Tag Archives: College of Business and Computer Science

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.

SBU computer science department leads in groundbreaking course design

Southwest Baptist University Department of Computer Information Science has partnered with Angie Klein, computer science teacher at Liberty High School in Liberty, Mo., to develop an innovative computer science course curriculum.

SBU CIS created a groundbreaking design for the CIS 1033 Foundations of Computer Science course, which satisfies a general education requirement at SBU. The course design is patterned after the prototype for ETS Advanced Placement in Computer Science, which will not debut on the national stage until 2017. SBU plans to be ready to offer this course online to high schools once demand for it increases when it is accepted for advanced placement credit in 2016-17.

“SBU is in the forefront of computer science education. Our students had an amazing experience this past fall, and they may have been completely unaware of how unique it was,” said Dr. Tim DeClue, chair of the department of computer information science at SBU.

This innovative design is providing students the opportunity to experience instructional content in a general education computing course that is currently only available to a handful of institutions nationwide, including Stanford and UCLA. SBU is the only university in Missouri with this curriculum.

Professor Meilani Conley and Dr. Baochuan Lu of the SBU CIS faculty collaborated with Klein to produce a paper titled, “Teaching True Computer Science Principles to the General Student.” The paper reports on the new, leading edge course design used at SBU and Liberty High School.

DeClue also wrote a paper titled, “Computing and the Affective Domain: Learning to Love (and Persist) in Computer Science.” This research reviews the connection between real-world computing projects promoting social good and the ability of students to enjoy and persist as computer science majors.

Both papers will be published in the May 2014 issue of the Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges (JCSC). The JCSC is a publication of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges, an endorsed society of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the world’s largest and oldest association for computing professionals. In addition to appearing in the JCSC, the papers will be available in ACM’s searchable digital library, the leading digital library of computer science literature, world class publications and online books.

The SBU faculty will also present their work at the Central Plains regional meeting of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSC-CP) in April.

For more information about SBU Department of Computer Information Science, please contact DeClue at (417) 328-1704 or tdeclue@SBUniv.edu.

SBU business programs receive reaffirmation of accreditation

The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) Baccalaureate/Graduate Degree Board of Commissioners has awarded Southwest Baptist University with reaffirmation of accreditation of its business programs.

“Our students are achieving great results and this reaffirmation helps validate that SBU business and computer science students are receiving a quality education,” said Dr. Troy Bethards, dean of the College of Business and Computer Science.

Established in 1988, ACBSP is the only organization offering specialized business accreditation for all degree levels, from associate to baccalaureate to doctoral degree programs. ACBSP accreditation certifies that the teaching and learning processes within the College of Business and Computer Science at Southwest Baptist University meet the rigorous educational standards established by ACBSP.

The ACBSP provides the SBU College of Business and Computer Science with full accreditation for another 10 years. The accreditation is based on a continuous improvement model with the college submitting quality assurance reports every two years to maintain good standing.

“Southwest Baptist University has shown their commitment to teaching excellence and to the process of quality improvement by participating in the accreditation process,” said ACBSP Director of Accreditation Steve Parscale, who will present the Certificate of Reaffirmation of Accreditation at the ACBSP Annual Conference in Chicago, Ill., June 29.

“This accreditation is evidence that SBU is committed to providing the highest quality business education for their students for the next 10 years, just as they have done for the last 10 years,” Parscale said.

Dr. Susan Lynch, chair of the department of business administration, led the reaffirmation efforts by creating processes to ensure continual improvement and to measure student learning outcomes.

“Having the ACBSP accreditation is advantageous because an external organization is evaluating and affirming that we are doing what we said we would do and are still continuously improving,” Lynch said.

For more information about SBU and the College of Business and Computer Science, please contact Bethards at (417) 328-1757 or tbethards@SBUniv.edu.

SBU computer science students finish in top 20 in regional competition

SBU computer science students recently competed in a programming competition in Fayetteville, Ark. SBU’s A team finished in second place at the local site, claiming a top 20 spot in the entire mid-central U.S. region. Over 130 teams competed in the regional competition. SBU’s B and C teams finished 65th and 66th respectively.Top 20 Computer Programming Students

“We were happy with the results,” said Dr. Tim DeClue, CIS department chair and team coach. “It really came down to SBU and the Arkansas Razorbacks at our site. It was a lot of fun to see our SBU students battling it out with a powerhouse like Arkansas. They honored God with their efforts and abilities – that’s all I can ask. I am very proud of our teams.”

SBU’s A team was comprised of Luke Abbott, senior from Camdenton, Mo.; Jason Jakusz, senior from Theodosia, Mo.; and Justin Stout, junior from Gardner, Kan. The B team consisted of Brady Kornrumpf, sophomore from Jefferson City, Mo.; and Nate Schultz, sophomore from Omaha, Neb. The C team involved Jarrett Munton, sophomore from O’Fallon, Ill.; Bobby Sterling, junior from Buffalo, Mo.; and Jonathan Becker, freshman from Blue Springs, Mo. And SBU’s D team was comprised of Steven Harris, sophomore from Bolivar, Mo.; Addison Woody, sophomore from St. Joseph, Mo.; and Jacob Parke, freshman from Eureka, Mo.