Marathon caps adventurous BVU senior year

Friday, May 15, 2020

If the Buena Vista University Class of 2020 handed out a “Most Likely to Stay Active Award,” certainly Bazyl Horsey, a computer science major from Storm Lake would find himself in the running.

Horsey, after all, spent time as a BVU senior doing, but not limiting himself, to these activities:

• He helped manage Koloni, a sharing platform and more, and resided in a furnished home in Pocahontas provided by his employer, a tech start-up.

• He served as one of the principal developers who created the Match Learn Launch app for The Donald F. and Charlene K. Lamberti Center for Rural Entrepreneurship at BVU.

• He helped start BVU’s Robotics Club.

• He founded the tech start-up, Levity, with classmate Michael Martin.

• And, for good measure, Horsey, a former cross-country runner, completed his first marathon in late April.

“It’s been a fun, and an interesting senior year,” says Horsey, who minors in communication studies. “Even as the virus has dragged on, the year has gone by quickly.”

As have four years for a hardworking, curious student who passed beneath the Victory Arch on his first day on campus with designs on becoming a dentist. “That was my career goal when I was a freshman,” Horsey says. “I ended up liking computer science a lot more than chemistry. I found out computer science fits me better.”

And how. Horsey has expanded upon his knowledge and used a solid work ethic to create opportunities for Koloni. He teamed up with Martin and fellow computer science senior Justin Rubek in finding their way to the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business where they toiled as software developers paid through a Google grant to create an app to match veteran business owners with up-and-coming entrepreneurs. The Match Learn Launch app will serve BVU’s new Lamberti Center for Rural Entrepreneurship as it joins forces with the Iowa Great Lakes Corridor Development Corporation.

“These (Horsey, Martin, and Rubek) are not interns. These three men are contracted software developers who are earning market rate for their work,” says Gary Sterling, BVU Instructor of Management and Director of the Lamberti Center for Rural Entrepreneurship.

The Match Learn Launch effort segued into Levity, which aims to build customer websites and platforms, intends to grow into space offered at The Foundry, a future BVU business incubation site in downtown Storm Lake.

While Horsey realizes his determination and skills have helped him write the script for a whirlwind senior year, he’s quick to credit BVU professors who gave of themselves to keep him growing in the field. “Dr. (Jason) Shepherd (Professor of Computer Science) made the field fun and we progressed from building games to doing complex math and other fields as they leaked in,” Horsey says. “Dr. (Shawn) Stone, (Professor of Physics and Computer Science) helped us created the Robotics Club. I learned physics and engineering from him. Dr. (Nathan) Backman (Associate Professor of Computer Science) really pushed us. As my advisor, he made me do projects I never thought I’d be able to complete. I’m learning now to appreciate how hard he pushed us.”

The marathon? Well, that was Horsey pushing himself. It represented one unique way to relax while putting a cap on a hectic, albeit rewarding senior year and BVU career.

“It was strange to run a marathon entirely in a rural area, but that’s how we had to do it because of COVID-19,” Horsey says. “We were supposed to be in Cedar Rapids for the event, which is called CRANDIC. Instead, I ran right around Pocahontas. They’re sending the medal to me.”