At the 16th annual International Conference on Computing and Mission (ICCM) in 2005, Dr. Felix Aguilar shared his goal to increase real-world missions-related projects that Taylor students could work on. Dan Anderson, a missionary with HCJB Global, approached Dr. Aguilar about building a Radio Planning and Development Database (RPADD) that would help them keep track of their partnership ministries worldwide. So began the collaboration between HCJB and Taylor University.
Fall 2005 students in the Information System Analysis class began analyzing the project and creating conceptual designs for RPADD. During the spring 2006 semester, students in Information System Design took these designs and began developing working prototypes.
“The whole thrust of this course,” Aguilar said, “is to learn by doing, to do something real.”
Then-students Tim VanReenen and Nate Todd worked as interns that summer at the HCJB Global Technology Center, in Elkhart, Indiana. During the fall and spring semesters of the 2006–2007 year, Aguilar taught a special projects class to continue development on RPADD, which had turned out to be much more involved than anyone had anticipated.
“Despite the fact that this has pushed students far out of their academic comfort zone, they have had a consistent can-do attitude about the new challenges they’ve been facing,” said Joshua Gee, Director of Information Security at HCJB Global.
Taylor’s involvement with HCJB Global over the years has proved that it is possible to integrate missions work and computer science. “There is a desperate need for technical skills on the mission field,” Aguilar said.
“If it weren’t for the enthusiasm and commitment of Taylor University faculty and students, this project would more than likely still be waiting for someone to have time to work on it,” Gee said. “Their excitement and dedication to seeing this project through to completion has been an enormous encouragement to me, and their efforts have provided HCJB Global with a valuable tool.”
Article written by Liz Goldsmith. Updated July 2016.