2021 Hacks with Friends — a completely different experience

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Michigan IT logo. 2021 virtual Hacks with Friends.

The pandemic kept many events from happening over the past year, but the 2021 Hacks with Friends (HWF) was not one of them. The first-ever virtual Hacks with Friends kicked off on May 7 with the first of three Friday sessions thanks to the organization and resourcefulness of the planning committee, led by co-chairs Joe Lubomirski (Dearborn ITS) and Kenny Moore (ITS Ann Arbor), and lessons learned from the successful virtual Michigan IT Symposium. Eleven teams made up of 103 participants from across the Michigan IT community came together remotely to compete in a hackathon unlike any before.

Holding the 2021 HWF event was a testament to how the IT community has successfully navigated a difficult time. In his opening remarks, Ravi Pendse, vice president for IT and chief information officer, pointed out that the 2020 HWF event was the last in-person event many had attended prior to the pandemic, and how incredibly grateful he is for the resilience, hard work, and heartfelt empathy that the Michigan IT Community has shown this past year.

“You moved with rapid speed to help the U-M community,” stated Pendse. “Working together, we shifted and expanded IT services for the entire community, we led, and we took the changes in front of us head-on. From the bottom of my heart, I am grateful.”

The competition culminated mid-morning on May 21. Each team presented their hack in three-minute presentations that were voted on by a live streaming U-M audience. By noon the top four teams had been determined and advanced to the finals to present 10-minute presentations in an attempt to impress our judges.

“All the hacks were great this year,” exclaimed event co-chair Joe Lubomirski from UM-Dearborn ITS. “The diverse ideas and innovative solutions speak to the true collaborative nature of the Michigan IT community.”

In the end, it was a tight race. Points were tallied based on the official HWF judging rubric and the final results were announced.

First place — Gene-E: Genetic Testing Family Communication Prototype (Team 1)

Gene-E was created to help people with cancer communicate with their family about their risk of developing hereditary cancer. It supports patients in sharing this life-saving information with their family members. Gene-E gives patients a platform to add and keep track of family members they want to contact. It also provides a responsive email template to help the patient customize their message by communication style and the amount of information they want to share.

NameDepartmentRole
Jeffrey RosczykCenter for Health Communications Research (CHCR), Rogel Cancer CenterPitch leader / developer
Diane EglestonCHCR, Rogel Cancer CenterDocumentation specialist
Amanda WrightHITSCheerleader & documentation specialist
Mike NowakCHCR, Rogel Cancer CenterDeveloper at large
Ian MooreCHCR, Rogel Cancer CenterDesigner & developer
Jill SolomonCHCR, Rogel Cancer CenterDocumentation specialist
Swetha NettemITS Infrastructure & Sys OpsDeveloper
Kevin JeongITS Enterprise App SvcsUser experience designer
Penny YangCHCR, Rogel Cancer CenterDocumentation specialist
Liz BaconCHCR, Rogel Cancer CenterDocumentation specialist
Shelly ChangCHCR, Rogel Cancer CenterDeveloper
Colleen LehCHCR, Rogel Cancer CenterDesigner & developer

Second place & People’s Choice award — Scholarships Come to You (Team 9)

Scholarships Come To You will leave no scholarship funds unclaimed by proactively alerting students of scholarships using an automated process to match students with scholarships based on eligibility. Lists of eligible students will be identified via a data visualization tool (Denodo) and a Salesforce Campaign will be used to notify students.

NameDepartmentRole
Tong SunCoE CAENPitch leader
Karen SaitoCoE CAENProject manager
Reinhard WilmerLSA – StudentBusiness analyst
Alyssa BigleyITS Infrastructure Networking (Intern)Application developer
Victor Ogundipe Jr.CoE CAENData architect
Bryan HartmanITS Information QuestDenodo architect
Jeffrey JenkinsITS Information QuestDenodo architect
Brian AwoodITS Infrastructure Salesforce developer
George BlicharCoE Dean-EngagementSalesforce developer
Tianyu JiangRackham – StudentDevelopment assistant
Ran YanRackham – StudentDevelopment assistant
Josh CharlesITS Enterprise App SvcsBusiness sys analyst

Third place — IT Mentor Matching On Demand (Team 10)

Mentoring is a valuable opportunity, and we need to do more of it. Since the initial pilot in 2017, nearly 200 Michigan IT staff members have participated in the Michigan IT Mentorship program. The current program involves a time-consuming manual matching process, which limits the reach to matching once per year. This hack created and identified a platform to help IT mentors and mentees find each other “on demand.” This could potentially broaden the participation and also provide near-real time matching and confirmation of mentors and mentees, as well as allow the mentorship program to be available year-round.

NameDepartmentRole
Dan Stanish Medical School – PediatricsPitch leader, process, documentation
Will BurnsITS Enterprise App SvcsDesign guidance & presentation
Aubrey Theisen MorseHITSProcess & presentation
Stefanie HorvathITS CommunicationsProcess, presentation,
& documentation
Ajitha DevarajanDevelopment – Digital InfrastructureDeveloper & documentation
Ed ThierbachITS Sec Svcs ID &
Access Mgt
Developer & presentation
Ryan VisITS Enterprise App SvcsBusiness analyst
Abbey RoelofsLSA TSDeveloper & presentation
Chris StockbridgeLSA TSDeveloper
Rachael WojciechowskiITS CommunicationsDesign guidance & presentation

Honorable mention — Establishing passwords for sponsored affiliates (Team 2)

Most newly-created UMICH identities establish their own passwords, but uniqnames created through the Sponsorship System must have their passwords conveyed to them by the Sponsor Administrator (or, sometimes, the ITS Service Center). This hack allows sponsored affiliates to be able to set passwords on their account directly, rather than relayed by the administrator who generated the account.

NameDepartmentRole
Victoria GreenITS Sec Svcs ID & Access MgtPitch leader, organizer, requirements, & testing
Abdulrahman AteyaITS Sec Svcs ID & Access Mgt (Intern)Requirements & presentation
Elizabeth BarrieaultITS Support ServicesRequirements & presentation
Frank WangITS Sec Svcs ID & Access Mgt (Intern)Developer
Kyle CochraneITS Sec Svcs ID & Access MgtDeveloper
Sheila SandersITS Support ServicesRequirements & testing
Adria ShinesITS Enterprise App Svcs (Intern)Requirements & presentation
Cindy WangITS Sec Svcs ID & Access Mgt (Intern)Developer
Tamariah DavisITS Sec Svcs ID & Access Mgt (Intern)Requirements & testing

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