App State students place highest in the state for Excel skills

Appalachian State University students have earned the highest scores in North Carolina on the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Excel certification examination. Three students top the list; they are accounting major Abby Justice, computer information systems major Spencer Hamill, and management major Jasmine Gonzalez. The students, along with 800 others at App State, participated in the MOS Excel certification exam as part of Computer Information Systems (CIS) 1060: Business Analytics Using Spreadsheet Technology, last fall. CIS 1060 is a required course for Walker College of Business students; the faculty considers Excel abilities and data analytics skills key elements for academic and career success. Based on their scores on the MOS Excel Associate (Microsoft 365 Apps) certification, Justice, Hamill, and Gonzalez were first, second, and third, respectively, in the state. The exam provider, Certiport, coordinates the state and national competitions. The highest scorers by state in each of six categories, from both fall and spring events, meet in the U.S. National Championship in June.

Abby Justice

As the highest scorer in North Carolina on the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Excel certification examination, Abby Justice, a junior majoring in accounting at App State, has earned a spot to compete at the MOS US National Championship. “Being named top student means a lot to me,” said Justice. “As a student who just transferred to App State, I have put an immense amount of work into my academics. The App State Accounting program has many resources that have helped me feel welcomed and hopeful for my future career. Thank you for indulging my achievements."  "Abby is a perceptive, sharp, quick individual with high analytical skills,” said Dr. Deepti Agrawal, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Information Systems. “She actively engages in class and helps her peers."

Spencer Hamill

Spencer Hamill, a freshman majoring in computer information systems at App State, placed second in the state on the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Excel certification examination.  “Don’t be afraid to ask the person next to you for help,” Hamill advises future Mountaineers. “Nine times out of ten, working with someone else will be a huge help, and this doesn’t just apply to Excel.” Mr. Scott Jensen, a Lecturer in the Department of Computer Information Systems, “Spencer is very clearly an extremely intelligent student!”

 Jasmine Gonzalez

Jasmine Gonzalez, a junior management major at App State, placed third in the state on the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Excel certification examination. "If you truly work hard and put your all into everything you do, it will pay off,” said Gonzalez. Your time is extremely valuable; so, make the most of it!"  “It was a joy to have Jasmine in CIS 1060,” said Dr. Wiley Brown, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Information Systems, “She always had a smile on her face, and it was evident that she had a vigorous commitment to academics. I have no doubt that Jasmine is going to succeed in whatever path she chooses and I'm proud to call her my student.” 

About MOS Certification at App State

Securing an MOS Certification provides students with a competitive edge as they embark on their professional journey, and signifies their commitment to excellence. “Achieving the highest rankings in the state not only underscores our unwavering dedication to student success but also highlights the robustness of App State’s esteemed business program," said Dr. Jeff Kaleta, an assistant professor for the Department of Computer Information Systems and the CIS 1060 Program Coordinator.  

Computer Information Systems (CIS) 1060, business analytics using spreadsheet technology, is a required course for App State business students, and through the course participate in the MOS certification. Last semester, over 800 App State students submitted their scores to Certiport. “We’re impressed by these students – not only have they proven they are the best in their state at using Microsoft Office products effectively, but they also now have an important distinction to place on their resume that shows a desire to learn and validate in-demand skills,” said Certiport General Manager Craig Bushman. “The title ‘Microsoft Office Specialist Champion’ will serve them well in their academic and career pursuits.”

Certiport’s Microsoft Office Specialist is the only official Microsoft-recognized certification for Microsoft Office globally and serves as a powerful instrument for assessing students’ skills and preparing them for real-world application of their knowledge.

About the Walker College

The Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University delivers transformational educational experiences that prepare and inspire students to be ethical, innovative and engaged business leaders who positively impact our community, both locally and globally. The college places emphasis on international experiences, sustainable business practices, entrepreneurial programs and real-world applications with industry. Enrolling 3,986 undergraduates in 10 majors, as well as 235 graduate students in three master's programs, the Walker College's full time undergraduate enrollment is the highest in the UNC System. Appalachian is consistently named one of "The Best Business Schools" by The Princeton Review and is accredited by AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the premier global accrediting body for schools of business.

Published: Feb 2, 2024 11:58am