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  • BWgrouppic
    Apr 27 2016

    Black Excellence at its Finest: Nubian Message Seniors

    Jillian Smith, communication- media

    How are you an illustration of black excellence?

    I am an illustration of black excellence because I strive to educate and connect with people everyday in the best way I know how to: by writing.. I am so proud of the work the Nubian has done this year. I think we have facilitated some important discussions and gotten people engaged in reading.

    Any parting words for the black community and/or NC State?

    Keep reading, keep educating yourself and keep educating others around you. Action won’t come without organization. Organization won’t come without education.

    Chauncey Bowden, philosophy of law

    How has working for the Nubian Message helped you?

    Honestly, being around all of the staff has been the most enriching; we really are a family.

    Any parting words for the black community and/or NC State?

    I’m technically a part of the class 2016 and half, so you have me for one semester. But to the black community at State, your presence here matters, and always remember that you are a force to be reckoned with.

    Benyame Assefa, English- film studies

    How has working for the Nubian Message helped you? The Nubian Message gave me the one thing I never really found since transferring to NC State; a place that felt like home. It’s truly been a blessing to meet such amazingly different individuals.

    Any parting words for the black community and/or NC State?

    Worry less about the Talley Party or the next greek function and make it to a town hall meeting.

    Nyna Nickelson, English- creative writing

    How are you an illustration of black excellence?

    I think I illustrate black excellence by focusing on the strength of my ancestors and using it to fuel me to do and be better.

    Any parting words for the black community and/or NC State?

    It’s never too late to get involved! Also hit up the African American Cultural Center! It’s a great place and is full of wonderful people who love and cherish our community.

    Threa Almontaser, English- creative writing

    How are you an illustration of black excellence?

    Because I don’t allow myself to be undermined by others.

    Any parting words for the black community and/or NC State?

    Get involved! Start a new project, meet others in your community who share the same beliefs.

    Chris Hart-Williams, political science

    How are you an illustration of black excellence?

    By being my best self in this world despite any and all challenges.I’d like to note that black excellence is not limited to degree earners.

    Any parting words for the black community and/or NC State?

    I promise if you get involved in some meaningful way and get to know your peers you can’t go wrong. Also surround yourself with goal seekers, their energy is contagious, those days when things aren’t going your way their company will motivate you.

    QuiAnne’ Holmes, psychology & foreign languages and literatures

    Why are you an illustration of black excellence? Wow, I never thought of myself as black excellence. However, I believe I am an illustration of black excellence because I continue to stride for the doors that need someone to open them.

    Any parting words for the Black Community and/or NC State? For the black community, I hope that you know that your voice is only as strong as the silence that still lingers. Therefore everyone needs to use their voice and their light! Most of all thank you for helping me be proud to be who I am in my own skin.

    Apr 27 2016

    AASAC Elects New E-board, Plans for Next Year

    Keilah Davis | Correspondent

    The Afrikan American Student Advisory Council (AASAC) serves as the umbrella organization for African American student organizations and as a liaison to university administration. Johnia Murray a sophomore studying psychology has been elected to be the 2016-2017 chair, with Bria Swann, a junior studying nutrition science as the AASAC vice chair elect.

    AASAC also focuses on the academic, professional, and leadership development of student leaders. This year, AASAC tackled various issues, including mental health. They brought in representatives from Student Health Services and each of the AASAC organizations were trained in suicide prevention.

    Breanna Powell, a senior studying social work and the current AASAC chair, said, “We wanted to put a focus on mental health and I do think we accomplished that goal.”

    Additionally, AASAC has class representatives who work closely with the executive board as liaisons for their respective classes. This year, class representatives were much more involved and had more defined roles than previous years.

    “The class representatives actually got to see what it’s like to be on the [executive] board,” said Swann.

    While the organization has improved in many areas, current leaders still faced some challenges. AASAC lost its advisor at the beginning of the academic year. Additionally, Powell noticed that significant apathy restricted AASAC’s effectiveness. “You can’t receive support from people that feel apathetic towards [our] purpose,” said Murray.

    Murray and Swann have big goals for AASAC next year. They hope to create a culture that promotes a collective “give-and-take” relationship between AASAC and its member organizations. “AASAC serves a great purpose here on campus. The fact that many [organization] leaders don’t see that [purpose] any more is very problematic,” said Powell.

    The new AASAC executive board would also like to encourage more collaboration among their organizations beyond the usual fraternity and sorority partnerships.

    Their final major goal for next year is an increased campus presence. Both Murray and Swann want to see AASAC reaching its full potential.

    “All organizations need to be ready to be fully engaged this upcoming year,” said Swann. “We’re going to work really hard to bring back the full purpose of AASAC.”

  • BWsharefish
    Apr 27 2016

    New Sharefish App Helps You Plan a Night Out

    Threa Almontaser | Staff Writer

    NC State now has an app that lets users plan their entire night out before the night even begins.

    Through Sharefish, a subscribed user is able to have all the bar specials displayed, über integration, as well as the male to female ratio and the number of people in the bar at that time. This can help each person find the right scene that suits them for the night, along with the lowest prices available, age demographics, and news feed.

    The Apple app came to life after one average day where Stevie Thompson Jr., a junior studying business administration, called Paul “Traemani” Hawkins, a sophomore studying engineering, and told him that he had a new opportunity for an app to work on. They had worked on two different apps in the past, so this was not unusual. He then told Hawkins that the idea was Sharefish, and that it wasn’t exactly his idea. Hawkins met with Oliver Walsh for an interview which started the development of the app.

    Thompson Jr.  says, “We all have a strong passion for entrepreneurship and creating new and innovative technology and we are willing to do anything it takes to take ShareFish to the top! Our ultimate goal is to bring people together and to improve the way you can plan your night.”

    Currently, the founders of this app, which include Thompson Jr., Hawkins and Oliver Walsh a junior studying electrical engineering, Bryan Patrick Rishe a junior studying computer engineering, John Malatras, a sophomore studying electrical engineering, and  have 1000 users and around 20 bars in Raleigh. It continues to grow each day.

    Sharefish will soon evolve with new updates that will include features such as “fishbowls.” These fishbowls will enable people to add their own parties into the app. From there, it’s as easy as inviting people into your gathering, or fishbowl among other things. These updates are currently in the works and will be released throughout the summer. There is also an android version that they plan to release in the future.

    The group’s biggest difficulty has been finding ways to fund themselves so that they can keep the equity in house. Thankfully, Walsh and his parents, along with a few grants, have been able to fund them thus far, until they can start up a constant revenue. They are currently figuring out a way to enable themselves to work full time on Sharefish this summer “in order to continue developing it into something amazing,” says Hawkins.

    Find out more at

  • Yaheard logo
    Apr 27 2016

    New App Made by NC State Engineers Allows Students to Debate and Rate

    Jillian Smith | Editor-in-Chief

    Everyone likes to argue. Whether it’s about which colors a dress is or which candidate should be president, young people, especially on a college campus, love debates.

    Now, there’s an app that you can use to bring your debate to a wider audience. Yaheard is a competitive arguing app designed by five NC State students that allows other users to rate the argument and determine a winner.

    “You basically make a statement, people can agree or disagree, and also they have the option to argue with you,” said Robert Dates, a 2015 NC State graduate now and a CEO/developer of Yaheard, LLC. “That is a one-on-one argument that’s displayed to everyone, but no one knows who the opposing person in the argument is until it’s finished,”

    In this sense, the app allows for a level of anonymity until the argument is actually over. “That reveal, when you figure out who you’re arguing with,” is Dates’ favorite part of the app, he said.

    “Early on it was just us five on the app so you knew, but now as the app is growing you just don’t know who you’re arguing with so it’s interesting,” said Dates.

    The idea for the app came from CEO and developer Josh Puente, a senior studying electrical engineering. While watching the ESPN show First Take, a show where hosts debate issues in sports, Puente got the idea to bring arguments like these to your cell phone.

    “He drew out everything and called us all together one night and we all met up. He told us the idea and we all thought it was genius so we just ran with it,” said Marcus Spruill, director of communications, software consultant and a senior studying business administration.

    Spruill, along with CMO DomiNick Downing, a junior studying social work handle the promotional and marketing side of the app’s business. They can often be spotted on campus, handing out fliers, hanging signs and talking to people about the features of the app.

    “When you say it’s an app and when you say it was created by a couple of NC State students, they want to know more about it,” Spruill said.

    Creating this app was no short process, taking about 15 months from start to finish according to Dates. They were working on this venture in the midst of school, internships and full-time jobs, so the process was somewhat lengthened by that. The other issue that slowed them down was code bugs.

    “When you’re writing the code you think it’s going to run perfect and then, no, you just encounter these major obstacles, these bugs and you don’t know what it is and then you have to start the whole process of debugging,” said Dates.

    The guys also had to go through the process of becoming an LLC, a limited liability corporation.  They had to submit legal documents and become a legitimate business before they could register their app with the Apple store. “It got rejected, what, three times?” Spruill said. “But we just kept at it,” Dates finished.

    After making a series of changes, the app was finally accepted. They have even put out an update, Yaheard 2.2, with even more new improvements.

    Since its March 8 release, the app has garnered 1,600 downloads and about 1,300 active users, according to Jeremiah Ufot, software engineer and a senior studying agricultural and environmental technology.

    No one knows how far the app will go, but this group of guys illustrate the amazing potential of the NC State community.