School update! What is she up to?

Well, we're about a 1/4 of the way through the semester, and I've gotten myself involved in a couple really cool projects. While I can't say a *ton* about my projects, I can give a broad overview of what I'm doing. 

Community Diagnostics for Chicago Community Trust and Gary Comer Youth Center

Our class was broken into different sections to cover different components of a very complicated solution focused on identifying metrics of healthy and declining communities. How can we identify components of failing communities and introduce interventions to create more self-sustaining and vibrant communities?

Our team of 4 within the class is focused on predictive analytics modeling.. which is an insanely new area of work for me! It's scary and new and very exciting. The first thing on my mental list is to reach out to someone with a background like this.

Digital Service for Hospital Patients

I'm working on a project taking us to one of the leading hospitals for the type of disease they treat to develop a digital service to create additional forms of communication and information for patients. I'm really not sure what I can say about this publicly, but I will at least say that it's an amazing feeling working on a project where you get to talk to the people affected by your design. It is awesome knowing you're working on a project that helps other people in a very deep, meaningful way.

Digital Service Design Workshop

I'm learning to code! Last week, we covered HTML and CSS. I already knew a bit from a past class on the topic, but this time, we're using this information to mock up an app. 

First week: Create a Wireframe and prototype
See a working prototype:

Second week: Check out this digital business card I made! (I'm very excited about this!)
Working prototype:

More to come...! This class really challenging, but in a healthy "bring-it-on" sort of way. Today I know a little more than I did yesterday, and tomorrow I'll know a little more than today!

ComEd Student Innovation Challenge

This is pretty exciting: I was chosen as a top finalist in the competition! I'm working right now to create a presentation for October 23rd in front of a panel of judges including judges include Karen Weigert, chief sustainability officer, City of Chicago; Andrea Zopp, president and CEO, Chicago Urban League; Jason Blumberg, CEO and managing director, Energy Foundry; and Emile Cambry, CEO, Blue 1647. No pressure, Noonan! More info here:

Any advice about a business plan? That's what I'm working on making right now! I'm really humbled to be included in the top 5. Wish me luck!

Other stuff

I'm working on a side project with a professor helping an architecture firm in Michigan with some consultancy work. It's cool to get the real-world experience, but it's been a little stressful because the professor is really busy and my schedule is getting pretty packed as well these days. Regardless, the project should be finished soon, and I'll have additional experience under my belt!

I'm also working on BarnRaise! One thing I've learned is that to be the leader, it often means jumping down with the team and getting the work done. Having a good attitude and willingness to answer literally hundreds of emails are also important skills. Co-chairing this event was definitely more work than I anticipated, but Shanti and I are so incredibly lucky to have equally dedicated core team members manning different areas of the event. We couldn't have done this without them... and I'm not just saying that. Any company would be lucky to have Anita Lee, Gaurav Bradoo, Shanti Mathew, and Bryan Spence working with them. 

I'm also getting ready for my trip to India next semester... shots, visa, etc. I was selected to join a group going to work for Godrej for several weeks. 

Cheers world! Take on the new day with a new challenge that inspires you...and scares you a little too ;)