Oct 19, 2010

Two Spelman College women created a first-place winning AT&T mobile application and captured a $10,000 prize with a tool called HBCU Buddy.
Jonecia Keels and Jazmine Miller, co-captains of the college's Spelbots robotics team, will share the $10,000 scholarship with their winning development for the 2010 AT&T Big Mobile Campus Challenge.
The women said they developed the HBCU Buddy because many people still are unaware of what an HBCU really is.
"There are many people, including African-Americans, who hold stereotypes pertaining to these colleges and universities, such as the false belief of HBCUs not being academically challenging institutions - which is far from the truth," said Keels, a Spelman senior majoring in computer science and computer engineering. The Miami native is currently studying at Columbia University as part of a combined program.
"We created this app to educate the masses, inspire the next generation to attend HBCUs, and also demonstrate that HBCUs are still a mecca for producing talented and future leaders in our society," Keels told BlackAmericaWeb.com. 
The women included features on the app, such as virtual tours, that would have helped them when they were preparing to enter college, said Jazmine Miller, a senior majoring in computer science.
"Neither NeeCee or myself were able to see Spelman before we moved in," Miller told BlackAmericaWeb.com.

HBCU Buddy is a fully-fledged mobile service application that provides detailed information about each and every HBCU in the nation and integrates all facets of college life. The application opens with a directory profiling each HBCU, with information on academics, admissions, research, student life and alumni, among other details. After selecting a school, students can navigate through the school – literally – by accessing virtual tours of buildings, on-campus videos and local GPS and directions.

HBCU Buddy can also provide students with customizable social networking features to connect with each other, their school and community. The application connects to social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, and integrates tools such as chat and calendar to help students stay informed. Students can use the application to follow the latest on school club and campus happenings, local events, hot spots around the community and more.


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