Story by Andrea Lopez, for The Muleskinner—
UCM DECA began transitioning into competition mode this semester as 54 students prepared for the Missouri State Career Development Conference Feb. 21 and 22 at the Four Seasons Lodge at the Lake of the Ozarks. They competed against the eight other chapters in Missouri Collegiate DECA: Columbia College, Lincoln University, Missouri Southern State University, Moberly Area Community College, Southeast Missouri State University, Three Rivers College, University of Missouri and William Woods University.
Due to the recent winter storms, not all competitors were present from each chapter. The weather, paired with UCM DECA’s large involvement, resulted in UCM making up almost a third of the competitors this year.
The results included nine individuals or teams from UCM taking first place, eight taking second place and nine taking third place. In addition, Curtis Hartley and Hunter Hoyer tied for the highest score on the accounting exam, while Jeff Mason had the best score on the retail merchandising test.
UCM DECA has 31 members who have qualified as national finalists. Those individuals will compete at the International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, Calif. this April.
“Member participation at the state and national level has been increasing each year,” said Andrea Young, vice president of professional development.
In 2011, 30 UCM students competed at the state level, compared to almost twice as many students this year. Fourteen students went to nationals in 2011, which more than doubled this year.
While it is a big accomplishment for UCM DECA to take 31 members to nationals, they reached their ultimate goal this academic year by winning Missouri DECA chapter of the year. In order to obtain this award, Young and Mason presented to a judge about their chapter’s body of work during the fall semester. This presentation allowed the chapter to showcase the involvement among their members and their continued commitment to UCM DECA. “This marks the third time UCM has won Chapter of the Year in five years of existence, with this year bringing us back-to-back awards for Chapter of the Year,” Young said.
For more information regarding UCM DECA, you may contact Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.