UNM's Beta Alpha Psi Theta Xi Chapter took first place at the 2011 Southwest Regional Beta Alpha Psi meeting in Dallas, Texas recently for their presentation titled, "Leveraging Technology: Bridging the Gap between Program and Practice" in the Best Practices category under Innovate: The Accountants Role in a Changing Business Environment. Beta Alpha Psi is the honorary organization for Financial Information students and professionals at the UNM Anderson School of Management.

The project team developed an innovative forum for presenting technology skills to students. They found that as businesses are relying more on social media and other technological advances, the need for an adaptive academic program has grown increasingly important. Practical knowledge of advanced Microsoft Office skills and select industry tools are vital for our accounting graduates. They hope the program will give students an edge in this rapidly changing business environment.

Chapters from New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana took part in the regional competition. Members of the UNM Beta Alpha Psi presenting group included Jessica Swafford, Justin Stewart, Megan O'Laughlin, and William Brizzee. They were joined by members of next year's officer team and faculty advisor, Dr. Craig White.

"I think the judges were impressed with UNM's Beta Alpha Psi students taking an active role in identifying and further developing skills that will make them even more marketable in today's changing business environment," said White.

"I'm really honored to be able to work with such a great group of hard-working individuals," said Jessica Swafford, the Chapter's president. "Everyone's time and dedication to the project is very commendable and winning first place further illustrates our excellence within this organization."

The team will go on to compete at the national Beta Alpha Psi Annual Conference in Denver, Colo. in August.

Story by and media contact: Leslie Venzuela (505) 277-7117; e-mail: venzuela@mgt.unm.edu