March 26, 2019  

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USM Business Students Earn Awards at Phi Beta Lambda Conference

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Several University of Southern Mississippi business students walked away with awards during the Mississippi Phi Beta Lambda State Leadership Conference held recently in Columbus, Miss.

The Phi Beta Lambda students from Southern Miss competed against 17 other PBL chapters from across the state and earned a combined nine awards.

“I am compelled to state that this unique and talented group of USM student members has ‘wowed’ me,” said Anne Gottfried, visiting assistant professor in the Department of Marketing and Merchandising who has been a faculty advisor for Phi Beta Lambda for one year. “Spear-headed by their founding president, Michelle Le, these members, in a very short period of time, have earned significant state recognition.”

Each year on the Mississippi University for Women campus, the conference brings together statewide PBL chapters to learn, compete, and network, all while learning about what it means to be a business professional. This year, the following students earned recognition in their events:

  • Michelle Le placed third in Retail Management and fourth in Marketing Concepts. She is a sophomore marketing major with a minor in management and the president of Southern Miss’ PBL chapter.
  • Christen Leggett placed first in Computer Applications and second in Computer Concepts. He is a senior mathematics major from Sandersville, Miss.
  • Tom Phan, a junior finance and banking major from Biloxi, Miss., placed first in Financial Concepts and second in Personal Finance.
  • Ceili Rassier is a Hattiesburg native and a sophomore international studies and political science major. She placed second in Justice Administration.
  • Josh Spivey placed first in Accounting Principles and first in Sports Management and Marketing. A native of Lake, Miss., he is a junior accounting and finance major.

These students qualify to compete at the PBL National Leadership conference, to be held this summer in Anaheim, Calif. In addition, Le was named to the Mississippi PBL Who’s Who, in recognition of her hard work in reactivating the USM chapter of PBL.

“This experience is indescribable. Being surrounded by like-minded college students in a business setting puts your mind in a reality setting,” said Le. “As we prepare to graduate and work in the real world, PBL sets each member up for the life skills we need once we get our official jobs.”

Phi Beta Lambda (the collegiate branch of Future Business Leaders of America, or FBLA) is the largest student business association in the world. Its mission is “to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs.” 

For more information about PBL, please contact chapter president Michelle Le: or our advisor, Dr. Anne Gottfried: