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USU Students Qualify for DECA Nationals in Florida

March  2019

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By Abigail Kosiak

Utah State University (USU) had an outstanding showing at the state collegiate DECA competition in February. All twelve USU students who competed were finalists for their events and thus qualified for the national competition in Orlando, Florida, in April. Furthermore, USU had four students win first place in their respective events.

DECA is student organization with more than 215,000 members around the world. DECA’s goal is to help the next generation become responsible, community-oriented, and experienced leaders. To accomplish this goal, DECA provides students authentic, experiential learning opportunities to prepare college members for their future careers. These opportunities augment the traditional classroom environment with project-based activities that require students to push themselves and create practical solutions to real-world problems.

“Students involved in our collegiate DECA chapter are able to distinguish themselves as leaders in their respective majors,” said Alexander Romney, an assistant professor in the Department of Marketing and Strategy and the academic advisor for DECA at USU. “Through their involvement in competitive events, service opportunities, and networking with other professionals, our students’ capacity to influence others is expanded in profound ways. Leadership development is really at the heart of what our DECA club offers to our students.”

More than 90 percent of DECA members say their experience empowered them to be an effective leader and connected school to the real world. Additionally, 75 percent of students say DECA influenced their career plans.

"The DECA team has greatly and positively impacted my education, from being able to sharpen my presentation skills to be able to lead a team with effective team management," said Federico Ortiz, the current president of USU DECA and the newly elected State President of Utah DECA. Ortiz believes both his personal success and the success of the USU DECA team as a whole can be "accredited to the purpose and mission in ‘daring mightier things.’"

At its core, DECA prepares students for their future through applied learning experiences and rigorous competitions. In other words, USU DECA is helping students to “Dare Mighty Things” by continuously pushing them to revamp their education, their performance, and ultimately their long-term aspirations.

A breakdown of the USU students who competed and how they performed in their respective events is included below. You can read more about USU DECA here:

Jake Harrison: 1st Place, Professional Sales
Freddy Ortiz + Alex Hall: 1st Place, Business Ethics
Freddy Ortiz + Jake Harrison: 1st Place, Marketing Communications

Mitchell Pound: 2nd Place, Corporate Finance
Bill Douglas: 2nd Place, Entrepreneurship Operations
Matthew Swink + Dallin Malm: 2nd Place, Sports and Entertainment Marketing

Bill Douglas: 3rd Place, Corporate Finance
Ryan Brenchley: 3rd Place, Professional Sales
Ryan Brenchley: 3rd Place, Sales Management
Michaela Leishman: 3rd Place, Fashion and Merchandising
Matthew Swink + Dallin Malm: 3rd Place, International Marketing

Kayden McCallum + Drew Sheifitel: 4th Place, Marketing Communications

Sara Tangren: 6th Place, Hotel and Lodging
Michaela Leishman + Sara Tangren: 6th Place, Sports and Entertainment Marketing

DECA Team Members