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SBU CIS team wins Mid-South Region Programming Contest

BOLIVAR, Mo. — Southwest Baptist University’s top competitive programming team took an early lead and didn’t look back in capturing the Consortium for Computing Sciences Mid-South Region Programming Contest on March 31 at Lyon College in Batesville, Ark.

CIS.MidSouthSBU’s top team, which consisted of sophomore Allison Hawkins of St. Joseph, junior Grant Jennings of Joplin and sophomore Stephen Leskowat of Tulsa, Okla., submitted the first successful solution of the entire competition in only 17 minutes, and then proceeded to solve four more problems in four hours for a total of five solutions – two more than any other team in the field. The University of Arkansas-Fort Smith finished tied for second (three solutions) with Harding University to round out the top three in a field of 21 teams from 11 universities.

“I am particularly proud of this team,” said Dr. Tim DeClue, coach and Computer and Information Sciences chair. “They are young, but they have already established their reputation in the region. They also exemplify our Psalm 15 emphasis – they have incredible integrity and they have persevered in the face of adversity. This has been a great semester for SBU’s competitive programming team.”

SBU’s second team, which included senior Julie Bowman of Franklin, N.C., freshman Cavanaugh Richards of St. Charles and freshman Matthew McNabb of Clever, finished in a seven-way tie for third with two solutions. Practicing with the team this year were freshman Mitchell Northern of Bolivar, junior Russell Davis of Bolivar and senior Paul Kramer of O’Fallon, Ill.

The Mid-South Region of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSC) is one of only 10 CCSC regions in the United States and comprises universities from Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma. The Consortium is a non-profit 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.

Southwest Baptist University’s Department of Computer and Information Sciences is home to more than 100 students, five full-time faculty and two faculty associates. The SBU CIS Department is a nationally recognized leader among evangelical Christian schools in the production of computing and software engineering professionals. The CIS Department’s computer science program is one of only six accredited programs in the nation at an evangelical Christian college.

Team members (left to right): Cavanaugh Richards, Paul Kramer, Allison Hawkins, Stephen Leskowat, Mitchell Northern, Julie Bowman, Russell Davis, Matthew McNabb and Grant Jennings.