Morgan Scholars Place Among Competition’s Top Three for a Second Consecutive Year
Some of Morgan State University’s best and brightest returned to Baltimore from Austin, Texas, this past Saturday with a $15,000 check, after placing second in the Second Annual HBCU Battle of the Brains. Teams from 25 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) participated in the competition, which aims to encourage undergraduate and graduate business and STEM students attending HBCUs to develop solutions and new tools to push the boundaries of existing technology. Florida A&M University took first place honors and Grambling State University came in third. At the inaugural HBCU Battle of the Brains, Morgan’s team placed third.
During this year’s competition, the teams engaged in research and innovation at the intersection of technology, business and entertainment. They presented their projects to a panel of industry-leading judges, including employees of one of the top tech companies in the world, Amazon. The Home Depot was the title sponsor of the event.
Morgan’s HBCU Battle of the Brains team consisted of Osaretin Aimufua (biology major), Kurt Kennedy (physics major), Eduardo Lopez (industrial engineering major), Allison Murdock (business administration major), Nkeiruka Okororie (finance major), Ibunkun Oladunjoye (computer science major) and Nile Walker (biology major). The University’s special advisor for student leadership and scholar development, Dr. OluwaTosin Adegbola, coached the team.
The opportunity to compete was already a win, but before the competition, the students were required to submit their resumes, which were circulated among the HBCU Battle of the Brains sponsors and several firms participating in the SXSW events. As a result, upon their arrival, Morgan’s competitors were greeted with some great news that boosted the team’s confidence: team member Ibunkun Oladunjoye, a junior computer science major, had been contacted for an interview by one of the featured tech firms.
The MSU team’s ability to immerse themselves in the possibilities and growing trends of virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR) captured the eyes of many judges and opposing teams, as did their creativity and teamwork despite not knowing one another prior to the competition. Even their uniformity in appearance impressed onlookers, prompting event organizers to want to share in the Morgan style at future competitions.
In addition to earning the second place prize purse of $15,000 for their university, each MSU student on the team also received complimentary round-trip airline tickets from Southwest Airlines to fly to any destination serviced by Southwest, and a new Intel® NUC compliments of Intel.
Although our team placed second, Morgan State University was indeed a winner, as our students had an opportunity to present first-rate technological research at center stage, spotlighting the value of diversity and inclusion in the world of tech.
Congratulations Bears for being great representatives for the University and showing everyone why Morgan is growing the future and leading the world!