Kettering DECA Team Excels at State Career Development Conference

Kettering students excel at DECA competitions due to a combination of factors our students acquire inside and outside the classroom, and at their Co-ops.”

Dr. Ken Williams, Assistant Professor in the School of Management and DECA Faculty Advisor

With 45 finalist medallions, 14 first-place plagues, six second-place plaques and seven third-place plaques, Kettering University’s team dominated the 2020 DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) State Career Development Conference held Feb. 7-9 in Dearborn, Mich.

The 29 students of the Kettering team competed against 13 university and college teams including Central Michigan, Northwood, Lawrence Tech and Michigan State University.

As part of the annual event, teams compete in professional skills challenges including industry professional role-playing exercises and applied problem-solving of case studies. In addition, teams were able to present business launch plans, a small business growth plan or product advertising campaign.

“Kettering students excel at DECA competitions due to a combination of factors our students acquire inside and outside the classroom, and at their Co-ops,” said Dr. Ken Williams, assistant professor for Kettering’s School of Management and DECA faculty advisor. “Our students arrive at competition with a solid knowledge base, coupled with essential skills like communication, teamwork, leadership and critical thinking. Our team’s diversity is also a unique factor. Team Kettering is the most academically diverse collegiate DECA team, internationally, with both business and non-business majors.”

“I am extremely proud of our students and honored to be their advisor,” he added. “Our DECA students are extraordinary.”Kettering University DECA Team

Participants who were finalists or placed first, second and third will be eligible to attend the 2020 International Career Development Conference April 22-25 in Atlanta.

The DECA Collegiate Division includes more than 5,000 members in more than 300 colleges and universities globally and aims to prepare students for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, management and entrepreneurship.

Some of the unique aspects of Kettering’s DECA team are that students of all majors are encouraged to join and that its members represent both A and B section who not only travel together, but collaborate on projects.

“Kettering DECA is special, not only because we are such a large presence at state competitions, but because we are a diverse group of engineers and business men and women, excelling in categories like travel and tourism, business to business marketing, human resource management, and financial statement analysis, among many other disciplines that aren't typical for our studies,” said B-Section President for DECA Mattie Stewart, ’20. “The effects of the real world experience each of us get through Co-op, some of us before we ever step foot in a college class, is undeniable, and evidenced by our DECA team's continued success.”

Stewart, a Business Administration major, earned two first-place honors during the competition.

Her co-President, Kyle Redies of A-section, took first place in Advertising Campaign and second in Entrepreneurship Operations.

“Team Kettering produced one of the best performances that this University, and the state of Michigan for that matter, has ever seen. No other chapter came close to the performance of our students this year, and I think this momentum will serve as motivation to achieve monumental results in Atlanta,” said Redies ’22, who is dual majoring in Mechanical/Electrical Engineering with a minor in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “We are very proud of the program, appreciate the support from our advisor and the School of Management and look forward to Kettering's success on an international scale.”

The DECA team members are: Sean Barletta (Electrical Engineering), Antonia Chin (Chemical Engineering), Carter Cobb (Mechanical Engineering), Brooklyn Crowder (Business Administration), Morgan Drake (Industrial Engineering), Rania Fanous (Business Administration), Kyle Geck (Chemical Engineering), Brennen Gleason (Mechanical Engineering & Business Administration), Andrew Gomez (Mechanical Engineering), Brandon Gurrell (Mechanical Engineering), Blase Haynes (Management), Shreyas Sridhar Kashyap (Mechanical Engineering), Hugh Koester (Business Administration), Benjamin Koning (Mechanical Engineering), Emily Kurburski (Business Administration), Mitchell Kusser (Mechanical Engineering), Vincent Lauria (Electrical Engineering), Nolan Martin (Mechanical Engineering), Andrew Northrup (Industrial Engineering), Anna O'Connor (Business Administration), Samantha Peters (Computer Engineering), Kyle Redies (Mechanical Engineering & Electrical Engineering), Jodi Seymour (Business Administration), Mattie Stewart (Business Administration), Austin Ujkashi (Mechanical Engineering), Chloe Wegener (Industrial Engineering), Logan Wolschlager (Mechanical Engineering), Hannah Yerington (Mechanical Engineering) and Giavanna Zaremski (Electrical Engineering).

For more information on DECA, click here.