Author: Kayla Dungee

First Spark! Equity Innovation Fellowship Recipient Ready to Change the World

Words hold power and weight – disproportionately impacting Black, Indigenous, and people of color. “People claim that words don’t matter, yet they literally affect the way people are treated,” said Spark! Fellow Shateva Long. “Racial bias is found all throughout medical textbooks and it is negatively affecting the lives of women of color, especially Black […]

Coded Bias Film Reveals the Faults in Our Technology

If artificial intelligence is the future, why does AI seemingly fall short when it comes to biases embedded in its algorithms?  Coded Bias’ Director Shalini Kantayya took to the Spark! virtual stage this month to explore this question and more during a Q&A following the exclusive screening of her documentary that premiered at Sundance Film […]

A Look Back at NextTech 2020

Looking back on 2020 and how the Spark! community rallied together, one of the highlights is easily NextTech. The two-day event allowed our student innovators and technology’s most influential leaders to come together and explore how emerging technologies can help solve real-world problems.  Whether it was through panel discussions, mini-workshops, or the networking opportunities, students […]

Fall Demo Day 2020

In a whirlwind of a year that could’ve gotten to the best of us, Demo Day was a reminder that the Spark! community is just as resilient as ever. Every one of the participants demonstrated perseverance in the face of adversity. How else do you explain how they spent an entire semester developing fully functioning […]

Change – Nobody is Immune to it, Not Even Spark! Projects

2020 magnified several faults in our system that have existed for ages — xenophobia, racism, classism, among countless other defects. A single hackathon paved the way to addressing those issues head on.  Spark!’s Resiliency Challenge allowed students, mentors, partners and alike from around the globe to develop innovation which addresses challenges associated with COVID-19. Project […]

Got the COVID-19 Blues? This App Is a Refuge

A rescinded job offer, graduation plans cancelled and little to zero social contact – can leave even the most positive people – at a loss. This was the case for computer science graduate student and Spark! software engineering TA, Asad Malik.  “What I noticed was that a lot of my friends were going through similar […]

The Road to a Perfect Cup of Coffee Needs a Little Tech Behind It

Growing up with a Greek grandfather means two things – never complaining about being hungry when you have an entire Mediterranean spread to eat, and obsessively drinking coffee with almost every meal. At least, that was the case with Zach Halvorson.  Flashback to his high school days, and he was supplementing pre-workout with extra strength […]