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Southern Adventist University Sweeps Medals at SkillsUSA

A diverse line-up of young men and women on a stage wearing white shirts, black pants and some with red jackets.

Southern students accept their medals for earning the top three places at the SkillsUSA collegiate
division state championship in Web Design and Development. Photo: Southern Adventist University Marketing and University Relations

For the third year in a row, students from Southern Adventist University took home top honors in the SkillsUSA collegiate division state championship in web design and development in April. According to Richard Halterman, PhD, dean and professor in the School of Computing, three teams from Southern competed and placed first, second, and third in the Tennessee state championship.

Beginning in September, the students met weekly and put in many hours of practice to improve before the competition. The practices included receiving various prompts and building a web design for desktop and mobile devices with a specific time limit.

Junior computer science majors Sam Tooley and Caeden Scott were the first-place winners and qualified for the national championship, which will be held this summer in Atlanta, Georgia. Scott and Tooley are excited to participate in the national competition this summer.

“We’re going to keep training and practicing and try to improve on what we did at state so we can make an even better design,” Tooley said. He added that learning how to work and design faster allows them to create and include more features on the sites they design.

Tooley also shared that the skills he’s honing for the competition translate directly as career preparation. “Everybody wants responsive layouts, and I’ve even come across some big websites lacking some of the features for mobile design. So, these are great skills to have for anyone who wants to work as a website developer.”

Second place in the competition went to Noah Norwood, a sophomore computer science major, and Mark Moskalenko, a sophomore information technology major. In third place were Logan Gardner, a sophomore computer science major, and Shinny No, a junior computer science major. Computing master’s candidate Dakota Cooken master trained and coached the three teams from Southern.