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Jeffrey Myles presents J Bike: A Community Bike Share Program to area business leaders.

The Big Collaborate Presenters Wow Area Business Leaders

Owning to a bit of nervousness but clearly not intimidated, sophomore Jeffrey Myles stood alone with his presentation Thursday (Oct. 27) during The Big Collaborate in the Davis College of Business.

Myles, who is majoring in Aviation Management and Film and is pursuing a minor in Economics, presented on his team’s project, J Bike: A Community Bike Share Program as one of nine groups of students making presentations to area business leaders.

“The basic idea of the J Bike Program is to provide bicycles on campus, for free, that anyone on campus – students, faculty, staff – can ride around,’’ he said. “The bicycles will be refurbished, painted with the Jacksonville University logo on it and put around campus for everyone.’’

Myles explained to his audience the bicycles will be maintained by students at a full bike shop on the bottom floor of the Oak Parking Garage. Construction of the shop has begun but is on hold until more funding is available. The use of the bicycles on campus will be on the honor system.

“The honor system is a bit of a concern, but, we think it will work on campus,’’ he said. “We’ll be working with campus security on tracking the bikes.’’ He also noted that costs of tracking devices outweigh the cost of replacing bikes if they were being bought.

“We had hoped to get 50 bicycles and already have surpassed that,’’ Myles said.

Because his group is in somewhat a transitional state, many of the original members have graduated, Myles presented alone and was undaunted.myles2

“I’ve given a lot of presentations on this subject specifically and I feel good talking in front of people,’’ he said. “A little nervous, but not too much.’’

His efforts weren’t in vain as before the end of his session Jacksonville Business Journal Publisher David Sillick offered to donate his two wheeler.

The Big Collaborate is part of the Collaborate JU project through the University EPIC program and is designed to have students and professors from multiple disciplines join forces with industry experts to solve challenging problems.

“Not only is it presenting, it is everything they had to do before getting ready for the presentations; the research, discussion, working with professors,’’ said Director of Strategic Initiatives Valeria Gonzalez-Kerr, who helped oversee the projects. “This is the grand finale for them in front of business leaders who might be an employer for them in the future. It’s important to get those skills so they know how to do it. They are so enthusiastic and there is so much passion in it. It’s really, really awesome to see how well they’ve done.’’

Other presentations were: Mobile Water Quality Monitoring; Oyster Reef Assessment; Biomechanical Assessment of Athletes, Coral Reef Restoration in the Florida Keys; Jacksonville Self-Guided Tour Application; Law Enforcement Recruitment Strategy and Thinking On Your Feet: The Mental, Physical and Behavioral Health Effects of Standing Desks.

In addition to Sillick, area business leader panelists for the event were: Ann Burt, Old Arlington Inc., Jennifer Klich, President, Florida Engineering Society; James Orth, Executive Director, St. Johns Riverkeeper; Rochelle Kinsey, Program Director of PACE; Tony Foisy, CISP, CSX Technology; Lindsey Marion, RS&H; Ryan Freeman of TLC Engineering; Patrick Murphy of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce; Vicky Cavey, Director of Strategy and Development and Execution of JEA; Michael P. Whelan, Assistant Director of Waterfront Engineering and Matt Kane, owner of Green Shades.

– Jim Nasella