For the fourth time in as many years, Utah Valley Community College's Delta Epsilon Chi chapter has walked away with top honors at the Distributive Education Clubs of America national competition.

The local Delta Epsilon Chi chapter, sponsored by the community college's business management department, took 46 medals - more than any other school - in national competition held recently in Salt Lake City."We've taken more places and medals than any single college in the nation the past four years," said Business Management Department Chairman Jerry Conder. In addition, he said the school's business management students have garnered from 50 percent to 60 percent of awards in DECA competition statewide against Snow College, Weber State College, Dixie College and Salt Lake Community College.

Conder attributes the club's success to support from the community college's administration, involvement by business management faculty in preparing students for national competition and the quality of the school's students majoring in business management, fashion merchandising, hotel-restaurant management and banking and finance.

"Students are able to take those things learned in class and put them into practical application in state and national competition," Conder said. He said many students who do well on the national level often receive job offers from representatives of firms who often attend DECA competition.

Conder said the superior performance of the Utah Valley Community College business management students is indicative of the quality of education they're receiving.

"DECA provides students with the most real life experience they'll get in school," added Anita Musto, the school's DECA chapter adviser. "They are taught true-to-life principles and given true-to-life challenges that professionals sometimes face."

Students competed for medals in competency events and participatory events. In participatory events, students were judged on a business-related presentation. In competency events, judging was based on a written examination and either role playing or a case study.

UVCC students won 28 competency medals and 18 participatory medals.

First-place finishers were Lesle Vroman, apparel and accessories; Wayne Dittmore, full-service restaurant, and Steve Houghton, sales manager meeting.

Second-place winners were Sonja Cowgill and Vern Webb, advertising; Michael Jesperson, finance and credit, and Alice Clarke, management decision-making merchandising.

Lauralee Elliott and Reed Terry took third-place awards in advertising, and Naida Webb garnered a third-place award in finance and credit.