College of Business

Students from CoB and SMAD Team Up to Create Systems for WBL

Creating Systems for WBL


SUMMARY: KPMG sponsors CIS 484 competition and mentors teams of CIS and SMAD students.

CIS 484 Final Presentations

Computer Information System (CIS) students are given many opportunities to work closely with large companies. One such opportunity occurs in the CIS 484: Information Systems Development and Implementation course taught by Professor Carey Cole. This semester, approximately 110 students worked on a project with a non-profit organization out of Washington, D.C., Word Beats & Life (WBL). The students also received support and mentorship from professionals from the sponsor company, KPMG and from CIS alum during the project. Additionally, this was the first semester that CIS worked with the School of Media Arts & Design (SMAD), specifically SMAD 408: Converged Media Lab taught by Professor Shelly Hokanson.

For the project, student teams were required to create computer systems from scratch. Two of the key requirements were for the project to provide a sense of community and to have functionality similar to Canvas. Most of the teams’ respective final products included such things as twitter API, a calendar for upcoming events, secure login and an eye-catching layout for multiple end-users.

Over 230 students, faculty, alumni, WBL employees, KPMG professionals, parents and friends attended the final presentation in Grafton-Stovall Theatre. At the final presentation, a panel of judges selected the best presentation/computer system. The CIS faculty judges included Art Gowan, Mike Mitri, Jeff May, Diane Lending, John Guo, Jeremy Ezell and Dmytro Babik. Nick Carrington and Kevin Denny II represented WBL. And the College of Business welcomed Renee Tran, Tom Frame and Mark Patterson, a JMU alumnus, from KPMG. 

Students presenting not only did a great job presenting their systems and answering questions, but they also kept the audience attentive and intrigued by creating an interactive, two-sided environment. The winning team, which was comprised of Laura Dobbs (CIS), Sierra Hahn-Ventrel (CIS), Kaitlyn Kling (SMAD), Alex Ledesma (CIS), Ryan Lee (CIS), Alejandro Quesada (CIS) and Dan Roppert (CIS) was mentored by JMU alumnus Steve Wong.

This project taught both CIS and SMAD students a multitude of lessons that otherwise may not have been experienced in the classroom. The general consensus amongst the participants was that the project was extremely challenging, but the process of completing it has taught CIS and SMAD student’s invaluable skills for the future.

Published: Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Last Updated: Thursday, January 4, 2018

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