UMKC Leads in Northwest Missouri Broadband Expansion

Three teams of students from University of Missouri System universities participated in a competition presenting their plans for expanding broadband access in northwest Missouri. Teams presented their plans to a group of expert judges at a public event on Saturday, August 20th in Maryville, Missouri.  Teams included students from multiple backgrounds including engineering, business, law and computer science.  The top three teams all included UMKC Law students.


“These students took on a real-world challenge – an actual community facing the problem of inadequate broadband access — and came up with workable public-private partnership models,” said Anthony Luppino, a member of the UM System Broadband Initiative Steering Committee, and a professor and the director of Entrepreneurship Programs at the UMKC School of Law.  


Members of the first-place team were Daniel Foose and Sofia Hadley, from UMKC Law School, and John Welch from UMKC Computer Science. Their presentation for their plan, which they dubbed “MO-Fiber” used surveys, research, data and information from local stakeholders and presented a proposal for a private-public partnership model for bringing broadband to the region.


For Daniel Foose, the project was personal as well as professional. Daniel was born in Marshall, Missouri. His father passed when he was five years old and he and his two younger sisters were raised by his single mother.  The family struggled but found support in the Northwest Missouri community.  Their home was built by Habitat for Humanity. Daniel worked on a hog farm through high school and in the summer during college at Northwest Missouri State University, where he studied political science and criminal justice from 2016 to 2020.  Explaining why the competition was a great opportunity for him, Daniel said, “I had such a wonderful experience at Northwest Missouri State University, and I sort of saw it as a way to give a little bit back to a community that had done so much to help shape me into who I am today.... This project really helped solidify the fact that, regardless of the circumstances, the law can be used as a tool for good.”


Other law students participating in the competition included: Clifton Holly, part of the second-place team, and Anna Heetmann, part of the third-place team.


Congratulations to all the student participants!

Published: Aug 29, 2022