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About Us

The Blockchain Institute at the University of Kansas 

Rhett Phillips – President

Rhett Phillips is a junior studying Mechanical Engineering. Rhett believes blockchain technology has the potential to completely evolve the way we secure, trace, and record transactions. Much like the internet connected the world, blockchain will open up doors that empower consumers like never before. In 2018, Rhett built his first cryptocurrency mining rig and hasn’t looked back since. In his free time he enjoys HODLing XRP and paying too much for coffee.

Hallie Edwards – Vice President

Hallie Edwards is a senior studying Business Analytics, Information Systems, and Management and Leadership. Hallie strongly believes that blockchain has the power to revolutionize data collection, validation, and sharing/access effectively cutting out the middleman currently required in many industries. Hallie works for KU IT as the lead workstation support technician and as an Environmental Data Scientist for the Kansas Biological Survey (KBS) at KU. She also interned this summer with Textron Aviation as an Infrastructure IT Business Analyst.

Edmond Cheung – Director of Research & Development
Edmond Cheung is a junior studying Information Systems, Business Analytics, and a minor in Supply Chain Management. Edmond knows that in many applications, blockchain is proven to be better at storing information than a traditional database is, especially in supply chain and logistics applications. Edmond works as a Research Assistant for the Trade War Lab in the Institute for Policy and Social Research and is interested in researching the use of blockchain technology for food traceability.
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Kati Ballentine – Director of Marketing

Kati Ballentine is a junior studying Marketing and French. Kati understands that blockchain has the ability to educate and better individuals’ lives through tracking information and utilizing it in the business world. Kati works at a barista in her freetime and sees blockchain as the future for tracing coffee bean origination. She believes blockchain can be used in everyday life more than we think and is applicable to almost anything.

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Grant Henry – Director of Internal Operations

Grant Henry is a junior studying Computer Science and Economics. Grant foresees blockchain’s idea of sending critical data across the world, both with the speed of light and with absolute precision, as something that will surely challenge the conventional methods we’ve relied upon to solve the world’s problems. Grant interned with a financial institution located in Kansas City this summer where he got to see what the future has in store for financial services and the transferring of funds to both individuals and companies across the United States.

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Parker Ramirez – Director of External Operations
Parker Ramirez is a junior studying Chemical Engineering. Parker came to understand blockchain has many applications beyond the financial sector. With our increasing dependence on technology he believes that blockchain is the future of how we will exchange and share information. Parker predicts blockchain will be used in the future to track pharmaceuticals and the spread of viruses to ensure a safer society.