The Department of the Month for May is the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems four-member senior seminar project team and their leader Dr. John Hastings. The group is being recognized for their work to restore the bells on the Peterson-Yanney Memorial Carillon.
Brett Chloupek, a political science and geography major from Harvard, remembered when the sound of the bells was a familiar ring as he walked through campus as a freshman. When the music stopped due to worn equipment, wiring, old hardware and obsolete technology, Chloupek began looking into options other than bringing in the professionals. Professionals had estimated repair costs at more than $50,000, but the student team found a way to operate the bells using software they created for about $1,000.
Chloupek served as team leader and recruited Dustin Kozal and Aaron Graddy, both computer science/information systems majors from Kearney; and Davin Jones, a December graduate now employed at Principal Finance in Des Moines, Iowa.
Over the past year, the team repaired and restored the carillon by creating software to schedule bell-ringing and music selection for the tower, and configuring hardware to operate the bells. Kozal, a programmer; Graddy, a programmer with a background in music composition and recordings; and Jones, who has electronics expertise, combined their talents. Earlier this semester, their efforts received recognition when the team won the 2005 Peter Kiewit Student Entrepreneurial Award. The Kiewit award was created in 1999 to recognize entrepreneurial achievement through the application of technology.
The Peterson-Yanney Memorial Carillon, which stands as UNK's defining landmark, rang for nearly 18 years
before falling silent. Dedicated in 1986, it fell silent in 2002, a victim of disrepair and outdated technology. Through the efforts of this team of students, the bells are expected to ring again this spring.
Out thanks to Brett Chloupek, Aaron Graddy, Davin Jones and Dustin Kozal, and faculty leader Dr. Hastings for your ingenuity which will return the sounds of bells ringing to the UNK campus. Congratulations from Staff Senate.
Thank you to the sponsors of the Department of the Month: UNK Athletic Department and Staff Senate.