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UW-Whitewater Collegiate DECA team proves they are ready for international success

The UW-Whitewater Collegiate DECA chapter celebrates winning 86 individual or team awards at the 2019 DECA International Career Development Conference in Orlando, Florida.

The theme of the 2019 Collegiate DECA International Career Development Conference held in Orlando, Florida from April 13 through 16 was “Ready for It,” with an emphasis on being ready to compete, lead, and win. Bringing home a total of 86 individual or team awards—and a chapter record of 16 students placing in the top 10 internationally and 18 students who made event finals—the UW-Whitewater Collegiate DECA team proved they were indeed ready to meet the challenge.

Frank Lanko, senior business career adviser and faculty adviser to the UW-Whitewater DECA chapter, summarized the team’s year-round success, saying, “From the continued track record we have enjoyed at the state conference to helping lead the State of Wisconsin to the largest delegation of competitors at ICDC, our students had a terrific year. UW-Whitewater brought home an incredible total of 225 individual and team awards this year between the state and international competitions.”

Demonstrating excellence in engagement and leadership throughout the year, the chapter was awarded the Presidential Level Chapter Leadership Passport Award for the fifth year in a row. This achievement places UW-Whitewater among only 10 of 250 chapters in the nation. The chapter also earned the Chapter Community Service Award and brought home 18 Individual Leadership Passport awards.

Julia Gahr won first place in the Retail Management event at the 2019 Collegiate DECA ICDC event — UW -Whitewater’s first international champion since 2013.

There were several significant individual honors, as well. Julia Gahr, a sophomore with a double major in accounting and supply chain and operations management, took international first place in the retail management event. Gahr was involved with DECA in high school and joined the collegiate DECA chapter as a freshman at UW-Whitewater. She had placed in the top 10 in the Retail Management event in 2018 and hoped to place in the top three in 2019.

Reflecting on the success of the team as well as her personal achievement, Julia shared, “I am so pleased with UW-Whitewater Collegiate DECA’s historical performance this year at ICDC. I don’t think we could be any more excited for each other and I am proud to be a part of a group of students who are ambitious, creative, and amazing. As always, we have our incredible adviser, Frank Lanko, to thank for supporting us every step of the way.”

Among many highlights from this premier international event, Daedre Whalen and Kayla Maksen competed as a team to win second place in the Sports and Entertainment Marketing event, Treise Lanhammer and Lauren Hanson won second place in the Entrepreneurship – Start a Business event, and Abbey Litzau won third place in the Emerging Technologies – Marketing Strategies event. The team of Anya Bower, Emily Hayden, and Zuri Vazquez won second place in the online Stock Market Game, while Adam Compton finished third in the same event.

Many of the events involve a pre-event exam, followed by presentations at the conference. In addition to competitive prowess, DECA ICDC recognizes leadership and scholastic excellence. Daedre Whalen and Kayla Maksen received chapter leadership awards for their leadership, community service, and success in competition. Nine UW-Whitewater students were also recognized for performance in the classroom by holding a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above. John Weber and Tara Liegel were also recognized for individual performances in role play and testing events for Hotel and Lodging and Travel and Tourism events.

Recapping his experience, John Weber, a freshman with a double major in finance and entrepreneurship, shared, “Although I did not finalize in the two events I competed in, I was able to get a top score in the exam portion of my competition. This experience has taught me the importance of preparation and that there is always room for improvement. I look forward to taking what I have learned from this conference and building on it next year.”

Junior marketing major and chapter president Emily Hayden related some of the benefits she has reaped through DECA and ICDC, saying, “Being involved in collegiate DECA and participating in competitive events improves public speaking and presentation skills, and prepares you for on-the-spot thinking. Beyond building confidence, this helps you succeed in professional settings. I have been able to directly relate my DECA experiences during job interviews, which is invaluable. In addition, serving on the executive board, especially as chapter president, has provided me opportunities to build my leadership and people skills.”

Julia Gahr shared her perspective, saying, “With DECA, you get to compete in categories you wouldn’t normally experience through your major. You can test out a new area of interest without a significant commitment. It is also a great way to build friendships and connections with faculty and staff.”

She urged fellow students, “Participating in a student organization will make you much more career-ready than if you did not. With DECA in particular, you will build an amazing LinkedIn network, gain skills, get out of your comfort zone, and have fun. It can be a life-changing experience.”

UW-Whitewater 2019 ICDC Award Recap

  • Julia Gahr – 1st place in Retail Management
  • Team of Daedre Whalen & Kayla Maksen – 2nd place in Sports and Entertainment Marketing
  • Team of Treise Langhammer & Lauren Hanson – 2nd place in Entrepreneurship – Starting a Business
  • Abbey Litzau – 3rd place in Emerging Technology – Marketing Strategies
  • Team of Jim Widmer & Dylan Otwell – Top 10 International Finish in Business-to-Business Marketing
  • Team of Rachel Smith & Chris Tomes – Top 10 International Finish in Emerging Technology – Marketing Strategies
  • Joanna Carman – Top 10 International Finish in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing
  • Spencer Jahnke – Top 10 International Finish in Sales Management Meeting
  • Trent Jones – Top 10 International Finish in Sales Management Meeting
  • Team of Mason Gollata & Cody Olson- Top 10 International Finish in Sports and Entertainment Marketing
  • David Zehner – Top 10 International Finish in Travel and Tourism
  • Rocky Hickey – Top 12 International Finalist in Financial Accounting
  • Kyle Fritz – Top 12 International Finalist in Marketing Management
  • Team of Anya Bower, Emily Hayden, and Zuri Vazquez – 2nd place finish in the online Stock Market Game
  • Adam Compton – 3rd place finish in the online Stock Market Game

UW-Whitewater Collegiate DECA gathered in Timmerman Auditorium of Hyland Hall on March 12 in preparation for the 2019 Collegiate DECA ICDC event. (UW-Whitewater photo)

UW-Whitwater Collegiate DECA also celebrated its 10th birthday. When the chapter first started in 2009, just six students advanced to the ICDC event. A total of thirty-five students advanced to the international event on April 13 through 16. (UW-Whitewater photo)

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Record-breaking performance by UW-Whitewater AMA champions

The UW-Whitewater AMA Chapter was named International Chapter of the Year at the International Collegiate Conference on April 13. (UW-Whitewater photo)

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater American Marketing Association chapter was once again named the AMA International Chapter of the Year at the International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans on April 13. It is the eighth straight year that UW-Whitewater AMA has held or shared this title, and the 13th time since 2001. Competing against more than 380 chapters worldwide, this long-running streak is a significant achievement.

Marketing Department Chair and AMA adviser Jimmy Peltier expressed his pride, saying, “Last year I said that it would be virtually impossible to have a better year, but I am happy to say that I was wrong. We have had the best year ever in our distinguished 40 years of AMA success.”

Co-president Haley Lechner shared her perspective, saying, “I couldn’t be more proud of the work that our chapter put into earning the International Chapter of the Year title. Every year brings new challenges and opportunities, and I am grateful to have been a part of such a dedicated group of students.”

Co-president Nicole Alt added, “Throughout the year, the executive board spends countless hours and sleepless nights working toward being a successful chapter. Bringing this prestigious award back to UW-Whitewater makes it all worthwhile.”

Though the crowning achievement of the event was the Chapter of the Year award, there were many other highlights. The team placed second in the highly competitive International Case Competition with their presentation for the Wall Street Journal. This event is a nine-month-long effort during which student teams conduct extensive research and use their findings to create a comprehensive marketing plan as well as creative materials.

Associate Professor of Marketing Pavan Chennamaneni provided additional context, saying, “Teams from 86 universities completed case submissions and ten finalists were selected to present at the conference. In the last ten years, UW-Whitewater has placed second on three occasions and took first place in 2011. Competing and winning at this level is no small achievement.”

Among individual awards, Lauren Roloff won the $5,000 EBSCO AMA Scholarship and Matthew Young won USCA Sales Student of the Year.

Young related the personal impact of this award, saying, “Winning the competition is more than an award to me. It is the culmination of many things I have done at UW-Whitewater—including coursework, contributions to the AMA Sales Team and Institute for Sales Excellence Team, and helping others succeed. It gave me great satisfaction to be recognized for my impact on the university and other sales students, and I cannot thank my advisers, the sales program, and others who have helped me get here enough.”

Other notable distinctions included first place in the Giving Tuesday Fundraising Competition, second place in the Marketing Week Competition, second place for Recruitment Video, and six of the top 10 Outbound Sales Competition awards. UW-Whitewater also captured three of the top Relational Sales Competition awards, including first place by sophomore Alec Arndt; and three of the top Perfect Pitch Competition awards, including first place by sophomore Audrey Bouland.

Above and beyond the caliber of marketing students at UW-Whitewater, what sets the college’s AMA program apart is the depth of advising available to them. Pavan Chennamaneni leads the AMA Case Team, Assistant Professor of Marketing Andy Dahl leads the student-run consulting agency Creative Marketing Unlimited and is on the AMA National Leadership Team, Marketing Lecturer Dan Herlache leads the AMA Sales Corp, Marketing Lecturer John DeGraff leads Social Impact efforts, and Professor of Marketing Carol Scovotti leads Diversity initiatives.

Excellence and recognition are not simply measured by awards, however. The experience and professionalism of UW-Whitewater students shine through at every event, and when AMA national staff need something done, they turn to UW-Whitewater students. In addition, there is a strong teamwork aspect to AMA.

Dan Herlache elaborated, saying, “With the AMA Sales Corps, beginning freshmen to seasoned seniors all work together, coaching and teaching each other. The entire AMA Sales Corps invests countless hours and practice sessions in preparation for competitions throughout the year. I could not be more proud of this entire team—not only for the competitors who compete in the room but also for the alternates and coaches who work with them.”

Co-president Morgan Frederiksen added, “To see everyone’s hard work over the last two years pay off was the greatest reward. Everyone in this organization deserved that win.”

Reflecting on the program’s growth and success over the years, Peltier concluded, “I have been AMA Adviser since 1986. I have so many great memories that it is hard to choose which one I enjoy best. But, if you look at the wall in my office, you will see the faces of our AMA students over time. These memories mean so much to me, and I will cherish them forever.”

UW-Whitewater placed second in the highly competitive AMA International Case Competition. The team included Matt Young, left, Kayla Rapp, Colin Deady, Haley Lechner, and Sam Wanezek. (UW-Whitewater photo)

The exuberant group of UW-Whitewater AMA students and advisers celebrate winning the International Chapter of the Year title for the eighth straight year.

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College of Business and Economics retains continuous AACSB accreditation

The College of Business and Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is pleased to announce that it has once again received extension of accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The college first achieved AACSB accreditation in 1974, placing it among only five percent of business schools in the world to earn this credential. It is a mark of quality acknowledged by employers and other higher education institutions, and it ensures continuous improvement as well as an ongoing focus on the AACSB pillars of engagement, impact and innovation.

AACSB accreditation has also provided the framework for developing world-class curriculum and faculty. At least once every five years for the last 45 years, the College of Business and Economics has gone through the Continuous Improvement Review process involving peer review by deans from other highly-regarded business schools. The review team is different every time, which allows for new perspectives and unique feedback. This dynamic process helps ensure the college is challenged to continually evolve and improve in light of contemporary best practices.

Dean John Chenoweth shared highlights from the most recent review saying, “The review team was impressed with the culture of student career preparation and success we achieve in the college, as well as the level of emphasis placed on teaching effectiveness and faculty-student interaction. They also noted our commitment to high-quality distance education.”

He added, “We are proud of our academic excellence, and it is rewarding to have deans of top-ranked business schools recognize these strengths.”

The UW-Whitewater College of Business and Economics is the largest AACSB-accredited business school in Wisconsin. Offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degree programs, the college prepares students for their first career positions, executive leadership or careers in academia.

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business connects students, schools and business practitioners to develop the next generation of business leaders. AACSB’s mission is to foster engagement, accelerate innovation and amplify impact in business education.

 

AACSB Accreditation Seal

 

 

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Delavan-Darien high school student wins free tuition at UW-Whitewater

Vying for one year of free tuition at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 11 high school students competed in the third annual Midwest High School Pitch competition held in Hyland Hall on Feb. 27.

As the only event of its kind in the Midwest, the competition drew 58 applicants from Wisconsin and Illinois. Seven finalists traveled to UW-Whitewater for the live “Shark-Tank”-style event. Each individual or team had six minutes to present their idea and business model to a panel of judges, who asked follow up questions, evaluated the presentations and provided feedback.

Trent Hernandez of Delavan-Darien High School won first place and a free year of tuition with his pitch for InflataFLAP. He was inspired to improve on prosthetic attachment technology after Delavan-Darien football coach Henry Johnson, who died in October 2018, had shared the challenges he had with his lower leg prosthetic. Along with two student partners, he has connected with more than 350 amputees to develop a product allowing an amputee to attach their prosthetic more quickly and comfortably thereby increasing their quality of life.

Hernandez was thrilled to win the competition and free tuition.

He shared, “I chose UW-Whitewater because it has an amazing business school and that is what I want to pursue in college. Winning the competition and free tuition was icing on the cake.”

Reflecting on his achievement, Hernandez stated that his student partners at Delavan-Darien High School have been essential to ideation and development. He was also grateful for encouragement by his technology education teacher, Michael Rick, and mentorship through the Geneva Supply BizTank program.

He added, “The experiences I had through BizTank—especially the podcast and TankTalk experiences—helped prepare me to speak in front of the judges and crowd in Hyland Hall.”

Other finalists included Camille Simmons of Monona Grove High School, Margaret Mroch and Meghan Mertes of Elkhorn Area High School, and William Bethard of Fort Atkinson High School, who won second, third, and fourth places, respectively. Placing fifth through seventh were Karson Quevillon of DC Everest Senior High; Guinivere Hausser, Kora Lathers, Nolan Urish and Cameron Davilla of Rock County Christian School; and Hailey Kiser of Pewaukee High School.

Dave Gee, UW-Whitewater entrepreneurship program coordinator, stated, “We are incredibly impressed with the caliber of startup ideas we are seeing from these high school applicants. The competition provides them a real-world opportunity to formulate their ideas into real pitches in front of real investors—just like Shark Tank. Two of the startups this year actually received offers for funding from an angel investor before they left the competition!”

First launched by the UW-Whitewater Collegiate Entrepreneur’s Organization in 2017, the Midwest High School Pitch competition was developed to foster creativity, innovation, and solution-orientated thinking within high school students. The event also highlights the nationally acclaimed entrepreneurship major within the College of Business and Economics.

The UW-Whitewater CEO chapter’s mission is to inform, support and inspire college students to be entrepreneurial and to seek opportunity through enterprise creation. This successful student organization offers access to invaluable resources, such as the UW-Whitewater Launch Pad and UW-Whitewater Incubation Program, as well as exceptional entrepreneurial education and networking experiences.

Trent Hernandez of Delavan-Darien High School pitched startup InflataFLAP to earn first place at the 2019 Midwest High School Pitch competition. (UW-Whitewater photo)

Generous support from Geneva Supply enabled UW-Whitewater to award one year of free tuition at the 2019 Midwest High School Pitch. From left are Dave Gee, entrepreneurship program coordinator, Casey Seidl, UW-Whitewater CEO chapter president, Trent Hernandez of Delavan-Darien High School, and Melissa DeBuck, Trade Marketing Manager at Geneva Supply. (UW-Whitewater photo)

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Volunteer Income Tax Assistance clinic returns to UW-Whitewater

Qualifying taxpayers are invited to receive free tax preparation and electronic filing services of 2018 federal and state income tax returns at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Volunteer Income Tax Assistance clinic.

This IRS-sponsored program is available for low and moderate income taxpayers at no cost, and no appointments are needed. Clinic hours are 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays and 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays. Clients will be served on a first come, first served basis. Taxpayers should arrive an hour before closing. The 2019 tax clinic will run from February 6 through April 10; however, it will be closed on March 23, March 27 and March 30.

The UW-Whitewater VITA clinic is located in room 1001 of Timothy J. Hyland Hall at 809 Starin Road in Whitewater. Parking is available across the street in lot 7. Lot 7 is also known as the Starin Road lot and contains the Visitor Center. (Google Maps identifies lot 7 as “880 Starin Rd.”)  Parking is free, and no permit is necessary if you park in any non-metered parking spot during clinic hours.

The VITA clinic is staffed by certified student preparers and supervised by faculty in the College of Business and Economics Department of Accounting. In addition to providing hands-on experience for graduate and undergraduate accounting students, the free VITA clinic helps residents of Whitewater and surrounding communities.

“We have many long-time clients who return for assistance each spring,” said Robert Meyers, accounting department lecturer and VITA program director. “It is also an invaluable experience for our students. Having the opportunity to apply training while working with real people is something they will remember for years to come.”

Meyers added, “With a streamlined process and excellent participation from bright, energetic students, we hope to help many more taxpayers in 2019.”

Important information, including links to a location map, program limitations and required supporting documentation, can be found below.

VITA Clinic | Campus Map >>
2019 VITA Clinic Schedule >>
2019 Details and Required Information >>

Important notes

  • It is important that you bring photo IDs and valid Social Security cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification cards for the taxpayer, spouse and all dependents.
  • Both spouses must be present to sign forms if filing electronically.
  • If you do not have a social security number or an individual taxpayer identification number for yourself, a joint filer or a dependent, you must apply for one. For a social security number, complete Form SS-5, Social Security Number Application and submit the form to the Social Security Administration Office. See http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ss-5.pdf  for form or see https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp to find an office location. For an ITIN, see https://www.irs.gov/individuals/general-itin-information

Only simple returns will be prepared (i.e., Schedules A, B and D, and a simple Schedule C). Examples of some of the income, deduction and credits the UW-Whitewater VITA program can accommodate include:

Income

  • Wage (W2) and non-employee compensation (1099)
  • Limited business taxes for small businesses with positive net income and no depreciation
  • Interest and dividend income
  • Stock and mutual fund sales
  • Pension and IRA income
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Social Security benefit income

Deductions

  • Standard deduction
  • Student loan interest deduction
  • Itemized deductions (e.g., real estate taxes, home mortgage interest, charitable donations, etc.)

Credits

  • Earned income credit
  • Child tax credit
  • Education credits

Please review the full list of supporting documents that taxpayers should bring to VITA. If you have further questions, you may email the VITA Site Coordinator at vita@uww.edu or leave a message at 262-472-5449.

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Location

Hyland Hall
809 W. Starin Road
Whitewater, WI 53190

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