Campus Dining, Calendar Apps Win Bryant University App-a-Thon Competition

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Information Services staff, students team up to develop two award-winning apps for fall delivery that will answer the eternal undergrad questions: What's to eat? and What's going on?

This summer, Bryant University’s Information Services team will bring to life two mobile apps that will answer the eternal undergrad questions: “What’s to eat?” and “What’s going on?”

The apps are the result of the University's inaugural App-a-Thon, held April 18 as part of the University’s annual Research and Engagement Day. Proposed by Bryant senior Sarah Rubel of Westport, CT, vice president of Bryant’s Collegiate Entrepreneur's Organization (CEO), the innovative competition challenged students to consider mobile apps that would enhance Bryant’s student-centered university environment. Developing and presenting their app concepts provided students with the chance to connect classroom learning with real world application and see their ideas put into action. Bryant plans to release the winning apps in time for students’ arrival this fall.

Bryant Eats, an all-in-one app for campus dining, and Bryant Bits, a campus event app, were the top ideas among eight proposed by students to a panel of Bryant administrators who served as judges for the event.

With Bryant Eats, proposed by Mikayla LaRosa ’14 of Marysville, WA, Elena Lohr ’15 of Loveland, OH, and Macy Mitravich ’13 of Waimanalo, HI, students will be able to check food service hours, menus and nutritional information, rate meals, and offer dining reviews. A “traffic cam” will give students an eye on dining hall crowds. Future iterations may enable online ordering and text alerts for meal pickup.

Bryant Bits, proposed by Sagar Parmar ’14 of Cheshire, CT, Alex Scelzo ’14 of Wallingford, CT, Ryan Tengler ’14 of Boxford, MA, and Rohan Vakil ’14 of Norton, MA, will offer a searchable, customizable calendar of campus events that will send reminders and integrate with social media like Facebook and Twitter.

“Preparing students to put their ideas into action is a Bryant hallmark,” said University President Ronald K. Machtley. “Bryant has long been recognized as a technology innovator, and we’re continuing this tradition with our commitment to building these apps and making them available for our community. Everyone involved with the App-a-Thon did a great job.”

The App-a-Thon was co-sponsored by the University’s Center for Program Innovation, Division of Information Services, and Bryant’s CEO, named the best chapter in the country four of the last five years.

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Tracie Sweeney
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