milestones achieved through Walmart’s commitment to education but also served as a great mentoring session,” said Mackenzie Nicolas, supply chain management student and Supply Chain Aggies president. “The professionals from Walmart taught students all about how to navigate post-grad life, gaining roles related to their major and the importance of networking.”

Students who participate in E²I – supported by Management Leadership for Tomorrow – have the opportunity to practice business case studies provided by Walmart as part of a rigorous career-readiness curriculum.

They also have access to diverse resources through four focus areas: The Black Male Initiative, created with guidance from the Executive Leadership Council and housed in the Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics; The Leadership Cohort Initiative and Advancing Blacks in Engineering, both housed in the College of Engineering; and scholarship support.

Each focus area supports academic performance, enhances critical resources needed to graduate on time and with less debt burden, prepare graduates for first-destination career readiness and expand social mobility through additional economic pathways.

“I believe Walmart’s commitment and contributions are stellar, especially how the company wants to make an impact on our education here at N.C. A&T,” said Jaden Anthony, a finance student in the Honors College and chair of the Deese College Student Government Association Senate. “Walmart’s commitment opens the doors for more N.C. A&T students to receive mentorship, networking, internships and full-time job opportunities within the organization.”

In addition to the luncheon and mentoring sessions with E²I and Leadership Cohort Initiative scholars and students in Women in Business, Exceptional Men in Business and Supply Chain Aggies, the Walmart executives met with A&T leaders including Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr.; Ken Sigmon, vice chancellor for University Advancement; Lisa Owens-Jackson, Ph.D., interim Deese College dean; and Joscelyne M. Brazile, Ph.D., assistant vice chancellor for Major and Constituent Giving.

E²I, which began in early 2021, is expected to continue through 2026.

Media Contact Information: anadams3@ncat.edu

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