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Top honors for Collegiate DECA

| Carrie Ottum

For the third year in a row, the UW-Eau Claire Collegiate DECA student chapter was awarded the Presidential Passport Leadership Award.  

The Chapter Leadership Passport Program provides chapters a guide for year-round engagement, enhancing the benefits received from membership in Collegiate DECA. Activities are categorized using DECA’s core values and guiding principles, in an effort to encourage chapters to develop/participate in a wide range of activities that appeal to many different interests and contribute to the goals of your campus.

There are three levels of achievement awarded to student chapters: executive, diplomat, and presidential.

The leadership passport rewards action taken by members and chapters that build personal and professional skill sets are focused around the organization’s four attributes and values: competence, innovation, integrity, and teamwork. 

One requirement in the competence category was creating a minimum three-minute online video around one of the following topics: chapter recruitment, fundraising, competition, or a testimonial about the benefits of Collegiate DECA membership.  UW-Eau Claire Collegiate DECA created a video sharing the members' experience at the Fall Conference in Madison, WI 


DECA members at the spring semester Blu's Organization Bash

Members hosted an open house in the fall welcoming all majors to attend and learn more about the organization.  Other events included an 80's themed night at a local roller skating facility, pumpkin carving, and holiday party encouraging members to build networking skills.

 Each week, a DECA member is highlighted on their social media platforms, such as Facebook, sharing why he/she/they joined DECA, competitions he/she/they participate in, post-graduation plans, and hobbies. 

Professional development events included learning about professional careers from guest speakers, leadership conferences, and hosting an on-campus leadership workshop sharing information with potential members. 

"Joining Collegiate DECA has allowed our members to grow their interview, networking, and professional development skills, said Kayla Ament, DECA president, and marketing/Spanish double major.

Collegiate DECA isn't just for students in the College of Business. 

"Collegiate DECA is open to all majors," shared DECA faculty advisor and Business Communication lecturer, Bridget Kurtenbach. "We have students majoring in marketing, finance, music, and chemistry in our chapter."

As members, students have the opportunity to experience real-world cases that allows them to apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom.  Competitions give students the chance to use their creativity, problem-solving, and communication skills. All soft skills businesses and organizations are looking for in employees.

"DECA has taken students out of their comfort zone numerous times and has forced them to get comfortable with being uncomfortable," added Ament.

"We are constantly challenged to think quickly and creatively with our case studies, and that has helped us mature into quick-thinking individuals. I have no doubts that our members will be prepared for any situation the workplace will throw at them."

To learn more about the UW-Eau Claire Collegiate DECA, check out Facebook, Instagram, or contact Kayla Ament or Bridget Kurtenbach.

Pictured in the top photo: Bottom row (L-R): Alexis Brueggen, Lindsey Coonen, Nick Lunde, Grant Shaffer, Ryan Noseworthy. Second row (L-R): Bridget Kurtenbach (advisor), Jessica Buytendorp, Noah Cipar. Third row (L-R): Jamie Leatherman, Kayla Ament, Elizabeth Grenzow, Sam Finnerty, Logan Jacobson. Top row (L-R): Hannah DeYoung, Kyle Neuberger, Alex Johnson, Mason Petersen. Missing: Abby Tennies and Morgan Welsh