NEW YORK — A campus of the largest urban university in the United States has partnered with blockchain and Web 3.0 platform SIMBA Chain to improve their blockchain education curriculum. Through this partnership, Queens College, a college within the City University of New York (CUNY) will use SIMBA’s intuitive low-code platform to teach students the applications of blockchain and smart contracts without the need to master coding.

Dr. Joan Nix, a professor in the Queens College Economics Department, took a sabbatical in 2018 during which time she found herself interested in cryptocurrencies and wanting to teach a course on the “Economics of CryptoAssets.” Her idea to teach a such a course received acceptance by the Curriculum Committee and went to the Economics department for a faculty vote and later received approval by the Academic Senate.

When the first course was taught in the Spring 2020 semester, the focus was largely on the broad, theoretical concepts of blockchain with little attention on the applied usage for blockchain, but that would soon change.

Dr. Nix says, “I discovered SIMBA through an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education and a webinar co-hosed by SIMBA and Portland State University. I was interested in two areas of expertise: programming and economics. SIMBA’s offer as a platform to experiment on from a conceptual level was very attractive.”

She continues: “Before SIMBA, we had high level discussions about the blockchain. After SIMBA, conversations became more grounded. Talking through the weeds, getting down to what could really be accomplished with the technology. It was one thing to talk about personal freedom, it was another to say there was a supply chain that needs fixing.”

Kenneth Goodwin, Jr., MBA, of Jeanensis, a capital markets advisory and digital asset management firm, will be taking the reins in teaching Queens College students about the economics and technology of blockchains beginning in the summer. He says:

In talking to the TA, one of the things he said was that the students enjoyed the simple approach to smart contracts. The avenue of supply chain and sustainability. The idea of sustainability for food that could be a lightbulb moment; that includes farming, air, water, and land. I am exploring the impacts of ESG on blockchain applications and areas where students can think about global challenges.” 

SIMBA Chain and Queens College’s Partnership Will Bring Blockchain Education to Students in New York.

Dr. Lisa Smith, Senior Principal Education Consultant at SIMBA, says, “By using a combination of learning sources, including case studies and real-life examples of blockchain use cases within the business school and hands on experience with smart contracts from the SIMBA Platform, Queens College is offering students a unique opportunity, especially as the software does not require a prior prerequisite of coding expertise in order to learn and deploy simple smart contracts. SIMBA is excited to be a partner.”

Dr. Nix concludes saying, “Students are very interested in the blockchain space and SIMBA is a delight to work with. I never have issues getting questions answered, I enjoy the webinars, and I’m looking forward to extending the offerings going forward. I’m looking forward to the partnerships and to Ken’s class!”

Kate Pechenkina, Dean of the School of Social Sciences, says “Queens College develops cutting edge curriculum for the Business School, we see blockchain as a powerful technology that offers new opportunities for our students. SIMBA Chain is a key partner in helping our students gain experience and experiment with blockchain applications in FinTech.”