Thursday, May 3, 2012

Service and Senior Projects

Spring 2012 Senior Project has been a great success. This year our 12 senior project students partnered with non-for-profit organizations to assist with aiding them in their missions of service. Our friends who partnered with us were the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago, Portiuncula Center for Prayer in Frankfort, and USF’s own Recreation Administration department. The students formed in teams of three.  On April 26th our students presented their projects for their clients and a number of guests.

Team #1 consisted of Kevin Healy, Computer Science, Andrew Johnson, Information Technology, and Ross McCallister, Computer Science and Information Technology. They worked with the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago’s Retirement Community, Marian Village. For Marian Village they built an Android App that included secure signon for the staff, a residents’ app that allowed access to the dining menus from the phone, and access to the directory of the staff of Marian Village so they would have that information at their fingertips. They also built an additional functionality in the app that allowed mobile access to the project Team #2 worked on.

Team #2 consisted of Mitch Cannon, Information Technology, Joe Robinson, Information Technology, and Matt Strama, Information Technology/Network Specialist. They also worked with Marian Village, the retirement community supported by the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago. They used Google Maps, a satellite view, building blueprints, and live information from the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago’s system to allow a display of each community floor-by-floor to determine which apartments and homes were vacant and which are currently tenanted. The satellite view of Google Maps allows for the zooming in to the building layouts. For security purposes this information would be restricted to the staff.

Team #3 consisted of Jarrod Cupps, Web Application Development, Rachel DeAngelo, Web Application Development, and Jason Kryst, Web Application Development. They worked with USF’s Recreation Administration Department to develop a new internship tracking system. Because of certifications and requirements of internships the Rec Admin department had very specific needs. Team #3 developed a database and an Intranet interface. The user friendly interface provided a way for Rec Admin personnel to easily add and update internship information and for students to request application information for an internship.

Team #4 consisted of James Bowman, Information Technology, Megan O’Brien, Computer Science, and Dan Zarycki, Information Technology. They worked with Portiuncula in Frankfort to develop a new website. Their project changed over the course of the semester from a website update to a redesign. Some of the requirements were a new calendar system, a new photo management system, and improvement of Search Engine Optimization. Their project included documentation for the users so that updates to calendars and pictures can easily be maintained.

All the teams worked on requirements gathering from their respective clients, project plans with deliverables, and at the end of the project turnover of the software and documentation. Many hours of building test systems, addressing changes, learning new software, investigating options, and all the challenges kept these seniors involved and ultimately proud of what they accomplished.

We’d like to recognize our partners for their contributions to our students.

Janine Hicks of USF contacted us last semester with a request for students to do a website update for Portiuncula – The Center for Prayer in Frankfort.  The update turned into a redesign.  Mary Lou Nugent was our contact and worked closely with our student team along with Janine.  Thank you to Janine Hicks and Mary Lou Nugent.

Professor Syd Sklar of USF’s Recreation Administration brought up the need his department had for a specialized way of handling internships in the course of several conversations.  This discussion led to the project that created a database and a web interface to that data.  Our thanks to Syd for his work with the students.

Finally a very special thanks must be made to Jim Schuler, of the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago Corporation.  Jim is one of our USF Computer Science alumni. Last semester we contacted him to see if there was anything that our students might work on for the Franciscan Sister of Chicago.  Jim very graciously came up with two projects involving their retirement communities.  Jim attended many of the class meetings so that he could help the students with their projects, refining them and helping them meet the challenges that arose.  Jim was a valued part of this process helping students over the rough spots with their projects.  Jim, you were truly a God-send!

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