November 5, 2020                                          

CONTACT: Victoria Rosengarten, 816/881-2308

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI –  The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City announced today that Southwest Baptist University (SBU) was awarded first place in the fifth annual Kansas City Fed Code-A-Thon. This year’s competition addressed a real-life problem related to the coronavirus pandemic. The winning SBU team developed a ‘smell training’ application to help the infected regain their sense of smell.

The app creates two routines and two exercises to help people regulate and re-train their fifth sense. It was inspired by members of the team who have been affected by COVID-19, as some of them have used smell training to recover their sense of smell.

The Kansas City Fed Code-A-Thon is an annual event to encourage and inspire computer science and engineering collegiate students. Since its inception, the event continues to increase in participation. Thirteen teams, with more than 50 students, worked throughout the weekend on Oct. 23-25. For the first time, Drury and Truman State Universities participated in the event. Teams were judged on innovation, UX/polish, functionality, impact/potential, and presentation.

This year, second place was awarded to the team from Drury University. Another team from SBU, came in third place in the competition. For the second time, Langston University’s Professor Ralph Grayson, was presented the University Champion Award. The award is given to the most committed and engaged faculty in the competition.

Nearly 50 percent of Kansas City Fed employees are IT professionals. Through Code-A-Thon and other programs, the Bank supports STEM education efforts and develop a talent pipeline. Several current Kansas City Fed employees are past Code-A-Thon participants. For information on the 2021 Code-A-Thon, email

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