Livingstone graduates develop iPhone app for school

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 25, 2012

By Laurie D. Willis
Livingstone College News Service
Livingstone College graduates Gregory Henry, Travis Holliday and Jamelle Barnes spent countless hours during their final semester working on a Livingstone College iPhone application.
And now it’s just a matter of time before the app is available for downloading, according to T. Ray Campbell, their advisor and an assistant professor of computer information systems.
“I’m working on getting out a few kinks before it can be available for download and installation on iPhones,” Campbell said. “Livingstone College has already gotten approval from Apple to be registered as an institutional developer.”
That’s good news for Henry, Holliday and Barnes. The young men, who were among the college’s 113 graduates who obtained degrees on May 5, said it will be neat to see the fruits of their labor. More importantly, they said it’ll be great when others can download the application, which includes a map of Livingstone’s campus, an employee directory, a link to the college on Twitter and much, much more.
Henry, Holliday and Barnes worked on the app for their Senior Capstone Project in Dr. Kathryn Moland’s CIS/437 Current Topics class. Moland is chairwoman of Livingstone’s Computer Information Systems department.
“Students enrolled in this class were allowed to select their project based on real-world current technology topics,” Moland said. “One student created a video to encourage the discussion on why there are so few girls and women pursuing technology. Another student completed a paper on how Livingstone College faculty are using technology in the classroom.
“Here in the CIS department we’re working to create an environment where students get real-world experiences they can carry with them into graduate school and/or their careers,” Moland continued. “Greg, Travis and Jamelle were proactive in the app’s development, which included using their own Mac technology to complete it.”
Actually, the students used the Mac of Henry’s roommate and basketball teammate, Cody Paul. Because they were borrowing Paul’s Mac, the three couldn’t always work on the app when they wanted to — or together.
“I think that’s what took so long,” said Henry of Atlanta. “Because we were using my roommate’s Mac, it seemed to me it took forever to complete the app. We started with a blank template and had to come up with a design. There was certain stuff we knew we had to code, but we weren’t quite sure how to put it together.”
Campbell said the students understood the writing codes but had to learn how to process them according to Apple’s iPhone specifications.
“These guys are trailblazers,” Campbell said. “They took this project when I mentioned it and ran with it. I’m very proud of them. We really want to make the computer information systems department better here at Livingstone College, and this app can open a lot of doors for these three guys who created it.”
Several people assisted Henry, Holliday and Barnes as they worked on the app during the spring semester, including Shannon Turner, assistant women’s basketball coach, and Rick Rogers, sports information director.
Moland was kept abreast of the students’ progress with timely updates from them and consultations with Campbell.
Barnes, of Rock Hill, S.C., said he enjoyed being able to flex his creative muscles while working on the app. He writes music, is working on a book and said he hopes to land a job through which he can continue creating apps and work in business intelligence. He said working on the app was extremely challenging, particularly because he did it while taking a heavy course load and working an off-campus job.
Holliday, of Sumter, S.C., wants to be a detective specializing in computer forensics.
“Technology can do everything,” Holliday said. “A computer is probably going to be able to prepare something to drink someday. Technology is definitely the wave of the future.”
Henry, who played on the Blue Bears basketball team, aspires to play professional ball. Barring that, he hopes to eventually open a computer store and a bowling alley.
The men said they’re grateful to have gotten the chance to develop an iPhone application, and they hope once it is available people will download it and start using it.
According to information on Apple’s website, iPhones have access to more than a half million applications, with more being created by developers.
“We know people have an abundance of choices when it comes to which apps to download to their phones, but we really hope prospective students and their parents who own iPhones will download Livingstone College’s app when it’s available and check it out,” Henry said. “The app gives a ton of useful information about the college, and more information will be added as time goes on.”
Indeed. Campbell said he and other CIS students will add to the Livingstone app, as necessary.
“We intend to continue and build on what the students started,” Campbell said. “This iPhone app development activity will be an ongoing project within the CIS department.”