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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Kansas City Power and Light awarded six Northwest students as part its annual CS/IS Research Paper Competition. Left to right in the first row are KCP&L's Yuvonise Thurmond, Christopher Staggs, Shelbie Wise, Sandip Subedi and KCP&L's Jory Galloway. In the back row are Austin Diedrichs, Coleten McGuire and Zac Haider. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Kansas City Power and Light awarded six Northwest students as part its annual CS/IS Research Paper Competition. Left to right in the first row are KCP&L's Yuvonise Thurmond, Christopher Staggs, Shelbie Wise, Sandip Subedi and KCP&L's Jory Galloway. In the back row are Austin Diedrichs, Coleten McGuire and Zac Haider. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

    Dec. 11, 2015

    Annual KCP&L contest awards students for technology research

    Six Northwest Missouri State University students earned cash prizes and valuable presentation experience Dec. 8 during the eighth annual CS/IS Research Paper Competition, sponsored by Kansas City Power and Light.

    Christopher Staggs, a senior management information systems major from Milan, Missouri, earned first place and $340 for his presentation “Non-Relational Databases for Large Data Corporations,” which compared newer, more flexible non-relational databases to older relational-structures databases.

    “As businesses are getting bigger, databases are getting bigger as well, so non-relational databases seem to be the best solution for large data,” Staggs said.

    Students are judged on the context of their presentations and exhibiting knowledge of their topic as well as their presentation skills and abilities to respond to questions from the judging panel about their research. The contest also is an opportunity for KCP&L staff members to network with and recruit Northwest students. 

    Second place went to Shelbie Wise, senior computer science major from Eagan, Minnesota, who received $220 for her presentation, “Architectures Within Cloud Computing.” Coleten McGuire, a senior computer science major from Maryville, was awarded third place and $140 for his presentation, “Development of Embedded Software: Safe and Upgradeable Systems in a Rapidly Changing Industry.”

    The judging panel also awarded honorable mentions and $100 each to Sandip Subedi, a junior computer science major from Lekhnath, Nepal, for his presentation, “Practices of Code Implementations;” Austin Diedrichs, a senior computer science major from Norwalk, Iowa, for his presentation, “Code Smells: Why Does Your Code Stink;” and Zac Haider, a junior management information systems major from Maitland, Missouri, for his presentation, “Comparison of Design Techniques for Web Page User Interfaces and Application User Interfaces.”

    The annual competition is open to students in the University’s software engineering and systems analysis and design courses. Students are assigned a research paper and given the option of submitting it for the research contest. A panel of faculty members in Northwest’s School of Computer Science and Information Systems conduct a blind review of the papers. Finalists are then selected to present their papers to a panel of judges from KCP&L.

    Yuvonise Thurmond, supervisor of KCP&L’s outage management system, and Jory Galloway, web application programmer at KCP&L, represented KCP&L on the judging panel. Both also are Northwest alumni.

    “On behalf of KCP&L, Jory and I are happy for the opportunity to sponsor the event and for the partnership we’ve had with Northwest for the past several years,” Thurmond said. “With each year we come down, the decisions, as far as placing and prizes, are always very challenging because each year the presentations and the papers get better.”


    For more information, please contact:

    Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
    mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

    Northwest Missouri State University
    215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468