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Vienna, W.Va.—More than 1,800 of America’s best and brightest college students traveled to Maryland to Elevate Their Futures as they competed for the opportunity to win more than $110,000 in cash awards.

The Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) National Leadership Conference was held June 23–26 in Baltimore. Participants from across the United States attended this exciting conference to enhance their business skills, expand their networks, and participate in over 60 business and business-related competitive events.

Eight Ohio Valley University students travelled to Baltimore to compete in their prestigious event(s), take open event tests, attend workshops, participate in Regional and National election activities, and explore the historic city.

“The 2018 National Leadership Conference was a great experience to be able to grow as a person and as a leader in this world. It gave me the opportunity to build and create connections with people from different states, races, religions, and cultures.” commented Raul Vasquez Calderon, OVU-PBL Chapter President.

Suzanne Paugh, an OVU Forensic Investigative Accounting student, received national recognition at the PBL Awards of Excellence Program on June 26. Paugh competed in Financial Analysis and Decision Making and brought home ninth place. Financial Analysis and Decision Making consisted of two parts, a 60-minute objective tests with competencies ranging from business finance to investments and an interactive role play presentation that touched on investments, financial management, financial institutes, etc.

“The conference itself was amazing. The pageantry and traditions were very impressive to experience and the workshops offered during the conference were very informative. But it was very intimidating to compete against the brightest students from around the country. Our group from OVU was so supportive. They made it so enjoyable. I did better than I ever expected. Personal knowledge helped, but the moral boost from everyone on the trip made it possible for me to place nationally. Competing at the PBL National Conference was one of the best experiences I have ever had!” Suzanne Paugh elaborated.

The award was part of a comprehensive national competitive events program sponsored by FBLA-PBL that recognizes and rewards excellence in a broad range of business and career-related areas. For many students, the competitive events are the capstone activity of their academic careers. In addition to competitions, students immersed themselves in interactive workshops, visited an information-packed exhibit hall, and heard from motivational keynotes on a broad range of business topics.

“We had an amazing group of students attend Nationals this year. Everyone worked exceptionally hard and represented West Virginia and Ohio Valley University very well. Thanks to all of our generous sponsors. If it wasn’t for you, our students would not have been able to experience this incredible honor.” shared Jessica Anderson, OVU-PBL Advisor.

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Chartered in 1958, Ohio Valley University is a faith-based, residential, liberal arts college founded by members of the Church of Christ. Students of all faiths are accepted and encouraged to apply. The university offers a variety of baccalaureate and master’s degrees to students from 26 states and 25 nations. To learn more visit www.ovu.edu.