University News

Dixie State University

DSU DECA Students to Compete Internationally

April 1, 2015

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Thirty-five of the top “academic athletes” from Dixie State University went head-to-head to test their knowledge and presentation skills in various business categories in the two-day Utah state-level DECA Career Development Conference competition held earlier this semester in Layton, Utah. In yet another record-breaking year for DSU, all 35 qualified to compete at the International Career Development Conference, which will be held this April 14-22, in Orlando, Fla.

“Getting 35 students to Orlando is no small feat,” said Bryon Geddes, DSU DECA advisor and marketing instructor. “Giving each and every student a chance to compete internationally has been one of my many goals over the past five years. DECA is a remarkable incubator for testing the strength of experiential learning. We improve each year and send these students into the world much better prepared.”

This year, DSU students competed in 19 of the 22 total competitive categories and combined to take 73 percent of the total awards for those events. Of the 35 students who competed, 33 students earned honors on the stage at the award ceremony. This year, senior Broc Hafen from St. George, who is double-majoring in Business and Web Design, leads DSU’s DECA chapter.

“I am honored to be a part of this organization at DSU,” commented Hafen. “We are taught by the example of our advisor to love to learn and seek for ways to make a difference here at Dixie State University and in the world when we graduate.”

Among this year’s top finishers were Alex Bennett and Jackson Ream, who won first place in the Business-to-Business competition as well as Financial Statement Analysis; Andrew Herrin and Kayla (Northrup) Herrin, first place in Business Research; Emily Fisher and Josh Puchlik, first place in Emerging Technology; Riley Packer, Cindy Pu, and Jacob Rix, first place in Entrepreneur – Growing a Business; and Annie Simkins, first place in Retail Management.

The following students will represent Dixie State in the Collegiate DECA International Career Development Conference in Orlando: Ashley Beck, Alex Bennett, Joshua Boggess, Patrick Boyle, Dantzel Butler, Karina Caballero, Jaden Cox, Jordan Cox, Taylor Crosby, Sacha Davis, Deric Deede, Derek Ence, Hunter Evans, Emily Fisher, Garett Garcia, Elisabeth Geddes, Broc Hafen, David (Karl) Harrison, Andrew Herrin, Derek Johnson, Tia Lyman, Kimmy Montoya, Kayla (Northrop) Harrin, Riley Packer, Cindy Pu, Joshua Puchlik, Sydney (Radulovic) Garcia, Jackson Ream, Taylor Ricker, Jacob Rix, Shaun Russon, Sheldon Shelley, Annie Simkins, Cord Skeen, Jonny Snow, Jackson Tann, Felicia White, Karman Wilson, and Hillary Wotring.

“Our DECA participants are indeed academic athletes. However, what makes their success so extraordinary is that they are all ‘walk-ons,'” Geddes added. “None of them were recruited to come to join DECA or to compete with DECA scholarships. Their extraordinary success comes from their hard work and determination, a superior Dixie education, and the generous support of our local community.”

For more information about Dixie State’s DECA program, contact Bryon Geddes at 435-879-4339 or at

DECA (originally, Distributive Education Clubs of America) is an international not-for-profit educational organization whose mission is to prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. Its membership includes over 200,000 students in all 50 of the United States, the District of Columbia, Canada, China, Germany, Guam, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Spain. The United States Department of Education and state, district and international departments of education authorize DECA’s programs.