BPA Students Shine at SLC

All 11 DCTC competitors placed in top 10 with 23 1st place finishers

Eleven students in the Business Professionals of America (BPA) chapter at Dakota County Technical College competed in 38 events at the 2018 BPA State Leadership Conference (SLC) February 22–24, 2018, in Moorhead, Minnesota. All 11 placed in the top 10 in their competitions. Nine qualified to compete at the 2018 BPA National Leadership Conference (NLC), Dream Bigger, May 9–13, 2018, in Dallas, Texas.

Six students totaled up 23 1st place finishes at the SLC ¹

Marta Roth: Eight
Two second- and two third-place finishes

Kevin Day: Five
Three second- and three third-place finishes

Juan Vega: Three
One second- and two fourth-place finishes

Sarah Escamilla: Three
Three fourth-, one fifth-, one sixth-, two eighth- and two ninth-place finishes

Shelby Roth: Three
Two second-place finishes

Ryan Monio: One
One second-, one fifth-, one sixth-, two seventh- and two eighth-place finishes

¹ Includes team event
See below for details…

Faculty perspective…

Marie Saunders, accounting instructor, and Candace Carlstrom, administrative technology instructor, serve as faculty advisors for the DCTC BPA chapter. Marie reported that she and Candace will be accompanying the national qualifiers to Dallas in May. The makeup of the DCTC student contingent competing at the nationals has not been determined.

“Our students work very hard and they earned their place on the stage at the State Leadership Conference in February,” Marie said. “The students who attended the state conference are from a range of programs. They bring a variety of life experiences to our BPA chapter.”

Marie added that of the 11 students who participated in the SLC competitions, nine qualified to attend the National Leadership Conference in Texas.

“Business Professionals of America competitions are always a great experience for our students,” she said. “Their outstanding performances at the BPA state and national level validate the education they receive at Dakota County Technical College.”

More about BPA…

Business Professionals of America (BPA) is the premier CTSO (Career and Technical Student Organization) for students pursuing careers in business management, information technology, finance, office administration and other related career fields.

With 45,000 members in over 1,800 chapters across 25 states and Puerto Rico, BPA is a co-curricular organization that supports business and information technology educators by offering co-curricular exercises based on national standards. Read more…

Courtesy of BPA

DCTC BPA chapter officers
DCTC BPA students serving as state officers for the Minnesota BPA College Division:
Check out the following links to learn more:

DCTC BPA SLC gallery


DCTC BPA competitors SLC results

Administrative Support Concepts

  • 1st Marta Roth
  • 3rd Wendy Bahr
  • 4th Sarah Escamilla
  • 5th Bobbi Jo Johnston

Advanced Office Systems and Procedures

  • 3rd Wendy Bahr

Advance Spreadsheet Applications

  • 1st Marta Roth

Banking and Finance

  • 1st Marta Roth
  • 2nd Juan Vega

Basic Office Systems and Procedures

  • 1st Sarah Escamilla
  • 8th Eric Skarman
  • 9th Glenn Sullivan

Business Law and Ethics

  • 2nd Marta Roth
  • 4th Juan Vega
  • 6th Sarah Escamilla
  • 8th Eric Skarman
  • 9th Wendy Bahr
  • 10th Glenn Sullivan

Business Meeting and Management Concepts

  • 1st Marta Roth
  • 3rd Wendy Bahr
  • 4th Glenn Sullivan
  • 8th Sarah Escamilla

C++ Programming

  • 1st Kevin Day

College Accounting

  • 2nd Eric Skarman
  • 4th Glenn Sullivan

College Payroll Accounting

  • 3rd Marta Roth

Computer Network Technology

  • 1st Shelby Roth
  • 3rd Kevin Day
  • 7th Ryan Monio
  • 9th Sarah Escamilla

Computer Programming Concepts

  • 1st Kevin Day
  • 7th Glenn Sullivan
  • 8th Ryan Monio
  • 9th Wendy Bahr

Computer Security

  • 2nd Kevin Day
  • 7th Ryan Monio

Contemporary Issues

  • 5th Eric Skarman

Diagnostic Coding

  • 4th Wendy Bahr
  • 7th Bobbi Jo Johnston

Ethics and Professionalism

  • 1st Juan Vega

Federal Income Tax Accounting

  • 1st Marta Roth

Financial Analyst Team

  • 4th Eric Skarman and Glenn Sullivan

Financial Math and Analysis Concepts

  • 2nd Marta Roth
  • 9th Eric Skarman

More about Marta Roth…

Marta Roth

Marta Roth, 22, of Rosemount, Minnesota, double-majored at DCTC, earning an A.S. in Business Administration and an A.A.S. in Accounting, finishing the latter degree in December 2017. Marta was home-schooled and graduated from the “Roth Home School” Class of 2014. She took online courses from Northwestern University to complete a number of her generals.

“I am taking a Management Effectiveness class this semester just because I thought it would be useful,” Marta said. “I am planning to transfer to a four-year institution in the fall, although I have not selected a school yet.”

Marta at 2017 BPA NLC

Marta at 2017 BPA NLC

Marta joined BPA to enhance and accelerate her career goals. She serves as Minnesota BPA College Division president. In 2017, she competed at the BPA NLC in Orlando, Florida, taking home two second-place finishes and one third-place finish along with five top-10 medals. She also received the BPA Ambassador Award and a $650 scholarship.

“It would be hard to count all the new experiences I have had as a member of BPA,” said Marta, who registered eight first-place, two second-place and two third-place finishes at the 2018 BPA SLC. “I have traveled throughout the state, spoken with state legislators, served as the president of the Minnesota College Division, and placed in competitions at the national level. The best part about being in BPA, though, is not what I have done, but who I have become. New opportunities are presented to me all the time, and BPA has given me the confidence, knowledge and leadership skills I need to make the most of those opportunities every day.”

Nominated by DCTC faculty, Marta was recently selected as a 2018 Coca-Cola Academic Team Bronze Scholar and will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Selection as a Coca-Cola Bronze Scholar is based on scores students earn in the All-USA Academic Team competition.

More than 2,000 applications were submitted this year. The program is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and is administered by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Fundamental Spreadsheet Applications

  • 1st Juan Vega
  • 8th Wendy Bahr

Information Technology Concepts

  • 1st Kevin Day
  • 2nd Ryan Monio
  • 8th Sarah Escamilla

Integrated Office Applications

  • 2nd Wendy Bahr
  • 3rd Eric Skarman
  • 5th Sarah Escamilla

Intermediate Word Processing

  • 1st Sarah Escamilla
  • 3rd Eric Skarman
  • 6th Wendy Bahr

Interview Skills

  • 5th Eric Skarman
  • 6th Glenn Sullivan

JAVA Programming

  • 1st Kevin Day

Legal Office Procedures

  • 1st Sarah Escamilla
  • 2nd Wendy Bahr

Management/Marketing/HR Concepts

  • 1st Marta Roth
  • 9th Eric Skarman
  • 10th Wendy Bahr

Managerial Accounting

  • 3rd Marta Roth

Medical Office Procedures

  • 7th Wendy Bahr
  • 8th Bobbi Jo Johnston
  • 9th Kim Taylor

Network Administration using Microsoft

  • 1st Shelby Roth
  • 2nd Kevin Day
  • 8th Ryan Monio

Network Design Team

  • 1st Kevin Day, Ryan Monio, Shelby Roth and Juan Vega

Parliamentary Procedure Concepts

  • 3rd Wendy Bahr
  • 8th Glenn Sullivan
  • 9th Sarah Escamilla

PC Servicing and Troubleshooting

  • 2nd Shelby Roth
  • 3rd Kevin Day
  • 4th Sarah Escamilla
  • 5th Ryan Monio

Personal Financial Management

  • 1st Marta Roth
  • 4th Juan Vega

Prepared Speech

  • 2nd Eric Skarman

Project Management Concepts

  • 1st Marta Roth
  • 2nd Kevin Day
  • 3rd Wendy Bahr
  • 4th Sarah Escamilla

SQL Database Fundamentals

  • 2nd Kevin Day

Systems Administration Using CISCO

  • 2nd Shelby Roth
  • 3rd Kevin Day
  • 6th Ryan Monio

BPA National Leadership Conference (NLC) qualifiers

Student spotlight: Juan Vega

Juan Vega

Juan Vega

Originally from Del Rio, Texas, a city of 41,000 residents on the border with Mexico, Juan Vega, 27, is majoring in accounting at DCTC. Juan moved to Faribault, Minnesota, at the age five. He graduated from Faribault High School, Class of 2009, and recently moved to Bloomington, Minnesota. He is aiming to graduate from DCTC with his Accounting A.A.S. in spring 2019.

Juan attended Bemidji State University and was able to transfer his general education credits to DCTC. In December 2013, he joined the Minnesota National Guard as a way challenge himself by becoming one of the one percenters who serve in the U.S. military. He was initially assigned to the 434th Chemical Company in Hastings, Minnesota, and was recently reassigned to the 851st Vertical Engineering Company, which is based in Camp Ripley near Little Falls, Minnesota.

“In April of this year, the 851st will be deployed to Camp Buehring in Kuwait for a year,” Juan said. “I’m hoping I can study online while I’m deployed.”

Juan’s long-range education plans are focused on earning a bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, or one the universities with articulation agreements with DCTC, including Metropolitan State University.

“I eventually want to attempt the LSATs and try my hand at law school,” Juan said. “My alternative is working as a business analyst. I’m good with interpreting numbers and making decisions based on them. My top goal is becoming an attorney practicing corporate law.”

More about Juan…

Juan serves as BPA chapter president at DCTC. He performed exceptionally well at the 2018 BPA SLC, taking:

  • First in Fundamental Spreadsheet Applications
  • First in Ethics and Professionalism
  • First in Network Design Team (team competition)
  • Second in Banking and Finance
  • Fourth in Business Law and Ethics
  • Fourth in Personal Financial Management

Juan has one brother, Juan Jr, 22, a house painter, and one sister, Ailyn, 6. His mother, Norma, is retired, and his father, Juan, is an instructor at Quality Ingredients. When he’s not studying and fulfilling his National Guard obligations, Juan enjoys working out and watching Netflix.

“I have a terrible habit at times of binge watching Netflix,” he said. “It just happens sometimes. I love exercising. It’s a fantastic way to relieve stress and stay in shape. Every now and then, I’ll find myself reading for fun and watching fútbol is always awesome. The best is playing with my sister!”

Juan Vega Q & A

Why did you choose your career field?
I’m good with numbers and it just made sense. Although, I think I would’ve tried architecture as a major. Fun fact: I’m a good drawer.

What duties do you perform as BPA chapter president?
I would say my main purpose is to inform and try and motivate, and provide leadership to the best of my ability.

What do you like best about BPA?
The people involved in my chapter and the opportunities BPA brings. BPA gives you the chance to explore your career options through networking and with the aid of the advisors. BPA helps your resume and develops your professionalism.

What did you learn from competing at the SLC?
I learned that I can still get nervous on some things. Overall though, I learned you cannot always approach a situation too confident. It gets the best of you when you least expect it.

Three words that describe you as a college student:
CONFIDENT. INTELLIGENT. AMBITIOUS.

What was your favorite SLC competition and why?
I had two: Ethics and Professionalism and Banking and Finance. The first because I have this powerful sense of what’s right and what’s wrong. I felt it was the perfect event for me to place first in. As for the second, I worked at Wells Fargo and learned a lot about policies, procedures and banking. I thought I would win that one hands-down, but I lost to Marta Roth.

What advice would you give students about how to get the most out of college?
Take advantage of everything the college you attend has to offer. You can create opportunities for yourself by joining clubs, volunteering, and attending other extracurricular activities. Also, enjoy your time outside of the class. Work Monday through Friday and relieve your stress during the weekends. I found it to be a perfect formula for me.

What has been your toughest challenge in life?
Balancing work, school and the military. I’m not full-time with military, but having that added to school and work at the time, really drained me mentally.

What is your greatest accomplishment?
Helping my sister, Ailyn, improve her reading and math skills. It was pre-parenting for me and it has been great to watch her progress. Also, my success at the SLC is up there along with my military career

What person has influenced you the most in life?
I would have to go with my old man. He’s done so much for the family these past years. Not to mention growing up in Mexico during difficult times, he’s been successful as a man and a parent.

Juan Vega | 21 Answers

  1. Favorite season: Transition from summer to fall. It lets you know the end and beginning of something beautiful.
  2. Favorite natural feature (e.g., waterfalls, oceans, mountains, etc.): Waterfalls. They’re so calming.
  3. Favorite sport or physical activity: Fútbol and lifting weights. Fútbol, it’s the most beautiful sport there is! And, of course, you must stay in shape somehow, right?
  4. Your national bird if you could have one: It would be the penguin! They’re always wearing suits and rockin’ them.
  5. Place you would most like to visit: Barcelona, Espana. To watch my favorite club team play—and experience the culture and architecture!
  6. Favorite holiday: Christmas, hands down. I have a 6-year-old sister and I love watching her open gifts.
  7. Your national mammal if you could have one: I would say an African lion. Who doesn’t love The Lion King?
  8. Favorite actor or actress: Robert Downey Jr when he started the Iron Man series. The man plays the role to point.
  9. Favorite band or performing artist: I enjoy reggaetón artist, Nicky Jam, so much. I embarrassingly got caught in my car on my way home singing by the driver in the car next to me at a stoplight. She was nice enough to just smile and wave.
  10. Your personal motto if you had to have one: “ASH: I value academics, success and health.”
  11. Coolest thing in the world: The world itself. There’s still much we have yet to discover on our planet. We’re just one planet, too. Imagine living long enough to discover the universe!
  12. Scariest thing in the world: The ocean. It’s incredibly beautiful, but incredibly deep. Who knows what’s underneath at the bottom?
  13. Favorite all-time TV show: Suits and House. Who doesn’t appreciate Dr. House and his cynicism and witty humor?
  14. Favorite all-time movie: I’m a huge Batman fan. I would have to go with The Dark Knight. Heath portrayed The Joker in a way that will never be done again.
  15. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: To build success for my family in terms of finance and reputation.
  16. Most precious material possession: My Dallas Cowboys jersey I got from my aunt and uncle, #21, Ezekiel Elliott. The best RB I’ve seen since Marion Barber.
  17. First thing you would buy if you won the $1.5 billion Powerball: I would buy my entire family new homes and their kids college tuition.
  18. Dream occupation: A lawyer working in corporate law. The law is intriguing when it comes to businesses.
  19. Person you would most like to meet: Tony Romo. The man went through so much during his career. He accomplished a lot during his time with the Dallas Cowboys and I believe he deserves a lot more recognition.
  20. Skill you would most like to learn and master: All aspects of cooking. I’ve watched these videos on Facebook of Gordon Ramsey cooking, and the man simply motivates me to want to learn how to do the things he does!
  21. Humankind’s greatest challenge: Acceptance. I believe we have trouble in truly accepting each other, as individuals and people. We don’t know enough about each other and sometimes the media doesn’t help. We need to experience each other by communicating our thoughts and feelings, and being open-minded to what we all have to offer.
To learn more about BPA at DCTC, contact:

Marie Saunders
Accounting Faculty
BPA Faculty Advisor
651-423-8390

Candace Carlstrom
Administrative Technology Faculty
BPA Faculty Advisor
651-423-8389