Oglethorpe Senior Racks Up Hackathon Wins

IMG_8825Haider Khan ’15 doesn’t exactly fit the hacker stereotype. But, the Oglethorpe senior, who’s majoring in chemistry and minoring in computer science, recently bested the competition to win two back-to-back hackathons, as well as a start-up competition, all hosted in metro Atlanta. A testament to Haider’s skills and training, the victories have also been lucrative. So far, Haider and his teammates have won a total of $13,300 in cash and prizes.

In layman’s terms, a hackathon is a competition, usually lasting several days, in which groups of developers and other experts collaborate in computer programming to solve a given issue or challenge. The events typically are kicked off with an introduction to the sponsoring companies and a presentation about challenge the competitors will tackle. The sponsoring companies then give the developers access to their technology to create their solution.

Haider’s first competition was the AT&T Mobile App Hackathon, which focused on real public safety issues. Atlanta emergency medical responders, police officers, dispatchers, fire and rescue teams were onsite to discuss with the developers the challenges they encounter in their jobs. In response, Haider and his team built a hybrid mobile-web app called Safety Net to assist EMS responders in large scale disasters by tracking personnel in real time. They were awarded 1st place in Best Overall Public Safety App, 1st place in Best Use of AT&T’s WebRTC API, and 2nd place in Best Use of Telerik Technology.

khan 2

Haider (left) with his one of his Charge Forward teammates after their big win.

The next hackathon, for interactive wearable financial apps, was sponsored by Global Payments Inc. and CaixaBank in Barcelona. “At the second hackathon, the theme was wearables,” Haider explained, “so we were given smart watches and were told to come up with novel solutions to five challenges, ranging from ease of payment, user authentication, security, alternative payments, and design for payment services and transactions.” Haider and his team Charge Forward were awarded the $10,000 3rd prize for their smartwatch application that lets the user change credit card payment method with the flick of a wrist and uses NFC technology to process transactions on the spot.

Most recently, Haider competed in Atlanta Startup Weekend, hosted at Coca-Cola Company headquarters. Teams pitched startup ideas to judges (and an audience) and were evaluated on customer empathy (did their idea address a real problem for real people?), execution (did it work?), and their business model (how would it successfully compete in the market?). Haider’s team, GatherCam, pitched their idea and business plan for a program that would compile photos posted on various social media sites by different people at the same event, such as a wedding. Their idea was a true crowd pleaser and won over the judges, earning them 1st place in judge’s scores, as well as the audience choice award.

Haider (second from left) with his GatherCam teammates during the Atlanta Startup Weekend at Coca-Cola.

Haider (second from left) with his GatherCam teammates during the Atlanta Startup Weekend at Coca-Cola.

After graduation, Haider hopes to continue his efforts in creating innovative technology. He plans to move to California to work in Silicon Valley and eventually to start his own technology company. Haider is confident that the knowledge he’s gained while pursuing his education at Oglethorpe, particularly his minor in computer science, has helped him significantly in his recent accomplishments.

“I highly suggest to Oglethorpe students that if they have a passion for technology to take a computer science minor,” Haider advises. “I personally think the tech industry is extremely fun to work in (and) the applications are endless. We are moving into an economy where knowing how technology works is a currency.”

Salvador Dalí, Mid Century Modern Exhibitions Headline at OU Museum of Art

This summer, the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art is presenting three concurrent exhibitions: MID CENTURY MODERN: Works on PaperSALVADOR DALÍ: Trilogy of Love, and KIMO MINTON: Jazz Abstractions, all on view through August 31.

“These exhibitions are inspired by the creative outpouring of art at mid 20th century, much of which was influenced by American jazz in its improvisational rhythm,” said OUMA Director Elizabeth Peterson. “Artists pulled narratives of dreamscape, religion, love, war, and other thematic motifs into a language of geometric and organic form, line, and color. This visual vocabulary could be combined or repeated like a musician playing variations on a theme.”

Joan Miró (1893-1983) The Lizzard with Golden Feathers

Joan Miró (1893-1983)
The Lizzard with Golden Feathers

MID CENTURY MODERN: Works on Paper features fine prints by American mid 20th century artists Alexander Calder, Helen Frankenthaler, Larry Rivers, Jim Dine, Adolph Gottlieb, and American composer/artist John Cage with Carl Sumsion are on loan from the Robert W. Woodruff Library at Emory University. Prints by Joan Miró, Marc Chagall, and others in the OUMA permanent collection will also be on view. These 1960s and ’70s works are a powerful representation of the Modernist, Surrealist, Abstract Expressionist movements in the U.S. and abroad. They also touch on the Color Field, Dada, and Kinetic art movements.

Salvador Dalí (1904–1989) The Prince of Love (The Hanged Man)

Salvador Dalí (1904–1989) The Prince of Love (The Hanged Man)

SALVADOR DALI: Trilogy of Love features a selection of large format lithographs by Salvador Dalí (1904-1989), including those in his Trilogy of Love series and his Retrospective Suite. Never one to embrace convention, this Spanish born giant of the Surrealist movement broke with fine print tradition producing hundreds of signed editions of his work. These prints are part of the OUMA permanent collection.

Kimo Minton (1950) Speak Riddles to Me

Kimo Minton (1950)
Speak Riddles to Me

KIMO MINTON: Jazz Abstractions presents a selection of color woodcuts, mixed media work, and sculpture by contemporary artist Kimo Minton (born 1950), courtesy of Atlanta’s TEW Galleries and the artist. Minton, whose work has been compared to that of American artist Stuart Davis (1892-1964) is pleased to embrace musical aesthetic viewers ascribe to his work. His free standing sculptures and bas relief wall pieces also bring to mind the work of one of the earliest Abstract artists Russian/French Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944).

Oglethorpe University Museum of Art is open Tuesday-Sunday, 12 noon to 5 p.m. and closed Mondays and university holidays. General admission is $5. OUMA members and children under 12 receive free admission. Parking is free. OUMA is located on the third floor of Lowry Hall.

OUMA is supported by the Georgia Council for the Arts and is a proud member of Blue Star Museums, offering free admission to members of the military and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day. OUMA is a member of the Southeastern Museums Conference, the American Alliance of Museums, and the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries. For more information, visit museum.oglethorpe.edu or call 404-364-8555.

Communications Interns Step Into the Real World at PR Conference

Real World PR PRSA (2)

Twain Carter ’14, Leslie Peters ’15, Christie Pearce ’15 and Kai Street ’14

Interns in Pegasus Creative, Oglethorpe’s student communications agency, recently attended the annual Real World PR Conference for college students, hosted by the Public Relations Society of America in February.

During the all-day event, the students were able to learn more about PR careers and to ask questions of industry leaders from Chick-fil-A, Georgia Aquarium, Delta Air Lines, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Georgia Power, Cox Enterprise, and CNN, among others. Panelists gave helpful tips and anecdotal advice about a wide range of topics including personal branding, the HR perspective of interviewing and the fast- paced environment of entertainment PR.

RealWorldLogo

For senior Kai Street ’14, the conference proved to be a compass for his professional path. “I came out of the conference with knowledge, a new network of people, and a new direction to take in terms of my professional career,” said Kai, who  participated in the conference’s career fair, which offered internship and networking opportunities and was “a great place to put one’s name out in the public and connect with professionals.”

Twain Carter ’14 found that the conference gave him a renewed confidence in what he is learning in the classroom, confirming that “once I graduate, I will be prepared for anything thrown my way.” But for Christie Pearce ’15, the conference offered a clear detour sign. “I wanted some guidance on the direction I should be going for my communications career and indeed confirmed that PR is not for me,” she admitted.

Similarly, I also now have a better sense of what a PR career might entail, but I’m not sure that being a part of the fast-paced world of PR fits who I am and my career goals–something good to discover sooner than later.

“Regardless of whether a student plans to pursue PR or not,” said Christie, “the panelists had a lot of insight about professionalism, interviewing, and career etiquette that is valuable to everyone.”

National Society of Leadership and Success Chapter Launched on Campus

IMG_8989

Oglethorpe chapter President Barry Rowan ’14

In the Spring 2014 semester, Oglethorpe University welcomed the newest chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success, Sigma Alpha Pi. The society is dedicated to helping in its members’ personal growth and development and community development and leadership. In the society’s words, “We Build Leaders Who Make A Better World.”

According to President Barry Rowan ’14, the initial goals of the chapter include establishing a leadership success networking group that can define the personal, professional, and academic goals for members, and providing a network of support in achieving those goals.

Since 2001, Sigma Alpha Pi has sought out academic leaders who are dedicated to community action, volunteerism, and exemplary leadership within their university and society. Sigma Alpha Pi doesn’t have a professional majority within its constituency, but rather focuses on encouraging fraternization amongst students of various academic and social backgrounds.

National Society of Leadership - Sigma Alpha PiTo become a member, there are four main steps in the semester-long process: (1) Students must attend orientation. Orientation allows students to get to know their executive board members, while also giving students the opportunity to learn more about the central tenets of the society. (2) Students must participate in Leadership Training Day, a seminar on how to become leaders within social groups. (3) Students must attend at least three of the live broadcasts regularly given by the National Office. (4) Finally, students are randomly selected and grouped into Success Networking Teams to provide students with peer leaders with whom to bounce off ideas and set personal goals.

In addition to President Barry Rowan ’14, the inaugural members of the executive board are Vice President Donald Warden ’16, Secretary Luise Hessing ’16, Treasurer Matthew Roberson ’16, and Success Networking Teams Coordinator Ty Murphy ’16. Dr. Danny Glassmann, associate dean of students and director of residence life, advises the society.

Sigma Alpha Pi has been enthusiastically received on campus and currently there are 120 members working towards induction, with some having already met the requirements. The expected induction date for the newest society members is set for late April 2014.

Oglethorpe Wins Top Communications & Marketing Awards

In February 2014, Oglethorpe’s University Communications Department was recognized by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) with two top awards for best practices in external relations and graphic design. Oglethorpe competed against colleges of various sizes across the country.

CASE district III awards (2)College Presidents for Gun Safety won the Grand Award (gold) in the category of External Relations Engagement Program. The advocacy initiative was launched by Oglethorpe University President Larry Schall following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in December 2012. President Schall drafted an open letter calling for our nation’s government to enact stricter gun laws and to increase consumer safety standards. His letter garnered the support of more than 360 college presidents across the country and the attention of national leaders in Washington.

Carillon Spring 2013 cover high resThe Spring 2013 Carillon magazine won the Award of Excellence (silver) for graphic design. The issue was a collaborative effort of Oglethorpe and EM2, an educational communications company in Atlanta, that has designed the magazine since 2010.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) is an international association that serves its member educational institutions and their staffs in development/fundraising, alumni relations, communications, and marketing. Every year, collegiate communication departments submit their latest projects and periodicals to CASE for judging in the annual competition.

CASE district III annual conference awards (3)

University Communications’ Debbie Aiken ’12 pictured with Adam Forrand of EM2.