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Majors & Degrees

DSU students compete at national leadership conference

April 18, 2019

All seven Dakota State University students who competed in the Iowa State Leadership Conference earned their way to compete at the National Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas June 24-27.

These seven students are part of Dakota State’s PBL Business Club. PBL stands for Phi Beta Lambda, but advisor Dr. Dan Talley, professor of economics at DSU, refers to the club as professional business leaders.

“The three goals of the group are academic excellence, professional development, and community service,” Talley said.

Lindsey Vogl, president of PBL, and senior professional accounting and finance major from Webster, S.D. received fifth place at last year’s national competition in accounting for professionals. At the Iowa conference this year she earned first place in business communication, cost accounting, and public speaking.

Vogl chooses which areas to compete in based on classes she’s already taken, which enables her to study based off the completed course work, but she also enjoys competitions that require performance events. “I like to do a presentation event because I like opportunities to practice my public speaking,” Vogl said.

The students are excited to be attending and competing at the National Leadership Conference. Jacia Christiansen, Tavyn Hallan, and David Weidler are most excited about the travel required for the conference.

Christiansen, a sophomore professional accounting major from Viborg, S.D., received first place in financial concepts and third place in statistical analysis. Christiansen said that the competition “gives you confidence that you’re learning.”

Tavyn Hallan, a junior professional accountancy major from Madison, S.D., received first place in accounting for professionals and personal finance. “I’m excited to travel and meet students from other schools,” he shared.

At the national competition, David Weidler, a senior professional accounting, finance and marketing major from Howard, S.D., is looking forward to “applying the knowledge I’ve learned in class against people from other schools.” Weidler received first place in sports management and marketing and marketing concepts, and third place in microeconomics at the Iowa conference.

AJ Schoenfelder and John Trout see this as an opportunity to continue testing their own knowledge. “It gives you a way to test yourself in a different atmosphere,” Trout said.

Schoenfelder, a sophomore computer science major from Parkston, S.D., received first place in information management and second place in programming concepts at the Iowa competition. Trout, a junior business technology and business marketing major from Prescott, Ariz., received first place in macroeconomics and third place in project management.

Vogl, who has competed at the nationals twice before describes the competitions as scenarios that are real-life based and have a lot of real-world application.

The students will be preparing for their trip in June by staying fresh on the content.

Kayla Mentele, a sophomore marketing and finance major from Salem, S.D., said most people use materials and notes from classes they’ve already taken to prepare for competitions. Mentele received third place in marketing concepts and personal finance and fourth place in microeconomics at the Iowa conference.

Talley and fellow club advisor Dr. Yen-Ling Chang are both proud and excited to have all seven students moving on to the national competition.

“They’ve shown that they can compete nationally,” Talley said. “It’s an important aspect of the quality of the instruction that they’re getting here at DSU.”

The award ceremony for the national competition will be broadcast online on Thursday, June 27. The club intends to provide updates from the conference on their Facebook page.


Pictured (l-to-r) Advisors Dr. Yen-Ling Chan and Dr. Dan Talley, John Trout, Lindsey Vogl, Tavyn Hallan, David Weidler, Jacia Christiansen, Kayla Mentele, and AJ Schoenfelder pose with their awards.