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HBCU Battle of the Brains Team

Shaw Bears Compete in HBCU Battle of the Brains

Despite it being spring break, a small group of talented Shaw University students traveled to Austin, Texas to compete in HBCU Battle of the Brains competition. The event was held in conjunction South by Southwest (SXSW), a multi-disciplinary conference and festival that celebrates the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. Calling their team “Incognito,” the students representing the University in the competition and hack-a-thon were:

  • Xavier Manderson, Dallas, TX, Computer Science
  • DaShawn Watkins, Danville, VA, Business Administration: Management
  • Biance Wilburn, Lancaster, CA, Business Administration: Management 
  • Michelle Asuquo, Atlanta, GA, Chemistry

The Shaw University team did outstanding work during the 24-hour, problem-solving period. The problem sought a mechanism for increasing diversity in coaching and executive positions for the National Football League (NFL). The four Shaw students proposed using job search platforms, such as Indeed or LinkedIn, to create candidate profiles. They suggested using win-loss records (seasonal and cumulative) to provide objective data about prospective coaching candidates. The team also recommended that coaches and executive candidates participate in psychological screenings. Finally, they proposed a two-day, face-to-face, screening event to coincide with the NFL's Scouting Combine since key decision-makers would be available.

During the conference, the students had the opportunity to meet with representatives from Dell, Home Away, and Indeed and tour each of the Austin-based firms.