Of the record 24 DSC students who competed at the DECA conference, eight went on to earn national recognition, including seven students who finished in the top-three overall. Among the top national finishers was junior Abraham Thiombaino from Ouaguadaugou, Africa, who won the Financial Services competition, this after claiming top honors in that category at the state DECA competition this past March. In addition, seniors Stephen Campbell (St. George) and Derek Leinbach (Fruit Heights, Utah) claimed national runner-up honors in the Web Page Design competition, while seniors Tyler Lewis (St. George) and Trevor Linderman (Rexburg, Idaho) placed third in the Financial Statement Analysis competition. Junior Katie Bock (Grand Junction, Colo.) and sophomore Melissa Cowles (St. George) also posted a third-place showing in the Business-to-Business Marketing competition, and sophomore Nathaniel Rice (New York, NY) was a national finalist in Design Presentation.
“To say we performed well would be a slight understatement,” said Dr. Philip Lee, DSC Udvar-Hazy School of Business Department Chair who is a 32-year veteran advisor to the school’s DECA program. “We received over 6% of the total first to third place awards. One in nine students nationally receive recognition as a top-10 finalist. We had one in three on the stage at the award ceremony, and of those eight students, seven of them were first, second or third place performers.”
This year also marked the first time in DSC history that all 24 students who competed at the state event in March qualified for the International DECA competition. Dr. Lee pointed out that usually DSC has 12-15 students qualify for the international competition each year, but was gratified to see all 24 students represent Dixie State in Orlando. DSC’s DECA co-advisor Bryon Geddes echoed the sentiment, noting that Dixie’s business students strive for excellence inside and outside of the classroom.
“This task is easy when you have such dedicated students that have been presented with a vision that they can wrap their hands and intellect around,” says Geddes. “That vision includes their becoming a very powerful and positive contributor to society. Most of the processes and so much of the practicum for accomplishing this happens outside the classroom. DECA incubates the accomplishment of making this vision a reality.”
For more information about Dixie State’s DECA program, contact Bryon Geddes at (435) 879-4339 or at email@example.com.