Third Place National Finish for Panhandle State AITP

Released by Panhandle State Campus Communications on 04/17/2017 From left to right: Cole Tolbert, Martin Jurado, Grant Sparkman, Brian Martinez, Elias Pitterle, Madilyn Rider, Chance Hayden, Travis Pitterle, Jorge Rosas, Allston Hadley, Ricardo Quezadaponce, Kim Tuttle. —Courtesy PhotoFrom left to right: Cole Tolbert, Martin Jurado, Grant Sparkman, Brian Martinez, Elias Pitterle, Madilyn Rider, Chance Hayden, Travis Pitterle, Jorge Rosas, Allston Hadley, Ricardo Quezadaponce, Kim Tuttle. —Courtesy Photo

Goodwell, Okla. — The Oklahoma Panhandle State University Programming Team recently finished third place in Systems Analysis and Design in the nation at the 2017 AITP NCC (Association of Information Technology Professionals National Collegiate Conference) in St. Louis, Mo. held April 6-9 at the Hyatt Regency. The Systems Analysis and Design team consisted of Cole Tolbert and Travis Pitterle.

The team took 11 students to AITP NCC and they competed in a range of contests: Microsoft Office Solutions, Systems Analysis and Design, Network Design, Database Design, PC Troubleshooting, Cyber Security and Business Analytics.

The team also took third place in the Top Monkey Award which faculty member, Kim Tuttle describes, “It is a formula of number of attendees from your university, number of contests entered, and number of miles traveled all multiplied together. It’s more of a fun award, but out of 48 universities in attendance, we were recognized for having a large number of students attend and compete in multiple contests.”

Travis and Cole were both part of first place teams at Regionals last fall at Amarillo College. Cole is a graduating senior and he reflected on his overall experience, “AITP has been not only an amazing career building organization, allowing me to meet other individuals working in the CS industry; it’s also been a great confidence builder as I’ve had the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with some of the top schools in the nation.”

CompTIA recently purchased AITP so there were a few announcements about changes for the future. Student membership will be free moving forward and students will receive one-year professional membership free upon graduation. Students will also have access to a career portal with a comprehensive job board in the future and 15 percent discounts on all certifications offered by CompTIA. The career fair at NCC is always a huge success in Panhandle State’s students finding jobs after graduation. This year sponsors included, State Farm, USAA, Progressive, IBM, WraySec, Herzog, and College Raptor.

When Travis was asked about his thoughts on the experience, he commented, “It was an honor to take home third place for OPSU. However, the competitions aren’t the end of the utility we get for being able to compete. AITP allows us to get out into the world and socialize with other IT professionals, see more of the wide world, and helps us quickly build teamwork and community with our peers and our professors. The relationship and social skills we practiced in St. Louis are invaluable for a field like ours, especially for students like us living in small town Oklahoma. Seeing what the world has to offer, and building strong relationships with our classmates should show for a strong network of OPSU Alumni for the future.”

Overall, the conference had 555 attendees with 404 being students representing 48 colleges. Panhandle State’s Programming Team is looking forward to a bright future with CompTIA supporting the AITP organization moving forward.

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