WWU students claim awards at tri-state Collegiate DECA competition

It was no surprise to Linda Duke when students in William Woods
University’s Collegiate DECA performed well at the
recent tri-state
“William Woods has exceptional, bright students, and
they do very well in these
competitions,” said Duke, WWU assistant professor of
marketing and business and the group’s adviser.
Members of WWU’s Collegiate DECA
joined more than 140
other college students
from Missouri, Kansas and Illinois Feb. 16
and 17 to compete in the annual
Collegiate DECA tri-state
student-driven organization, Collegiate DECA values leadership, innovation,
integrity and teamwork. It prepares students for careers by integrating skills
learned in the classroom
into real world
DECA programs assist in developing
academically prepared, community-oriented, professionally responsible,
experienced leaders.
The competition consists of many different
individual and team events, and
the students select which to
participate in. Although all
of the events relate to business, students have a wide array of events to
choose from””all of which provide an excellent opportunity for them to gain
experience and network.
“DECA acts as a mentoring tool to where students get a
realistic preview of careers that they’ve
been looking at so they go into the right
career to begin with,” Duke said.
She added, “The value they gain from both tri-state and,
especially, the international [competition] just can’t be replaced. You meet people that will hire you,
and that will network
with you for future career opportunities.”
Altogether 21 WWU students competed in this year’s tri-state conference
at the Lodge of the Four Seasons in Lake Ozark,
Mo.   About half of the
students who attended
placed in the top five.
They are:
  • Bridgette Doig, Escondido, Calif., and Elizabeth Thomas,
    Amherst, Ohio, first
    in entrepreneurship;
  • Olivia Koselanky, Sterling Heights, Mich., first in sales;
  • Katie GannonSt. Louis, Mo., second  in web design;
  • Lisa Coppersmith, Houston, Texas , third in web design;
  • Bridgette Doig, third in marketing
  • Tricia Jackson, Valley Park,
    Mo., and Tara Sebold, Fults, Ill. third in business
  • Olivia Nicholson, St.
    Louis, Mo., third in hotel management
    and third place in travel and
  • Dacia Smith, La Grange, Ill., third in fashion;
  • Kasey Radcliff, St.
    Peters, Mo., and Dacia Smith, third, sports and entertainment marketing.
  • Kasey Radcliff, fifth in retail
Many of the other WWU students who attended
placed at the proficiency level.
First and second place winners will travel to Salt Lake City, Utah, April
20-24, where they will compete on
the international level. According to Duke, at least 1,200 other
students will be
Next year, Duke hopes to expand the program even further and
introduce more students to the team.  She encourages students to join DECA as it is a
doable activity that will provide
countless opportunities.
For more information, contact Duke at (573) 592 4305 or
Woods University students Elizabeth Thomas (left) and Bridgette Doig
(right) capture first in
entrepreneurship in Collegiate
DECA’s recent tri-state
competition. With them is their adviser, Linda
Olivia Koselanky takes first in sales.