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CCU's SAM Club Takes First Place at International Conference

April 24, 2002

For the third straight year, Coastal Carolina University's chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Management (SAM) was awarded first-place honors for medium size chapters in the Campus Chapter Performance Program at the SAM annual international conference held recently in McLean, Va.

Coastal's five-person team was one of 33 teams that competed in this year's international conference.

All teams were asked to prepare a SWOT ( strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis on the Gannett Corporation, owners of USA Today. Each team presented a full analysis and solution to the case based on the corporation's current business situation and industry environment. The presentation was followed by a question-and-answer session. A panel of judges based its decisions on the students' solution, professionalism, presentation skills and how well they handled the question-and-answer session.

In the Student Case Competition open division, team partners Julie Berwanger, a senior marketing major of Leawood, Kan., and Heidi Stepzinski, a senior accounting major from Raleigh, N.C., presented Coastal. Coastal students who earned high marks in the case undergraduate division were Michele Dreiding, a junior marketing major from Trumbull, Conn.; Camilla Hakonadottir, a junior management major from Reykjavik, Iceland; and Ron Rosania, a senior management major from Myrtle Beach.

Hakonadottir was one of only three student representatives elected to serve on the SAM International Board of Directors. Stepzinski served on the board last year.

Coastal students presented with Regional Outstanding Student Awards were Berwanger, Dreiding and Stepzinski. Stepzinski was also chosen as one of only 15 Outstanding National Student Award winners.

SAM Club adviser Darla Domke-Damonte, assistant professor of management at Coastal, received an Outstanding Faculty Adviser Award.

Coastal's chapter of SAM was chartered in 1998, and has grown from 13 members in 1998 to more than 40 in 2002. The organization's goals this past year were to focus on the professional development of its student members.

The mission of SAM is to provide an opportunity for the members to increase management skills and expertise through participation in programs and services designed to improve the professional quality of their knowledge, performance and leadership ability. Membership in Coastal's SAM club is open to all campus community members.

For more information, contact Domke-Damonte at 349-2129.