A team of three Lipscomb University students has taken top honors and $9,000 in prize money in the first-ever Deloitte Challenge, a competition among Nashville’s colleges and universities that allows students to demonstrate their technical know-how by developing a working mobile application to solve a practical business problem.
For the inaugural event, teams were asked to develop a mobile app that would facilitate coffee/food runs for groups working on client sites. Each team had access to a mentor from Deloitte to assist them in thinking through customer needs and other development issues.
The LU School of Computing and Informatics fielded two teams in the challenge. Alexander Givant, a senior computer science major; Marian Rushdy, a senior electrical and computer engineering major; and Stuart Pounders, a junior computer science major, placed first ahead of teams of undergraduate and graduate students from Belmont, Fisk and Middle Tennessee State universities.
The Lipscomb team, under the faculty guidance of Steve Nordstrom, director of undergraduate programs for the School of Computing and Informatics, won with its app iOrder, a mobile application for the Android platform allowing users to order premium coffee and lattes from the convenience of their mobile phone. Each team member received $3,000 in prize money.
Also competing in the challenge from Lipscomb was a team of computer science seniors led by captain Phillip Yates and including Christina Martin and Dylan Jones.
“Their passion for their craft along with their enthusiasm and strong work ethic carried the day,” Nordstrom said in a release regarding the two LU teams.
Following a three-week intensive development period, each team submitted its apps and delivered a presentation to a team of judges from Deloitte. The apps were evaluated based on usefulness, innovation, technology and quality. Results were announced at a banquet recently hosted by Deloitte at the Music City Sheraton Hotel.
Local nonprofit startup Our Senior Nation is looking for “senior friendly” businesses that can help sponsor intergenerational events geared towards helping senior citizens learn the latest technology skills and other critical tasks.
In conjunction with the campaign, student volunteers from Belmont and Lipscomb universities will help about 25 seniors at 1 p.m. today at the Windland South Independent Senior Living community in southeast Nashville.
Barry Owens, Our Senior Nation president, said he was inspired to start the organization when he realized there was “a coming tidal wave” of unmet needs for seniors. He also got help with the project from CEO Fellowship, a group of Christian executives who meet locally on a regular basis.
“It’s truly a tsunami; you have 200,000 baby boomers turning 65 every month,” said Owens (pictured). “Unfortunately, our government can’t meet all those needs and isn’t going to be able to in the future. People often just need help with small tasks — learning to use an iPhone or a computer program. Sometimes they just need someone to take them to the grocery store.
“Our idea is to organize young people and students, who are usually very advanced in technology skills, to help seniors learn and adapt to new technologies,” Owens added. “Ideally, we’ll have volunteers helping to fill unmet needs [beyond technology] that we know the government is not going to be able to pay for.”
Owens said Our Senior Nation is prepared to send volunteers into churches, neighborhood centers, senior living communities, libraries and other public spaces. The group has been working directly with Lipscomb and Belmont universities to create an active pool of student volunteers.
“There are so many unmet needs,” Owens said. “More than half of those 65 and over have a disability. Nearly 15 million have a severe disability. Hundreds of thousands have lost their home to foreclosure due to the economic downturn. One third of those 65 and over live in poverty or struggle to just pay for necessities.”
Business sponsors have included Christian Reality, Lowes Home Improvement, Fantastic Sam’s, Your Next Step and United Structural Systems. For more information, visit here.
Officials with the Belmont University School of Nursing announced Monday an expansion of the degree program for the doctor of nursing practice.
The is being made to support national efforts to increase the number of nurse professionals prepared for advanced practice and leadership in the healthcare industry, officials said. The BU School of Nursing is now accepting applications for fall enrollment to a BSN-to-DNP program, which provides a direct pathway to the doctoral degree for registered nurses who hold a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.
“We believe the DNP will be the education necessary for future practice in the advanced role,” Dr. Martha Buckner, associate dean for nursing in Belmont’s Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences & Nursing, said in a release. “This program will open doors in nursing practice, policy and education that will become increasingly evident in the years ahead.”
Belmont University has unveiled a visually fascinating video presentation of its Wedgewood Academic Center under construction at the southeast corner of the Wedgewood and 15th avenues intersection. ESa is designing the building — and skillfully crafted the video with a 3D vibe.
Belmont University officials are planning to break ground in March on a six-story residential building and, in April, on a four-story building featuring a cafeteria, classroom space and a 1,020-space underground parking garage.
This next round of on-campus construction will follow the university's 2012 completion of a law school building and a residential hall.
Read more about the two planned BU buildings here.