Management and information technology students at Missouri State University recently brought home multiple awards from a regional competition involving over 50 colleges and universities.
With first-place wins in the Cybersecurity and Troubleshooting competition, and several top-10 placements, it is the best performance to date for MSU students at the U.S. Information Technology Collegiate Conference (USITCC).
“We have been getting honorable mentions in other years but not first and second places,” said Dr. Xiang Guo, assistant professor of information technology. “This is a huge success.”
The group attended the South Central USITCC conference Oct. 25-27 in Amarillo, Texas. The regional conference is a precursor to the national competition held in April.
Down to the wire
The students prepared for the competition primarily on their own time. Their hard work and dedication, combined with encouragement from professors, led to success.
“Dr. Guo challenged me and believed in my potential,” said Kshitij Sethi, a junior computer information systems (CIS) major who competed in the competition. “I am now training for nationals because of his encouragement.”
Sethi participated in the cybersecurity competition with Lino Perez, a senior CIS major. The pair had three hours to complete exam-based questions and practical technical challenges with accuracy.
“The cybersecurity match happened in real time, and we were neck-and-neck with another team until the very end,” Sethi said.
The competition was high-stakes.
“I held my breath every time there were cheers in the room because that meant someone had answered another question right,” he said. “That meant a potential threat to us.”
Sethi worked alone in the PC troubleshooting competition.
“PC troubleshooting was like taking a lengthy final,” he said. “My goal was to be as accurate as possible without rushing it.”
Sethi placed first in both of his competitions.
- 1st place, Lino Perez and Sethi
- 4th place, Holden Bridges and Nicole AllmondJoy
- 1st place, Sethi
- 4th place, Lauren Embry
- 5th place, Abner Ramirez
- 6th place, Noah Baumann
- 2nd place, Perez and Bridges
- Honorable mention, Perez and Bridges
The students are members of the MSU chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals.
They will compete again at the national USITCC competition in April.