The University of New Mexico Small Business Institute has learned that two of its student teams are top contenders in the national Small Business Institute ® Student Consulting Project of the Year (POY) competition. 

The two teams will be recognized at the 2018 SBI Annual Conference in Corpus Christi, Texas in February and will learn at that time if they placed first, second or third in their respective categories after competing against other student teams representing over 75-member colleges nationwide. 

The first of the two winning UNM teams include student members Janet Delgado, Anpao Duta Flying Earth, Kimball Sekaquaptewa and Claire Toledo. The team guided by Dimitri Kapelianis, associate professor of Marketing and associate dean for Enrollment Management, will receive an award in the Graduate/Specialized category for their project, a strategic marketing analysis for the National Hispanic Cultural Center. This is the fifth year in a row that Kapelianis’ student teams have won a national SBI award. 

“I have found my experience collaborating with the UNM SBI to be deeply rewarding,” said Kapelianis. “My students acquire practical skills and local client organizations benefit from the students’ fresh perspective and keen insights. As for myself, the experience keeps my teaching grounded in the practical realities of marketing strategy.” 

The second UNM team includes student members Shawn Caldwell, Nadine Daoud, Kenny Gaona, Aasha Marier, Brittany Oury and Melinn Tram. The team and its advisor Evelyn Micelotta, assistant professor of Strategic Management, will receive an award in the Graduate Comprehensive Category for a strategic management plan they prepared for the New Mexico State Parks. 

“We were very excited to work with the senior staff at the New Mexico State Parks,” said Micelotta. “After learning about their operations and goals our students provided several critical recommendations for the NMSP.”

“We want to congratulate our UNM SBI professors and students for this noteworthy achievement,” said UNM SBI Director Stacy Sacco. “We are very proud of their success and we’re delighted to provide our students this unique real-world, experiential learning opportunity.”

UNM SBI teams have received national recognition the past few years including earning top rankings among 75+ colleges participating in the National Small Business Institute’s® Project of the Year competition.

In addition, the Mid-Regional Council of Government’s released an independent study stating that between 2014 and 2015, UNM SBI clients who applied the students’ recommendations created 195 direct and indirect jobs, which helped increase personal income statewide by $8.28 million and grow the state’s economy by $14.05 million in gross domestic product.