Archive for Campus News

clusterFlunk raises $1 million in new funding from Lightbank, launches nationwide

default_gigantic_avatarclusterFlunk, an app that allows students to get better grades by asking questions and uploading/downloading files, has come out of a private beta and made the entire app available to all university students.

Students join the app/website, and get help from students studying similar subjects, courses, or even the same professor. From there they can post questions, and upload/download files to get the help they need instantly. Best of all, clusterFlunk is completely free.

The app that gets students better grades will use their latest round of funding to help every student in the U.S.

They have recently closed a $1 million seed round. Lightbank led the round and was joined by Built by Iowa, an Iowa-focused early stage fund. This investment was primarily for their national launch, as they were in a closed beta at the University of Iowa, after seeing massive success.

While in beta 15 thousand of the 21 thousand undergraduates were using clusterFlunk at Iowa.

“As students, we were frustrated by the lack of access to classmates in our large lecture courses, and we wanted to create a way for more collaboration outside of the classroom,” said clusterFlunk co-founder AJ Nelson. “clusterFlunk provides students with instant help, allowing them to ask questions and upload/download any kind of file (study guides, past exams, lecture notes), for free.”

clusterFlunk launched at the University of Iowa in January 2013, and more than two-thirds of the students on campus have joined the platform. Additionally, three-fourths of clusterFlunk’s users visit the site at least monthly to share notes, ask questions, and collaborate on assignments.

After seeing that success the company has decided to make the app/ website available nationally.

“Students have a lack of resources to connect in an easy way online. Current options such as Facebook don’t offer the tools necessary to share files and truly engage with classmates,” said Paul Lee, partner at Lightbank. “clusterFlunk is changing the way students study, interact and plan on campus. The metrics from their initial launch are impressive, and we’re excited to see the platform expand to other campuses across the U.S.”

More than 65 percent of clusterFlunk’s users said their grades enhanced as a result of the platform, and 38 percent said they made at least one new friend after using the social network.

To learn more about clusterFlunk, visit www.clusterflunk.com, or download the app in apple’s iOS store.

Tyler Oberly visits Bluffton

w9IJlUFyOn the afternoon of Thursday, January 22 Bluffton University hosted a mathematics seminar unlike any you’ve ever been to. Tyler Oberly, Manager of Analytics for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, addressed an eager audience with a speech titled “Sports Analytics: Diving into the math behind athletics.”

The seminar, which was open to all, focused on the emerging industry of sports analytics, and Oberly’s journey to his current position.

Analytics, without going into much detail, is the process of collecting and analyzing data, the ultimate goal being recognition of trends to improve performance. With so many teams searching for a more reliable way to measure and predict player performance, the sports analytics industry is rapidly expanding across all the major professional and collegiate leagues.

Oberly is a graduate of Bluffton High School (2006) and the University of Toledo where he majored in electrical engineering. He is married to Erin (Neal) Oberly, the daughter of Guy and Diane Neal.

He said that while he was happy creating business and risk analysis reports in the industrial world, he knew it wasn’t what he really wanted to be doing. Growing up playing football, basketball and running track, Oberly has always had a passion for sports, and knew he could turn that into a career. He just didn’t know how yet.

“I could not fall asleep after watching that movie,” said Oberly about Moneyball. “It was my eureka moment when I realized I could do this. I was already doing it, just not in a sports context.”

In his time at Toledo Oberly had begun to develop his own model for evaluating National Football League rosters and salary caps, called the Elitics PER (Player Efficiency Rating) Model. The Elitics PER Model is designed to provide one metric in reviewing all players from all positions throughout the NFL.

As one of seven finalists in the 2014 MIT Sloan Business School’s Evolution of Sport conference, Oberly was able to present his work to an audience of sports professionals looking for the next big thing that could change the face of sport.

Obviously Oberly impressed at least one person in that crowd because he was shortly thereafter hired by the Buccaneers to head up their new analytics department. He now works closely with Head Coach Lovie Smith and General Manager Jason Licht, as well as other front office personnel.

For more on Oberly and his innovative work follow him on Twitter: @tyleroberly, or check out some of his writing from his time at The Sideline View.

Dr. Friesen’s trip to Italy

Dr. Melissa Friesen spent two weeks of the holiday break in Italy participating in the directors’ symposium, “Theatre-makers: Theatre for Social Change and Community Engagement,” put on by La MaMa Umbria.

In the beautifully scenic hills of rural Umbria, near the small city of Spoleto, Dr. Friesen and 14 others immersed themselves in the culture while expanding their theater teaching techniques.

Dr. Friesen said the most enriching part of the symposium was the hands-on exercises she was able to take back home. The new warm-up rituals and focus games she performed were important for her she said because of the awareness she now has concerning their actual effectiveness. Psychodrama as drama therapy opened her mind to the personal change that can occur when fully engaging in these practices.

Though she’s had fun and found usefulness in all the workshops she’s attended over the years (including trips to California and Broadway), it sounded as though her adventure in Italy was her favorite. The relevance to the Theatre for Social Change course that she’s developed and is now teaching for the second time is no doubt a big reason why she enjoyed the experience so much.

After an intense two weeks of mentally exhausting work and play, Dr. Friesen said she’s inspired and ready to apply what she’s learned in all the different aspects within her job.

If you’re curious to know more about Dr. Friesen’s trip ask her about it yourself. She’s always friendly and willing to talk to students during her office hours or when you spot her around campus.

College athletes: rate your coach

Locker Room Talk® (www.lockerroomtalk.com) is a rating and review website for college coaches which compiles information in an easy-to-search format so that high school athletes undergoing the varsity recruiting process can make educated decisions.

Through a short, anonymous online survey, Locker Room Talk gives college players the unique ability to easily rate and review their coaches.  The website is a positive platform for college student-athletes to express their views so that high school athletes can better evaluate the programs they are considering.

“We need current and recently graduated college athletes to fill out our simple, fast, anonymous online survey to provide information about your experiences with your coach. By sharing your honest opinions, you will be helping high school athletes make the best choices for their futures,” said Oliver Loutsenko, co-founder of Locker Room Talk.

Created by former varsity college athletes as a “force for good,” Locker Room Talk® is an invaluable resource for high school athletes and their families as they prepare to make one of the most important choices of their lives.  It covers both men’s and women’s teams in sports such as football, baseball, basketball, tennis, soccer, lacrosse, hockey, skiing, swimming and more.

For more information, call 203-556-5839, visit www.lockerroomtalk.com, Facebook, Instagram (@lockerroomtalk) or Twitter (@LRTsports).

Click here to take the quick survey!

Make some extra cash right here on campus

If you are looking to make a little extra money, I propose short term telemarketing.

You have probably received a flier in your mail box or have seen advertisements posted around campus: Phonathon is here again.

Speaking from personal experience, this job is not hard. You call people, you read from a script and maybe have some side conversation. Some of the people that I have talked to gave me some great information about my future as a social worker. That’s right, you might even be calling alumni who are currently in your future profession.

If the $8.20 or $8.45 an hour for just talking to people doesn’t spark your interest, do it for the experience. You can put telemarketing on your resume. Bluffton University is a liberal arts college, you are here to become well rounded, this is another opportunity.

It is only for two weeks, January 31st-February 11th. Monday-Friday evenings 5:45pm-9pm, Saturdays 10am-2pm and 2:30pm-4:30pm, Sundays 1:30pm-4:30pm and 6pm-9pm

 

Apply at www.phonathon.com

You need this code: BU15S

 

My opinion: Try it, your student loans aren’t going to pay themselves.

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We’re back!

The holiday season is officially behind us and all the students have returned to campus for the spring semester.  The Bluffton Connection staff is hard at work producing new content for the site.  Please bear with us this first week or so as we get back into the swing of things.

Show hosts and DJ’s wanted

Bluffton University students,

If any of you are interested in hosting a radio show of any kind shoot me an e-mail: moodsa@bluffton.edu.

Possible show types:

  • advice
  • music
  • literary
  • poetic
  • political
  • short shows
  • talk
  • weather updates

Suggestions are welcome. Come and try out your radio skills with 96.1 WBWH FM.

Looking forward to your e-mails,

Daila Moore

See you in the spring semester!

Bluffton student body, faculty/ staff, community members and anyone else who might be reading this:

On behalf of the Bluffton Connection staff I would like to thank you all for your support in what has been an interesting rebuilding period for us. Due to final exams the week of Dec. 8-12 and Christmas break after that, there will be no new content posted until we return to school in the new year. Please check back with us on Jan. 5, 2015 when we will begin our spring semester.

Facing our fears for Spiritual Life Week

The overall winners of the Fear Factor event: Josh Burkholder, Alicia Rodriguez, Aimee Lugibihl, Katey Ebaugh, and Tobin Eicher

The winning team of the Fear Factor event: Josh Burkholder, Alicia Rodriguez, Aimee Lugibihl, Katey Ebaugh, and Tobin Eicher

Sometimes, being a follower of Christ means doing stuff we really don’t want to do. Sometimes, we have to take a leap of faith and pray that everything will be ok in the end. And sometimes, we have to transfer wet dog food from one bowl to another using only our mouth to carry it.

That’s what participants in Spiritual Life Week’s Fear Factor event last Monday did. Founders Gym turned into a game arena as teams of four or five were pushed to their limits in food-related challenges. One student from each group competed at a time, attempting to beat the clock and the other groups.

Pig’s feet, dog food, spam, and sardines were among the foods consumed during the various challenges. While a few got sick, most contestants kept the food down and walked away from challenges smiling and laughing.

After each fear factor challenge, members of the spiritual life week planning committee asked students to come up with an analogy pertaining to the previous food item consumed and relate it to the theme for the week, No Fear in Love. It’s based off of 1 John 4:18, as were the rest of the week’s activities.

The highlight of the week was a free concert by Christian rapper “KJ-52” (pronounced kay jay five two), and Florida native Jonah Sorrentino on November 20th.

Guns near Bluffton Schools

by: Lucas Augustine

On April 20 1999, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris walked into their high school in Columbine, Colorado and shot twelve students and one teacher. Since then, school shootings have become a great concern for many Americans.

In the village of Bluffton, Ohio many of the university students are unaware that there is a gun store not too far from campus. Riley Creek Mercantile is a store that is one mile from the university’s campus, half a mile from the Bluffton high school and on the same street as the Bluffton elementary school.

Mercantile’s inventory has an assortment of firearms, from pistols to rifles and shotguns. The highest caliber ammo that is sold there is a “thirty ot six”. The “thirty ot six,” which is designed for rifles, hits targets up to one thousand yards away.

The price range of the firearms at The Riley Creek Mercantile ranges from $150 to $2000. In order to purchase a shotgun the customer needs to be at least eighteen years of age. While the age requirement to buy a pistol is twenty-two, as long as the person is able to pass a background check, eighteen is an acceptable age.

According to the sales associate at the store, a background check only takes about five minutes to complete. After the background check is complete and the customer is deemed “clean,” the customer is able to buy whatever gun they desire and in this case, walk outside and be standing on the same road as an elementary school, half a mile from a high school and only a mile from a college campus.

Owning a firearm is a right granted to us by the constitution, but should a store be able to sell firearms so close to schools? What about our “Mennonite” school and the Mennonite beliefs of nonviolence? These questions are for you to think about.