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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 are Kristen Bartles, Owen Rauckman, Andrew Allen, KCP&L's Shan Lynn and Anthony Belcher, Devin Lyons, Larry Long and Travis Bruce.

Kansas City Power and Light awarded six Northwest students as part its annual CS/IS Research Paper Competition. Left to right are Kristen Bartles, Owen Rauckman, Andrew Allen, KCP&L's Shan Lynn and Anthony Belcher, Devin Lyons, Larry Long and Travis Bruce. (Photos by Darren Whitley/University Relations)

Dec. 3, 2014

Annual KCP&L contest awards students for technology research

Devin Lyons gives his presentation, “The Growth of Scrum: Adding New Value to Other Industries,” to a judging panel during the CS/IS Research Paper Competition. Lyons earned first place and $400 for his presentation.

Devin Lyons gives his presentation, “The Growth of Scrum: Adding New Value to Other Industries,” to a judging panel during the CS/IS Research Paper Competition. Lyons earned first place and $400 for his presentation.

Six Northwest Missouri State University students earned cash prizes and valuable presentation experience Dec. 2 during the seventh annual CS/IS Research Paper Competition, sponsored by Kansas City Power and Light.

Devin Lyons, a senior management information systems major from Minden, Iowa, earned first place and $400 for his presentation “The Growth of Scrum: Adding New Value to Other Industries,” which considered how the software development framework could be translated to benefit a classroom setting.

Dr. Joni Adkins, assistant professor of computer Science and information systems, advised Lyons on his research, which he completed for an assignment in Adkins’ systems analysis and design course.

“The biggest learning experience for me was prepping for a professional presentation that isn’t just in the academic environment,” Lyons, who aspires to lead a company one day, said. “This was a competition outside of class, and we weren’t presenting to other classmates. It was trying to create a really professional presentation that gets across your ideas and research.”

Students were 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. 

“Every time we come up here we learn a little bit about computer science and information technology,” said KCP&L’s Shan Lynn after the contest’s winners were announced. “We’re giving to the community and helping to give these kids an opportunity to develop and hone their skills. Getting up and presenting in front of people that they’re not used to seeing every day is a little bit challenging.”

Second place went to Larry Long, a senior management information systems major from Denver, Mo., who received $250 for his presentation, “Business Process Modeling Notation.” Travis Bruce, a senior computer science major from Weston, Mo., was awarded third place and $200 for his presentation, “The Need for Tools & Methodologies that Detect & Visualize Code Smells.”

The judging panel also awarded honorable mentions and $50 each to Andrew Allen, a junior computer science major from Omaha, Neb., for his presentation, “Software Engineering Testing Methodologies, Code-First, and Test-First Development”; Kristen Bartles, a senior management information systems major from Harrisonville, Mo., for her presentation, “The Growth of Agile Project Management”; and Owen Rauckman, a junior interactive digital media: computer science programming major from Olathe, Kan., for his presentation, “Using Scrum Software Applications to Enhance Productivity and Accountability in the Workplace”

The annual competition is open to students in the University’s software engineering and systems analysis and design courses. Students were 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 conducted a blind review of the papers. Finalists were then selected to present their papers to a panel of judges from KCP&L.

Lynn and Anthony Belcher, both of whom are Northwest alumni, represented KCP&L on the judging panel. Lynn earned his bachelor’s degree from Northwest in 1984 and is employed at KCP&L as senior manager of enterprise support. Belcher earned his bachelor’s degree from Northwest in 2009 and works at KCP&L as a help desk analyst.

“The professors are always really engaged and concerned about how the students are doing,” Lynn said. “The professors are driving them to continue to get better. For me, it’s a pride boost to come up to your alma mater and see them putting on good presentations.”


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