Students Win Prizes and Awards at the Oviatt Innovation Weeks Celebration

  • Mark Stover, dean of the Oviatt Library handed awards and prizes to the winning CSUN students at the culminating innovation week event at the Oviatt Library on Oct. 21. Photo by Hansook Oh.

  • Jamie Gupta won the grand prize at the culminating innovation week event at the Oviatt Library on Oct. 21. Photo by Hansook Oh.

  • The first prize award features a 3D-printed picture of the winners face. Photo by Hansook Oh.

California State University, Northridge and InnovateLA celebrated innovation, entrepreneurship and technology from October 6-22. The two-week campaign featured several CSUN events, including coding challenges, workshops, Sustainability Day, the Art of Innovation Conference and the Phenomenal Woman Awards.

The Delmar T. Oviatt Library sponsored 17 mini-hackathons, coding challenges and a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon open to students, faculty and staff, alumni and the broader community. The library hosted a culminating event Oct. 21 with a ceremony that honored participants with awards and prizes.

“It was fun to do the challenges, but I didn’t participate for the prizes,” said Anu Enchackal, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, who won third place and a $25 Amazon gift card for completing 14 challenges. “What kept me going were the certifications you could collect on LinkedIn. It was better than collecting Pokemon.”

Jamie Gupta, a senior in applied math, won the grand prize, a $75 Amazon gift card and a 3D-printed trophy of his face. Gupta said he appreciated how the event exposed a variety of students to programming challenges — whether they were experienced coders or not.

“Programming is not really understood by many people,” he said. “They know it’s there, but they’re not exposed to it. The challenges helped to create an understanding and offered lots of tutorials.”

With three students sharing third place, the event honored a total of five winners. Creative Media Studio Coordinator Isis Leininger and Mark Stover, dean of the Oviatt Library, thanked all the students for their participation.

“[The challenges] encouraged students from all backgrounds and majors to learn the principles of or to feel more confident in coding and other technologies,” said Leininger. “We want to do something similar in the future, and maybe even begin a coding club.”

Innovation Weeks winners: 

Grand prize award: Jamie Gupta – completed all 17 challenges

Second place award: Alex Bonilla – completed 15 challenges

Third place awards: Matthew Jones and Anu Enchackal – completed 14 challenges; Meharaj Khanam – completed 13 challenges