Tag Archives: College of Business and Computer Science

SBU student is PBL national champion in cyber security; three other students claim top-10 national spots

Five students from Southwest Baptist University competed in the 2014 Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) National Collegiate Conference in Nashville, Tenn. Justin Stout, a senior computer science and mathematics major from Gardner, Kan., was named the 2014 national champion in cyber security. Stout is SBU’s fifth PBL national champion since 2005.

(from l to r) Justin Stout, Bobby Sterling, Jarrett Munton, and Steven Harris competed in the 2014 PBL National Conference. Stout became SBU’s fifth national champion since 2005.

(from l to r) Justin Stout, Bobby Sterling, Jarrett Munton, and Steven Harris competed in the 2014 PBL National Conference. Stout became SBU’s fifth national champion since 2005.

Bobby Sterling, junior computer information science major from Buffalo, Mo., placed third nationally in information management. Maura Sturgess, sophomore accounting and information assurance major from Chillicothe, Mo., claimed third place in parliamentary procedures. Jarrett Munton, junior computer science major from O’Fallon, Ill., finished in seventh place in statistical analysis. Steven Harris, junior computer science and mathematics major from Bolivar, Mo., also competed at the national competition.

The team was coached by Meilani Conley, instructor of computer and information science.

“The students did an excellent job of representing SBU at the national level,” Conley said. “There were students from all over the nation and from every size of school. It was incredible hearing our name called from a national stage. I feel very blessed to work with these students.”

More than 1,800 students from across the country attended the event. Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, Inc. is a nonprofit education association with the mission to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs.

For more information, please contact Conley at (417) 328-1759 or mconley@SBUniv.edu, or contact Dr. Tim DeClue, chair of the department of computer and information sciences, at (417) 328-1704 or tdeclue@SBUniv.edu.

SBU CIS achieves 100-percent job placement

All students in the Southwest Baptist University Department of Computer and Information Sciences’ 2014 graduating class have accepted offers of employment from leading software companies less than a week after graduation ceremonies.

Students and their employers are: Luke Abbott and David Haugh, computer science/math majors, Accenture in Bolivar; Nathan Hawkins and Josh Tiffany, computer science majors, Cerner Corp. in Kansas City; Jason Jakusz, computer science and math major, and Amber King, computer information science major, O’Reilly Automotive headquarters in Springfield; Nathan Toombs, computer information science major, Jack Henry & Associates in Springfield; and Jason Williams, computer information science major, ANPAC in Springfield.

“The economy has been sluggish for several years,” said Dr. Tim DeClue, CIS Department Chair, “but our graduates are having no difficulty finding great positions with leading software and information technology companies. It is truly one of my greatest joys seeing our students utilize their God-given talents to land a great first job.”

Students graduating from SBU’s CIS department regularly record starting salaries in the $46,000-65,000 range depending on company, position accepted and geographic location.

SBU’s Department of Computer and Information Sciences houses five full-time faculty members, two faculty associates and more than 100 students majoring in computer science, information science or web systems and design. SBU’s CIS Department is home to the only accredited computer science degree program at an Evangelical Christian school within 400 miles of Springfield, Mo., and SBU is one of the leading producers of software engineers in the United States among Evangelical Christian institutions. For more information about SBU CIS, contact DeClue at (417) 328-1704 or tdeclue@SBUniv.edu.

SBU software development team records fourth place national finish

Luke Abbott

Luke Abbott

A team of two Southwest Baptist University seniors competed in the Association for Information Technology Professionals (AITP) National Collegiate Conference April 12 in Atlanta, Ga. Luke Abbott, senior, from Roach, Mo., and Jason Jakusz, senior, from Theodosia, Mo., are both computer science and mathematics majors. Abbott and Jakusz competed in the Java Development Competition sponsored by USAA. They won fourth place out of 32 teams from across the nation, finishing behind two teams from Brigham Young University and a team from Purdue University.

Jason Jakusz

Jason Jakusz

“I am very proud of our team,” said Dr. Tim DeClue, chair of the SBU Department of Computer Information Science. “It is always exciting for me to see our students battling it out with some of the largest and most well-known schools in the nation. Their performance attests to the caliber of SBU’s program. The team’s finish is a credit to their hard work, their God-given abilities and the education they have received in the SBU CIS department over the past four years.”

AITP is the leading worldwide society of information technology business professionals and the community of knowledge for the current and next generation of leaders. The AITP National Collegiate Conference is the largest event sponsored by AITP.

For more information, contact DeClue at (417) 328-1704 or tdeclue@SBUniv.edu.

Two SBU students receive LEAP scholarships

Jenna Durnell

Jenna Durnell

The Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA) has awarded LEAP (Lead and Enhance the Accounting Profession) scholarships to two Southwest Baptist University students. Jenna Durnell, sophomore accounting and information assurance major from Harwood, Mo., and Tori Jones, sophomore accounting major from Miller, Mo., will receive the scholarship funds for the next academic year.

This is the third consecutive year for Durnell to be selected as a LEAP scholarship recipient.

“I greatly attribute my repeated success to the education I’ve received thus far at SBU,” Durnell said. “This scholarship means so much to me, not only because of my need for educational financial assistance, but also because it gives me an avenue through which I can become involved with the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants – an organization that will assist me as a college student and in my future career path.”

Tori Jones

Tori Jones

Jones also is very grateful for the scholarship and the financial assistance it provides so that she is able to receive a quality education at SBU.

“SBU is home to one of the best accounting programs in the country and to be able to say I am part of it makes me proud,” Jones said. “I am confident that I will leave here fully prepared. Not only do my professors teach me about accounting, they also pass on life skills that I will use for the rest of my life.”

According to Wayne Clark, chair of the SBU Department of Accounting, only 28 students statewide received this award so it is a significant honor for a school the size of SBU to have two recipients.

“This is quite an honor for two of our SBU accounting majors to be recognized with this statewide scholarship award,” Clark said. “This Missouri Society of CPAs is the premier organization representing accounting, tax and finance professionals in Missouri, and our students were competing with students from accounting programs much larger than ours.”

Dr. Troy Bethards, dean of the College of Business and Computer Science, also was pleased to have two SBU students chosen for this prestigious honor.

“This is a testament of the quality of SBU’s accounting department and of the hard work of these outstanding young ladies who represent SBU well,” Bethards said.

For more information about the SBU Department of Accounting, please contact Clark at (417) 328-1951 or wclark@SBUniv.edu.

Nine SBU students qualify for PBL national competition

All nine students on the Southwest Baptist University PBL team have qualified for this year’s national competition June 24-27 in Nashville, Tenn. Qualification for the national competition is contingent on their performances at the state level.

The following students qualified for the national competition based on these state level finishes:

• Alex Barcus, junior, from Liberty, Mo., and Bethany Hash, junior, from Bolivar, Mo., won second place in Website Design.
• Elizabeth Coleman, junior, from Springfield, Mo., is the state champion in Information Management and won third place in Project Management.
• Renee Coleman, junior, from Springfield, Mo., won third place in Statistical Analysis.
• Michael Gooley, junior, from Thornfield, Mo., is the state champion in Help Desk and won fifth place in Project Management.
• Steven Harris, sophomore, from Bolivar, Mo., won second place in Cybersecurity.
• Jarrett Munton, sophomore, from O’Fallon, Ill., is the state champion in Statistical Analysis and won fourth place in Computer Concepts.
• Bobby Sterling, sophomore, from Buffalo, Mo., won second place in Information Management and fourth place in Project Management.
• Justin Stout, junior, from Gardner, Kan., is the state champion in Cybersecurity and won second place in Networking Concepts.
• Maura Sturgess, freshman, from Chillicothe, Mo., won fifth place in Microeconomics.

“This is incredibly good news,” said Dr. Tim DeClue, chair of SBU’s Department of Computer Information Science. “We are beginning to make plans now to attend the national competition and represent SBU well.”

Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) is a nonprofit education association with a quarter million students preparing for careers in business and business-related fields.

For more information, contact DeClue at (417) 328-1704 or tdeclue@SBUniv.edu.

SBU takes three of top 10 spots in regional programming competition

The Southwest Baptist University competitive programming teams participated in the Consortium for Computing Sciences Central Plains Region Programming Contest on April 5 at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo. The SBU teams claimed three of the top 10 spots out of a total competition field of 39 teams.

SBU’s top team comprised of Jarrett Munton (sophomore, O’Fallon, Ill.), Bobby Sterling (junior, Buffalo, Mo.) and Brady Kornrumpf (sophomore, Jefferson City, Mo.) claimed third place.

SBU’s second team involving Jason Jakusz (senior, Theodosia, Mo.), Luke Abbott (senior, Roach, Mo.) and Justin Stout (junior, Gardner, Kan.) finished in fifth place.

The third team from SBU finished in ninth place. The team included Addison Woody (sophomore, St. Joseph, Mo.), Steven Harris (sophomore, Bolivar, Mo.) and Spencer Smith (sophomore, Springfield, Mo.).

Nathan Schulz (junior, Omaha, Neb.) and Jacob Parke (freshman, Eureka, Mo.) also participated in the competition.

“The Central Plains contest is how the teams end their year, and placing three teams in the top 10 is an amazing accomplishment. It really makes me proud of our students,” said Dr. Tim DeClue, chair of the Department of Computer Information Science. “It is a blessing just to be associated with students like these. We graduate two amazing students this year but four of the students who finished on our top teams will be back. The future is very bright for this team.”

The Central Plains region of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSC) is one of only 10 CCSC regions in the United States and is comprised of universities from Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska. The Consortium is a nonprofit organization focused on promoting quality computer-oriented curricula as well as effective use of computing in smaller institutions of higher learning which are typically non-research in orientation.

For more information, please contact DeClue at (417) 328-1704 or tdeclue@SBUniv.edu.

SBU Enactus finishes in top 40 in national competition

The 2014 SBU Enactus team, which finished the year ranked in the top 40 in the nation.

The 2014 SBU Enactus team finished the year ranked in the top 40 in the nation.

The Southwest Baptist University Enactus team competed in the Enactus USA National Exposition April 1-3 in Cincinnati. More than 200 schools competed with SBU advancing to the quarterfinal round and then finishing in the top 40.

Enactus (formerly Students In Free Enterprise) stands for Entrepreneurial, Action, Us. SBU has a long history with Enactus. The president and CEO of Enactus, Alvin Rohrs, is an SBU alum and the world headquarters, now in Springfield, were on the SBU campus from 1982-1989. There are now Enactus teams at more than 1,600 universities in 36 countries.

“Our team has worked so hard to build upon the successes of previous years,” said Levi Bridge, staff advisor for SBU Enactus. “I am confident in the impact they have made in our community and around the world, and I am proud of what they achieved against very tough competition at this year’s national exposition.”

At the national exposition, teams give a 17-minute presentation and five-minute question-and-answer session in front of a panel of judges comprised of CEOs and business leaders explaining how they transformed lives and enabled progress through their team’s projects. Judges evaluate the team’s projects and presentations to determine based on the relevant economic, social and environmental factors, which team most effectively empowered people in need by applying business and economic concepts and an entrepreneurial approach to improve their quality of life and standard of living.

The SBU Enactus presentation team was comprised of the following student speakers:

  • Bethany Juergens, sophomore, from Liberty, Mo., and team project leader
  • Aaron Soltow, junior, from Moline, Ill., and team vice president
  • Maggie Taylor, senior, from Kearney, Mo., and team president
  • Michele Wyatt, sophomore, from Blue Springs, Mo., and team project leader

In the presentation, SBU Enactus highlighted four of the team’s projects: NightLight, The Bean 3:16, New Day Orphanage and Ergon Handicrafts.

“Our team has gone above and beyond to help others achieve their dreams,” Taylor said. “Our team members wholeheartedly fulfill the Enactus mission and I am immensely proud and grateful for their hard work and perseverance.”

NightLight International is an organization committed to addressing the complex issues of commercial sexual exploitation through a four-step process of prevention, intervention, restoration and education. When NightLight recently opened a branch to serve the Springfield and Branson communities, SBU Enactus stepped up to help working side-by-side with the organization to create a multi-step process to ensure the stability of the outreach project. Since this partnership began last fall, they have been able to reach out to 71 men and women in the sex trafficking industry, several of whom have chosen to follow through with the outreach program. They have also formed four church partnerships which will increase outreach potential.

SBU Enactus has been working with The Bean 3:16, a local coffee shop in Bolivar, since 2012. Students have worked closely with the shop’s owner through weekly strategic planning meetings. The team secured a grant used to purchase a panini grill, which has increased food sales by 30 percent. With the help of SBU Enactus, The Bean 3:16 has taken initiatives to support local art through the display of local artists’ work and hosting free community concert events. On nights advertised for music, sales at The Bean 3:16 has increased 90-110 percent.

New Day Orphanage is in Zambia, Africa. Several team members traveled there in 2013 and another trip is planned for December 2014. The SBU Enactus team is helping to facilitate the orphanage’s profitability by educating the Zambian employees with essential financial knowledge. They wrote a financial curriculum to instruct the teachers there who will then be able to pass the knowledge on to their students, helping to break the cycle of poverty in their community. The SBU Enactus team is also leading fundraising efforts to help build a new dorm at the orphanage which will allow them to increase the number of orphans they can serve by 625%.

Five SBU Enactus team members traveled to India in July 2013 where they met and worked with an American missionary who is a small business owner of Ergon Handicrafts. Her business produces hand-designed stationary pieces made by a group of six Indian women living in the slums of Jaipur. The SBU Enactus team has begun a partnership with Ergon Handicrafts to increase the scope and scale of their business with plans to begin selling the products on the SBU campus and at The Bean 3:16.

For more information about SBU Enactus, contact Bridge at lbridge@SBUniv.edu or Dr. Nathan Wright, faculty advisor for Enactus, at nwright@SBUniv.edu.

SBU graduate receives Elijah Watt Sells award for CPA score

Caleb Harris ‘13 of Jackson, Mo., has been named a recipient of the 2013 Elijah Watt Sells Award, given by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). The institute gives the awards to candidates who have obtained a cumulative average score above 95.50 across all four sections of the CPA examination, completed testing during the 2013 calendar year and passed all four sections of the examination on the first attempt. More than 94,154 individuals sat for the CPA examination in 2013. Only 55 candidates met the criteria for this award.

Caleb Harris ’13, recent SBU graduate, has received the Elijah Watt Sells award for his superior performance on the CPA examination.

Caleb Harris ’13, recent SBU graduate, has received the Elijah Watt Sells award for his superior performance on the CPA examination.

“The CPA Examination is designed to protect the public interest and help ensure that only qualified individuals earn a CPA license,” said Michael Decker, AICPA Director of Examinations, in a press release on the AICPA website. “On behalf of the AICPA, I would like to congratulate the winners of the 2013 Elijah Watt Sells Award for their impressive achievement.”

According to the AICPA website, the award was established in 1923 to recognize outstanding performances on the CPA examination and was named in honor of Elijah Watt Sells, who was one of the country’s first CPAs and played an active role in promoting professional education in the accounting profession.

Harris graduated from Southwest Baptist University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Economics/Finance. He is currently employed as a audit associate at BKD, LLP in Springfield. BKD, LLP is the 12th-largest CPA firm in the U.S. Harris was also named the 2012-2013 Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA) Student of the Year. He was the October 2012 MSCPA Student of the Month, a four-time MSCPA scholarship winner and a Don Breimeier award recipient.

“SBU Accounting is so proud of Caleb and this remarkable accomplishment,” said Wayne Clark, chair of the SBU Department of Accounting. “We are blessed to have had Caleb in SBU Accounting and his record will serve as a challenge to our accounting majors for years to come.”

Harris credits his SBU professors and rigorous education with helping to prepare him for success.

“All of my professors took the time and made the effort to teach at a personal level, which greatly enhanced my learning experience,” Harris said. “I learned at a depth that enabled me to retain a large amount of knowledge even long after classes were over. This made studying for the CPA exam less of a chore than it otherwise would have been. My professors regularly assigned CPA review questions as components of their courses. Mr. Clark’s exams were extensive, comprehensive and challenging, typically taking several hours to complete, which was phenomenal preparation for the CPA examination.”

“Caleb was an outstanding student at SBU,” said Dr. C. Pat Taylor, university president. “Not only was he brilliant in the classroom, but he was heavily involved in campus activities, including serving as an Ambassador for the university. I am not at all surprised to hear about Caleb’s success in his chosen field of accounting.”

For more information about the SBU Department of Accounting, please contact Clark at (417) 328-1951 or wclark@SBUniv.edu.

SBU accounting student to intern with Heritage Foundation

For the fourth consecutive year, a Southwest Baptist University accounting major has been chosen for the prestigious Heritage Foundation Internship Program in Washington, D.C.

Jenna Durnell, sophomore at SBU, will intern this summer with The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Jenna Durnell, sophomore at SBU, will intern this summer with The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Jenna Durnell, a sophomore accounting and information assurance major from El Dorado Springs, Mo., will spend this summer in Washington, D.C., as a marketing technology/CRM intern. She is the daughter of Michael and Suzan Durnell.

Meg Goodman, a junior accounting major from Cape Girardeau, Mo., interned in 2013. Pearl Karamitros, a senior accounting and international business major from Fort Worth, Texas, who grew up in China, interned during the summer of 2012. Jordan Taylor, a senior marketing and economics/finance major from Greenfield, Mo., interned in 2011.

Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institute with a mission to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values and a strong national defense, according to its website.

“This is a very prestigious opportunity because the Heritage Foundation fits in with many of the ideals of SBU,” said Wayne Clark, chairman of the SBU Accounting Department and an assistant professor of accounting. “We are really excited they selected Jenna for this internship and especially pleased that her additional information technology skills and education with her accounting and information assurance degree are being recognized.”

About 70 students across the country are chosen for internships in various departments of the organization.

While these students’ internships include gaining hands-on experience in accounting in a business environment, they also are given many opportunities to learn conservative ideology and its founding principles.

As the marketing technology/CRM intern, Durnell will primarily be working with the integration of a new database that tracks fundraising efforts at The Heritage Foundation.

“This job perfectly aligns with the information assurance part of my degree,” Durnell said. “Internships this specific to my unique major are not common; I am very thankful for the opportunity to put into practice what I have learned in the classroom.”

Durnell is confident that her time at SBU has equipped her for this prestigious opportunity because of the combination of academic rigor and personal attention she has received.

“Professors at SBU do more than simply funnel you in and out of a classroom; they want to help you succeed, even if that means staying past the required office hours,” Durnell said. “I have full confidence that SBU has prepared me to not only succeed in this internship, but also to take full advantage of the opportunities with which I will be presented in Washington, D.C.”

“Having these four students chosen to intern with The Heritage Foundation for consecutive years is impressive because of the competition they face for the limited number of internships the foundation offers,” said Dr. Troy Bethards, dean of the College of Business and Computer Science and associate professor of business administration. “It gives affirmation to the quality of our program and our students.”

SBU Computer and Information Sciences advisory board includes Fortune 500 companies

Southwest Baptist University’s 2014 Computer and Information Sciences Advisory Board will include representatives from two Fortune 500 companies. Wal-Mart, first on the Fortune 500 list, and Intel (54th) are sending representatives in addition to representatives from several other highly respected and innovative companies. Companies represented by the board collectively employ more than 2.8 million employees worldwide.

The complete 2014 Advisory Board consists of the following companies and representatives (listed alphabetically).

Accenture, a global company of more than 280,000 employees and the largest employer of SBU CIS graduates, will be represented by Michael Dwyer, director of research and development at Accenture’s Bolivar location.

Cerner Corp. is the largest provider of electronic medical systems in the U.S. Based in Kansas City, Cerner employs more than 8,000 employees worldwide and is the second largest employer of SBU CIS graduates. Cerner will be represented on the advisory board by Owen Straub, vice president for software engineering.

Herschend Family Entertainment, owner of Silver Dollar City and 25 other themed entertainment parks across 10 states, employs more than 10,000 people creating a significant national information technology undertaking. Summer Newberry, software development manager, will represent HFE Corp. on the 2014 CIS Advisory Board.

Intel Corp. is a world leader in silicon innovation and develops technologies, products and initiatives to continually advance how people work and live. Intel employs more than 82,000 individuals, over half of whom work in the U.S. Jeff Jackson, research and development manager for Intel and an SBU CIS alumnus, represents Intel on the advisory board.

Leggett & Platt, headquartered in Carthage, Mo., is a 127-year-old company consisting of 19 business units, 20,000 employee-partners and more than 140 manufacturing facilities located in 18 countries. Leggett & Platt will be represented by Kevin Chittenden, director of information technology.

Wal-Mart Information Systems Division will be represented by Hal Correll, software architect. Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world and was the top-ranked company on the Fortune 500 list. Wal-Mart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide, all using software written by the Information Systems Division in Bentonville, Ark.

The 2014 SBU CIS Advisory Board will meet Friday, March 14, in the Gene Taylor National Free Enterprise Center on the SBU campus. For more information about SBU CIS, please contact Dr. Tim DeClue, professor and department chair, at (417) 328-1704 or tdeclue@SBUniv.edu.