If you asked a group of KWU students what the most dominant program on campus was, there would be many different answers. Perhaps the greatest level of recent domination, however, belongs to the KWU DECA program.
The squad won 39 of 41 possible medals and took 15 of 18 first-place finishes at this year’s state meet, and now will take part in the national event throughout the course of the next several days. KWU recorded preliminary presentations April 6—8 and finalists (the top-10 in each category) will be announced Tuesday, April 13. Those finalists will then compete live via Zoom April 16—17, with winners announced Thursday, April 22.
KWU had one finalist in 2018 and two in 2019, while also adding two high exam scores and numerous high presentation scores during the latter year. 2020’s national event was cancelled due to COVID-19.
“DECA nationals includes schools from around the world,” said Dr. Trish Petak, DECA team coach and assistant professor of Business. “There are institutions from London, China, Canada and Puerto Rico represented, and this year, there will be more than 1,000 competitors representing 300-plus schools. Schools like Arizona State, Ohio State, Florida and Texas are all represented. To have finalists at a competition like this is an elite honor. We’ve had top-10 finishers in the past, and easily could have more this year.”
DECA is an organized business competition that either presents students with case studies in their chosen event or allows students to prepare a business-related presentation. Every case study challenges the individual or team with a recent, real-world problem, and the competitors then have a limited time to develop a presentation in response.
Below is a list of KWU competitors who recorded preliminary presentations.
Maddy Beckett – Hotel and Lodging
Karley Benson – Restaurant and Food Service Management
Linda Himes – Travel and Tourism
Taylor Lang – Human Resource Management
Nathan Mercer – Restaurant and Food Service Management
Haylie Rodriguez – Hotel and Lodging
Eli Truhe – Travel and Tourism
Matthew Whitsitt – Managerial Accounting
Austin Wiley – Retail and Fashion Merchandising
Cameron Becker and Matthew Freriks – Sports and Entertainment Marketing
Courtney Brockhoff and Lauren Flowers – Event Planning
Ryann Kats and Emily Monson – Business-to-Business Marketing
Dillon “Buck” Harriger – Entrepreneurship: Starting a Business