Faculty & Staff Contact Us Search
OTC PBL Members Place at National Competition

The Okefenokee Technical College chapter of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) attended the PBL National Leadership Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, July 9-12, 2010, and were among over 1,200 students from 38 states to compete in various business and computer-related events. Five OTC students placed in one or more categories, earning a place at the winner's podium. OTC brought home 6 awards, one of which was a team award.

According to PBL advisor Marcia Braddock, the eleven students representing OTC performed extremely well in their respective competitive categories. In fact, OTC students brought home more awards than any other technical college or university in Georgia. "We were so thrilled at what our students accomplished during the national event," Braddock said. "It was a huge achievement for all of the students who made it to the national competition, especially when you consider the caliber of students they competed against, many of whom were from large, Tier 1 colleges and universities like Oklahoma State, Missouri State, Berkeley, and the University of South Florida."

The following Okefenokee Tech PBL members are state winners and fierce national competitors: Jared Bartlett, Akino Brown, Diane Cannon, Octavius Clark, William Hand, Rodney Hooks, Jan Prescott, Lacey Shackelford, Elizabeth Velez-Hill, Amanda Wild, and Cliff Van Wyck.

Earning the coveted place on the national winner's podium were Cliff Van Wyck, 7th in Cyber Security; Elizabeth Velez Hill, 4th in Job Interview; Bill Hand, 3rd in Information Management and 3rd in Computer Concepts; Jan Prescott, 3rd in Justice Administration; and Cliff Van Wyck and Jared Bartlett (team competition), 1st in Network Design.

"PBL students from OTC continue to make us proud," stated Vice President for Student Affairs Danita Cannon. "They have, once again, demonstrated that OTC students are well prepared."

“Our advisors and instructors are to be commended for their work in preparing PBL members for national and state competition,” stated OTC President Thaxton. “Our students, as we know, are the very best, and we appreciate their enthusiasm and dedication to PBL and leadership development.”

According to conference coordinators, FBLA-PBL members have the competitive edge. When the best and brightest of FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America - high school chapters) and PBL convene to compete in leadership events, share their successes, and learn new ideas about shaping their career future through workshops and exhibits, they get the business edge needed for today’s competitive workplace.

The theme of the conference was “Simply the Best.” "I wish everyone could have experienced the excitement and pride that we did at the awards ceremony," stated Braddock. "It was 'Simply the Best."

The FBLA-PBL National Awards Program recognizes and rewards excellence in a broad range of business and career-related areas. Competitive events fall into three categories: individual, team, and chapter. Individual and team events focus on skills useful in leadership and career development; chapter events recognize overall achievement and performance in chapter management and growth. Each event is governed by specific guidelines and rating sheets.
FBLA-PBL is the largest business career student organization in the world. 


Photo :
Jared Bartlett (with award covering his smile) and Cliff Van Wyck (3rd from left) took top honors (1st place) in Network Design, giving everyone in Ware and surrounding counties a reason to smile. PBL advisors Marcia Braddock (L to R), Jason Strickland, and Christine Leclerc-Sherling were beaming with pride for Van Wyck and Bartlett. Derrell Harris is the major program instructor and content competition mentor for Bartlett and Van Wyck. Harris says he was not surprised that these gentlemen swept the competition. “They are excellent students, and they were prepared.”

The Network Design competition measures students’ ability to evaluate the needs of an organization and then design and implement network solutions. The event consisted of two parts; an objective test and a performance component. The top ten teams with the highest score on the objective component advanced to the final round, where each team was given a case study that outlines a small organization and its computing environment and needs. Teams are then required to analyze the situation and recommend a network solution to address the issues raised in the case study and make a ten-minute presentation in which six performance competencies are rated.

Objective test competencies were network installation—planning, configuration, and topology, problem solving and troubleshooting, network administrator functions, configuring network resources and services, configuration of Internet resources, security, and backup and disaster recovery. Performance competencies were analyze the computing environment and needs;
demonstrate an understanding of the case; explain, discuss, describe recommendations; demonstrate good communication skills; demonstrate critical thinking/problem solving; and ability to work as a team. Derrell Harris and Jason Strickland are the major program instructors for Bartlett and Van Wyck. Both instructors served as mentors for PBL competitors.

Congratulations to Okefenokee Tech PBL members who excelled at the National Leadership Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Attending the conference were Cliff Van Wyck (back, L to R), Akino Brown, Bill Hand, Jan Prescott, Elizabeth Velez-Hill, Jared Bartlett, Octavius Clark, Jason Stricland (advisor), Amanda Wild (front, L to R), Marcia Braddock (advisor), Rodney Hooks, Lacey Shackleford, Diane Cannon, and Christine Leclerc-Sherling (advisor).

Cliff Van Wyck (left) placed 7th in the nation in Cyber Security. With the increased use of the Internet for browsing, researching, information gathering, and e-commerce, information and cyber security has become a growing concern for businesses throughout our global economy. This event recognizes PBL members who understand security needs for technology. Event competitors take a one-hour objective test covering the following competencies: computer attacks (e.g., virus, spam, spyware, Trojans, hijackers, worms), firewalls, intrusion detection, network security, public key, authentication, e-mail security, disaster recovery, forensics security, physical security, and cryptography. PBL Marcia Braddock (right) congratulated and introduced Van Wyck and other PBL national competitors to the faculty and staff recently. Derrell Harris and Jason Strickland are the major program instructors and served as content competition mentors for Van Wyck.

Bill Hand placed 3rd in the nation in Information Management and 3rd in the nation in Computer Concepts. Information is a fundamental resource of a business organization. Employees must understand the impact of technology on the efficient processing of information. This event provides recognition for PBL members who demonstrate knowledge in the areas of information management, decision making, human relations, and time management. Hand was given a one-hour objective test based on the following competencies: resource management (human, financial, data), telecommunications and networking technology, decision making, E-business systems, business communications, ethics, and human relations. He scored higher than students attending Upper Iowa University, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of the Ozarks, among others.

The competitive event, Computer Concepts, requires demonstration of an advanced understanding of computers, which is integral to the successful operation of business. Computer Concepts provides recognition for PBL members who understand the basic principles involved in computer technology. Participants were administered a one hour objective test based on the following competencies: basic computer principles, terminology, hardware, software (applications, operating systems, etc.), networking systems and procedures, programming concepts, troubleshooting, ethics. Derrell Harris and Jason Strickland are Hand’s major program instructors and served as his competition mentors.

Elizabeth Velez-Hill placed 4th in Job Interview, an event consisting of two parts that recognizes PBL members who demonstrate proficiency in applying for employment in business. The two parts are (1) a letter of application, résumé and a job application form; and (2) an interview. Each participant must apply for a business or business-related job at a company of their choice. The job must be one for which he/she is now qualified or for which he/she will be qualified at the completion of the current school year. All participants participated in a 10-minute preliminary interview. The fifteen finalists participate in a 15-minute interview. Velez-Hill placed ahead of students from the University of Missouri, University of Nebraska, and Southern Utah University, among others. Way to go, Elizabeth!

Jan Prescott placed 3rd in Justice Administration, an event that provides recognition for PBL members who can identify, understand, and demonstrate knowledge about general criminal justice concepts. Prescott's event required her to demonstrate competency in the following areas:
nature of crime, law, and criminal justice (victimization, substance and procedure, and current justice trends with terrorism, homeland security and cyber crime); police and law enforcement (history and organization, role and function, and professional, social, and legal issues); courts and adjudication (prosecution and defense, pretrial procedures, criminal trial and punishment and sentencing); corrections and alternative sanctions (community sentences, history and current information on corrections, and prison life); and juvenile justice system. Prescott took a one  hour objective test to demonstrate her knowledge in these areas, placing higher than students from California State University, Webber International University, and Minot State University, among others. Her program instructor and mentor, Ms. Jaki Johnson, is quite proud.


More Success Stories