A Concordia University Wisconsin team has advanced to the final round of Foxconn’s statewide Smart Cities—Smart Futures competition.


CUW nursing staff member Mary Dittmar, Undergraduate Nursing Program Chair Dawn Kuerschner, and sophomore computer science students Austin Winkler and Blaine Andrada are among the 30 Wisconsin winners to advance to the third round of the competition.

The Concordia team submitted an app called Virtual Innovation to Advance Learning (VITAL). VITAL is a supplemental teaching tool to help students virtually and safely learn the steps of a skill before they participate in hands-on practice.

The team has also been accepted to the National Science Foundation I-Corps program, which prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the university laboratory and accelerates the economic and societal benefits of NSF-funded, basic-research projects that are ready to move toward commercialization.

Foxconn awarded the VITAL team $1,500 for their second-round win. Winners of the final round are expected to be announced in early May.

Launched in August, Smart Cities—Smart Futures asked students, faculty, and staff from Wisconsin’s higher education institutions to submit their innovative solutions for developing smart, connected cities. In total, Foxconn pledged up to $1 million over the next three years to the competition.

Learn more about Smart Cities—Smart Futures here.

— Kali Thiel is director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at kali.thiel@cuw.edu or 262-243-2149.

If this story has inspired you, why not explore how you can help further Concordia's mission through giving.