Nine TWC business students test and qualify for national convention

Posted on: May 8, 2012

Look out San Antonio, Tennessee Wesleyan College is coming to you. Five TWC business students will be headed to Texas this June to compete at the Future Business Leaders of America - Phi Beta Lambda National Conference.

Look out San Antonio, Tennessee Wesleyan College is coming to you. Five TWC business students will be headed to Texas this June to compete at the Future Business Leaders of America – Phi Beta Lambda National Conference.

Nine TWC students tested at the state level and qualified to move on to the national conference. Russell Watters, Michael Howard, Mallory Hayes, Meagan Akins, Lauren Flores, Justin Smith, Grant Beeler, Heather Gibson and Richard Zuzart tested on topics ranging from Accounting for Professionals to Marketing Analysis and Decision Making, qualifying in multiple categories. Watters, Howard, Hayes, Akins and Flores will represent TWC at the national conference in June.

“We couldn’t be prouder,” said Martha Maddox, TWC professor and associate dean and chairwoman of the department of business administration. “It’s an honor for our students to be representing Tennessee at this competition.”

There were 26 qualifying Tennessee scores at the state level and TWC had 13 of them.

“Our students made up 50 percent of the qualifying scores from the state,” said Stacy Swafford, a TWC instructor of business administration and Phi Beta Lambda co-sponsor with Tony Bryant, assistant professor of business administration. “We did that with only nine students, some placing in more than one discipline.”

Forming a Phi Beta Lambda chapter just this past year, Swafford and other business faculty members entered their students into the competition hoping that the scores would be comparative to other schools’ scores and would give them an indication of the success of the college’s business program.

“It really tested us as faculty,” said Maddox. “We wanted to make sure that we’re keeping up the standards of what we need to offer. With 50 percent of the state’s qualifying scores coming from us, it reassures me that our department is successfully educating these students.”

As the students prepare for their trip, they look forward to all that a national conference can offer them.

“It’s such an exciting opportunity for us,” said Hayes, a business major graduating this month.

With graduate school offers from the University of Tennessee Knoxville, the College of William and Mary and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Hayes is looking forward to ending her TWC academic career this summer at the conference.

“I appreciate TWC’s wonderful business faculty,” said Hayes. “They prepared us not only for this conference but for our continuing business careers as well.”

Watters anticipates many networking opportunities in San Antonio this summer.

“I’m excited to not only network with other schools but with businesses as well,” said Watters, a business major also graduating from TWC before traveling to Texas for the conference. “We’re going to get to branch out and travel. It’s a really unique opportunity for us students, especially those of us who are graduating and moving into the next chapter of our careers.”

Watters and his classmates received funding for the conference from contributions from TWC’s Student Government Association and Patricia Purushotham and her son Will Purushotham through the William R. Bennett Student Leadership Fund which was established in memory of Patricia’s father and Will’s grandfather, William R. Bennett, who was a strong supporter of student leadership development.

“It’s outstanding that our students got these results the first year we competed,” said Maddox. “As a faculty we are thrilled to see our students succeed and set the academic standard for the state.”