MCCC Duo Hacks their Way to Award

robv-andrewrAndrew Rosner and Rob Vogel, two members of the Information Technology Department at Montgomery County Community College, recently hacked their way to creating a new web application that could help colleges communicate better with students and help them succeed.

Rosner, an application and integration developer; and Vogel, an enterprise application analyst, won the Best “Going Mobile” Project at Hobsons’ Starfish Going Mobile Hackathon June 26-28 at the education technology company’s office in Arlington, Va. 

Over the course of three days, nine teams consisting of more than 50 developers, web designers, and user experience researchers and designers worked to create new mobile-friendly solutions that empower advisors and engage students. 

Rosner and Vogel from MCCC joined participants from the University of Georgia – the only two institutions in the nation that participated in the Hackathon – to work side-by-side with Hobsons developers, data scientists, engineers, designers, and product managers to conceive and define a project, spec out their concepts, and present their approaches. Hobsons judges selected winners for three main awards, including Best “Going Mobile” Project.

Rosner and Vogel worked with Asa Baylus, Rich Diaz and Russ Little from Hobsons to develop an application that would allow Starfish users, such as advisors or counselors, to send a personalized text message to students, instead of the current method utilizing students’ e-mails.

“Andrew and I thought that the notification system we did would be the most beneficial to our students,” Vogel said.

Vogel worked on the front end of the application, while Rosner focused on developing the back end. “They sounded interested in using it as part of the product,” Rosner said. "They mentioned that they would reach out to us if they want to take it further."

The hackathon emphasized creating new features that increase campus-wide adoption and retention rates, and the resulting ideas demonstrate the vast potential for streamlining campus operations and boosting student success.

“The work from all participating teams exceeded our expectations, and planted the seeds for exciting innovation in and around the Starfish platform,” said Howard Bell, Starfish general manager at Hobsons.” We are already hard at work planning our next Hackathon for January 2018 and look forward to continuing to break new ground with the help of some of the sharpest talent in the ed tech space.”

The Starfish Enterprise Success Platform, which is used by MCCC students, helps hundreds of colleges and universities efficiently scale their student success programs so that more students can achieve their academic and life goals and finish what they start. Starfish was developed by Hobsons, a leading provider of college readiness, matching, admissions, and student success and analytics solutions.