DCTC Students Shine at BPA Nationals

Zack Pudil takes first place in Java Programming; Matt Looyen brings home second in Banking and Finance

(left to right) Phil Weix, Adam Larson, Matt Looyen, Zack Pudil, BPA student, Warren Moe, Lyle Stelter

Six student delegates from Dakota County Technical College attended the Business Professionals of America 2011 National Leadership Conference, “Stand Out from the Crowd,” May 4–8 in Washington, D.C. All six students participated in a range of competitive events, winning 10 awards, including a first in Java Programming by Zack Pudil, a Software Development major, and a second in Banking and Finance by Matt Looyen, an Accounting major. As members of the newly formed BPA Club at DCTC, the students qualified for the nationals at the BPA 2011 Spring Leadership Conference in Alexandria, Minn., Feb. 24–26, 2011.

Pudil also took fifth in C++ Programming. Looyen garnered three more awards, a third in Financial Analysis Team (along with Adam Larson, Phil Weix and Warren Moe, all Accounting majors), an eighth in Payroll Accounting, and a 10th in Management Marketing and Human Resources. Weix won the most awards for DCTC with four, including a third in Financial Math and Analysis, a fourth in Fundamental Accounting and a fourth in Payroll Accounting.

DCTC BPA Club Student Delegate Competitors
  • Warren Moe | Lakeville, Minn. | Accounting Major
  • Phil Weix | Newport, Minn. | Accounting Major
  • Zack Pudil | Hastings, Minn. | Software Development Major
  • Matt Looyen | Farmington, Minn. | Accounting Major
  • Adam Larson, Hastings, Minn. | Accounting Major
  • BPA student | Prescott, Wis. | Accounting Major

According to the BPA, roughly 5,500 students and advisors from across the U.S. took part in the 45th National Leadership Conference. The highlight of the conference was the awards presentation for the national competitive event winners. The conference’s opening general session was held May 4 on the lawn of the Washington Monument.

Accounting Instructor Lyle Stelter is the DCTC BPA Club’s advisor. Stelter taught accounting for 22 years at Minnesota State College Southeast Technical in Red Wing, Minn., before joining the DCTC faculty in fall 2010. He advised a BPA Club at Southeast Tech for more than two decades, but this was the first time he took every one of his student competitors to the BPA National Leadership Conference.

“We faced the best of the best at the BPA nationals,” Stelter said. “The competitive events also become much more difficult at this level. Our students took up the challenge and performed exceptionally well.”

“By taking part in BPA competitive events, we are gaining learning experiences that you just can’t get in the classroom.” — Warren Moe, Accounting major

Betty Krueger, an Information Systems instructor, considers Zack Pudil one of her most gifted students. “Zack is a scholar in the Advancing Student Success in Engineering, Science and Technology program,” Krueger said. “As part of his ASSETS professional development responsibilities,  he joined the BPA Club. Through the club’s extracurricular activities, he has demonstrated his remarkable abilities as a programmer.”

Both Pudil and Matt Looyen reported that the competitions were tougher than they expected. “We really had to step it up, ” Looyen said. “Our success can be attributed to hard work and a great teacher.”

BPA 2011 National Leadership Conference

DCTC Student Competition Results
Top 10 winners are recognized
  • Advanced Accounting | Adam Larson | 9th place
  • Banking and Finance | Matt Looyen | 2nd place
  • C++ Programming | Zack Pudil | 5th place
  • Financial Analysis Team | Larson, Looyen, Moe, Weix | 3rd place
  • Financial Math and Analysis | Phil Weix | 3rd place
  • Fundamental Accounting | Phil Weix | 4th place
  • Java Programming | Zack Pudil | 1st place
  • Management Marketing and Human Resources | Matt Looyen | 10th place
  • Payroll Accounting | Phil Weix | 4th place
  • Payroll Accounting| Matt Looyen | 8th place
To learn more about the Accounting program and the BPA Club at DCTC, contact:
To learn more about ASSETS Scholarships and Information Systems programs, contact: