Catawba College Phi Beta Lambda students recognized at national conference

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 8, 2021

RESTON, VA – More than 12,000 participants from across the country convened online for the Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda 2021 National Leadership Conference

. The event connected middle school, high school, and college students through competitive events, leadership sessions, and networking, provided students with the collective opportunity to win more than $110,000 in cash awards. 

Catawba College was recognized during the conference Awards of Excellence ceremonies for the collegiate division June 26 and 27. 

Six students from the Catawba chapter of Phi Beta Lambda qualified and competed in one for more events at Nationals.  The students competing were Emma Nantz, Samual Granillo, Madison Bumgarner, Harmony Speer, Jordan Brooks and Jacob Aiton.

Nantz competed in Management Concepts and brought home second place. Competitors were questioned on employee motivation theories, leadership, group dynamics, the business environment, policies and strategies, planning, organizing, staffing, directing and control functions for managers. She also competed in macroeconomics and brought home third place honors.  The macroeconomics exam covered aggregate demand and supply, consumption and saving, economic development, exchange rates, government deficit and debt, gross domestic product, money and interest rate, recession and depression, wages and unemployment along with other related topics. Nantz is a rising junior at Catawba College double majoring in Spanish and business administration. 

Aiton competed in cybersecurity and earned eighth place honors.  This competition focused on defend and attack strategies, network security, email security, intrusion detection, public and private key authentication, disaster recovery, physical security, cryptography, and cybersecurity policy. He graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in information systems and technology.  His advisor is Dr. Pamela Thompson.  Aiton served as a vice president for Phi Beta Lambda during the 2020-21 academic year.  

“All six competitors at the National Leadership Conference qualified by being among the top three competitors in their respective events in State Competition in April,” local chapter advisor Pamela Thompson said. “Emma and Jacob, along with all of the competitors, continue a long tradition of earning top honors nationally for our PBL Chapter and we couldn’t be more proud of our students.”

The NLC featured 74 events at the high school level, 60 events at the collegiate level, and nine events at the middle school level. Events were modified to accommodate the online experience. FBLA-PBL has forged partnerships with industry leaders to underwrite competitive events and scholarships for students achieving national ranking.