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Software engineering students Susan Maharjan (left) and Dakota Gravitt on Monday participated in an annual programming contest sponsored by Kansas City-based electrical services company Evergy. (Photo by Amanda Wistuba/Northwest Missouri State University).

Software engineering students Susan Maharjan (left) and Dakota Gravitt on Monday participated in an annual programming contest sponsored by Kansas City-based electrical services company Evergy. (Photo by Amanda Wistuba/Northwest Missouri State University).

Nov. 19, 2019

Computer science students earn cash awards, network during annual programming contest


Twelve Northwest Missouri State University computer science students took home cash prizes after competing Tuesday in Evergy’s annual software development contest.

The students, who are enrolled in a software engineering course taught by Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Information Systems Dr. Aziz Fellah, were tasked with designing a concept for a safety reporting application. And they had two hours to complete the task, which often takes months for a professional information technology team.

Team Inciport, comprised of senior computer science majors Dave Chen, of China; Kenny Grannas, of Union Star, Missouri; and Valentine Osakwe, of Nigeria; earned the top prize of $400 in the competition.

“They said that it was the level of detail that really got them,” Chen said afterward of the reason Evergy awarded his team first place. “Each individual step, we listed down to the application that was being used. We said exactly the policies that we expected the application to enforce. They really appreciated the level of detail and the attention paid to that.”

Team Inciport took first place in the Evergy contest. Pictured left to right are Evergy application developers Seth Walz and Hayden Rainey, Team Inciport members Dave Chen, Kenny Grannas and Valentine Osakwe, and Evergy data analyst Jory Galloway.

Team Inciport took first place in the Evergy contest. Pictured left to right are Evergy application developers Seth Walz and Hayden Rainey, Team Inciport members Dave Chen, Kenny Grannas and Valentine Osakwe, and Evergy data analyst Jory Galloway.

Kansas City Power and Light, which merged with another electric services company to become Evergy earlier this year, has annually sponsored programming and research contests for undergraduate and graduate computer science students at Northwest since 2008. The contest also is an opportunity for Evergy information technology staff to network with and recruit Northwest students. 

“It’s a fun experience and it provides you with skills of planning an application especially when you’re on short time and you’re just thrown into a group and have a time crunch,” Grannas said.  

Osakwe added, “That parallel level between students, faculty and corporations coming together like this. You just see everyone talking together at the end, sharing ideas, making connections. For me, that was the highlight.”

The other winning teams and their awards were as follows:

  • “Team South,” comprised of Jacob Hughes, Dakota Gravitt and Susan Maharjan, finished second and earned $300.
  • “Team Two,” comprised of Tommy Vo, Saroj Paudel and Samuel Eagan, finished third and earned $160.
  • “Team JSJ,” consisting of Joseph Lynch, Sagar Tiwari and Joshua Schmitz, earned fourth place and $140.

Media contact:

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