Winning MSU-Meridian students seek more DECA honors

MERIDIAN, Miss.—Six business administration seniors at Mississippi State University-Meridian are traveling to Virginia to represent their home state at the DECA International Career Development Conference.Virginia-bound MSU-Meridian DECA students (l-r) Steven Miller, Daniel Johnson, Anthony McOlgan, Crystal Windham, Mariam Khmaladze and Steven Pamplin. (Photo submitted)

Formerly Distributive Education Clubs of America, DECA Inc. includes students focused on a variety of business career areas.

Taking place Wednesday-Saturday [April 11-14] in Arlington, this year’s conference involves more than 1,000 competitors in such categories at business management and administration, entrepreneurship, finance and accounting, hospitality and tourism, and marketing and communication.

To reach the top challenge level, each member of the MSU-Meridian group finished high in respective categories during the state DECA event.

Even with on-site honors they may accumulate in Arlington, Anthony R. McOlgan of Meridian and Steven C. Miller of Laurel already are selections for chapter leadership awards. Miller also will be presented an Individual Leadership Passport-Gold Award recognizing continuing engagement through DECA programming both on campus and in the community.

Additionally, Mariam Khmaladze, also of Meridian, will be bringing home an academic award for maintaining a 3.5 or better grade-point average (based on a 4.0 scale) and being active in chapter leadership.

The chapter itself will receive separate awards in the community service and leadership passport-executive categories.

Adviser Natasha Randle said she and other Meridian faculty members are “extremely proud of the efforts our students have made.

“From sharing business skills with local high school students to showing compassion through monetary donations to tornado victims to serving in local, state, and international leadership capacities, our students do the important work of developing themselves and others and leaving the world a little better than they found it,” the associate professor of management said.

In state competition during February, the MSU-Meridian winners were:

—Mariam Khmaladze and Daniel C. Johnson, both of Meridian, first in international marketing.

—Steven Miller of Laurel, first in retail management.

—Steve W. Pamplin of Meridian, first in sales management meeting.

—Daniel Johnson of Meridian, second in corporate finance.

—Crystal M. Windham of Heidelberg, second in human resources management.

—Anthony McOlgan of Meridian, third in human resources.

The website for National DECA Inc. is

For more information about business and all other academic offerings at MSU-Meridian, see .

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

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