ACC students are heading to the national DECA Conference

Ten Austin Community College District (ACC) students are heading to the international DECA conference in April. 

The students recently placed at state and are now eligible to compete internationally. They’ll represent the college and Texas in the International Collegiate Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) Career Development Conference happening in Baltimore, Maryland, April 9 - 12. The students will compete with 1,500 people nationwide.

“I am so proud of the ACC Collegiate DECA students for their efforts at the Texas Career Development Conference. It takes a lot of practice, courage, and commitment to participate and to win,” says Kathy Walton, ACC DECA advisor and Marketing and Fashion Marketing Adjunct Professor. “I have worked with this student organization for years and KNOW that it changes students' lives and helps them on their path to career success. These students had to take multiple steps outside of their comfort zone to achieve these results and accept challenges that expand their skills, confidence, and credentials.”

Collegiate DECA is a professional association for college students interested in careers in business. The organization's key goals include career exploration, leadership development, professional behaviors, and community service. 

This year’s student delegation is the largest to attend the national conference since ACC’s chapter was first established 13 years ago. The students competed in the Texas Collegiate DECA Career Development Conference on March 5 and 6. Their projects included a personal safety device, a plant starter kit, and a project developing a merged technology marketing strategy for a restaurant. Eight students' projects were selected.


1)  Professional Sales 

      1st Place:  Garrett Skupinski

      2nd Place:  Jessica Gallardo

2)  Retail Management

      2nd Place:  Debbie Tow

3)  Fashion Marketing and Merchandising

     2nd Place:  Tamya Williams

4)  Financial Accounting

     2nd Place:  Erick Garza

5)  Emerging Technologies

     2nd Place:  Lettie Hastings

6)  Corporate Finance

     3rd Place:  Jerson Valenzuela

7)  Entrepreneurship Operations

     3rd Place:  Nathan Spaulding

8)  Entrepreneurship Challenge

     3rd Place:  Garrett Skupinski

In addition, Jessica Gallado and Erick Garza have been recognized for the Individual Leadership Passport Award program.

"It's been an honor serving as this year's ACC Collegiate DECA Chapter president and former vice president of the Texas Collegiate DECA Association. Our officer team and advisor are setting up competition practices to get ready to compete at Internationals, and we couldn't be more pumped,” says Gallado. “My favorite part about competing in Collegiate DECA is seeing my fellow competitors develop professionally and personally, all while challenging themselves to try something new. It's been rewarding getting to meet and compete with everyone this year; we're so ready to maximize our momentum at ICDC!"

Two students, Efrain Torres and Cailey McKittrick, did not place but are still eligible to compete in the international conference. 

ACC’s chapter also is being recognized internationally at the conference for achievements this year in the Chapter Leadership Passport Award program. To learn more about the program visit the ACC DECA webpage.