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Doppelganger, DIY app among those created by Drake students

To a room of classmates, professors and members of the Des Moines tech community, 29 Drake University students Wednesday presented the apps they've spent the past semester researching and developing. "Looking back from where they started, I'm incredibly happy with the progress they made …

Bitmethod’s Dan Shipton (standing, left) offers feedback for students during Drake’s app building class.

To a room of classmates, professors and members of the Des Moines tech community, 29 Drake University students Wednesday presented the apps they’ve spent the past semester researching and developing.

“Looking back from where they started, I’m incredibly happy with the progress they made and how they figured out how to develop solutions for the problems they were confronted with,” said Amanda Morrow (right), a designer at Bitmethod and one of the instructors of the program. Drake faculty members Jeff Inman, an associate journalism professor, and Tim Urness, an associate professor, also instructed the students.

Out of the class came six Android applications, a number of which will hopefully soon be available for download.

“The goal of the semester was to publish an app,” Morrow said. “As of today, I don’t think any of them are up in the Google Play store yet, but a few of the teams are hoping to publish within the next week.”

Sarah Sager, a junior magazine journalism major with a minor in entrepreneurship, said she decided to take the class because she thought it would give her a lot of skills that were “transferable to a lot of jobs and applications.”

Sager, a member of the Glidden on the Go team, liked that the class taught students more than just how to build an app. She and her classmates also learned how to market the technology, deal with social media and web content and work on a team comprised of people from different back.

This is the second time that the university has offered the mobile app design and development course. The first was in the fall of 2011 with a group of only 18 students. Each team was comprised of students with academic backgrounds in journalism, computer science and graphic design.

Morrow said the course will be offered again in the future but that the exact semester has not been determined yet.

Learn more about the six student teams and the apps that they built this spring:

Team Think: An app for Android tablets to help students, professionals or other groups record and vote on ideas during brainstorming sessions.

Team Members: Ryan Dutoit, Kenzie Kramer, Marina Shawd and Byron Varberg

Mirror Me: A social sharing app that allows users to upload and vote on celebrity doppelgangers of their friends. 

Team Members: Clayton Brady, Ethan Clevenger, Sara Nelson, Lindsey Phelps and Bryn Start

Pocket Botanist: When a professor approached this group to help make his fieldwork more efficient, Pocket Botanist was born. The app helps botanists organize field notes, photographs and geographic coordinates in an organized, electronic entry.

Team Members: Josh Hulsey, Thomas Jurkiewicz, Matt Vogel, Ashton Weis and Adam Wood


Glidden on the Go: Incorporating the Glidden brand with do-it-yourself projects, this mobile app offers painting and design tutorials for painters of all skill levels. 

Team Members: Alex Drawbond, Annika Peick, Denzel Ray, Sarah Sager and Troy Whitmer

Baby Pack ‘n Go: A list-making app that helps parents of children under the age of two generate custom packing lists.

Team Members: Nate Allison, Phillip Beeler, Bennett Hansen, Hayley Mason and Katie Minnick

What Would: A social app that allows users to adopt celebrity personas and answer random, often ridiculous, questions posed by others. 

Team Members: McKenzie Anderson, Joe Bustamante, Ross Courtright, Steven Johnson and Megan Stein


Credits: Classroom photo courtesy of Amanda Morrow. Morrow photo from Twitter


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