PBSC students place first in PBL state competitions

Four Palm Beach State College students have advanced to the national stage after winning first place in competitions during the 70th annual Florida Phi Beta Lambda State Leadership Conference.

Top l to r: Jorge Badia and Nick Rossi. Bottom l to r: Martaluz Cisneros and Maria Bacas-Cook

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the students competed virtually via Zoom (April 2-18) in a variety of events, including Job Interview, Impromptu Speaking, Accounting Principles, Business Presentation, and Human Resource Management.

The PBSC winners were: Jorge Badia, Impromptu Speech; Nick Rossi, Public Speaking; and the team of Martaluz Cisneros and Maria Bacas-Cook, Business Presentation. PBSC alumnus and former employee Adrian Stephenson also took home first place for Client Services.

“It feels great to be recognized for the hard work we have been putting in all year, especially considering the challenging and uncertain times that we are facing,” said Rossi, president of PBSC’s Phi Beta Lambda chapter and a bachelor’s degree seeking student. However, I never second guessed whether or not I should compete even though it was online. Just like any great business that expects to make it through the other side of this crisis, we had to remain flexible and adaptable to the times we are going through.”

Bacas-Cook, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree, also didn’t let the virtual competition scene intimidate her thanks to the help of Dr. Jehu Chong, Phi Beta Lambda advisor and a professor in the bachelor’s degree programs.

“I was a little apprehensive at first. I guess my concern was the unknown. Dr. Chong quickly put those fears to rest when he met with us virtually and encouraged us about competing in this new format. Everyone was so positive and excited that it eased the apprehensiveness that I had about traveling into an uncharted territory. The joy of hearing our names called for first place in our category was unparalleled. We are humbled about what we’ve been able to accomplish, not just for us as individuals but also for Phi Beta Lambda and for Palm Beach State College.”

Adrian Stephenson, a former PBSC client services manager in the IT department who received his Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Information Management.

A recording of the awards ceremony can be viewed here. The students will now compete at the national competition, which will also be held virtually this summer.

Hundreds of students from colleges and universities, including 11 from PBSC’s Phi Beta Lambda Chapter, participated in competitive activities at the competition. The PBSC chapter is the collegiate division of Future Business Leaders of America, helping prepare students for careers in business and business related fields.

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