More than 30 Davenport University students took home awards at the Business Professionals of America Postsecondary State Leadership Conference on Feb. 10, including more than 20 first place spots.
BPA — an organization for middle school, high school and college students — hosts competitions related to business, technology, marketing accounting and public speaking to prepare students for their careers.
DU’s BPA chapter has won more than 100 national championships since 1982 and offers scholarships to high school competitors.
Scott Gumieny, a DU alumnus and faculty member, has served as a BPA adviser for the DU chapter for three years. He competed in BPA as a college student.
“I made many connections as a BPA student competitor that are still invaluable to this day,” Gumieny said. “BPA events range from honing skills in software that’s utilized in all types of business and technology careers to presentations of business plans or network designs. Students learn necessary professional and soft skills by competing in BPA.”
DU students who received awards at the recent competition included:
- Brittney TerBeek — First place in Advanced College Accounting
- Dara Carr — First place in Business Meeting Management Concepts and first place in Personal Financial Management
- Joshua Estrada — First place in C++ Programming
- Gavin Stewart — First place in Computer Security, second place in Information Technology Concepts, third place in Management/Marketing/Human Resources Concepts, first place in Network Administration Using Microsoft and first place at PC Servicing & Troubleshooting
- Luke Kloosterman — First place in Contemporary Issues and third place in Entrepreneurship
- Dalton Jones — First place in Database Applications and first place in Fundamentals of Web Design
- Austin Rohr — First place in Federal Income Tax Accounting and second place in Financial Math & Analysis Concepts and second place in Personal Financial Management
- Brandon Dyke — First place in Financial Math & Analysis Concepts
- Matthew Paavola — First place in Managerial Accounting and second place in College Accounting
- Kurtis Jones — First place in Information Technology Concepts and second place in Computer Security and third place in Visual Basic/C# Programming
- Zac Lingen — First place in Presentation Management Individual and third place in Database Applications
- Michael Trinh — First place in Java Programming
- Grant Adrianson — First place in Project Management Concepts
- Thomas Devries — First place in SQL Database Fundamentals, first place in Visual Basic/C# Programming, first place in Computer Programming Concepts and second place in C++ Programming
- Caitlyn Bronson, Anna Gesink, Austin VanderLaan and Callaway Vinson — First place as Administrative Support Team
- Brandon Dyke, Brittney TerBeek, Michael Brown and Dara Carr — First place as Financial Analyst Team
- Grant Adrianson, Rachael Bylsma and Brittany Cassidy — First place in Presentation Management Team
- Evan Adrianson, Dayle Braden, Kristoffer Hulsebos and Austin Kaznowski — First place in Small Business Management Team
- Aidan Fairman — Second place in Computer Programming Concepts, second place in SQL Database Fundamentals, second place in Visual Basic/C# Programming and third place in C++ Programming
- Michael Brown — Second place in Federal Income Tax Accounting
- Matthew Woodhead — Second place in Database Applications and third place in Fundamentals of Web Design
- Zac Lingen, Grace McCullick and Austin Rohr — Second place in Video Production Team
- Rachael Bylsma — Third place in Administrative Support Concepts and third place in Advanced Spreadsheet Applications
- Grace McCullick — Third place in Advanced Interview Skills and third place in Presentation Management Individual
- Kristoffer Hulsebos — Third place in Interview Skills
- Stefana Rusu — Third place in Java Programming
- Austin VanderLaan — Third place in Personal Financial Management
- Dayle Braden — Third place in Prepared Speech
- Robert Novak — Third place in SQL Database Fundamentals
DU student Dara Carr earned three first place awards.
“Due to BPA, I have learned how to work on a team, meet deadlines and how to step outside of my comfort zone to communicate with real world business professionals,” Carr said. “BPA has given me opportunities that I never thought were possible.”
BPA brings middle and high schoolers to DU to compete
This semester, more than 1,200 middle school, high school and college students will visit Davenport University to compete in regional and state competitions through BPA. DU has hosted these competitions for nearly 20 years. Many of the judges are DU faculty, alumni and students.
“BPA provides students with the opportunity to develop skills that are needed to succeed in the fast-paced world of the 21st century,” said Ron Draayer, a faculty member in the College of Technology.
Draayer serves as the state adviser to the Michigan Middle Level BPA program. In 2015, he led the creation of this program in Michigan to help middle school students develop skills.
Nearly 450 students from 15 West Michigan high schools visited the W.A. Lettinga Campus in January to compete.
DU will host the BPA Middle Level State competition on Feb. 23 and the BPA High School State competition on March 16.
Jason Burghardt, a business teacher at Hastings High School, has brought his students to compete at DU for five years.
“DU has reliable and updated technology and software that allows our students to work and compete with all the necessary tools for them to succeed,” Burghardt said. “With the addition of the Donald W. Maine College of Business Building, we now have access to this state-of-the-art facility that increases this experience for students.”