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Northwest Missouri State University

Student Spotlight

Nov. 26, 2013

Northwest students test networking skills during annual competition

Seven Northwest Missouri State University students competed in the Midwestern USA Post-Secondary NetRiders Competition with five advancing to the second round and one qualifying for the final round.

Will Trout, a senior management information systems major from Elkhorn, Neb., will compete in the final round Dec. 6. He is one of three competitors representing Missouri in the finale.

NetRiders is an interactive student skills competition that tests students' networking and information technology skills through a series of online exams and simulation activities. Sponsored by Cisco Systems Inc., the competition draws students from throughout the world and creates a fun, educational challenge for them to compete with their peers in a real-time environment.

The students showcase their skills while gaining visibility among talent recruiters in the growing IT and networking fields.

All rounds are virtual, meaning students compete at their institution with instructor supervision online. The first round took place between Oct. 18 to 30, and round two was Nov. 14 through 21. Dr. Carolyn Hardy, assistant professor in the Department of Math, Computer Science and Information Systems, advises the Northwest students.

Round one consisted of a 60-minute exam, and qualifiers must have earned a minimum score of 60 percent. In addition to Trout, Northwest students Charles Beckler, Clint Schlatter, Jacob Shuster and Ryan Woodward advanced from the first round. Zach Montgomery and Mason Munson also represented Northwest in the initial round.

From the second round, Trout advanced by earning a qualifying score on two 60-minute exams. The finale consists of one 60-minute exam and one 90-minute exam.

More than 1,000 students representing 41 states and eight Canadian provinces competed in round one, with 355 advancing to round two. Eighty-seven students, representing 39 states and eight provinces qualified for the final round.

The top three United States finishers and the top Canadian finisher receive a prize package that includes a trip to California to tour the Cisco campus and meet with Cisco engineers and executives, as well as excursions to Stanford University, Santa Cruz and San Francisco.

For more information about the NetRiders competition, visit

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

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