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Majors & Degrees

Beacom Dean’s Cup experience is resume-builder

February 15, 2024

Dakota State University students excel in all types of cyber competitions, whether they be regional, national, or international. They also benefit from on-campus events.

The annual Beacom College Dean’s Cup competition was created in 2020 as a way to keep students engaged over the winter break. It continues to encourage students to dive deeper into topics that interest them.

This December, students enrolled in any of the programs of The Beacom College of Computer & Cyber Sciences were invited to take part in the competition. Individual students or groups of students, whether online or on-campus, created a technology-based project to work on from December through January 15.


Beacom Dean’s Cup winners include: (back left) Santiago Colla, Andrew Flora, Will Campbell; (front left) Samuel Johnson, Brett Van Oort, John Brumels.

“It was a pleasure and an honor to see all of the cool things our students are working on! I was impressed by every single submission. Projects and activities like these really stand out on resumes and in job interviews, so it's great to see students leaning into it,” said Andrew Kramer, Assistant Professor in The Beacom College.

Santiago Colla, a Cyber Operations major from Argentina, worked on a team with Will Campbell and Andrew Flora. Their software engineering project won second place. Colla said he put his project on his resume right away. “Now I can add ‘award-winning,’” he said. Campbell is a Computer Science master’s degree student from Aberdeen, S.D., and Flora is a Computer Science major from Conway, Arkansas.

Other students discovered the project was a way to learn and polish skills.

“I’m not great at soldering,” said Brett VanOort, but he needed to do about 10 hours of soldering for his Raspberry Pi project. Van Oort is a Cyber Operations major from Brandon, S.D.

Student submissions were judged by several faculty members using three criteria: originality, creativity, and problem-solving potential.

Winners are:

  • 1stPlace ($500) - John Brumels, "Wireless Device Security." Brumels is a Cyber Defense master’s degree student from Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • 2ndPlace ($300) - Will Campbell, Andrew Flora, and Santiago Colla, software engineering
  • 3rdPlace ($150) - Brett VanOrt’s project using his Raspberry Pi received in a summer GenCyber Camp at DSU
  • "Thanks for Playing" ($50) -- Samuel Johnson (selected randomly). Johnson, a freshman Cyber Operations major from Frazee, Minn., said he’d definitely try the competition again next time.


“I want to express my sincere appreciation to all the students who participated in the competition for their outstanding effort. You shall all be proud of your accomplishments,” said Jihene Kaabi, Assistant Professor in The Beacom College.

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