The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Meet St. John’s tech students

Senior, Prince Channer, takes on Yale’s hackathon

It’s modern romance at its finest: first you swipe right, and the next thing you know, you’re entering a competition with your girlfriend at Yale’s Hackathon, tasked with creating a health coverage app in around 36 hours. This is what happened to a senior at St. John’s, Prince Channer.

It is funny how meeting on a love app can then lead you to making your very own apps. It’s almost indicative of what modern romance is.

“Funny story, swipe right,” Channer said regarding his girlfriend. “Apps started off our relationship and now we build apps together.”

Channer is from Atlanta, GA where he transferred in  2014 to St. John’s from Howard University. He is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Marketing, but loves tech on the side.

He was enrolled in the military and then went to Howard in Washington, D.C. But the administration was lacking and he had a few issues with his GI Bill. St. John’s however, was there for him, letting him go to school as he was getting that worked out.

Living in Brooklyn, he loves the opportunities here. “I love Georgia, I’m a Georgia boy. I love the cleanliness,” said Channer.

img_3230Channer got into technology when he was about nine — that was when he broke and built his very first computer.  

After entering the fourth annual Yale Hackathon in the middle of November with his girlfriend, Jessica Joseph,  a junior at NYU, they created the app “YHealth?” There were 1,500 contestants, according to the Yale Daily News, where they both received honorable mention for social good.

“I got into hackathons because of my girlfriend,” said Channer. “This is her 24th hackathon.”

For those that are not familiar with hackathons, YHack consisted of 36 hours of hacking from Friday night to Sunday morning. From there they present their ideas and what they came up with to the judges.

There were prizes up to $3,000 as well as prizes from sponsors. The sponsors were Nasdaq, T. Rowe Price, a global investment management firm, and the pharmaceutical company Merck.

Channer and Joseph’s idea was motivated by post election and health coverage, now that the question of what will happen to Obamacare has been raised. They hope their app educates users on health insurance options and motivates them to purchase coverage.

Channers said, “YHealth? was a push of innovation because we realized ‘hey this is going to be the last year people are able to use health care from the Affordable Care Act.’

Their app is now done and they want to push for it to be ready by this weekend. If it is live though, there is still no time for people to enroll or change health coverage by Dec. 15. So they are pushing for education on it as of right now.

This past weekend he and his girlfriend wanted to go to the Microsoft hackathon  in Atlanta. Channer said he would love if St. John’s would sponsor and help him go to these hackathons.

“I would love to see St. John’s host their own hackathons, if they would need any help for that, I would love to have part in that,” said Channer. “I would love to see St. John’s in this new wave of tech media.”

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Reza Moreno, Features Editor
Features Editor: Reza is a junior Journalism major and Business minor who hopes to encourage more involvement between students and the Torch whether that is through covering events, or even with a weekly fashion profile. She wants students to have an excuse to pick up the newspaper because they feel they are a part of the Torch too. She has been involved with the Torch for two years. [email protected]
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    Dana Gibson-ChannerJan 9, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    The health enrollment will open up periodically so I can’t wait to shop on my very own genius of a son health app. Prince says he’s been indulging into computers since about age 9 let me give you a more realistic time fame more like age 9 months yes months I should know I’m his mother and I’m a New Yorker born NY NY Manhattan Prince forgot to mention that he applied to NY to be near his moms family. Prince operated on my very first apple ? before he could walk this Ga. born 10 lb Grady baby has been trying to figure out computers ? and any other technology. The US Air Force really needs Prince Channer back, luckily he received an honorable discharge and can maybe return to the AF one day to serve as an officer specializing in technology I know they can utilize the special skills he has to offer. St. John’s University will undoubtedly claim the infamous Prince.