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UW-Eau Claire AMA named top student chapter for second year in a row

| Gretchen Hutterli

For the second year in a row, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire American Marketing Association (AMA) student chapter has been recognized as the “Top International Collegiate Chapter” by AMA International. The Blugold chapter was presented with the award at the 2017 Annual International Collegiate Conference, which was held March 16-18 in New Orleans.

To learn more about this award, which recognizes excellence in chapter management and programming, Assistant Dean Gretchen Hutterli interviewed Grace Singer, president of the UW-Eau Claire AMA chapter.  Singer is a senior marketing major from Sun Prairie. She graduates this May.

Grace Singer, AMA president

Congratulations, Grace! What an honor and an accomplishment for the UW-Eau Claire AMA chapter to be selected the number one chapter out of AMA’s 390 student collegiate chapters.

GS: Yes, being recognized as a top AMA chapter has given our chapter a great sense of university pride. It affirms how hard working and passionate UW-Eau Claire students are, not only for their own success, but also for the success of their peers and their organization.

GH: How is the outstanding chapter selected?

GS: Selection is based on the chapter plan and the annual report, two reports every active AMA chapter submits annually to national. The chapter plan, which we submit in the fall, details our goals for the academic year and our strategy for achieving them. This plan includes goals for professional development, community service and social impact, fundraising, membership, communications and chapter operations.

The annual report, which we submit in early February, highlights our progress towards achieving our goals — our accomplishments, work in progress, and areas that may not have gone as well as we had hoped, as well as our analytics — membership numbers and financial results, for example.  A committee consisting of AMA executives and national chair people reviews chapter plans and annual reports. This group decides which university will be named the top AMA chapter.

GH: What criteria do they use to evaluate plans?

GS: Plans are judged on several criteria, such as how well a chapter accomplishes its initial goals, and how it overcame any weaknesses it may have. The quality of the written report is also important.

GH: In your opinion, what sets a top chapter apart from other chapters?

GS: Probably the chapter’s level of community and professional activity outside of their campuses. Top chapters do the extra things, like organizing fundraising events like our annual 5k fun run or Relay for Life, hosting regional AMA conferences, or supporting student run consulting groups that provide for profit or pro bono marketing services.  

GH: What’s next for the UW-Eau Claire chapter now that it is the International Chapter of the Year?  

GS:  The recognition comes with some responsibilities, such as co-hosting the International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans. The chapter president also hosts a monthly collegiate conference call with other chapter presidents and college leaders across the country. This is a great networking opportunity, which allows us to help each other out and create success for AMA chapters at other universities by sharing ideas. Finally, the president of the award-winning chapter is invited to make a presentation at the annual conference about what it takes to be a top chapter.

GH: One last question. I know that you will be graduating soon. What does being the outstanding chapter mean to you?

GS: AMA is about uniting people to achieve a vision. It’s not a success that you can claim as your own, but rather as a team. And it wasn't just this year’s work that helped us get here. It also took the hard work of past chapter leadership, presidents, members and community members. As this year’s president, I was just the fortunate one who got to carry my team to nationals and experience the well-deserved recognition. Having the opportunity to work with some of UW-Eau Claire’s hardest working and passionate young business professionals is honor enough for me. However, being recognized as a top chapter is “the icing on the cake” and a great way to conclude my college career.