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Barton receives $10,000 Bridgestone grant

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Barton students will reap the benefits of a $10,000 grant awarded to Barton College from the Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund.

The grant funds are being used this summer to train Barton faculty to teach emotional intelligence course material in the classroom and administer emotional intelligence assessments to support students’ knowledge and awareness. Rooted in psychology, emotional intelligence is defined as a set of emotional and social skills that influence how one perceives and expresses oneself, develops and maintains social relationships, copes with challenges, and uses emotional information in meaningful ways.

“In short, a higher level of emotional intelligence helps students solve problems and better interact in the complexities of social settings and the corporate work environment,” said Douglas N. Searcy, Barton president. “More and more employers are recognizing the importance of relational skills, including emotional intelligence, which often determine the success of the employee. These are not new concepts, but what is new is evaluating how a person is able to use these skills and how these skills can be improved to create greater success for the employee and the company.”

Raising the emotional intelligence of students during their Barton experience is a key objective in the college’s comprehensive strategic plan.

The goal is to ensure that graduates are job-ready to cope with challenges and opportunities in the work place.

“Bridgestone is pleased to support Barton College’s commitment to develop the emotional intelligence of its students,” said Michael Darr, Wilson plant manager for Bridgestone Americas, Inc. “Employers are looking for employees that exhibit both technical ability and emotional intelligence. Companies like Bridgestone recognize that workers with high emotional intelligence are better able to work in teams, adjust to change, and be flexible.”

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