The 24 hour Diversity Hackathon is sponsored by an interdisciplinary partnership between the College of Architecture Diversity Council; College of Education and Human Development; College of Engineering, TEES; College of Geosciences; Department of Geography; TAMU GeoInnovation Service Center; College of Architecture ITS; TAMU Libraries, GIS & Maps;  

and is open to all TAMU faculty, staff and students. 


The event is a 24 hour competition during which participants will creatively respond to Challenges presented by TAMU units (below), which pertain to the topic of Accessibility of Texas A&M campus. Participants will compete for $5,000 in prizes for best projects addressing issues and barriers students, faculty and staff face on TAMU campus in everyday life. 

The event challenges participants for creative solutions to imagine a future campus without physical, technological, digital, cultural, psychological, etc. barriersWe want to peek into the future throught the imagination and innovation of our participants. 

 Example challenge:  

As of January 25th, 2017 1502 Aggies have requested accommodations with the TAMU Disability Services. We ask you to use the skills and knowledge of your discipline to imagine a TAMU campus of the future, where accommodations are not add-ons and after-thoughts, but integral to the physical and digital fabric of the University, its landscape, streets, sidewalks, exterior and interior of buildings, classrooms, technology, digital interfaces, etc. We are looking for visionary projects and ideas that break away from the current status quo. 

(Actual Challenges will be revealed during the Kick-Off at 5pm on February 17th).



The schedule of event will be as follows:

Friday, February 17th

  • 4pm: On-site registration | Geren Lobby (Langford B)
  • 5pm:  Official Kick Off | Geren Auditorium (Langford B)
  • 5:30 - 7pm: Teambuilding, brainstorming | Geren Lobby (Langford B)
  • 7pm: Dinner  | Geren Lobby (Langford B)
  • 11pm: Coffee / snacks  | Studios (Langford A)

Saturday, February 18th

  • 7am: Coffee / breakfast | Studios (Langford A)
  • 11am: Snacks | Studios (Langford A)
  • 1pm: Lunch / Show & Tell sign up | Studios (Langford A)
  • 2pm: Deadline to submit project to Devpost
  • 3pm: Show & Tell | Geren Auditorium (Langford B)
  • 4pm: Survey | Geren Auditorium (Langford B)
  • 4:30: Awards Ceremony | Geren Auditorium (Langford B)



GIS Day2016 |

Hackathon Sponsors


$5,000 in prizes

Challenge #1: TAMU Disability Services: Best Project

Design for access & inclusion.
Sponsored by College of Education and Human Development: $500 award.
Note applies to all Awards and Prizes: The full amount will be split equally among team members and disbursed with 5 business days via e-gift cards after the receipt of UINs.

Challenge #2: Center on Disability and Development: Best Project

Emergency Preparedness.
Sponsored by College of Education and Human Development: $500 award.

Challenge #3: GLBT Resource Center: Best Project

Shifting the Culture.
Sponsored by TAMU College of Architecture Diversity Council: $500 award.

Challenge #4: TAMU Libraries: Best Project

Accessible Evans.
Sponsored by TAMU Libraries: GIS & Maps: $500 award.

Challenge #5: TAMU Transportation Services: Best Project

Accessible transport.
Sponsored by TAMU GeoInnovation Service Center: $500 award.

Challenge #6: TAMU TAMU Engineering Experiment Station: Best Project

Accessible classroom technology.
Sponsored by TAMU Engineering Experiment Station, College of Engineering: $500 award.

Best Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Project which will show an innovative solution creatively employing knowledge and from a variety of disciplines. To be able to qualify for this Award, minimum two partners from different disciplines must be present in the team. Teams competing for this prize must state during their Final presentation what disciplines they come from and how the project benefits from their expertise.
Sponsored by College of Geosciences: $500 award.

People's Choice

People's Choice winner will be voted on by all participants. Please note the voting will be through Devpost - to be able to vote, you need to be registered.
Sponsored by Department of Geography: $250 award.

Most Visionary

Project which will imagine audacious, highly speculative, even impractical ideas or schemes for the future of TAMU campus without barriers. Sponsored by Department of Geography: $250 award.

Eye Candy

Best looking submission.
Sponsored by College of Architecture: $250 award.

Most Practical

Project which will show most promise for implementation. A low-budget solution to deliver a high-impact change, erasing or overcoming accessibility barriers on TAMU campus. Sponsored by TAMU Engineering Experiment Station, College of Engineering: $250 award.

Most Impact

Project with the most impact for the least monetary investment. Sponsored by TAMU Engineering Experiment Station, College of Engineering: $250 award.

Surprise prize TBD on the day

This award is reserved for the judges to determine on the day of the event - after the Show & Tell presentations. Sponsored by College of Architecture: $250 award.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Texas A&M students, faculty and staff from all backgrounds and disciplines are welcome. Although not required, it is encouraged to join a team.

Teams may be from 1 up to 8 people.

This event is part of an IRB approved study to test the Hackathon format as a new method for engaging students in the topic of Diversity in higher education institutions. IRB NUMBER: IRB2016-0061D; IRB APPROVAL DATE: 01/31/2017; IRB EXPIRATION DATE: 01/29/2018

To participate in the event, you will be asked to sign the following consent form, you may review it in advance [excerpt, full version will be provided during on-site registration]:

You are invited to take part in a research study being conducted by Dr. Cecilia Giusti, a researcher from Texas A&M University. If you decide to take part in the study, you will be asked to sign this consent form. If you decide you do not want to participate, there will be no penalty to you, and you will not lose any benefits you normally would have.



To be considered for prizes teams must: 

1. Sign up for Show & Tell by 1pm on Saturday 18th Feb. We will circulate the sign up at 11am on Saturday via an update / email. 

2. Submit Project through DevPost by 2pm on Sat 18th Feb, project to contain the following items marked with *: 

  • Enter *Project Name
  • Enter *Elevator Pitch (project tag line) 
  • Enter 'It's built with' - this is optional, depending on your project. 
  • Add *Teammates - make sure you enter the same email addresses your teammates used to create their Devpost accounts. Once they are added, they can edit the project along with you.  
  • *Here is the whole Story: Describe your project Inspiration, What it Does, How you built it, Challenges you ran into, etc 150 - 300 words 
  • *File Upload (PDF, Powerpoint) - Upload your Final Presentation that you will use during Show & Tell. If your Final Presentation is a PREZI, please provide a public link in the Try it Out section. If your Final Presentation is a VIDEO, please provide a link in the Video Demo section (YouTube, Vimeo or Youku) or upload a PDF or powerpoint with a public url. 
  • Try it Out: Url for demo site, app, Youtube, Vimeo, etc public links. You can add multiple links.
  • Image Gallery: Upload images to illustrate your project (jpg, png, gif).
  • Thubnail Image: Upload project logo / small image representing your project. 
  • Video: Upload video if you created one (YouTube, Vimeo, or Youku).
  • *Submit by 2pm, Saturday, Feb18!

Tip: Start submitting your project early by entering what info you can on the submission form, and then save it as a draft. That way you won't be rushed toward the end. You'll be able to keep updating it until the deadline @ 2pm, Saturday, Feb18!

3. Present Project during Show & Tell in Geren Auditorium, Langford building B. (Not all team members need to be present during the Show&Tell)

Please note that projects will be judged on the basis of the material presented during Show & Tell. 

How to enter


Please do fill out the pre-registration: so we have your email addess and look out for any announcements. 

DevPost Registration and Project Submission:

Once you pre-register, we will ask you to register your team with Devpost (at least one person from your team) to be able to submit your project. Note: If you do not register with Devpost, you will not be able to vote for People's Choice Award. 

You will need to do the following:
  • Register at least one person for the TAMU Diversity Accessibility Hackathon in DevPost. To do this, create a DevPost account and join, you will be able to create project pages.
  • Enter a submission on DevPost to the TAMU-Hackathon. One person from each team will Enter a Submission (which is a button you'll see on the hackathon homepage after you Register). 
  • Start submission process early - you can save and edit. 
  • Watch the 'Option 1' video to create a new project.  



Kristie Orr

Kristie Orr
TAMU Disability Services

Justin Romack

Justin Romack
TAMU Disability Services

Meagan Sumbera

Meagan Sumbera
Center on Disability and Development

Dan Zhang

Dan Zhang
Center on Disability and Development

Marisa Suhm

Marisa Suhm
Department of Multicultural Services at TAMU

Chad Mandala

Chad Mandala
GLBT Resource Center

Cecilia Smith

Cecilia Smith
TAMU Libraries: GIS & Maps

Sierra Laddusaw

Sierra Laddusaw
TAMU Libraries: GIS & Maps

Dan Goldberg

Dan Goldberg
TAMU GeoInnovation Service Center

Puneet Gaddam

Puneet Gaddam
TAMU IT Accessibility

Xuemei Zhu

Xuemei Zhu
DrAL: Design Research Active Living Group

Debra Dandridge

Debra Dandridge
TEES and Engineering Accessibility

Chauma Smith Guss

Chauma Smith Guss
TEES and Engineering

J. Michael Moore

J. Michael Moore
Computer Science & Engineering

Adam Mikeal

Adam Mikeal
College of Architecture ITS

Negar Kalantar Mehrjardi

Negar Kalantar Mehrjardi
College of Architecture

Jeremy Merrill

Jeremy Merrill
Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning

Judging Criteria

  • Awesomeness
    Creative, Innovative, wow, visionary
  • Challenge accomplished
    Barriers erased! Great response to the brief, more than the Challengers could imagine.
  • Design
    Great looking/sounding, great fit, great solution
  • Practical
    Potential for implementation.
  • Impact
    The project has a potential to impact many people.

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

Tell your friends

Hackathon sponsors

TAMU Sponsoring units
Special thaks to our In-kind sponsors

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