Hacks with Friends 2017

The 2017 Hacks with Friends event was a great success! Nearly 80 IT professionals from across Michigan IT gathered at the Ross School of Business to create 11 amazing hacks. The teams were diverse with skill sets from across the entire IT career spectrum, including developers, web designers, data analysts, user experience experts, and business analysts—just to name a few. Each hack/project was built from scratch to completion during the two-day event, March 2-3, and presented for final judging on Friday afternoon.

See the Submitted Pitches


Award Presentation

Winning Hack


  • Robin Welshans, ITS IQ
  • Swetha Kulkarni, ITS EAS
  • Levi Powis, CAEN CEE
  • Jamie Estill, HITS RAAC
  • Emily Springfield, Dentistry

Runners Up

Bicentennial Camera: Recreate and Make U-M History

  • Nabeela Jaffer, Library Information Technology (LIT) Digital Library Applications
  • Roger Espinosa, LIT Digital Library Applications
  • Gordon Leacock, LIT Digital Library Applications
  • Husnu Kaplan, HITS
  • Trevor Dobias, LIT Design & Discovery
  • Ben Howell, LIT Design & Discovery
  • Jon Earley, LIT Design & Discovery
  • Heidi Burkhardt, LIT Design & Discovery

Crowdfunding DIY Give.to

  • Chris Kretler, ITS Teaching & Learning
  • Chris Rowland, ITS IQ
  • Willy Wangsa, Dental Informatics
  • Peggy Lai, ITS IQ
  • Luke Palnau, Office of University Development (OUD)

Grade Export File Formatter (G.E.F.F.)

  • Britain Woodman, ITS Teaching & Learning
  • Jenny Balaze, ITS IQ
  • John Gallias, LSA IT
  • Breanna Hamm, U-M Library
  • John Hufnagel, CAEN
  • Drew Montag, HITS Research Engagement
  • Diana Perpich, U-M Library
  • Has Razali, Medical School Space Management

Event Photos

Hack Themes

Pitches for the 2017 Hacks with Friends event had to relate to one of seven pre-selected hack themes. Six came from President Schlissel's Areas of Focus for the university. The seventh tied directly to IT service delivery. These themes provided an array of possibilities where information technology could make an impact.

  • Academic Innovation — where creativity, comprehensive excellence and our aspirations for societal impact all come together at the University of Michigan.
  • Biosciences — strategies that will propel Michigan to the forefront in critical areas of life science research by optimally leveraging our comprehensive excellence.
  • Campus Climate — help to provide the safest possible environment for students at the University of Michigan, and address and prevent sexual misconduct is a vital part of this commitment, and of our work together.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion — to ensure that each member of our community has full opportunity to thrive in our environment, for we believe that diversity is key to individual flourishing, educational excellence and the advancement of knowledge.
  • Environment and Sustainability — address the issue of sustainability from a very broad base of research and education perspectives, as well as through the actions we take as a community of more than 80,000 individuals.
  • Poverty Solutions — to inform, seek out, and test new strategies for preventing and alleviating poverty.
  • Improving IT Service Delivery — to eliminate waste in IT development & delivery.


  • Kelli Trosvig, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
  • Barry Fishman, Ph.D., Arthur F Thurnau Professor, Professor of Education, and Professor of Information
  • Andrew Rosenberg, M.D., Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Interim Chief Medical Information Officer

Planning Team

  • Mark Personett, ITS
  • Nancy Herlocher, LSA
  • Kerry Flynn, Ross IT
  • Christopher Visel, Ross IT
  • Gretchen Kopmanis, LSA
  • Mandie Chapman, ITS
  • Steven Summers, UMHS
  • Dan Burgess, ITS
  • Carrie Shumaker, DBN ITS
  • Joel Iverson, ITS
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