SALISBURY, N.C. – Two Rowan-Cabarrus Community College students won national awards at the Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) is the collegiate division of Future Business Leaders of America. Participants from universities and community colleges across the United States attended the conference to enhance their business skills, network, and participate in more than 55 business-related competitive events. To qualify for the national competition, students were rated first, second or third at the state level.

Spencer Farrell placed eighth in the nation in the Retail Management category, and Jessica Jacobsen took seventh place in community service projects for her original leadership development seminar, “How to Get the Job You Really Want.” Also competing nationally were Jessica Dabbs and Marissa Griffith.

“Competitors come from everywhere – from small community colleges to major universities with more on-campus students than the entire population of Salisbury. When our students capture national awards, it speaks volumes about the quality of education provided at Rowan-Cabarrus,” said Martha Cranford, co-advisor for the Rowan-Cabarrus PBL chapter. Cranford herself was recognized at the conference as the 2019 North Carolina Outstanding Local Chapter Advisor.

The conference gave students a chance to hear from business professionals about their career experiences and gain insight into how to succeed in today’s economy. They were able to participate in sessions that included workshops, speakers and hands-on training in career development.

“It’s a tough world out there, and we will have to work hard for our successes,” said Jessica Dabbs, Rowan-Cabarrus PBL vice president. “This organization has given me the tools I need to be successful and has made me want to push myself that much harder to be the best I can be.”

Dabbs and her peers joined more than 1,800 college students from 20 states at the national conference. Earlier this year, the Rowan-Cabarrus PBL captured 18 awards at the state competition.

“We were able to take an amazing group of students who worked hard to be at the national conference, and their commitment and knowledge showed,” said Chad Nichols, PBL lead advisor and accounting instructor at Rowan-Cabarrus. “We are extremely proud of each of them for everything they have accomplished.”

The students and advisors also were able to experience and learn about the culture and history of San Antonio. “From the famous Riverwalk to the Alamo and the Tower of the Americas, it is an experience we will never forget,” said Pam Vest, PBL co-advisor and accounting instructor.

Phi Beta Lambda has more than 350 chapters in 40 states. With conferences, workshops, networking and activities, the association helps students prepare for careers in business and helps shape them to be the business leaders of the future.