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The YARD Tour with Vulcan Materials returns to TSU to host its THINK BIG NOW Pitch Competition (147 hits)

October 9, 2019
Contact: Tamara Whittaker Smith
Cell: 205.790.6012
Email: impact@hbcutheyard.com

The YARD Tour with Vulcan Materials returns to TSU to host its
THINK BIG NOW Pitch Competition, Ulta Beauty Executive joins

(Nashville, TN) Students at Tennessee State University will present their ideas and compete for scholarships and internships, as The YARD Tour returns to TSU for its THINK BIG NOW Pitch Competition on October 18th.
In August, The YARD and Vulcan Materials hosted a pop-up event on TSU’s campus. Students registered to win scholarships and internships by applying to The YARD’s THINK BIG NOW innovation pitch competition. Students were asked for ideas on ways to improve their HBCU campus and community. Select students will be invited to pitch their ideas in the upcoming event. Winners will be awarded scholarships and internships from Vulcan, and receive mentorship and support to develop their ideas.
The event will begin in the TSU Campus Center on October 18th . Student Debates and Leadership Talks are scheduled for 10AM, and the Pitch Competition will start at noon. The event will feature student debates, leadership talks, the innovation pitch competition, and an immersive studio experience. Students can network with potential employers, test the new Oculus Virtual Reality System, and explore other tech and innovations in the studio. Vulcan Materials representatives will be onsite to speak with students and offer information on jobs and internships.
The YARD is the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) platform for connecting tech, talent and culture to advance innovation, infrastructure and inclusion. Erskine “Chuck” Faush, experienced media professional and CEO at FSE, co-founded The YARD to create new investment opportunities for students and employers, through the use of innovation-focused pitch competitions, debates, and immersive technology studios. “We are going to develop content that will showcase technology and the budding genius that we know are at HBCUs, enhance career pipelines with talent who will go from the classroom to the boardroom, and celebrate the culture that is unique on every HBCU yard… (in addition) we will bring attention and awareness (to The YARD) at Classic sporting events,” says Faush.
Earlier this year, at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Birmingham’s Vulcan Materials Company announced its commitment to support academic excellence at HBCUs, particularly in the Southeast. "A more diverse workplace benefits our organization by bringing new perspectives to the business. It advances productivity and performance and improves our ability to appeal to a diverse marketplace," says Darren Hicks, VP of Human Resources, Vulcan Materials Company. Faush and Vulcan partnered on a program at Benedict College in South Carolina and launched The YARD with a $1M commitment to fund scholarships, internships, and grants.
An Ulta Beauty executive will speak at the TSU event about the importance of culture in attracting, recruiting, and retaining a more diverse workforce. Elliott Rodgers, Chief Supply Chain Officer for Ulta Beauty, says that Ulta Beauty is working to “redefine what beauty means and build more diverse cultures that reflect our vision. It is our mission to shape how the world sees and experiences beauty.” Ulta Beauty, the largest U.S. beauty retailer, features a 10-week paid internship each year, offering students hands-on experience aligned with their career goals.
In addition, The YARD partners with the Southern Region Minority Supplier Development Council, based in New Orleans, and Loop Capital, of Chicago.
The YARD tour will return to campuses and events this Fall to host its THINK BIG NOW pitch competitions across the Southeast.
For more details on The YARD and scheduled tour dates, visit www.hbcutheyard.splashthat.com.
For more details on The YARD THINK BIG NOW competition, visit

Posted By: Tamara Smith
Wednesday, October 9th 2019 at 12:05PM
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