GRCC’s BPA team brings back eight 1st-place awards from state competition



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications


March 3, 2014 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College students recently took first place in eight categories at the state Business Professionals of America competition.

"The diligence of our students’ preparations were modeled throughout the competition and resulted in several BPA National qualifiers," said Peg Schoenborn, adviser to GRCC's BPA chapter and assistant professor of business. "We are all so proud of our BPA students, and it's exciting to see their hard work rewarded."

Winning first-place awards were:

  • Erika Duggan, Dawn Forsythe, Sally Kulikamp and Beth Steimel in Administrative Support Team.
  • Steimel in Advanced Office Systems.
  • Steimel in Advanced Word Processing.
  • Corwin Tobias in Contemporary Issues.
  • Brian Ayers in Fundamental Word Processing.
  • Charrisa Elmer in Integrated Office Systems.
  • Christina Hincka in Medical Office Procedures.
  • Tobias and Brandon Klotz in Video Production Team.

GRCC students also took additional state titles in the following events:

  • Brandon Holt in Advanced College Accounting.
  • Fata Cesko in Advanced Office Systems.
  • Kulikamp in Advanced Office Systems.
  • Forsythe in Advanced Word Processing.
  • Hincka in Basic Office Systems and Procedures.
  • Holt in Contemporary Issues.
  • Robert Martinez in Contemporary Issues.
  • Angie Wieck in Database Applications.
  • Tobias in Entrepreneurship.
  • Klotz in Fundamentals of Web Design.
  • Brian Ayers in Fundamental Spreadsheet Applications.
  • Duggan in Fundamental Word Processing.
  • Klotz in Graphic Design Promotion.
  • Duggan in Integrated Office Systems.
  • Martinez in Management/Marketing/HR Concepts.
  • Holt in Managerial Accounting.
  • Rocky VanZergen in Managerial Accounting.
  • Martinez in Prepared Speech.

Students faced competitors from 10 other Michigan post-secondary institutions: Baker College of Muskegon, Central Michigan University, Davenport University-Grand Rapids, Davenport University-Holland, Davenport University-Kalamazoo, Lake Michigan College, Montcalm Community College, Northern Michigan University, Northwood University and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

“We believe that competitive events, such as BPA, are good for our students in helping them improve and polish their skills so they are better able to differentiate themselves in a highly competitive marketplace,” said Felix Pereiro, chairman of GRCC’s business department. “We wish our students the very best as they complete at the BPA National Event!”

Nine students — Duggan, Forsythe, Holt, Klotz, Kulikamp, Martinez, Steimel, Tobias and VanZergen will travel to the national BPA competition, which will take place from April 29 to May 4 in Indianapolis.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for more than 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.