Competing as one of 70 teams in the “Making College Possible Coding Challenge,” the Campus HIVE project duo, which included Alfred State’s own Justin King, took home fourth place following the final judging at Facebook’s office in New York City.
King, of Uniondale, teamed up with high school friend and State University of New York (SUNY) at Fredonia student Kermit B. Mitchell III in the first-ever statewide coding competition for SUNY and City University of New York (CUNY) students. King is expected to graduate from Alfred State’s electrical construction and maintenance electrician program this spring, and has re-enrolled in the college in its electrical engineering technology (AAS) major. As a result of their fourth-place finish, King and Mitchell were presented with a check for $2,000.
The challenge invited students to create a digital prototype of a mobile app or website to share information about the Excelsior Scholarship and what “making college possible” means to them. The Excelsior Scholarship is Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s first-in-the-nation proposal to make public college tuition-free for New York’s working- and middle-class families.
Following the preliminary judging in late February, the top five entrants moved on to the final judging and pitch session in New York City this month, where they pitched their products to a panel of New York’s business and technology leaders, who selected the winning submission. Judges included Neil Blumenthal, CEO and co-founder of Warby Parker; Jeanne Jang, director of the IBM Innovation Lab; Jeff Reynar, engineering director, Facebook New York; and Judith Spitz, PhD, founding program director, Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship in New York, and former chief information officer at Verizon.
In total, more than 370 students constituting 70 teams from SUNY and CUNY schools participated in the competition. Rounding out the top five were Team Knight from Queens College; Fast Pass, also from Queens; Collegium from SUNY Albany; Campus HIVE of Alfred State and SUNY Fredonia; and Team Chepang of Stony Brook University.
Alfred State Executive Vice President Valerie Nixon, who traveled to New York City to attend the final judging, said, “Congratulations to Team Campus Hive for their excellent presentation. Justin and Kermit not only developed a creative and innovative application to assist students in planning for college, but also gave an outstanding demonstration of their work. Alfred State is very proud of Campus Hive.”