Oklahoma Higher Education Campus E-Clips sponsored by the Communicators Council

January 2011

OPSU: It's Not the Size of the School; It's the Quality of the Education


OPSU Quality Education
Students attending the Region 3 AITP competition on the University of Houston campus include in back, from left to right, Gus Van Fredenberg; Lane Gaillard; Zane Greene; Jacob Schrepel; Steven Peck; Cicely Behne; and Ajoke Salaudeen. Next row, left to right, Maggie Cline; J. B. Test, Kim Tuttle, Lance Shelite; Trittnie Allard; and A. J. Stroud. In the third row are Mert Van Fredenberg; Evan Dye; and Pam Gutierrez. Kneeling in front are Nick Tuttle; Blake Westbrook; Rilwanulai Oyebola; Josh Armstrong; and Jonathan Faulkner.

Oklahoma Panhandle State University's programming team has proven once again that its students are among the best of the best in Region 3 of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) competition. The OPSU team earned third- best overall honors, just behind two much larger institutions, Texas State University and the host school, the University of Houston. They also beat students from schools such as the University of Mississippi, New Mexico State, Tarleton, and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Region 3 is comprised of colleges and universities from Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas, and the southern part of Mississippi. This year, 24 schools had a total of 306 students competing in eight different contests.

Following is the list of the contests and the OPSU winners.

PC Troubleshooting: Students first take a written exam about resolving hardware and software problems. The top-10 scorers on the exam then get a PC to actually work on. Josh Armstrong and Jonathan Faulkner won third place, and Cicely Behne and A. J. Stroud were also top-10 finalists.

Security Analysis: Contestants produce an analysis that examines a network, work stations, and other security configuration issues in an Internet-based networked business. Josh Armstrong and Jonathan Faulkner teamed up again and won third place.

Office Integration: Contestants use Microsoft Office to integrate business functions across all applications included in the software. OPSU students Pam Gutierrez and Zane Greene finished in the top six.

Mobile Applications: Students write an application for a mobile device such as a cell phone. OPSU webmaster and student Nick Tuttle and Evan Dye brought home second place.

Application Development: In this programming competition, students used either JAVA or Visual Studio to develop an application. Nick Tuttle and Evan Dye paired up once again for a third-place finish.

Network Design: Students design a network configuration linking a variety of equipment across multiple sites in a business environment. Blake Westbrook and Mert Van Fredenberg won third in that contest.
Other OPSU CIS students competing included Trittnie Allard, Maggie Cline, Lane Gaillard, Rilwanulai Oyebola, Stephen Peck, Ajoke Salaudeen, Jacob Schrepel, Lance Shelite, J. B. Test, Kim Tuttle and Gus Van Fredenberg. Diane Murphey, dean of the School of Business and Vicki Pasque, an instructor, served as advisors.

In addition to using their considerable brain power and knowledge in the competitions, the students toured the Johnson Space Center. They met with Carl Huddleston, Jake Luera, Dayne Petry, and Tommy Johnson, all OPSU graduates who work for NASA-affiliated companies. The students also got advice from high-level corporate speakers and attended a job fair. In fact, two students who interviewed at the fair have been invited for a second round of interviews. Placing at the AITP competitions provides external confirmation of a student's knowledge base and some companies even give priority to applicants with that experience.

Twelve students will travel to Orlando in March to the national AITP competition to match up against approximately 900 students from about 90 universities. Pasque said, "I was so proud of the whole team. They represented OPSU at a very high level." Expect the competitors to continue that high level in Florida this spring!

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