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Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and Minority Institutions (MIs) Project Office
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About the HBCU/MI Project Office (HPO)

The HPO - Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and Minority Institutions (MIs) Project Office is a not-for-profit organization established in 1995 to fill the gap as the principle liaison between HBCU/MIs, Government, and Prime Contractors. The HPO's primary goal is to develop and/or prepare a cadre of talented students from HBCUs/MIs for their working careers.

The HPO Delivers the Goods:
1) Puts students to work in productive research projects
2) Assists clients with improving efficiency and effectiveness in carrying out their missions
3) Strengthens each institution's technology base and sharing resources
The HPO serves as the “Honest Broker” between the Funding Agency and HBCU/MIs. In essence, it operates as the “One-Stop Shop” to the HBCUs/MIs.
  • Provides exposure to HBCUs and MIs located far from technology and business hubs
  • Takes advantage of the “Cooperative Strategy”
  • Seamless Process
  • On-Time Delivery
  • HPO Collaborative Incubation Center
  • DoD Mentor-Protégé relationship
  • Nine Nunn-Perry Awards
  • Safety-Net Guarantee
  • Long-term Business Relationships

The HPO Management Team

Hank Valentine - Promoter/CEO

H. (Hank) Harrison Valentine is Promoter and CEO of the HBCU/MI Project Office (HPO), formerly the HBCU/MI Research Alliance (HMIRA), founder of the HHV Group, and Senior Research Fellow, Office of the Provost at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina. Hank applied for and was granted early retirement after 20-plus years of service with the IBM Corporation where he held several management positions in various Research and Development divisions.

In addition to his managerial responsibilities, Hank held the following positions and made significant accomplishments which prepared him for his role within the HPO. These experience included but are not limited to Adjunct Visiting Scientist and Adjunct Professor for multiple universities, Executive Director for the Advanced Distributed Simulation Research Consortium (ADSRC), Chief Technical Staffer – Assigned to the IBM-Germany's European Team as the Voice & Data Integration Program, and Software Systems Architect, Designer, and Program Manager with IBM Development Labs.

It is this experience which has positioned Hank to lead the HPO to its now current position as a leading arbitrator between educational institutions and businesses both small and large. After retiring from IBM and an international assignment to help architect the Eurocontrol's Air Traffic Services modernization program entitled “Enhanced Air Traffic Management and Mode S Implementation in Europe (EASIE) Communication and Router,” Hank embarked on his personal mission to help minority students develop the skills necessary for engaging in business effectively with industries and in communicating with a diverse work force. His organization, the HPO, places students and faculty in a working and learning environment with leading scientists, researchers, and corporate executives and, supports on-campus employment for research and development projects.

Dr. Benjamin Speller - Director/Business and Contracts Affairs

Dr. Benjamin Speller has been the Senior Research Fellow, Office of the Provost, and Project Director of the Rapid Response Project at NCCU since 2004. Dr. Speller was Dean and Professor, School of Library and Information Sciences from 1983-2003. His teaching and research areas were conceptual knowledge processing, information systems policy, management, systems analysis, and research methods. While serving as dean and professor in the School of Library and Information Sciences, he also served on an interim basis as Director of Sponsored Research, interim director of administrative data processing, and director of strategic planning for the Division of Academic Affairs.

Before coming to NCCU, Dr. Speller served in numerous positions at Elizabeth City State University: 1973-1976 - Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (Academic Planning, Budgeting Officer, Contracts and Grants Officer, Accreditation Director); and 1969-1973 - Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Institutional Studies (University Planning, Assessment, and Select Institutional Research Projects, Accreditation Director).

HPO Organizational Structure

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