Accounting and MIS students at the UNM Anderson School of Management proved they are among the best students in the nation earning first place honors at the National Beta Alpha Psi Best Practices competition in Denver, Colo.

The Anderson students competed against seven regional winning teams from across the country in the Innovation Category with their presentation titled, "The Accountant's Role in a Changing Business Environment." Members of the UNM Beta Alpha Psi group included James Reider, Leann Bell, Megan O'Laughlin and Thomas Heisel. The Anderson chapter has won at the regional level in the past; however, this is the first win in the national competition.

Anderson Accounting Department Chair and faculty advisor Craig White says the win is a result of hard work. "The team put in a large amount of time further developing the concept, putting together the presentation, and seeking input from the professional community," he said. "This preparation was evident in the result."

Anderson Dean Doug Brown says the team's success is a testament to the quality of education offered at Anderson. "Our faculty mentors work intensively with the students to prepare them for these important competitions," said Brown. "They are a great confidence-builder in addition to being an excellent learning experience."

"This is a great win for our chapter of Beta Alpha Psi as well as UNM as a whole," said James Reider, president of Beta Alpha Psi. "I hope that this helps shed some light as to the quality of students and faculty that we have representing the university."

At the conference the students also participated in Beta Alpha Psi's annual service project called Project Homeless Connect. The event provides essential services to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Each student was paired with a "client" who they escorted and assisted throughout the day exposing the students to the complex issues of homelessness.

Beta Alpha Psi is the honorary organization for Financial Information students and professionals at the UNM Anderson School of Management. For more information go to Beta Alpha Psi.

Story by and Media Contact: Leslie Venzuela (505) 277-7117; e-mail: