Seven Meridian Community College students won nine first-place awards when they competed at the Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) state conference held on the campus at Mississippi University for Women.
FBLA-PBL is the largest career student business organization in the world. The PBL division is for college students with more than 8,000 members and 350 chapters. MCC hosts two sections; PBL Information Systems Technology (IST) and PBL Business and Office Technology (BOT).
“The PBL State Leadership Conference is a way for our students to test themselves against their peers from other four and two-year institutions across the state,” said Terry Cullum, MCC Information System Technology Program instructor and PBL advisor.
“We have an impressive track record of first and second place winners over the past five-plus years,” Cullum said, adding, “this year has been no different. We have six students who placed first in six competitions,” he said.
Cullum added, “this is a testament to the quality students that we produce from our program.”
Tanya O’Campo, the advisor for the College’s PBL-BOT chapter, Kappa Delta, echoed Cullum. “Our students perform very well in competition with the other community colleges and universities. We place every year we are in attendance and depending on the student fundraising efforts, we continue on to the national leadership conference held during summer,” she said.
Both advisors noted the competitions affords additional opportunities. “Making connections with individuals in the same field of student can be invaluable in the greater scheme of a life-long career,” Cullum said. The students are able to spend time with each other as well. “They are able to strengthen the bonds they have with current classmates by being in a new setting and spending more one-on-one time together,” O’Campo said.
Cullum added, “Our students have an opportunity to develop the soft skills that many of our employers are looking for by attending a conference such as this.”
Winning first place awards in the PBL-IST were Anthony D’ Angelo for Project Management and Information Management; Aquila Ruffin, Henry Shumake and Homer “Fred” Graham, for Network Design; Muhammad Javed for Help Desk and Information Management; and Rhigel Williams for Cyber Security and Networking Concepts.
Second place PBL-IST winners were D’Angelo, Information Management; Shumake for Cyber Security; Taylor Rosenbaum for Computer Concepts and Zachary Castle for Networking Concepts and Project Management. Parker Nelson won third place for Programming Concepts and received a fourth place for Help Desk. Rosenbaum also earned a fourth place for Programming Concepts.
BOT students Tamica Almond, Brandi Dubose and Claire Russell, won first place for Emerging Business Issues competition. Suzanne Holton-Goodwin and Xavia Shadwick also won a second place for Emerging Business Issues category. Holton-Goodwin also garnered a third place for Impromptu Speaking. Fourth place winners were Destini Draughn for Job Interview and Renedra Thompson for Business Communications.
Photo: MCC PBL-IST winners are from left bottom row Taylor Rosenbaum, Parker Nelson and Rhigel Williams; middle row from left are Aquila Ruffin and Homer “Fred” Graham; top row from left Anthony D’angelo and Henry Shumate Jr.