Students excel at 2024 Collegiate DECA International Career Development Conference

Tabor business group at DECA in Austin

Ten Tabor College students traveled to the Collegiate DECA International Career Development Conference in Austin, Texas, and eight traveled home as national finalists. In just its third trip to compete against colleges and universities from across the globe, Tabor has asserted itself as one of the strongest DECA chapters.

Competing against universities such as Arizona State, Butler, Gonzaga, Texas, and Wisconsin, Tabor’s students shined with eight of its ten competitors reaching the finals.

“This demonstrates the quality business degree students are obtaining at Tabor College and the academically successful students in our program,” said Melinda Rangel, Ed.D., Marvin Sellberg Professor of Business and Entrepreneurship. “I’m extremely proud of their hard work, dedication to prepare, and competitive spirit. As a proud professor, I probably scream louder than most advisors when I hear the names of our students called to go on stage!”

With multiple majors, countries, and states represented among the ten competitors, Rangel is pleased to see a diverse interest in what DECA can offer.

“This shows that DECA is for any student regardless of their previous educational institutions or where they are from,” she said. “These 10 formed stronger friendships and built collective networks to spread globally.”

Students were also recognized outside competition as Honrado represented Kansas on the National Officer Nomination Committee, Pearson as a state voting delegate and Hirschi was the state flag bearer at the start of the conference in the Parade of Flags.

Tabor’s 2024 National DECA competitors:

  • Nathaniel Heilig (JR, Bastrop, Texas)
  • Alia Hirschi (SO, West Jordan, Utah)
  • Mallorie Pearson (JR, Salina, Kan.)
  • Sam Claassen (SO, North Newton, Kan.)
  • Alejandro Honrado (SO, Sanfelismo, Spain)
  • Lucca Rodrigues (SR, Sao Paulo, Brazil)
  • Andre Trigo (FR, Sao Paulo, Brazil)
  • Clemente Iturrate (FR, Santiago, Chile)
  • Abram Friesen (SO, Lewistown, Mont.)
  • Gracie Kidd (SO, Galva, Kan.)


Nathaniel HeiligEntrepreneurship- Grow a Business3rd
Alia Hirschi
Mallorie Pearson
Sam Claassen
Entrepreneurship- Start a BusinessTop 10
Alejandro Honrado
Lucca Rodrigues
Andre Trigo
Advertising CampaignTop 10
Clemente IturrateEntrepreneurship OperationsFinalist
Alia Hirschi
Mallorie Pearson
Event PlanningFinalists
Lucca Rodrigues
Andre Trigo
Sports MarketingFinalists