A&M International Students are Information Systems Winners

Texas A&M International University student Ana Alfaro has something to be proud of this week.

That's because Alfaro, a senior computer information systems major and her fellow information systems students garnered top prizes in a competition among more than 120 student programmers from colleges and universities across Texas and Oklahoma.

The 14th Annual Glenda K. Anderson Programming Contest, sponsored by the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP), took place Feb. 11-12 at Tarleton State University in Stephenville.

A&M International teams, comprised of members of the Student Systems Group (SSG), placed in five of six possible events. The teams won two third places, two second places and one first place awards. The group will now travel to Tampa, Florida in late March to participate in AITP's national competition.

Alfaro and another student, Maria Luisa Méndez, won the First Place in Web Page Design.

Second Place was won by Aladdin Hall in Visual Basic and by the team of Rob Krochmal and Noel Ruíz in C++, both programming languages.

Third Place awards went to Hall in Web Page Design and the team of Alfaro and Méndez in Visual Basic.

Dr. Stephen Lunce, associate professor of information systems and SSG faculty advisor, said these results mirror the quality of instruction provided at A&M International.

"Business, by its very nature, is competitive. The competitive grounds of the 21st Century will not be in the mass-production capabilities of heavy industry but rather in who has information, what information they have and most importantly, who has access and control of that information," Dr. Lunce said.

"These student programmers will write the application software of the Information Age and their ability to compete with students from other CIS programs demonstrates how well prepared A&M International students are for the challenges of this new age," he added.

To Alfaro, SSG president, this recent success came as a result of both student and faculty efforts.

"I'm very happy because we've been trying very hard for this. We've participated in many competitions since 1998 and each time, we felt a little stronger," she said.

Alfaro said Lunce and information systems instructor Jesús Carmona have served as a strong guiding force for students.

"Dr. Lunce has been a kind mentor and he has very efficiently and successfully guided the SSG officers and the organization. Mr. Carmona puts in a lot of extra hours after class to tutor students," Alfaro said.

Alfaro said she is proud to have represented A&M International in this competition.

"When you go to a competition like this and see that the quality of education we receive is just as good or better than those offered at other universities, we feel pretty proud of that," Alfaro said. "I'm proud of our University and the program here."

Training received in class also translates to professional success, Alfaro said.

"As a senior, now I am confident about my knowledge and abilities and thanks to the result in this competition, I'll be more marketable. I'll put it in my résumé," she said.

For further information, please contact Dr. Lunce at 326-2502. University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu