Students from across Johns Hopkins University and other area colleges competed last February at the Carey Business School’s Harbor East campus in an event aimed at tackling some of the transportation industry’s many challenges. A team consisting mostly of Carey students ended up the day in the driver’s seat.
The event, the Next Generation Mobility Challenge, was presented by Toyota and Net Impact, a nonprofit that supports students’ search for careers that better society. It drew undergraduate and graduate students from Johns Hopkins as well as from the University of Maryland, Morgan State University, and the Maryland Institute College of Art.
For the day-long competition, students were divided into 10 teams that worked to develop prototypes and solutions aimed at mitigating various industry issues, including how to increase access to public transportation for the elderly, the disabled, and other underserved communities; how to apply technologies to help speed people to their destinations more efficiently and sustainably; and how emerging transportation options, such as car-sharing services, help foster a sense of community.
Near the competition’s end, each team presented its solution to a panel of judges.
Leah Sbriscia, at the time a Carey Global MBA student and leader of the school’s Net Impact club, praised the teamwork that was evident throughout the event.
“We had a pretty diverse group, so there was a great balance of ideas”
“We had a pretty diverse group, so there was a great balance of ideas,” said Sbriscia, who graduated last May. “And people were challenging each other on different thoughts.” The winning team consisted of Mehr Pastakia (who also graduated with a Carey MBA in May), Christopher Schilder (a current student in the Carey/MICA Design Leadership dual-degree program), and Mayriam Robles Garcia (a current MBA and Master of Public Health candidate at, respectively, Carey and the JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health). JHU undergraduate Charles Gulian rounded out the team, which moved on as one of about a dozen regional champions at the national Next Generation Mobility Challenge competition held in May.
The ultimate prize proved elusive for the JHU squad. Emerging as national champ was a group of students from Babson and Olin colleges in Massachusetts and the Rhode Island School of Design for their StreetSmart concept app, which helps people with visual impairments navigate their surroundings with greater confidence.
— Tim Parsons