Six Oklahoma Christian University Students traveled to New Orleans, LA, during spring break for the international American Marketing Association (AMA) conference.
Oklahoma Christian’s AMA chapter won two awards at the conference. Dr. Kerianne Roper won best paper and the Oklahoma Christian chapter won outstanding fundraising.
Over 1500 students in the AMA attended the conference from March 16-18. The conference held keynote speakers, award ceremonies, focus groups and sessions on how to improve chapters.
Hannah Baxter, an AMA member since 2015 and the social media intern for the Oklahoma Christian College of Business, attended the conference for the first time.
“The speakers covered things in marketing, technology and social media,” Baxter said. “Luke Wyckoff, who has a social media company, was my favorite keynote speaker. Wyckoff discussed a lot of interesting things and has a really cool story. It was a very eye-opening experience to hear what he had to say about social media and online marketing because he is so knowledgeable in the field. He showed how social media is a game changer for companies.”
According to Baxter, the chapter fundraised through several events, including a penny war, a charity golf tournament and special nights at Alfredo’s and Freddy’s. Vice President of fundraising Katelynn McDonald said the award was a complete surprise to her.
“I was shocked when we won outstanding fundraising,” McDonald said. “To my knowledge, we did not do anything very different compared to past years. But it’s cool that we received acknowledgement for our hard work in this area.”
Roper, professor of business, went with the Oklahoma Christian students to the conference and presented the award-winning paper she co-authored with Dr. Randy Roper on how real-world projects in the classroom impact critical thinking.
“I have gone to the conference a total of six years,” Kerianne said. “This year was my first time to present a paper, and I was so happy to do it. I’m usually helping everyone else get prepared.”
Kerianne said a lot of work is required of the AMA chapter in order to go to conference.
“The officers of AMA do a project all year long to prepare for conference,” Kerianne said. “In order to be chartered chapter, we have to write a chapter plan like a business would write. We also have to write an annual report in the spring and turn it in.”
According to Kerianne, the Oklahoma Christian chapter has attended the conference for nine years.
“We have had the most consistent participation in the conference compared to other Oklahoma schools,” Kerianne said. “Things like budget impact participation. Last year one person from OC attended, and we won an award for chapter planning. It was great we had many more students involved this year.”
Of the six members of Oklahoma Christian’s AMA chapter who attended the conference, three were officers. Five students presented, which, according to Kerianne, is the most they have ever had.
“No one is required to go to conference, or present papers,” Baxter said. “I went because I knew the experience would be beneficial. Now that I have seen how it is done, I will definitely go again next year and present, and hopefully a lot more people will too. It was a great bonding and educational experience with everyone else in the chapter.”
McDonald said her presentation was on the internship she did with CE Webinar. Zach Norris, Nathan Lock, Cathleen Sizemore and Abby Hudkins also presented research from their marketing research course.
“I have gone to conference every year since I was a freshman, so it’s been a goal of mine to continue attending,” McDonald said. “Last year I presented, but it wasn’t what I expected. It was really fun. With that experience, I knew I wanted to present again.”
The dean of the business department, Jeff Simmons, gave scholarships to the students who presented.
“I did fundraising to give students scholarships, and this is the first year we have been able to do that,” Simmons said. “I plan to do it again in the future. Presenting at conference is definitely going above and beyond because it is not required of anyone.”