PSU Beta Alpha Psi Epsilon Alpha chapter earns top awards at the Deloitte Best Practices Competition
Author: Crista Tappan, The School of Business
Posted: April 1, 2020

Students representing Portland State University’s Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) chapter (Epsilon Alpha) earned three awards at the 2020 Deloitte Best Practices competition. The Regional Meeting was altered to a video submission competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The team was led by Devon Wanderon, a senior accounting major, who quickly adapted and submitted three video presentations on the chapter’s innovation, impact and engagement activities on campus.   

Andrew Rod and Brianna Finch received first place in the innovation category for their presentation on BAP’s involvement with the new PSU Data Analytics Club.  Spearheaded by BAP members Connor Garrett and Amanda Patterson under the guidance of Accounting Professor Kristi Yuthas and Associate Dean Erica Wagner, this club allows students of any major the opportunity to explore and create with emerging technology essential in today’s evolving workplace. Placing first qualifies this team to compete at the BAP Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, in August 2020. 

Devon Wanderon, Mikaela Todd and Karlee Edwards received second place in the impact category for their presentation of BAP’s initiative to fight food insecurity on campus by establishing a mini food pantry in the Karl Miller Center (KMC) with the support and encouragement of Assistant Director of Student Success Nathanial Garrod. The pantry, aptly named KMC Quick Bites, is housed in the Undergraduate Programs office. The pantry holds quick grab-and-go items such as granola bars, trail mix, soups and juices to assist students who might benefit from a meal that day. Donations were procured from BAP and through the generosity of business faculty and staff. While the KMC is currently closed due to COVID-19, when it reopens the hope is that the success of this pantry can be used as a model for other academic units across PSU and beyond.  

Daniel Lopez and Yessica Villegas received third place in the engagement category for their presentation of BAP’s initiative to connect with community college students before they attend PSU.  The BAP students helped to spread awareness during community college visits about the accounting profession and its unique recruiting cycle, held a community college breakfast at PSU and are working on an informational video with BAP alumni to be showcased on community college accounting course websites.

The chapter is grateful to the BAP Alumni Advisory Board, chaired by business alum, Amy Morales, who now works for the firm Ernst & Young. The Board meets throughout the year with the competition team and provides essential guidance as they prepared for the competition. The alumni’s support and feedback during the team’s final practices were vital to their success.

 “We were all stunned by the last-minute change in directive from BAP, but in true PSU fashion, our students were able to pivot, adapt and succeed during these extraordinary times,” said Madelyn Parsons and Kelly Lutz, instructors of accounting and BAP co-advisors. “Their commitment to representing Portland State University at the highest level of professionalism was steadfast and we could not be prouder of their achievements.”