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Business Students Capture Third Prize in Software AG's First International Student Idea Contest

Gabrielle Halle Gibson and Stanislav Starovoytov are part of the SBA team that captured third place in Software AG's student idea contest. Team member Michele Hanley is not pictured.

Three Widener University students enrolled in the School of Business Administration teamed up for the first international student idea contest hosted by Software AG's University Relations department. Their idea to use Software AG's Presto to enhance athletic performance earned them third place in the international competition, tied with a team from the University of California–Berkeley, and a trip to New Orleans to present their idea at Software AG's Innovation World 2014 conference held October 13-15.

The winning Widener team includes Gabrielle Halle Gibson, a rising junior business informatics major from Philadelphia; Michele Hanley, a rising junior business informatics major from Vineland, N.J.; and Stanislav Starovoytov, a master's student in the Business Process Innovation Program from Glenside, Pa. They were mentored by Dr. Yvonne Antonucci, professor of management.

Leading up to their October presentation at the Innovation World event, the Widener team will continue to flesh out the idea to use Software AG's Presto, a real-time data visualization and exploration tool, to predict an athlete's performance, whether in a track and field event or on the basketball court, after analyzing data about the athlete and his or her competitors. Imported data sets may include past performances, training regimens and body composition, among others.

"As a member of the Widener Track & Field Team, I was naturally drawn to an idea that would mix sports with technology," said Starovoytov. "While we cannot account for an athlete's character, we can input other attributes that can help predict outcomes and perhaps show coaches where adjustments need to be made to increase an athlete's chance for success."

Antonucci said that she hopes this extracurricular project helped the students realize that what they learn in the classroom has real-world applications. "Companies are constantly envisioning how their products can be used in new ways in a business environment," she said. "This project helped the students realize the importance of their classroom learning and the degree they will earn. I think they will further see the relevance of their work when they come face-to-face with many of these companies in October."

Widener University is a metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degrees. The university's campuses in Chester, Exton and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve more than 6,300 students. Widener is proud to be a tobacco-free campus. Visit the university's website, www.widener.edu.