CHHS Inaugural “Kickbox” Competition Selects Winner

Monday, April 22, 2019

An application to assist organizations in communicating with employees during a crisis was the winner of the inaugural CHHS “Kickbox” competition.
Stacey R. Kolomer, UNCW School of Social Work director and professor, pitched the development of a modern-day phone tree, an app called “Safe and Sound,” which informs supervisors and managers of colleagues’ locations during a crisis while maintaining healthy work/life boundaries. The project was a collaboration with UNCW’s Cameron School Business associate professor Elizabeth Baker and students Codie Nichols and Tyler Hall.
“The idea for the app stemmed from my own experience as director of the School of Social Work trying to check on faculty and staff during Hurricane Florence last fall,” said Kolomer. “We will be moving forward with developing a prototype, collecting additional market research and piloting the app. I am looking forward to working with UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on this product and seeing what can happen.”
Kolomer will receive a $5,000 grant to begin development of her idea and will be a client of the CIE.
The Innovation Advisory Council in the College of Health and Human Services and the Office of Innovation and Commercialization invited faculty and staff in the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences, the School of Nursing and the School of Social Work to submit proposals to participate in the inaugural CHHS “Kickbox” initiative to receive funding for innovation projects.
Seventeen applicants and six teams were selected to participate in the program. Teams competing in the Gold Box Challenge, a “Shark Tank”-style competition held April 17, were given five minutes to present their pitch and answer questions from the judges.
College of Health and Human Services Dean Charles Hardy commended Associate Dean for Research and Innovation Justine Reel and the Innovation Advisory Council of the CHHS for developing the program.
“Seeing the progress from concept to the pitch event was amazing,” said Hardy. “We will continue to foster innovation within health and human services, as I firmly believe this area will be of increasing importance as our future unfolds.”
Reel said it has been rewarding to see participants’ enthusiasm and pride as they stretched themselves to think differently.
“Many of them had great ideas but needed to be nudged to think about how those ideas could actually make money and be sustainable – all in the interest of the greater good,” she said. “There is so much potential for social entrepreneurship and innovation within our college. It is my hope that we can be a fully funded hub for projects that focus on healthcare innovation.”
Other Kickbox finalists:
  • Interactive Online Environment for LGBTQ+ Individuals Seeking Information, Community and Positive Affirmations; Kris Hohn, School of Social Work
  • Game-Based and Simulation Learning to Enhance Core Knowledge: Developing Modules to Enhance Social Work Education; Alicia Sellon, School of Social Work
  • CHHS Tourism, Hospitality and Recreation Lab; Alexia Franzidis, School of Health and Applied Human Sciences and co-author Alana Seaman, School of Health and Applied Human Sciences
  • Remember Me Now: Life Stories Made Easy; Justine Reel, School of Health and Applied Human Sciences, College of Health and Human Services and co-author Janine Iamunno, Chief Communications Officer, UNCW University Relations
  • Leadership and Management in Nursing Virtual Environment; Michele Mendes, School of Nursing and co-authors Lorie Sigmon, School of Nursing; Julie Hinkle, School of Nursing; Robin Cunningham, School of Nursing

CHHS Kickbox is a deployment of the Adobe Kickbox program. CHHS adapted some labels and contents of the Adobe Kickbox materials during implementation of the CHHS Kickbox project.
-- Venita Jenkins

CHHS Kickbox

From left to right: Charles Hardy, dean of the College of Health and Human Services; Codie Nichols, Cameron School of Business and College of Arts and Sciences student; Tyler Hall, Cameron School of Business student; Diane Durance, director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship;  Stacey R. Kolomer, UNCW School of Social Work director and professor;  Elizabeth Baker, Cameron School of Businees associate professor; and Justine Reel, CHHS Associate Dean for Research and Innovation.