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Graduate Spotlight: First programming class sparks Lugo’s interest in software engineering

Kim Chaudoin | 

Brian Lugo

From the time Brian Lugo was in middle school he has been intrigued by computer programming. 

Since then, Lugo’s passion for coding has grown continually. In May he transformed his childhood curiosity about programming into a bachelor’s degree in software engineering from Lipscomb University.

“My interest in programming was ignited when I took my first programming class in the sixth grade,” Lugo recalls. “Learning to code has not only expanded my skills but also fundamentally changed me, enhancing my problem-solving abilities and fostering a creative mindset.”

Lugo’s path to Lipscomb was shaped by his family and their values. “As a member of a Christian family, they strongly encouraged me to apply and attend Lipscomb,” he explains. 

A meeting with Lipscomb recruiter Patricia Pena at Republic High School solidified his decision. “After hearing about Lipscomb from Ms. Pena, I was convinced that I wanted to attend and graduate from here,” Lugo says.

Throughout his college career, Lugo has been deeply involved in a Software Studio project, serving as team lead on Rubricapp/Skillbuilder, an innovative web application designed to digitize the classroom environment and evaluation process. This tool integrates seven research-based rubrics focused on essential process skills like critical thinking and teamwork. 

Lipscomb will always hold a special place in my heart as my second home and a strong supporter of my future endeavors. — Brian Lugo

The app consists of three servers: a React Frontend, a Flask/Python Backend server, and a Redis Server. React is a JavaScript library used for building user interfaces, Flask is a Python-based micro web framework, and Redis is an in-memory key-value database. Since its introduction in Software Studio, Luga has served as the team lead, taking on roles such as tech lead and project manager for Rubricapp/Skillbuilder.

“As Software Studio is a recurring class required for most School of Computing students, the scope of the project is ongoing,” he explains.

Reflecting on his time at Lipscomb, Lugo expresses a deep sense of accomplishment and nostalgia. 

“I'm thrilled to be finishing college. However, I also look back fondly on the memories I've made with my peers and professors,” he shares. “I'll miss working late nights on Dr. (Dwayne) Towell’s programming assignments and the deep discussions in Dr. (Ken) Mayer’s classes. Most importantly, I'll miss collaborating with Dr. (Susan) Hammond and all the other incredible students in Software Studio.”

He credits Steve Nordstrom, associate dean of the School of Computing, as being particularly impactful.

“Dr. Nordstrom has been a significant inspiration throughout my four years at Lipscomb,” he says. “As my advisor, he has always encouraged me to strive for my best and reach my full potential.”

Lugo’s experience at Lipscomb has been transformative, reinforcing his commitment to his faith and his professional aspirations. 

“Lipscomb offers a unique environment with smaller class sizes, allowing for closer relationships with professors,” he says. “Lipscomb will always hold a special place in my heart as my second home and a strong supporter of my future endeavors.”

“My experience at Lipscomb has been truly spectacular,” continues Lugo. “I would wholeheartedly recommend Lipscomb to all future college students, friends and family.”

Post-graduation, Lugo is set to begin an internship with Nashville-based tech firm FortyAU.