• Enhancing Community and Creating Unity Using a Mobile Application

      Ellis, Kayla; Stam, Kathryn; Thesis Advisor; Lizardi, Ryan; Second Reader (SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 2019-05)
      This project involves the creation of a prototype mobile application for a multi-cultural community center in Utica, NY, the Midtown Utica Community Center (MUCC). It is an inclusive multicultural and refugee-friendly space for members to come and join in on different programs, activities, and services that the center offers. Hundreds of families utilize the open and welcoming space on a weekly basis and it serves as a place for them to congregate and come together. It is a place filled with heritage and members who are friends, but see themselves as family. This is where the idea for a mobile application stemmed from. This mobile application would be used by both members and nonmembers of the community center, as well as the staff, executive board, and volunteers. The goal of the application is to enhance the sense of community and bring a feeling of unity to the members of the organization. In this unique scenario, since the application is being built for a community center, the sense of “community” is already present—the utilization of technology such as a mobile application will only enhance, build upon, and create a sense of unity for the current and soon-to-be members of this organization. For the most part, members of this center are made up of various youth age groups. In this paper, I will explore research that has been conducted on the use of mobile technology and applications by youth as well as ways to keep them engaged and interacting with an application on a daily basis. Another area for exploration is the idea of using the application to an application on a daily basis. Another area for exploration is the idea of using the application to be in two places at once, to communicate with peers even though they may not physically be present at the center.