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Inaugural MISA Hackathon is true example of engaged learning

 MISA Hackathon

What are management information systems (MIS) students doing on a sleepless Friday night into the wee hours of Saturday morning? Well, coding of course. 

The West Virginia University College of Business and Economics Management Information Systems Association student organization teamed up with WVU Microsoft Student Partner and MISA vice president Preston Hafer, a senior MIS major, to host the inaugural MISA Hackathon event October 14-15. Racing against the clock through the night with plenty of Red Bull on hand, students worked on real-world projects, while also learning and applying new aspects of coding to meet their 11:00 a.m. Saturday morning deadline. 

“We were so amazed at how well the MISA Student Hackathon turned out. It was organized by the MISA students. They obtained the judges, planned the competition and worked with so many to make it into such a big success! They had lots of fun, worked in superb teams and had amazing projects that I was so proud to see them demonstrate,” Virginia Kliest,  chair of the Management Information Systems Department, said.  

The event, which was sponsored by Bravo Consulting, Noblis and the B&E Center for Career Development, showcased the talents of MIS students through a case study project to find a solution in the form of a programming platform. The students’ skills were put to the test, as businesses representatives from WVU Medicine, Plus and Deloitte who attended the event submitted real-world projects. The student teams, which were made up of multiple majors, were tasked with solving the problems.

The first place team winners were senior MIS majors Stella Potts, Madeline Register and Jason Banuelos. The team created a working solution to a recruiting web app problem requiring a match of a searchable employer job file database to external job seekers, using Azure in the Cloud and including mobile phone connections. The web app solution had two views – one for recruiters and one for applicants. This project was submitted by Gino DeGregori from Bravo Consulting.  

“I have to complement the MIS Department faculty, too,” Kleist said. “Clearly our faculty’s classes are preparing our students to ‘walk the walk’ in terms of quick turnarounds on terrific outcomes in real world projects. It a super demonstration of engaged learning at its finest. We hope to have another competition in the spring.”