Information and Computer Science

2012-2013 Accolades


On Feb. 8, 2013 Park University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City co-hosted an awards ceremony for 15 Missouri and Kansas female high school students for their computing achievements and interests.

The National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) presented the Award for Aspirations in Computing to these students in recognition of their work to strengthen the technology workforce and cultivate innovation by increasing the participation of women in information technology. The award was presented to the following:
  • Soorya Balachandran, senior, Blue Valley North High School, Overland Park, Kan.
  • Rachel Bisch, senior, Kirkwood (Mo.) High School
  • Samantha Botros, sophomore, Wichita, Kan. (home schooled)
  • Logan Brown, junior, Lawrence (Kan.) Free State High School
  • Kristen Buster, junior, Rock Bridge High School, Columbia, Mo.
  • Heather G., freshman, Harrisburg, Mo. (home schooled)
  • Sarah Hartley, sophomore, Liberty (Mo.) High School
  • Joy Hauser, junior, Olathe (Kan.) South High School
  • Najeebah Hussain, junior, Rock Bridge High School, Columbia, Mo.
  • Dominieke Neasham, senior, Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing, Maryville, Mo.
  • Crystal Qian, senior, Blue Valley Northwest High School, Overland Park, Kan.
  • Shelby Richardson, senior, Rock Bridge High School, Columbia, Mo.
  • Tanesha Staples, senior, Riverview Gardens High School, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Haohang Xu, senior, Ladue Horton Watkins High School, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Michelle Zhuang, senior, Rock Bridge High School, Columbia, Mo.

Each student received an Amazon Kindle, courtesy of Cerner. The ceremony included speaker Alicia Dwyer Cianciolo, an aerospace engineer with NASA. Cianciolo spoke to the students about her experience working on the landing procedure for the Mars Curiosity rover in August 2012.

For more information about NCWIT, visit


Two teams of Park University information and computer science students competed in the annual ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest in Warrensburg, Mo., on Nov. 3. The Pirate team of seniors Long Nguyen and Nirendra Shakya placed 2nd at the contest site and 47th out of 156 teams region-wide. The Buccaneer team of juniors Josh Hall, Josh McLaughlin and Paul Parker also cracked the scoreboard in their first-ever competition. Contestants had five hours to solve up to eight programming problems, with team Pirate solving four problems just past the midpoint of the contest.

Nirendra Shakya and Long Nguyen
Nirendra Shakya and Long Nguyen