CCSE Online Hackathon for Social Good 2022

Kennesaw State students use technology to connect young adults with mentors - March 31, 2022

Students at Kennesaw State University recently used their computing skills to help match young adults without families to volunteers who want to mentor them. The effort was part of the 2022 Hackathon for Social Good. 

The College of Computing and Software Engineering (CCSE) hosts two Hackathons a year in which businesses create a real-world, technology challenge for students to solve. The focus of the spring event is to use technology for social service and is open to students outside of CCSE. 

“The Hackathon for Social Good allows students to hone their skills and use their knowledge to make a difference outside the classroom for people in need,” Dawn Tatum, director of CCSE’s partnerships and engagements, said. Photo

In the recent Hackathon, HPCC Systems from LexisNexis Risk Solutions, an open-source technology platform for big data insights, sponsored the event and partnered with the nonprofit Connections Homes to create an engaging challenge for students. Data collected by Connections Homes shows that each year there are around 85,000 young adults around the country without a mentoring family or designated guardian. Many of these young men and women are homeless or in dangerous situations because they have nowhere to turn.

Before the weeklong event began, students only knew its theme: “Using Technology to Create Families.” When they arrived for check-in, students were told that Connections Homes uses a manual process to match young adults, ages 18-24, who have aged out of foster care, with a mentoring family. The procedure is time-consuming and prone to errors. Students were asked to computerize and improve the system using factors like proximity, common interests, and religion to match the young adults to mentoring families.

“Having this kind of matching technology will make sure we’re giving our clients the best chance to be matched with the best family,” said Davida Allen, relationship manager with Connections Homes. “Human connection is so important to thrive in life. We want to connect these young adults with mentoring families who will be there to celebrate birthdays, holidays and other important life moments.” 

Spencer Starks, sophomore computer science student, said his first Hackathon event was a challenge, but one that has taught him new skills and allowed him to collaborate with his teammates.

“The Hackathon for Social Good has allowed me to get out of my comfort zone as I work with new people on a unique challenge,” Starks said. “I hope this will be a launchpad for me to become more engaged in the technology community and to network with more students and professionals.”

In addition to the Hackathon for Social Good challenge, students had the opportunity to network throughout the week with representatives from Assurant, State Farm and Genuine Parts Company.

“Companies who are hiring know the cream-of-the-crop students are the ones who participate in events like these,” Tatum said. “Hackathon serves as an incredible networking opportunity for our students in CCSE and beyond.” 

Half of the proceeds raised by the Hackathon for Social Good will be donated to KSU’s Campus Awareness, Resource and Empowerment (CARE) Services, which provides students with access to food, temporary housing and other supportive services. 

After a week of working on solutions to this challenge, students presented their work to a group of judges. The following teams were recognized for their work:  

1st – Team BJW, Brian Bessemer, Darren Jones and Eric Weese
2nd – The CS Knights, Keyshawn Billups and Trevor Fouce
3rd – Team HPCC 8, Malik Naik Mohammed, Zameer Shaik and Gayathri Vellanki

 
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hackathon 2022 for social good winners

Challenge is open to all KSU Students.  Students must be registered for the Hackathon AND officially checked-in via the Virtual Late Registration/Check-In Process no later than Sunday, March 20, 2022, @ 8:00 pm to be eligible for t-shirts and awards. 

Registration here through March 16th.

Late Registration & Virtual Check-In opens on Wednesday, March 16th thru Sunday, March 20th. 

ATTENTION: Students participating on campus will need to check-in at the Kickoff in person to receive your name badge – your name badge is your ticket to food during the hackathon and entrance to the Student Center ballrooms for special speaker opportunities during the virtual speaker sessions. Some speakers will have representatives on campus to recruit during these talks.

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Coding Social impact 

The College of Computing and Software Engineering (CCSE) Hackathon for Social Good is one of our college's signature events in providing students with an opportunity to use Technology for Social Good.

Build Stepping stones

Through dedicated "threads" (aka themes) and speaker events within the event, companies can raise awareness to areas where we can impact social good, increase brand awareness, and locate top talent for computing workforce.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Students can hone their skills, apply the knowledge they gain inside the classroom in authentic, real-world problems, and connect with internship and job opportunities.

    Each industry sponsor will present one challenge in either the technology area or business/marketing area related to their Corporate Social Responsibility or area of Social Good they wish to target. In each of these challenges, students will be chosen to form teams of 3 (and strictly no more than 3) to solve these challenges and present their solutions to industry sponsors. Many different skill sets on every team are desired for the best results for our industry leaders.

  • Come together with friends and other students, meet new people, strengthen your design and development skills, and connect with companies eager to identify talent and see what you can make… all within one week. This hackathon will strengthen your resume, let you apply what you are doing in the classroom into real-world scenarios, and let you connect with employers for possible internships, part time and full-time job opportunities.
  • The CCSE Hackathon is open to all undergraduate and graduate Kennesaw State University students. To encourage collaboration and emphasize how technology is part of everything we do, we require that each team has at least one CCSE student as a member.
  • Each industry sponsor will present one challenge in either the technology area or business/marketing area related to their Corporate Social Responsibility or area of Social Good they wish to target. In each of these challenges, students will be chosen to form teams of 3 (and strictly no more than 3) to solve these challenges and present their solutions to industry sponsors. Many different skill sets on every team are desired for the best results for our industry leaders.

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