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May 2014

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Top Teams Tie in the CIS Capstone Project Competition

Winning Team in CIS CompetitionRecently, two student teams from Professor Carey Cole's CIS Information Systems Development and Implementation course (CIS 484) presented their final project deliverables in the CIS Capstone Project Competition.

For this final project, student teams were tasked with creating a project deliverable for the Rockingham Group, a local insurance company.  Each team created a fully functioning website that enabled the Rockingham Group customers to safely sign into a portal, estimate a quote for home and/or auto insurance, and contact a local insurance agent.

The CIS capstone course is one that blends the knowledge and skills gained in the previous CIS courses (CIS 330, CIS 331, and CIS 454). As seniors, students are supposed to enter CIS 484 equipped with the knowledge gained from their previous course study and ready to use that knowledge to execute a deliverable for a real client. The top two teams are selected by Cole and asked to compete for best final project in the CIS Capstone Project Competition.

At the competition, Cole gave opening remarks, followed by CIS interim department head Mike Mitri, who offered advice to the soon-to-be graduates. Just before presentations began, Karen Bowman, a representative from the Rockingham Group, thanked students for sharing their knowledge and expertise and remarked on her experiences working with the students. About working with the students, Bowman said, "From the beginning, both Kristi and I were impressed with the questions we were asked and the talents that these students have. They were analytical, inquisitive, and were obviously going to offer us some very good ideas.  After seeing the final presentations, our expectations were confirmed. Both of the winning presentations were very impressive."

CIS seniors Zachary Clemens, Cory Dovel, Lacey Lomax, and Matthew Primmer then provided an overview of the project, explaining its purpose and the expectations of the various stakeholders09- 

Pictured above, the first team to present consisted of senior CIS students William Hanson, Douglas Hill, Dae Kim, Nathan Krueger, and Shelagh Worfolk.

Second Winning Team in CIS CompetitionThe second team consisted of senior CIS students Jiamin Kuang, Michael Nicolett, Justin Partlow, and Nicholas Scozzafava.

During their presentations, both of the student groups explained their project implementation and demonstrated the functionality of the website. The students then fielded questions from the judges. 

Judges from the competition included Mitri and CIS professors Dr. Jeff May, Dr. John Guo, Mr. John Karabelas, and Ms. Laura Atkins in addition to Karen Bowman and Kristi Harold from the Rockingham Group, as well as Shelly Hokanson from JMU’s School of Media Arts and Design.

After the presentations, students from the CIS 484 course offered advice to the CIS 331 students in the audience. Senior CIS student Nicholas Scozzafava advised, “You must respect the project—this is not the type of project you can finish in one night. You must work progressively and stay within the scope of the project. Do not try to take on too much.”

After calculating the judges’ scores, Cole revealed that the two teams tied for best final project. In providing the closing remarks, Cole explained, “I had a lot of you in COB 204 when you were first entering the program, and I get a sense of pride seeing your growth from the time you were a freshmen until you are a senior. It is a pretty amazing thing. From working with each of you, I have learned that where ever I set the bar, you will all go there with me.”

Rockingham Group thanked the students for their dedication by providing dinner for all those in attendance.

The CoB congratulates the two teams and thanks the judges for sharing their feedback and expertise with students. We would also like to thank Rockingham Group for providing an opportunity for students to engage in hands-on experiential learning, a staple of instruction in the College of Business.

To view pictures from this event, please click here