NSU students finish first at national computer information systems competition

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Northwestern State University students Alba Maloff of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and Nicholas Fisher of Iowa won first place in Microsoft Office Solutions at the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) National Collegiate Conference in St. Louis. Harvey Briggs of Monroe was in the top 20 in Security. This is the 16th time in 17 years a NSU computer information systems major has won first place at the national competition.

Thirteen NSU students attended the conference along with Professor of Computer Information Systems Begona Perez-Mira, faculty sponsor of the university’s AITP chapter. More than 460 students and faculty from 48 colleges and universities attended the conference.

Maloff and Fisher were tested on their knowledge of Microsoft Access (database), Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word and Powerpoint.

“All the parts make up 1 project so they are linked,” said Maloff, a senior computer information systems major with concentrations in app development and web development and a minor in music performance. “I used one of the queries in Access to create the Excel file, and then a part of the Excel was to be linked to the Word file and so on.”

Maloff believes national competitions are useful for students in the highly competitive computer information systems field.

“It is important for us to put ourselves out there and compare our knowledge to others,” he said. “A couple of months ago we were in regional competition and even though we did not place we learned from the experience and that helped us prepare for nationals.”

Northwestern State’s online bachelor’s program in computer information systems has been rated as the top information technology program in the country, according to Nonprofit Colleges Online. Program graduates are actively recruited by leading corporations throughout the country.

“NSU is preparing us to compete in the field,” said Maloff. But it is up to us to use that knowledge and expand it as best we can through research and through activities such as these competitions which the university and the CIS department greatly encourage us to attend.”

For more information on the AITP program, please contact Dr. Begona Perez-Mira at perezmirab@nsula.edu. To learn about the CIS program, go to cis.nsula.edu or e-mail cis@nsula.edu.