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Press Release



June 26, 2008

Gill, Brantley claim awards at PBL National Leadership Conference


William Brantley and Aaron GillTwo Cowley College Phi Beta Lambda Business Organization students brought home awards from their trip to the 66th National Leadership Conference held June 21-25 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel in Atlanta, GA.

Aaron Gill, placed fifth in Justice Administration and William Brantley, placed 10th in Future Business Teacher. Gill, from Winfield, is a sophomore Business Administration major. Brantley, from Arkansas City, graduated as a Management Information System major and will be attending WSU in the fall.

The competitive events consisted of the following: Justice Administration consists of an objective test including questions on nature of crime, law, criminal justice, courts and adjudication. Future Business Teacher event consists of three parts: submission of a resume, completion of an application form, and an interview. Contestants competed in an initial 10-minute interview and then the top-10 contestants were called back for a 15-minute interview. 

Other Cowley College students attending were: Tanessa Signer, Elizabeth Smith, Charley Stettler, Jr., and Emily Zimmerman. 

Phi Beta Lambda’s mission is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs. The National PBL Association charters local chapters. 

Approximately 1,650 students attended the conference, whose theme was “Leadership in Action.” The competition was tough as the students compete against students from four-year colleges and universities as well as community colleges across the United States and the Virgin Islands.

To qualify for nationals students had to place first or second at the state conference held in February. In Atlanta, besides competing in the specific tests, students had the opportunity to attend leadership workshops and participate in the March of Dimes Walk. The walk was a special celebration of PBL’s 34-year partnership with the March of Dimes.

Beverly Grunder, State PBL advisor and Cowley College assistant advisor, accompanied the group.

“It is exciting to observe the leadership skills and professional growth students obtain by being part of the PBL organization.,” Grunder said. “Networking with their peers, attending the dynamic workshops and preparing for the competition provide the students with learning and leadership experience. The skills and knowledge will enhance their future educational and professional experiences. I am proud of the students who represented the Cowley College PBL chapter.”

Cowley College also received recognition as a Gold Seal Chapter. The Gold Seal Chapter Award of Merit Hollis and Kitty Guy Award, recognizes outstanding local chapters that have actively participated in projects and programs identified with the goals of PBL. 

Pictured, from left, William Brantley and Aaron Gill.