AITP winners display their awards: (Bottom Row L to R) Dr. Julie Dinger, Braxton Dain, Firas Ghazouani, Gustavo Sanchez, Amanda Blanton, Grant Sparkman, Kim Tuttle; (Second Row L to R) Tanner Daniel, Steve Martin, Madilyn Rider, Jockson Bilbrey, Stetson Elam, Sean Skipton, Jorge Rosas, Cameron Branch — Courtesy Photo

Oct 31, 2018

Panhandle State Communications

Programming Team Proves Successful at Regionals

Goodwell, Okla. — Oklahoma Panhandle State University’s Programming Team traveled to Amarillo College this past weekend to compete at the U.S. Information Technology Collegiate Conference (USITCC) South Central Regional competition. Twenty-five students were taken to compete in a variety of contests: Systems Analysis and Design, Network Design, PC Troubleshooting, Cybersecurity, Microsoft Office Solutions, Mobile Applications, Database Design, Java, and C#.

There were approximately 150 students representing 12 different universities competing, and Panhandle State students were able to bring home 13 top five finishes. This is the first time in history that Panhandle students were able to place in all nine contests! Not only did the programming team basically sweep the competition, but they also co-hosted the event. Sponsors Kim Tuttle, Vicki Pasque, and Steve Martin assisted in problem statement creation, designating room proctors, gathering sponsors, and other event operations.

Madilyn Rider, Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) President, reflected on the conference, “I had an awesome experience at Regionals! It’s great being able to compete against other schools and get to know my fellow classmates outside the classroom. The best thing about competing for the OPSU Programming Team is being able to bring back awards and recognition to the CIS department that has taught me so much!” Rider received an Honorable Mention in Database Design with Tanner Daniel, and an Honorable Mention in Systems Analysis & Design with teammate Braxton Dain.

Firas Ghazouani, and Amanda Blanton both agreed that the experience was an amazing one. Blanton went on to say “This was my first time competing, and it exceeded my expectations. While it was stressful during the actual competitions, the sense of accomplishment over having done something I could be proud of was amazing.”

When asked how he prepared for competition Ghazouani says, “I read some of the A+ questions and answers. For security, I went over the problem statement we had in class. I also took a cheat sheet for systems. We had access to the internet during contest, so I didn’t have to prepare for some things. Also, during the competitions, I stayed till the last minute and gave all I had.”

Instructor, Vicki Pasque, comments on the role that each of the professors play in preparing their students, she says “Our goal is not to prepare students for specific competitions, but to guide them into using the knowledge and skills they have already learned here at Panhandle. We love it when our students realize they have what it takes to compete successfully against their peers from other colleges and universities. That confidence prepares them to take on the many challenges they will meet in the workplace.”

Conference results are as follows:

Mobile Application Development:

-3rd Place – Jockson Bilbrey

-Honorable Mention: Cameron Branch and Jorge Rosas

Systems Analysis and Design:

-2nd Place – Sean Skipton and Firas Ghazouani

-3rd Place – Melody Ethley and Grant Sparkman

-Honorable Mention: Gustavo Sanchez

-Honorable Mention: Braxton Dain and Madilyn Rider

Network Design:

-2nd place: Stetson Elam and Gustavo Sanchez

Java Programming:

-2nd place: Jockson Bilbrey and Cameron Branch

Office Solutions:

-Honorable Mention: Amanda Blanton and Gustavo Sanchez


C# Programming:

-Honorable Mention: Firas Ghazouani and Tanner Daniel


-2nd Place: Jockson Bilbrey and Grant Sparkman


Database Design:

-Honorable Mention: Tanner Daniel and Madilyn Rider

PC Troubleshooting:

-Honorable Mention: Firas Ghazouani


Panhandle State President Dr. Tim Faltyn commented, “Seeing these students represent the university and making history truly exemplifies our commitment to excellence. I couldn’t be more proud of each of them as well as the advisors.”

Coming off such a successful regional conference, members of the programming team are anxious to compete again in the spring at nationals. That event will be hosted April 4-6, 2019 in Galveston, Texas. Kim Tuttle comments on the upcoming event. “We look forward to taking a strong team to that event as well.” Congratulations to AITP, and the Programming Team on such a victorious weekend. Good luck to you all at Nationals!

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