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CCRI DECA students receive national recognition
May 2, 2011
Students from the Knight and Liston chapters of CCRI’s Collegiate DECA, an international organization for business and marketing students, came home with top honors from the DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) held in Orlando, Fla. from April 13 to 16.
Four CCRI students placed in the top ten in the nation and nine received certificates of excellence for placing in the top 30 percent in the country. Ten students were also recognized for showing leadership skills.
Dean of Business, Science and Technology Peter Woodberry, Associate Dean of Student Life Rebecca Yount, Business Administration Department Chair John Ribezzo and DECA club advisers Joanne Orabone and JoAnn Warren presented the awards to the students in a ceremony held at the Knight Campus on April 26. View photos from the event.
More than 1,500 students participated in the competition, in which business and marketing students completed written tests and role-played business scenarios in human resources management, marketing, hospitality, sales, restaurant and food service and more.
“You went up against students who are from four-year institutions,” Orabone told the CCRI students at the awards presentation. “You’re going up against people who are juniors and seniors and this is their specialty, this is what they’ve been doing, and all of a sudden a community college student walks off with their medal.”
The DECA students said their success comes from their hard work throughout the year.
“I see college students in Florida where there’s a bar, a pool, people in bikinis, it’s 90 degrees out and we’re in business suits,” said Michael Hardy, who won a medal for his top 10 finish.
“We put out a phenomenal effort and we won these awards not just for ourselves, but for CCRI.”
Jael Acevedo, another DECA student who came home with a certificate of excellence, said the DECA students spent many hours together in study sessions and became very close.
She said she enjoyed the conference because the role-playing activities give students a taste of the kinds of situations they will face when they are in the workforce.
“I am sometimes speechless because the energy in the air is electrifying,” she said.
There are DECA chapters on each CCRI campus for students who are majoring in or are interested in studying business or business-related fields.
Warwick DECA member Rich Brouillette, who hopes to study finance at Bryant University after he graduates from CCRI, said the club is a great experience for students interested in business.
“I hope next year will be just as fulfilling as this year was,” he said.
Brouillette received a certificate of excellence at the development conference in the area of financial services. He participated in a role-playing exercise in which a failing business had to decide whether to initiate a stock buyback, increasing its stock price for a short time, or spend its resources on capital reinvestment, changing its inventory.
Brouillette decided that the business should pursue a more long-term strategy of capital reinvestment and the judges agreed.
Warren said the students looked at these kinds of scenarios extensively before they went to the competition.
“They really pushed each other across that finish line,” she said.
The students recognized with medals from DECA and citations from CCRI President Ray Di Pasquale for placing in the top 10 in the nation were: Michael Hardy, Elsa Tavares, Daniel Chappell and Sebastian Gamez.
Certificates of Excellence went to: Amanda Guenette, Katrin Fowler, Jael Acevedo, Richard Brouillette, Joseph Silva, Sebastian Gamez, Elsa Tavares, Michael Hardy, and Daniel Chappell.
Besides the competition, the students were honored for their community service work as an organization with the DECA Presidential Passport Program.
This prestigious award recognizes integrity (community service), innovation (election of chapter officers), competence (attending leadership training programs and competing in regional conferences) and teamwork (sponsoring a business panel with local business professionals and hosting social events at the college).
The Liston Campus DECA club has received this award for the past five years.
In addition to receiving this award at the chapter level, many students competed for this award at the individual level. The following Liston Campus students received individual Presidential awards:
Gold Level: Elsa Tavares, Ivan Rosario, Isseniel Rodriguez, Michael Hardy, Daniel Chappell, Joseph Silva, Alexander Louden, Ashlee Stevens and Jean Merlain
Blue Level: Jael Acevedo and Samantha Martinez
Jason Valerio, Leonel Taveras, Justin Church, Justin Taylor, Christina Markrush, Richard Gonzalez, Kristin Coutu, Steven Betancur and Franklin Cruz also participated at ICDC.