2015 Finalists

Congratulations to UMass Lowell's 2015 DifferenceMaker Idea Challenge Winners! Challenge categories and winners are as follows:

Campus-Wide DifferenceMaker

A walker that utilizes hydraulics, allowing for the legs to be quickly adjusted, so that it can be used on stairs.
  • Ryan Andrews, Graduate, Physical Therapy
  • Peter Klausmeyer, Graduate, Physical Therapy

Significant Social Impact

1st Place - $4,000
Love of the Game
A community outreach program aiming to integrate universities and people with physical and cognitive disabilities through sports. 
  • Jessica Dion, Junior, Exercise Physiology
  • Dylan Doucette, Junior, Exercise Physiology 
  • Lucas Parsons, Junior, Exercise Physiology
  • Jennie Pisarik, Junior, Exercise Physiology 
  • Rachel Silk, Junior, Business, Marketing
  • Daniel Schmith, Freshman, Business, Entrepreneurship
2nd Place - $2,500
Buddies without Borders
A project aimed to bridge the gap between domestic students and international students starting with an in-person pair up then followed by a comprehensive website that allows members to define their profiles and micro-blog by text, photo, and video sharing.
  • Tugba Arsava, Graduate, Community Social Psychology
  • Burhan Colak, Graduate, Civil Engineering
  • Katherine Cox, Freshman, Psychology
  • Madeline Ormazza, Sophomore, Business
  • Shashank Raghuveer, Graduate, Computer Science
  • Fang Zhang, Graduate, Chemistry

Contribution to a Healthier Lifestyle

1st Place - $4,000
Playable Therapy
A platform of exercises and games, that, with Microsoft Kinect, will allow for motion tracking of a physical therapy (PT) patient during their exercise routine at home.
  • Suhaib Alfageeh, Junior, Computer Science
  • Lucas Brown, Junior, English and Math
  • Chelsea Hayes, Junior, Business
  • Damir Ismagilove, Junior, Math
  • Anthony Pitaro, Senior, Exercise Physiology
  • Mark Mcgrotty, Junior, Computer Science
2nd Place - $2,500
Solar Electric Vehicles
A series of low speed and high efficiency commuter vehicles that utilize hub motor technology to allow people to travel using purely the energy of the sun.
  • Chukwuma Azubuine, Graduate, Entrepreneurship
  • Richard Asirifi, Junior, Electrical Engineering
  • Anas Dahany, Senior, Electrical Engineering
  • David Jenkins, Senior, Mechanical Engineering
  • Oliver Kayego, Sophomore, Electrical Engineering
  • Chris Leger, Senior, Electrical Engineering
  • Jared Mrvos, Sophomore, Computer Engineering
  • Charles Reid, Senior, Mechanical Engineering
  • Kenneth Sanders, Freshman, Computer Science
  • Mukhammaddin Zinaddinov, Freshman, Electrical Engineering

Innovative Technology Solution

1st Place - $4,000
Masela Dentures
A fully 3D printable denture system as an alternative solution to expensive dentures manufactured using traditional casting and milling methods.
  • Cormac Hondros-McCarthy, Senior, Plastics Engineering
  • Casey McRae, Senior, Plastics Engineering
2nd Place - $2,500
KEnDERS Athletic Body Armor
A novel design for sports equipment using shear-thickening fluids.
  • Elizabeth Kender, Junior Plastics Engineering
  • Laura Kender, Junior, Plastics Engineering
  • Stephen Kender, Freshman, Mechanical Engineering

First to Market

1st Place - $4,000
A wearable device connected via Bluetooth technology to a mobile phone, that, when activated, sends emergency alert signals to a list of emergency contacts.
  • Alessandro Agnello, PhD, Computer Science
  • Cibhi SelVen, Graduate, MBA
2nd Place - $2,500
An interactive toy designed to help children build the foundations of reading at an early age.
  • Sergio Coronado, Junior, Computer Engineering
  • Ian Copithorne, Junior, Computer Engineering

Honorable Mention - $1,500

Low-Income Community Homework Center
A homework center opened in Lawrence, MA to help high school students graduate and move onto college.
  • Arnaldo Rivera, Senior, Psychology
  • Hector Rivera, Senior, Psychology

Fan Favorite - $2,500

Indoor Hydroponic System
A hydroponic garden that is equipped with an environmental monitoring system that ensures optimal growing conditions for plants and requires little to no maintenance. 
  • Rapheeporn Aungaphinant, Graduate, MBA
  • Katherine Cain, Graduate, MBA
  • Tucker Holladay, Graduate, MBA
  • Shu-Wei Hsu, Graduate, MBA
  • Alima Shamuratova, Graduate, MBA