DECA Members Advance to Internationals

McClure.jpgIn just its second year of competition, the Central Methodist University Collegiate DECA chapter had six team members qualify to compete on the international level, and had one member elected to serve as the state’s Collegiate DECA president.

At the annual State Career Development Conference put on by the Missouri Association of Collegiate DECA, one order of business was to elect the Association’s new president for the upcoming academic year. CMU’s own Alexis McClure, of Poplar Bluff, was chosen by her peers to be that leader and will serve as president for the 2021-22 term.

In addition to the business meeting, Central students took part in both individual and team competitions, which tested their skills and knowledge in various areas of business. Each area of competition gives students the opportunity to combine their knowledge in marketing, management, finance, and hospitality with their sills in problem solving, critical thinking, and presenting.

For the first time, this year’s competition was held virtually on February 15 and 16, presenting a unique challenge to competitors, who were forced to adapt by recording and uploading presentations for judging. Despite the added challenge of having to give their presentations while the campus was closed due to poor weather, the CMU team made the most of the opportunity to showcase its talent.

“I’m very proud of these students for meeting the difficult challenge of a virtual competition head-on with a consistent attitude of positivity and flexibility,” said Hickman. “Their success is well-deserved.”

Placing in the top six spots of their competitions to earn a bid to compete at the Collegiate DECA International Career Development Conference in April were:

  • Jayklin Smith – second place, Financial Accounting
  • Rachel Smith and Kelena Oots – second place, Event Planning (team event)
  • Grady Mattson – third place, Restaurant and Food Service Management
  • Alexis McClure – third place, Financial Accounting
  • Rachel Smith – fourth place, Hotel and Lodging
  • Caitlyn King – sixth place, Fashion Merchandising and Marketing

Multiple CMU students qualified for Internationals last year as well, but the event was unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19. The conference will go on this year, however, as it is planned as a virtual event for April 13-17.

For more information on DECA, visit the club’s social media pages or contact advisor Dave Hickman at 660-248-6336 or

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