MANSFIELD - Representatives of State Farm were at Mansfield University on Thursday to present a $50,000 grant to be used to make improvements in technology and teaching capabilities in the Computer Information Science Department.
A state-of-the art laptop lecture classroom in Elliott Hall has already been outfitted with the funding.
Updates to a networking computer lab that will allow MU students to learn software development for Apple IOS and Google Android mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and Nexus 7 are underway. Instruction in mobile device programming will begin in the spring 2013 semester.
Above, Mansfield University Interim President Allan Golden accepts a $50,000 check from Peter Wenzel, a 2001 MU graduate and State Farm service manager for product solutions, as other State Farm, government and university representatives look on.
State Farm representatives tour the networking lab the grant will improve and allow MU faculty to teach students about mobile technology.
"This significant grant does two things," Interim President Allan Golden said. "It has allowed us to upgrade our instructional facilities for our students and it is further evidence of the solid relationship that we've built for a number of years with State Farm."
This is the second grant the CIS Department has received from State Farm. The first, in 2004, funded the construction of the networking lab in Elliott Hall that is now being improved with the mobile technology capabilities.
Mansfield CIS students have been recruited as interns at State Farm's Bloomington, IL headquarters for 15 years, with many being hired after graduation.
One of them, Peter Wenzel, a 2001 MU graduate and native of Big Flats, N.Y., who is now State Farm service manager for product solutions, led the company contingent on hand for today's ceremony.
He said that State Farm is now looking to expand their recruiting efforts beyond CIS graduates to work in a variety capacities at their offices in the Northeast.
"The relationship just continues to grow," Wetzel said. "I like to see how State Farm wants to benefit all the students, not just the information system students, but all the students and try to provide the most benefit to the student population and help prepare them for the next step."
For more information on Computer Information Science Department and its programs, go to mansfield.edu/cis.
For more information on State Farm, go to state farm.com.