Whitepoint: A New Way to Look At Oglethorpe’s Campus

WPYWOver the last semester, student interns in Pegasus Creative, OU’s student communications agency, have worked with alumnus Matthew White ’99 to create a mobile campus guide—all while helping to beta test White’s new app. White is the CEO and founder of Whitepoint, a new software platform which allows anyone to create interactive environments which can be viewed through the Whitepoint app, available for iOS and Android devices.

Fellow intern Mon Baroi ’15 and I were able to work directly with a professional to give feedback that had real impact on White’s evolving product. Our feedback directly influenced the app’s overall design, content and interactivity.

Navigating Oglethorpe’s campus through Whitepoint is simple: each environment, or “Scape” (in this case, the Oglethorpe campus), has a series of individual locations, or “Scenes” (think Lupton Hall, Hearst Hall, the quad), which display a high-resolution photo of that particular Scene. Red “Whitepoint” icons (see the image displayed here) indicate highlights are available about the Scene you’re viewing.

Matthew White '99

Matthew White ’99, CEO and founder of Whitepoint

Users can easily navigate between Scenes or browse through a comprehensive list of Scenes. Click on a Whitepoint icon, and a window pops up with information specific to that  Scene. Say you want to learn more about the Book of Kells in the library: navigate to the “Lowry Hall” Scene, click the Whitepoint near the Book’s location in the library, and a pop-up is triggered complete with a photo of the book and info like “The facsimile housed at Oglethorpe is one of only five in the world.” Cool, right?

White is excited about this opportunity to provide a new way for people to discover more about Oglethorpe. “When I first heard about the need to share views of the campus with prospective students,” White explains, “the core Whitepoint technology was ready, and I mentioned that this technology could help.” As Pegasus Creative collected photos and information about the school and some of its lesser-known features, even White himself learned a few new things about our campus. “Watching the first Oglethorpe University scape evolve, I realized there are interesting things about Oglethorpe’s campus I didn’t know, even though it’s my alma mater!”

So, what does White see in the future of Whitepoint? “…There are some exciting things in the works. The technology of social mapping is still very young, and the market is still working on understanding what social mapping even really is. Much of its direction will rely on the content that authors provide, and authoring is free and open to everyone.” White sees the potential for this app to benefit a wide variety of patrons such as museums, retail stores, real estate, airports, and more, as well as be a perfect virtual campus guide for schools such as Oglethorpe.

The Oglethorpe University Scape is available to the public now. To use, first download the free Whitepoint app to your iPhone or iPad in the App Store, or to your Android device on the Google Play Store. Then, search for Oglethorpe within the app to begin exploring! Also, you can read more about Whitepoint by visiting its website at www.whitepoint.mobi.

Josh Harris ’10: Making a Living by Making Laughs

Josh Harris '10

Josh Harris ’10

After being featured in the Carillon magazine last winter, Josh Harris ’10 has made major strides in his career as a comedian. He launched his own website and shares his love of comedy by teaching stand-up comedy classes at yourACT Acting Studios in Decatur, Ga.

While continuing to do live stand-up, Josh has shifted from being on stage to being on screen. This transition came after Josh realized that writing and producing are equally important components of comedy as performing. As a result, he’s created a series of comedy videos to test his new interests.

One video was taped on the Oglethorpe campus in the Dorough gym. The video is based on “The Brand Expanders,” one of Josh’s regular sketch comedy routines that centers around a pair of marketing men who pitch crazy ideas to famous figures. In the video shot on campus, Darth Vader is promoting his own sports drink called Vaderade. Check out the video to see what happens!

Josh attributes the success of the video shoot to the numerous students and alumni who came out to volunteer as extras and to support his endeavor. This connection with students (along with a sweet alumni deal offered by OU’s special events department to use the space!) made for a rewarding and progressive experience in Josh’s career. His comedy videos are now showcased at Sketchworks in Decatur where they’re some of the most requested sketches at the theater.

The OU community can support Josh Harris by attending one of his many stand-up performances or by taking his stand-up comedy class at yourACT. Even if you aren’t a comedian, Josh says that the experience of being on stage also improves public speaking skills and boosts confidence. Now who wouldn’t want that?

“I really love not only performing stand-up, but there’s something about having your own vision and putting it on paper. Just having a crazy concept and then seeing it, bringing it to life…now that’s really something I enjoy doing.”  

The Miracle League and OU Volunteers Score a Home Run

I recently had the chance to lead a group of eight Oglethorpe University volunteers at the North Metro Miracle League, where we provided assistance and motivation to special needs children and adults while playing the game of baseball.

As we arrived at Hobgood Park in Woodstock, Ga. on a rainy Saturday morning, we all hoped that the weather would cooperate long enough to play ball. With only a few drops of rain escaping the clouds, the games were on! First up were the little tikes. This game was played with children ranging from 6-10 years of age and the Oglethorpe volunteers were in charge of maintaining morale. During the second game for older participants, we paired up with the Miracle League players that needed assistance and we were able to provide individual attention and build relationships with them. Together with other community volunteers, we helped the players with their hitting and base running, and provided encouragement to these determined children and adults.

The service project with the North Metro Miracle League was more than just a project for me. It was a chance to revisit a type of project that renewed my passion for volunteering. During Oglethorpe’s Alternative Spring Break 2012 in Charleston, S.C., I volunteered with the Charleston Miracle League. This was special to me because I had volunteered with a similar organization throughout high school, and it was a great chance to dive back into something that I love doing. Volunteering with the North Metro Miracle League also gave us a chance to see Oglethorpe alumni in action. OU alumnus Robert Strozier ’86 founded NMML-Cherokee and now serves as coach for the team. I later found out that Mr. Strozier also had been a basketball coach at the high school I attended and where I played basketball. What a small world!

This service project gave students the opportunity to step outside of their comfort zone and make a difference in our community. A few of the student volunteers had never worked with special needs individuals, but said they would be ecstatic to do it again. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to coordinate and lead such a fun volunteer opportunity!