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UCM Students Capture Third Place in Kansas City Fed Code-A-Thon

By Jeff Murphy, March 16, 2023

University of Central Missouri students and faculty members recently attended the Kansas City Fed Code-A-Thon awards ceremony, where UCM's tream was awarded third place. (photo by Gary Barber/KC Fed). 

WARRENSBURG, MO – A team of students from the University of Central Missouri won third place in the seventh annual Kansas City Fed Code-A-Thon. Awards were presented on March 10. This highlighted competitive efforts that began with a two-day virtual event Feb. 23-24 in which the team was charged with developing software solutions to solve meaningful real-life problems, followed by a presentation on Feb. 26 to demonstrate their solution.

The Code-A-Thon is sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City as an annual competition designed to encourage and inspire computer science and engineering collegiate students. The focus or theme for this year’s event was directed toward “helping someone learn code and use it in their everyday life.”

According to the Federal Reserve Bank,  more than 70 students representing 18 teams from throughout the region competed in the event. They were judged on innovation, user experience (UX)/polish, functionality, impact potential, and presentation.
First-, second-, and third-place awards were presented. While finishing in the top three, the UCM team was recognized for Best Code. Team members were: Samuel Luke and Trey Napier, both Computer Science majors, and Peter Morris, who is majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics.

“This team of three might have been small in number but produced a mighty application. I am continually amazed by our students who compete in this competition and the technical and creative skills, ability to adapt and learn, and tenacity which are required to produce quality applications year after year,” said Dr. Belinda Copus, chair of the UCM Department Computer Science and Cybersecurity. 

Other recognition was given to teams in areas such as Best Use of Application Programming Interfaces, Most Unique Solution, Best Execution, and Best Presentation.

Event such as the Code-A-Thon support STEM education and help develop a pipeline for future talent. About 50 percent of the bank’s staff are Information Technology (IT) professionals. Among them are employees who have competed in previous Code-A-Thons. UCM’s long history of involvement in this annual competition includes capturing first place in 2022, and a number of other top-three finishes.

The Kansas City Fed is the regional headquarters for the nation’s central bank. It has branch offices in Denver, Oklahoma City, and Omaha, which serve the seven states of the Tenth District: Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, northern New Mexico and western Missouri.

Individuals who want to know more about UCM’s participation in the Kansas City Fed Code-A-Thon should contact Dr. Belinda Copus, chair of the Department of Computer Science and Cybersecurity, Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies, at



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