Beta Alpha Psi from USD wins prestigious regional competition

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Beta Alpha Psi at The University of South Dakota’s Beacom School of Business is not only educating students about valuable financial concepts, the national honors fraternity for financial information professionals is also winning prestigious competitions, including the Regional Beta Alpha Psi competition where the team took top honors. An impressive feat considering the team had never competed in this event before.

In preparation for the annual regional meeting, which was in St. Louis, Mo., USD’s Beta Alpha Psi team prepared feverishly utilizing a pair of workshops in the fall and spring, along with classroom pre-tests and workshop post-tests to measure the group’s success. According to Stephanie Suhrbier, president of Beta Alpha Psi, those test scores improved as much as 21 percent following the fall while scores increased 24 percent prior to the competition this spring.

Members of Beta Alpha Psi competed in two presentation completions one entitled "Financial Literacy" and the other "Beta Alpha Psi in 10 years."  The presentations were evaluated by a panel of judges. The judges considered everything from organization and quality of the group’s presentation to professionalism, research and effectiveness of the presentation.

The team finished in the top five with their "Financial Literacy" presentation and first place for the "Beta Alpha Psi in 10 years" presentation. "After receiving feedback from peers and faculty, we worked diligently on finalizing our presentation and then we practiced regularly for weeks," noted Suhrbier, from Lehigh, Iowa, who was on the team with four other USD students, Cody Kofoid of Billings, Mont., Cindy Kranz of Kranzburg, S.D., Amy Nachtigal of Sioux Falls, S.D., and Stephanie Thompson of Beresford, S.D.

Practice for the USD group paid off as they won first place and a check for $500 defeating 21 other Beta Alpha Psi teams from schools such as the University of Iowa, Creighton University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Kansas State University. For winning the regional competition, USD’s Beta Alpha Psi team is eligible to compete at the national meeting in Anaheim, Calif., this summer.

"We wouldn’t have been able to get this far without the help of our faculty advisor, Dr. Kristen Rosacker, and the faculty advisor for the Accounting Club Dr. Srini Ragothaman," added Suhrbier. "They strongly encouraged our participation and also assisted us with proposal to request funding from the Beacom Opportunity Fund."

The Beacom Opportunity Fund provides the resources for initiatives that promote the Beacom School of Business's students and programs. For more information about Beta Alpha Psi at USD, please visit their Web site at www.usd.edu/business/bap/.