Villanova Student Creates ‘Campus-Commerce’ App

The Villanovan: “Chris Maguire, a junior in the Villanova School of Business, is launching an app exclusive to the University community this month. The app, NovaMark, is a marketplace for students to buy and sell anything from textbooks to old sneakers to furniture. Maguire’s goal with NovaMark is to reduce students’ waste and save them time and money.”

“With NovaMark, students will be able to post the things they don’t want to bring home for low prices so someone else can enjoy them … a University email must be used to create an account within the app, so it will only be University students buying and selling goods. This dramatically reduces the radius for picking up items which allows students to avoid shipping fees or paying for transportation to and from an off campus store.”

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Animal House: Pet-Friendly Dorm @ PA School

Penn Live: “Going off to college brings a lot of unfamiliarity, and it can be even worse when you have to leave your beloved family pet behind. Starting this spring, students at Lock Haven University … can bring their pets to school. The university will be the first in the Pennsylvania’s State System to introduce a pet-friendly residence hall, the school said in a news release.”

“Students will be allowed to bring a ‘long-term pet,’ which is defined as ‘under the primary care of the resident or their family for at least three months,’ to live in North Hall. Pets must also be at least 6 months old, and the university created a policy with ‘strict guidelines concerning the species, breeds and sizes of animals permitted.’ Allowed pets include cats, dogs under 40 pounds with breed restrictions, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs and fish.”

Lock Haven President Robert Pignatello comments: “Introducing a pet-friendly residence hall is about increasing opportunities for our students. The Haven is a great place to live and learn — and allowing students to bring a beloved pet to campus will only enhance their residential experience. We look forward to welcoming students and their animal companions to campus in January.”

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ESports Gaining Ground @ UMN

Star Tribune: “The University of Minnesota is home to a nationally-ranked team that doesn’t practice on a court or field, but instead on the virtual battlefield of popular computer game Overwatch. The university’s Overwatch team is currently in its preseason, competing against other schools such as Arizona State University and Texas Tech University … Players competed for over $120,000 in scholarships last year. The championship tournament won’t be held until spring, but more than 300 colleges enter teams to compete.”

“During preseason, members of the team play two matches every Sunday and practice between two and five hours each week. Practices might include playing the game solo or with friends, watching professionals online or reviewing tape from previous matches. The video game is gaining popularity at the University of Minnesota, which now has five other university squads in addition to the main team competing in the national tournament.”

“Colin Agur, a journalism professor who teaches the course ‘Digital Games and Society,’ said competitive video game companies seem to be targeting college campuses … Agur added that, if done right, esports can be a relatively cheap and worthwhile addition to the University’s collegiate sports.”

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BU-tiful: New Data Sciences Center Dazzles

Architect’s Newspaper: “A new architectural era is dawning at Boston University (BU) with the announcement of the building of the Data Sciences Center on the university’s main Charles River campus. First, it is a bit of design daring not commonly seen in Boston: a ziggurat-shaped tower with multiple cantilevers that will be the tallest building on campus. But moreover, it represents a break from the past for an institution that eschewed contemporary architectural patronage for more than two generations.”

The new building is described as “a ‘vertical campus’ that celebrates the importance of data science by bringing together the mathematics and statistics departments and the computer science department under one roof.The architect said the building’s spaces ‘spiral’ around an interior atrium that is all about spontaneous encounters with colleagues and students that are essential in the data sciences field.”

“The cantilevered and stepped massing yields several advantages. It forms balconies and green roofs that allow occupants fresh air and stunning views of the Boston skyline and Charles River. It will cause a play of light and shadow. And, significantly, it will appear to be a beehive at night, with loft-like interior spaces highly conducive to work and creativity 24/7. Without specifically stating it, it is clear that BU wants a new architectural profile commensurate with those of Harvard University and MIT.”

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RIT Introduces ‘Magic Spell Studios’

“The RIT Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction & Creativity (MAGIC) is a university wide research center and production studio focused on exploring the cutting edge of interactive digital media. It is available for anyone in the RIT community, regardless of academic or institutional affiliation, as well as numerous partners and community collaborators. The MAGIC Center is designed to bridge the gap between research and prototyping, and the ability to bring industry polish and commercial scale and support to experimental projects.”

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New Mexico State Launches ‘Crimson Concierge’

Forbes: New Mexico State has introduced Crimson Concierge. Yes, it’s a concierge service for its students, managed by Sodexo, “the food services and facilities management company .. No kidding. New Mexico State’s concierge is believed to be the only one in the country, at least for now. But Sodexo says it’s planning others.”

“The Crimson Concierge program handles everything from travel arrangements to moving and storage, events tickets, auto services and local events … The Crimson Concierge also includes laundry service, doctor referrals, and local support such as running errands. This summer, it even helped students find housing … To improve the way Sodexo delivered the services, it also worked with Ritz-Carlton’s famous Leadership Center to train its concierges … There’s no fee to use the concierge.”

“Colleges are resistant to calling their students ‘customers,’ according to the latest research. The conventional wisdom seems to be that there’s a ‘middle ground’ between considering college students customers versus simply students. But the most forward-looking universities can already see that in order to compete for the top students, you have to at least treat them as customers — otherwise they’ll enroll somewhere else.”

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Wake Forest Issues “Call to Conversation”

Wake Forest: “Honest, personal engagement has always been at the heart of the Wake Forest experience. That’s why we’ve launched A Call To Conversation, a nationwide – and campus-wide – movement designed to help people see each other as human beings rather than as stances, positions or opinions. As a part of this movement, we reached out to students to hear what they had to say about the value of conversation and civil exchange.”

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Brandeis: A Culture of Exploration

Brandeis: “Whenever the entrepreneurial spirit arises in Brandeis students and faculty, it often leads to something big: companies that promise to both reap significant financial rewards and transform society … Research by professor emeritus of biology K.C. Hayes and biophysicist Daniel Perlman resulted in the ‘healthy fats’ used in Smart Balance spread. Adam Cheyer ’88 co-founded the company Siri, which developed the digital personal assistant now on hundreds of millions of iPhones around the world.”

“Today, there’s a new crop of startups out there, some still in their infancy, others marketing products and making profits. Though known for their commitment to social justice and altruism, Brandeisians exhibit no shortage of business daring or acumen. ‘Brandeis supports a culture of exploration,’ says Rebecca Menapace, associate provost for innovation.”

Among the Brandeis Startups: “Werk has developed a methodology for helping companies assess the need and desire for flexibility among employees. The consulting firm then suggests policies to implement. It has also developed a training program for human resources executives and others, and runs a job board that helps employees looking for flexible workplaces search for opportunities … Raised $4 million. Featured in The New York Times and Fast Company, and on CNBC.”

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