SWIC students win at 2013 Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference

Hard work, a solid education and a competitive spirit all paid off for a group of Southwestern Illinois College business students who brought home a myriad of awards from the Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference held recently in Anaheim, Calif.

"Each year the students work very hard to prepare for this competition," said PBL Faculty Adviser Tina Dierkes, professor of Office Administration and Technology. "The fact that we continue to win awards shows that SWIC is able to compete with students not only from other community colleges, but from large four-year universities."  

The group won the Gold Seal Award of Merit and Second Place for the Largest Local Chapter Professional Division Membership for the North Central Region.   

"It was an overwhelming feeling to be at the conference," said student Cortney McGowan of Belleville. "It's incredible to be around so many other leaders who want to support and encourage you. It was a very positive experience." 

Individual awards include: 

  • Career and Membership Achievement Program Executive Award - Heather Borowiak of Maryville
  • Second Place Client Service Award - Natalie Wellen of Dahlgren
  • Fifth Place Future Business Executive Award - Wellen
  • 10th Place Job Interview Award - Borowiak.

Other SWIC members in attendance included McGowan and Eric Lassman from Shiloh.  

"I was very proud to be representing SWIC," said Wellen. "We were one of only a handful of community colleges competing at this level. It was an exciting experience."  

Approximately 1,800 students, advisers, and guests from colleges and universities around the country attended the conference. Students competed in scholastic events, participated in workshops and elected their 2013-2014 national officers. SWIC students competed against 23-44 other entries in each event.  

PBL allows members to demonstrate and validate their mastery of essential business concepts, skills and knowledge. In addition, members participating in this program will: demonstrate their career competencies, business knowledge and job-related skills; expand their leadership skills; demonstrate their competitive spirit; and receive recognition for their achievements.  

View a list of honors the SWIC PBL chapter received at the state conference held in April in Effingham, Ill.  

For more information, contact Tina Dierkes at 618-235-2700, ext. 5321, or tina.dierkes@swic.edu.