2017 Hacks with Friends

Get Ready for Hacks with Friends - March 1-2, 2018

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.

Welcome message at the opening of the event - by Kelli Trosvig

Hacks with Friends group photo

And, the Winner is...

Award presentation


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

Runners Up (in random order)

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, UM Library
  • John Hufnagel, CAEN
  • Drew Montag, HITS - Research Engagement
  • Diana Perpich, UM Library
  • Has Razali, Medical School Space Management

2017 Hacks with Friends Event Photos

2017 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. More information
  • Biosciences - strategies that will propel Michigan to the forefront in critical areas of life science research by optimally leveraging our comprehensive excellence. More information
  • 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. More information
  • 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. More information
  • 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. More information
  • Poverty Solutions - to inform, seek out, and test new strategies for preventing and alleviating poverty. More information
  • Improving IT Service Delivery - to eliminate waste in IT development & delivery.

2017 Hacks with Friends Judges

  • 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

The Evolution of Hacks with Friends

Hacks with Friends is not a new idea. It is an evolution of an idea that began in 2013 with "MSIS Hack Day." The energy created from having a hack event for campus IT professionals grew. In the spring of 2015 an expanded Hacks with Friends event was tested. Participants from ITS, MCIT, and the School Dentistry joined in the fun. The success of that event paved the way for the Office of the CIO to open the invitation to the entire Michigan IT community and begin sponsoring Hack with Friends on an annual basis.

Visit our archive of hack events below for a look at how it all started and to get an idea of what to expect.

Hacks with Friends 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

Create • Build relationships • Share your talents • Have fun