Northwestern University’s Division of Student Affairs was recently awarded the 2016 NASPA Technology Knowledge Community (TKC) Emerging Practice award for their development of the NUhelp app. This app, released on September 9, 2015, seeks to enhance student mobile access to safety resources, health and wellness information, and features “SafeWalk,” a virtual walking buddy able to provide emergency GPS information to police. Beginning as a project to address concern for student safety and wellness, the development team began creating a custom application when no existing apps or online solutions fully fit the needs of the Northwestern community. This app is now available on both iOS and Android.
The NUhelp App has been well-received by students and will continue to be advertised to upper-classmen students, graduate students, faculty, staff and parents throughout the coming months. Currently, the app is used about 100 times a day and has earned favorable feedback from the student population for the development of this tool.
The development team consisted of members from both the Dean of Students’ Office and Student Affairs IT including Anthony Kirchmeier (Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Off-Campus Student Life), Christopher Walker, (Web Application Software Development Lead, Student Affairs IT), Hao Luo, (Senior Developer, Student Affairs IT), Todd Adams (Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students), and Jim Roberts (Senior IT Director, Student Affairs IT).
NASPA, an association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession, created the Technology Knowledge Community Emerging Practice Award in 2015 to recognize NASPA members who are creating and using technology to make real differences in their institutions. This award also focuses on recognizing strategies and programs which contribute to the greater development of technological advancement in the student affairs field. Northwestern University won the inaugural Emerging Practice award in 2015 for their development of The Mobile Student Data System by members of Student Affairs IT and the Director of Off-Campus Student Life.
To learn more about this award and the development process of Northwestern’s NUhelp app, visit the NASPA’s site.