MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

November 5, 2016 

Collegiate DECA provides valuable experiences for Mayville State students


We’re very proud of a fine group of Mayville State University students who are involved in Collegiate DECA. Historically, Collegiate DECA stood for Distributive Education Clubs of America, but over the past 10 to 15 years, the organization has expanded its focus beyond the basic marketing discipline to cover other areas of business.

The Mayville State Collegiate DECA chapter was officially formed in October of 2011. The mission of the chapter is to expand professionalism by enhancing school, community, and self through the linking of education and experience. The group’s constitution further explains the objects of the organization as follows:

  • to enhance leadership and professionalism;
  • to develop community and campus service;
  • to grow business, information technology, and career skill sets;
  • to promote Mayville State University and the Division of Business;
  • to create more interest and understanding in the American business enterprise system;
  • to facilitate the transition from college to the world of work;
  • to foster high ethical standards in business;
  • and to encourage business activity that demonstrates civic, social, and moral responsibility.

Since 2011, MSU Collegiate DECA has had more than 80 members place at the North Dakota state competition, four students serve as state vice presidents, and 26 people place at international competition. Specifically, those 26 students have placed in the top 10 or higher, with 10 of those finishing in first, second, and/or third places. Furthermore, students have been recognized nationally with both leadership awards and community service awards. MSU Collegiate DECA has also been fortunate to have each of its advisors, Rob Johnston and Dustin Olson, recognized as North Dakota State Advisor of the Year, in 2013-14 and 2014-15 respectively.

Along with success in competition, MSU Collegiate DECA members have been active in the community, logging hundreds of hours of community service doing things such as pumpkin painting with residents at the Luther Memorial Home, campus and highway cleanup, raising scholarship funding for students, assisting the MSU Foundation with campus events, and much more.

Members of the organization helped with serving and other details associated with the MSU Foundation Honor Society President’s Dinner last week. They did a wonderful job of helping to make the evening flow smoothly, and we are grateful for their assistance.

Each year, there are two Collegiate DECA conferences in North Dakota, one in the fall and one in the spring. This year the Fall Leadership Conference was in Fargo on November 1 and 2, and the North Dakota Career Development Conference is scheduled to be held in Fargo on February 12 and 13. If students qualify in their competitions at the February conference, they’ll have the opportunity to attend and compete at the International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, Calif. April 19 through 22. Both the North Dakota and International Career Development Conferences provide Mayville State’s Collegiate DECA members with the opportunity to network with professionals, compete against peers, and meet other Collegiate DECA members from all around the country.

Collegiate DECA provides students with a wide range of business topics to explore while providing hands-on experiences. It also enhances communication skills, critical thinking, time management, proper etiquette, and overall professionalism. The Mayville State chapter has shown tremendous skill and leadership through performances at both the state and international levels.

Officers for the Mayville State chapter for 2016-17 are Jordan Johnson, president; Donte Stevens, vice president; David Dukart, treasurer; and Maddie Gallardo, public relations officer. The chapter averages about 30 to 40 members each school year.

We are delighted that Mayville State students have the opportunity to learn and grow through their involvement with Collegiate DECA. We tip our hats to the advisors, officers, and members for the wonderful work they do. You make us proud!