Augustana Recognized as 2021 Call for Code University Engagement Award Winner

By Jill Wilson | November 15, 2021
Call for Code Challenge

Pictured: Augustana Call for Code Participants Yeabsira Lemma ‘21, Gideon Kassa ‘21 and Fraol Dechasa ‘22 


Announced today, Augustana is proud to have been recognized with the 2021 Call for Code University Engagement Award. The award recognizes organizations that have exhibited a deep commitment to Call for Code, which “invites developers and problem solvers around the world to build and contribute to sustainable, open source technology projects that address social and humanitarian issues, while ensuring the top solutions are deployed to make a demonstrable difference.”

“The Call for Code Global Initiative and 2021 Call for Code Global Challenge align perfectly with Augustana’s mission, values and enduring commitment to provide students with high-impact experiential learning,” said Augustana President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin.

“Augustana’s participants in the Global Challenge had the opportunity to engage their liberal arts education and faculty mentors to identify a critical global need and develop a viable solution while utilizing IBM’s cutting-edge technology. Both the learning and connections made are invaluable.”

This year, Herseth Sandlin joined a group of academic leaders, distinguished advisors and seasoned scholars, serving as a judge for the Call for Code University Challenge. Dr. David O’Hara, Augustana professor of environmental studies and director of sustainability, joined six other world-class environmentalists, organization executives and industry pioneers on the 2021 “Expert” judging panel. These two groups, as well as another panel of “Eminent” judges, evaluated submissions and selected the top tech solutions for deployment. Assistant Professor of Business Dr. Matthew Willard also provided mentorship to Augustana students during the Global Challenge. Two teams, consisting mostly of Augustana students, answered the Call for Code this year; one named a global finalist for the 2021 Call for Code University Challenge.

“New to Call for Code in 2021, Augustana is a great example of how a university can lean into the program immediately, through both promotion of student engagement and support at the institutional level. Led by President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Augustana faculty played an active role not only for Augie students, but all participants of the Global Challenge,” said Call for Code Director Ruth O. Davis when notifying Augustana and Herseth Sandlin of the award. 

“Your support in 2021 has been integral to the success and impact of Call for Code. We are looking forward to what we can do together in 2022.”

Augustana’s involvement with Call for Code began with a long-standing relationship with alumnus Dennis Bly ‘94, Call for Code University Challenge leader & global offering manager for academic developers at IBM. Bly, who lives in Atlanta, Georgia, is from Stewartville, Minnesota, and now serves on the university’s Board of Trustees.

“We are grateful to Dennis Bly for inviting the university to be part of this meaningful endeavor, and we look forward to deepening our involvement in the years to come,” said Herseth Sandlin. 

Herseth Sandlin will accept the award on behalf of Augustana University during a ceremony that will be livestreamed from New York City on Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 6:30 p.m. CST.

President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin on Call for Code Awards Show

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