NIC students earn top honors at state business competition

Five North Idaho College students qualified to compete nationally by achieving top honors at the recent state Business Professionals of America (BPA) competition in Boise.

NIC students competed with two-year college and university students from across the state in business and leadership skills related to their respective fields of study through BPA.

BPA is a national organization for high school and college students preparing for careers in a world-class workforce.
Award recipients include: Hannah Shields, from Hayden, first place in Graphic Design Promotion; Ryan Maskell, from Coeur d’Alene, first place in Fundamentals of Web Design, first place in Desktop Publishing, second place in Graphic Design Promotion; Ashley Chaffin, from Coeur d’Alene, second place Fundamentals of Web Design, third place in Graphic Design Promotion, and third place in Desktop Publishing. Chaffin, Maskell and Shields previously qualified for the national competition in Web Site Design Team. Shields previously qualified for the national competition in Entrepreneurship. Vanesa Braun, from Coeur d’Alene, second place in Payroll Accounting, and third place in Database Applications; Tabatha Kasper, Hayden, first place in Advanced Interview Skills, and third place in Payroll Accounting. Braun and Kasper also previously qualified for the national competition in Financial Analyst Team.

“These students were ambassadors of North Idaho College demonstrating academic success and community leadership in the state of Idaho,” said NIC Graphic Design Instructor/BPA Advisor Philippe Valle.

Braun served as the BPA 2012-2013 Postsecondary Idaho state president, Kasper served as 2012-2013 BPA Postsecondary Idaho vice president, and Hannah Shields was elected 2013-2014 BPA Postsecondary Idaho state parliamentarian/historian.

Braun and Kasper were awarded the Statesman Torch Award for service and leadership. A “statesman” is defined as "one who is a leader in the promotion of the public good and in national affairs.”

The 2013 BPA National Leadership Conference will be held in Orlando, Fla. May 8-12.  Students will participate in competitive events, internships, leadership and academic workshops. North Idaho College BPA chapter members will continue their current local involvement with the Special Olympics by participating in the “Walk for Special Olympics” during the National Leadership Conference.

“Much like the local support they gave to Special Olympics in Idaho and Washington State, students broaden their horizons through these community service events beyond the classroom learning,” Valle said.

NIC BPA chapter students will join over 6,000 conference delegates from across the nation to participate in national-level business skill competitions, workshops, certification testing, general academic sessions, and the national officer candidate campaigns and elections.

The students are currently raising the money necessary to fund their trip to the national competition.  For sponsorship or donation information, contact Valle at (208) 769-3426 or

For More Information
Philippe Valle, NIC graphic design instructor/BPA advisor, (208) 769-3426 or   

Posted: Friday, March 8, 2013

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