Ascend Director of School and Student Success, Missi Rossi, served as a guest lecturer at the University of Minnesota on Thursday, October 10, 2019. Rossi lectured in Digital Games and Society, an elective class offered through the Hubbard School of Journalism. 

“I was a teaching assistant in Digital Games and Society while in graduate school, and the content ended up significantly shaping my own path of study and my career,” said Rossi, “it was fun to be back on campus to share with the students how what they are learning in school can be applied to a real product.”

Rossi discussed the theory behind the gamification elements of Ascend and guided students through a brief product brainstorm. “We want to ensure we’re building a product that students are excited to use and engage with, and the ideas and feedback that students generated during the brainstorm were in alignment with our current product roadmap, which is always validating. I hope they also had a bit of fun and gained an understanding of what goes into product development,” said Rossi.

The guest lecture from Ascend was part of a broader company initiative to serve the educational spaces that have supported Ascend team members in the past, and that serve current Ascend users. “We want to give students hands-on opportunities to learn how technology platforms are built while also getting their feedback. It’s an empowering experience for the students,” said Ascend COO Christine Nicodemus.

In addition to the lecture at the University of Minnesota, Ascend will be partnering with high school Career and Technical Education classrooms and Girls Who Code afterschool programs on design-thinking workshops and mini-pitch competitions this school year.


About Ascend

Ascend is a student empowerment platform that enables schools and mentoring organizations to cultivate, track, and measure student goals and achievement. Ascend is proud to be a minority and woman-owned business and supports students through schools and mentoring organizations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Texas, and beyond.