IT Students Create Innovative, Custom Apps for Clients Inside and Outside UC

UC's Information Technology Solutions Center gives students real-world experience developing state-of-the-art mobile and web applications.

One owns a remodeling company. The other owns a couple sports bars with his brothers. But Keith Kelsey and Mike Westerbeck had a technology vision that needed help getting off the ground. Avid hunters, they envisioned a customized app for hunting enthusiasts, superior to ones already on the market, which neither of them liked.

Kelsey and Westerbeck consulted with a web-developer friend about the idea, but decided they wanted a fresh approach that wouldn’t break the bank. So Kelsey contacted his friend, Vali Tadayon, UC School of Information Technology professor, who thought the app might be a good project for the school’s newly established Information Technology Solutions Center (ITSC).

The mobile app, “ConnectedAfield,” took five months to develop, and a second phase of the project adapted it for Android devices. The free app, with an advertising-based business model, is geared toward hunters and fishermen. Like seven apps rolled into one, ConnectedAfield features weather, mapping, social media, a moon-phase display, a journal, radar, and classifieds. Because Kelsey and Westerbeck have a bottomless pit of ideas for the app, they’re hoping to take the project into a third phase of development. And the lifelong friends couldn’t be happier.

“We have a team here at UC we never could have imagined putting together,” says Kelsey. “The UC ITSC’s state-of-the-art technology and smart, driven students have been fantastic. We’re super happy about the way they’ve handled things. We wouldn’t have been able to do this if we hadn’t gotten connected to UC.”

Two other projects produced by the IT Solutions Center have also received high praise. Pickthedraft.com is an entertainment sports website that specializes in the NFL and NFL Draft information. The site enables members to interact with sports experts and challenges their knowledge of the NFL draft. EPICS is a website built for the School of Criminal Justice that creates an action plan addressing criminal thought behaviors of high-risk offenders. The site makes it easy for state agencies and UC researchers to share and analyze data.

The Information Technology Solutions Center pairs student co-ops with faculty to create innovative technology solutions for clients inside and outside the University. The students receive hands-on experience that helps them develop technical and non-technical IT skills. Clients receive state-of-the-art applications at an affordable price. Services include:

  • Mobile App Development
  • Web Development 
  • Database Development
  • Software Testing
  • Cybersecurity Analysis

For more information about the School of Information Technology (SoIT) or how to engage the ITSC, visit the SoIT website or contact Tiffany Bricking at 513-556-5012 or brickitl@ucmail.uc.edu.