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PBL Dominates at 2019 State Leadership Conference

Submitted by Kaley Conner, Panhandle State Collegian on 04/02/2019 PBL members pose for a photo Friday evening before the awards ceremony at SLC. Back row (left to right): Cameron Hammett, Aaron Hammett, Jorge Rosas, Cameron Branch, John Polston, Hayden Ukens, Firas Ghazhouani, Shalom Ngalaba. Front row (left to right): Jasmine Puebla, Jamie O’Gorman, Esmerelda Castro, Jerriena Davis, Lupita Jimenez, Amanda Blanton, Kaley Conner, Melody Ethley. — Courtesy photo PBL members pose for a photo Friday evening before the awards ceremony at SLC. Back row (left to right): Cameron Hammett, Aaron Hammett, Jorge Rosas, Cameron Branch, John Polston, Hayden Ukens, Firas Ghazhouani, Shalom Ngalaba. Front row (left to right): Jasmine Puebla, Jamie O’Gorman, Esmerelda Castro, Jerriena Davis, Lupita Jimenez, Amanda Blanton, Kaley Conner, Melody Ethley. — Courtesy photo

Goodwell, Okla. — On the morning of Friday, March 29, Panhandle State Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) members and advisors Dr. Sara Hitch and Mr. Davin Winger departed for Oklahoma City for another annual State Leadership Conference (SLC).

That evening, the group attended dinner at Mid-America Christian University (MACU), where the event was held, and received their awards for objective tests that were taken prior to SLC. Along with individual awards, members received for their competitions, Panhandle State earned this year’s Public Relations Award. The competition awards received Friday evening are as follows:
Amanda Blanton: 1st in Programming Concepts, 2nd in Computer Applications, 3rd in Accounting Principles
Cameron Branch: 3rd in Computer Concepts, 2nd in Cyber Security
Kaley Conner: 1st in Marketing Concepts, 1st in Business Communication
Melody Ethley: 1st in Administrative Technology, 4th in Computer Concepts
Firas Ghazouani: 2nd in Personal Finance, 2nd in Statistical Analysis
Aaron Hammett: 3rd in Accounting for Professionals
Cameron Hammett: 2nd in Accounting for Professionals
Lupita Jimenez: 5th in Personal Finance, 3rd in Macroeconomics
Shalom Ngalaba: 2nd in Management Concepts
John Polston: 2nd in Financial Concepts
Jasmine Puebla: 1st in Financial Concepts, 2nd in Programming Concepts
Jorge Rosas: 1st in Cyber Security, 3rd in Marketing Concepts
Hayden Ukens: 3nd in Administrative Technology, 1st in Computer Applications
Team of Aaron and Cameron Hammett: 1st in Forensic Accounting

Saturday morning began a long day of performance events, which included several team events. While these competitions did not involve any tests beforehand, members prepared diligently during the weeks leading up to this date. Following the performance events was the final awards ceremony, in which our PBL members received the following awards:
Melody Ethley: 3rd in Public Speaking
Firas Ghazouani: 1st in Business Ethics, 3rd in Job Interview
Shalom Ngalaba: 2nd in Client Service
Jorge Rosas: 1st in Impromptu Speaking
Team of Cameron Branch and Hayden Ukens: 1st in Network Design
Team of Amanda Blanton, Kaley Conner, and Lupita Jimenez: 1st in
Social Media Challenge
Team of Jerriena Davis, Shalom Ngalaba, and Jamie O’Gorman: 2nd in Accounting Analysis and Decision Making
Team of John Polston and Jasmine Puebla: 1st in Financial Services,
2nd in Financial Analysis and Decision Making

A total of 16 students competed for Panhandle State including:                         
Cameron Hammett of Boyd, Texas
Aaron Hammett of Boyd, Texas
Jorge Rosas of Felt, Okla.
Amanda Blanton of Kennesaw, Ga.
Hayden Ukens of Hooker, Okla.
Cameron Branch of Ulysses, Kan.
John Polston of Fort Worth, Texas
Jasmine Puebla of Albuquerque, N.M.
Melody Ethley of Arlington, Texas
Kaley Conner of Keyes, Okla. 
Esmeralda Castro of Guymon, Okla. 
Shalom Ngalaba of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Jerriena Davis of Hooker, Okla. 
Firas Ghazouani of Tunis, Tunisia
Lupita Jiminez of Guymon, Okla. 
Jamie O'Gorman of Stinnett, Texas

Melody Ethley commented on the event, “It was my first time competing with PBL. It was a very fun, and insightful weekend. I was able to get to know some of my fellow members a little better, and get that real world experience from competing in my event. I was super pleased to receive first place in Administrative Technology, and I wish that I would have been exposed to that type of environment earlier on. Nonetheless, I’m thankful for the opportunity, and encourage anyone else with the smallest bit of interest to pursue PBL!”

In total, Panhandle State PBL brought home 14 state championships, 12 second-place finishes, 7 third-place finishes, 1 fourth-place finish, and 1 fifth-place finish. All but three members were first-time competitors, and each one of them was an outstanding representative of Panhandle State. The group looks forward to National Leadership Conference this summer in San Antonio, Texas.

Dean of Business and Technology Davin Winger commented, “The State Leadership Conference is always an exciting time for our students. The conference is a great opportunity for our students to realize they are on equal footing as they compete with other state universities.”