Student-designed software helps nonprofit gain efficiency

By Joseph Jensen, WSU Tri-Cities marketing & communications intern

DRC-logoRICHLAND, Wash. – A nonprofit mediation service is spending more time educating and serving clients and less time on administration, thanks to software designed last summer by students in a Washington State University Tri-Cities computer science class.

“This program saved us thousands of dollars and gave us custom designed software tailored to meet our needs. We are very grateful,” said Paul A. Shelp, executive director of the Dispute Resolution Center of Tri-Cities (DRC).

The software automates daily workflow and tracks statistics about the various mediation and participants involved.

“This program will change the way we do business, making our intake process, record keeping and statistics gathering much more efficient,” Shelp said.

The software was created by seven students in the 10-week “Software Design Project, User Interface Development” class, taught by adjunct professors Anne Shure and Kevin Glass. The special topics course gave students a different perspective on the use of technology and how to give the customers what they need.

“Not only did the students learn more about the client/programmer relationship, they also created a pragmatic, ready-to-work program that greatly improved the workflow capabilities of the DRC (,” said Glass.

“Software of this nature could cost approximately $80,000 for the final product,” said Shure.

“This program is changing the culture of academics and how they relate to our society,” said associate professor of computer science Bob Lewis.

Learn more about WSU Tri-Cities and its commitment to dynamic student engagement, dynamic research experiences and dynamic community engagement at


Joseph Jensen, WSU Tri-Cities marketing and communications intern, 509-372-7319,
Jeffrey Dennison, WSU Tri-Cities marketing and communications director, 509-372-7379,